2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

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2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Review: Slowly But Surely

A substantially improved new Subaru Impreza Hatchback is due next year in the USA and it will sit on a stiffened version of the current one's Subaru Global Platform, so it won't exactly be all-new. However, it will address one of the biggest problems we have with the 2023 Impreza Hatchback - its breathless 152-horsepower 2.0-liter engine - by making available a more powerful 182-hp 2.5. While rivals such as the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 hatchbacks are far more powerful and quicker than the current car, it shouldn't be discounted altogether, even though it's starting to get old now. Diehard fans will point out that it's unique in its class thanks to its standard all-wheel drive, that Boxer engine, and the availability of a manual gearbox which - be warned - will disappear next year. It's also practical, and every safety review of the Subaru Impreza Hatchback places it at the top of its class - even after six years on the market. So it's still easy to grow fond of it and we're not surprised that it has such a loyal band of followers. But is that enough to recommend the old one in its final model year, or should you rather wait for the new one?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Impreza Hatchback?

In anticipation of the new 2024 model, there will be no changes to the existing Impreza range for 2023, and every trim level carries over unaltered. There are some tweaks to the optional extras though; for example, last year's Rockford Fosgate audio-system upgrade is no longer available, and the optional packages have been renamed. The only other change is to pricing, and the base price of the 2023 Impreza Hatchback creeps past the $20k barrier for the first time.

Pros and Cons

  • Great ride and handling
  • Excellent safety standards
  • Available manual
  • Standard AWD
  • Comfortable and quiet cabin
  • Weak, breathless engine
  • Buzzy CVT and imprecise manual
  • Aging tech and interior
  • Middling gas mileage

What's The Price Of The 2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback?

The price of the Subaru Impreza Hatchback in five-speed manual base trim is $20,295 - up $500 from last year. Upgrading to the CVT automatic will cost you $1,300. After that follows the CVT-only Premium at $23,695 and the five-speed manual Sport at $23,995. Upgrading the Sport to the CVT automatic costs only $1,100. The Limited is only available with the CVT and costs $27,395. These prices for the Subaru Impreza Hatchback are MSRP and they exclude any extras or the $1,020 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
Premium Hatchback
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
Sport Hatchback
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
Limited Hatchback
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Trims and Specs

2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Handling And Driving Impressions

As we'd expect from an AWD Subaru, the Impreza is extremely sure-footed in any weather and on any surface, and always feels stable and planted. The chassis is a highlight and endows the Impreza with precise handling, while giving the driver well-weighted steering and responsive brakes to work with. On top of that, the ride quality is absorbent, so we'd say Subaru has hit the bull's eye when setting up the car. More so the shame then that the powertrain tries its best to undo all the good work. With such capable handling and a surfeit of grip, 152 hp is meager and the Impreza feels slow to get going and lethargic on the highway, where passing requires plenty of planning. The CVT sends the engine buzzing in protest, yet we're even more disappointed that the manual fails to inspire with its imprecise action - and only five gears to work with. Next year's 2.5-liter mill cannot come soon enough.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback A Good Car?

We really want to love the Impreza, as it still offers some individuality in the twilight years of internal combustion, while giving you one of the best combinations of ride and handling available in this class. The AWD grip is resolute - and it's standard across the board. But while the rally genes shine through in the chassis tuning, it all falls flat when you put your foot down, and it has to be made abundantly clear that this is not the car for you if you are prone to impatience in traffic. It does a fine job at low speeds, but it's among the slowest cars in its segment and the lack of verve and refinement from the powertrain makes it difficult to recommend over swifter rivals - or the available 2.5L in next year's Impreza.

What 2023 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

The Premium offers the best balance in the lineup. The base car looks drab on its 16-inch steelies with plastic covers and the Premium fixes that with a set of alloys, while also adding desirable features such as automatic headlights, heated front seats, Wi-Fi capability, and an upgraded audio system. Adding the Convenience package equips it with items only found as standard on the Limited, such as a power driver's seat and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, in addition to a power sunroof. This trim is not available with the manual transmission, but it hardly matters, as the manual's shift action is imprecise and it loses some driver assists.

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