2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Review: Mmmm, Vanilla

The Subaru Impreza Hatchback has been kept up-to-date with continuous year-on-year enhancements since the fifth-generation model's debut in the US for the 2017 model year; this wouldn't be problematic if the Impreza Hatchback was without fault. But, unfortunately, the new Impreza is still equipped with the timid 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a sparse 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. With outputs directed via either a five-speed manual gearbox or CVT automatic for the Impreza's all-wheel-drivetrain, the recipe isn't exactly a pretty one: the powertrain is underpowered and unrefined, leaving much to be desired. But there's very little else to complain about. With exceptional ride quality, solid handling dynamics, and high standard specification levels that bode well alongside its core competitors, the Honda Civic and the Mazda 3, we just wish there was some pizazz from the existing powertrain to do justice to an otherwise brilliant Hatch.

Read in this review:

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Impreza Hatchback?

For the 2020 model year, all Impreza models now come standard with an automatic power door lock/unlock system and a collision-detection power door unlock function. A rear-occupant in-seat reminder is standard in all but the manual-equipped base models and Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist technology is also now standard in all CVT-equipped models. Halogen fog lights, a high-grade combination meter with color LCD, an advanced tire pressure monitoring system, and an illuminated center console tray are stock items on Premium trims, while new dual USB charging ports are added to the rear console of the Sport and Limited. A six-way power-adjustable driver's seat and keyless entry with push-button start are also made available for the Premium. In terms of cosmetics, the grille, front fascia, and rear combination lights have all been redesigned for the new model year, along with the LED headlights on the Limited and the wheel styles of both the Sport and Limited configurations. Finally, Ocean Blue Pearl is added to the exterior color palette for the range.

Pros and Cons

  • Exceptionally well-balanced ride quality and handling dynamics
  • Permanent all-wheel-drive provides improved all-weather traction
  • Impressive crash-test safety ratings from NHTSA and IIHS
  • Expansive feature specification levels at the standard level
  • User-friendly and intuitive infotainment system
  • Frustratingly lackluster engine
  • Unengaging manual gearbox
  • Sluggish and noisy CVT
  • Gas mileage from the manual gearbox is below par
  • Some trim pieces feel cheap

Best Deals on 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$19,195
Premium Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,595
Sport Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,895
Limited Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$26,295

Impreza Hatchback Exterior

The Impreza Hatchback is recognizable by its signature Subaru badging and chrome-accented grille; otherwise, it looks like the typically unremarkable compact hatchback. Upfront, there are halogen headlights on most models with LED steering responsive headlights on the Limited only. The Premium is fitted with halogen fog lights and the Sport and Limited with LED daytime running lights as well - LED fog lights are standard on the Limited only. 16-inch steel wheels are found on the base model, with alloy variants taking their place on the Premium. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard on the Limited, while 18-inch items fill the wheel arches of the Sport.

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Front Angle View Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Side View Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Front View Driving Subaru
See All 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In comparison to the Mazda 3, the Impreza Hatch measures only 0.6 inches longer with an overall body length of 176.2 inches; it's wheelbase is shorter by 2.2 inches, however, at 105.1 inches. The Impreza is 2.2 inches taller with an overall height of 58.9 inches but rides 0.4 inches closer to the ground with a clearance of only 5.1 inches. It's 0.7 inches narrower at 70 inches in width. The manual-equipped base Impreza carries a curb weight of 2,989 lbs as the lightest model while the Limited, which is solely equipped with the CVT is the heaviest model with a curb weight of 3,150 lbs. That makes the Impreza around 100 pounds lighter than the Mazda 3 in general, thanks to lesser dimensions, but considering the Impreza is AWD-equipped, it's a mighty impressive feat.

  • Length 175.6 in
  • Wheelbase 105.1 in
  • Height 57.3 in
  • Max Width 70.0 in
  • Front Width 60.6 in
  • Rear Width 60.8 in

Exterior Colors

There are now seven exterior hues available for all models of the Impreza with the addition of the Ocean Blue Pearl to the exterior color palette for the new model year. All options are price inclusive and include Crystal Black Silica, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Blue Pearl, Crimson Red Pearl, and Crystal White Pearl. None of the colors are particularly striking, but we suggest avoiding the Dark Blue Pearl and Crimson Red Pearl as with those hues optioned on the interior cloth seating upholstery can only be optioned in Ivory which is easier to stain and possibly not as visually appealing to some as the black cloth upholstery would be.

  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Dark Blue Pearl
  • Crimson Red Pearl
  • Ocean Blue Pearl
  • Lithium Red Pearl

Impreza Hatchback Performance

The Subaru Impreza is generally slow for the class, its 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill produces a meager 152 hp and 145 lb-ft, which is driven by either a clunky and unrefined five-speed manual gearbox or a power-draining and imprecise automatic CVT. The Impreza Sport model, when equipped with the five-speed manual gearbox and the short-throw shifter, accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in around 8.4 seconds according to test drives, which is pretty slow for the segment. The Mazda 3, also equipped with a manual gearbox, proved slightly faster than the Impreza, getting to 60 mph in a more impressive mid-seven second range. The Honda Civic proves even faster, reaching the 60 mph mark from 0 mph in a rapid 6.8 seconds. The Impreza, along with its core rivals, are not rated for towing at all, being diminutive in size and more suited to errand-running and short urban cruises. There aren't many compact vehicles like the Subaru Impreza that come standard in all-wheel drive: the Mazda 3 is front-wheel drive as standard, although there is the option to upgrade to an AWD setup. The Honda Civic is solely available as FWD.

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Front View Driving 1 Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Rear View Driving Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Badge Subaru

Engine and Transmission

Most of the Impreza's faults lay within its powertrain: while the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine itself feels underpowered with only 154 hp and 145 lb-ft, the five-speed manual gearbox and the automatic CVT only add to insult with their unrefined and asynchronous responses. Low-end power delivery from the four-cylinder is noticeably feeble and pep doesn't improve much from there; unlike with most vehicles in the class, the Impreza's naturally aspirated motor has to compensate for the heft of its standard AWD system, which it, unfortunately, fails to do. The accelerator pedal requires some heavy-footed input for the engine to stay within its powerband, while the manual gearbox does make it easier to control responses and power delivery, its responses still feel clunky and unrefined. The automatic CVT only saps power from the engine even further - its responses also feel imprecise and unpolished. The powertrain is just suitable enough for getting the Impreza on the move, but once it's going, it does move the hatch consistently and smoothly around the city streets. Getting up to highway speeds will take time, and it feels rather unenthused overall. It's unfortunate that Subaru did not choose to utilize the newer six-speed manual gearbox featured in the Crosstrek.

  • Engine
    2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    5-Speed Manual, Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Fortunately, when it comes down to its ride and handling dynamics, the Impreza does manage to impress, despite its unrefined powertrain. With a suspension setup tuned for comfort, it rides with sophistication, without ever feeling too floaty. Most road imperfections and typical everyday undulations are adequately absorbed, even by the Sport's sport-tuned suspension and underpinnings. What's more impressive is that the Impreza delivers apt handling dynamics at that, Subaru having found an uncompromising balance between ride quality and handling dynamics. Body roll is mostly mitigated, whether taking sharp bends or long corners, which - along with the Impreza's sharp and responsive steering - give it a sense of verve. There could be more tire and road feedback provided via the steering, however. The brakes are good; stopping power is plentiful from top speeds and the act comfortably smooth, the pedal itself is firm and easy to modulate in everyday driving. Its permanent AWD, along with its refined chassis, avails it with some confidence-inspiring road grip and body composure at all times and is a great benefit for drivers in all-weather states.

Impreza Hatchback Gas Mileage

The Impreza models equipped with the CVT are the most fuel-efficient from the lineup, returning EPA estimates of 28/36/31 mpg city/highway/combined. The Sport, because of its more performance-tuned underpinnings, performs slightly less efficiently, returning EPA estimates of 27/35/30 mpg. The base model, equipped with the manual gearbox manages EPA estimates of 24/31/26 mpg, while the manual Sport is even less economical with figures of 22/30/25 mpg. The CVT-equipped models give better gas mileage than any model in the Mazda 3 range, where the most fuel-efficient version returns 26/35/30 mpg. The Impreza's 13.2-gallon gas tank avails it with a total driving range of around 409 miles from full to empty.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/31 mpg
* 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Manual

Impreza Hatchback Interior

The Impreza's exceptional build quality is noticeable on entry to the cabin, exhibiting perfectly even panel gaps and firmly attached, well-integrated fixtures and fittings. The doors close with a solid thud and the interior carries the simple but solid craftsmanship throughout. The cabin impression is nothing special, though, and some rivals do perhaps deliver a more premium and interesting appeal. It's intuitive and commodious nonetheless, and controls are easy to find and understand. The majority of materials used are of a decent quality, too, although some plastics feel a little cheap for the money Subaru asks. Heated front seats come standard in every model except the base, and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat is standard only in the Limited and optional for the rest. The standard eight-inch infotainment touchscreen in the higher-spec models is the star of the show, although we liked the optional Rockford Fosgate audio system upgrade.

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Dashboard Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Central Console Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Steering Wheel Subaru
See All 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

There is adequate seating for up to five passengers in the Impreza hatchback, though the center rear seat is really only comfortable for a child, with shoulder room narrowing down quickly with three adults seated across. Head and legroom throughout the cabin are ample for the segment, and the front seats feature reasonable levels of adjustability, making it easy for almost anyone to find an optimal driving position. The seats themselves are comfortably padded and reasonably supportive. Outward visibility is good in any direction although the rear seats' headrests may slightly impede on rearward visibility, but the rearview camera makes any reversing maneuvers a breeze. Ingress and egress are effortless too, thanks to wide-opening doors and an average step over height. Overall the cabin layout is ergonomic, albeit a little bland.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 43.1 in
  • Front Head Room 39.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.0 in

Interior Colors and Materials

All models except the Limited come standard with cloth seating appointments, featured in either Black or Ivory, with availability depending on the exterior color selected. The Base and Premium are fitted with standard urethane steering wheels and get carpeted floor mats; the Premium alone is upgraded with welcome lighting and interior illumination. The Sport features a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter with red stitching, aluminum-alloy pedal covers, chrome door handles, and with simulated leather trim with red stitching on the dash panel, door armrests, and center console rear storage box. There are also simulated carbon fiber inserts on the center dash panel and door cards. The interior of the Limited is similar to the Sport's, except with genuine leather seat upholstery and silver accent stitching.

Impreza Hatchback Trunk and Cargo Space

With 20.8 cubic feet of usable space behind the rear seats of the Impreza hatchback, there's 8.5 cu-ft more cargo room than what's offered in the Impreza sedan. That's also a little more than what the Mazda 3 has but less than the Honda Civic's 25.7 cu-ft. The Impreza's trunk can hold a month's worth of grocery shopping or two large suitcases with ease, and should you need more, the rear seats are 60/40 split-folding and expand cargo room to an overall 55.3 cu-ft.

As for storage capabilities on the inside, the Subaru Impreza hatch's solution to knick-knacks and small items is limited to moderately-sized door side pockets with bottle holders, dual cupholders between the front seats, and in the backrest of the center rear seat where a sizable storage cubby is placed. There's also an average-sized glovebox up front and a seatback map pocket behind the driver's seat.

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Maximum Cargo Space Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Side View Driving Subaru
2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Rear View Driving 1 Subaru
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    55.3 ft³

Impreza Hatchback Infotainment and Features

Features

The Impreza lineup is featureful from the start, with the base manual-equipped model offering keyless entry, cruise control, a rearview camera, all-power accessories with driver and front passenger auto up/down functionality, a tilt and telescoping steering column, manual air conditioning, and a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat and four-way manually-adjustable front passenger seat. The base CVT-equipped model brings Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assistance Technology to the table, an advanced tire pressure monitoring system, and a driver display with a 4.2-inch color LCD. On top of those, the Premium gets two-stage heated front seats, heated side-view mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, interior lighting, and roof rails. The Sport upgrades with keyless access with push-button start and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The manual-equipped Sport is also equipped with an STI short-throw shifter and the CVT-equipped Sport features an SI-Drive engine performance management system. A six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control, blind-spot assist with lane change assist and rear-cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking are standard in the Limited.

Infotainment

The base model and the Premium Impreza are fitted with a 6.5-inch touchscreen displaying high-resolution images tethered to a four-speaker audio layout in the base, and a six-speaker audio layout with a CD-player in the Premium - the latter of which carries over to the Sport and the Limited which are, however, upgraded with an eight-inch high-res touchscreen display. Regardless of the trim, Subaru's STARLINK multimedia system comes standard, it includes full functionality in both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as in STARLINK apps, Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free phone connectivity, voice activation controls, and AM/FM stereo. SiriusXM satellite and HD radio connectivity are standard as of the Premium trim. There is only a single USB charge port and auxiliary jack in the base and Premium, while the Sport and Limited are fitted with an additional two USB charging ports at the rear of the center console. Available for the top-spec models is an eight-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

Impreza Hatchback Problems and Reliability

It's still early days for the 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback, but to date, there have been no recalls for the current model. The 2019 year model Impreza was recalled for faulty ECM software that may have caused the vehicle to stall during operation. J.D. Power is yet to give the 2020 Impreza a predicted reliability rating from its reviews, but the nameplate has proven to be exceptional in this regard, so far. We expect last year's above-average rating to carry over. Subaru covers a new Impreza with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Impreza Hatchback Safety

The 2020 Impreza range received exceptional crash-test safety ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS, with the ratings given to the sedan carrying over to the hatchback as well. In the NHTSA's review of the Subaru Impreza hatchback, it awarded the hatch with a top-notch overall safety rating of five out of five, while the IIHS assigned the sedan with a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ title, receiving top scores of Good for all six of the specified crash evaluations.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

Every Impreza is outfitted with seven standard airbags including a driver's side inflatable knee airbag. As standard, the range comes equipped with a rearview camera, cruise control, an advanced tire pressure monitoring system, automatic power door locks with collision detection unlock function, and ABS and ESC. Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology comes standard on all models equipped with the CVT gearbox and comprises adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and throttle management, lane departure and sway warning, lane keep assist, and lead vehicle start alert. Only the Limited comes standard with blind-spot detection, lane change assist, rear-cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking which are optional for all other models.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback a good car?

The Subaru Impreza is simply a powertrain away from near-perfection and is possibly even a transmission short. Other than the engine and drivetrain letting it down, it is a highly appealing and value-packed offering overall and makes for a great compact family vehicle for getting from point A to point B on a daily basis. Along with an exceptional ride quality, it also manages to portray some handling prowess; that doesn't mean that the Impreza is particularly fun-to-drive, as the lackluster engines make it difficult to drive this slow car in any way that could be misconstrued as entertaining. Its standard AWD setup and refined chassis further accord it with some improved all-weather traction and control, an advantage it holds over many of its rivals.

Furthermore, the Impreza's leading safety ratings are worth noting: outfitted with a vast selection of safety and advanced driver-assist features as standard, and having received top-notch crash-test safety ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS. This, along with the how much highly functional tech and specifications you get for the money you pay, makes it a more than suitable family commuter and a great value for money buy, just not a very quick one.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback?

Prospective buyers in the USA can set their sites on the manual-equipped base Impreza, titled the Impreza five-door, which has an MSRP of $19,195; optioning for the CVT will ask an additional $1,300. The Premium is priced at an MSRP of $22,595, the manual-equipped Sport is given an MSRP of $22,895, it'll cost an additional $1,100 to option in the CVT for the Sport. The Limited closes off the lineup with an MSRP of $26,295. All those prices are excluding Subaru's destination and delivery charge of $900 as well as any tax, registration, and licensing fees.

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Models

There are four models that make up the Impreza Hatchback lineup: the base model, simply named the Impreza 5-door, is followed by the mid-spec Premium, the Sport, and finally the top-spec Limited. The base 5-door and Sport models have the option of either a five-speed manual gearbox or automatic CVT, with the automatic CVT being the default constituent on the Premium and Limited.

The base Impreza 5-door comes fitted with halogen headlights, black folding side-view mirrors, and a high-mounted roof spoiler. Features-wise, it comes standard with keyless entry, cruise control, a rearview camera, a tilt and telescoping steering column, manual air conditioning, and manually-adjustable front seats. The CVT-equipped model is additionally fitted with Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assistance Technology, an advanced tire pressure monitoring system, rear seat reminder, and a high-grade combination meter with a 4.2-inch color LCD. The infotainment system is a 6.5-inch high-res touchscreen tethered to a four-speaker audio setup.

From there, the Premium is fitted with halogen fog lights, body-color heated side-view mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, and raised roof rails. On the inside, it gets two-stage heated front seats and various interior illuminations. The infotainment system is upgraded with an additional two speakers and a CD-player.

Feature upgrades on the Sport include keyless access with push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and aluminum-alloy coated pedals. The manual-equipped Sport receives an STI short-throw shifter and the CVT-equipped Sport features an SI-Drive engine performance management system. The infotainment system with the Sport is upgraded to an eight-inch high-res touchscreen.

LED steering responsive headlights and LED foglights are standard on the Limited, with genuine leather seat upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, automatic climate control, blind-spot assist with lane change assist and rear-cross traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking all stock fitted on the inside.

See All 2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There is only a single specified package available for the Premium and Limited models; all other trims only have access to a handful of standalone options.

The Optional Package throws in keyless access with push-button start, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a power tilt/sliding moonroof, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist, and rear-cross traffic alert all for $1,970.

For all but the base model there is a $499 Rockford Fosgate surround-sound audio upgrade and a $204 Footwell Illumination Kit. There is also an auto-dimming mirror with compass and HomeLink garage door opener available for all models for $365.

🚗What Subaru Impreza Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

The Impreza Premium is the model we recommend; as the mid-spec trim, it's still relatively affordable, but with a few more valuable creature-comforts that the base models don't come standard with or even have the option to equip. It also receives access to the lineup's only options package, which we do suggest including for everything it comprises - keyless access with push-button start, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, blind-spot detection with lane-change assist and rear-cross traffic alert. This model doesn't have the option to the manual gearbox, but it's no great loss as the CVT - despite being terrible to use - remains significantly more fuel-efficient.

Check out other Subaru Impreza Styles

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Comparisons

Subaru Crosstrek Subaru
Subaru Legacy Subaru
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Subaru Impreza Hatchback152 hp24/31 mpg$19,195
Subaru Crosstrek 152 hp22/29 mpg$22,145
Subaru Legacy 182 hp27/35 mpg$22,745

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is, as the name alludes, a crossover SUV; it's equipped with the same lackluster powertrain as the Impreza, and costs around $3,000 more while sharing most of the Impreza's structure. But, it offers the mighty benefit of a smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission option. While the gearbox certainly improves the driving experience overall, as opposed to that of the Impreza's, it's not as fuel-efficient as the hatch. With an impressive ground clearance and the same permanent AWD system, the Crosstrek also offers vastly improved off-road capability to that of the Impreza. Additionally, while both vehicles share the same amount of cargo room the Crosstrek offers greater practicality with its maximum tow capability of 1,500 lbs. There's a little more passenger room in the Crosstrek as well. The two vehicles are otherwise identical, but because of the six-speed manual gearbox that's available within the Crosstrek lineup and the versatility it offers, it's the better vehicle of the two. Get the Crosstrek, and go on an adventure!

See Subaru Crosstrek Review

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Subaru Legacy

The base price of the Legacy is only around $3,500 more expensive than the Impreza, and considering its more powerful engine and far more powerful turbocharged motor option, it's certainly worth the extra clams. The Legacy's powertrain as a whole feels a lot more refined than the Impreza's, it's faster off-the-line and more responsive at higher speeds, and only a little less fuel-efficient. Apart from the benefit of avoiding the Impreza's unrefined powertrain, the Legacy also offers advantages in its much more contemporary and visually appealing cabin, which comprises nicer materials, a more modern design, and an 11.6-inch vertically oriented high-res touchscreen display mounted in the dash. Both vehicles are similar in the way of features, safety, and crashworthiness - but the more potent engine, attractive, premium cabin, and loads of passenger space on the larger Legacy make it the winner of the competition here, despite the price premium.

See Subaru Legacy Review

Subaru Impreza Hatchback Popular Comparisons

2020 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Video Review

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