2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

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2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Review: One Step From Greatness

The Subaru Impreza hatchback is one of those cars that is continuously updated to keep it competitive within its segment. All of this attention to detail has made it a good car, but not quite a great one. The Impreza is one step away from greatness, and it has nothing to do with the ride, build quality, standard specification, or safety levels. It's all to do with its engine. The naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has an output of just 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque, mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a whiny, dimwitted CVT auto.

We can't help but wonder how fantastic it would have been if it had a more modern engine option, like turbocharged rivals in the form of the brand-new Honda Civic Hatchback, or the Mazda 3 Hatchback. However, the Subaru Impreza hatch has redeeming qualities, like standard AWD, a slew of safety features, and a great chassis.

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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2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2021 Subaru Impreza Hatchback?

The 2021 Subaru Impreza Hatchback carries over virtually unchanged to the 2022 model year. While the Limited trim is dropped from the sedan's lineup, the hatchback lineup stays exactly as it is with a single exception - the addition of a new paint color, Sapphire Blue Pearl, to the palette.

Pros and Cons

  • The ride and handling are superb
  • Permanent all-wheel drive is an added layer of safety
  • Impressive safety ratings from IIHS and NHTSA
  • Generous standard specification on the base model
  • Infotainment is easy to use
  • Underpowered engine
  • The manual gearbox is unrefined
  • The CVT transmission is slow and noisy
  • Fuel consumption high on some models
  • A few cheap trimmings on the inside

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2022 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 2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The unremarkable powertrain is even more disappointing when you factor the handling into the mix. This chassis feels like it can easily handle another 50 hp without breaking a sweat. The Impreza was built with comfort in mind and it shows. It never feels floaty, however, as Subaru has managed to find that sweet spot between comfort and handling. It soaks up most bumps, yet it doesn't roll too much in the corners. It's comfortable, but the AWD system means it never feels anything but planted. There's not much in the way of feedback, but the brakes are good and confidence-inspiring.

The steering has some weight to it, which is actually quite nice. It may not match up with the power, but it certainly works in harmony with the suspension setup. It turns in nicely, provides some semblance of feedback and generally provides a pleasurable experience. All it does, however, is highlight the need for a more powerful engine. Even the most vanilla of sedans, the larger Chevrolet Malibu, has a more engaging driving experience thanks in part to a small turbocharged engine.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback a good car?

The Subaru Impreza Hatchback could be a fantastic, class-leading car if it wasn't for the engine and gearbox that drag it down. Take those two out of the equation and you have a superb package in all other areas. It's not particularly striking on the inside, but it's nailed together nicely. The standard specification is generous across the range and it's an easy, gimmick-free vehicle to live with.

The ride and handling are perfectly judged. It's soft enough to be comfortable, but not so soft that it feels unnerving through the corners. One also can't ignore the Impreza's safety credentials, especially if the car is meant to serve as family transportation. The Impreza is already handsomely equipped, and with EyeSight being available from low down in the range, a host of advanced driver assistance systems are available across the whole range. The Subaru Impreza is excellent value for money and a great car. It just needs an equally great engine and gearbox to go with it. If you can live with the poor performance, the rest of the package is very good. If, however, you like to get places in a hurry, it's best to steer clear of the Impreza.

Check out other Subaru Impreza Styles

2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Comparisons

Subaru Crosstrek CarBuzz
Subaru Legacy CarBuzz

2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Subaru Crosstrek

The Impreza's biggest competitors come from within its own ranks. The first is the Crosstrek, which, as its name suggests, is a crossover rather than a sedan. That already makes it more appealing to the average person and makes the roughly $3,000 higher asking price more palatable. It also has a newer six-speed manual transmission, mated to the same 2.0-liter four-pot as used in the Impreza. It vastly improves the driving experience, but at the expense of fuel efficiency. Even better, the Crosstrek offers the option of a more powerful 182-hp 2.5-liter engine. The Crosstrek does allow you to make more use of the all-wheel-drive system, as it has more ground clearance. Both cars have the same amount of interior space, but the Crosstrek does have a tow rating of 1,500 lbs. These two cars are one and the same, but the Crosstrek is a better package by comparison because it has a better manual gearbox, the availability of more power, and allows you to do more with the all-wheel-drive system.

See Subaru Crosstrek Review

2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Subaru Legacy

At roughly $3,700 more than the Impreza, the Legacy offers another interesting alternative.

It's not a trendy crossover, but rather a traditional sedan. Not only does it offer more space than the Impreza, but it improves on the Impreza's recipe in almost every single way. The 2.5-liter four-pot is more powerful, and while it's also mated to a CVT transmission, the higher output engine does respond better. You can also equip the Legacy with a 260-hp turbocharged four-pot, but this does raise the price far above that of the Impreza. The Legacy also comes standard with Subaru's Eyesight Driver Assist Technology and the Starlink Multimedia system. Subaru's Legacy also has a nicer interior with more premium materials. Although the Impreza Hatchback has more cargo space, the Legacy is a lot more comfortable for passengers sitting at the back. You also get access to features like heated rear seats and dual-zone climate control in the Legacy. If you can stretch to the Legacy, it's simply a better vehicle.

See Subaru Legacy Review

2022 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Popular Comparisons

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