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2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

$19,095 - $25,690
Price Range (MSRP)
Subaru Impreza Hatchback

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Review

by Roger Biermann

Now in its fifth generation, the Subaru Impreza has been with us in one shape or another since 1992, and thanks to a successful history in motorsport, it has become a household name for motorists looking for something more than just A to B transport. This image has become both a blessing and a curse for Subaru, as the performance versions of the humble Impreza have overshadowed what is at the end of the day a practical compact car that is more Full House than Fast and Furious. The Impreza Hatchback deserves to be viewed in a different light, and despite all the stereotypes (think big wings and gold wheels), it's quite an accomplished commuter and suburban companion and has been awarded for having the highest residual value in its class for three years running. Power is derived from a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder developing 152 horsepower, with either a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic handling shifts. Will a permanent all-wheel-drive system, class-leading levels of safety and a good infotainment system give the Impreza five-door a fighting chance in the highly competitive compact hatch class?

Read in this review:

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Impreza Hatchback?

As part of the fifth generation Impreza launched in 2017, updates are few but noticeable for 2019. Subaru's EyeSight suite of active safety functions makes a welcome appearance, available right from the base trim, and brings adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking and a whole host of other nifty tech features to the party. Base and Premium models equipped with EyeSight get an upgraded gauge cluster and tire pressure monitoring, and Premium models now come with a CD player, HD radio and two rear USB ports. The manual-equipped Sport models get the short-throw shifter from the Impreza WRX STI.

Pros and Cons

  • Permanent all-wheel means surefooted road holding
  • Class-leading safety levels
  • Quiet and comfortable on the open road
  • Roomy cabin
  • Holds its value well
  • The CVT gearbox is sluggish and noisy
  • Manual gearbox is unengaging
  • Uninspiring engine is a poor performer
  • Still fighting the Impreza stereotype
  • Gas mileage could be better in manual spec

Impreza Hatchback Exterior

Car manufacturers seem to be in an arms race to see who can design the most futuristic looking cars, so it's refreshing to see that Subaru has sided with a mature looking design that doesn't shout "look at me!" Its understated looks will surely divide opinion, but sometimes a bit of understated class is just what's needed. Halogen headlights brighten up the 2.0i base, while the Limited gets LED Steering Responsive Headlights. Heated side mirrors and body-color door handles come standard on all models, except the Limited which has chrome handles. A sunroof is optional from the Premium, while a roof-mounted spoiler is standard on all hatch derivatives. Base and Premium derivatives boast 16-inch alloy wheels in varying designs, while the Limited gets 17-inch alloys. Only the Sport gets 18-inch wheels.

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Front Angle View
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Side View
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Front View Driving
See All 2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Exterior Photos

Dimensions

Riding on a wheelbase measuring 105.1 inches long and with an overall body length of 175.6 inches, the Impreza Hatch is shorter than the sedan but firmly occupies the compact segment. It matches the sedan's width of 70 inches while measuring taller at 58.9 inches due to the addition of roof rails on hatch derivatives. Curb weight varies depending on specification, with the lightest models at 2,985 lbs with a manual gearbox and the heaviest at 3,139 lbs with the CVT automatic.

Exterior Colors

As with the 2018 model, Subaru gives you seven standard exterior colors to choose from for 2019, and it's clear that it's kept the palette somewhat muted to complement the new Impreza's more mature persona. Available colors include Crystal Black Silica, Magnetite Gray Metallic, Island Blue Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Blue Pearl, Crimson Red Pearl, and Crystal White Pearl. Those colors are available on all trims, with the exception of Crimson Red Pearl, which is cut from the Sport trim in favor of a striking Lithium Red Pearl as a Sport-exclusive paint. Whichever color you go for, the 2019 Impreza hatch's smooth lines make any of the eight options look elegantly fitting, but we feel the Island Blue Pearl is the most striking of the lot.

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

Impreza Hatchback Performance

The general consensus regarding the Impreza's performance is that it's seriously underpowered, lacking the turbocharged efficacy of rivals with demure outputs of 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque generated by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four. It takes a leisurely 9.4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, one of the slowest times in the class (the Chevy Cruze hatch in 1.4 turbo guise will do it in 7.7 while a Honda Civic 1.5T Sport manages the feat even quicker). In-town drivability is acceptable, but the real issue rears its head when merging onto the highway, or when attempting a passing maneuver. Under these circumstances, the CVT gearbox does a better job than the manual at keeping the engine in its sweet spot. All-wheel drive is exclusively available, which is a departure from segment norms, where all other rivals make use solely of front-wheel drivetrains.

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Front View Driving
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Rear View Driving
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Badge

Engine and Transmission

The 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine found under the hood of the Impreza Hatch is a weak point for the Impreza, giving it some of the slowest performance figures available in the compact game. Outputs of 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque are some of the lowest in the segment, and the drive reiterates this in no uncertain terms. While the engine is keen enough to rev out to redline, even when approaching higher rpm, there just isn't enough torque to get the Impreza going with any fire. The Impreza truly deserves an engine that can complement its excellent road-holding characteristics, and this isn't it.

The base model Impreza hatch joins the Sport trim as the only two models available with a five-speed manual transmission, while the Premium and Limited both get Subaru's Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic. The manual box is highly unimpressive, and despite Sport models getting the short-shifter from the WRX STI, the shift lacks substance, and it greets the driver with long, rubbery shifts that fail to inspire spirited driving. The CVT gearbox found in the Premium feels unresponsive and sluggish, especially at low speeds, but does a better job of keeping the 2.0-liter boxer on the boil. Neither is ideal, but then again, the Impreza's powertrain as a whole isn't ideal for a vehicle with rivals like the Honda Civic and Ford Focus.

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

Handling and Driving Impressions

Generally, buyers approach Subaru first for one key drawcard: fitment of all-wheel drive on every model with the exception of the BRZ, and the Impreza is no different giving it impressive levels of grip and seamless road-holding.

The Impreza's steering is light, but you can still point it in a direction with some accuracy, and it responds rapidly to inputs that see the compact hatch dart about the road with some vigor. On the road, the Impreza soaks up bumps and imperfections and delivers an overall ride that seems more premium than entry-level. It doesn't matter the road surface, or whether it changes midway through a corner, the Impreza can't be unsettled, and the suspension adapts rapidly enough that imperfections are kept away from the cabin and its occupants. Grip levels are high on all models regardless of wheel and tire size, and there's a depth to the Impreza's handling that rewards keener drivers wishing to push to find the extremely high limits of grip. Aiding the mechanical grip, and come the wet and snowy winter season, other compact hatch owners will rue the day they decided to buy a front-wheel drive car.

All told, it's a disappointment the Impreza doesn't have more power, as the chassis is highly capable, highly balanced, and manages to resist lean without compromising on outright comfort. The chassis is exemplary, let down by a crucially flawed powertrain.

Impreza Hatchback Gas Mileage

With less than satisfactory power and performance figures and a CVT posing itself as a viable transmission offering, one would expect the lackluster performance of the Impreza to pay off in gas mileage ratings. But the Impreza hatchback won't be winning any fuel efficiency awards. The 2.0-liter boxer motor in five-speed manual guise will see you visiting the pumps more often than most of the competitors, and Subaru quotes EPA-rated estimates of 31/24/27 mpg for the city/highway/combined cycles in manual guise. Choose the CVT automatic, however, and you'll be impressed. Despite the all-wheel-drive system, the CVT equipped car manages 36/28/32 mpg, closely matching, but not quite beating those at the top of the segment. Fuel capacity for the 2019 Subaru Impreza Hatch is 13.2 gallons, which should yield a maximum driving range of 422 miles in mixed driving conditions on CVT-equipped models.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    13.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/31 mpg
* 2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Hatchback Manual

Impreza Hatchback Interior

The 2019 Impreza carries its exterior styling cues over to the interior. Inside, you're greeted by a well designed and functional cabin that has grown into a confidently mature space. Gone are the days when the Impreza's interior looked like a farmers barn. The fit and finish of the soft-touch plastics, the simplicity of the controls and the pleasant feeling you get when you press one of the steering wheel-mounted buttons makes the Impreza's interior feel class competitive. Subaru has been successful in making its point clear; the Impreza was designed to be an easy going compact hatch that offers the driver a comfortable interior space and overall ease of use, a shift from the boy racer stereotype. Even in base trim with the accompanying cloth seats, the interior makes a good impression and should make living with the Impreza Hatch a pleasurable experience.

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Dashboard
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Central Console
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Steering Wheel
See All 2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Sitting in the front, occupants can expect a decent amount of legroom. Taller drivers will be happy to know that front headroom won't be an issue, while the driving position and adjustability cater to a broad range of driver sizes. Rear passengers won't be as thrilled though, as even shorter occupants will feel somewhat boxed in. It's a quirk in the Impreza's design that provides ample rear leg space and shoulder to shoulder seating for three adults with no issues, but a roof that cuts off some much-needed headroom, especially for taller adults. The Impreza's seats are comfortable and offer a surprising amount of bolstering without being overly firm, but can get a little tiresome on long journeys where they lack enough support. The Impreza will seat five adults in relative comfort as long as your rear passengers aren't exceptionally tall.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The interior is a rather somber affair, with color choices limited to black or ivory, with most dash plastics found in some shade of black or gray. Black or ivory cloth is the standard on the Base and Premium trims, with upholstery color defined largely by exterior paint hue, while the Sport trim is available exclusively with Black Sport Cloth upholstered seating. The Limited is the only model to get leather upholstery, available in black or ivory, and once again dependent on the exterior hue. Subaru has done a superb job of improving the fit and finish on the 2019 Impreza's interior. The soft touch materials and cushy armrests makes the Impreza's insides feel, well, cushy. Some niggly plastic bits and cheap looking floor mats are minor issues.

Impreza Hatchback Trunk and Cargo Space

Overall cargo space is acceptable for a compact five-door hatch, erring towards the lower end of the compact hatch class. With the rear seats in their upright position, trunk space is limited to just 20.8 cubic feet - well below the 25.7 on offer in the class-leading Civic, but improves once the 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks are down, unveiling a maximum cargo volume of 55.3 cubic feet. In its smallest configuration, the hatch should still swallow enough luggage for a weekend away for three, or a week's worth of groceries for a small family. The cargo area boasts two grocery bag hooks, four tie-down hooks, and a retractable and removable cargo area cover.

Inside the cabin, the Impreza hatch comes with a center console storage box beneath the armrest lid, a lockable glove box, and door pockets on all the doors which are large enough to cater to most needs. The storage bin ahead of the shift lever is large, too, catering to most modern smartphones.

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Maximum Cargo Space
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Interior Overview
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Rear Angle View
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    55.3 ft³

Impreza Hatchback Infotainment and Features

Features

The 2019 Impreza Hatch lists an impressive array of standard features, and the Premium trim gets some features you'd only expect from cars in higher price brackets. The 2.0i base model comes equipped with electronic cruise control, a manually adjustable air conditioning system and a rear vision camera. Models higher up in the range get added tech and safety features such as Vehicle Dynamics Control, 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability and automatic climate control. EyeSight driver assistance systems are also available, equipping lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision avoidance systems.

Infotainment

The Impreza's infotainment system has gone from strength to strength, and 2019 sees the introduction of bigger and better display screens. Features include dual front USB ports, an auxiliary input jack as well as AM/FM radio capabilities and Bluetooth media streaming. Most importantly it features full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, as well as compatibility with mobile apps like Aha, Stitcher, SiriusXM satellite radio, and HD radio functionality. The base 2.0i Hatch gets a 6.5-inch multimedia system with four speakers, while the Premium 2.0i is graced with a 6.5 Starlink Plus system with an extra two speakers. Optionally available is an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation and a Harmon Kardon audio system.

Impreza Hatchback Problems and Reliability

The 2019 Impreza, and in fact all Impreza's of the current generation, have no recalls on their rap sheets, while J.D Power scored the 2018 model reliability ratings of 73 out of 100. Reports of problems are few and far between, and those reported appear to be isolated incidents with no repeat issues to be aware of. Warranty coverage is Subaru's standard limited warranty of three-years/36,000-miles while the powertrain boasts a warranty of five-years/60,000 miles - less than what the best in the class offer.

Impreza Hatchback Safety

The 2019 Impreza scored high in IIHS crash tests, with a superior score for Front Crash Prevention and being awarded the title of 2019 Top Safety Pick +. It also scored a perfect five out of five on the NHTSA rating scale in all metrics.

Key Safety Features

Safety was clearly a massive priority when Subaru planned the 2019 Impreza. All models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) with traction control, four-wheel ABS with brake assist, and a rearview camera. The Impreza is packed with airbags, and you'll find no less than seven scattered across the interior, including side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Adding to that impressive list, you can add rollover sensors, whiplash protection front seats, three individual rear-seat head restraints, rear child-safety door locks and LATCH anchors for the fitment of child safety seats. The base 2.0i and 2.0i Premium get optional adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure and sway warning, and lane keep assist functions, which Subaru include in the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology grouping, standard on higher trims.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback a good car?

The Impreza has come a long way since the days of agrarian-spec interiors and rally car reputations. The 2019 Impreza hatchback is a sensible and safe compact hatch that offers buyers mature and functional design, excellent safety and class-leading road holding thanks to its all-wheel-drive tech. The excellent infotainment system and ergonomic dashboard layout translate into a good real-world car, while the cargo volume is ample despite not being as good as the Honda Civic. However, a capable chassis and high levels of grip are completely wasted with a lackluster engine giving some of the worst performance figures in the segment, while neither gearbox is particularly exciting or able to make good use of disappointing power outputs. Contemporary turbocharged rivals simply offer more, and get better gas mileage to boot. Despite the allure of all-wheel drive, the Impreza's performance is a huge letdown and one that simply ruins the package, leading us to recommend other equally safe, practical, and better-performing alternatives like the Honda Civic.

What's the Price of the 2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback?

The 2019 Impreza hatch starts at an MSRP of $19,095 excluding tax, licensing, registration, and an $885 destination fee. The better specced Premium version will set you back $22,095. The Honda Civic hatchback starts at an MSRP of $21,450 excluding tax, licensing, registration, and an $920 destination fee. The Subaru Impreza shows a lot of value in its price range and the carmaker has done a fine job of keeping prices low while stocking up on the features list.

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Models

Potential buyers have the option of selecting between four models: the base 2.0i, Premium 2.0i, 2.0i Sport, and the top of the line 2.0i Limited.

The 2.0i base model comes equipped with electronic Cruise Control, a manually adjustable air conditioning system, and Starlink 6.5-inch multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other key features include Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, optional EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, a rear-vision camera and Vehicle Dynamics Control.

The Premium 5-door includes the base 5-door's key features and adds 16-inch alloy wheels

Subaru Starlink Safety and Security, 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability, an All-Weather Package with heated front seats and Subaru's Starlink 6.5-inch Multimedia Plus infotainment system with six speakers.

The faux-hot hatch 2.0i Sport uses the Premium trim model as a jumping off point, and adds 18-inch wheels that do a good job of filling out the Impreza's wheel arches, sport cloth upholstery with red stitching, active torque vectoring, a grippy leather steering wheel and shifter handle and body-color rocker spoilers.

The 2.0i Limited also features all the goodies found on the 2.0i Premium, but you'll enjoy leather-trimmed upholstery, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and LED steering responsive headlights (Giving the Impreza the coveted Safety Pick+). The standard automatic climate control system will keep your body temp in check and the 17-inch alloy wheels gives it a more solid look and feel.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0i Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$19,095
2.0i Premium Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,095
2.0i Sport Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$22,695
2.0i Limited Hatchback
2.0-liter Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$25,690
See All 2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Subaru offers buyers an extensive list of additional options ranging from added safety equipment all the way to sports grills and bike racks. On the safety side of things, the top of the range $2,395 EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package will keep you even safer, and includes a moonroof, but for those who can do without seeing the moon through their ceiling can opt for the $1,395 package that features all the safety tech minus said roof. Interior options include a banging Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade for $499, a bunch of cargo trays and covers and some cool STI branded accessories of which the $453 roof spoiler is the best. A big chunk of the options list is dedicated to lyfestile products such as the Thule roof mounted bike carrier for $179.95. For the aspiring X-Games competitors, you'll be able to get a snowboard carrier for only $199.

What Subaru Impreza Hatchback Model Should I Buy?

The Impreza 5-door has been bestowed with a generous list of standard equipment, and those looking for a simple runaround will be happy with the base model. The Limited 5-door with the CVT gearbox offers good value for money and makes the Impreza not only cheaper to run thanks to its superior mpg figures, but easier to live with, as the CVT gets the most out of the underpowered 2.0i Boxer engine. Our Impreza Hatch of choice would be the 2.0i Sport. It costs $600 more than the premium, but gets 18-inch wheels, Active Torque Vectoring, and body-color folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals amongst others.

Check out other Subaru Impreza Styles?

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback Comparisons

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback
2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek and Impreza might share the same platform, but there is a clear distinction between the two. The Subaru Crosstrek will appeal to adventure seekers on a budget who love to instagram their hiking photos ( #wanderlust). Based on the Impreza 5-door, this compact crossover has the offroading capability to match its bold exterior. An increased ride height of 8.7 inches ain't nothing to sneeze at, and the all-wheel-drive system gets further assistance from what Subaru calls "X Mode" which helps traction in slippery conditions. You can expect more or less the same performance, as both share the 2.0 liter boxer motor and CVT gearbox. The base model Crosstrek benefits from a 6-speed manual where the Impreza only gets a 5-speed. The differentiating factor here will be lifestyle choices. The Impreza should be the choice for those who seek comfort and practicality in the form of a compact hatch, whereas the Crosstrek will lure in adrenaline seekers who like the idea of owning a small crossover 'SUV' that they can use to lug around mountain bikes and poorly folded camping gear.

See Subaru Crosstrek Review

2019 Subaru Impreza Hatchback vs Honda Civic Hatchback

The ever-popular Honda Civic is as good as ever, and any compact hatch contender should feel slightly nervous. The 2019 Civic strikes an excellent balance between practicality and driver enjoyment. The latest version has seen minor tweaks to the interior and also sports the hatch-only turbocharged 180-hp engine, a far superior unit to the Impreza's asthmatic 2.0i Boxer. The Civic's gearbox options (6-speed manual and CVT auto) are better than that of the Impreza's, in fact, the CVT found in the Civic is one of the best on the market right now. The Impreza performs slightly better in the safety department, and the fact that it's got all-wheel drive might lure a few customers away from the Civic. The base model Civic starts off at an MSRP of $21,450 excluding tax, license, registration and a $920.00 destination fee.

See Honda Civic Hatchback Review

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