by Michael Butler
The 2022 Subaru Impreza is a far cry from its sibling, the WRX STI, but it still shares characteristics such as a boxer engine, that famous all-wheel-drive system, and entertaining handling characteristics. Unfortunately, the Subaru Impreza Sedan is let down by an underpowered 2.0-liter four-pot engine delivering only 152 horsepower and a lethargic CVT transmission. On the plus side, this car is relatively fuel efficient, it drives nicely, and the interior has a solid, quality feel. The 2022 Subaru Impreza goes up against competitors such as the Honda Civic Sedan.
There are only two changes for the 2022 model year. The sedan's flagship Limited trim is dropped and will henceforth only be available on the hatchback, which we review separately. Furthermore, one new exterior paint color is introduced, namely Sapphire Blue Pearl. Everything else stays the same, including prices.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
2.0L Flat 4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
The exterior styling of the Impreza won't blow you away in the same way that a hardcore WRX STI will, but it's rather handsome nonetheless. The base model features 16-inch steel wheels, which grow to 18-inch alloys on the Sport. Halogen headlights dominate the lineup, with the LED units with steering responsive tech exiting the lineup along with the defunct Limited trim. A power tilt and slide moonroof is an optional extra on most derivatives. Seven exterior colors are offered, with Sapphire Blue Pearl being new for the 2022 model year.
The 2022 Subaru Impreza Sedan is classified as a compact sedan and shares its dimensions with cars such as the Honda Civic Sedan. The Impreza is 182.7 inches long, its width is measured at 70 inches on the dot, and it sits 57.3 inches tall. This Japanese sedan's curb weight starts at 2,976 pounds for the base model, increasing to 3,084 for the Premium, and 3,142 for the Sport.
There is only one word to describe the Impreza Sedan's powertrain: disappointing. Subaru, a company that is known for its characterful turbocharged boxer engines, has saddled the Impreza Sedan with a tepid 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that coughs up 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. This power is sent to all four wheels via a five-speed manual transmission in the base model or a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission further up in the range. This powertrain offers meager performance, and one has to wring its neck to make any real progress. The CVT kills any urgency this engine has to offer, and the five-speed manual is only marginally better at hurrying the Impreza along. With the manual 'box, expect a mid-eight-second time for the 0-60 sprint, and the top speed isn't even worth a mention.
The Impreza Sedan partially makes up for its lack of power with a finely balanced chassis and an entertaining drive. It manages to be a comfortable daily cruiser without feeling sloppy and will cut corners with precision just as well as it soaks up small road imperfections at low speeds. Chuck the Impreza through a set of corners, and you'll be surprised at how little body roll there is. On top of that, the standard AWD system keeps things predictable and offers lots of grip during bad weather conditions. Sport models also benefit from active torque vectoring, which applies braking power to the inside front wheel, resulting in better handling, a sharper turn-in, and overall better cornering performance. As with most cars in this class, the electrically-assisted steering system lacks feedback but is precise enough.
Tepid performance might be the order of the day, but along with it comes some pretty impressive gas mileage figures, especially for a car with permanent AWD. The EPA rates that the 2022 Subaru Impreza Sedan will manage a best of 28/36/32 mpg city/highway/combined when fitted with the CVT transmission. This figure drops to 27/36/30 mpg for the Sport model due to its larger wheels. The five-speed manual sees a significant drop in economy, though - it will manage just 23/31/26 mpg. With a 13.2-gallon gas tank, the Impreza will get you between 343 miles and 409 miles on a single fillup.
This car will easily accommodate five adult passengers and offers impressive head- and legroom in the front and back. The Impreza Sedan range gets a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat and a four-way adjustable front passenger seat that's exceptionally comfy. It should keep most people comfortable on longer journeys. A six-way power-adjustable driver's seat is optional on Premium and Sport trims. All trims but the base model also come with heated front seats. The base variant and Premium are offered with cloth upholstery and the Sport trim with sport cloth and red contrast stitching.
If you're looking for the maximum amount of trunk space, we would recommend going for the hatchback version of the 2022 Subaru Impreza: while the sedan can only muster 12.3 cubic feet of space, the hatchback offers a massive 20.8 cubic feet. Those 12.3 cubes are enough for a week's worth of groceries. Thankfully, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split for even more room. Small items can be stored in the glovebox and a good-sized cubby between the two front seats. There are door pockets and cup holders for all four passengers, as well as a seat back map pocket behind the driver's seat.
US-spec Impreza sedans come fitted with the bare essentials in entry-level form and include a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat and four-way manually-adjustable front passenger seat, keyless entry, air conditioning, electronic cruise control, and power side mirrors. Premium models add heated front seats, auto-on/off headlights, transmission paddle shifters for the CVT, an additional USB port in front, and driver assistance features such as pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. Sport models get push-button start, alloy pedal covers, a 4.2-inch color LCD display, sport cloth upholstery with red contrast stitching, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.
All models come equipped with Subaru's Starlink infotainment system. In the base model, you get a 6.5-inch high-res touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, AM/FM stereo, a single USB input port, Bluetooth, four speakers, and an auxiliary input jack. The Premium trim gets the multimedia plus package that adds SiriusXM and SiriusXM Travel Link, dual USB input ports, six speakers, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The Impreza Sport upgrades to an eight-inch screen and adds voice-activated controls, and is offered with an optional 432-Watt eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
Reliability has not been a major issue for the Subaru Impreza Sedan: the car has only been recalled once in 2021. In this case, models fitted with the CVT transmission had a problem with the select lever cable nut not being tightened properly. At the time of writing, no recalls have been issued for any of the 2022 models. Subaru will cover the Impreza Sedan with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty. A Wear Item limited warranty runs for three years or 36,000 miles.
According to the NHTSA review, the Subaru Impreza Sedan received a safety rating of five out of five stars. The IIHS also tested the sedan and gave it good ratings for categories such as the driver-side front impact, moderate front overlap, side-impact, and roof strength tests, and both the 2020 and 2021 models scored a Top Safety Pick award; these results are expected to carry over to the 2022 models.
The base model features seven airbags, cruise control, a rearview camera, and other basics such as ABS and traction control. All CVT-equipped models also receive standard pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, lane departure warning, and sway warning with lane keep assist. All models also feature permanent AWD.
The only area where the 2022 Subaru Impreza Sedan seriously lets the driver down is under the hood: the lackluster engine and CVT transmission offer weak performance, and competitors such as the Honda Civic with its small-capacity turbocharged engine are far more desirable. Other than the powertrain, the Subaru offers a pretty impressive package. It has impressive driving characteristics; its interior is well built, comfortable, and ergonomic; and there are a lot of good standard features to boot. The trunk space might not be amazing, but it is enough for the daily school and grocery run. The Impreza Sedan also impresses with its Starlink infotainment system that is easy to use, and its long list of standard driver assistance on CVT variants will please many.
The cost of the Subaru Impreza starts at $18,795, with the CVT transmission costing an extra $1,300. This base price does not include tax, registration, or a destination fee of $960. The Premium sedan's price is $22,195 and the Sport goes for an MSRP of $23,595. Fully kitted, the Sport can cost you over $35k.
The Impreza Sedan is an honest and straightforward car that will spend most of its life completing the A to B commute and aims to do so affordably. If you're looking for a cheap, AWD sedan, then we would recommend going for the Impreza Premium, which includes features such as alloy wheels, transmission paddle shifters, heated front seats, auto-on/off headlights, dual front USB input ports, and driver assistance features such as pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and pre-collision throttle management. The Premium Sedan starts at $22,195 and we think it's well-priced despite the underpowered engine.
Unfortunately for the Crosstrek, it shares its base engine with the Impreza sedan. Due to its slightly heavier curb weight, it performs even worse than the sedan and makes it slightly less economical too at 28/33/30 mpg city/highway/combined for CVT-equipped models. Still, at least you get the option of a six-speed manual transmission that is far superior to the five-speed in the Impreza. For an added cost, the Crosstrek can also be specified with a more powerful 2.5-liter engine. The Crosstrek has a lifted ride height, making it a more realistic off-road companion, and can tow up to 1,500 lbs. Inside, the Crosstrek also offers more passenger space. In terms of features, the Crosstrek and Impreza share all of them, making the purchasing decision a bit easier. The 2.0-liter engine was never going to win any races, so we'd take the more practical but slower Crosstrek over the Impreza Sedan any day, or spend extra on the Crosstrek 2.5-liter.
The Legacy is a significant step above the Impreza sedan in nearly every way. Starting under the hood, the Legacy gets a more powerful powerplant in base trim, namely a 2.5-liter boxer motor producing 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft. The best thing is that this engine delivers more or less the same gas mileage as the slower Impreza. The Legacy is also available with a 2.4-liter flat-four turbocharged engine producing 260 hp and 277 lb-ft for some sporty driving dynamics. On the road, the Legacy is the more enjoyable car to drive and is more refined as well. Its extended wheelbase allows for more passenger space. The Legacy is both better under the hood, on the road, and in the cabin. If you can afford the price jump, then we would recommend going for the Legacy.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Subaru Impreza Sedan: