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2024 Subaru Impreza: Can the Return of the RS Revive Sales?

2024 Subaru Impreza2024 Subaru Impreza RS; (photo/Subaru)
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Subaru formally introduced its sixth-generation Impreza at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The current model was clearly in need of a makeover, having hung around with few changes since the 2017 model year.

The 2024 Impreza adopts a sportier design, a stiffer platform, improved performance, and more safety and infotainment technology, the Japanese automaker said, along with improved performance.

If the design of the new Impreza looks familiar, no surprise. Though it has a lot in common with the latest-generation WRX, the sixth-generation model picks up key design cues from the Subaru Crosstrek, including its cat’s-eye headlamps, angular air intakes, and low-mounted fog lamps.

The overall look is a bit sportier than the outgoing hatchback. And buyers should note there will be no sedan version when the 2024 Subaru Impreza hits showrooms.

2024 Subaru Impreza
(Photo/Subaru)

Considering the tough adventures that Impreza owners subject the five-door to, they’ll likely also appreciate the fact that Subaru is using more structural adhesives that not only help reduce weight but contribute to a 10% improvement in torsional rigidity. For those who aren’t tech-savvy, that means a more composed ride, whether attacking tight corners or a rough trail.

Subaru also says it put engineering resources into delivering a quieter ride with the 2024 Impreza.

2024 Impreza Gets Loads of Tech

2024 Subaru Impreza
2024 Subaru Impreza RS interior; (photo/Subaru)

What the automaker describes as a “modern, clean interior” features improved head and leg room and greater storage. There’s an emphasis on technology — no surprise in today’s tech-centric market — and that starts with a larger 11.6-inch infotainment display.

The 2023 Subaru Impreza also gets an updated version of the popular EyeSight advanced driver assistance system. By revising the stereo camera technology, it’s able to scan a wider swath of roadway and spot bicycles and pedestrians entering at an intersection earlier than before.

“Automatic Emergency Steering is included on models equipped with Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. The safety feature works with EyeSight and Blind-Spot Detection to assist with steering control to help avoid a collision at speeds less than 50 mph,” Subaru adds.

Other high-tech features include keyless entry, and a tire pressure monitoring system that reports on individual wheels — a useful feature when heading out on the trail. The available Subaru Starlink system offers a variety of useful functions, including emergency assistance and a stolen vehicle recovery system. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also are available.

2024 Impreza Powertrain

2024 Subaru Impreza
2024 Subaru Impreza Sport; (photo/Subaru)

Both the Impreza Base and Sport trims feature a 2.0L Boxer engine producing 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. And, with the return of the RS model, Impreza buyers can upgrade to a 2.5L Boxer engine bumped up to 182 horsepower and 178 pound-feet.

All models use a Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. But Sport and RS models feature a manual mode with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters that simulate an eight-speed transmission. Yes, you read that correctly, not even the 2024 Imprez RS will get a manual transmission — insert sad face here.

Return of the RS

2024 Subaru Impreza
2024 Subaru Impreza RS; (photo/Subaru)

The Impreza RS package adds unique badging, 18-inch dark gray alloy wheels, upgraded lighting, and side spoilers. Interior updates like aluminum pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter complete the package.

Subaru Impreza: Declining Sales

The Impreza name has been time-tested, making its original debut at the 1992 Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s lost ground in recent years as buyers have shifted to SUVs and CUVs from sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks.

2024 Subaru Impreza
(Photo/Subaru)

Considering Crosstrek outsells it nearly five-to-one — 128,979 compared with 25,490 Imprezas through October of this year — there was early speculation the Impreza might be dropped from the Subaru lineup. Subaru has simplified the lineup, dropping the sedan model. But it’s betting it can draw in plenty of buyers for the updated hatchback package.

The automaker has not yet confirmed the 2024 Impreza’s pricing or on-sale date.

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