Subaru, the automobile segment of the renamed Japanese company, Subaru Corporation (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries), has been around for over 50 years in the domain and is still making waves with its offerings. The carmaker is known mostly for the niche markets it services, AWD drive trains, and affordable sports cars.
In 2020, Subaru is introducing the Impreza with minor design modifications, safety, and tech upgrades. The Impreza was launched back in 1992 as a hatchback and as a sedan. A coupe variant was offered for a limited run from 1995 to 2001. Now in its fifth generation, this vehicle has never seen discontinuation in production.
After continuous sales growth for the past 93 months (about 8 years) Subaru experienced a sales slowdown in September 2019. The Impreza Sedan (WRX/STI) registered a loss of sales as well but according to reports, the sales have now witnessed a stable monthly growth.
Facing a challenge from Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra, 2020 Impreza Sedan is set to dominate the roads again in the mid-size sedan segment.
6.7/10 Engine and Performance
6.5/10 Fuel Economy
8.5/10 Final Verdict
2020 Subaru Impreza Features
Subaru is offering the 2020 Impreza Sedan in four trims, Base, Premium, Sport and Limited. All trims are powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine. The following are the broad differences among the trims:
16inch Steel rims with covers
Adds/Upgrades to Base
Adds/Upgrades to Premium
Adds/Upgrades to Sport
EyeSight Driver Assist technology Optional
16inch aluminum alloy wheels
18inch aluminum alloy wheels
17inch aluminum alloy wheels
EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and Optional Blindspot detection with Lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert
EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and Blindspot detection with Lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert as standard
Keyless access with push-button start and PIN Code Access
8inch multimedia infotainment system with Harman Kardon speaker system
Auto on-off with Steering wheel responsive headlamps
Manual 5-speed transmission with a gear shifter
Auto on-off Headlamps
8inch multimedia infotainment system with Harman Kardon speaker system and an optional navigation system
6.5inch basic infotainment system with 4 speakers
Lineartronic CVT with paddle shift
6.5inch multimedia infotainment system with 6 speakers
Optional power sliding/tilting moonroof
As per our evaluation, the premium trim is the best value for money investment for the 2020 Impreza Sedan. You get much better offerings than the base trim and still don’t miss out on the features of the Sport or Limited trim. You get Lineartronic CVT with paddle shift, Proprietary EyeSight assists with optional BlindSpot detection, alloy wheels, a great infotainment system, and automatic headlamps as standard.
2020 Subaru Impreza Engine and Performance
Subaru is known for its Boxer Engines throughout the world and the 2020 Impreza is no exception to the same methodology. The Impreza comes with a 2L-DOHC-4 cylinder boxer engine. This is paired with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a Lineartronic CVT. The engine is primed to deliver a staggering 152hp @ 6000 Rpm and an impressive 145 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm, which is the highest torque from any car in its segment.
2.0L Boxer Inline-4
Though the Civic beats out the Impreza in horsepower, the Subaru dominates the field with its mind-numbing torque. Both the torque and power are delivered in the mid-range RPMs.
Let’s try the Quarter Mile
The Subaru Boxer engine is globally recognized as one of the best engines in the market and has cornered a lot of manufacturers with its simplistic design yet delivering raw power when needed. Couple it with a classic like the Impreza and you get a combo of power meets style. That being said, the engine still is not quite where it should be in terms of being a 2020 car.
0-60 MPH (sec)
Quarter Mile (sec)
Top Speed (MPH)
2.0L boxer Inline-4
Unless you are going off-road or for a drive in the snow, the Impreza won’t offer the same performance as its competitors in a normal road drive owing to the fact that it is an AWD and hence has added weight which results in a sluggish acceleration. The Lineartronic CVT helps in the power delivery to make a passing maneuver smooth and efficient but still cannot match its competitors on a straight turf.
What about the Stopping power?
According to your choice, the 2020 Subaru Impreza has an option between 16-inch steel and aluminum rims, 17-inch aluminum rims and 18-inch aluminum rims. These are coupled with 205/55R16 tires for the 16inch rims, 205/50R17 tires for 17inch rims and 225/40R18 tires for the 18inch rims.
Brake Rotors Front
Brake Rotors Rear
The brakes on the 2020 Subaru Impreza are 4-wheel disc brakes as standard on all trims. Though the car is just a couple pounds shy from 3000lbs, the brakes do a remarkable job of slowing down the heavy car in just 121 ft. Assisted by the EyeSight Assist technology, the car can slow down even faster if it detects an impending collision.
How well does it Handle?
The Impreza is a zephyr when it comes to handling. It strikes an almost perfect balance between ride and handling. The all-weather tires perform a marvelous job at minimizing any discomfort and ensure a great grip in all conditions. The car can stick all turns with ease and the buttery smooth steering makes the ride in the sedan feel like a streamlined butterfly. The feedback from the steering wheel is limited and you don’t feel as vivacious as you would in a Honda, but it certainly does provide you with a joyous ride.
Despite the rigid and reinforced chassis, the car expresses a sense of agility and robustness. Coupled to the CVT and paddle shift, the AWD does a great job at delivering power with ease, even if it is sluggish. Be it a straight tarmac, a bumpy road or a swiveling drive through the mountains, the suspensions of the Impreza are immensely fine-tuned that you barely feel any discomfort even on after hours.
2020 Subaru Impreza Fuel Economy
Considering that it is a mid-size sedan with a decent performing 2.0L engine, fuel economy is not a place where the Subaru shines. It comes equipped with a 13.2-gallon tank which offers a range of 304 miles in the city and 409 miles on the highway.
Emission (Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)
Compared to its competition, the boxer engine seems to be a bit “drunk”. The boxer engine has miles to go to outmatch its opponents as Toyota and Hyundai clearly take the cake here.
2020 Subaru Impreza Interior
To put it into perspective, the car’s name “Impreza” is a Japanese slang word for “Party”. Looking at the interiors, it certainly doesn’t look like “party” oriented. Having said that, the interiors are far from boring. The design is quite clean and resembles very closely to the Subaru Legacy.
The dashboard is dark grey and so is the center console. The infotainment system sits comfortably at the top of the center console within the reach of the driver and passenger. The comfortable and familiar golf club style shifter and handbrake take the space remaining in the center console.
Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
The 2020 Impreza leaves no stone unturned when it comes to spaciousness. There is enough room for 5 people to sit comfortably. Even with a six-foot-tall driver and seat in the rearmost adjustment, there is still ample room in the back. The front seats are power-adjustable but lumbar support adjustment could have been better. The rear seats are foldable to allow more cargo storage.
Other standout features of the Impreza are:
Remote Engine start
4G WiFi LTE Capability
Multifunction steering wheel
Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Cup holders on the center and floor console
Bottle holders in each door
Luggage compartment lamps
Cargo area with convenience hooks and tie-down hooks
USB Charging ports in the front and rear
60/40 Folding rear seat
Even while driving, the interior shuts out almost all of the noises from the outside and offers a quiet cabin. Considering the comparatively noisy engine, the carmaker’s feat is remarkable.
Subaru has infotainment systems with different features fitted in all trims of the Impreza Sedan. They vary from 6.5 inches to 8 inches and features varying from the basic interface to the multimedia interface with navigation.
The broad features of the system are:
4G LTE WiFi Connectivity
4 or 6 Speakers or Harman Kardon 8 Speaker system
Apple Car Play and Android Auto
Subaru STARLINK Integration
Bluetooth and Handsfree streaming
SiriusXM Satellite and HD Radio Connectivity
The infotainment system is fairly easy to operate and getting used to it is a cinch. The display can change screens as per your connected device OS to make you feel at ease. The 8inch display is available only in the Sport and Limited Trims and cannot be added in the lower trims. For people who take their music seriously, we suggest picking up the Harman Kardon 8-Speaker system with an additional bass boost for the extra “oomph” from the sound system.
What about Cargo Space?
When it comes to cargo, the 2020 Impreza is offering 12.3 cubic feet of space while the hatchback sibling proudly boasts of a 20.8 cubic feet of cargo. The small cargo space is certainly a bummer but its not unusable. There is still enough space to stow about a month’s groceries and supplies for 2 people very easily and still have some space left over.
If you still find the storage in the trunk to be less, feel free to fold the rear seat and make additional room for storage. The cabin of the Impreza doesn’t disappoint in the storage department. The car provides a standard glove box, cup holders in the center console, and the trunk in the back. Followed by that are the bottle holder in each door and the accompanying door pockets. Seat pockets are present in the back and the center seat in the back is a retractable armrest that houses two more cup holders.
2020 Subaru Impreza Exterior
Give it a look and the most prominent thing you will notice is the new grille and bumper design in the front. It is perhaps the most welcome change in the exterior as it gives a much more modernistic touch to the dated design. The rear end doesn’t change at all since the car is not a facelift.
Other updates in the 2020 Impreza are:
Updated Alloy wheel design
Sports oriented foglamps
Sleeker body lines
Other than that, the car remains pretty much the same as the previous model year. The brand has introduced the new “Ocean Blue” color for the Impreza in 2020.
2020 Subaru Impreza Safety
The 2020 model is based on the same platform as the 2019 model year and hence ensures the same standards. The Impreza comes equipped with top-notch safety features and then some proprietary software-driver assist safety features. The Subaru Impreza has received the “Top Safety Pick” in 2019 by the IIHS. As per NHTSA, the 2020 Impreza Sedan has a 5-star overall rating.
The car comes with the following safety features:
EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-traffic Alert
Subaru STARLINK Safety and Security
Vehicle Dynamic Control
Anti-Lock Braking System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Tire pressure monitoring
Anti-Theft engine Immobilizer
Dual Stage SRS AirBags
Roll Over Sensor
3-point safety belts with two way tensioner
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
According to JD Power, which judges a vehicle on its quality, dependability, performance, depreciation and the experience at the dealership from verified vehicle owners, the 2019 sedan model has a rating of 75/100. With the Subaru Impreza, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.
2020 Subaru Impreza Competition
Subaru Impreza VS Honda Civic
Japanese carmaker, Honda, has the Honda Civic to compete with the Subaru Impreza. Civic has remained an iconic car since its inception in 1972. The car is now in its tenth generation and has made its presence felt more dominantly every time it underwent a generational change. The Civic is zippy and very nimble and offers a very dynamic response. The power delivery, space, comfort, and safety are arguably some of the best in its segment. If you want something that is a complete package and willing to pay a little extra for it, the 2020 Honda Civic is the car for you.
Subaru Impreza VS Toyota Corolla
The biggest automaker of Japan has the Corolla battling it out in the mid-size segment. The Corolla is a great car but is about a $1000 costlier than the Impreza. On top of that, Toyota has a smaller engine that delivers lesser power and torque which feels sluggish as compared to the Subaru. The interior is sub-standard compared to all the other cars in its segment. Having said that, the Corolla has a better fuel economy than the Impreza and is the highest reliability rated car with a JD Power rating of 85/100. If reliability is the prime deciding factor in buying a car, then Corolla is the clear winner, otherwise, the Impreza is better in all aspects.
Subaru Impreza VS Hyundai Elantra
South Korea’s biggest carmaker Hyundai has the Elantra in its stable to compete with the 2020 Subaru Impreza. Priced almost close to the Subaru at $18,950, Elantra is as close a competitor to Impreza as can be. Currently, in the 6th generation, Elantra is more or less a disappointment performance wise as it seems uninspired to perform. Lots of features as standard and an eco model especially for a 41 mpg mileage, the Elantra is a no-nonsense feature-packed mid-size sedan. In contrast to the Impreza, Elantra feels like a compromise as it is almost similar to Impreza in all respects except that the Hyundai comes only in the FWD configurations while Impreza is AWD.
2020 Subaru Impreza Final Verdict
With a plethora of entertainment features, tons of modifications, the legendary Subaru boxer engine, AWD and one of the best safety features in its class, the Impreza does everything it can in the price it is offering. It may not be as refined and responsive as the Civic but can beat the competition when it comes to handling all types of terrains. The 2020 Subaru Impreza makes a very strong case for itself for being a feature-packed, future-ready mid-size sedan. Buy it and you might just walk away with one of the best cars in the segment.