The 2021 Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback impress with their roomy interiors and standard all-wheel drive. Both Subaru body styles have anonymous styling and fail to preserve fuel as well as other compact cars. Still, the Impreza has a playful driving demeanor that transcends many alternatives thanks to its quick steering and assured composure. Power comes from an anemic flat-four-cylinder engine that can be paired with a manual transmission, but it’s one of the few that we’d avoid due to its imprecise action. Those looking for popular driver-assistance options and infotainment features will appreciate the small Subie’s well-stocked roster. Although the 2021 Impreza is far from perfect, it does have a handful of desirable qualities.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Impreza is a tortoise in a class of hares, with a four-cylinder engine that makes 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. With little low-end punch, the Impreza requires considerable goading to keep the engine where it needs to be to make power. Although the five-speed manual transmission on our Impreza Sport sedan performed less lethargically at our test track compared with the CVT of our long-term Sport hatch. The Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive. The Impreza strikes a near-perfect balance between ride and handling. The body doesn’t lean in turns and the quick steering gives the compact car an additional sense of verve. We found the Impreza Sport’s relatively firm brake pedal and short stopping distance during emergency-braking situations to be exemplary for the class.