3.4 out of 5 3.4
Parkers overall rating: 3.4 out of 5 3.4

A niche choice, and likely to stay that way

Subaru Impreza Hatchback (17 on) - rated 3.4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £26,690 - £26,690
Used price £8,850 - £15,440
Used monthly cost From £221 per month
Fuel Economy 35.9 mpg
Road tax cost £155
Insurance group 12 - 18 How much is it to insure?


  • Standard kit and safety technology
  • Good reliability
  • Comfy ride
  • Impressive practicality
  • All-wheel drive flexibility


  • Gutless engines
  • Lacklustre transmission
  • High fuel consumption and emissions
  • Parts of cabin look and feel cheap
  • How will the finance offers stack up?

Subaru Impreza Hatchback rivals

Written by James Dennison on

Subaru Impreza review summary

The Subaru Impreza is a medium-sized family hatchback that the Japanese brand hopes will help the close the gap to its European rivals.

Cars such as the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus and SEAT Leon have all battled for class supremacy in recent years, yet the Impreza badge has never managed to break into this top tier.

Despite enjoying a reputation for making rugged, dependable family cars Subaru is still seen as a distinctly left-field choice. Will this change with this Impreza? Read on to find out.

Only one trim level on offer

Unusually, the 2017 Impreza is only available with one trim level – SE. The good news is that it’s a generously kitted out spec with all of the equipment – bar sat-nav – most customers would want on medium-sized family car.

Subaru Impreza side view

Dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, keyless entry/ignition, LED headlights and high-beam assist are all standard on the Impreza. And that’s before we get on to the levels of safety kit…

Extensive range of safety technology

Subaru talks proudly of its pioneering work in improving the safety of its cars, and it’s plain to see the effects of this on the Impreza. There’s a vast suite of safety equipment as part of the standard-fit EyeSight package, including autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

Subaru Impreza has EyeSight safety system

Adding to this is the Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System, bringing with it blindspot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert. And while the Impreza is yet to be tested by European safety regulators Euro NCAP, it’s already performed exceptionally well in Canadian, Japanese and American crash tests.

Two petrol engines to choose from

Customers can choose between two petrol engines in the Impreza and, unfortunately, they are the weakest part of the car. The base 114hp 1.6-litre motor feels desperately slow and unrefined under load. And while the more powerful 156hp 2.0-litre is a little quicker, it’s just as noisy, making a real racket at anything more than half throttle.

Part of the issue comes from the standard-fit CVT transmission that’s sluggish to respond and relies on high amounts of revs to make any real progress. It’s smooth, but that’s its only real redeeming feature. A manual gearbox option would improve the car greatly.

Handling is safe and stable, but not fun

Turning into a sharp bend demonstrates the Impreza’s safe and stable handling down to a tee. Bodyroll is noticeable yet not excessive, plus there’s plenty of grip on offer to stop the car leaving your intended line. It’s not particularly good fun, though, with the Impreza feeling set up far more for comfort – something that it excels at.

Subaru Impreza cornering shot

There’s a lovely supple quality to the ride that feels pliant and well-damped in pretty much all conditions.


Passenger and luggage space is another of the Impreza’s strengths, with more than enough room for four adults in the cabin and ample capacity in the boot. Rear seats in place, the Impreza manages to outdo the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra for bootspace.

There’s also a good smattering of pockets and cubbyholes in the interior, with the particularly deep central armrest storage a welcome highlight.

Subaru Impreza Hatchback rivals

Other Subaru Impreza models: