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Those who are in the market for an affordable vehicle with standard all-wheel drive and a long list of safety and infotainment features might overlook the 2019 Subaru Impreza in favor of its larger station wagon and SUV siblings. While the new Impreza struggles to match the performance of some of these vehicles, it does offer a quiet and spacious interior and an optional manual transmission.
What's New for 2019?
Since the Impreza was brought into its fifth generation in 2017, not a lot has been changed on the 2019 Subaru Impreza. There are a few alterations that are worthy of note, including the Impreza WRX STI's short-throw shifters on the manual Sports models, the standard availability of Subaru's EyeSight suite, and more infotainment features now coming on the Premium trims.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Subaru Impreza – The Pros
1. The Spacious and Quiet Cabin
One of the best aspects about the 2019 Subaru Impreza is that it boasts a quiet and spacious cabin for being such a small vehicle. Even in the rear seat, there is enough leg room for taller adults. Up front, of course, there is plenty of head, hip, shoulder, and leg room to be found. Also, it is hard to ignore the fact that not a lot of noise seeps into the cabin, even while taking the vehicle up to speed on the highway. Both the hatchback and sedan versions provide a calm, well-mannered ride devoid of invasive road and wind noise. The Sport's 18-inch wheels and firm suspension don't even manage to take away from the smooth ride quality.
2. The Option of Having a Manual Transmission
While a CVT comes standard on the some of the new Impreza trims, there is an option for a 5-speed manual transmission, and it comes standard on the base and Sport trims. Although having a 6-speed manual transmission would be ideal, the 5-speed does a sufficient job at working with the Impreza's standard 2.0-L flat 4-cylinder engine, which is able to garner 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque and delivers power to all four of the wheels.
3. Numerous Safety Features Via the Subaru EyeSight Suite
This year, Subaru has made its bundled package of active driver aids available as standard on most of its vehicles. This is known as the EyeSight suite, and it is loaded with all of the driver assistance safety features that any driver could ask for. Features on the EyeSight suite include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and sway warning, pre-collision throttle management, and pre-collision braking. Not all of the competition against the 2019 Subaru Impreza host such an impressive standard bundle of driver aids, so it is nice to see Subaru going above and beyond to uphold high safety standards.
4. All-wheel Drive Comes Standard
As is the case with every Subaru model, all-wheel drive comes standard on the new Impreza. While this does not make the Impreza a highly capable off-roader due to it being a smaller sedan or hatchback, it does make the Impreza a better performer on the road during rainy or wintry weather conditions. Handling during rain or snow storms is stable, and drivers will find that they still have enough control over the vehicle.
5. A Lightweight Build
The sedan version of the 2019 Subaru Impreza has a remarkably lightweight, aerodynamic build with its just less than 3,000-pound curb weight. This helps the sedan get enough get-up-and-go power for lower speed roads, giving it a zippier feel around town than many of its competitors. The hatchback, meanwhile, is over 1,000 pounds heavier but still retains something of a lightweight feel, though it is not as obvious as it is on the sedan.
6. Performs Well At Slower Speeds
Since the vehicle is so lightweight, the Impreza is able to perform best at slower speeds. This makes it a good vehicle for those who have to drive around in town a lot and do not wish to be bogged down by a slower vehicle. Together, the accelerator and the CVT work well around town to get the Impreza up and moving. Of course, this momentum does slow down as you build up to a higher speed on the highway, but it feels perfectly natural for city driving.
7. Abundant Cargo Space
Both the 2019 Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback offer a good amount of cargo space, but this is truly where the hatchback shines, standing out in its class. On the Impreza sedan, you get 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats still up. When you fold them down, this maxes out your cargo space to 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space. As can be expected, the standard 12.3 cubic feet you get with the rear seats up on the hatchback far surpasses what you get on the sedan. Fold the rear seats down on the hatchback, and you get an impressive 55.3 cubic feet of cargo space. This number puts the Impreza hatchback above what is offered on many of its competitors.
8. Excellent Safety Ratings From NHTSA and IIHS
This year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have each assigned the Subaru Impreza high marks on their safety tests for the 2019 model. NHTSA has awarded both the sedan and the hatchback five out of five stars overall. The IIHS has also awarded the Impreza "good" marks and higher across the board for its crash test performances. Its crash avoidance technology was rated as "superior".
9. The Premium Trim Level
The Premium trim level is a happy medium of standard and optional features, and it is well worth its price tag. It takes the base trim's CVT and pairs it with heated front seats, a CD player, alloy wheels, an upgraded 6-speaker sound system, and a second USB port. It also makes the advanced safety gear suite an available option, which is one that many drivers will want to take advantage of.
10. The Advanced Safety Gear Suite
The advanced safety gear suite includes blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic control and several other useful safety features that are not included on the EyeSight suite. It is available as an option on the Premium trim and comes in handy in terms of enhancing visibility for the driver. With the Premium already being rather modestly priced, the additional price of this suite will be justifiable for quite a few drivers.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Subaru Impreza – The Cons
1. The Transmission Gets Loud When the Vehicle is Heavily Laden
If you load down the 2019 Subaru Impreza with too much weight, the CVT transmission gets loud and obnoxious. If you take the vehicle up to full-throttle while it is laden, the CVT will make sure you hear it whine. In other words, this is not the most highway-worthy vehicle in its class and makes it unfortunately quite obvious.
2. EPA Estimates Do Not Match Real World Performance
One of the qualms many drivers will likely have with the Subaru Impreza is that its real world fuel performance falls short of its EPA estimates. The EPA estimates that the Impreza can get up to a combined 32 mpg even though it is an all-wheel drive. Drivers note that the Impreza actually seems to fall behind on this estimate for the sedan.
3. Lower-quality Interior Materials
Inside of the 2019 Subaru Impreza, you will find enough in the way of comfort, but it does not look remotely chic. The lower trim levels look a bit gaudy and are full of plastic materials that definitely look like they could break down over time. The Limited trim is a bit more classy, but it comes with a heftier price tag than the lower trim levels. Better interior materials can be found in many of the Impreza's competitors.
4. A Sluggish Acceleration
Acceleration on the Impreza just isn't fun, especially when you are taking the vehicle onto the highway. The Impreza can get from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 9.4 seconds (due to its under-powered engine), which leaves it trailing pretty far behind most of its competitors. The hatchback, since it is slightly heavier, is slower than the sedan.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2019 Subaru Impreza vs. 2019 Honda Civic
The 2019 Honda Civic is a major competitor for the Impreza in all aspects this model year. Its advanced driver aids parallel what you get on the Impreza, and there are plenty of standard infotainment features too. The Civic also bests the Impreza in terms of its driving performance, quality of materials used throughout the cabin, and, of course, its impressive fuel economy
2019 Subaru Impreza vs. 2019 Toyota Corolla
The 2019 Toyota Corolla is another big competitor for the Impreza this model year. The Corolla does not offer the best fuel economy and might feel kind of boring to drive, but it is incredibly spacious and comfortable. It also boasts a long list of standard infotainment and safety features that drivers love. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same all-wheel drive performance as the Impreza.
While the 2019 Subaru Impreza has some noticeable shortcomings, it does provide a lot of comfort while driving. It has also upped the ante on vehicular safety in terms of crash avoidance.
• Why buy a 2018 Subaru Impreza? w/ pros vs cons