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The Subaru Impreza is a great option for anyone who likes the reliability and style of Subarus and also wants a compact vehicle. What's nice about the Subaru is that it can either come as a five-door hatchback or a sedan, allowing consumers to choose which style would be best. With the Impreza, Subaru makes four different trims, and this guide will provide a comprehensive look at each.
Before getting into the details, it's important to mention that all Impreza models run on the same engine. It's a 2.0-liter engine that's suited for the Impreza's size. Capable of generating 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, this engine can be paired with either a manual or an automatic transmission. The manual version has five speeds, and Subaru uses a Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) in its non-stick models.
The general dimensions of the Impreza are the same whether one gets a sedan or a five-door version. The only difference, obviously, is in relation to the cargo space. The five-door can provide over 20 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats. There's even more room in the five-door when the rear seats are folded down. Doing so increases cargo capacity to over 55 cubic feet. In comparison, the sedan has a trunk with a volume of 12.3 cubic feet. This could be considered average for a compact sedan, but it just doesn't come close to what the five-door offers.
Compare the 2021 Subaru Impreza Base Model vs Premium Trim Level. What is the Difference?
The base model is the only trim that comes standard with the manual transmission. To make sure it can have a wider appeal, Subaru has made the Lineartronic CVT available in this trim. In the Premium model, the Lineartronic CVT has a seven-speed manual mode that people can engage if they ever want to be in control over shifting.
This choice of whether to use a manual or automatic transmission affects fuel economy. With manual transmissions, Imprezas can get up to 24 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway. Having CVT takes those numbers up to an estimated 28 miles per hour and 36 miles per hour, respectively.
If people are familiar with the Subaru brand, then they likely already know that the Impreza is equipped with symmetrical all-wheel drive. This system gives the car a lot of additional traction, and because it's always working, power delivery can shift the instant any problems with traction are detected.
Exterior differences between these two trims are fairly minor, though they may be important to some buyers. Both models have 16-inch wheels, but the base model's are steel while the Premium's are aluminum-alloy. Other upgrades in the Premium include fog lights, side mirrors that are heated and painted the same color as the exterior of the car, and a de-icer built into the windshield wipers.
Inside, it's a similar story. While both trims have cloth seats, only the Premium has heated front seats. The Premium does come with the option to get keyless access, in the form of a pin pad on the front door. Push-button start is an available amenity. Also found in the Premium are two USB ports instead of one, six speakers instead of four, and automatic headlights.
Subaru made a wise move in designing its new cars, deciding to put in advanced infotainment systems in even their base models. The base model of the Impreza features a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and drivers can take advantage of Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. While smartphone compatibility is becoming much more commonplace, it's not a guarantee that companies will put this type of technology into their base models. It's a huge perk that the affordably priced Impreza gives people the ability to quickly connect their phones to their vehicles.
The big news about the Premium is that it has SiriusXM Radio, HD Radio, and Wi-Fi capability. Some people are especially interested in getting SiriusXM Radio since it greatly expands entertainment options and its channels aren't limited to a specific geographic region. Wi-Fi capability can be so convenient, especially for doing work and looking up key information while on the road.
Some other technological differences are seen when examining the safety systems of these trims. Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package, which includes emergency braking and lane keep assist, is standard on the Premium and only an option on the base model. Given all the hype around these advanced mechanisms, this may push some people towards the Premium. Additionally, blind spot monitoring is available on the Premium but not on the base model. Both trims do have a rear-view camera as well as various stability and traction control systems.
Compare the 2021 Subaru Impreza Premium vs Sport Trim. What is the Difference?
The Sport, like the Premium, can be upgraded with a power sunroof. Some people may prefer this if they like having natural light stream in and occasionally want to open things up by sliding the sunroof open.
With the Sport, the Impreza gets to have 18-inch wheels. The side mirrors have turn signals integrated into them, making it easier for other drivers to know what's going on with the Impreza. The Sport is the only trim to have side rocker spoilers, adding to its more aerodynamic look, and the sedan version of the Sport is the only one to have a trunk spoiler.
There are some other noticeable upgrades in the Sport, in terms of what amenities are included in the cabin. First, the cloth seats have bright red stitching to help them stand out, and the pedal covers are made with aluminum-alloy, mimicking what one might see in a sports car. Further, the steering wheel and shifter are wrapped in leather to give the cabin a more elegant feel.
The keyless access that was mentioned previously is standard in the Impreza Sport. A major technological enhancement is the Sport's eight-inch touchscreen. This is a high-quality feature that many consumers are looking for these days, and it makes the Sport hard to pass up. If anyone wants to pay a little extra, the Sport can be equipped with a Harman Kardon audio system, which comes with eight speakers and a powerful amplifier. Another added feature in the Sport is the presence of USB charging ports in the back seat. The driver won't appreciate this very much, perhaps, but the passengers certainly will.
Interestingly, the EyeSight safety package that is standard on the Premium sedan and five-door models is not a standard component on the Sport five-door. With this particular Impreza model, someone would have to pay an additional cost to have his/her hatchback equipped with driver-assist technology. (EyeSight technology is standard on the Sport sedan.)
Another notable aspect of the Sport is that its five-door model comes standard with a manual transmission. There is the option to get the CVT if someone doesn't want to drive a stick shift. Both the Sport sedan and five-door editions come with Active Torque Vectoring. By applying a slight pressure to the brakes on the inside front wheel while the Impreza is turning, this system can really improve handling. People who love driving and push their vehicles while they're on the roads will be happy with how fun it is to drive the Sport.
Compare the 2021 Subaru Impreza Sport vs Limited Trim Level. What is the Difference?
If potential customers feel that the Sport is impressive, they could be even more pleased with the Limited. That is, if they prefer luxury over sportiness. The Impreza Sport, which is aptly named, is edgy and shows off its style with bold accents. On the other hand, the Limited is the more refined car.
The Limited has slightly smaller wheels than the Sport has, as it rides on 17-inch wheels. Like the Premium trim, the Limited has fog lights, though the Sport does not. Chrome is used on the door handles of the Limited, and the raised roof rails in the Limited five-door are silver.
Seats in the Limited are much more sophisticated than in the other trims, as they're covered in leather upholstery. The driver's seat in the Limited is power-operated, and it can move in six different ways. In the Sport, the seat can also move six different ways, but it has to be manually adjusted. If someone feels strongly enough about this, there is the option to get a power-operated driver's seat in the Sport.
Both trims have a 6.3-inch color display in addition to their touchscreens. This display is used to show information about things like fuel economy, vehicle performance, the climate system, and more. Only the Limited has an automatic temperature control system.
Another component that's only available on the Limited is navigation. Navigation provides drivers with turn-by-turn directions and helps them avoid getting stuck in traffic. It can be a lot easier to use an in-vehicle navigation program rather than an application on one's smartphone, and it can be a lot safer as well.
The Limited and the Sport both do well in the safety category. Like the other trims, they have numerous air bags placed throughout the cabin, three-point seatbelts in every position, and the LATCH system for anchoring child seats. These two trims can be connected to the STARLINK system. This gives them the ability to contact roadside assistance if necessary and give drivers periodic vehicle reports. More importantly, models with STARLINK technology can be remotely locked/unlocked, and their engines can be remotely started through an app on a smartphone.
There are some key differences that set the Limited apart from the others. It has automatic high beams, which frees drivers from having to worry about switching them on and off at night. It also has blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard components. One other element that the Limited has is reverse automatic braking. With this feature, the Impreza can actually stop itself if it senses that the driver is about to back up into an object. Since these types of incidents can be quite common, this type of automatic braking can be very useful.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Subaru Impreza has an attractive price tag that will bring it a lot of attention. For prospective customers on very limited budgets, the base model will do just fine. Its infotainment system has features that most people are looking for, and several driver-assist technologies can be added on to it.
However, if there is a little more money to spend, the Sport would be the recommended choice. It has a lot more of a personality. Plus, it's only about $1,500 more expensive than the Premium, and it's approximately $2,300 cheaper than the Limited.
Out of the whole Impreza collection, the Sport has the nicest wheels and best handling. A lot of the extras, like a sunroof and power-operated driver's seat, are available on the Sport, and it has the enviable eight-inch touchscreen. Overall, it seems like it would be the most appealing choice for buyers who like technology, appreciate style, and value performance.
• Compare the 2020 Subaru Impreza Trim Levels