2024 Subaru Impreza RS: Affordable AWD Done Right

Subaru has always crafted cars well-suited to the multi-layered lifestyles and climates of places like the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, and New England. These cars excel there because of the standard AWD setup, the confident driving dynamics, and the affordable price tags relative to the competition. The 2024 Subaru Impreza RS continues on in this vein and does it well.

I spent a week with the Impreza RS while on a family trip back east. The RS model is the one I’d suggest you get if you’re shopping for a new Impreza since this one gets a more powerful engine and some subtle styling upgrades. But the entire revamped Impreza line is well done, as it’s now hatch only, comes standard with dual-zone climate control, and both the Sport and RS models feature a nicely laid out 11.6-inch center display that works well with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additionally, both the upper trims get paddle shifters and better suspension tuning.

On to the engine specifically, though, the RS ditches the 152 hp 2.0-liter Boxer used by the lower trims. Instead, this one gets a 2.5-liter flat-four that produces 182 hp. Yes, it’s still backed up by a CVT but of the CVT options on the market, Subaru is doing the best job of tuning them. And with the paddle shifters, I can ask for a bit more from the engine when I need to pass on the highway.

Inside, the car is comfortable and surprisingly roomy despite its chopped-down wagon styling. I managed to fit three adults and a child inside, plus our luggage in the rear. And then I shuttled this thing from Boston to New Hampshire, then back down to southern Rhode Island. And I did that run twice before heading back to Boston one more time to drop off the car and then fly home. And during the entire trip, I averaged 28.8 mpg according to the onboard indicator.

When my family wasn’t in the car, I enjoyed the well-sorted suspension and solid steering feel. It’s a shame RI speed limits are so low, but I jumped on it a bit where I could. And out on the highway, the CVT was never roaring in my face despite spending a fair bit of time above the speed limit when running back from NH to RI again.

Infotainment-wise, the initial turn-on process of the Starlink system (Subaru’s infotainment system, it’s not equipped with Elon’s space Internet) was occasionally a bit sluggish. But once it was up and running it responded well.

It’s rare to come across a vehicle these days that offer a good AWD system, great onboard safety tech (Subaru’s Eyesight is standard on all trims), and pleasing driving dynamics for under $30,000. The base Impreza is $24,085 and the RS rises up to $28,975. You can add on an upgraded Karman Kardon sound system and a power moonroof if you like for another two grand, but it’s not necessary and keeps you at a great price point.

With fewer true hatch options, the Impreza is a rare machine amongst all the crossovers. Sure, it would be nice to see them offer the manual here. Regardless, it’s probably nicer to see a sub-$30,000 vehicle with all of the features Subaru fits on this latest Impreza.

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One response to “2024 Subaru Impreza RS: Affordable AWD Done Right”

  1. Duke Woolworth Avatar
    Duke Woolworth

    Here in lake effect snow country, folks get the same package raised for more ground clearance and easier entry/exit. it’s called the Crosstrek, and sells like mad.

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