2024 Subaru Impreza debuts – sixth-gen is hatchback only, receives new RS variant with 182 hp 2.5L boxer


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The 2024 Subaru Impreza has made its debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show in five-door hatchback form, which is the only body style available for the sixth-generation model – the previous one was also offered as a sedan.

Built on an updated version of the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the new Impreza boasts 10% higher torsional rigidity than before as well as additional structural adhesive (from 7.99 to 30 metres). According to the carmaker, these changes deliver better dynamic performance, a smooth ride and a quieter cabin.

In terms of styling, the Impreza bears a striking resemblance to the latest Crosstrek but without the SUV-inspired cues like body cladding and a raised ride height. Other differences include a simpler insert design for the hexagonal-shaped grille and a bumper that appears less rugged with its smaller fog lamp and surrounding trim.

The same goes for the rear, with the Impreza carrying the same distinctive C-shaped taillights and a road-friendly bumper that is the opposite of the Crosstrek’s off-road-themed look. As for the interior, it’s pretty much a carbon copy of the Crosstrek, with an available 11.6-inch Starlink touchscreen infotainment system dominating the dashboard.

Three variants are offered (Base, Sport and a new RS), all coming standard with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety and driver assistance systems. The company notes improvements have been made like a wider field of view, updated control software and the addition of an electronic brake booster so EyeSight now operates smoother, faster and under a greater range of conditions.

“EyeSight can now identify bicycles and pedestrians at intersections sooner and, when necessary, alerts the driver and applies brakes to avoid collisions,” the company noted in its release. Meanwhile, Automatic Emergency Steering is now included on models equipped with Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert to assist with steering control to help avoid a collision at speeds less than 80 km/h (50 mph).

All variants get welcome lighting, a tyre pressure monitoring system, dual-zone climate control (accessed via the touchscreen) and 60:40 split-folding rear seats. The Sport gains the portrait-format infotainment display with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keyless entry and start as well as fog lamps.

Stepping up to the top-spec RS nets customers a 10-way power front driver seat with lumbar support, variant-specific badging, 18-inch alloy wheels in a dark grey finish, black exterior accents, upgraded LED headlamps and LED fog lamps.

The interior of the RS also features gunmetal and simulated carbon-fibre trim accents, sport front seats with black/red fabric upholstery, aluminium alloy pedals, heated front seats, rear USB charger ports and branded floor mats. Other items include Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

The RS is a throwback to the Impreza 2.5RS that was offered in the United States in the late 1990s, although the new one misses out on a manual transmission. In fact, a Lineartronic CVT with eight virtual speeds and paddle shifters is now the only available option across the range.

Unique to the RS is its 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four engine, which is also found in the Crosstrek, Forester, Legacy and Outback. With outputs of 182 hp (185 PS) and 241 Nm of torque, it has a significant advantage over the carryover 2.0 litre boxer from the previous generation that continues to provide 152 hp (154 PS) and 197 Nm.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is standard, as you’d expect, further enhanced with standard Active Torque Vectoring. Sport and RS variants also get the SI-Drive performance management system and a sport-tuned suspension. The carmaker adds that the 2024 Impreza also receives a version of the WRX’s dual-pinion electronic power steering rack for a more direct and natural steering feel and greater responsiveness.

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