By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.7
With a starting price well below $20,000, the 2014 Subaru Impreza offers the same features and fuel economy as many of its compact competitors, but with the added advantage of standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD). While the bread-and-butter cars make up the majority of Impreza sales, the performance-oriented WRX and WRX STI account for a small but loyal audience who crave speed and agility over fuel economy and a low sticker price. Regardless of which model, the Impreza offers a lot of value for the money. However, if you don't have a need for all-wheel drive, you can find similar front-drive compacts with better fuel economy, such as the Mazda Mazda3, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Cruze diesel.
If you live where snow, rain and ice are commonplace occurrences, the logical choice for compact-car shoppers is the 2014 Subaru Impreza. It offers excellent year-round traction, good fuel economy, and in WRX form, impressive performance for less than $30,000.
Putting its AWD advantage aside, there are better compact sedans than the Impreza. The Mazda3, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra all get better fuel economy, are more fun to drive, have more features and have vastly better audio and navigation systems.
Limited trims receive a standard rearview camera, while models equipped with navigation gain Aha infotainment smartphone integration.
Driving Impressions Subaru's whole identity revolves around its patented Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which is standard on every car it makes, save for the BRZ. Unlike most AWD setups, the Impreza's is...... permanently engaged, sending power to whichever wheel or wheels need it most and providing excellent traction on dry and wet pavement. The CVT transmission may not be to everyone's liking, but it does manage to milk the little 2.0-liter engine for maximum power and fuel efficiency. Those who desire more power and less boredom can move to the turbocharged WRX, which still gets fairly good fuel economy but is much more fun to drive. The ultimate WRX is the STI, with more power, a better manual gearbox and additional settings to adjust the center differential for optimum power distribution at the wheels. The STI is not without its detractors: Key complaints are the harsh ride, loud interior and somewhat flat sport seats.
High fuel economy and all-wheel drive rarely go hand in hand, but the 2014 Subaru Impreza offers both. Models with CVT automatic transmissions are rated at up to 36 mpg on the highway.
The high-performance 4-cylinder engines in the Impreza WRX and STI models create much more power than the engine in other Impreza models. The result is blistering acceleration and passing power.
"Simple" and "easy-to-use" would be the best way of describing the Impreza's interior. "Plain" may be another. Everything here is functional, and most operations are easy to accomplish, except for the buttons for heating the front seats on models so equipped – they are awkwardly located below the driver's-side armrest. Impreza models can be made cozier with leather-trimmed upholstery. Passenger room is good for four adults, and cargo space is especially generous in 5-door hatchback models, which can swallow more than 52 cubic feet of stuff with the rear seats folded.Exterior
The Impreza's exterior styling could be called "polite," with not many attributes to ruffle feathers. Among the most prominent features are the "hawk-eye" headlights and prominent wheel arches. The 5-door hatchback versions are graced with a gently sloping roof and available cargo racks. WRX and STI models retain the previous generation's body styles and further stand out with aggressive features, including a hood-mounted air intake, deep side sills, trunk-mounted wings on sedans and four exhaust pipes.
Three major trim levels are available on the 2014 Subaru Impreza: 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited. Base models are equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, power windows and doors, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, keyless entry and 4-speaker AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary and USB inputs and Bluetooth audio streaming. Higher-trim models include the automatic transmission, leather seating, larger wheels, heated front seats, automatic climate control and a 6-speaker audio system with HD Radio. Two wagon-only versions, the 2.0i Sport Premium and Sport Limited, have 17-inch wheels and fog lights. WRX and STI models get stiffer suspensions, and the STI has Brembo brakes.
Options for the Impreza include a CVT automatic transmission on models not already so equipped, power moonroof, voice-activated navigation system with 6.1-inch touch screen, cold-weather package with de-icer and heated seats. Other cold-environment accessories include a battery warmer and engine-block heater. WRX and STI performance models can be upgraded with satellite radio, short-throw shifter and turbo-boost gauge.
All 2014 Subaru Impreza models except the WRX and STI use a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a 5-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission. At 148 horsepower, the engine is adequate to get the car up to speed, but not in a hurry. WRX and STI models use a larger, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that has been turbocharged to make 265 or 305 horsepower, respectively – these are fast cars. The WRX has a 5-speed manual transmission and the STI a 6-speed manual. The Subaru engines are of a type known as "boxer," in which the cylinders are arranged horizontally and opposed to each other, with the pistons moving somewhat as a boxer punching. These engines' low center of gravity enhances handling, and they're known for ruggedness, durability and performance.
148 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (sedan, manual), 25/33 (wagon, manual), 27/36 mpg (automatic)
2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
265 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
244 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg
2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
305 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
290 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg
A base 2014 Subaru Impreza sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $19,000 plus an additional $300 fee for Partial Zero Emissions packages on cars sold in California and some other states. Five-door hatchback models are $500 extra. A well-optioned Impreza can reach about $25,000. WRX performance models start just under $27,000, and the fire-breathing WRX STI is around $35,000 and can reach about $40,000 loaded. On the low end, the Impreza's price is in the realm of the Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra, Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus. Prices for WRX and STI models straddle that of the VW Golf R, and the WRX is in line with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are playing for the Subaru Impreza. In the long term, the Impreza's resale value is predicted to hold up very well, above most competitors.
By timmonsarah on Saturday, March 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Safety,exterior,reliability, gas mileage 4 AWD"
Cons: "CVT & interior quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"My 3rd Subaru (: Currently have a(hatchback)Sport Limited w/ GREAT sound system (maybe due to it being a Limited), handling remains awesome, & space is decent for size. Noticed a decent # of people don't realize what AWD equals: LESS gas mileage. Gas mileage is actually REALLY GOOD for being AWD & of it's collision quality standards. For snow & rain: AWD handles better than any other. Live in WA, so AWD is more important than a minute MPG difference for it's class size. Also, Subaru is 1 of the safest cars (if not safest!) when compared to others same size; research it's side impact test results/scores (: **Subarus hold their resale value well for a reason** BUT, I HOPE SUBARU GETS RID OF OR PERFECTS THEIR CVT concept; think it messes up the transmission. I am noticing a "whine" & TERRIBLE auto shifting when I use it..Have driven many manuals over 20 years & am now afraid to use this car's CVT system. ADVICE TO CORPORATE: PLEASE BRING BACK THE TRUE MANUALS & PLEASE ALSO REFOCUS ON INTERIOR QUALITY!! Otherwise, I won't have a 4th Subaru.. ):"
By not a subaru fan on Friday, March 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "cons??? everything... this car is terrible"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I have owned a total of 17 cars in my life and the 2014 Subaru hatchback impreza was the only Subaru that I have owned. I never thought twice because their reputation is solid. However this is the biggest hunk of junk I have ever seen. To start... in 3 months I have had 4 flat tires... two at once! I went over the smallest of potholes and you get an immediate flat. I am by no means a fast driver either. When I went to a tire place I was told these types of tires do that. There is nothing to them and they blow out at the smallest bump... 340.00 per tire later... The car also has such a delay in shifting. This is not ok for a brand new 26,000 car! I brought it to my dealership twice thinking its a bad transmission and I have been told both times its the car design, not the transmission... um okay... also if you drive it in snow... which living in Mass is why I bought it... well you can't. Snow builds up in the tire rimes and after 30 MPH the car shakes so bad its scary to drive. I brought my car to the dealership and was again told its the design there's nothing wrong with the car... um actually there's a lot wrong with this car! the jack for the ipod in tucked deep in the arm rest in between the two front seats. Yeah who ever thought of that was a genius. you literally have to pull over to plug in your ipod. really poor gas mileage. I average about 25 miles per gallon... when I bought the car I was told 35. This is the worst car I have ever owned. oh and not to mention... the car is 13 months old and its worth only half what I paid for it... so much for Subaru's keeping their value... stay away from this car... go with a Mazda 3... cheaper and a much better car. I miss mine..."
By Manzano sub on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"this car is amazing am sad because I have to get rid of it but yeah great, gas milage, is fast, responsive in general Subaru is an amazing car."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful