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Auto review: 4-star 2018 Subaru Impreza is new star on compact stage

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Shortcomings: Fuel economy; power

HOW MUCH?

The Impreza compact sedan and hatchback were all-new for the 2017 model year. The 2018 model year brought a few safety features and a price increase that reflects the car's status as a hit: Impreza sales are up 48.3 percent versus a year ago.

All-wheel-drive is standard on all models, a feature that makes the Impreza unique among mass-market compacts. Competition includes the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta.

All Imprezas have a 2.0L four-cylinder horizontally opposed "boxer" engine that produces 152 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque.

Prices start at $18,495 for a four-door sedan with a five-speed manual transmission. Hatchbacks start at $18,995. Subaru's continuously variable automatic transmission adds $1,000.

 

The most expensive Impreza in the 2018 model line is a $24,695 Limited hatchback with the CVT.

I tested a nicely equipped mid-level 2017 Impreza Sport sedan that stickered at $24,145. My car had a large and useful touch screen; voice recognition; Apple CarPlay; Bluetooth compatibility; Android Auto; backup camera; 18-inch alloy wheels; high-definition radio; a four-month satellite radio trial; power locks, mirrors and windows; power sunroof; Harman Kardon audio; blind spot and cross-traffic alerts.

A 2018 Impreza Sport equipped like my test car costs $25,145. All prices exclude destination charges.

That's still a bargain. None of the other mass-market compacts offer AWD, and the Impreza's other features compare well.

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