CHATHAM, Mass. – The 2024 Subaru Impreza RS I spent a recent week driving was the most refined, comfortable and quietest version of the Japanese brand’s subcompact hatchback I have experienced.
Subaru redesigned the Impreza line for the 2024 model year, adding the new range-topping RS model with a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, expanded advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) suite and unique infotainment system.
Powertrain combines proven technology with new touches
The company reached into its larger vehicles’ component mix for the unique-to-the-RS 2.5-liter four-cylinder internal-combustion Subaru Boxer® engine which produces 182 hp and 178 pounds-feet of torque.
The power flows through a Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) with steering-column-mounted paddle shifters which allows operation as if it were an eight-speed manual transmission.
As in all Subaru models (excepting the two-door BRZ sport coupe produced in conjunction with Toyota), the Impreza RS puts this power to the pavement through all four wheels thanks to the standard ACT-4 Active Torque Split All-Wheel Drive (AWD) with electronically controlled variable hydraulic transfer clutch.
Global platform strengthened in latest Impreza
The Subaru Global Platform for the 2024 Impreza has been enhanced with 10-percent higher torsional rigidity. A full inner frame construction and additional structural adhesive (from 26.2 feet to 88.5 feet) contribute to better body rigidity and lighter weight. These updates deliver improved dynamic performance, a smoother ride, and a quieter cabin.
The fully independent suspension features MacPherson-type struts, lower L-arms, coil springs, dampers, stabilizer bar, hydraulic engine mounts up front, with double wishbone, coil springs, dampers and stabilizer bar at the rear.
Adding to these pieces keeping the Impreza RS dynamic motions under control regardless of road conditions are Vehicle Dynamics Control with all-wheel, all-speed traction control (TCS) and rollover sensor.
Bringing the hatchback to a stop is an electronically controlled power-assisted dual diagonal 4-wheel disc brake system with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), 4-channel / 4-sensor anti-lock (ABS), brake assist, brake override, Active Torque Vectoring, auto vehicle hold (AVH), and electronic parking brake.
The ventilated front rotors are 12.4 inches with dual-piston calipers while the rear ventilated rotors are 11.2 inches with single-piston calipers.
Sport-styled 18×7-inch gray alloy wheels are shod with 225/40R18 98V all-season tires.
The combination produces a quick, precise fun-to-drive hatch. Car and Driver recorded 0-60 mile-per-hour times at 7.8 seconds which is quick. The AWD with its computer controls and refined suspension, provides sure-footed handling without being skittish or jumpy over uneven surfaces. The pieces all work for a satisfying combination of ride and handling.
Standard on all 2024 Impreza models is the latest version of the EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology with an enhanced, redesigned stereo camera with significantly wider field of view, an additional monocular camera, and an electric brake booster to provide improved performance in a wider range of conditions.
The RS ADAS includes automatic-emergency steering as well as blind-spot detection with lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert. This safety feature works with EyeSight and blind-spot detection to assist with steering control to help avoid a collision at speeds less than 50 mph.
Interior upgrades bring technology
Filling the center of the dash is an 11.6-inch color touchscreen, the heart of the SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia infotainment system as well as the means for controlling many of the car’s systems (like the dual-zone automatic climate-control).
The infotainment system includes the usual sources of information like streaming Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio®, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The standard All Weather Package means the RS’s comfortable cloth seats are heated as is the outside rearview mirrors and windshield-wiper deicer.
The cabin of the RS is further distinguished from lesser Impreza models by gunmetal and simulated carbon fiber interior trim accents as well as sport front seats in black cloth with red cloth bolsters, and carpeted floormats feature the RS logo.
The RS also includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle; aluminum alloy pedals; wireless phone charger; and USB-A and USB-C charging ports in rear center console.
Impreza RS is an impressive package
Value is in the eye of the beholder and my eye says the new, sixth-generation 2024 Subaru Impreza RS provides it.
Fuel efficiency, once not a Subaru strong point, is now a solid trait. Despite my heavy foot, the RS managed 38.1 miles per gallon, better than the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s 26 mpg overall (26 urban, 33 highway). And it achieves this result without compromising AWD capabilities or fun-to-drive qualities.
The price is, in today’s terms, quite reasonable. The Impreza range opens at $22,995 for the Base model, then $24,995 for the Sport and $27,885 for the RS like I drove. The out-the-door total, including $1,090 destination & delivery fee, is $28,975, for the this Impreza.
Subaru was credited with 322 vehicles sold in 1968, its first year on the American market. Last year, the figure exceeded 700,000 reinforcing the brand’s growth from niche product to a mainstream competitor. Its growth has come because the company continuously improved its vehicles, building upon the qualities – like reliability, efficiency, all-wheel-drive capability – its customers appreciated.
This new 2024 Impreza RS is a perfect next generation in this lineage.