Does Anyone Regret Buying the Subaru Impreza?

The 2022 Subaru Impreza is an affordable all-wheel drive car at the top of Consumer Reports compact car ratings. The company likes the car for its practicality, comfort, and safety, reporting that the Impreza is roomy, comfortable, user-friendly, and an overall luxurious ride.

However, Consumer Reports also gave the Subaru Impreza a low ownership satisfaction rating, ranking it near the bottom of the compact car segment. This rating is based on survey data which reveals how satisfied owners are with their vehicle and if they would buy it again. The low rating seems to contradict Consumer Reports’ test results, which give the Impreza good marks in handling, ride, noise, and reliability.  

What do Subaru Impreza owners complain about?

A blue 2022 Subaru Impreza parked outdoors near buildings.
2022 Subaru Impreza | Subaru of America, Inc.

Digging into the ownership ratings per Consumer Reports, most thought it was lackluster regarding driving experience, comfort, value, and styling. In comparison, the Hyundai Elantra, Honda Civic, and Volkswagen Jetta received higher ratings in all those categories yet scored below the Impreza overall.  

Looking at other reviews of the Impreza, we can see why it scored low. Car and Driver summed up their review by calling the Impreza “a suitable albeit unimpressive compact car.” Negatives included fuel economy, slow acceleration, and a “lousy” manual transmission. Except for the Impreza’s all-wheel drive and sure-footedness, Car and Driver didn’t have many positive things to say.  

U.S. News states, “The Subaru Impreza sits in the bottom half of our compact car rankings, mostly because of its lackluster and unrefined powertrain.” The low ranking on U.S. News’ list of compact and small cars reflects Consumer Reports’ ownership ratings despite the Impreza’s roomy interior and all-wheel drive. 

Edmunds also mentioned the Subaru Impreza’s roominess and all-wheel drive as positives in their review, saying, “The Impreza is roomy and provides extra wet-weather traction because of its standard all-wheel-drive system. But the engine and transmission are a bit of a letdown.” Like Car and Driver, U.S. News, and Edmunds indicated, the fuel economy, acceleration, and overall lack of refinement detracted from the Impreza’s score. 

What Consumer Reports thinks of the 2022 Subaru Impreza 

Consumer Reports mentions the all-wheel drive and roominess as bright spots for the Subaru Impreza. The review praises the Impreza’s quietness and comfort but notes that “some engine thrum is noticeable.”

Unlike the other reviews, Consumer Reports liked the Impreza’s performance saying, “On the road, the Impreza is a satisfying drive. Steering is responsive, and the body remains surefooted in corners, no matter how bumpy the road. Just don’t expect to experience the driver engagement level found in some competing models, such as the Mazda3 or Volkswagen Golf.”  

Is the Subaru Impreza a Reliable New Car? 

Consumer Reports and U.S. News gave the 2022 Subaru Impreza good scores for reliability. Consumer Reports also provides reliability ratings for the engine, transmission, electrical system, cooling system, body, paint, and hardware. The Subaru Impreza scores well in each of those categories. 

Is the Subaru Impreza a good car? 

U.S. News answers that question by saying, “Yes, the Subaru Impreza is a good car. Standard all-wheel drive – an increasing rarity in smaller sedans – contributes to its spry handling, while inside, occupants are treated to an upscale atmosphere and roomy seating. The Impreza also has user-friendly features and decent fuel economy, and the available hatchback model provides ample cargo space.” 

Ultimately it comes down to your definition of “good.” If a good car is fun to drive with good performance, then several other cars are better than the Subaru Impreza. But if a good car means roomy, comfortable, reliable, safe, and reassuring, then the Subaru Impreza is a good car and better than most. 

RELATED: 2 Things Consumer Reports Hates About the 2023 Subaru Impreza