U.S. News Calls the 2021 Subaru Impreza 1 of the Most Comfortable Cars to Buy

The 2021 Subaru Impreza isn’t wildly different from the previous model. Still, major changes weren’t needed to make this compact car a serviceable option for those looking for a new ride. The Impreza exudes comfort for both drivers and passengers, and it does so at a reasonable price point. However, other compact cars on the market excel in similar ways. Here’s the lowdown on the Impreza and other compact cars worth considering if you’re interested in buying a car anytime soon.  

What makes the Subaru Impreza so comfortable?

The 2021 Subaru Impreza sedan model in silver gray driving on the outskirts of a tropical city
The 2021 Subaru Impreza sedan model | Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru made no major changes to the 2021 Impreza, but substantial changes weren’t needed to make U.S. News‘ list of the most comfortable cars in 2021. 

The Impreza is designed to offer a smooth ride for men and women of any size. Up to five people can fit inside the Subaru without any problems, even with taller people sitting up front. The seats have plush cushioning that keeps long rides pleasant, and an insulated cabin helps block out open road noises. Heated front seats and a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat are also available.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration both gave the Impreza the highest safety ratings on offer thanks to its performance in frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. The vehicle is one of two compact cars with standard, all-wheel drive. Its brake system is strong, and the steering is responsive enough to make swerving around turns a breeze. If you have a young child on board, there are two sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. 

The Impreza also has other features that don’t directly tie into safety but make for a more enjoyable and comfortable driving experience. The model’s StarLink infotainment system includes a touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a four-speaker stereo. Automatic climate control can be added, and the Impreza’s fuel economy estimates are among the best in its class.  

The Subaru Impreza could still do with some upgrades

There’s plenty to like about the Impreza’s feature set, but there are still some aspects of the car that could be made better. 

For example, there’s only one engine under the hood, and that sole engine isn’t terribly impressive. It’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that only puts out 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. This won’t be an issue for most, but the lack of acceleration will bother some drivers. 

Impreza shoppers have the choice of a five-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). CVT models also come paired with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), enabling a more intense Sport mode. However, the powertrain can get a bit noisy under hard acceleration, and the CVT can hinder response time more than vehicles with manual transmissions. 

Lastly, there’s also the issue of a lack of cargo space. The sedan’s trunk only has 12.3-cubic-foot in space, which ranks among the smallest in the class.

The Subaru Impreza earned a U.S. News interior score of 7.6 out of 10 and an overall score of 7.9. The price for the sedan starts at $18,795, and the hatchback costs $19,295. The Limited trim levels cost $25,895 and $26,395 for sedan and hatchback models, respectively.

What other cars filled out U.S. News’s list?

The Impreza is clearly a fine car to drive off the lot, but other vehicles rose to the top of U.S. News’ list, albeit at a higher price point. 

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ranks third on the list with an interior score of 7.9 and an overall score of 8.7 and has a price tag of $27,750. Its gas-electric powertrain pumps out a combined 192 horsepower and returns a fuel economy of 50 mpg in the city and 54 mpg on the open highway. Higher-level trims have slightly lower figures, but the Sonata Limited makes up for it with a solar panel on the roof that claims to add two miles of range per day. 

The Sonata Hybrid model also features comfortable front and rear seating, remote keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start.  

Coming in second place is the 2021 Chrysler 300. The luxury sedan provides an enticing combination of comfort and style, thanks to its assembly of powerful engines (up to 363 horsepower in certain models), ample cabin space, and welcoming seats. Seating is available with Nappa leather upholstery, sport seats, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. The 300 model can seat up to five people and has 16.3 feet of cubic space. U.S. News gave it an interior score of 8.0, and it is currently priced at $30,445. 

The top spot on the list, with an interior score of 8.1, and an overall score of 8.9, is the 2021 Honda Accord. Its features satisfy every need for most customers. The Accord has two engine options that provide smooth and powerful acceleration, gets great gas mileage, and handles better than most midsize cars. The interior ranks as one of the best in its class, thanks to its generous amount of cabin space and high-level materials that give off the extravagance of a luxury vehicle. The Accord also has a trunk with 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space and was named the 2021 Best Midsize Car for Families and the Best Midsize Car for the Money by U.S. News. Pricing begins at $24,770. 

Nevertheless, the Impreza remains a worthwhile purchase for those looking for a comfortable and affordable compact car. 

RELATED:  3 of Consumer Reports’ Most Comfortable Compact Cars You Can Buy In 2021