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Subaru Impreza: Which Should I Buy, 2019 or 2020?

2020 Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback

Most significant changes: EyeSight safety package is standard on all models with continuously variable automatic transmission. Grille and front bumper get fresh look. Automatic door locks and a rear seat reminder are standard on all models.

Price change: It varies by model. Base models with manual transmission are $115 higher; with the CVT they are $415 higher. Premium prices rise by $515 and Limited by $815. The base price is up $1,315 on the Sport sedan, $215 on the Sport hatchback with manual transmission and $515 on Sport hatchback with the CVT (all prices include a destination charge, which rises $15 to $900).

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2019 or 2020? 2020. EyeSight is now standard on all automatic transmission models at modestly higher prices.

The EyeSight safety package is standard for 2020 on all Impreza models with the continuously variable automatic transmission. All versions of Subaru’s compact sedan and hatchback also come with a new rear seat reminder that alerts the driver to check the backseat before leaving the vehicle.

Related: National Stick Shift Day: 6 Cars We Wish Had Manuals (and 3 We’re OK Without)

EyeSight was an $845 option on the base model last year and part of more expensive packages for the Premium and Sport. Starting prices on base models with the CVT rise by $415, to $20,895 for the sedan and $21,395 for the hatchback (all prices include the $900 destination charge). EyeSight includes automatic front emergency braking, lane departure and sway warnings, and lane keep assist; it is not offered on models with the five-speed manual transmission.

All models have a fresh face for 2020 from a new grille and front bumper, and standard automatic door locks.

On the Sport sedan, the CVT is now standard and the five-speed manual is listed as a no-cost option; the base price jumps $1,315 to $24,395. The manual remains standard on the Sport hatchback; the CVT is optional (and includes EyeSight) for $1,100 more.

The Sport sedan and Limited models also gain as standard the Si-Drive powertrain management system with Sport and Intelligent modes. Blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert are newly standard on the Limited.

All models come with a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with 152 horsepower and standard all-wheel drive. The five-speed manual is standard on the base sedan and hatchback and the Sport hatchback. All others come with the CVT, which on Premium, Sport and Limited models adds a seven-speed manual mode with paddle shifters.

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Standard AWD and, for 2020, the Eyesight safety package on all automatic transmission models, makes the Impreza a worthy choice among compacts in the snow belt. It isn’t among the most refined in its class, but it has decent ride and handling, sufficient passenger space for four people and reasonable starting prices in the base and Premium trim levels.

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