2015 Subaru Impreza

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Key Specs

of the 2015 Subaru Impreza. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    28-31 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    148-hp, 2.0-liter H-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    All-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Excellent AWD value
  • First-rate multimedia system
  • Driving visibility
  • Ride quality, handling
  • Fuel efficiency with CVT

The Bad

  • Still noisy despite changes
  • Modestly sized sedan trunk
  • Stale interior styling
  • Some luxury features unavailable

Notable Features of the 2015 Subaru Impreza

  • Enhancements to quiet interior
  • New multimedia systems
  • Slight exterior updates
  • Sedan or four-door hatchback
  • Standard all-wheel drive

2015 Subaru Impreza Road Test

Kelsey Mays

Upgraded with a rich new multimedia system and higher gas mileage, the 2015 Subaru Impreza is a serious contender for all small-car shoppers, even if you don't think you need all-wheel drive.

Changes for 2015 include some visual tweaks and an overhauled, smartphone-quality dashboard display, which even the base Impreza gets in scaled-down form. As before, the car comes as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback in 2.0i base, Premium and Limited trim levels; the hatchback also gets Sport Premium and Sport Limited grades. Compare the trims here or stack up the 2014 and 2015 Impreza here. If you're looking for the related XV Crosstrek, WRX or WRX STI, we cover them on separate pages in Cars.com's Research section.

Exterior & Styling
Reshaped bumper openings with bisecting chrome spears grace all trim levels, including our 
Subaru Impreza 2.0 Limited sedan. It's a dressier appearance I appreciate most on the base and Premium versions; last year's car just had formless black pits that shouted: "Fog lights should go here!"

From the side or rear, the 2015 Impreza is essentially unchanged. Hatchback versions are 6.5 inches shorter in length than the sedan, though both cars share the same tidy 34.8-inch turning circle. Fifteen-inch steel wheels are standard, and 16- or 17-inch alloys are optional.

How It Drives
Despite Subaru's claims of more insulation for 2015, the Impreza remains noisy. Wind noise is significant at highway speeds, even for this class. Dig into the gas peda...

Upgraded with a rich new multimedia system and higher gas mileage, the 2015 Subaru Impreza is a serious contender for all small-car shoppers, even if you don't think you need all-wheel drive.

Changes for 2015 include some visual tweaks and an overhauled, smartphone-quality dashboard display, which even the base Impreza gets in scaled-down form. As before, the car comes as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback in 2.0i base, Premium and Limited trim levels; the hatchback also gets Sport Premium and Sport Limited grades. Compare the trims here or stack up the 2014 and 2015 Impreza here. If you're looking for the related XV Crosstrek, WRX or WRX STI, we cover them on separate pages in Cars.com's Research section.

Exterior & Styling
Reshaped bumper openings with bisecting chrome spears grace all trim levels, including our 
Subaru Impreza 2.0 Limited sedan. It's a dressier appearance I appreciate most on the base and Premium versions; last year's car just had formless black pits that shouted: "Fog lights should go here!"

From the side or rear, the 2015 Impreza is essentially unchanged. Hatchback versions are 6.5 inches shorter in length than the sedan, though both cars share the same tidy 34.8-inch turning circle. Fifteen-inch steel wheels are standard, and 16- or 17-inch alloys are optional.

How It Drives
Despite Subaru's claims of more insulation for 2015, the Impreza remains noisy. Wind noise is significant at highway speeds, even for this class. Dig into the gas pedal and the 
Subaru Impreza's 2.0-liter four-cylinder emits a wheezy, mechanical whine as the tach needle swings upward. Our test car also exhibited a peculiar whine at low speeds that didn't correlate to engine load and disappeared above 10 mph or so. It may have come from the Yokohama Avid S34 P205/50R17 tires, so keep an ear out on your test drive.

The drivetrain itself has adequate power, with sufficient torque and peppy response at lower speeds after an initial moment of accelerator lag. Passing at any speed requires most of the flat-4 engine's reserves, but power was adequate even with four adults aboard. The continuously variable automatic transmission is unobtrusive enough to be mistaken for a conventional automatic. Push it hard and it behaves as such, holding a ratio, revving higher and then dropping to the next "gear." It's all contrived, of course, as CVTs lack fixed gears, but it mitigates the single biggest annoyance of these transmissions: the rubber-band sensation of disconnect between how much gas you give and how much you hear the engine rev.

Given the standard all-wheel drive, gas mileage for this front-engine flat-four Subaru is rated an outstanding 31 mpg combined with the CVT. That's up 1 mpg this year, and it's competitive with many front-wheel- drive compacts. Five-speed stick-shift models get an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined.

Ride quality is sound, with good chassis control over bumps and decent isolation at higher speeds. The Ford Focus and Volkswagen Jetta still boast a degree better ride quality, and if you just want the softest ride in a compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze is your chariot. But the Impreza is close behind.

The Subaru Impreza's all-wheel drive (AWD) — a more advanced system when paired with the CVT — delivers excellent grip. Get two or three wheels over a patch of ice and the Impreza claws its way through with minimal wheel spin. Throw the car into a corner and it handles that well, too. Quicker-ratio power steering for 2015 delivers sharp, immediate turn-in response, and the car's chassis allows controllable four-wheel power slides that are seldom possible in the Impreza's front-drive competitors, save perhaps the Focus.

Note that the base Subaru Impreza 2.0i lacks a rear stabilizer bar, which theoretically diminishes handling. We haven't driven the base model for 2015, however.

Interior
Save a redesigned multimedia system, the cabin's conservative layout hasn't changed for 2015, and it's starting to look outdated. But cabin materials impress, with a level of consistency — low-gloss padding on both rows of doors, for example — that's rare in this class. Visibility continues to be excellent, with narrow A-pillars and tall windows. The car's profile may look stodgy, but all that glass helps you see, and I prefer it to some of the Subie's shapelier competitors.

The front seats are comfortable overall, and the backseat has enough room for adults. Subaru remains one of a few automakers to offer heated cloth front seats, which come in Premium and Sport Premium grades. All Limited models have leather upholstery (also heated), but Subaru restricts dual-zone automatic climate control and a power driver's seat — both readily available among competitors — to the Impreza-based WRX or WRX STI.

Ergonomics & Electronics
The 
Subaru Impreza's overhauled multimedia system steals the show, turning what was a low point in the 2012-2014 car into what's arguably the 2015's best feature. Our test car's 7-inch screen had responsive swipe functions, plus navigation (optional on the Limited and Sport Limited) that swiped and pinched at near-smartphone speeds.

Touch-sensitive buttons flank the 7-inch system, and while I'm a longstanding detractor of those in any car, at least the tuning and volume knobs are real. In 2.0i and 2.0i Premium models, a 6.2-inch version of the screen teams with (huzzah!) conventional mechanical buttons. HD radio, USB/iPod compatibility, Bluetooth phone/audio streaming and smartphone-streamed apps for Pandora, Aha and iHeart Radio are all standard. Keyless entry is also standard. For a sub-$20,000 entry model, that's impressive.

Cargo & Storage
Cargo volume in the 
Subaru Impreza sedan is just 12 cubic feet, which is on the small side for this class. A 60/40-split folding rear seat is standard. Impreza hatchbacks have 22.5 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, which aligns with other small hatchbacks but isn't directly comparable to the Impreza sedan's trunk because of different measuring methodology (read more here). Fold the seats down and the Impreza hatchback has a hatchback-competitive 52.4 cubic feet of maximum cargo room.

Safety
In crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 
Subaru Impreza earned the top score, good, in all tests. With Subaru's highly rated EyeSight system, it gets IIHS' highest award, Top Safety Pick Plus.

Optional on Limited grades, EyeSight uses two cameras near the rearview mirror to package adaptive cruise control with lane departure warning and auto-braking forward pre-collision warning systems. All trim levels also have a backup camera, all-disc antilock brakes, seven airbags and a required electronic stability system.

See all the safety features listed here.

Value in Its Class
With the destination fee and an automatic transmission, the base price for the 
Subaru Impreza 2.0i sedan starts around $20,000 and comes with the backup camera, the feature-loaded multimedia system, cruise control and the usual power accessories. With the exception of the value-priced Toyota Corolla LE, that's right in the thick of the front-drive competition.

Subaru has spent decades trying to minimize the cost and efficiency penalties of AWD, and the 2015 Impreza is the fullest realization of that goal to-date. Sunbelt-state drivers may still find little reason to consider one, but compact-car body-type shoppers elsewhere (Namely areas that use their wiper blades more than a handful of times a year) should consider Subaru's alternative.

Send Kelsey an email  

 


2015 Impreza Video

For 2015, Subaru's compact car takes a big step forward in terms of its multimedia system, said Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays.

Latest 2015 Impreza Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.1)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.6)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Great all weather car

by BrooklynSubieguy from Brooklyn, NY on July 27, 2018

This was our second Impreza Sport of this generation, the first being a 2013. We loved both of them and never had any mechanical problems. It went through the worst New England weather, even without ... Read full review

(5.0)

First Dealer Purchased Car

by Imprezzive from Baltimore, MD on July 18, 2018

This is a very smooth ride and I'm super pleased by the gas mileage. I've been driving it about 75 miles/day since I purchased it four days ago and the MPG has stayed around 35 which is very ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 Subaru Impreza currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0i

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
good
Overall evaluation
good
Retraints and dummy kinematics
good
Structure and safety cage
good

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
acceptable

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Subaru

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance and Carfax vehicle history report

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    Powertrain: 7 years/100,000 miles from original date of first use. Roadside assistance: 1 year from date of purchase
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 85,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 152 point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Impreza received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Infant seat

A

Booster

(second row)

B

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

A

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker