2018 Subaru Impreza Sport | Better than Civic?| Complete Review | TestDriveNow

2018 Subaru Impreza Sport | Better than Civic?| Complete Review | TestDriveNow


Month after month, Subaru’s sales continue
to rise; remarkable when you consider they don’t sell a traditional crossover or 3-row
SUV. But Americans have bought into their all-wheel
drive, dog-loving ways, attracted to their mix sedans, hatchbacks and wagons. This is the all-new, 2018 Impreza. After a truncated run of 2017 models, this
next generation Impreza is really hitting its stride. It’s the only Subaru “car” to see sales
gains this year, up over 40%.  For the first time, production has moved from
Japan to the United States, riding upon a new platform designed to deliver significantly
higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection and ride comfort.  The size hasn’t grown that much though there’s
enough additional passenger volume to garner a midsize classification, maturing from its
compact dimensions.  And it feels that way, too; whether from behind
the wheel or from behind the front seats, there’s ample room in here.  It sits lower, improving aesthetics, aerodynamics
and handling.  Though with 5.1” of ground clearance, this
is one Subaru you’re going to want to keep primarily on-road.  It still comes in sedan and hatchback bodystyles
and motors with familiar powertrains.  This here is the new Impreza Sport, with 18”
wheels, a sport-tuned independent suspension with Active Torque Vectoring, LED daytime
running lights, black grille, body-color rocker panels and rear spoiler.  Upgrades over the Premium trim include the
8” touchscreen multimedia system, keyless access with push button start, aluminum pedals
and leather wrapped driver controls.  The look is stellar, particularly so in this
Lithium Red Pearl paint, and I don’t think I’ve ever said that before about any Subaru.  Never a Subaru strong suit, interior design
also speaks to higher quality and greater visual appeal.  Touchpoints feel more premium, doors shut
with a reassuring thud and overall it seems quieter.  The manually adjusted driver’s seat is firm
but comfortable and the low cowl provides a wide field of vision. Now, if you REALLY want a sporty Impreza you
buy a WRX, so it’s important to understand the Impreza Sport’s positioning. It’s powered by a 152 horsepower 4-cylinder
engine paired here to the optional continuously variable transmission.  You’ve likely heard bad things about the
CVT but Subaru has gone to great lengths to assuage the criticisms.  This one is interesting in that it has a manual
mode function that authentically mimics 7 shift points to provide the feeling of a traditional
automatic.  And if you’re looking to extract any fun
from this car paddle shifting is a must.  With the gear shifter kicked to the left,
gear changes occur rapidly enough to feel more like a dual clutch transmission.  Leave the CVT to its own devices and it’s
as smooth and quiet as any such gearbox on the market, but with tepid acceleration and
a dead spot around 2,000 RPM where your foot is saying go but the engine’s saying no.  90% of buyers will likely find the drive acceptable
but the rest will want something with more zip.  Stellar fuel economy is virtually unchanged
at 27mpg city/36mpg highway. Driven normally, the Impreza’s balance of
ride and handling is impressive. The steering is quick and precise, the car
dutifully goes where you point it and the suspension soaks up a rough road.  Push it harder though and there’s a good
deal of understeer – that’s the effect you get when the front end plows through a
curve. The torque vectoring helps tuck the car into
a tight turn, but hampered by the lack of oomph, the Sport’s happier with mild exercise. Concerning the Starlink system, this is an
easy to use interface with some very clever apps, such as the a propos eBird app, designed
for birdwatchers, advising them of local sightings and locations. There’s no embedded navigation but the Magellan
Navi app is free for 3 years or you can just use your phone’s mapping software through
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  2 USB ports are included.  There’s lots of good stuff in here and it’s
worth noting how great the audio system sounds, with volume, clarity and deep bass and that’s
without either of the 2 available upgrades. Other relevant information can be displayed
up here, controlled via a steering wheel switch. Without the EyeSight system, this car lacks
the important side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert and the like.  MSRP is $23,755.  All-wheel drive entries in the compact segment
are rare so that alone gives the Impreza a leg up and even though it can’t match the
Civic’s excitement it’s a solid effort worthy of consideration.

98 Replies to “2018 Subaru Impreza Sport | Better than Civic?| Complete Review | TestDriveNow”

  1. Not gonna even compete with the Civic until they get a potent engine in there.
    They have a good platform, but now they need to build upon it.

  2. Good review Steve! I prefer Honda's to Subaru's sedans, excluding the WRX STI. Subaru's have always felt a bit tinny, but you know all the development cost was put into the drivetrain. Honda's just feel slightly more solid, but feel well rounded.

  3. Gotta give Subie kudos for making the Impreza sporty looking. To me it looks great. Also like the A, B, and C pillars and headliner are all black. To me all black interiors should be like that. Just classier. The boxer 4 is super weak on power. The Cross Trek I drove is just weak on acceleration.

    My problem is by the time you price one out you are very close to a base WRX. Sure it's the old model but the turbo makes it worth it.

    Glad Subie has made this sporty. But the Civic and Corolla will outsell it well.

    Plus the Civic Si is at $24775.

  4. Steve — production technically is in Lafayette, IN. Question is… will the Crosstrek (which outsells its platform mate Impreza multiple times over) come along?

  5. I'll be shopping for a new car in a few months, and i was really looked forward to Subaru. The Crosstrek and Impreza were the perfect size for me, but they come with such weak engines and dont offer any optional upgraded engines. Its such a shame.

  6. Earlier this year shopped for a compact for my mother. This was our #2 pic because of the AWD and Apple CarPlay. Ended up going with a Cruze hatch instead because of a little more zipiness and Apple CarPlay for a better lease deal.

  7. No mention of the new platform that is used and how safe it is especially with eyesight. With direction injection the engine is perfect for it's application. I drove the Civic and thought this car was quieter and rode better.

  8. Most will compare the all new Impreza with the current gen Honda Civic sedan. I know the Impreza does not have a whole lot of power. Its actually meant to be a well balanced and practical sporty sedan for a compact AWD with good mpg. Its power is adequate with just enough pep to help get around busy traffic. From where I live….you can't always go as fast every time. If you want a Subaru and want more power then you go with the WRX or Sti. Many will choose the Honda Civic over the New Impreza but realize & see on how many out there with the same car as you. The majority you will see are Civics and Corollas. The Impreza can be reliable too and stand out from its competitors.

  9. Test drove 2017 Impreza Sport 5dr Canadian model with CVT. Was pretty imprezed. Great handling and CVT is one of the better ones I've tried. Do like the new Crosstrek but worried extra weight and worse aerodynamics will impact that fun-to-drive aspect I felt on the Impreza. It's a competent city and highway car that had the ability to drive through some snow and on gravel roads – what 90% of people in Canada and Northern US do.

  10. I actually own that car, color model everything 2017 model. It seems slow till 2000 rpm but it was designed for throttle response above 3000. It just kills on ramps I don't know it does a hundred plus without sweat it just seems genuinely fast. Maybe its an after break in thing but I haul ass "just saying". Also after 4500rpm it feels amazing and at home you are just not performance driving in this video?

  11. I got my 2017 Impreza sport with all the upgraded features except for the eyesight and it’s black with my 25% tints. I love it. The video doesn’t do the car any justice. It looks “ok” here but when you see it in person, man it is nice as hell lol. I get a couple looks here and there. Maybe because I’m a woman… jk lol. I’ve owned a civic previously, 2013 sedan and a 2015 coupe, I must say this car is SO MUCH BETTER. My bf owns a 2017 civic and even he likes my car more. I have no problem with the power boost. Oh and I’ve only seen someone with the same car once.

  12. Yes, definitely better than Civic. Civic sucks. It's not fun to drive and it's terrible for not having AWD as standard.

  13. Why does this thing look like a corolla so much

    I would get this if I lived in a place where it snowed a lot and I needed something good on gas. Other than that it’s not that good

  14. I live in an area where the roads are slippery because it rains a lot. When temperatures at night hover around 32 degrees or less – the morning commute can bring fender bender encounters. The AWD Impreza sedan is for the type of buyer who wants to drive something that looks reasonably classy and to go places without experiencing too much drama. If I lived elsewhere – I would get a Civic.

  15. You know why I'm going to buy a Impreza over a Corolla: LOWER COWL, and a much nicer looking dash; that's why.
    The cowl in the Corolla is 2 inches higher than in the Impreza, compared to where the driver's head is located at the seat's highest position. So for short people the Impreza is SO MUCH SAFER TO DRIVE as you can see the road in the Impreza, but you cannot in the Corolla if you are short.

  16. Maybe because it has AWD but all models of the Impreza are under power from the over price premium to the base I have to say Subaru did good a job making it a sportier car but Honda wins this round maybe if Subaru offer a performance packing for the Impreza like a mini Wrx Spoiler ,exhaust,cold air intake just maybe it'll be Impreza worthy

  17. considering its "torque vectoring" is brake based just like the one in WRX, it would only worsen understeer. i'd rather it didn't have this feature on cars of this caliber .

  18. Looks are nice, the platform better & interior massive improvement. The powertrain however is still lethargic, something that prevents it in my eyes from challenging the Civic or Mazda 3. I almost wished there was a ~180hp 1.6L turbo (Subaru has the FB16 turbo motor in other markets) that straddles the line between the 268hp WRX to the common 152hp base car.

  19. I would rather buy the Impreza Sport than the latest Civic or Corolla abominations. The Impreza styling is somewhat dated looking – which is actually part of its charm. Reminds me of the Accord before it got fat/ugly, or even the Prelude. Hate the 18" wheels though, and the ultra-low-profile tires – not practical at all, and not even attractive. Should have stuck with 17" wheels & 45-50 series profile tires at least.

  20. More in reference to the comments: if you just looked at peak hp and decided it's bad, you really don't get cars. Peak hp is part of a larger spectrum of qualities that determines performance. Go drive one. You'll feel the CVT rubber band a little, but it's enough power for traffic and highway use. You'll still be able to pass people. But if you set your cruise to eco mode and set it to 60 mph, you'll make 40+mpg on those long single lane country highways that are never exciting. The fun is when you find yourself taking a 25mph on ramp at 45 mph with little to no braking because it's balanced like a Subaru.

  21. the CVT feels great, nothing like a lot of people say. Mine is heavy so therefore not fast but for what it is designed, it rocks. In australia all Impreza range comes with Eye sight. The emergency braking doesn't work.

  22. Just bought a 2018 Impreza Sport with the manual transmission to add to my personal fleet.  I'm quite happy with mine.  AWD, comfortable, great seats, good stereo, SUNROOF, slick manual (altho "only" a 5 spd).  Power is not terribly impressible, but gas mileage is…and that's what I wanted in an economy touring car.  If I want fun, I drive my Wrangler, new Miata or BMW Sportbike. Most of the time, I just take the Roo for errands and trips.

  23. Traded in my 2017 Honda Civic EX hatchback, for a 2018 Subaru Impreza Sport hatchback. Another winter storm coming, I’m sure glad I did! Great job Subaru and your symmetrical AWD. 👍🏻

  24. The subaru imprezza 2018 brochure says that sport model is not equipped with fog lamps. If so, what are the lamps i saw in the video? Also, is it possible to get the "blind spot detector + rear traffic alert" without the $$$ "kerman audio, power moonroof + eyesight"?

  25. This brand seems to have remarkable abilities with the boxer engine + AWD. Advanced Japanese engineering sometimes has its advantages. 👍

  26. I just got the 2018 sport hatch with the 5 speed. It’s well worth the added cargo capabilities and the manual gives you a good driving sensation. This car isn’t about power. But rather appearance, safety, AWD and a good driving experience. If you’re gonna complain about power just spend the extra 3-5k for a wrx but keep in mind those base models lack some of the features of the sport and insurance rates will go up

  27. New Suburu's are a joke. I bought the Impreza after owning three Toyotas. This car has more glitches than all of my Toyotas combined. My key is continually stuck in the ignition, (something the dealership can't fix after spending three days trying) I have to practically  break the shifter to get the key out. There are rattles galore and the CVT will drive you up a wall with its whine! It is under powered and the entertainment system just doesn't work properly at all. I turns off and on randomly and just frustrates the heck out of me.

  28. I am so sick of new cars with big touch screens and apps. Just give me a dockable easy to connect screen for my mobile phone. I prefer easy to reach knobs instead of touch screens. You really should not be playing with touch screens while driving.

  29. Honda civic has 1.5-liter Turbo Engine @174hp with 162 lb-ft Torque and Subaru Impreza has 2.0 L 4 cylinder engine @152hp with 145 lb-ft Torque and CIVIC looks sportier and stylish than Impreza. So IMPREZA can't beat CIVIC at all.

  30. Just leased one last week. Big mistake, Soft ride, bad steering. Ugly design. I should have sticked with volkwagen. Lousy entertainement system. I am super unhappy with it. Tought that the last generation were funnier to drive

  31. 27/35 mpg for the automatic cvt, but 22/30 for the manual trans. For those of us who like manual trans that sux. You get a slow car with bad gas mileage (usually smaller engine/HP cars have the upside of having good gas mileage). And a 5 speed is archaic these days. I was looking into this car, but gas prices are going up. Can't consider it. Has AWD which is good in the snow, but that's only an issue a few times a year.

  32. 150hp is not enough, even on the base Impreza.
    I drove a 2017 Impreza for a week as a loaner and the power is inadequate for anything other than stop light to stop light city driving.
    Getting on the highway you have to floor the thing to get up to speed before the end of the on ramps and you should be prepared to camp the right lane because you can forget about passing anything.

    If they can get the same engine to put out 200hp in the BRZ then they should be able to at least give the Impreza 170-180hp.

  33. Both Subaru, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi are all GREAT CARS! They're all GREAT! HOWEVER! there's no options AVAILABLE to choose they're all works the same! After all they're all Automatic, CVT transmission ANYWAY!!! and a Stupid, useless and expensive repair PUSH BUTTON START! Cars TODAY are NOT that so PRACTICAL that they used to be BACK IN THE DAY! THEY'RE ALL BUILT FOR TRADE-INS!!!!

  34. I like the subdued, retro-sporty look of the sedan in the Sport trim, but the 18" wheel design just looks goofy as hell, and those tires are no doubt impractical as hell for a daily-driver vehicle. Still, it looks better than the fugly Civic or Corolla, and the wheels/tires could be swapped out after purchase for something better from the aftermarket (17" wheels most likely).

  35. Maybe this is a factor of me starting to think like an old man (my 30th bday is this week lol), but I actually really like the more traditional look of the car. It seems like a bit more of a class act. Other JDM cars these days (looking at you, civic) look like Gundams on wheels. Way too gaudy in appearance, the kind of "cool" the goes out of style in 5 years. That is, of course, just my opinion, appearance is as subjective as it gets

  36. Dear Steve,
    Really enjoyed your review. Really the best and most complimentary in this segment of videos. Thanks for posting!
    Cheers,
    Sass

  37. Can we take a moment to appreciate two things about this car that may have gone unnoticed…
    1) A real NON-ELECTRIC hand brake
    2) An auto transmission selector that doesn't pretend to be a manual gear shift

    You want the eyesight system. Seriously. It is amazing.

  38. Thank goodness no I Pad look and monster grill. I would be interested and I agree it is a slug. So much that it’s a no go for me. It didn’t need turbo power just a tad more from getting run over on the freeway. I do like the design and simple interior. I tested the 19 and I was horrified with the dealer driving along with me . I thought there was a problem? Nope it just has no sporty to the sport. And I mean nothing. In terms of power it reminded me of the first generation Elantra. My goodness so bad. The dealer wanted me to try the STI? I said no I was interested in the Impreza, key word was. It does many things well, and many will be happy with it. I don’t see why they couldn’t throw in a couple of more ponies. The after market I don’t think has much to make up for its lacking power without making it obnoxious.

  39. Pretty sure the B9 Tribeca was a 3 row SUV and the Ascent was announced by the time this was filmed, also the XV Crosstrek was out as their crossover model… also the Forester came out in the 90’s. just pointing out that Subaru actually has had SUVs, and crossovers have been their bread and butter before they were en Vogue.

  40. If AWD is a top priority for you then YES the Impreza is better than the Civic. Otherwise NO, it's not. But I still nonetheless really like the new Impreza.

  41. Metal faced pedals are nothing but a gimmick in an automatic, in fact they could be hazardous and cause you feet to slip off the pedals.

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