1 2
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/6/23 12:04 p.m.
feature_image

Wanna ride shotgun with the GRM crew?

Welcome to this week’s test vehicle, a 2024 Subaru Impreza RS.

Before the WRX, before the STI, Subaru gave us the Impreza 2.5 RS, one of the brand’s first performance-tuned offerings for the American market. Fast forward to today, and Subaru has reintroduced the badge with its new-for-2024 Impreza RS.

Like the …

Read the rest of the story

MrStickShift
MrStickShift Reader
10/6/23 12:09 p.m.

It's great that Subaru brought back the 2.5 RS. It's a shame you can't get it with 3 pedals! I like that it only comes in a hatchback though!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/6/23 1:07 p.m.

Very initial impressions: It’s the right size, the right shape, the right package. This is what most people need: a wagon. 

I’m bummed about the lack of a stick shift as well but really like the basic setup. Plus it looks good.

The car just arrived so more to come after the weekend.

Look for it at Subiefest tomorrow, too. :) 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/6/23 1:10 p.m.

And that RS badge brings back memories. I remember when we first drove the original 2.5RS as a press car. It introduced us to that now-classic Subaru feel: kinda chunky handling along with more torque than a Civic. It really presented, at least to me, a viable Honda alternative. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/6/23 1:13 p.m.

So, a little GRM history.

Here’s a photo that I took of the Impreza RS yesterday evening. 

And here’s a shot I took of our old Impreza rallycross car 10 years ago.

 

Same dirt road. :) 

PT_SHO
PT_SHO New Reader
10/6/23 1:24 p.m.

The old RS is a not-uncommon shell that folks put more powerful turbo motors into, to take advantage of the much lighter weight of the older chassis.  Per Edmunds, this 2024 will weigh 3275 or about 40-50 lbs less than my 06 STI emptied out for autocross.  FWIW the modern chassis are said to be much stiffer inherently with all of the steel added for crash resistance.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
10/6/23 2:36 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

And that RS badge brings back memories. I remember when we first drove the original 2.5RS as a press car. It introduced us to that now-classic Subaru feel: kinda chunky handling along with more torque than a Civic. It really presented, at least to me, a viable Honda alternative. 

It was. A 99 Impreza RS was my first Subaru in a long line of Subies. I was cross shopping a Civic Si. Went with the RS because I wanted the AWD. Rocking a Hyundai N car now. Miss my Subarus.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/6/23 3:56 p.m.

In reply to Feedyurhed :

We shopped the 2.5RS as well but went with a Civic Si. I did eventually own our old Impreza rallycross car, though. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
10/6/23 4:05 p.m.

We had an 04 Imprezza RS which sadly got smushed by a truck............It was a great car.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/6/23 6:18 p.m.
PT_SHO said:

The old RS is a not-uncommon shell that folks put more powerful turbo motors into, to take advantage of the much lighter weight of the older chassis.  Per Edmunds, this 2024 will weigh 3275 or about 40-50 lbs less than my 06 STI emptied out for autocross.  FWIW the modern chassis are said to be much stiffer inherently with all of the steel added for crash resistance.

The 06 was also significantly heavier than the outgoing GC chassis.  There was something like eight layers of high strength steel in the A to C pillar hoops, which gave first responders fits because you couldn't cut through them with a saw blade to peel the roof off.  There were also a lot of places with double skinning, or places where threaded inserts were actually mounted in double shear...

I thought the STIs were closer t 3000lb though, which is still 300-400lb heavier than a GC despite having the same wheelbase and basically the same width (sedans had longer control arms for more width, wagons were the same as GC)

Still want a 2.5RS, unfortunately so does everyone else. A JDM WRX can be had for the same money but I like the punch of the nonturbo 2.5.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/9/23 11:39 a.m.

Put some miles on the Impreza RS this weekend, and I like it. Hear me out: It’s like a lowered, sportier take on the Crosstrek.

It’s a good size–roomy on the inside yet easy to park. It reminds me of an EG Civic hatch in that regard. 

Plenty comfortable. Totally love the seats: just the right amount of bolster and plenty of lower cushion. 

The door caps are padded–something that, sadly, isn’t always found. The Impreza RS makes for an easy cross-country car–relaxing and comfortable to drive. 

Like the Crosstrek, the interior reminds me of an older Toyota, and that’s a very good thing. Basically, take everything that I said about the Crosstrek’s interior and put it here. 

Easy to get in and out of, too.

I took it to Subiefest, too, where I heard a few comments as I rolled it. Yep, it’s an RS. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/9/23 11:42 a.m.

So, the transmission. Yeah, I’d rather have a stick or at least a twin-clutch or a modern auto. Other than the F440/F500 crowd, how many of us dream about a CVT? It’s better than past ones but still has that disconnect.

If this had a stick, I could see it competing with the latest Civic Si for my favorite modern four-/five-door offering. It’s just the right size and shape for me. Plus, I dig the clean looks. 

EricM
EricM SuperDork
10/9/23 2:45 p.m.

When did subaru start making the ford focus?

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/9/23 3:27 p.m.

That cornflower blue color went from being fairly unique in 2019 to *all over the place* now.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
10/9/23 3:38 p.m.

Love that blue.

Hey David,  how was Subiefest overall? Always wanted to go but they typically require a fair amount of travel for me to get there. Was it worth it?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/9/23 5:07 p.m.

In reply to Feedyurhed :

Subiefest was fun with a little something for everyone: autocross and show cars, rally and vintage JDM. Always cool to see a 22B in person. 

Even though it took place at Daytona International Speedway, everything was outside the oval. I’m going to call the layout rather dense with little unused space. 

You can see some of our photos here: Subiefest: Watching Travis Pastrana destroy many sets of Yokohamas.

myusdmcavalier
myusdmcavalier New Reader
10/10/23 8:30 a.m.

How do these new imprezas handle? 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/10/23 9:11 a.m.
myusdmcavalier said:

How do these new imprezas handle? 

Typical Subaru: a bit of a push. 

It has that familiar Subaru feel–let’s be honest, a little clunky–yet lacks the urgency of the old STi. 

CrashDummy
CrashDummy Reader
10/10/23 11:17 a.m.

Why can't we get the WRX in this body style? 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/10/23 3:27 p.m.

I had an RS too.  I miss it too.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/10/23 5:13 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Cool and, yeah, I was happy to see that nameplate return. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/10/23 6:12 p.m.
EricM said:

When did subaru start making the ford focus?

When they stopped making Camrys and Corollas.

 

Oh, and for a couple years they made SEATs.

 

None of it is bad, just amusing smiley

 

Automotive design follows trends.  When they are different for the sake of different, we get late model BMWs and Toyotas that are just plain gross.

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
10/11/23 3:31 p.m.

I test drove one a few weekends ago, and mostly concur with the impressions David noted above.  The one I drove, though, had a couple of "not so good" attributes:

1)  The front end wandered all over the place, whether on interstate road sections at ~ 70+ MPH, or on faster sections of city streets (~ 35 MPH).  No vibration in the seat of the pants or in the steering wheel at all, just wandering.  Bad tire(s)?  Bad wheel alignment?  Not sure, but it sure was not tracking well at all.  Told the salesguy about this, and (not surprisingly) he looked at me like I had three heads.

2)  The driver's side door mirror glass vibrated like crazy at interstate speed, yet the passenger side door mirror was crystal clear.  The mirror / its glass didn't feel loose in any way, but the image in it was indiscernible at 70 MPH.  Related to item 1 above?  Probably not as there was no other vibrations noted while driving.  

The GTI that I tested right after the Impreza - on the same route - was perfectly behaved in comparison, so I'm confident is wasn't the road surfaces.

All in all, pretty nice car.  Not a fan of the CVT, but I could live with it especially in light of multiple back surgeries making long-term driving of a manual transmission car a crap shoot at best.  Although if a MT is not what I eventually buy, I'd rather have a more conventional ~ 6 speed automatic.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/11/23 4:19 p.m.

No floatiness observed here. Maybe an alignment issue? Tire pressure? 

Something else to mention: Ingress and egress is super easy. Need a car that’s easy to get in and out of? This chassis could be it. The door openings just seem huge in all directions–like, almost comically big. 

A crisper transmission would so seal the deal for me here. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito UltimaDork
10/11/23 5:09 p.m.

I've read (I think on here actually) that these are a bit lethargic between the N/A engine and that fun-sapping CVT. What did you think David?

That said, I wish Subaru would just cut the crap and drop the WRX engine in these and the Crosstrek. My old 2002 WRX wagon was the perfect mix of fun and utility. When I was still gigging with my old band, I could load my entire drum kit in that thing along with my bass player's bass rig and the bass player, and we would always be 1st to the gig. The last WRX body style to offer the hatch/wagon, the 08-14, appeared to sell the hatch 3 to 1 over the sedans, at least here in the Northeast. I had one for a while, and while it had lots of problems, utility was not one of them. They would definitely sell. And that engine in the Crosstrek would be a hoot! 

Another thing: I haven't sampled the newest Impreza/WRX/RS, but the last WRX I drove (a 2018 model) had one very annoying feature: the door sills were mega wide, and every time I got in and out, I felt like I had to jump over a moat of plastic to avoid taking the ground effects and door sill plastic with me. Did that improve at all? 

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
EjFPLjZbh35Q4U0gYBhfMMbDwTWfqrsyQR57NrLUVoCZJhlVWGgcneJDTbz4fKph