Live thread: One week with a 2024 Subaru Impreza RS

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Oct 8, 2023 | Subaru, New Car Review, Live Thread, Impreza RS, Impreza 2.5 RS

Photography by David S. Wallens

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 original 1998 model, this one has a little more pep in its step. It comes standard with the 2.5-liter engine and gets 18-inch alloys along with sportier gear ratios in its CVT transmission. Subaru says that its steering setup comes from the WRX.


  

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Comments
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. 

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