2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0I-S AWD Review

2019 Subaru Impreza 2.0I-S AWD Road Test Review

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher front qtr

Subaru launched the fifth generation Impreza in December 2016 as the 95% new MY17 on the all new global platform. It heralded a significant change for Subaru as the multi-use platform underpins all new models now.

The Forester and the XV are now both on this platform.

The difference it makes it astounding with new levels of agility, crash protection, efficiency and driving experience.

We are testing the 2.0I-S AWD version here

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher front


The first thing you notice is that the Impreza sits low and squat for a hatchback. Unlike a lot of cars now that try to be different, Impreza exudes an elegant styling.

The Subaru family look combines a classic hexagonal grille and hawk eye headlights and lower black surround foglights to highlight the wide and low stance.

The LED head lights in Impreza 2.0i-S include advanced functions such as Steering Responsive Head lights (SRH) and LED daytime running lights (DRL).

One interesting feature is the active shutter grille, located in the centre of the lower front bumper. It closes, depending upon driving conditions, reducing the amount of air flowing through the engine bay and under the cabin floor. This reduces air resistance and aids fuel efficiency.

The Impreza runs what is dubbed the “dynamic blade” along the length of the doors, producing a distinctive, curved and sculptured profile with a lowered roofline as well as an upward sloping waistline.

The hatch rear design incorporates a spoiler with brake light and a lower uptick to highlight the sporty nature.

The 2.0I-S AWD runs 18 inch unique alloys with 225/40R18 92W tyres and a space saver spare.

Overall I really like the look and style.

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher interior front


Quality ambience is an apt description for the Impreza interior. Both the visual and tactile quality is impressive.

Front leather seats are heated and the driver’s seat has an 8 way electronic adjustment. Both are very comfortable.

With a nicely sized steering wheel that is both height and reach adjustable, there are a multitude of controls within fingertip reach. It also frames the three sectional instrument binnacle that has two outer white in black dials and a mid-configurable MFD for driving and entertainment information.

The centre section features a reasonable sized console bin, obligatory cup holders, switches for the heated seats and a forward storage tray with USB and 12V inputs.

Heading up the centre stack you have simple and effective A/C controls, with an 8 inch LCD touchscreen that displays the camera images, infotainment, Sat Nav and Apple/Android connectivity. The clarity of the screen is excellent as is the tactile nature. Above that is another 6.5 inch display screen for the AWD and Eyesight displays.

Overall Driver ergonomics are excellent.

Decorative inserts and panels from dashboard to door trims, gauges, air vents, steering wheel and gear shifter, highlight the refined interior theme. Everywhere you lay an elbow there are soft touch points.

Rear seats are definitely sculptured for two rather than three occupants. Access is relatively easy and head, shoulder and foot room is good for this class of vehicle. If the driver has their seat all the way back a taller passenger may feel restricted in knee room, but it is vastly improved from the previous model.

The seats fold flat in a 60/40 split and also have a comfortable recline function. Boot space is large at 345 – 795litres and with the hatch opening high and a low load sill, putting luggage etc. in is easy. There is also a cargo area light, handy hooks and a security blind.

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher interior features


As the 2.0I-S AWD is the range topping model it is packed with features. In addition to what has been mentioned, these include: sunroof, heated external mirrors, dual zone fully automatic air conditioning, electric folding mirrors with integrated indicators, electronic sunroof, factory fitted SatNav powered by TomTom, automatic head lights and front wipers,

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher engine


Impreza runs a 2.0 L boxer engine that produces power of 115kW @ 6000 rpm and torque of 196Nm @ 4000 rpm. This drives through a Lineartronic™ CVT and the brilliant symmetrical all-wheel drive system with active torque vectoring.  Fuel use is an ADR figure of 7.2L/100K and CO2 is 162g.km

Driving the Impreza, it feels like a premium vehicle. The doors close with an audible thunk, it feels solid and taught. Inside its quiet, thanks to many little improvements and the new platform. There is little road nor wind noise.

The ride and handling are class leading, matched by the Mazda3. It’s actually hard to describe but it feels connected to the road, planted, while absorbing road irregularities. The platform is very responsive to driver inputs and you definitely feel in control of the car.

I would prefer more power as under hard acceleration the 115kW seems to struggle but when driving it is responsive and economical. The AWD system is brilliant for road use.

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher interior safety


Impreza has a five star ANCAP safety rating as do all Subarus. Safety features include:

  • Symmetrical AWD system
  • SRS – airbags – dual front, dual front side, dual curtain and driver’s knee
  • Tyre pressure warning light
  • EyeSight® driver assist
    • Adaptive Cruise Control
    • Brake Light Recognition
    • Lane Departure Warning
    • Lane Keep Assist
    • Lane Sway Warning
    • Lead Vehicle Start Alert
    • Pre-Collision Brake Assist
    • Pre-Collision Braking System
    • Pre-Collision Throttle Management
  • ISOFIX anchor points (x2)
  • Active Torque Vectoring
  • Steering responsive LED head lights with integrated DRLs
  • Vision Assist features:
    • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
    • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
    • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and
    • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control system (VDC) featuring:
    • Active Torque Vectoring System
    • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
    • Brake Assist
    • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and
    • Traction Control System (TCS)



  • Subtle style and sophistication
  • Safety features (on top spec)
  • Dynamic and compliant ride and handling


  • Would love a turbo version
  • Some fiddly menu controls
  • USB and 12V access is tight for larger hands


It has been a long while since I have driven the Impreza and I have to say, overall, I am really impressed.

It has class leading ride and handling along with the inherent safety of full time AWD that puts it ahead of its competitors.

Combine this with stunning build quality and a 5 year warranty and you have a package that stands out in the segment.

2019 Subaru Impreza Perisher rear qtr

Also Look at

Facts and Figures: Subaru Impreza 2.0I-S AWD

  • Engine: 2.0L 4Cyl Boxer petrol producing 115kW/196Nm
  • Transmission: AWD, CVT
  • Warranty: 5 Yr/ Unlimited km with 1 Yr roadside assist
  • Safety: ANCAP 5 Star
  • Origin: Japan
  • Price: from $29,960 MLP*

*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.

Subaru Impreza 2.0I-S AWD


It has been a long while since I have driven the Impreza and I have to say, overall, I am really impressed.

It has class leading ride and handling along with the inherent safety of full time AWD that puts it ahead of its competitors.

Combine this with stunning build quality and a 5 year warranty and you have a package that stands out in the segment.

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