2024 Impreza RS brings AWD Fun and Safety to On-Road Enthusiasts
The Impreza gets a redesign for its 30 birthday, and as an additional present, the return of the RS model as the top of the model line. The RS is equipped with the 2.5-liter engine the Crosstrek and features several visual cues pointing to it being the most sporty model in the lineup. The 2024 Impreza will soon be arriving at the Ewing Subaru of Plano showroom.
Overshadowed by its Offspring
Based on the Impreza platform, body, and interior, the Subaru Crosstrek has risen to become the brand’s best-selling model. As a testament to how much Americans like their crossovers, the Crosstrek’s 2022 sales of 155,142 was over 5 times that of the Impreza. Still, there remains a market of those who not only want to stay on the road but appreciate all-wheel drive help to keep them there. There may be a couple of competing compact models available with all-wheel drive, but nobody knows AWD as Subaru does, and no one else builds a compact car platform around its AWD drivetrain.
Drivetrain and Chassis Changes Add to the Fun
With just 25% of Impreza sales going to sedans last year, Subaru simplified things with all 2024 Impreza being hatchbacks, and this applies to the RS model. As mentioned, all RS models will be powered by a 2.5-liter boxer 4-cylinder engine, which produces 182 hp and 178 lb.-ft. of torque. The RS engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters that will manually step up and down the transmission through eight pre-set ratios.
Often either the home or destination for Subaru owners, the paddle shifters are most useful when running the RS up and down mountain roads. They allow the driver to keep the ratio low to enhance throttle response while climbing and provide engine braking when descending. On its own, the transmission’s highway cruising ratio keeps the engine at a relaxed 2000 rpm during 75 mph enabling the estimated 33 highway mpg, which leads to about 480-500 miles of range. On a road trip, you will want to stop for a break before the RS does.
The standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system has been enhanced with a revised multi-disc center coupling and standard Active Torque Vectoring. The changes result in faster response time, more agile handling, and better cornering ratios. When taking a curve quickly, the driver can actually feel the enhanced rotation of the vehicle as the system “vectors” torque to the outside rear wheel. The RS steering has a dual-pinion design derived from the WRX to deliver a more direct and natural steering feel with greater responsiveness. It all adds up to a vehicle that is not only capable on challenging roads but encourages you to have fun on them.
Familiar but Improved Exterior and Interior
All Imprezas are recipients of a larger grille and sleek swept-back LED headlights. A close look at the profile reveals smoother contours along the front and rear fenders. Surfacing is smoother in the rear as well. Exclusives to the RS include a black front grille and trim, upgraded LED headlights, LED fog lights, and dark gray 18-inch wheels. Lurking beneath the surface for all Imprezas is greater use of high-strength steel, improving both crash test protection and body rigidity for more precise ride and handling tuning.
The RS dash has been arranged around the SUBARU STARLINK® 11.6-inch Multimedia Plus system. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto accompany the large screen so your phone can integrate with the RS while it remains in a pocket or purse. More evidence that Subaru knows its owners, they made sure the cup holders could hold Hydro Flask or Nalgene water bottles. Available features on the RS include a 10-way power front driver seat with lumbar support, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon® audio system, and a power moonroof.
Standard on the RS and all other 2024 Imprezas, an improved EyeSight® Driver Assist system operates smoother, faster, and in a greater range of conditions. Specific improvements include a camera with a wider field of view, updated control software, and the addition of an electric brake booster. The improvements enable the system to more quickly identify bicycles and pedestrians at intersections and apply the brakes to help avoid a collision if necessary.
The RS is perfect for those who do their off-roading by foot or pedal but want to have some fun on their way to the trailhead and plenty of confidence if the weather throws some surprises on the way back. The first 2024 RS models may well be in the Subaru of Plano inventory by the time you read this, so consider stopping by for a closer look.