Ace of Base: 2020 Subaru Impreza Sedan

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of base 2020 subaru impreza sedan

There was a time when no one out-weirded Subaru. Gonzo digital gauges, windows within windows, and a general Birkenstock image cemented them as the choice of the grains-n-granola crowd. These days, the cars still march to a different beat but appeal to a much wider audience. The company’s winning sales streak stands as proof.

For 2020, the Pleiades brand has tweaked its Impreza sedan ever so slightly … but that’s not why it stands as today’s pick. It is, so far as our research shows, the cheapest way to buy a brand-new all-wheel drive car in America.

Starting at $18,695, the 2020 Impreza is just $100 dearer than last year’s car. Eagle-eyed spotters of the Exploding Galaxy will be able to identify a 2020 base Impreza (and, yes, that is indeed its trim level — Base) thanks to an updated front bumper cover and grille design. The car comes standard with the brand’s well-known symmetrical all-wheel drive hooked to a 2.0-liter boxer four that produces 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard equipment.

All-wheel drive and a clutch is a rare combo these days.

It is worth mentioning that the $1,300 stipend for an automatic transmission does bring Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver assistance tools. Including adaptive cruise, lane keeping, pre-crash braking, and lane departure warnings, it is a big list of nannies that will likely be of benefit to new or nervous drivers. Presumably, and perhaps understandably, the company either can’t get the tech to play seamlessly with a stickshift or there isn’t enough margin to offer it in that configuration. Either way, it’s worth a paragraph of notation.

The compact sedan does well for itself in terms of standard features, including a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a unit whose screen size will impress no one but is endowed with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Power windows with auto up/down on both driver and passenger sides in on board, along with the expected power door locks and side mirrors. A tilting/telescoping steering column and keyless entry join the new-for-2020 safety feature which pop the power locks in a wreck. Yes, cruise and A/C are standard.

Base cars will advertise your penny-pinching nature, as they have been fitted with steel wheels and are absent of fog lamps. It is also the sole Impreza trim with black side mirrors. At least the door handles are body colored. Speaking of, Subaru permits Ace of Base shoppers to choose from a wide palette free of charge, including the new-for-2020 Ocean Blue shown here.

[Images: Subaru]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.

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2 of 39 comments
  • Hunter Ah California. They've been praying for water for years, and now that it's here they don't know what to do with it.
  • FreedMike I think this illustrates a bit of Truth About PHEVs: it's hard to see where they "fit." On paper, they make sense because they're the "best of both worlds." Yes, if you commute 20-30 miles a day, you can generally make it on electric power only, and yes, if you're on a 500-mile road trip, you don't have to worry about range. But what percentage of buyers has a 20-mile commute, or takes 500-mile road trips? Meanwhile, PHEVs are more expensive than hybrids, and generally don't offer the performance of a BEV (though the RAV4 PHEV is a first class sleeper). Seems this propulsion type "works" for a fairly narrow slice of buyers, which explains why PHEV sales haven't been all that great. Speaking for my own situation only, assuming I had a place to plug in every night, and wanted something that ran on as little gas as possible, I'd just "go electric" - I'm a speed nut, and when it comes to going fast, EVs are awfully hard to beat. If I was into hypermiling, I'd just go with a hybrid. Of course, your situation might vary, and if a PHEV fits it, then by all means, buy one. But the market failure of PHEVs tells me they don't really fit a lot of buyers' situations. Perhaps that will change as charging infrastructure gets built out, but I just don't see a lot of growth in PHEVs.
  • Kwik_Shift Thank you for this. I always wanted get involved with racing, but nothing happening locally.
  • Arthur Dailey Love the Abe Rothstein tribute suits. Too bad about the car. Seems to have been well loved for most of its life.
  • K. R. Worth noting that the climate control is shared with (donated to) the Audi 5000 of the mid-late 1980s.