Want a Cheap New Car? Buy This Subaru!

Buying a new car nowadays can be quite a challenge for the average shopper. The inventory is limited or nonexistent for most popular makes and models, and dealerships are not making it any easier on Americans in need of some wheels. But if you are willing to lower your expectations a bit, then there's a particular Subaru waiting to fill that empty garage or driveway space.
2023 Subaru Impreza 12 photos
Photo: Subaru / autoevolution edit
2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan2023 Subaru Impreza SedanRivian Underpinnings
If we think alike, then you are at least a bit saddened by the current state of the car market. On the one hand, automakers are constantly pushing forward their most well-equipped models and prioritizing customers willing to pay for them. That's because these units add more money to the profit margins, so they're being put first. Just look at what Rivian's doing. Those who locked in the pre-hike prices are seeing longer delivery times, while new customers can get their vehicles in a few weeks.

On the other, brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and even Kia rush to get us accustomed to all kinds of subscription-based services because they know that battery-electric vehicles aren't as profitable long-term as those powered by the ol' internal combustion engine. For example, the number of parts needed in a V8-powered car is significantly reduced in an all-electric one. Thus, there are only so many opportunities for traditional after-sale profits.

The simplified skateboard architecture forces auto brands to focus on battery and motor materials, semiconductors, sound deadening, aerodynamics, weight, and cabin entertainment. Plus, there's the retooling of the factories that must be factored in. It sounds simple, but all this requires a lot of effort and, as expected, a lot of money.

Rivian Underpinnings
Photo: Rivian
The abovementioned changes also mean we must get used to vehicles becoming more high-tech and built based on modern, somewhat uncommon principles. Instead of focusing on sheer driving joy, we are headed for an automotive world where in-cabin entertainment will matter much more than before.

We'll have to get used to it at some point

But some might argue that Tesla is to blame for this because it popularized the idea of paying for downloadable content that can change how the car feels in the hands of the driver. The American brand was also one of the first mainstream automakers to make the in-car PC-like gaming experience popular. After all, if you must spend thirty minutes Supercharging, the vehicle should be able to keep you off your phone or laptop.

But no matter what you suspect or firmly believe, constantly developing software and upgrading an operating system requires money. Companies are for-profit organizations, so they are obligated to find more ways to generate revenue. One way or another, car buyers will pay for all the automotive progress. So, why not avoid such a situation for the time being? You may ask us how, but we have already found the best solution – a cheap four-door car with great standard features and no disrepute. It's the 2023 Subaru Impreza!

Ok, you must lower your expectations a bit if you want to take full advantage of this sedan. But while you adjust, we must tell you this isn't the cheapest sedan currently available stateside. Nissan, Kia, and Mitsubishi have some offers of their own that might be of interest. For example, there's the 2023 Versa, the 2023 Rio, and the 2023 Mirage. But as cheap as their starting price may be, none come with Subaru's heritage and, better yet, its included features.

2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan
Photo: Subaru
The 2023 Impreza (that's the name used for the base version of the sedan) has the following stuff as standard:
  • a 2.0-liter gas-powered engine pumping out 152 hp;
  • keyless entry;
  • knee airbags;
  • eyeSight Driver Assist Technology;
  • a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto;
  • a backup camera;
  • power windows and folding side mirrors;
  • cruise control;
  • four-wheel independent suspension and disc brakes;
  • brake assist and override system;
  • the "symmetrical" all-wheel-drive system with Vehicle Dynamics Control.

For a car that has an MSRP of $19,795, this list is impressive in today's hectic market. Besides the abovementioned features, you also get a cloth interior, a temporary spare tire, and halogen lights that are dirt cheap to replace if the bulb goes out.

Just give it a thought

If you're not used to driving stick, then the $1,300 CVT transmission can take away all your shifting worries. But for the sake of having a cheap new car that can satisfy nearly anyone's commuting needs, we did not pick it.

2023 Subaru Impreza Sedan
Photo: Subaru
Our configuration revolved around a simple concept – keeping the car as cheap as possible. As such, we did not select any option whatsoever. The only thing we changed was the color, and that's included in the price. The only extra charge we got was the $1,020 destination and delivery fee. That's unavoidable, and it made our Subaru Impreza sedan cost $20,815 before tax.

Sadly, the issue is that this is the price the manufacturer is showing us. Dealers may or may not be willing to sell a budget-friendly Impreza right now. They might also try to convince customers to add stuff they might not need, which is only poised to raise the price further.

If you want an Impreza like the one we designed, then make sure to download the .PDF below and ask Subaru dealers about one. And stand your ground! At some point, someone will cave in and help you acquire the exact model you want, be it manual or automatic.

Finally, the 2023 Impreza sedan will most likely serve you well before an EV becomes more attractive, and the fast-charging stations increase their reliability.
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 Download: 2023 Subaru Impreza (PDF)

About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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