The Impreza shot to the top of our small car rankings after its 2012 redesign, thanks to nimble handling, a roomy interior, improved fuel economy, and a comfortable ride that rivals some luxury sedans.
All-wheel-drive, standard on all Imprezas, usually takes a toll on gas mileage, but we measured an impressive 27 mpg overall with the continuously-variable transmission (CVT.) Adults fit comfortably in the back seat, and the ride soaks up bumps with ease.
Cabin noise remains an annoyance; updates for 2016 slightly improved that.
Those updates also included a new touchscreen infotainment system, replacing previous antiquated offerings.
Driver visibility and crash test results are top-notch.
A rear camera became standard in 2015.
Look for an Impreza with the optional EyeSight system, which includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking.
The Impreza Sport is a hatchback version; the Crosstrek is a renamed Impreza Sport with more ground clearance and some rugged styling tweaks.
Performance buffs will gravitate towards the turbocharged WRX, but we found the notchy shifter, finicky clutch, and hair-trigger engine response makes it annoying to drive.