PASO ROBLES, Calif. — The march to crossovers and SUVs continues as the U.S. light-vehicle market recovers from a chip shortage. But some consumers are still choosing to stay behind the wheel of a sedan or hatchback.
And as Detroit and some Japanese automakers abandon key car segments, other automakers see an opportunity. Notably, with light trucks driving much of the spike in new-vehicle sticker prices, some automakers are doubling down on cars as a value proposition.
Subaru has redesigned the Impreza compact for 2024 and addressed some of the car's biggest weaknesses, from road noise to better connectivity to more supportive seats. While the Impreza may never challenge the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla for the compact car segment's sales crown, it does serve as an important gateway to the Subaru brand.
Subaru, citing forecasts by market analysts, says 1.3 million households remain interested and committed to compact cars, with sales forecast to rise slightly through 2025.
"Impreza owners specifically do not want an SUV, and Subaru customers are always about value for money," Garrick Goh, planning manager for the Impreza, said here during a media preview for the car. "But they still want a vehicle that handles poor road conditions and feels safe."
The Impreza sedan has been dropped, and a sporty RS model has been revived for the first time since 2007 — a nod to younger buyers. Subaru expects the RS variant to account for 25 percent of Impreza volume in the U.S.