Cheap and economical cars are typically small and lack any real cargo carrying capacity. Essentially, these cars are meant for teenagers with just enough space for books, a few friends and room to carry whatever gear or items they are into. However, that doesn’t mean there are good options out there for people who don’t want to mortgage the farm to get an economical vehicle with cargo. For example, the 2015 Subaru Impreza Hatchback offers a great amount of cargo space for its smaller size along with a cheap price point.
The 2015 Subaru Impreza Hatchback is the five-door, hatchback offering from the quirky car maker. While many competitors have left this segment, Subaru has long been the automaker which bucks the trend. They still offer a full lineup of hatchbacks and wagons with all-wheel-drive throughout. The Impreza is a great example of bucking the trend. It starts at just $23,295, yet offers the comfort, convenience and interior space rivaling more expensive SUVs.
How much cargo space is there? The hatchback offers 22.5 cubic feet of space in the trunk. If you fold down the second-row seats, this cargo space opens to an impressive 52.4 cubic feet. This cargo space is pretty impressive when you compare it to compact SUVs like the new Honda HR-V SUV which offers just 6 cubic feet more, yet runs about the same price with 4 MPG less highway fuel economy.
During my week of driving it, I consistently tried to fit more and more into this cargo space to really see how much it would hold. For example, golf clubs, golf shoes, groceries, car seats, etc… were all put into the rear. Incredibly everything fit and then some. Plus, the wide opening doors made getting items in and out a breeze.
My test model from Subaru was even more cargo-equipped with the optional roof rails. These roof rails allow you to easily carry skis, snowboards or a Thule cargo carrier which further improves the cargo carrying capacity of the small car. Also, the roof height is low enough that most people won’t need a ladder to get things down like you would in other SUVs.
Other features I really liked about the Impreza were the 7.0” infotainment screen, adaptive cruise control, power moonroof and keyless access with push-button start. These additional features make the car more fun to drive and easier to use.
Driving the Impreza returns a pretty mixed bag. While the car comes with Subaru’s excellent all-wheel-drive system and the rest of the powertrain is just OK. The 2.0L 4-cylinder is mated to a continuously variable transmission providing only 148 HP and 145 lb-ft. of torque. While we wouldn’t call it “zippy” by any means, the powertrain delivers decent acceleration and braking is fairly responsive. The trade-off to zippy is in the good fuel economy of 27/36/31 city/highway/combined.
Whether on the highway or around town, the Impreza is responsive to steering inputs. Again, not sports car responsive, but good enough for this type of vehicle.
Lastly, road noise, driving vibrations and response to bumps is OK. It isn’t luxury car good, but it doesn’t feel harsh or make you think it is cheap. However, you will feel the road with this vehicle.
Model: 2015 Subaru Impreza Limited Hatchback
Engine: 2.0L Horizontally-Opposed 4-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
MPG: 27/36/31 City/Highway/Combined
- Power Moonroof
- Keyless Access with Push-Button Start
- Navigation Infotainment System
- Eye-Sight Driver-Assist System
Price: $26,885 with $795 Destination and Delivery Fee
- Cargo Capacity
- Fuel Economy
- Ride Comfort
- Steering response is just OK