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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think a lot of us wonder why the Impreza does not sell better. In particular the Nissan Sentra is roughly the same price, the same size engine (hp and torque), and similar rankings by consumer reports (77 Sentra and 81 for Impreza). Yet the Impreza has two significant features over the Sentra: all wheel drive and the option for a 5 door. Yet the Sentra outsells the Impreza by three to one.

Why is that?
  1. Toyota Camry
  2. Toyota Corolla
  3. Honda Accord
  4. Honda Civic
  5. Nissan Altima
  6. Nissan Sentra
  7. Chevrolet Malibu
  8. Kia Forte
  9. Hyundai Elantra
  10. Dodge Charger
  11. Kia Soul
  12. Ford Mustang
  13. Kia K5
  14. Dodge Challenger
  15. Volkswagen Jetta
  16. Lexus ES
  17. Mazda 3
  18. Chevrolet Corvette
  19. Subaru Impreza
 

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I think a lot of us wonder why the Impreza does not sell better. In particular the Nissan Sentra is roughly the same price, the same size engine (hp and torque), and similar rankings by consumer reports (77 Sentra and 81 for Impreza). Yet the Impreza has two significant features over the Sentra: all wheel drive and the option for a 5 door. Yet the Sentra outsells the Impreza by three to one.

Why is that?
  1. Toyota Camry
  2. Toyota Corolla
  3. Honda Accord
  4. Honda Civic
  5. Nissan Altima
  6. Nissan Sentra
  7. Chevrolet Malibu
  8. Kia Forte
  9. Hyundai Elantra
  10. Dodge Charger
  11. Kia Soul
  12. Ford Mustang
  13. Kia K5
  14. Dodge Challenger
  15. Volkswagen Jetta
  16. Lexus ES
  17. Mazda 3
  18. Chevrolet Corvette
  19. Subaru Impreza
Off the top of my head, it could be because Nissan typically sells a lot of cars to rental fleets to juice their sales numbers. Also, the Sentra started a new generation in 2020 while the Impreza started gen 5 in 2017.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
.. the Sentra started a new generation in 2020 while the Impreza started gen 5 in 2017.
It is true that Impreza sales were much higher in 2017 when the new generation started, but even then Sentra sales were much higher. Your comment about fleet sales makes a lot of sense.

Impreza​
C Year​
Sentra​
Ratio​
8,788​
1Q 2022​
27,131​
309%​
34,791​
2021​
127,861​
368%​
43,628​
2020​
94,646​
217%​
66,415​
2019​
184,618​
278%​
76,400​
2018​
213,046​
279%​
86,043​
2017​
218,451​
254%​

Subaru shifted production of the 5th generation of Impreza to Indiana instead of shipping the comleted cars from Japan. As the Impreza is the least expensive Subaru, the cost of international shipping was a high percentage of costs.

Sometimes I think that when the Ascent began production in Indiana, the much greater profit simply meant that the Impreza became less important to produce. In particular as microchips were in short supply it is obviously more profitable to produce an Ascent or an Outback.
 

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Off the top of my head, it could be because Nissan typically sells a lot of cars to rental fleets to juice their sales numbers. Also, the Sentra started a new generation in 2020 while the Impreza started gen 5 in 2017.
Nissan also supplies some local government vehicles in my area, as well as my company buying them as fleet cars for our executives, remote workers, and for lending to employees who drive between Kansas and Indiana. I do imagine that more companies purchase Nissans due to the availability of them for fleets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In some sense I could have asked this same question about any bestselling car, but most cars have an engine option. Only the Sentra has no engine option and its base engine is not very powerful (like the Impreza). Of course, one could simply argue that Subaru has the option of upgrading from the Impreza to the WRX or the Crosstrek in pursuit of a more powerful car.
  1. Toyota Camry 182 to 267 lb-ft
  2. Toyota Corolla 126 to 151 lb-ft
  3. Honda Accord 192 to 273 lb-ft
  4. Honda Civic 138 to 177 lb-ft
  5. Nissan Altima 178 to 267 lb-ft
  6. Nissan Sentra 146 lb-ft ------------- no engine options
  7. Chevrolet Malibu 184 to 260 lb-ft
  8. Kia Forte 132 to 195 lb-ft
  9. Hyundai Elantra 132 to 195 lb-ft
  10. Dodge Charger - muscle 260 to 707 lb-ft
  11. Kia Soul 132 to 195 lb-ft
  12. Ford Mustang - muscle 350 to 420 lb-ft
  13. Kia K5 195 lb-ft ------------- no engine options
  14. Dodge Challenger - muscle 656 lb-ft
  15. Volkswagen Jetta 184 lb-ft ------------- no engine options
  16. Lexus ES 184 to 267 lb-ft
  17. Mazda 3 150 to 310 lb-ft
  18. Chevrolet Corvette - muscle 465 to 470 lb-ft
  19. Subaru Impreza 145 lb-ft------------- no engine options
 

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While the base prices are basically the same, theprices start to gap when you go up in trim levels. For example, the limited impreza starts at basically 27k, while the highest trim sentra starts at 22k. There's a pretty big difference in quality imo. The sentra has a hollow car feel, with hollow, hard seats (you can feel the support beams through the seats). I was not impressed when I test drove one.
 

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I had a Kia Forte rental car a few months ago for a week, and a Toyota Corolla for two weeks before that.

I can't speak to the new Sentra, but I used to own an '05 Altima 2.5s, and loved how it drove, though the interior quality isn't as great as the Forester & Impreza we have. Subaru's interior seems to have stood the test of time in our '16 Forester compared to the same time period we had the Altima.

I disliked the Corolla, as the eCVT didn't really feel great to drive, the throttle felt delayed. The lane keep assist and radar cruse control was good in stop/go traffic, but the lane keep would bounce you between the lane markers much more than my family's Forester. It did get decent fuel economy, and the steering was responsive enough for a rental car. Suspension didn't absorb much, neither did the seats. Pretty unremarkable, but it's a Corolla. Smelled mighty awful too, should've returned it after a day to exchange for something sooner.

Exchanged for the Kia, and that was actually a solid sedan for a week (Corolla was a sedan model, too). Transmission and throttle felt much better than the Corolla, as well as the lane keep. Didn't test radar cruise much though, it did work - didn't test to see if it would come to a complete halt in traffic, where the Corolla did. Kia did a great job on the new Forte. Seats weren't quite as comfortable as the Impreza, but they were 100% better than the Corolla.

Still wouldn't trade my Impreza for either, and the availability of a manual on the Impreza + AWD really doesn't make me feel like trading or upgrading to anything when my loan is paid off. Maybe if the WRX is still offered with a 6spd I might make the change for that, but otherwise the Impreza really still feels to have been the best option for its price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
While the base prices are basically the same, theprices start to gap when you go up in trim levels.
That is true
$19,295​
Impreza​
Sedan​
--------------​
MT​
$19,795​
Impreza​
5-door​
--------------​
MT​
$19,810​
Sentra​
S​
CVT​
$20,595​
Impreza​
Sedan​
--------------​
CVT​
$20,870​
Sentra​
SV​
CVT​
$21,095​
Impreza​
5-door​
--------------​
CVT​
$22,400​
Sentra​
SR​
CVT​
$22,695​
Impreza​
Premium​
Sedan​
CVT​
$23,095​
Sentra​
SR​
Midnight Edition​
CVT​
$23,195​
Impreza​
Premium​
5-door​
CVT​
$23,495​
Impreza​
Sport​
5-door​
MT​
$24,095​
Impreza​
Sport​
Sedan​
CVT​
$26,895​
Impreza​
Limited​
5-door​
CVT​


It is my personal opinion that the money spent on the Impreza Sport Sedan or the Impreza Limited could be better spent on a different Subaru model.
$26,895​
Impreza​
Limited 5-door
CVT​
$25,895​
Forester​
--------------​
CVT​
$25,745​
Legacy​
Premium​
CVT​
$24,295​
Crosstrek​
Premium​
MT​
$24,095​
Impreza​
Sport Sedan
CVT​
$23,495​
Legacy​
--------------​
CVT​
$23,145​
Crosstrek​
--------------​
MT​
 

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The reason I went limited is because I don't like SUVs, and I wanted a hatchback over a sedan, so the impreza was my only option. I would of bought levorg if Subaru of America would give it to us in the states.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would of bought levorg if Subaru of America would give it to us in the states.
The Levorg is only 8.5" longer than the Impreza. But Subaru executives are convinced that Americans will run screaming from the display room yelling "I'm not going to buy my parent's station wagon" if they try and sell it in America.
  • 4690mm length, 1780mm width,1490mm tall - Levorg
  • 4475mm length, 1775mm width,1480mm tall - Impreza

I mean if you consider that 600 Subaru dealers managed to sell 390 Imprezas per week last month, then how much worse could the Levorg possibly be?
 

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What I don't get is who are they are surveying? I rarely see impreza sedans, I see a dozen or more hatchback imprezas a day. Before this car shortage, the 2012 sti used would go for 3k to 4k less than a hatch version. I'm 29 and I don't look at the impreza, and think it looks like the old hatchbacks that my parents didn't even drive. Maybe people in their 40's feel that way, idk. The demographics are changing, I don't know who their demographic is anymore. I don't know any subaru owner asking for more plastic cladding. I'm willing to bet this is the last impreza without tons of plastic cladding. I'm getting to a place where I'm looking at buying a 40-60k sports car few in a few years, and it's starting to look like that won't be a subaru, which is a bummer.
 

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Yes, the Legacy used to have the option of a wagon, but it no longer exists.
Isn't the Outback essentially the Legacy chassis turned into a wagon (and extra ground clearance)? I do see having a sleeker Legacy wagon that doesn't have the extra ground clearance like they used to offer though, I can see why they would reduce the models down to make it easier for production, and to simplify the lineup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Isn't the Outback essentially the Legacy chassis turned into a wagon (and extra ground clearance)?
Yes, just as historically the Crosstrek is essentially the Impreza chassis with extra ground clearance. All the Subaru vehicles (except the BRZ amd Solterra) are built on the Subaru Global Platform today, so it is easier to make new designs or to change production line.
 

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I had a 2015 Sentra, and owned it for about three years. It was the mid level trim, automatic. The mid level trim in that car didn’t have anything that my base model 2018 didn’t have.

it was a solid little car, got 36 mpg without trying, and with good tires would drive okay in the snow. The only reason I got rid of it was because of a bad transmission.

i would say the advantages that the Impreza has are awd, and the option to get a stick with better features. (In 2015 you could get a standard Nissan Sentra, but only in the base model).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
i would say the advantages that the Impreza has are awd, and the option to get a stick with better features. (In 2015 you could get a standard Nissan Sentra, but only in the base model).
The Impreza has the option of manual transmission for both the base model (4 or 5 door) and Sport trim (5 door only). But it is a 5 speed instead of the 6 speed on the Crosstrek (base and Premium) or the WRX sport sedan. Car and Driver calls the Impreza 5 speed M/T "lousy". Everyone expects Subaru to drop M/T as an option for the Impreza any year now.

Subaru stepped up production at Indiana in summer 2016 to move the Impreza (generation 5) bound for North America from Japan to US to save money. However, once they started making the Ascent 7 passenger SUV at Indiana in preparation for the 2019 model year, the Indiana plant was now limited in capacity. So the Impreza could never outsell the Sentra because right now Subaru simply has no capacity to produce that many. The Indiana plant has to produce all the Legacy, Outback, Ascent, and Imprezas for the North American market.

I just think that Subaru could do better than Impreza with 1/3 of the sales of the Sentra.

Indana Production
CY 2016​
CY 2017​
CY 2018​
CY 2019​
CY 2020​
CY 2021​
CY 2022​
Jan​
19,469​
32,335​
29,292​
35,629​
38,808​
25,578​
24,562​
Feb​
22,497​
33,084​
29,364​
32,146​
33,343​
24,234​
20,910​
Mar​
22,677​
37,598​
29,544​
33,188​
27,588​
20,628​
26,842​
Apr​
23,840​
31,364​
28,771​
35,326​
0​
14,353​
May​
18,181​
34,117​
29,573​
40,069​
4,947​
28,535​
Jun​
23,061​
33,802​
28,387​
26,492​
31,352​
23,733​
Jul​
16,176​
15,562​
17,483​
23,176​
24,164​
22,234​
Aug​
35,922​
34,196​
36,086​
20,842​
37,838​
20,023​
Sep​
30,495​
29,905​
32,278​
26,252​
34,771​
15,155​
Oct​
31,679​
32,826​
39,630​
35,625​
31,261​
25,254​
Nov​
25,688​
28,055​
32,819​
34,147​
22,661​
25,791​
Dec​
27,178​
20,570​
26,172​
25,627​
27,725​
24,128​
Year​
296,863​
363,414​
359,399​
368,519​
314,458​
269,646​
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I'm getting to a place where I'm looking at buying a 40-60k sports car few in a few years, and it's starting to look like that won't be a subaru, which is a bummer.
Subaru is never really the cheapest option, but is often the cheapest AWD
2022 Subaru WRX GT/MSRP from $41,895
2022 Kia Stinger AWD GT1/MSRP $46,090
But you are correct, the Stinger has more power and torque.
 
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