2020 Toyota Corolla vs. 2019 Subaru Impreza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Impreza doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Impreza doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Corolla and the Impreza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Impreza.

There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Impreza isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Subaru is ranked fourth.

Engine

The Corolla SE/XSE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 17 more horsepower (169 vs. 152) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 145) than the Impreza’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla gets better fuel mileage than the Impreza Sedan:

 

 

 

MPG

Corolla

 

Manual

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/36 hwy

 

Auto

1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

30 city/38 hwy

 

 

XLE 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

 

SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/40 hwy

 

 

XSE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

31 city/38 hwy

Impreza Sedan

 

Manual

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

 

 

Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

 

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

28 city/38 hwy

 

 

Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/36 hwy

Transmission

The Toyota Corolla comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Impreza.

A six-speed manual is optional on the Toyota Corolla SE/XSE SE, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Impreza.

The Toyota Corolla has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Impreza doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Suspension and Handling

The Corolla has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Corolla flat and controlled during cornering. The Impreza base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Impreza (106.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Corolla’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Impreza’s (34.1 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla has a larger trunk than the Impreza Sedan (13.1 vs. 12.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the Corolla and the Impreza have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Impreza prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Corolla’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Impreza’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Impreza can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Corolla has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Impreza has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/Sport/Limited.

Model Availability

The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Subaru Impreza isn’t available as a four-door hatchback.

Recommendations

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Subaru Impreza by almost four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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