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2021 Corolla Hatchback vs. Impreza Hatchback Comparison

The Corolla Hatchback and Impreza Hatchback are two versatile five-door compact vehicles that pack a lot of performance, fuel economy, and tech touches. The Corolla Hatchback, not to be confused with its Corolla sedan counterpart, has a uniquely bold hatchback design. It’s both fun to drive and to look at, too.

For what the eyes can't see, the 2021 Corolla Hatchback offers better fuel economy ratings, more engine power, and more standard safety features. You get more packed all into one when compared to the Impreza Hatchback, especially when it comes to safety.

While the base-grade Corolla Hatchback comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0), the Impreza's Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology is not available on the base model.

Although the Impreza 5-door with CVT has a lower starting MSRP of $20,595, it lacks a lot of the standard features the Corolla Hatchback SE CVT, which starts at $21,390 MSRP.

See what the Impreza 5-door misses out on in terms of performance, safety, and interior features.

Published Date: 03/04/2021

2021 Corolla Hatchback driving on a brick road

Performance

  • Whether it has a manual or CVT, the Corolla Hatchback has better fuel economy ratings than the Impreza Hatchback.
  • For more horsepower, the Corolla Hatchback has a standard 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 168 horsepower.
  • Plus, feel in control of your drive with Active Cornering Assist (ACA) standard on the Corolla Hatchback SE. This same feature is only standard on the Impreza Sport 5-door.

When you want a car that you're excited to take for a spin, the Corolla Hatchback has great gas mileage ratings plus enough horsepower to put a zing in your drive.

Fuel Efficient and Fun to Drive

With an EPA-estimated 28/37/31 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating and 32/41/35 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating, the Corolla Hatchback SE with 6-speed Manual transmission and CVT have better EPA-estimated fuel economy rating than the base model Impreza 5-door counterpart. The Impreza 5-door with a standard manual transmission has an EPA-estimated 24/31/26 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. Even the Impreza Premium 5-door with CVT only has an EPA-estimated 28/36/31 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

As for engine performance, the Corolla Hatchback has 168 horsepower while the Impreza Hatchback has 152 horsepower. Both hatchbacks have 2.0L 4-cylinder engines and come with a standard manual transmission.

For improved handling, the Corolla Hatchback also has Active Cornering Assist (ACA) standard. This applies extra pressure to the inner drive wheel brake while taking sharp turns. The similar feature for the Impreza is Active Torque Vectoring which applies braking power to the inside front wheel resulting in better turn-in for corners. However, this feature is only available on the Impreza Sport 5-door.

2021 Corolla Hatchback parked in a shipping yard

Safety

  • The Corolla Hatchback has more standard active safety features than the Impreza Hatchback.
  • You also get the addition of Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) standard on the Corolla Hatchback XSE which will cost you less than the same feature which is standard on the Impreza Limited 5-door.
  • Take advantage of a standard 1-year trial of Safety Connect® with the Corolla Hatchback. This feature provides added emergency assistance while you're on the road.

To help keep you and others safe on the road, Toyota and Subaru include a whole suite of active safety features, but only the Corolla Hatchback has them standard.

Standard Safety Features

These standard active safety features come bundled in Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). This suite for Corolla Hatchback models with CVT includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA). For manual transmission trims, Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) lacks Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is standard instead of Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

The similar Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology features do not come standard on the base grade Impreza 5-door. Its Pre-collision Braking System, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, and Lane Departure and Sway Warning with Lane Keep Assist are standard starting on the Impreza Premium 5-door.

To get High Beam Assist and Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert you will need to get the Impreza Limited 5-door. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) is available on the Corolla Hatchback SE CVT and comes standard on the XSE. That means you get more features with the Corolla Hatchback XSE CVT for a starting MSRP of $24,350 than the highest-grade Impreza Limited 5-door which starts higher at $26,395 MSRP.

For added safety, Safety Connect® comes standard on the Corolla Hatchback as a 1-year trial. STARLINK® Safety & Security for the Subaru Impreza Hatchback is standard on the Impreza Premium 5-door and higher. Included in both you'll find Emergency Assistance, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, and Automatic Collision Notifications.

Front view of 2021 Corolla Hatchback driving

Interior

  • The Impreza Hatchback is slightly larger than the Corolla Hatchback in cargo and passenger volume, but does not offer a no-charge enhanced cargo space option.
  • However, the Corolla Hatchback comes standard with Amazon Alexa compatibility and SiriusXM®. SiriusXM® is only available on the Impreza Premium 5-door and the Impreza 5-door lacks Amazon Alexa compatibility entirely.
  • Even if you want an upgraded multimedia package with the Corolla Hatchback XSE Preferred Package, it will still cost you less than the Impreza Limited 5-door's STARLINK® 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation package.

Not only is the Corolla Hatchback equipped with tons of safety features, it's also packed with features for all your entertainment needs.

Comfort and Convenience

When you want a bigger sound and standard display, the Corolla Hatchback SE comes standard with an 8-in. touchscreen and six speakers, while the Impreza 5-door has a standard 6.5-in. touchscreen and four speakers. When you upgrade to the Corolla Hatchback XSE Preferred Package, which has an MSRP of $1,600, you'll get eight JBL® speakers with amplifier and Dynamic Navigation on top of the features mentioned above. The comparable STARLINK® 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation package for the Impreza is only available on the Impreza Limited 5-door for an additional $2,350.

In terms of interior space, the Corolla Hatchback has a cargo volume of 17.8 cu. ft. and an EPA passenger volume of 84.6 cu. ft. Although the Impreza 5-door is slightly larger with a cargo volume of 20.8 cu. ft. and a passenger volume of 99.8 cu. ft., the Corolla Hatchback also has an enhanced cargo space add-on option which brings Corolla Hatchback’s cargo volume to 23.0 cu. ft. at no additional cost.

With Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, Bluetooth®, and SiriusXM®, you'll never want your drive to end in the Corolla Hatchback. The Impreza 5-door comes standard with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Bluetooth®. To get SiriusXM® you'll need to upgrade to the Impreza Premium 5-door.

Couple standing in front of a red 2021 Corolla HB

Conclusion: Corolla Hatchback vs. Impreza Hatchback

  • The Corolla Hatchback is not just fun to drive but has unique stylistic touches too.
  • You also get more standard safety and connectivity options for less in the Corolla Hatchback.
  • If you're looking to save at the pump too, the Corolla Hatchback has better fuel economy ratings on both the manual and CVT options.

With fun color options like Blue Flame and stylish two-tone finishes, the Corolla Hatchback not only looks great, it comes with all the latest performance and standard features you need.

From Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) to loads of connectivity options, the 2021 Corolla Hatchback is a step above the Impreza Hatchback competition. It especially excels in the area of performance.

With an EPA-estimated 32/41/35 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating, the Corolla Hatchback SE CVT has a better fuel economy rating than the Impreza 5-door with CVT which has an EPA-estimated 28/36/31 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. With a manual transmission, the Impreza 5-door has an EPA-estimated 24/31/26 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating which still doesn't compete with the the Corolla Hatchback SE with a manual transmission which has an EPA-estimated 28/37/31 (city/highway/combined).

When considering your standard options, the Corolla Hatchback is the perfect car for your next adventure.