I think it’s going to look really odd if you don’t lower it, and given you’ll need to go to a pretty low profile (I was running 35 profile on 19s) then you’ll definitely have to sacrifice ride quality.
I've got 18" wheels on with a 45 profile and I'm thinking of going back to 17" due to the ride being a bit harsh and the roads are **** around here.
Had an mot failure last time on a dented wheel rim, had to get it repaired at a cost of £50, didn't even recall hitting a hole that badly.
Do not drive until repaired (dangerous defects):
Nearside Rear Road wheel distorted to the extent the tyre is likely to become detached (5.2.2 (c) (ii))
Yes, I think I will pass on the 19's,aesthetically I'm happy on 18's with 45 profile tyres, though even they are less smooth than my originals. I bought the 19'' bolas on a whim because they were very inexpensive, but I have a young mate who's just bought an Impreza, he'll love 'em.