Worst Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid (4 Major Problems)

Impreza is a series of compact cars produced by Subaru since 1992; it has 5-door and 4-door variants. The Impreza is a sedan/hatchback that comes with sophisticated in-car features, providing you with good comfort and sufficient space for all your stuff.

But there are some Subaru Impreza years to avoid because they are problematic, and most of the problems occur at low mileage. This article lists and explains the best and worst years of the Subaru Impreza.

To put succinctly, the worst Subaru Impreza years include 2008, 2012, and 2015; while the best years include 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2016.

Subaru Impreza Overview

Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid

The Subaru Impreza is built as a wagon, hatchback, and sedan; there used to be a 2-door coupe variant, but the production halted in 1995.

Subaru Imprezas are available with a front-wheel drive drivetrain or an all-wheel drive drivetrain. You’d get to love the interior of Subaru Imperezas – really impressive.

Most Impreza models come with a CVT and 5-speed or 6-speed manual transmission options. There are five generations of the Subaru Impreza, with a number of special editions produced for different markets.

Subaru Impreza has models being used by the Police in some countries, and the WRC models are used in Motorsports.

See Also: How Long Does Subaru Last?

Worst Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid

These years mentioned below are considered “worst” for the Subaru Impreza because the models made in those years are typically problematic.

More so, the problems occur at low mileage, which raises more concern regarding buying them “used.” Here’s a quick list of the worst Subaru Impreza models to avoid.

  • 2006 Subaru Impereza
  • 2007 Subaru Impereza
  • 2008 Subaru Impereza
  • 2012 Subaru Impereza
  • 2013 Subaru Impereza
  • 2015 Subaru Impereza
  • 2018 Subaru Impereza

Common Subaru Impreza Problems

These problems were reported by people who own/drive the Subaru Impreza model years listed above.

1. Engine Problems

  • Affected Models: Mostly reported on 2008 and 2012 Subaru Imperezas.

Subaru Imprezas, produced in 2008 and 2012, reportedly have a few critical engine issues that may be a great turn-off for you.

The problems include too much oil consumption, head gasket leaks, and unintended acceleration. However, these problems typically happen after 100,000 miles, and the average cost is $2,000.

2. Windows and Windshield Problems

  • Affected Models: Mostly reported on the 2008  model.

The 2008 Subaru Impreza seems to come with poorly built windows and a “shielded” windshield. Yes, most owners allege that the windshield appears to have a film covering, affecting their driving visibility.

Most 2008 Subaru Impreza owners had to constantly clean their windshield to fix this issue.

3. Electrical and Accessories Problems

  • Affected Models: 2015 and 2018 Subaru Impreza models.

Most 2015 and 2018 Subaru Imperezas seem to have several electrical and accessories failures after about 50k miles.

The problems include battery issues, alternator failure, faulty infotainment system, and erratic navigation system. These problems have an average repair cost of $300.

4. Transmission and Drivetrain Problems

  • Affected Models: 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2018 Subaru Imperezas.

A few complaints were made about the steering wheel and transmission on the above-indicated Subaru Impreza model years.

Commonly reported problems included transmission failure, gears not working, the steering wheel shaking while driving, and random acceleration in reverse. The average repair cost of these problems is $4,000.

Best Subaru Impreza Years To Buy

Just as there are bad years for the Subaru Impreza, there are also good model years to consider. If you’re going to buy a used Subaru Impreza, purchasing any of these model years is more advisable to get a great value for your money spent in the long run.

Hence, hereunder is the list of the best Subaru Impreza years to buy.

  • 2000 to 2005 Subaru Impereza
  • 2009 to 2011 Subaru Impereza
  • 2013 Subaru Impereza
  • 2014 Subaru Impereza
  • 2016 Subaru Impereza
  • 2017 Subaru Impereza
  • 2019 – 2021 Subaru Impereza

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Subaru Imperezas Good Cars?

Yeah. All variants of the Subaru Impreza (hatchback, sedan, and wagon) are pretty good and come with decent features as you’d want in a car. The Subaru Impreza drives smoothly on different terrains – but it’s not an off-road car, so you can’t take it through “very rough” paths.

Is Subaru Impreza a Sports Car?

Subaru makes “sporty” Impreza models used in motorsports events. Also, typical Subaru Imperezas look like sporty vehicles and are equipped with powerful engines to drive you cross-counties.

Is Subaru Impreza Expensive To Maintain?

Yes, the Impreza is quite expensive to maintain because its typical problems cost so much to repair/fix. On average, it costs around $650 to maintain a Subaru Impreza annually, and the repair frequency is relatively high. Put simply, Subaru Imperezas are not so reliable.


So, explained in this article are the best and worst Subaru Impreza years to avoid (or buy). The Subaru Impreza looks pretty good based on looks, but when compared with other cars in its category, it is not really a great choice.

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