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1996 Subaru Impreza

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 252 Ratings for the 1993 - 2001 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.8/10
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If you can't afford to be late, this is THE car.

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 147,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, corners as if on rails, loves winter"

Cons: "Limited legroom."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"ALWAYS starts. LOVES snow and rain. GREAT handling. EASY parking. SIPS gasoline. CHEAP TO KEEP. Kind of a Plain Jane, but literally leads the pack during a blizzard (during winters, my neighbors wait for me to make the way out of the alley here in the Milwaukee area). I love this car. Got another Subaru, our 3rd."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Most reliable car i have ever owned

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 285,120

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Reliabilty, handling, mpg, reliability"

Cons: "lack of take off power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I drive 130 miles a day and have had this car for 5 years. Only regular maintenance has been done and she has not left me stranded at all. 166k miles we have spent together, it does lack some power and leak some oil but i never get in the car in the morning wondering if it is going to start. Wish they would recreate this one again as i would buy it brand new."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best value for my money - 16 great years!

By on Sunday, May 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 196,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price and incredible reliability!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have honestly never had to make a single repair on my Impreza. I have only had to perform normal maintenance for 16 years and 196,000 miles. I truly love my Subaru and will buy another one this year."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

It gets from A to B well enough

By on Saturday, January 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 152,111

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good winter car. AWD is good help."

Cons: "Rust. Engine Noise. Leaks? Roof rack. MPG suffers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I had to have work on it, but its a good car. rust is bad around the back hatchback key port. It is also bad around the wheel fenders. I had to replace the catalytic converter. The car has had a leak when bought that i didn't know about. it is also loud engine noise while driving. I think this is typical subaru tho. The roof rack or baggage rack is a pain and i have not used it at all. Used subaru's are hard to find- good ones without too many miles."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Longest ownership history - 13 years & counting!

By on Friday, December 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 216,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this vehicle used in 2000 right before my daughter was born in Colorado. I've put over 200,000 miles on it personally. It now has almost 216,000 and still runs great. It does leak oil, but regular oil changes take care of that. I've never had any major mechanical problems with it and hope to put at least 35,000 more miles on it! Would buy another Subaru in a heartbeat!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Snowcar

By on Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Guess it HAD to have a coffee holder"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"It is fun to drive. This model is the same design as the 3 time World Rally Cross winning cars. It is put together properly. Easy to service. Interior is serviceable but nothing special."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great car, AWD, 30mpg!

By on Thursday, October 10, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 202,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "AWD, Great MPG, Seats 5, Cheap car, Reliable"

Cons: "Small power drop with ac on"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the best used car i have had yet. It gets great gas mileage for the age of the car. Strong engine, I have over 200k miles on it and it still runs great. The best MPG i have got so far is 29.68 and i get 27.09 on average and i don't drive easy on the gas peddle. I haven't had any major problems with it yet. It does awesome in the snow. I had bad tires on it last winter and slid down into a ditch but the car just came right out of it with no problem. The same night i pulled a big heavy car up a hill it was stuck on and then had some fun plowing right through piled up snow that was blocking my path to get a co worker home after work. The snow was piled about 3ft high but the snow was not too heavy at that point. Subaru's AWD system is awesome. I know allot of it has to do with the driver but i have seen these cars outdo jeeps in the snow. I just moved to the hills of WV and for it being a 4 cylinder it does great on the hills, even with the ac on!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My first car, best bang for your buck

By on Sunday, August 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 215,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "afordable, lots of aftermarket custom options : )"

Cons: "no pass through from cab to trunk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought the car for $2,300 from private owner in 2002 with 112,000 miles on it. They were the first owner, and were owned other Subaru cars a well. The owners kept real good care of keeping up service records. It was their daughters and aside from a dent in the drivers side fender and broken passenger visor the car was in excelent shape with no rust. The car's ride and power have always been solid even though its a 1.8 liter. I've had no issues. Because the car uses struts the ride is firm, but that also allows turn and directional manuvering to be very sharp and exact. The enterior is true to the times of its model year. Not many soft touch surfaces, more hard plastics, but fixed that with a custom dash cover. The seats are plush, but not attractive, but nothing a seat cover cant fix. The enterior of my car is tan and exterior winter white. I was disapointed that this model didnt come with a pass through to the trunk. What made this car attractive to me is that, even though it was stock in every way, the body type had not changed from 1993 all the way to 1999. I had always wanted a Subaru Impreza 2.5 rs 98'. With just switching out the hood, the headlights, the grill, and front bumper. Tot $350. I made this car look 5 years younger. That was just in the first year of owning it. As of late I've given it a new aftermarket rear bumper and a rally style spoiler on the trunk lid so it looks like a Subaru WRX STI from 01' model year. This car has so many potentual aftermarket modifications avalaible. I have and still do recomend this car to everyone, because they are light, afordable, all wheele drive, excelent and fun in snow, ice, and dirt. Its a fun little car to drive. The turning radious is amazing! Its my daily driver and I smile everytime Im in the drivers seat."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Worst electrical system ever!

By on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Engine, fun to drive, cute"

Cons: "Electrical system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car runs fine, holds up well, is quite cute, but has more electrical problems than I've ever seen. I've spent over $10,000 replacing a computer, and various other electrical issues."

4 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Great car, fun to drive!

By on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 240,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, handles good, will go anywhere"

Cons: "none its a great car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've got a 97 Impreza L with the 2.2l motor. It is a fast little car and does great in the snow. I bought mine just before the winter so I got some time to get used to it before the winter but when winter came along I got to have some fun in my Subie. My car has never lost complete control when driving in the snow, although there was some times where I got it side ways for fun. But over all this car preformes really well and I don't see it quiting on me any time soon. I also plan to buy a newer verison once my current one dies and I get the money. other wise I'm just going to stick with my current one."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best Car Ever!

By on Monday, April 08, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Seats are not the best for long road trips"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Subaru 2.5 RS is an amazing vehicle. I have absolutely loved driving it. The responsiveness is fantastic and I get compliments on the car all the time. You will not be disappointed."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

the most reliable AWD car i,ve ever had

By on Thursday, April 04, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"a very reliable car even at a high mileage.. only thing it starts rusting at the wheel well which is minor and sucks more oil than an average car so check oil level regularly."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Awesome car

By on Tuesday, April 02, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 211,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Daily beater, great drive, 211K still going strong"

Cons: "nothing"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I just recently got my first Subie and I already like it. I was going do the slick road, there was a moose crossing the road so I stepped on the brakes. The moose ran away, but I ended up in the ditch. I was going pretty fast so what happened was my Subie jumped over the bump of hard snow that it took head-on. I ended up on the other side of the bump so backing up isn't an option (Even though I tried it, proved unsuccessful) The good part - Ahead of me is someones front yard, well, didn't wanna call the tow truck - cause he wouldn't be able to help. I did a *burnout* in 1.5 ft deep snow and drove probly 30 yds through 1.5 -2 ft snow. The guy has some kind of bumps in his front yard, probly for dirtbikes/fourwheelers. My Subie drove up and down the bumps with all that snow. When I got to the guys driveway, there was a big bump of snow also, except this one wasnt that hard. After getting back on the road, I found that my front bumper took a piece of wood right on the edge of the fog light cover thing, also my rear bumper was torn off - holding on one clip - probly on the first hard bump, and also my clutch burned halfway, but I still got to the place I was going, and then back home, drived a total of about 25 miles before I noticed that I was revving my engine to drive 25 mph. Got a new clutch kit, attached the rear bumper, and still drive it. For all the haters out there - this Subaru had all stock components, no turbo, no "cool" upgrades during that snow dive. Did two full services, and its running strong, speedbumps, gravel roads, 2 ft deep snow - it takes it all quickly and head on, people complain about slow when going to pass - since mine is manual, i just downshift it and get more power that way..."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Wonderful, reliable, comfortable, fun to drive

By on Saturday, March 09, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, peppy, reliable, roomy"

Cons: "Minor."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love the way it drives. Direct, peppy, great MPG. Extremely few repairs until about 120,000 mi. Had extensive work done on engine then and a new clutch. Driving great since. It's been a great car. Only complaints: somewhat disappointing interior quality. Gear ratio not great (shifting smoothly has always taken some thought). Cruise control died. Some electric difficulties. But it goes and goes and goes. The interior space is amazing. Many trips with 3 dogs and baggage with room to spare. A fun, reliable, cost-effective car."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car, it just keeps running!

By on Thursday, February 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "All-around, All-weather car! Good milage!"

Cons: "A little noisy at highway speeds, passing power."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the ultimate all-around car! I purchased this used from the local Subaru dealer about five years ago. It was second-hand with about 45,000 miles. I have driven this car daily in all kinds of weather, from 100F+ to -20F. It starts, it runs, it handles and drives very well. It averages 21 MPG in town, and 28 MPG on the highway. I have driven it in snow, ice, and slush that left full-size SUVs stuck. The Subaru just plugs on through! You can fit an amazing amount of gear or cargo in this car. I guess my only complaints are fairly minor. It is a little noisy at highway speeds, not so much the engine or drive train, but wind noise. The other small complaint is that it seems to be a little under-powered for passing. Power in most other situations seems to be more than adequate. I love this car!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love it!

By on Thursday, February 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great on gas."

Cons: "No cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2 door coupe, 5 speed. It's the best car i have ever owned. I took it up in the snow with my friends and there lifted trucks. It made it just as far without getting stuck(w/o chains or snow tires) They all want one now. VERY GREAT CAR!"

Subarus are the greatest automobiles. Great value.

By on Sunday, December 23, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is the third Subaru I have owned. I just love these cars. Very reliable."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Friday, December 07, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Only 1 cup holder--need at least 2!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have had this car for 10 years-just turned over 200K miles. Probably put less than $2,000 in repairs excluding oil changes and routine care. Reliable, zippy, and still pretty cute after all these years. I have taken road trips, hauled about 5 ton of landscape block (not all at once), and it is perfect for my dogs. I have hauled lumber,trees,ladders and multiple things with my kayak racks that fit on the Subaru roof rack. My best car ever! Shooting for 300K now!!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Absolutely the best car I have ever owned.

By on Sunday, November 04, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 176,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "All of the above."

Cons: "none!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Reliable, sturdy, good fuel mileage (24+ MPG in town), no major problems, plenty of power and pick-up, drives very well, excellent breaking, smooth automatic transmission and good visibility all around."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Very fun to drive

By on Monday, September 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great handling"

Cons: "Its hard to find someone to work on them"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Make sure you have the head gaskets check on these year models to be safe"

Beyond Incredible!!!

By on Thursday, June 21, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 352,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "NEVER breaks down and great mileage!"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Going on 350K and still running strong! Most incredible car I have ever owned. I can't recomend it enough! Best car on the market!!"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Incredibley Dependable Car

By on Monday, May 14, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 306,243

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun,exciting,realible,fast."

Cons: "Wheel bearings"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My subaru Imprezza outback sport is just AWESOME. Unfortunatly i will have to retire it soon as because of new york weather it's body has seen better days but with over 306000 miles i will say she is ready but it still runs incredible but the body is apparently undressing itself now lol. I would so recommend this veichle."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Practical

By on Thursday, April 05, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 197,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "ultra reliable, easy on fuel"

Cons: "the 1.8L lacks some power, FWD model"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"this little car is great, easy on fuel comfortable ride its cute and Practical. design is good, rear could use more style, but that just me. the power of the car is a bit lackey but it only has a 1.8L but is a bit perky with the gear ratio of the transmission. i highly recommend it."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Awesome Subaru!!!! Second Subi I've owned!!

By on Monday, April 02, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handles like a dream, quick, and stylish."

Cons: "Interior could be a little more nicer."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this 200 Impreza RS 2.5 in December 2011. I paid $6500 for it with just over 93K on the odometer. I have always wanted this specific model Subaru, but could never find one in decent condition for a good price. I previously owned a 2007 Subaru Legacy GT (Turbo), and loved it as well, but I wanted the RS 2.5. I have no complaints about this car. It will run on regular unleaded gas, but I choose to put midgrade unleaded in it just to take care of the engine. I've been able to get 360 miles out of one tank of gas on city driving (mostly highway miles). This is probably the most reliable car I have ever owned and for being an N/A car, it gets up and goes when needed! My only complaint is that Subaru could have splurged a bit more with the interior as the seats are of a cheap cloth material. But that will change when I swap in a set of WRX seats. Awesome car!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Little AWD Beast

By on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "driving excitement, versatility, AWD, practicality"

Cons: "fuel economy, road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 1998 Subaru Impreza Outback, and have for a little more than eight months. It's been an excellent car. Except for a slight oil leak onto the engine manifold that leads to a smell at idle, the car has been perfectly reliable. The fuel economy and the ride quality are the only downsides so far. I get about 22 MPG in mixed driving, and have never got above 26 MPG even on long trips. This is decent, but I can see why these weren't more popular when they came out: fuel economy matters. Some of the plastic bits are rattly and, with the bad roads, I generally have to raise my voice to be heard at highway speeds. I have some excellent 80k-rated Michelin tires, but these have added to the road noise. I bought the car from a used dealer for about $1k less than the KBB excellent rating. It needed some rust work and a new strut tower, but besides that, this has been an excellent, gutsy little car. Is it really an offroader? No, it's a subcompact, but I've literally climbed mountains in it. It's a little cramped in the back seat, but the cargo room is great. On my twice-annual cross-continental college odyssey it performs excellently. A great first car."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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