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2011 Subaru Impreza

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2011 Subaru Impreza Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

The Subaru Impreza is a uniquely reliable and capable compact car. It's one of the most affordable all-wheel-drive vehicles available, delivering added confidence in dicey road conditions, and features an interior that outclasses many of its competitors'. Priced only marginally more than similarly equipped models from Toyota, Mazda, Ford, VW and Honda, the Impreza's standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system for which Subaru is renowned is certainly a plus in snow-bound climates and gives the affordable Impreza a leg up on its front-wheel-drive competitors.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Impreza is a great choice for those looking for a reliable and capable compact car. The all-wheel-drive drivetrain provides secure handling in nearly all road and weather conditions, potentially a must-have for those living in less temperate climates.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If price and fuel economy trounce all-wheel-drive stability and control, you'll probably want to look at the Honda Civic, Mazda MAZDA3, Nissan Versa or Volkswagen Golf TDI. Like the Impreza, the Suzuki SX4 also offers all-wheel drive plus a lot more features for less money.

What's New for 2011

The Impreza Outback Sport SE gains a new navigation system featuring a removable TomTom GPS unit. All models except the base car get a new radio that includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, iPod integration, a USB port and satellite radio capability. The turbocharged 2.5 GT model has been discontinued.

Driving the Impreza
Driving Impressions

The 2011 Impreza's 2.5-liter engine is a bit rough around the edges and doesn't do the fairly heavy Impreza any favors when it comes to rapid acceleration. It does, however,...

... manage to deliver fairly good fuel economy and good low-end torque. The Impreza's suspension is bit on the soft side, and offers none of the precision and feedback found in much of the competition, including the faithful and simple Honda Civic or the sporty MAZDA3. The steering is a touch too light for back-road blasts, limiting communication with the pavement, although the car remains stable and composed under nearly all day-to-day driving conditions. Inside, the dash layout is logical, and all buttons and knobs are well placed for quick reference. The seats are comfortable but lack the side support we'd like for fast curves.

All-wheel-drive drivetrain
For many, all-wheel drive is a must to make it through the wet seasons, snowy winters or just loose rural terrain. Even on dry pavement, this feature offers additional grip around curves and an added sense of security.

Portable navigation
Now available in all but the base Impreza, this system features a cool TomTom removable GPS unit that you can pop out and take with you.

2011 Subaru Impreza Details
Interior

Subaru has definitely stepped things up in terms of interior quality. Most materials are high grade to the touch, and the dash layout is simple, logical and borderline stylish. Gone are the gaudy colors and cheap plastic trim, and available features such as the TomTom navigation system with removable GPS unit (standard on Outback Sport Special Edition), Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio and a power sunroof make this entry level car feel decidedly upscale. A long list of dealer-installed accessories include a powered subwoofer, sliding center armrest, various cargo organizers and nets and a short shift kit for manual transmission models.

Exterior

Where the first generation Impreza had a quirky but lovable look, the newest version seems a bit cliche. With more than a passing resemblance to the first generation Mazda MAZDA3, the 2011 Impreza 2.5i wagon is now dangerously close to lacking identity. The Outback Sport trim spices things up considerably, with larger wheels, two-tone paint and more body cladding to banish the bland. On the plus side, the Impreza's all-wheel drive offers year-round security and many trims offer such useful winter necessities as heated side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer. However, unlike the Forester and Outback, the Impreza Outback Sport does not ride much higher than the standard Impreza, limiting its ability to go off-road or through deep snow.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The laundry list of standard equipment for this car is, for the most part, par for the course in 2011 vehicles. Of note is standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, a feature not found in most of the competition, even optionally. Other standard features include an AM/FM/ stereo with single CD, cruise control and remote keyless entry. The 2.5i Premium adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, AM/FM stereo with single CD, six speakers, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and USB and 3.5mm auxiliary audio input jacks, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The Outback Sport SE adds 17-inch wheels, heated seats, navigation, roof racks, two-tone paint and power moonroof. All Imprezas include front side- and front and rear side-impact airbags, Incline Start Assist (manual transmission), traction and stability control and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes.

Optional Equipment

The 2.5i Premium offers the Special Edition Package that adds a power moonroof, fog lamps and the All Weather Package featuring heated seats, side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer. Premium models can be outfitted with Subaru's navigation unit and a rear backup camera. Most options are bundled into dealer installed accessories and include items such as a stereo upgrade (tweeters and a powered subwoofer), additional cup holders, remote start, all-weather floor mats an iPod tray and various cargo and roof rack attachments.

Under the Hood

Subaru's Impreza has featured a segment defying flat-4 engine since its inception. While still a four-cylinder, the engine gets ample power and substantial torque from its larger-than-average 2.5-liter displacement. Now equipped with electronic throttle control and i-Active, Subaru's version of variable valve timing, the Impreza engine has done a decent job staying current. The power is sent to all four wheels via Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which limits the power being sent to wheels with little or no traction and redirects it to those that need it the most.

2.5-liter Boxer-4
170 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 pound-feet of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/26 (automatic), 20/27 (manual)

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2011 Subaru Impreza Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 308 Ratings for the 2008 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Best Car I Ever Had

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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
6/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, reliable, excellent car"

Cons: "Light colored interior upholstery."

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

"My Subaru Impreza was never anything but wonderful. I never had a single mechanical problem with it. Other than routine maintenance, it has never been to a shop. The only reason I gave the interior a lower rating is that the color of the upholstery is very pale and therefore easily dirtied. Also, the back seat is a little tight. It was a bit difficult to use an infant car seat. You cannot go wrong with this car. I plan to buy another one sometime this year."

1 person out of 5 found this review helpful

This car is okay

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "AWD"

Cons: "Slow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"It is small on the inside and looks like a mini van. The 2.5i isn't sporty at all. That being said, it's a reliable car at least. The driving isn't bad, it's just slow for my taste."

3 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Sports car handling but with AWD - has it all!

By on Thursday, October 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

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: "fun to drive but safe too. AWD makes the differenc"

Cons: "can't think of any"

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

"This is the car that has it all. It handles like the sports car that it is. But, when the snow comes down it is pure Subaru - the all wheel drive is awesome. I had to get a friend to the airport in a snowstorm last winter and I was worried about road conditions. He said not to worry - we are in a Subaru. He was right! It got us there safely and made countless other safe trips on cold and snowy days. Everyone I know loves this car."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

AWFUL seats

By on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage and snow control."

Cons: "Terrible seats"

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

"This car has many good features, but the seats are so horrifically uncomfortable, I can not recommend it to anyone. Regardless of the AWD, acceptable power, and reliability, a car that can not be driven for more than 30 minutes without causing excruciating back or neck pain is not worth your time or money. I've had this car for 2 years and will be trading it in due to the seats."

11 people out of 28 found this review helpful

It's served me very well--buying a 2015 model

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Runs well. Starts in cold weather, and handles snow and ice during Vermont winters. Well laid-out instrumentation."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I've owned a Subaru 1984 HB with 450,000 miles

By on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "fun to drive in triptronic manual shifting"

Cons: "no ash tray or garbage pocket"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I feel the seats are designed for small trips, we've put 50,000 miles on it in one year and the seats are hard as a rock. A little cramped for tall people. Runs great. Always starts in cold temperatures up to -50 below. Handles great, 4 wheel is awesome but but wont break tires loose to drift. Ground clearance is to low so your terrain must be flat or close to it. Needs more headroom for tall people.Power windows are weak, they go up slow. A/C is spent after 50,000 miles. Needs better suspension more rigid would be good. If i were to purchase a Subaru again I would get the 2014 WRX. Its race ready. Overall a good car, gets us around without any breakdowns."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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