16 Best & Worst Subaru Impreza Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Impreza is a decent compact car that’s been around since the early 90s.

Available in both hatchback and sedan, it boasts a comfy interior, standard all-wheel-drive and plenty of safety tech.

To learn about the best and worst years of the Impreza, keep on reading…

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Subaru Impreza Are:

The best Subaru Impreza model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2010, 2006 and 2001. The worst model years of the Impreza are 2019, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, and 2002. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Subaru Impreza?

Listed below are the Impreza models that deserve to be viewed as the best of the best.

2022 & 2023 Subaru Impreza

Cars aren’t fine wines, they are machines that get continually refined over time – so it should come as no surprise that the newest models are the best Imprezas available.

The 2022 and 2023 models are identical and offer the same suite of up-to-date features.

Some minor changes that are worth noting are the addition of a brand new color – Sapphire Blue Pearl, and the removal of the sedan body style for the Limited trim. 

2023 Subaru Impreza:

  • Edmunds: NA
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2022 Subaru Impreza:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2022 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“This is my second Subaru. I had a 2005 Outback that’s still running great, but it was time for a new car. My Impreza Sport is exactly what I wanted. It’s got plenty of room on the inside for my passengers and cargo space, yet sporty on the outside. Also has more safety features than I ever could imagine. It drives smooth, looks great, and I feel safer in a Subaru than any other car.”

2021 Subaru Impreza

The 2021 Impreza has so far received minimal complaints on the NHTSA website and good customer feedback.

Notable updates for this year include the remodeling of the rear spoiler on the Sport hatchback and the Premium trim comes with Subaru’s engine performance management system (known as the SI-Drive) which is operated through steering wheel controls. 

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2021 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“Smooth, responsive, and good on gas. I’ve got the black exterior and black interior. It looks extremely crisp.”

2020 Subaru Impreza

For those on a tighter budget looking for a relatively new model, the 2020 Impreza makes a solid value option.

This model year experienced a minor facelift via adjustments of the bumper and grille design, alongside updating the appearance of both the head lamps and tail lights on certain variants.

New alloy wheel designs can also be found for the higher-end trims. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2020 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“For an all wheel drive Subaru, the price is low compared to many others on the market. Very tight care with a sporty feel.”

2018 Subaru Impreza

There were not too many observable changes for the 2018 Subaru Impreza as most of the major work was done to its 2017 predecessor.

The 2018 Impreza stays true to form with standard AWD, nimble handling and affordable pricing.

  • Edmunds: 3.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2018 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“This iteration of the Impreza is far better than the 2006 and 2014 models my wife and son have owned. Strong on-road character in tracking and cornering, very quiet ride even in the base model, and the CVT pulls strong while keeping the engine revs wherever they need to be while delivering between 35 and 40mpg….”

2015 and 2016 Subaru Impreza

The 2015 and 2016 Subaru Impreza models are noteworthy because of their low number of reported problems and complaints.

It should also be pointed out they are slightly shorter in length and narrower than their successors.

The 2015 model also saw the introduction of Subaru’s excellent EyeSight driver-assist technology and a rearview camera was made standard.

2015 Subaru Impreza:

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2016 Subaru Impreza:

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2016 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“Traded my 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited for the 2016 Sport Premium. What an upgrade! So quiet inside on the country roads and interstate. I got an extended warranty for cheap from the dealership and great service. This feels like driving a BMW but better with the AWD.”

2015 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“This car is not going to “wow” you with fast acceleration, its 4 cylinder engine, or flashy interior/exterior looks. That is not what Subaru is about, so if that is what you are looking for, move elsewhere. This car is made for the outdoorsman, the adventurer, the nasty weather, and terrain. This car is super reliable and they last forever…”

2010 Subaru Impreza

The 2010 Subaru Impreza stands out simply because it was far less problematic than two of its succesors – the 2012 and 2013 models which were riddled with airbag problems.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2010 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“As a disabled driver, I purchased this car for the safety it provides in snow. It runs quietly and is quite comfortable. Plenty of pep too. But mostly, a car must be equipped with hand controls for me to drive. Not all cars are created equal in this regard…”

2006 Subaru Impreza

The 2006 Subaru Impreza scored impressive owner reviews and was praised for its practicality and excellent handling.

The 2006 model also benefited from a styling refresh and some minor mechanical improvements.

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2006 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“This car was my dad’s midlife crisis, and when he decided it was time to teach his daughter manual, he gave me the Subaru! Best car I have ever driven. I have owned it for quite some time now, and it still runs just as great as when we first got it…”

2001 Subaru Impreza

As the oldest model year on the list, we would not exactly recommend that you go out of your way to find a 2001 Impreza.

However, according to NHTSA data, it is the least problematic model year made to date with only a handful of complaints registered online, it also boasts impressive scores on the big auto review sites.

  • Edmunds: 4.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.7 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2001 Subaru Impreza, Edmunds review:

“Sure-footed in any kind of weather and over any road surface. With performance and versatility to spare.

Consumer Scores For Best Subaru Impreza Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Subaru Impreza model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Subaru ImprezaNA4.2 / 5.080 / 100
2022 Subaru Impreza4.8 / 5.04.2 / 5.080 / 100
2021 Subaru Impreza3.9 / 5.04.2 / 5.079 / 100
2020 Subaru Impreza4.0 / 5.04.2 / 5.076 / 100
2018 Subaru Impreza3.8 / 5.04.2 / 5.076 / 100
2016 Subaru Impreza4.4 / 5.04.4 / 5.078 / 100
2015 Subaru Impreza4.0 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA
2010 Subaru Impreza4.2 / 5.04.5 / 5.0NA
2006 Subaru Impreza4.7 / 5.04.7 / 5.0NA
2001 Subaru Impreza4.6 / 5.04.7 / 5.0NA

Related: How Long Do Subaru Imprezas Last? (Solved and Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Subaru Impreza?

As you’d expect, for a car thats been around as long as the Impreza, some model years aren’t as good as others…

2019 Subaru Impreza

Much like other Subaru models, the 2019 Impreza failed to prove the integrity of its windshields.

Several reports indicated that, even without any reasonable cause, the windshield started to crack in different areas. 

Owners account:

“I was driving at 50 mph, when suddenly I heard a noise coming from the windshield and saw a big crack. The crack grew very fast, crossing about 75% of the windshield. My visibility was significantly impaired by the crack. This is the second time it has happened in a short time.”

The 2019 Impreza had a total of 19 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 107 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Windshield cracking
  • Steering to sensitive
  • Stalling

2013 Subaru Impreza

The 2013 Impreza had a lot of safety-related concerns, the most pressing of which was an issue with the airbags.

Reports from owners stated that the warning light for the airbag would illuminate at random.

Despite the complaints and their being a signifcant airbag recall for 2012 Imprezas, the 2013 was not recalled for airbag issues.

Owners account:

“I am nervous if I get in a crash my airbag system will not protect my passenger. There has been a recall issued for 2012 Subaru Impreza airbag systems, and the same system is used in the 2013 model, so I’m not sure why this is not being fixed.”

The 2013 Impreza had a total of 18 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 290 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • CVT transmission failed
  • Excessive oil usage
  • Airbag light on

2012 Subaru Impreza

Much like its direct successor, the 2012 Subaru Impreza also suffered from safety-related issues, specifically those related to the airbag and airbag sensors.

Some owners reported that the airbag indicator would sometimes light up, indicating a malfunction, leading to worries about whether or not the airbag would actually deploy in case of accidents or collisions. 

Subaru eventually issued a recall of 32,000 Imprezas on the 2012 models due to faulty occupancy sensors.

The 2012 Impreza had a total of 31 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 294 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Sudden unintended acceleration
  • Airbag warning light on
  • Not shifting properly
  • Brake failure

2009 Subaru Impreza

The 2009 Subaru Impreza operated relatively well in comparison to its peers on this list, but a handful of reports indicated that there was a big issue with the clutch pedal (for manual transmission users).

Some reports specified hearing an abnormal creaking noise when the clutch was activated, while others reported that gears refused to engage at times, leading to an unsafe driving experience. 

The 2009 Impreza had a total of 12 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 142 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Blown head gaskets
  • Clutch problems
  • Burned out clutch
  • Blown engine

2008 Subaru Impreza

Like the 2009 Subaru Impreza, the 2008 Subaru Impreza also carried significant issues with the clutch mechanism of manual transmission variants.

Numerous owners report a squeaky clutch pedal and broken spot welds where the clutch attaches to the firewall.

The 2008 Impreza had a total of 53 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 243 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Clutch squeaking
  • Wobbly clutch pedal
  • Head gasket leak
  • Engine knocking

2002 Subaru Impreza

The 2002 Subaru Impreza has the most unique problem of all the models on this list, namely problems surrounding the fuel lines, leading to leakage and lingering gasoline odors.

The problem was that the fuel lines were too close to the exhaust manifold.

Despite recall campaigns, there were a few models that did not belong under the campaign that possessed similar issues. 

The 2002 Impreza had a total of 4 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 337 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Head gasket leaking
  • Gasoline odor
  • Clogged gas tank and fuel pump
  • CD player does not operate

Related: Subaru Impreza in Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Subaru Impreza model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the Impreza below

Model YearComplaints (CarComplaints.com)Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)
2022 Subaru ImprezaNA5
2021 Subaru Impreza011
2020 Subaru Impreza270
2019 Subaru Impreza19107
2018 Subaru Impreza2579
2017 Subaru Impreza5101
2016 Subaru Impreza1085
2015 Subaru Impreza2085
2014 Subaru Impreza12115
2013 Subaru Impreza18290
2012 Subaru Impreza31294
2011 Subaru Impreza670
2010 Subaru Impreza659
2009 Subaru Impreza12142
2008 Subaru Impreza53243
2007 Subaru Impreza2080
2006 Subaru Impreza2162
2005 Subaru Impreza1892
2004 Subaru Impreza3109
2003 Subaru Impreza564
2002 Subaru Impreza4337
2001 Subaru Impreza113
2000 Subaru Impreza154
1999 Subaru Impreza027
1998 Subaru Impreza255
1997 Subaru Impreza237
1996 Subaru Impreza025

What Problems Do Subaru Imprezas Have?

  • Sudden unintended acceleration
  • Transmission failure
  • Head gasket leak

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Subaru Impreza?

The Subaru Impreza is considered one of the best compact cars in the market. Take note that the Impreza secured the 6th spot (tied with the Volkswagen Jetta), with a great score of 7.8 out of 10. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Honda Civic8.6$22,550 – $30,050City: 26 – 33 /Highway: 36 – 42
Mazda38.6$21,150 – $34,750City: 23 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 36
Hyundai Elantra8.0$20,500 – $27,050City: 28 – 33 /Highway: 36 – 42
Kia Forte8.0$19,490 – $24,890City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 39
Toyota Corolla8.0$20,425 – $28,710City: 28 – 32 /Highway: 36 – 41
Subaru Impreza7.8$18,795 – $26,395City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 30 – 36
Volkswagen Jetta7.8$20,365 – $32,095City: 26 – 31 /Highway: 36 – 43
Nissan Sentra7.5$19,610 – $22,200City: 28 – 29 /Highway: 37 – 39
Hyundai Veloster NNA$32,500 – $34,000 City: 20 – 22 /Highway: 27 – 28
Subaru WRXNA$29,105 – $41,895City: NA /Highway: NA
Volkswagen GTINA$29,880 – $39,130City: NA /Highway: NA

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: 10 Best & Worst Subaru WRX Years (With Pictures)










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...