The Subaru Impreza has always been an enthusiast’s car that packed quirky styling, unique powertrains and earned a loyal following of fans who want year-round sporty performance.
All models, including the last-generation (2002 to 2007 model years inclusive), got a decision-free All Wheel Drive (AWD) system and horizontally-opposed four-cylinder boxer engine. The boxer engine sets the pistons against one another in a flat, wide configuration which lowers the car’s centre of gravity for more nimble handling. It sits closer to the road than a traditional in-line engine, and is easily dislodged in the case of an accident- making it a safety feature as well.
2006 saw the engine updated, upping power output slightly to 173 ponies. Automatic or manual transmissions are both available.
Models from 2004 and onwards were fitted with upgraded suspension components for a better ride, as well as added convenience features. Depending on the model and year, look for features like power windows, mirrors, locks, air conditioning, cruise control and tilt steering.
What Owners Like
Not surprisingly, last-generation Impreza owners mostly enjoy the vehicle’s driving experience, wintertime traction, performance and the added utility of the five-door model.
What Owners Hate
Common complaints include a rough ride on some models, as well as limited rear-seat space, controversial styling on certain models, and a plain, low-key appearance.
On earlier models, a possibly faulty clutch line and slave cylinder may result in a limp clutch pedal. Squeaks and rattles are the next most commonly reported problems. Though largely proven and known to be ‘bulletproof,’ the Impreza did suffer from what appears to be a fairly common head-gasket related problem.