Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a Subaru Impreza, one of the most beloved compact cars in the automotive world? With its sporty design, reliable performance, and all-wheel-drive capability, the Subaru Impreza has garnered a loyal fan base over the years.

However, not every model year has been without its issues.

In this guide, we will delve into the Subaru Impreza years to avoid, shedding light on the worst years that may present potential challenges for prospective buyers.

Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or a seasoned auto enthusiast, it’s crucial to be well-informed about any potential shortcomings before investing your hard-earned money.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of which Subaru Impreza models might pose more problems than others, empowering you to make a well-informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid

While Subaru has consistently improved and refined the Impreza over the years, some specific models have had recurring issues that prospective buyers should be cautious about.

Let’s explore these critical years that stand out as less reliable compared to others:

Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid

While these particular model years might present more challenges than others, it doesn’t mean that every car from these years will be problematic.

Thoroughly inspecting any used Subaru Impreza and obtaining a comprehensive vehicle history report can offer additional insights into its individual condition and maintenance history.

Making an informed decision can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs. Among the impressive lineup of Subaru Impreza vehicles, certain model years have gained a notorious reputation for reliability issues, making them best avoided.

Subaru Impreza Years To Avoid

The least reliable years of the Subaru Impreza, provide valuable insights to help you steer clear of potential pitfalls.

Avoiding the following model years can save you from potential headaches:

2006 Subaru Impreza

The 2006 Subaru Impreza, while not the worst in the lineup, has seen its fair share of issues. With 86 complaints and ten recalls reported by Car Complaints, its most significant problem revolves around the transmission system.

Frustrated owners have complained about transmission failures, leading to cumbersome and unsafe shifting.

Unfortunately, Subaru dealerships refused to cover these problems, attributing them to alleged abuse.

Additionally, the 2006 model is known for its leaky head gasket, which forces many owners to replace it at an early mileage of 71,550 miles.

Read Also: Why Are Subarus So Popular?

2008 Subaru Impreza

The 2008 Impreza tops the list of least reliable model years, with a staggering 297 NHTSA complaints and 15 recalls.

One of the most prominent complaints centers around the car’s windshields and windows, which develop a problematic film affecting visibility and posing a safety risk, especially during nighttime driving.

Like the 2006 model, the 2008 Impreza also suffers from a leaky head gasket, causing oil leaks around 82,600 miles, necessitating a costly head gasket replacement.

2010 Subaru Impreza

Consumer Reports gives the 2010 Impreza a dismal reliability rating of 1 out of 5, coupled with 15 recalls, making it a concerning model year to consider.

Many complaints revolve around its electronics, including tire pressure monitors, gauges, warning lights, and USB ports, which can be expensive to fix.

Moreover, the 2010 Impreza falls under the list of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, posing potential safety risks due to inflator disintegration under extreme temperatures.

2012 Subaru Impreza

Considered the worst Impreza model year by Car Complaints, the 2012 version amassed 332 NHTSA complaints and six recalls.

One of the most alarming issues reported is sudden and accidental acceleration, presenting a significant safety hazard that requires around $4,000 in repairs at approximately 40,000 miles.

Furthermore, the 2012 Impreza may develop transmission problems, including incorrect gear shifting and random speed surges during reversing, leading to additional expenses of up to $7,500 for transmission repairs.

Read Also: Are Subarus Good Cars?

2013 Subaru Impreza

The 2013 model year continues some recurring problems from the previous year.

Car Complaints logged 334 NHTSA complaints and four recalls for the 2013 Subaru Impreza. Issues with the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) are widespread, with owners reporting slipping while shifting and difficulty in gear changes, and in severe cases, outright transmission failures.

Repairing CVT systems can be challenging and costly, often requiring replacements. Additionally, there were numerous reports of high oil consumption, which might indicate engine problems, necessitating costly repairs or even engine rebuilds.

While these model years have shown a higher frequency of issues, it’s essential to remember that not all vehicles within these years will necessarily encounter problems.

Conducting thorough research, obtaining a detailed vehicle history report, and having a qualified mechanic inspect the car can provide valuable insights before making a final purchase decision.

Being aware of the Subaru Impreza years to avoid can be a valuable asset during your car-buying journey.

Armed with this knowledge, you can engage in meaningful discussions with dealerships and private sellers, ensuring that you make a confident and well-informed decision.

Most Reliable Subaru Impreza Year

With a remarkable lifespan spanning three decades since its debut in 1992, the Subaru Impreza has earned a reputation for its versatility, all-wheel-drive capability, and loyal following.

Most Reliable Subaru Impreza Year

However, with such a diverse range of models available, choosing the perfect Impreza can be a challenging task.

It’s crucial to prioritize reliability to ensure a worry-free driving experience.

We have narrowed down the most reliable Subaru Impreza years, providing you with valuable insights into the best selections that offer excellent performance and minimal repair costs over time, the following model years stand out as top choices:

2011 Subaru Impreza

Most Reliable Subaru Impreza Year

The 2011 Subaru Impreza is an exceptional subcompact car that delivers a pleasant and comfortable driving experience.

Equipped with standard all-wheel-drive, this model offers excellent ride quality and a quiet cabin, making it an ideal choice for various driving scenarios. While it’s not entirely devoid of reliability issues, the majority of reported problems are minor in nature.

The 2011 Impreza is highly regarded for its strong value proposition, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers.

Read Also: Why Are Subarus So Safe?

Depending on the trim level, you can find used 2011 Imprezas priced between $7,900 and $22,950.

2017 Subaru Impreza

Most Reliable Subaru Impreza Year

For those seeking a newer model with enhanced features, the 2017 Subaru Impreza offers excellent value and modern styling. As with its predecessor, the 2017 Impreza comes standard with all-wheel-drive, providing confident handling and improved safety.

With a combined fuel efficiency of 32 mpg, it makes for an efficient daily commuter. While it may not offer top-tier performance, it belongs to one of the more reliable generations of the Impreza lineup.

When browsing the used car market, you can expect to find 2017 Imprezas priced between $17,000 and $25,500.

The Reliability of the Subaru Impreza Overall

While the 2011 and 2017 Subaru Impreza models showcase impressive reliability, it’s essential to assess Impreza’s overall reputation to understand how it stacks up against other vehicles in the market.

However, like any car model, the Impreza is not entirely without its share of issues. Some common complaints across various model years include minor electrical problems, occasional transmission glitches, and small cosmetic defects.

Nevertheless, Subaru has consistently demonstrated a commitment to addressing these issues through timely recalls and improvements.

One of the standout features of the Impreza is its well-designed and comfortable interior, complemented by an array of safety features that ensure a secure driving experience.

From its robust safety ratings to its excellent crash test performance, the Impreza has earned a solid reputation as a safe and reliable choice for families and individual drivers alike.

Read Also: Most Expensive Subaru

Subaru Impreza Problems

The Subaru Impreza, with its sporty design and renowned all-wheel-drive capability, has gained a loyal following among drivers seeking reliability and versatility.

However, no car model is entirely free from potential issues, and the Subaru Impreza is no exception.

Subaru Impreza Problems

In this section, we will explore common Subaru Impreza problems reported by owners of specific model years.

By understanding these issues, you can make an informed decision when considering a Subaru Impreza for your next car purchase.

1. Engine Problems

The 2008 and 2012 Subaru Impreza models have been associated with a few critical engine issues that may cause concern for potential buyers.

Some of the reported problems include excessive oil consumption, head gasket leaks, and unintended acceleration.

However, it’s important to note that these problems typically manifest after the vehicle reaches the 100,000-mile mark. In case any of these issues arise, the average cost of repairs is approximately $2,000.

2. Windows and Windshield Problems

The 2008 Subaru Impreza, in particular, has been subject to complaints regarding poorly built windows and a problematic windshield.

Many owners have noticed a film-like covering on the windshield, significantly affecting driving visibility. To rectify this issue, most 2008 Impreza owners had to frequently clean their windshields, which can be an inconvenience.

3. Electrical and Accessories Problems

The 2015 and 2018 Subaru Impreza models have shown a tendency to experience electrical and accessories failures, typically occurring around 50,000 miles.

Reported problems include battery issues, alternator failure, faulty infotainment systems, and erratic navigation systems.

These electrical malfunctions can lead to frustration and pose potential safety risks. The average repair cost for addressing these issues is around $300.

4. Transmission and Drivetrain Problems

Multiple Subaru Impreza model years have encountered complaints related to the transmission and drivetrain. The affected model years include 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2018 Imprezas.

Commonly reported problems involve transmission failure, gears not working correctly, the steering wheel shaking while driving, and random acceleration in reverse.

These issues can severely impact the vehicle’s performance and safety. If any of these problems arise, the average repair cost can reach up to $4,000.

The 2008 and 2012 Subaru Impreza models have shown engine problems that may require costly repairs after reaching the 100,000-mile mark.

Additionally, the transmission and drivetrain have posed challenges for the 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2018 Impreza models.

While these issues may raise concerns, it’s crucial to remember that not all Subaru Imprezas of these model years will encounter problems.

Read Also: Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

Are Subaru Imprezas Reliable?

Based on the provided data, the Subaru Impreza as a whole is not considered a very reliable model. With a reliability score of 49.45, it falls into the not-very-reliable category. It ranks second to last in the Subaru group, surpassing only the Subaru Tribeca in terms of reliability.

Additionally, according to, the Subaru Impreza receives a score of 3.5/5 for reliability, ranking below average among other compact cars. It secures the 33rd position out of 36 for compact vehicles.

The average annual repair cost for a Subaru Impreza is $653, which is about average for its vehicle type.

However, there is a 17% chance of encountering severe unexpected repairs, which is notably higher than the average for this type of vehicle.

On average, Subaru Impreza owners may need to visit the repair shop approximately 0.3 times a year for unexpected issues, which is an average frequency for compact vehicles.

However, it’s essential to be aware of the higher likelihood of facing severe repairs.

What is the common failure of the Subaru Impreza?

One common failure experienced by Subaru Impreza owners is the appearance of thick black smoke and burning oil, especially if scheduled oil changes are skipped or missed.

Another issue reported is an unresponsive brake pedal that can feel mushy when pressed.

Additionally, some Subaru Impreza may experience oil leaks due to a faulty oil pan.

How many miles does a Subaru Impreza usually last?

According to numerous tests and user reports, Subaru Imprezas can last between 150,000 and 200,000 miles and continue to perform well for more than 15 years without significant problems.

Is Subaru Impreza cheap to maintain?

The maintenance and repair cost for a Subaru Impreza during its first 10 years of service is estimated to be around $5,900. This cost is lower than the industry average for popular sedan models, saving owners about $1,196 in comparison.

However, it’s worth noting that there is a 17.73% chance that a major repair may be required during this period, which could result in higher expenses.

Why did Subaru stop Impreza?

Subaru made the decision to discontinue the production of the Impreza compact sedan and hatchback models due to slow sales. This allowed the company to free up production capacity at Subaru of Indiana Automotive to prioritize the production of the best-selling Subaru Outback model.

The microchip shortage also played a role in the decision, as the limited availability of microchips impacted production across various vehicle models, leading to the discontinuation of the Impreza.


The Subaru Impreza, with its impressive all-wheel-drive capability and sporty design, has garnered a dedicated fan base over the years.

However, it’s crucial for potential buyers to be aware of common issues reported by owners of specific model years.

While the 2011 and 2017 Subaru Impreza models emerge as the most reliable choices, it’s essential to acknowledge that the Impreza, as a whole, may not be considered highly reliable.

With reliability scores placing it in the not-very-reliable category and its position near the bottom of the rankings for compact cars, it’s prudent to exercise caution when considering a used Subaru Impreza.

Various reported problems, such as engine issues, windshield, and window problems, electrical and accessories failures, as well as transmission and drivetrain problems, can pose potential challenges for Impreza owners.

Understanding the potential risks and costs associated with the Impreza can help you make an informed decision and avoid specific model years that may present more issues than others.

While the Subaru Impreza may offer desirable features and performance attributes, staying informed about its common problems is crucial to ensure a satisfactory and reliable driving experience. Remember, knowledge is key, and being aware of the Subaru Impreza years to avoid can guide you toward making a smart and well-informed car-buying decision.

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