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Subaru Impreza
Subaru Impreza 2017 sedan Trim Shown: 2017 Premium sedan AWD CVT

Whether in sedan or hatchback body style, the Impreza is our top ranking compact car. It may be a no-nonsense type of car, but it does just about everything well. It rides very comfortably, swallowing bumps some more expensive cars struggle with. The car is fairly quiet although the familiar engine thrum is still there. It tackles corners responsively and remains secure even when pushed. The brakes are excellent. Standard all-wheel-drive and the optional EyeSight suite of advanced safety features bring added peace of mind. Although not a speed demon, the engine and transmission do the job and the car attained a commendable 30 mpg overall. Controls are very intuitive with an easy to use touchscreen for the infotainment system. Too bad the driver seat has no adjustable lumbar support.

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2012 Redesign Year
Subaru Impreza 2016 Trim Shown: 2016 Others

The Impreza shot to the top of our small car rankings after its 2012 redesign, thanks to nimble handling, a roomy interior, improved fuel economy, and a comfortable ride that rivals some luxury sedans. All-wheel-drive, standard on all Imprezas, usually takes a toll on gas mileage, but we measured an impressive 27 mpg overall with the continuously-variable transmission (CVT.) Adults fit comfortably in the back seat, and the ride soaks up bumps with ease. Cabin noise remains an annoyance; updates for 2016 slightly improved that. Those updates also included a new touchscreen infotainment system, replacing previous antiquated offerings. Driver visibility and crash test results are top-notch. A rear camera became standard in 2015. Look for an Impreza with the optional EyeSight system, which includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The Impreza Sport is a hatchback version; the Crosstrek is a renamed Impreza Sport with more ground clearance and some rugged styling tweaks. Performance buffs will gravitate towards the turbocharged WRX, but we found the notchy shifter, finicky clutch, and hair-trigger engine response makes it annoying to drive.

Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2016 $19,100 - $20,475 $16,220 - $17,570
2015 $17,700 - $19,250 $14,850 - $16,350
2014 $15,800 - $31,150 $13,000 - $28,080
2013 $13,875 - $28,925 $11,150 - $25,900
2012 $11,900 - $26,550 $9,250 - $23,510
2008 Redesign Year
Subaru Impreza 2011 Trim Shown: 2011 Sedan WRX

Redesigned for 2008, this generation of the Impreza became considerably more refined. It is a pleasant and practical car with one of the most comfortable rides of any small car we've tested. Improvements include more rear-seat room, a quieter cabin, and better fit and finish than the previous model. While its handling is still fairly agile, the Impreza isn't as sporty to drive as its predecessor. Standard all-wheel drive helps in slippery conditions, but saps fuel economy; fuel economy of 24 mpg overall with the automatic ranks among the least efficient small cars. Crash-test results are impressive; electronic stability control was a readily available option that became standard in 2009. The Impreza Outback Sport is basically a better-appointed Impreza hatchback with a two-tone paint job; stability control was standard. The turbocharged WRX accelerates strongly, but the 2008 version proved to be surprisingly bland to drive. A quick 2009 update had 40 more horsepower and a retuned suspension, making it much more fun. The 24 mpg we measured with a manual transmission was pretty good for this level of acceleration. With over 300 horsepower, the STi version is a hard-core sports car; most buyers will find the WRX to be a more livable everyday.

Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2011 $9,975 - $24,150 $7,400 - $21,070
2010 $8,075 - $21,400 $5,590 - $18,375
2009 $6,950 - $20,425 $4,520 - $17,390
2008 $6,625 - $19,200 $4,195 - $16,150
2002 Redesign Year
Subaru Impreza 2007 Trim Shown: 2007 Wagon

One of the better small cars, the Impreza serves up a supple ride and enjoyable handling. Paired with a well-tuned suspension, sharp steering makes the car feels agile and fun to drive. Standard anti-lock brakes and all-wheel-drive provide confidence in slippery conditions. Road noise can grow wearisome on longer trips. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder supplies decent acceleration, but 22 mpg overall is mediocre. Interior trim is relatively spartan, rear seat room is cramped, and trunk space is modest. Sedans lack a folding seatback, which is a common feature in this class. The Outback Sport is basically a two-tone Impreza hatchback with a higher ride height and more standard equipment; it doesn't handle or ride as well as regular Imprezas. Both the rally-racing inspired WRX, with its 227-hp turbocharged engine, and the even more potent WRX STi version are a blast to drive. Suspension revisions in 2006 and newer WRXs made handling at the limit trickier; no stability control was available.

Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2007 $5,775 - $18,775 $3,365 - $15,705
2006 $5,400 - $17,450 $3,010 - $14,400
2005 $4,925 - $15,475 $2,565 - $12,495
2004 $4,125 - $13,450 $1,870 - $10,605
2003 $3,550 - $6,250 $1,410 - $3,815
2002 $2,925 - $5,025 $900 - $2,660
Subaru Impreza 2001 Trim Shown: 2001

The Impreza offered sedan and wagon models from the start. Engines have always been "flat fours," four-cylinder engines whose cylinders are horizontally opposed. The 2.2-liter is livelier than the base 1.8-liter. The Impreza delivers nimble handling and a relatively comfortable ride. The rear seat is cramped and cargo space is tight. In 1996, AWD became standard on all Impreza models and an "Outback Sport" SUV-inspired wagon debuted. An RS sedan followed for 2000.

Average Retail Price Trade-in Price Reliability Verdict Owner Satisfaction View Local Inventory
2001 N/A N/A
2000 N/A N/A