The Impreza is a pleasant and practical car with the most comfortable ride of any small car we'd tested up to that point. This revsed version brought more rear-seat room, a quieter cabin and better fit and finish than the previous model. While its handling was still fairly agile, this Impreza wasn't as sporty to drive as its predecessor.
Alerts
There are 14 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2002. Side air bags available from 2002, standard from 2006. Head protection air bags standard from 2008. ESC available in 2008, standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Impreza is a pleasant and practical car with the most comfortable ride of any small car we'd tested up to that point. This revsed version brought more rear-seat room, a quieter cabin and better fit and finish than the previous model. While its handling was still fairly agile, this Impreza wasn't as sporty to drive as its predecessor. Its standard all-wheel drive helps in slippery conditions but saps fuel economy; expect only 24 mpg, which is low for this category.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (265 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (305 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (170 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Subaru Impreza owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Brake exhibited excessive wear even though it is used very little during the year, and is gently driven."

Arthur B., IL (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Caliper sticking from time to time"

Anonymous, NC (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"All 4 calipers have binding issues likely due to excessive rust"

Anonymous, MT (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"Car was not driven daily. Mainly on weekends. Brakes calipers did not release completely causing premature wear out of brake pads & rotors."

James S., OH (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"brake light came on due to pad wear; added brake fluid"

Thomas W., IL (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"Brake exhibited excessive wear even though it is used very little during the year, and is gently driven."

Arthur B., IL (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"had to replace brake pads at 31000"

Anonymous, VA (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"Brake rotors needed to be replaced with less than 17,000 miles on car"

Anonymous, MN (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Was sold a "certified" used Subaru, the rotors needed replacing after less than a year"

Anonymous, ME (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The Subaru dealer wanted to replace the rotors instead of just turning them; I felt that cars today are having to have the rotors replaced instead of just machined each time the brake pads are replaced. This does not make seance because previous vehicles; (over 15 years ago) could have brake rotors & drums machined and not replaced each time when regular brake pads were replaced."

James S., OH (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"engine rebuilt under warranty in 2014. Now same problem has come up but I am no longer under warranty"

Holly B., RI (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"oil consumption problem - ignored repeatedly by Subaru for over a year. due to efforts of 1 trustworthy mechanic, finally proved the problem, took engine apart, found leaking valves, replaced short engine block at Subaru's expense. very frustrating"

Anonymous, CT (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Head gasket

"Needs replaced, slow leak"

Anonymous, WI (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The head gasket went out around 115,000 miles as many do on subaru SOHC engines. It was fixable and did not cause long term damage. Cost $1500 to fix"

Anonymous, MD (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It's and epidemic on every 2.5l motors made by subaru. After 100k km the head gasket seal broke and oil leaks from the motor.. evrebody I know who owns one is having this issue"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"just discovered that there is a leak in the head gasket. major dollars to repair and the car has less than 30,000 miles and less than 5 years old!"

Anonymous, NH (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Dealer diagnosed leaking head gasket during regular maintenance; two-day appointment to replace."

Michael P., NH (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Plastic fasteners connecting exterior trim components to the vehicle continually come out and require replacement"

Robert M., ON (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"backing out of a snowbank or any road snow depth greater than 6 can cause the exterior front bumper to separate from the body and internal plastic lining. Once separated it's a battle to keep the liner and bumper together. plastic fasteners are not able to secure the plastic bumper liner."

Norman Z., OR (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"The interior of this car is seems to be constructed of the cheapest plastic ever put in a car. Both visors have snapped off, the entire left side vent came off in my hand shortly after acquiring the car. The lid to the between the seat compartment broke and just flops around now. It seems like everytime it is driven something other part ends up on the floor. It is a piece of junk on the inside."

Anonymous, (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Interior trim around the from windshield rattles at speed. Rattles in the dashboard and glove box area"

Robert M., ON (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint is peeling from the body. This started when the car was only about one year old."

Anonymous, (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint damaged in small spots on the hood resulting in rust spots."

Anonymous, AK (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Total exhaust replacement due to deterioration of exhaust system. Basically rusted out"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Two of the three catalytic converters failed a pressure test. When the check engine light and code came on, the car automatically disengages the traction control and cruise control and all kinds of lights go on the dashboard. There is no warning and it took considerable effort to diagnose the problem. Seemed awfully early to lose the catalytic converters."

Norman Z., OR (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust manifold

"the exhaust manifold cracked and needed to be replaced and it's very expensive"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Loose/rattling heat shield

"Seems to be a common issue with Imprezas. The heat sheilds rattle."

Kurt E., PA (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Dealer heard this noise when in for air bag recall, but was quoted $800 to repair /replace heat shield REDICULOS way over priced"

Anonymous, NE (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"it's a common problem on every impreza of that generation and subaru is not making any recall. it's really annoying and everytime I go to the garage to repair it it costs me 300$ and after 6 months I need to fix it again!"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"suddenly wouldn't shift, then would, etc. It seems subaru clutches are going out about 65,000 miles the mechanic said"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The clutch was no longer working correctly - ended up having to have the car towed to dealership for replacement"

Anonymous, IA (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The throw-out bearing failed while driving. Entire clutch mechanism had to be replaced. $2,000.00"

Anonymous, MA (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Clutch had to be replaced. Was not built correctly. Repair mostly covered under extended warranty"

Julian C., AB (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Clutched failed catastrophically -- almost stranding me at a traffic light, barely managed to get it back into gear and to a shop -- a short time before transmission failed a second time"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Had to replace transmission *twice* in the last year -- in both cases the thing tore itself apart under normal use. First one had about 85K miles on it, second lasted less than 11,000"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"The cigarette lighter (or 12V connection) in the center armrest does not work with my USB charger. No electrical connection is made. It has never worked since I bought the car, and it seems to have the wrong shape to work with adapters that plug into cigarette lighters."

Anonymous, UT (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Tail light went. Dealer replaced it free without appointment"

Anonymous, UT (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The exterior left front turn light burned out. This caused the blinker to blink twice as fast, which is good, as it told me something was wrong. It was easily fixed."

Anonymous, UT (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"a common problem on subaru is the exterior lights that takes water in. The rear light of my 2011 hatchback is always full of water everytime it rains. I peirced a couple of holes to evacuate the water but the inside of the light still remains dirty."

Anonymous, QC (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seats

"driver side heated seat stopped working just before warrantee ran out, was replaced by dealer under warrantee"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"The engine is knocking and is consuming oil"

Anonymous, QC (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

"Car in Subaru shop for 4 days. Head gasket leak and needed replacing. Probably original part."

Anonymous, ON (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"oil level drops 2 qts. between oil changes (3500 mi)"

Holly B., RI (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I think oil filter may have not been replaced correctly by mechanic"

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The moon roof leaked but was fixed at dealer"

Anonymous, OR (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"The car has multiple rattles due to the poor quality of the car"

Allan B., NY (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattle from back underside"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"Seemed to be low kilometres for this problem to arise"

J M., ON (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

"Bushings needed replacement"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Road noise that turned out to require bearing replacement"

Anonymous, MN (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"My car started rough shifting last winter. Enough to scare me. After doing research online, he discovered it was a known Subaru problem with no recall. He topped off the transmission fluid and it still shifts rough in cold weather, but not as bad. I am selling my Imprezza even though it;s not paid off. I've never done this with any previous car. I normally put 100,000 to 200,000 miles on my car before I sell it."

Anonymous, WA (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

"Have had fluid and filter replaced. This helped some, bit on strong acceleration, the transmission slips between 2nd and 3rd"

Anonymous, NE (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

"My car came equipped with TomTom and the it started being a problem In February of 2015 with only 13,000 miles on it. The display would fail and the touch screen would also fail. The entire device failed by June and was replace with an aftermarket car stereo and I use my smart phone for nav."

Anonymous, WA (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"When we start the car, we have to manually connect the iphone7 with the car 5-7 times before it will pair. EACH TIME the car is started. This is ridiculous. We will NEVER again use a subaru factory radio. The fact that subaru was too cheap to ensure their radio works with the most popular brand of cell phone (Iphone) shows arrogance and insensitivity to customers needs. If this isn't done you cannot receive or make a hands free phone call in the car."

Geoffrey H., NY (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Dealer diagnosed and replaced A/C compressor when cabin cooling failed."

Michael P., NH (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"The catalytic converter needed to be replaced. It was covered under an extended warranty from Subaru CA"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"Had to replace the drive shaft"

Anonymous, CT (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Due to the coronavirus and not driving the vehicle as often the battery has drained twice."

Anonymous, WI (2011 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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