11 Best & Worst Subaru Impreza Years (Stats & Examples)

When it comes to the world of compact cars, few models have captured the hearts and minds of driving enthusiasts quite like the Subaru Impreza. It’s safe to say the Impreza has remained a favorite among drivers seeking a blend of practicality and exhilaration. 

However, with its long and storied history spanning several generations, not all Impreza years are created equal.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of the Subaru Impreza to explore the best and worst years.

The Best and Worst Years for Subaru Impreza Are:

Owing to their renowned dependability, the best and most reliable model years for the Subaru Impreza encompass the 2020-2023, 2018, and 2015-2016 iterations. On the other hand, models from 2019, 2012-2013, and 2008 should be considered with caution by prospective buyers. 

What Subaru Impreza Years Are the Most Reliable?

Reliability is a paramount factor when considering the purchase of any vehicle. 

Renowned for its durability, robust engineering, and renowned all-wheel drive system, the Impreza has built a reputation as a dependable compact car. 

Let’s look into the world of the Subaru Impreza to uncover which specific years have proven to be the most reliable.

2020 – 2023 Subaru Impreza

The 2020-2023 Subaru Impreza models have proven to be reliable choices for compact car enthusiasts. 

With each passing year, Subaru has continued to refine and enhance the Impreza’s performance, features, and overall dependability. These models boast a track record of reliability, making them appealing options for those seeking a reliable vehicle.

The 2022 and 2023 Impreza models stand out as the latest iterations of this popular compact car. 

In terms of ratings and reviews, the 2023 Impreza has received positive feedback, with Kelley Blue Book rating it at 4.2 out of 5.0 and JD Power giving it a score of 80 out of 100. 

While Edmunds does not have a rating available for the 2023 model at this time, the high ratings from other sources indicate a level of reliability that is characteristic of this generational Impreza lineup.

The 2022 Impreza also earns praise, with a solid Edmunds rating of 4.8 out of 5.0. Kelley Blue Book rates it similarly at 4.2 out of 5.0, highlighting its appeal and reliability. 

With a JD Power score of 80 out of 100, the 2022 Impreza continues to demonstrate its consistency in delivering a dependable driving experience.

Looking back to the 2021 model year, Impreza showcased its reliability with minimal complaints on the NHTSA website and positive customer feedback. 

The 2021 Impreza received an Edmunds rating of 3.9 out of 5.0, a Kelley Blue Book rating of 4.2 out of 5.0, and a JD Power score of 79 out of 100.

For those on a tighter budget, the 2020 Impreza remains a solid value option while still delivering reliable performance.

The 2020 Impreza earned a commendable Edmunds rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, a Kelley Blue Book rating of 4.2 out of 5.0, and a JD Power score of 76 out of 100.

Here is a breakdown of each model’s reliability ratings: 

Model Year Edmunds Rating Kelley Blue Book Rating JD Power Score
2023 N/A 4.2 / 5.0 80 / 100
2022 4.8 / 5.0 4.2 / 5.0 80 / 100
2021 3.9 / 5.0 4.2 / 5.0 79 / 100
2020 4.0 / 5.0 4.2 / 5.0 76 / 100

2018 Subaru Impreza

The 2018 Subaru Impreza remained consistent with its predecessor, offering a dependable driving experience.

In terms of ratings:

  • The 2018 Impreza earned a respectable Edmunds rating of 3.8 out of 5.0, reflecting its overall positive attributes.
  • Kelley Blue Book also gave it a favorable rating of 4.2 out of 5.0, highlighting its appeal to buyers.
  • The JD Power score for the 2018 Impreza was 76 out of 100, indicating a level of reliability that aligns with Subaru’s reputation.

Owners of the 2018 Impreza have praised its on-road performance, noting improved handling compared to earlier models. 

With its standard all-wheel drive, nimble handling, and affordable pricing, the 2018 Impreza offers a compelling option for drivers seeking a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

2015 – 2016 Subaru Impreza

The 2015 and 2016 Subaru Impreza models stand out for their reliability and customer satisfaction, with relatively low reported problems and complaints. 

Although slightly smaller than their successors, these models offer impressive features and technologies.

In terms of ratings, the 2015 Impreza received positive reviews and high ratings from reputable sources:

  • Edmunds gave it a commendable rating of 4.4 out of 5.0, reflecting its overall appeal and performance. Kelley Blue Book also rated it favorably at 4.4 out of 5.0, indicating its desirability among buyers.
  • The JD Power score for the 2015 Impreza was 78 out of 100, further attesting to its reliability and customer satisfaction.

And for the 2016 Impreza,

  • Edmunds rated it at 4.0 out of 5.0, indicating its strong performance and reliability.
  • Kelley Blue Book gave it a rating of 4.4 out of 5.0, further highlighting its appeal among consumers.

Owners of the 2016 Impreza have praised its quiet and comfortable ride, especially on country roads and highways. 

The combination of positive owner experiences, strong ratings, and the introduction of advanced safety features in the 2015 model year make the 2015 and 2016 Subaru Impreza models reliable choices for compact car buyers. 

Here is a comparison of these model years: 

Model Year Edmunds Rating Kelley Blue Book Rating JD Power Score Notable Features
2015 4.4 / 5.0 4.4 / 5.0 78 / 100 Introduction of EyeSight technology, a rearview camera as standard.
2016 4.0 / 5.0 4.4 / 5.0 N/A Upgrade in comfort and performance, favorable ownership experiences.

Please also check out our article about how well Subaru SUVs hold their value.

What Subaru Impreza Years Should You Avoid?

When it comes to buying a used car, it’s important to be aware of certain model years that may have specific issues or drawbacks. 

In the case of the Subaru Impreza, a popular compact car known for its reliability, there are a few model years that have been associated with potential concerns. 

Understanding which Subaru Impreza years to avoid can help you make an informed decision and ensure a more satisfying ownership experience.

2019 Subaru Impreza

Several reports from owners indicate instances where this model’s windshield cracked without any apparent cause or external impact. 

One owner’s account described the sudden noise and significant crack that appeared while driving at a speed of 50 mph. The crack rapidly spread, covering approximately 75% of the windshield. 

In terms of reliability statistics, the 2019 Impreza received a total of 19 complaints at CarComplaints.com, a platform where consumers can report vehicle issues. 

Additionally, CarProblemZoo.com recorded 107 problems reported by owners of the 2019 Impreza, further highlighting the prevalence of this particular issue.

Aside from the windshield cracking problem, a few other common problems were reported by owners of the 2019 Impreza: 

  • The steering is overly sensitive, which could affect the car’s handling and driver control.
  • Reports of stalling, where the vehicle would unexpectedly shut off while in operation, potentially leading to safety concerns.

Consulting with a trusted mechanic or Subaru dealership can also provide valuable insights and help assess the condition of the specific vehicle you are interested in.

2012-2013 Subaru Impreza

The 2012 and 2013 Subaru Impreza model years present a range of issues that potential buyers should be aware of before considering these vehicles.

The 2012 model garnered a significant number of complaints, with 332 registered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Furthermore, it was subject to six recalls, indicating a higher likelihood of encountering issues.

Moving on to the 2013 Impreza, it continues to exhibit certain recurring problems. Car Complaints logged 320 NHTSA complaints and four recalls for this model year. 

Here are some of this model’s most significant issues with the 2013 model:

  • Transmission: Owners have reported problems such as slipping while shifting and difficulty with gear changes, which can be costly due to the complexity of CVT systems.
  • Reports of high oil consumption: Some owners needed to replace the rod bearings and piston rings to address leaks. Also, more extensive measures, such as engine rebuilds, may be needed, can result in significant expenses.

Issues like these ​​make it crucial to carefully inspect the vehicle and consider its maintenance history when considering a used Subaru Impreza from the 2012 or 2013 model year.

2008 Subaru Impreza

The 2008 Subaru Impreza stands out as a model year with several notable issues that potential buyers should be aware of. 

In terms of complaints, the 2008 Impreza received a significant number of reports, with 297 registered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Additionally, it was subject to an alarming 15 recalls, indicating a higher likelihood of encountering problems.

One prevalent complaint regarding the 2008 Impreza revolves around the car’s windshields and windows. Many owners have reported the presence of a film on the glass surfaces. 

Surprisingly, this issue has been observed in relatively new vehicles, occurring at around 2,900 miles.

Another significant problem, also shared with the 2006 model year, is the occurrence of leaky head gaskets. This issue typically manifests around 82,600 miles, resulting in oil leakage. 

Given the high number of complaints and recalls associated with this model year, it is crucial to assess the condition of the windshields/windows and check for any signs of head gasket leakage.

Considering alternative model years and conducting comprehensive research can help prospective buyers find a Subaru Impreza with better reliability and performance.

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Subaru Impreza Models?

While Subaru Impreza models have a reputation for reliability and durability, like any vehicle, they can still experience certain common problems. 

Here are some typical issues that owners have reported with Subaru Impreza models:

  • Rear oil leak
  • Black smoke coming from the exhaust
  • The soy-based coating on wires attracts rodents
  • Subaru’s STARLINK Infotainment System can be unresponsive
  • Windshield prone to cracking on its own
  • Underpowered brakes can affect overall suspension health
  • Poor control and sloppy handling
  • Check the engine light coming on intermittently
  • Clutch clatters when the car starts cold
  • Brakes wear out quickly
  • The brake lights not working
  • Head gasket failure

For a more in-depth answer, please read our article about common problems with Subaru cars.

It’s important to note that while these problems have been reported by some Impreza owners, they may not be representative of all vehicles or all model years. 


Go back to best and worst years across all Subaru models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.