Best Year Subaru Impreza: Is There More Than One?

(Last Updated On: March 13, 2024)

Ever thought of what distinguishes the Subaru Impreza in the world of compact cars? Its combination of robustness, efficiency, and reliability has made it a favorite since its inception in 1992. Like all enduring legacies, however, some parts shine more than others. Join us in exploring the history of the Subaru Impreza, highlighting its most successful years and those not quite up to par. Understand more about the groundbreaking models of 2011 and 2017, appreciate its evolution, and determine if it’s the perfect fit for your driving aims. Buckle up, ignite your curiosity, and let’s embark on the story of this celebrated compact. Are you ready for the journey? Continue reading!

What’s The Best Year Subaru Impreza and Why?

The Subaru Impreza has seen numerous models over its three-decade lifespan. However, two years stand out as the most reliable – the 2011 Subaru Impreza and the 2017 Subaru Impreza. These Subaru Impreza years have become fan favorites, receiving impressive owner reviews over the years.

The 2011 model represents a high point for the third generation of the Impreza. It boasts comfortable seating, robust safety features, and excellent reliability. This model year is known for its minimal issues, providing a worry-free driving experience.

On the other hand, the 2017 Subaru Impreza marks the beginning of the car’s fifth generation. This model year saw a complete redesign with a focus on improving safety and performance. The 2017 Impreza stands out for its enhanced features and improved reliability, making it a solid choice for those looking for a more recent used model.

Best Impreza Years Compared To Lesser Model Years

While the 2011 and 2017 models stand out for their reliability, therefore receiving fewer complaints, there are certain model years for Subaru Imprezas that should be avoided. The 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013 models are known to have significant issues. These models have been plagued with problems related to the transmission system, windshields, and more. Furthermore, customer complaints and incidents where Subaru failed to assist with the issues created by these poorly constructed vehicles have been reported.

a blue and gold 22b Subaru Impreza WRX STI against a mountainous landscape
While not considered one of the “best” years, the 22b Subaru Impreza model is one of the most sought after iterations of the car. When compared to other Impreza model years, it’s not as technologically advanced, but it developed a reputation as a high-performance rally car.

How Did Subaru Change The Impreza Over Time?

Subaru has consistently updated and improved the Impreza since its debut in 1992. The first generation of Subaru Imprezas was a car with a focus on performance and compactness, a trend that continued with the second and third generations.

With the fourth and fifth generations, Subaru shifted its focus towards safety and fuel efficiency. The Impreza gained standard all-wheel drive in 2015, a feature that continues to be a key selling point for the vehicle.

The 2017 model marked a significant redesign for the Impreza, introducing a host of new features and improvements. The car was given a more stylish exterior, a more comfortable interior, and a suite of advanced safety features. Despite these improvements, the Impreza has retained its core attributes of reliability and affordability, making it a popular choice among compact car buyers.

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Is The Subaru Impreza Reliable?

As a whole, the Subaru Impreza is considered a reliable vehicle. However, like any car, its reliability can vary by model year. In general, the Subaru Impreza’s reliability scores below average in reliability compared to other compact cars. It has the second-lowest score in the Subaru group, ranking only ahead of the Subaru Tribeca.

Read more here: Are Subaru WRX Reliable? Yes and No (Here’s Why)

However, the Impreza’s reliability rating should not be seen as a deal-breaker. The car’s overall performance, safety features, and value for money make it a worthy contender in the compact car segment. Furthermore, the 2011 and 2017 Impreza models stand out for their exceptional reliability, making them worthwhile considerations for used car buyers.

Related article: What Do These Subaru Dashboard Lights Mean?

a subaru motor with the head taken off to access the horizontal pistons after a piston ring and head gasket failed
Prone to many of the same failures as other Subaru models, the Impreza can occasionally suffer from catastrophic engine failure. This is typically related to the flat cylinder (boxer) engines used by the company. However, many Imprezas are incredibly reliable.

Should I Buy An Impreza? Yes and No

The decision to buy a Subaru Impreza will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you’re seeking a reliable, affordable compact vehicle with standard all-wheel drive, the Impreza is an excellent choice. The 2011 and 2017 models are particularly noteworthy for their reliability and value.

However, if you prioritize fuel efficiency and cutting-edge technology, other compact cars may be more suitable. The Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Corolla hatchback, for example, offer similar styles with better fuel economy and more advanced features.

Read more:
> Subaru Outback Years to Avoid

Here’s How To Decide For Yourself

When deciding whether the Subaru Impreza is the right car for you, consider the following factors:

  1. Budget: Consider your budget and the cost of ownership, including fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs.
  2. Reliability: Review the reliability ratings for the specific model years you’re considering.
  3. Features: Determine which features are most important to you, such as safety features, interior comfort, and performance.
  4. Test Drive: Always take the car for a test drive to ensure it meets your expectations and feels right to drive.

Are They Worth It?

While the Subaru Impreza may not be the most reliable compact car on the market, it offers a solid blend of performance, safety, and value. The 2011 and 2017 models stand out for their excellent reliability and are worth considering if you’re in the market for a used market Subaru Impreza.

However, it’s important to remember that no car is perfect, and each model year will have its own set of pros and cons. Always do your research and consider your specific needs before making a purchase.

Consider this: Subaru Impreza Problems

My Opinion

As an experienced and engaging auto enthusiast, I appreciate the Subaru Impreza for its consistent performance and affordability. While it may not be the most reliable or fuel-efficient compact car, it offers an excellent blend of qualities that make it a worthwhile option for many drivers. The 2011 and 2017 models are particularly impressive and are worth considering for anyone in the market for a used Impreza.

In conclusion, the Subaru Impreza is a solid compact car with a lot to offer. While it may not be the most reliable car in its class, its performance, safety features, and affordability make it a worthy contender. The 2011 and 2017 models stand out for their exceptional reliability, making them excellent choices for those in the market for a used Subaru Impreza. However, as with any car purchase, it’s crucial to do your research and consider your specific needs before making a decision.


You may still have questions about the Subaru Impreza. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about this vehicle:

Is the Subaru Impreza a good car?

Yes, the Subaru Impreza is a good car. It is known for its performance, safety features, and affordability. However, its reliability varies by model year, so it’s important to research specific models before making a purchase.

What are the most reliable years for the Subaru Impreza?

The 2011 and 2017 Subaru Impreza models are considered the most reliable.

What years should I avoid when buying a used Subaru Impreza?

The 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013 models are known to have significant issues and should be avoided if possible.

How does the Subaru Impreza compare to other compact cars?

While the Impreza may not be the most reliable or fuel-efficient compact car, it stands out for its performance, safety features, and standard all-wheel drive. However, other compact cars like the Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Corolla hatchback may offer better fuel economy and more advanced features.

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