1996 Subaru Impreza Consumer Review: Numbers don't always tell the

1996 Subaru Impreza - Consumer Review

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Numbers don't always tell the story
By BerkeleyNut on


1996 Subaru Impreza Outback 4dr Wagon AWD


My overall score may not be as high as others, but I don't love it any less. Overall, great value, fun car, and great features. I'd buy it again - but not the automatic. Good and firm handling, with high ground-clearance for snowpack or dirt roads. 2.2 is peppy, but the automatic limits performance. High torque makes up for avg horsepower. Real killer with auto is 90-10 AWD bias. Manual is 50-50. Mild understeer coming into a turn but neutral steer coming out. As bad as 16 mpg when driving aggressively in the city! Noticed from exhaust smell and smog test results that my air-fuel runs rich. Overall 20+ mpg isn't bad.

Best Features

AWD, sport suspension -> extremely fun to drive. Versatility of folding seats, roof racks. Interior layout (superior to even 02-03 WRX). High quality vinyl. VERY reliable.

Worst Features

Stock stereo was terrible. Putting drinks in cupholders makes climate control inaccessible. If you buy a used Impreza, look for sets of new WRX wheels and tires for $400 on eBay. Best value upgrade you could do to a 2.2 Impreza for looks and handling.
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