1999 Subaru Impreza Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

1999 Subaru Impreza Wagon

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Subaru Impreza Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Flat 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 142 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1999 Subaru Impreza

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    All-wheel drive. Scrappy personality. Bulletproof reliability record. Fun to drive.

  • Cons

    Tight rear seat. Limited cargo space in wagon with back seat raised. No ABS option for L models.

  • What's New for 1999

    More horsepower, more torque and a more efficient automatic transmission are the big news this year. Multireflector halogen headlights are new and Outback Sport gets a revised grille. The 2.5 RS gets silver alloy wheels, a new front bumper, white gauge faces and more torque, as well as an upgraded leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Two new colors are available for 1999.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

First car, first love

by on
Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Impreza

After months of reading the reviews on Edmunds my parents had enough and bought the Outback without my knowledge. I was mad for all of a second. I truly loved this car. Purchased at 135,000 I took it to 180,000 without a single problem be for it was murdered in a hit and run accident. Gas milage averaged 23 mpg's consistently. I had the joy of taking it to the snow ALOT, and not a single problem. If this car didn't get hit I would be giving it to my kids (I'm 21). A great first car the roof racks are great for surfboards, the seats lay flat for the snowboards, Mt. Bikes, Skimboards, dogs, and naps if you lay diagonally. If you have the chance this is a great first car!

Oil leak

by on
Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Impreza

When I purchased this car I knew it had an oil leak but for a 1998 with 57,000 I didn't car. I've had it for four years now and have hardly had any problems with it. I didn't have the money when i bought it to repair the oil leak (broke college kid) Finally got it fixed four yrs later and it has 105,000 wheel bearings had to be replaced but other than that i haven't had to invest much into it. for 18 yrs old she runs great!! And i plan on keeping her till she dies

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Wheel bearings

by on
Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Impreza

Bought used with 37,000 miles, left rear wheel bearings have been replaced twice. The Subaru dealer did not change belts as specified in the user's manual. Nonetheless, the car has done well in Minnesota winter driving. Some rust left rear. Intermittent warning light Airbags

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

As reliable as death and

by on
Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Impreza

My third Subaru. The all wheel drive is a dream. If you mess up and go around a corner too fast in the rain, this car holds on to the ground like it has CLAWS. Short of recklessness, it just does not skid. We bought it used with 30K miles and have put 15K more on it. It has only had routine maintainance (includidng new belts) and it has never faltered. With it's styling my friends thought it was new, not six years old! I guess that's good, because I'll be driving it for many more years. A little too much road noise is it's only fault.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

"fun in the snow"

by on
Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Impreza

Until i purchased this vehicle, i was petrified to drive in the snow! What a delight and relief to know that my impreza has the ability to get me through anything a tough northeast winter sends my way!!! My confidence level has improved a thousand percent!!!

Ob sport rocks! (but now

by on
Vehicle: 1998 Subaru Impreza

Great car, handles snow and ice beautifully. Never had any maintenance problems. Just had first brake job done at 75,000 miles.

Full 1999 Subaru Impreza Review

What's New for 1999

More horsepower, more torque and a more efficient automatic transmission are the big news this year. Multireflector halogen headlights are new and Outback Sport gets a revised grille. The 2.5 RS gets silver alloy wheels, a new front bumper, white gauge faces and more torque, as well as an upgraded leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Two new colors are available for 1999.


Subaru built a solid reputation for itself in the 1970s, building inexpensive (and built to stay that way), four-wheel drive passenger cars. The company enjoyed success in the Northeast, Rocky Mountains and Northwest, providing people with reliable transportation that could thwart most attempts by Mother Nature to keep them from arriving at their destinations. Aside from a major rusting habit and offbeat styling, Subarus kept loyal owners happy.

Then Subaru decided it wanted a bigger piece of the auto market pie. The Impreza was originally conceived to battle the Ford Escorts, Toyota Corollas and Chevy Cavaliers that sold so well to young adults. A zippy ad campaign touting the underpowered Impreza as What to Drive alienated traditional Sube buyers and turned off the young adults it was supposed to attract. Sales of the Impreza were less than successful, and Subaru scrambled to find a solution.

Wonder of wonders, the company decided to reacquaint itself with its legendary all-wheel drive system. Subaru is emphasizing AWD in every ad, article and brochure you can lay your hands on. Ah yes, the Beauty Of All-Wheel Drive. The Impreza is available in coupe, sedan and wagon format. Traditional front-wheel drive editions have been banished from the roster.

For 1999, Subaru boosts power and torque in L and Outback Sport models. The automatic transmission has been revised to operate more efficiently as well. All Imprezas get multi-reflector halogen headlights this year and two new colors are available. The Outback Sport has a revised grille.

The racy rally-inspired 2.5 RS dumps its gold alloys for more conventional silver wheels and gets a revised front bumper. Torque from the 2.5's 2.5-liter flat four is up for 1999, and white-faced gauges lend a sportier appearance to the interior. New fabric and upgraded leather on the steering wheel and gearshift knob round out the 1999 2.5 RS, a fun car to drive in any type of weather.

Lesser Imprezas are a good time, too. All Imprezas behave like street-legal rally cars, and they're a hoot to toss around. Fling one into a corner, and it clings to the pavement. The Impreza is comfortable, though the side glass feels a bit too close. Steering and braking is communicative. There is one thing that bothers us about the Impreza lineup, and that's the lack of an antilock brake option on the L model. To get ABS, you must order the Outback Sport or 2.5 RS. This doesn't make much sense from a company touting safety in its advertising.

Overall, we find much to like about the Impreza. We've driven Outback Sport, 2.5 RS, and L Coupe models, and thoroughly enjoyed them. The wagon has a small cargo area when the rear seat is raised, partially due to the steeply raked rear window. Drop the seat, though, and you've got 62 cubic feet to mess around with. Other quibbles include a cramped rear seat and ugly, K-Mart issue plastic wheelcovers on the Outback Sport.

Subaru is aiming the Outback Sport at consumers who would otherwise be considering a Toyota RAV4, Geo Tracker or Kia Sportage. Unfortunately, it has trouble delivering what most folks want in a sport utility. It's not capable of serious off-road adventure, and it doesn't provide a commanding view of traffic. Cargo volume with the rear seat up can't match the Kia or the Toyota for usability. However, Imprezas are a blast to drive hard and fast, and the all-wheel drive system performs brilliantly on a variety of road surfaces.

What's it cost for a fun car with all-wheel drive peace of mind? The L coupe starts at $16,400 including destination charges. Better accommodations will run you as much as $17,600 for an L Wagon with an automatic transmission. Want ABS? Plan to spend another grand on the Outback Sport. Despite the benefits of all-wheel drive, the budget-minded compact shopper must ask whether the price commanded by the Subaru is worth it. As much as we like the Impreza, we're skeptical.

Talk About The 1999 Impreza

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs