Used 2013 Subaru Impreza Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Subaru Impreza Review

2013 Subaru Impreza

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Subaru Impreza

  • A roomy interior, a commendable ride/handling balance and all-wheel drive make the 2013 Subaru Impreza a solid choice for an all-season compact sedan or hatchback.

  • Pros

    Standard all-wheel drive; spacious interior; secure handling; compliant ride quality.

  • Cons

    Lackluster acceleration; tiresome CVT and engine noise; substandard sound systems.

  • What's New for 2013

    After a full redesign last year, the 2013 Subaru Impreza now comes standard with Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, an auxiliary audio jack and steering wheel controls. A rearview camera is now included with the navigation system.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Subaru Impreza

What's New for 2013

After a full redesign last year, the 2013 Subaru Impreza now comes standard with Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, an auxiliary audio jack and steering wheel controls. A rearview camera is now included with the navigation system.


Until its redesign a year ago, the Subaru Impreza offered little more than alternative appeal. Below-average fuel economy and substandard interior materials left the Impreza with one selling point: standard all-wheel drive. The latest car is more well-rounded, however, and the 2013 Subaru Impreza further capitalizes on its newfound acceptance with a few improvements. Bluetooth now comes standard on all models, along with iPod connectivity and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The optional navigation system package now also includes a rearview camera.

The Impreza still retains the qualities that vaulted it into the mainstream: spacious interior, a compliant ride quality and class-competitive fuel economy. The Impreza's big draw remains its standard all-wheel drive, which has kept the Subaru in good graces with drivers living among a full range of wet and slippery seasons.

If all-wheel drive isn't a priority, other small sedans or hatchbacks may hold more appeal. The 2013 Ford Focus offers a nicer interior and superior high-tech features, while the 2013 Mazda 3 feels more nimble around town. The stylish 2013 Hyundai Elantra (and Elantra GT) is another enjoyable sedan/hatchback combo to consider. All of these cars return better fuel economy, too. Still, with its space, utility and sure-footedness, the Impreza remains a solid choice among this group.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Subaru Impreza is available as a sedan or hatchback in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trim levels. The hatchback adds 2.0i Sport Premium and 2.0i Sport Limited trims. The WRX and STI trim levels are high-performance versions of the previous-generation Impreza and are covered in a separate review.

The Impreza 2.0i comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a trip computer, Bluetooth (phone and audio streaming) and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, iPod connectivity and auxiliary audio input.

The Impreza 2.0i Premium adds 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, an adjustable front center armrest, a cargo cover (hatchback) and a six-speaker sound system. The Alloy Wheel package adds 17-inch wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The All-Weather package adds heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats.

The 2.0i Limited includes both of the Premium's packages and adds automatic headlights, foglights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rear center armrest, a touchscreen audio interface and HD radio.

The 2.0i Sport Premium adds standard roof rails to the regular Premium equipment list and includes the Alloy Wheel and All-Weather packages, while the 2.0i Sport Limited bundles these additional features to the extras included on the 2.0i Limited.

The Premium, Limited and Sport Limited can be equipped with a sunroof and a navigation system package, the latter including a touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, voice controls, HD radio, satellite radio and real-time traffic.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Subaru Impreza 2.0i models feature a 2.0-liter, horizontally-opposed "boxer" four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. A standard five-speed manual transmission comes coupled to an all-wheel-drive system with a 50/50 front/rear power distribution. An optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) couples to a different all-wheel-drive system that apportions more power to the front wheels, but vectors power rearward when traction is needed. In states with California emissions standards, this engine is available with Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) certification.

In Edmunds performance testing, a CVT-equipped Impreza spanned zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds -- slow for a compact sedan, but not unreasonable given the additional weight of the Impreza's all-wheel-drive system. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the manual is 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway (33 for the hatchback) and 28 mpg combined. The CVT improves those estimates to 27/36/30.


Every 2013 Subaru Impreza comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and whiplash-reducing front head restraints.

In Edmunds brake testing, an Impreza 2.0i Premium with 17-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for the class. Government crash tests yield four stars out of a possible five for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal crash protection and four stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Impreza's interior design is pretty conservative, a look that might turn off buyers looking for more flair. Others will find it clean, time-tested and high-quality, as the dash and door sills have soft-touch trim and panel gaps are tight. The front seats are comfortable, the rear seat is one of the roomiest in the segment and cargo space is generous: 12 cubic feet in the sedan's trunk and 22.5 cubes in the hatchback with its rear seats up.

Music lovers take note, however: The Impreza's sound systems are pretty awful. Audio quality is subpar and the available touchscreen infotainment interface, while an improvement over the base system, offers only small, finicky touchscreen icons and locks out some basic audio functions while driving.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Subaru Impreza 2.0i offers secure handling, firm steering and braking, and a compliant ride that feels substantial even over substandard pavement. The four-cylinder returns excellent fuel economy for a car with all-wheel drive, but acceleration suffers; this is one of the slower cars in its class. Folks living in the snow and rain belts, however, may not mind trading speed for traction and all-wheel-drive stability.

The CVT works as intended, but its touchy throttle response can increase engine speed unnecessarily and exacerbate noise coming into the cabin from the engine bay. If possible, go with the manual transmission.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 42 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

An excellent all-round small car

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Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Impreza

While one can't give the Impreza the highest marks in every categorie, the fact that it is at least competent in every way makes it very pleasant to own and drive. The CVT transmission takes some getting used to, but it is undeniably efficient. There's no manual available at the Premium trim level. The car isn't exactly underpowered, but it certainly isn't overwhelming. The paddle shifters simulating real gears are helpful for passing and steep downhills. The road noise level is pretty high. Other than that, I have no complaints. Great seats, simple and clear displays, incredible cargo space for a small car, and fun enough to drive. I've grown quite fond of it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2013 class action lawsuit regarding excessive oil

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Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Impreza

We own a 2013 Subaru Impreza 4 Sedan Premium: While my wife was driving our car, the low engine oil light came on, then went off about 10 minutes later. I checked the oil it was maybe a 1/4 of an inch below the low line/dot. Brought it to the dealer, and was told it was down 3/4 to 1 quart. It was around 2,850 miles since our last oil & filter change from that dealer. We have around 23,000 miles on the vehicle, mainly highway use, it sits in a garage when not being used, so we do not need to let it sit, and idle to clear it off from the winter elements, and it gets oil & filter changes every 6 months by the same Subaru dealership. Currently we will be bringing in our vehicle for the 2nd part of the oil consumption test. Our issue is not only with oil consumption which the dealership tried to previously say was normal, but also with both Subaru’s paint, and the ease at which the side panels dent, in addition to the oil issue. This is a 3 year old vehicle, which looks worse for wear vs our 2006 Hyundai Accent, which cost approximately $10 K less vs our Subaru. Subaru told us the paint was normal wear/tear for road conditions, weather, etc., and again I said, if that is the case explain why of our vehicles we have owned during our lives never had the same issues (with 1 exception), and why 2006 Hyundai Accent shows none of the same wear, even though it went through similar driving conditions, and weather also. Subaru agreed to a 1 time repainting of the hood only, without admitting to any issues on their part, stating it was “Good Will”, they did not cover the door pillars, and most importantly the front bumper, we also have some scratches on the trunk, don’t know how those got there. I did get the hood repainted which appears better vs the original paint job, at least at this time. Subaru did not have us sign a release for the repainting, which I ended up bringing back to the dealership as paint bleed through to our front driver, and passenger windows, which had to be cleaned up/corrected by the body shop. Regarding the panels denting easily, the door guards appear notably thinner on the Subaru, and to me if pushed on with minimal force, seem softer. I am obviously not an expert, but I have witnessed my Hyundai get struck by a large suv’s door, and no dent. For the 2 dents on our Subaru’s driver side, 1 was due to a shopping cart which was blown due to the wind, the loose cart rolled on a slight downhill slope a short distance, and caused a small dent. The other we did not see take place, appears an suv or truck opened their door into our vehicle, but are dismayed at the size, and depth of the indentation. Not only do we feel we are going to get less for our vehicle due to the oil consumption issue, even if an issue is found, and corrected, but also the vehicles appearance. I know diminished value claims can be difficult to prove, but it appears the oil consumption issue was going on for years, and it appears I am not the only one voicing concerns about the issues. Interior when driving loud, and we have an occasional rattle in the washboard. ******This will be our first, and last Subaru. We may even trade it in, and buy a Honda or a Hyundai again*****

Bought it for the kid, but i kept it

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Impreza

I wish I had a few upgrades, but the best car ever. Noisy on the highway, but use it mostly around town

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

First car buyers dream!

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Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Impreza

I have owned several cars before purchasing my 2013 Impreza wagon. Everything from a 1966 vw to a 2005 rav4. I have owned my car for exactly 1 year as of today. I ABSOLUTELY love my Subaru. I have put 23k miles on it from the day i drove it off the lot. I got the pearl white with off white interior. The pearl white is a very beautiful color. You can really tell the difference in shine when its next to a regular white car. The white interior is somewhat boring and basic, nothing to exciting. What i don't like about the light colored cloth interior is literally anything on your hands or clothes transfers to it. What i love about the fabric is how easy these stains are to remove. Ive never had a car that cleans up as easy as this one. Subaru designs their cars to be used very hard and it shows. Ive spilled coffee on the daily in this mean machine, all over the white interior. You would never know if i didn't tell you. The cabin is ridiculously spacious. From the outside it doesnt seem like it could possibly be as big as it is. The rear seats are unlike any other 4 door. Im 6ft tall and refuse to ride in the back of any vehicle. And I feel right at home in the back of this car. The leg room is ridiculous for rear seats! Subaru actually designed these seats to be sat in! Unlike any other car with a "back seat". This car fits 5 adults easily, I have done it with no complaining. I only run premium gas in my cars, I avg. about 32 mpgs, which is fa nominal for an AWD vehicle. I live up in the snow, my initial reason for buying a Subaru, i need 4x4 or AWD. I have put this car to the test when it comes to commuting in storms. It simply will not break traction. I have tried! Turning sharp and punching it on snow with the traction control off and still even then refuses to lose traction. Yes the 2.0i pzev is absolutely gutless when it comes to power. But seriously what do you expect! It cant do it all! If your looking for power get a wrx and spend the money on gas. I didnt buy a car for power i bought it for the convince thats packed to the wall. Cheap, reliable, great mpg, awd, clean looks, and roomy! I loved this car so much, after just a few months we bought one for my girlfriend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Impreza

Good reliable car! Safe, fun, to drive, stable

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

My first subaru and i am impressed

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Subaru Impreza

I bought this car for my wife. Since we live in Colorado, I wanted them to be safe. ***You must change the tires, the stock tires are bad***. I ended up changing to Michelin Premier A/S and I am getting 100% traction satisfaction and safety. When I drive it, I take the corners fast and the Subaru is fun to drive. The handling in all weather is excellent including snow, off course with the Michelin tires only. I am getting 29 city and 37 Hwy after I changed the tires. Before it was 25/ 34. The acceleration is OK but is not a fast car WRX fast. If you are looking for a fast car WRX is the one. If you are looking for a fun and safe car all weather, this is it.

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Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Subaru Impreza in VA is:

$56.83 per month*

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