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

1996 Subaru Impreza - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

16 Total Reviews

L Wagon (2.2L 4-cyl. AWD 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
Numbers don't always tell the story
By BerkeleyNut on


1996 Subaru Impreza L 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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