Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe

1996 Subaru Impreza
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1996 Subaru Impreza

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Subaru built a solid reputation for itself in the Seventies building inexpensive (and built to stay that way) four-wheel drive passenger cars. The company enjoyed success in the Northeastern and Northwestern U.S., 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 Impreza as What to Drive alienated traditional Sube buyers and turned off the young adults it was supposed to appeal to. Sales of the Impreza were less than successful, and Subaru scrambled to find a solution.

Wonder of wonders, the company has decided to reacquaint itself with its legend. Subaru is concentrating on all-wheel drive cars again, and is emphasizing AWD in every ad, article and brochure you can lay your hands on. The Impreza is available with AWD in coupe, sedan and wagon form. Traditional front-wheel drive editions are also on the roster.

For 1996, Subaru has banished the anemic 1.8-liter engine from most of the lineup, infusing nearly all Imprezas with the 2.2-liter engine found in the Legacy. Formerly found only in uplevel Impreza LX models, the 2.2-liter package includes a new grille, a rear stabilizer bar, and wider tires. For the first time in the Impreza, buyers can opt for a five-speed transmission with the 2.2-liter engine.

Other changes include the addition of power locks and windows to upper trim levels, and the addition of a new AWD Brighton Coupe, a budget four-wheeler saddled with the old 1.8-liter engine and skinny 14-inch tires.

Overall, we find much to like about the Impreza. The AWD LX Coupe we examined sported nice styling, attractive alloy wheels, and an ergonomically-correct cabin. The Coupe was new to the Impreza lineup for 1995. We found the LX Coupe to be a stylish, sporty all-weather transpo device.

Imprezas also come in sedan and station body styles. The wagon has a small cargo area, partially due to the steeply raked rear window. Impreza prices start near $13,000 and can top out over the $20,000 mark. That's too pricey for a compact, and pricing is one of this car's problems.

Other quibbles include a cramped rear seat, narrow front seats, ugly plastic wheelcovers on the Outback wagon, and a funky smell in all the new Subarus we've encountered. Add in cost considerations, and we can only recommend the Impreza in AWD form to those who live in remote snow-bound areas of the country.

1996 Highlights

The formerly optional 2.2-liter engine is standard across the board, except in the new budget-minded Brighton AWD Coupe. A new grille accompanies the bigger engine, and a five-speed is available as well.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Subaru Impreza.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

One Tough Set Of Wheels
This car is great. I have owned it for 7 years and it has continued to be a reliable, fun to drive car. It's no RS or WRX, but the basic foundation is there. This, combined with the AWD make this car a blast to drive hard into corners and accelerate out of curves with grip that sticks like superglue. This car absolutely loves bad weather. Snow and rain are simply no match for the incredible AWD. Bottom line: I love knowing that this car will get me where I need to go safely, and comfortably. The AWD is confidence inspiring. You really do feel safe in this car, no matter what the weather. How many cars in this price class can you say that about?
My Little Tank
This car has been so reliable and hard working. The basic upkeep is all it has ever needed. When it snowed and the Mustang Cobra couldn't make it out of the driveway and the Mitsubishi Mirage slip, slided away.. the trusty Impreza just plowed on through! We purchased the basic, basic model... no frills and it just keeps on going. Always getting us where we need and want to go safely and with a minimum of fuss and bother. I am now looking to replace my 2001 Mitsubishi with a new Impreza... although I will go a little heavier on the "extras" this time.
Great Car
I can’t say enough about this hog. She’s never let me down once. I’ve owned the car now for two years and have had absolutely no problems, nothing. I’m an avid snowboarder and I feel completely comfortable under any weather conditions with the AWD. The car is tractor in the snow and I’m happy to say it’s managed to plow through some serious predicaments. It handles beautifully however could use a little more horsepower. Besides the lack of power, which can be frustrating, the car is infallible.
Most reliable car I've owned
My little Brighton just turned over 270,000 miles. I purchased this car a few years back with 180,000 miles; thought it would make a great car for my kid. When she left for college, I kept driving it. Great commuter car.
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Features & Specs

19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
21 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
110 hp @ 5600 rpm
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1996 Subaru Impreza
Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe Overview

The Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe is offered in the following styles: L 2dr Coupe AWD, Brighton 2dr Coupe AWD, and LX 2dr Coupe AWD.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupes are available in my area?

Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Subaru Impreza Coupe for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1996 Subaru Impreza Impreza Coupe you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Impreza for sale - 1 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $22,286.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $17,608.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Impreza for sale - 1 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $11,972.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 7 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $16,386.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Subaru Impreza?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Subaru lease specials
Check out Subaru Impreza lease specials