Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Sedan

1996 Subaru Impreza
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1996 Subaru Impreza

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Subaru Impreza years

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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

This is my first car and I love it. I have never had any troubles with it I would recommend looking for a Subaru it you are in the market for a new car.
1996 Subaru Impreza LX 4 door sedan
I like the way this car handles slick roads. It is excellent in the snow and the rain. The ride is a little stiff going over bumps, but the car hugs the road like a sports car. It is surprisingly peppy for a four cyinder with automatic transmission. It gets 23-25 MPG in mixed local area driving and 29 MPG on the turnpike, using the cruise control. It is a conventional sedan, and I prefer that styling to the SUV look, featuring body clading. I've had it for one year and 9,000 miles and am very happy with it.
Great College Car!
I bought this car halfway through college, and i couldn't be happier. AWD is great, beats my parents cars in the winter; it hugs the curves like it was my grandma at thanksgiving; accel. is ok, but it is amazingly peppy- my friends all want to drive it; its safe, with its dual airbags. and common enough that repairs are inexpensive. since i DID buy it used, it did have problems. i think there was a shimmy in the wheel, bad belt,and back strut. its all fixed, and i could still afford my books. Problems: ITS SO SMALL! = major inferiority complex. virtually no back seat room. Though it is techniclly a sedan, i think of it as a 4-door coupe.
Well, it IS Reliable!
Car Owner,03/08/2005
The windows are stupid. They have no frame and there is just the door's molding. The windows leak and often freeze, also creating moisture IN the car (windshields esp.). The A/C is EXTREMELY cold, heat is EXTREMELY warm. WISH it came with ABS and the AWD is not 50/50, so doesn't perform as great on the ice/snow/slush. The gas mileage isn't as good as I expected, I get about 17-18 (IF I am lucky) in the city. However, this thing hasn't failed me yet, and I hope to keep on driving it til it's dead (and I hope that won't be for a long time!)
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Features & Specs

19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
135 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Sedan 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 Sedan Overview

The Used 1996 Subaru Impreza Sedan is offered in the following styles: L 4dr Sedan AWD, and LX 4dr Sedan AWD.

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

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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 Sedan.

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 Sedan for sale near you.

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

Find a used Subaru Impreza for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $22,329.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 6 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $11,036.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $25,012.

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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