Used 1999 Subaru Impreza Sedan

1999 Subaru Impreza
List price range
1999 Subaru Impreza

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.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

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.

1999 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Subaru Impreza.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Built to last 1999 Subaru Impreza L 2.2
angelo16,03/09/2012
I live in the province of Alberta in Canada and we get A LOT of snow. I purchased with 144,000 KM ( now has 151,000km.) From the months of dec to March the snow can get to as much as 1.5-2 feet in one fall. That being said the AWD is amazing. I have so much fun driving this in the winter. When winter falls here people hate driving cause a lot of our vehicles are FWD or RWD. I sometimes make and excuse to drive somewhere just so I can rip around and take corners with the amazing AWD. The only problem I have had is the bolt holding the alternator busted so i was running on battery for a while and no power steering. Easy enough I just purchased a stainless steel one and it was fixed
Lovely Car
scottswrx,05/03/2012
I drive a 99 Wrx Impreza, been a car enthusiast since the age of 14 and have owned many cars and this would be one of the best. Love it...Love it....Love it!! What more can I say, i'm now wanting an STI Coupe.
Great Little Car
Jim,01/18/2008
This vehicle has been very reliable. There have been no major problems. It still has the original muffler and battery. It burns no oil and is great on gas. However, it is a bit under powered.
Subaru - '99 Impreza
Subara Impreza - 4D,10/01/2005
Solid, comfortable car in town or on highway. After some tuneup I'm pleased to get 25-28 city and highway mpg. I can hardly believe it. Had some original trouble with acceleration issues but discovered that I had a faulty mass air volume control unit. After inexpensive replacement I love it. It's no hot rod but basically easy and fun to drive. Only disappointment is the location of the single cup holder as it right above the radio and located in such a way as it obscures the heating and air conditioning controls. The second holder is between the seats which is a little weird. Basically car is an "8" though.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
142 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1999 Subaru Impreza Sedan features & specs

Safety

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
    0

More about the 1999 Subaru Impreza
Used 1999 Subaru Impreza Sedan Overview

The Used 1999 Subaru Impreza Sedan is offered in the following styles: L 4dr Sedan AWD.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Subaru Impreza Sedan?

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Find a used Subaru Impreza for sale - 3 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $23,208.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 4 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $8,940.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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.

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