2016 Subaru Impreza Review


Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive provides secure handling and better traction in tough weather conditions
  • lots of interior space in the front and backseat
  • comfortable ride quality on the highway.
  • Lackluster engine power results in slow acceleration
  • engine noise is tiresome, especially with the continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Impreza's sound and infotainment systems are outdated.
List Price Range
$12,488 - $15,990

Used Impreza for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

There aren't many small sedans or hatchbacks other than the 2016 Subaru Impreza that come standard with all-wheel drive. It's a notable advantage for helping you feel more secure during winter driving. Ready to learn what else about the Impreza makes it a smart choice?

Vehicle overview

Subaru is probably most well known as a company that makes all-wheel-drive vehicles that appeal heavily to campers, skiers and off-road rally racers. But even if you're the type who won't venture anywhere that doesn't have a shower, there are still many reasons to consider the 2016 Subaru Impreza.

For starters, it is pretty much your only choice for a small sedan or hatchback if you want all-wheel drive. The Impreza comes standard with it, and that extra dose of traction in inclement weather can be a nice thing to have. But there's also a spacious, nicely designed cabin with a rear seat that's among the roomiest in the segment and a well-tuned suspension that nicely buffers passengers from jolts and bumps, yet also provides steady and secure handling around turns. Other Impreza bonuses include a plentiful list of standard features and excellent crash test scores.

Subaru's 2016 Impreza is the only car in the compact class to offer standard all-wheel drive.

The Impreza does have a few faults, though, and it might be wise to check out at least a few other rivals. The 2016 Ford Focus and 2016 Mazda 3 provide quick acceleration, sharp handling and nicer interiors. Both the Ford and Mazda are available in sedan or hatchback body styles as well (just like the Impreza), though neither one is as roomy in back. If you are shopping for a hatchback, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf boasts a perky turbocharged gas engine and a roomy, upscale cabin. For a sedan, Honda's redesigned 2016 Civic looks like it could be the best of its class this year. Overall, though, the 2016 Subaru Impreza remains a solid bet for the driver who wants a family-friendly compact car that maintains its composure in unpleasant weather.

2016 Subaru Impreza models

The 2016 Subaru Impreza is available as a small sedan or hatchback in 2.0i, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i Limited trim levels. The hatchback additionally comes in 2.0i Sport Premium and 2.0i Sport Limited trims. The high-performance WRX and WRX STI are covered in a separate review.

The Impreza 2.0i comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, a rear spoiler (hatchback), full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 6.2-inch touchscreen interface and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB/iPod integration, HD radio, an auxiliary audio input and smartphone integration with Aha, Pandora and iHeartRadio. Starlink Cloud apps add news, weather and calendar functions as well as several more music sources.

The Impreza 2.0i Premium adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear stabilizer bar, body-color exterior mirrors, chrome interior door handles, an adjustable front center armrest, a cargo cover (hatchback) and a six-speaker sound system. The optional Alloy Wheel package adds 17-inch wheels, a sunroof and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Also included is an All-Weather package with heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats.

The 2.0i Sport Premium hatchback adds roof rails, foglights, body-color rocker panel extensions and sport fabric upholstery to the regular Premium equipment list. Its standard 17-inch wheels also have a darker "gunmetal gray" finish.

The 2.0i Limited includes all of the above extras and adds automatic headlights, foglights, chrome exterior trim, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a rear center armrest and a 7-inch touchscreen interface with swipe/scroll capability, satellite radio, voice controls, dual USB ports and text-to-voice messaging functionality. Options include the sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a navigation system. Meanwhile, the 2.0i Sport Limited hatchback bundles the Sport Premium model's additional features with the amenities of the 2.0i Limited, and it adds a special silver-accented front grille. Options for the Sport Limited mirror those for the regular Limited.

Depending on the trim level you pick, you can also get Subaru's optional EyeSight system, which includes adaptive cruise control, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, lane departure warning and steering-responsive foglights that enhance corner illumination when turning.

2016 Highlights

The 2016 Subaru Impreza is a carryover from 2015 with just a few small tweaks. It gets additional Subaru Starlink Cloud applications for the infotainment system in all models and Starlink safety and security services for the Limited trims.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Subaru Impreza has a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed "boxer" four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque.

Based on EPA ratings, the 2016 Subaru Impreza provides remarkable fuel efficiency for an all-wheel-drive car.

The 2.0i and 2.0i Sport Premium come standard with a five-speed manual transmission coupled to an all-wheel-drive system with a 50/50 default front/rear power distribution. Optional on those trims and standard on the others is a CVT paired with a different all-wheel-drive system that apportions more power to the front wheels by default, but transfers power rearward when more traction is needed.

EPA estimated fuel economy with the manual transmission for both the sedan and non-Sport hatchbacks is 28 mpg combined (25 city/34 highway). The Sport hatchbacks drop but 1 mpg from both city and highway ratings (24/33) but keep the 28 mpg combined rating. When equipped with the CVT, the sedan and non-Sport hatchbacks rate 31 mpg combined (28/37), with the Sport keeping the same 31 mpg combined rating but dropping 1 mpg from both its city and highway (27/36) ratings. These are competitive numbers for the class -- and remarkably high for an all-wheel-drive car -- but we've been hard-pressed to meet them in past testing.

In Edmunds performance testing, a CVT-equipped Impreza sedan went from zero to 60 mph in 9.6 seconds, while a CVT hatchback made the same run in 9.7 seconds. These times are slow for a compact sedan or hatchback, though that's somewhat understandable given the extra weight and drag of the AWD hardware.


Every 2016 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. A rearview camera is standard on all models, while adaptive cruise control, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking and lane departure warning are available as a package on select models. There's also a suite of Starlink Connected Services, including automatic collision notification service, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle recovery and remote door lock/unlock.

In government crash tests, the 2016 Impreza received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact safety and five stars for side-impact and rollover safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the Impreza its highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. The Impreza's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

In Edmunds brake testing, an Impreza sedan with 17-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for the class. An Impreza hatchback, also with 17-inch wheels, covered the same ground in 119 feet, which is slightly better than average.


The 2016 Subaru Impreza's four-cylinder engine provides adequate acceleration around town, but you'll need to plan ahead for highway passing maneuvers. Overall, the Impreza is one of the slower cars in the small sedan/hatchback class. Not helping matters is the CVT, which responds too eagerly to throttle inputs, increasing engine speed unnecessarily and amplifying the racket under the hood. At a steady cruise on the highway, the Impreza isn't any louder than its competitors, but the level of engine noise during harder acceleration grows tiresome. The manual transmission helps matters, but its abrupt clutch take-up can make it difficult to drive the Impreza smoothly in heavy traffic.

Around turns, the Impreza won't immediately wow you with its catlike agility. But if you press on more aggressively, you'll find that it's actually blessed with secure handling, precise steering and confident braking, particularly with the 17-inch wheels and tires. Another nice quality is the smooth and compliant ride. Even driven over broken pavement, the Impreza feels well built and substantial.


The 2016 Subaru Impreza's interior design is pretty conservative, which might turn off buyers looking for more flair. Others will find it clean and likely to withstand the test of time. Materials and build quality are decent for the segment, highlighted by soft-touch materials and tight panel gaps. On a sour note, the Impreza's audio systems deliver disappointing sound quality, even by the modest standards of this class.

The 2016 Impreza has a conservative-looking interior, but a touchscreen interface is standard on every trim level.

The front seats are comfortable on long road trips (although there's little in the way of lateral support), and head- and legroom are above average for the class. The rear seat is one of the roomiest in the segment, making this Subaru eminently suitable for small families. Cargo space is also generous, measuring 12 cubic feet in the sedan's trunk and 22.5 cubes in the hatchback's trunk. Folding the hatchback's rear seatbacks down opens up a healthy 52.4 cubic feet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Subaru Impreza.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Lots of potential
2.0i PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
First, I'd like to point out that I originally had a 2015 base model Impreza that got destroyed because of someone on their phone, and thanks to the high resale value, got a 2016 with some spare change. On that note - I was hit at roughly 45MPH, and I got away with nothing more than a couple bruises and a stiff neck. I didn't have any passengers, but if I did, all of them would have survived too. If you want something safe, this is a great car. Anyway, since this car is effectively the same as the 2015 model, this review counts for both. I'd also like to point out that some of the flaws with the car are easily addressable: 1. Bluetooth is highly dependent upon your device. I have experimented with multiple phones and they all had different levels of audio quality and reliability. What's also interesting is if you're having issues with any of the car's apps, it is still possible to play media through the Bluetooth "channel", but you lose the steering wheel controls to operate the app. Different phones behave differently via USB too; iPhones have the most functionality. Some phones will charge via the USB port, some don't. 2. If you have the hatchback like I do, you can reduce noise level with a solid trunk cover. I made one out of fiberglass and cloth. It looks decent and lowered the overall noise level by about 1 or 2 dB. I'm guessing the sedan model is slightly quieter, since the trunk (and the wheel well in the trunk) isn't exposed to the cabin. 3. The sound system is actually a lot better than critics claim. The problem is the car's default sound settings are dull. But, this is one of very few cars in it's class that has a pretty good equalizer. With a little adjustment, you can make the sound quality go from mediocre to enjoyable. The audio still won't be amazing, but you can make it good enough. 4. The complaints about noise and performance can really be pinned down to the CVT model. The manual has very average performance and doesn't drone. On the other hand, the CVT model can keep the RPMs lower, so that model is likely quieter at speeds below 20MPH. 5. The interior and user controls may be plain, but they're practical. You can operate them with gloves. You can operate them without taking your eyes off the road. They'll stand through wear and tear without looking so tarnished. Would you rather have something that looks cool now but tacky a decade later, or something that looks bland but doesn't embarrass you? 6. It'd be nice if the car was slightly more powerful. But, you can tune the engine to make it a little more responsive at lower RPMs. I figure for most people, that isn't worth doing. Anyway, this is a very comfortable and practical car. Other cars in it's class are hardly more fuel efficient (while lacking AWD), have less passenger and cargo space, have worse visibility, have considerably less ride comfort, and less reliability. This car isn't exciting, nor is it meant to be. It's competitive but also has a niche. I would not recommend this car for anyone who lives in hot/dry climates, but the effects of AWD are very noticeable. If you do anything off paved roads, get the Crosstrek. There's enough info out there about what makes this car good. But, I do have a few complaints about it that you might not have heard: * The rear windshield wiper intermittent timer is way too short, and using the spray for the rear wiper will sometimes be a little drippy if you recently used it. * Shifting from 1st into 2nd is pretty difficult to do smoothly without wearing out the clutch. All other gear shifts are fine. * Reverse doesn't have synchros, so it can be a bit tough sometimes. * Some panels feel incredibly cheap. A little bit of underlying structuring wouldn't add much to the cost or weight of the car but would make these thin plastics feel more solid. * The exhaust pipe starts to rust within weeks. Pretty much everything else looks good, but I wonder how long this exhaust will last. * If you don't use the key remote, you may find the alarm system to be pretty obnoxious (it can be turned off though). The seatbelt chime is also annoyingly loud. * During the winter, the car takes longer to warm up than anything else I've been in. It can take as much as 15 minutes until I start feeling a little bit of warmth through the vents. You could consider that a good thing in terms of efficiency and friction within the engine. * Coldness really hurts fuel economy. You might lose as much as 4 MPG (compared to summer temperatures) if the temperature is below freezing.
My First Subaru
2.0i Sport Premium PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
I traded in a 2013 Ford Focus due to various issues with the car and decided on a Subaru not only for the AWD but the reliability and decent price tag. I really love the car and got my Subaru in IceSilver with the Sport Premium all weather package because it had just the right options for the price. I paid a little over $22K here in Virginia Beach. I want to first start out with the Bluetooth connectivity because in my opinion it could be better. At times it will just stop working or will lower the volume when listening to music for no apparent reason. I do have an iphone 6s+ so maybe there is some issue there I dunno. Secondly, I want to mention the backup camera because I feel the video is a bit choppy/sluggish at times and could be improved like the one that's equipped on my 2015 Toyota Corolla. Thirdly, I would have really liked to see LED headlight's as an option because after driving my Toyota Corolla which has LED headlight's the Subaru looks bland in comparison. I think LED's would make this a much more beautiful car and I could have saved some money since I opted for the fog light option to brighten up the roads a bit more. I really like the black interior and the red light's on the instruments accent it well. The cloth seats are probably the most comfortable seats I've sat in. They are very soft and the heated seats work great. I've read other reviews stating there is to much road noise but to be honest I have not experienced anything out of the ordinary when comparing it to my other cars. As far as the CVT and only being 148HP this thing is very quick off the line and has no problem what so ever getting around other cars. It's peppier than my Corolla for sure. This car really does handle well but I do have the upgraded 17" rim and tires. All in all I'm very happy with my purchase and it feels great driving the car during my daily commutes.
Best Decision I ever made!
2.0i Sport Premium PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
Traded my 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited for the 2016 Sport Premium. What an upgrade! So quiet inside on the country roads and interstate. I got an extended warranty for cheap from the dealership and great service. This feels like driving a Bmw but better with the AWD.
AWD Automatic With Great Gas Mileage, What?
2.0i PZEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
The wife and I were surprised to find the automatic got better mpg than the manual transmission. We live about an hour from work (almost all highway), and have averaged 40.5 mpg with some limited city driving. Pure highway the car will pull a solid 41+ mpg. We bought the least expensive automatic CVT model brand new through the Costco program and ended up $1,000 under invoice + $1,400 for tax and a dealer fee of $449 ($21,000 out the door). Car drives good and has ok power. Love the Bluetooth. And it's nice that the 2016 base model (compared to previous years) comes standard with cruise control and a back up camera. *Update* 6-7-19 Car is getting close to 35,000 miles and the tires are close to bald. Will need to get them changed soon. Haven’t had any reliability problems except sometimes the Bluetooth has trouble connecting to my wife or I’s cell phones. Front passenger seat weight sensor is a bit too sensitive as even placing my sack lunch for work on the seat can cause the seatbelt alarm to ding incessantly. Gas mileage is as strong as ever. On a recent all highway road trip of nearly 500 miles, the car averaged 40.6 mpg. Winter was much less intimidating in this car compared to our old civic. The AWD is very impressive. <br><br><br><br>

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Subaru Impreza features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2016 Subaru Impreza

Used 2016 Subaru Impreza Overview

The Used 2016 Subaru Impreza is offered in the following submodels: Impreza Hatchback, Impreza Sedan. Available styles include 2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i Sport Premium PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 2.0i Premium PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i Premium PZEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i Sport Premium PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 2.0i PZEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i PZEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 2.0i PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), 2.0i Sport Limited PZEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT), and 2.0i Limited PZEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Subaru Impreza?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Subaru Impreza trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium PZEV is priced between $12,488 and$15,990 with odometer readings between 21327 and89742 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Subaru Impreza 2.0i PZEV is priced between $12,999 and$14,000 with odometer readings between 28203 and54453 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium PZEV is priced between $13,997 and$15,332 with odometer readings between 54485 and64571 miles.

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 2016 Subaru Imprezas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 Subaru Impreza for sale near. There are currently 12 used and CPO 2016 Imprezas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,488 and mileage as low as 21327 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 Subaru Impreza.

Can't find a used 2016 Subaru Imprezas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Impreza for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $21,743.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $19,685.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Impreza for sale - 11 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $16,834.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $22,959.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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