How many miles can a Subaru Impreza last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand Impreza, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a Subaru Impreza lasts between 200.000 – 230.000 miles. An Impreza needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.3 times per year, with a 17% chance of the problem being severe. Furthermore, Impreza owners spend an average of $653 per year on repair costs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles an Impreza can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much an Impreza costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!
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Also read: How Many Miles Can A Subaru Impreza Last? (Answered) & How Many Miles Can A Subaru WRX Last? (Answered)
How Many Miles Can A Subaru Impreza Last?
First, we have to look at the Subaru Impreza as a group. For this, we went to autotrader.com where we gathered information on all the Subaru Imprezas that are currently for sale. We ended up with a sample size of 4.507 units. Then, we divided these vehicles into groups depending on the number of miles they had driven. The results are displayed in the table below.
|Amount Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150.000+||3.39%|
|Cars With 100.000 – 149.000||10.45%|
|Cars With 45.000 – 99.999||26.23%|
|Cars With 0 – 44.999||59.93%|
What we see in this table is the fact that 3.39% of Imprezas that are in the second-hand market have a mileage of 150.000 miles or higher. By itself, this number doesn´t say a lot. However, we´ve written 100+ similar articles on different cars in the United States. From this, we know that a percentage of 3-5% is typically considered good. Therefore, the Impreza does seem to be able to drive a sufficient number of miles at first glance.
However, there´s more to look at. It also becomes clear that many Imprezas that are for sale haven´t even crossed the 45.000 miles mark yet. This indicates that Subaru has sold quite a number of these vehicles in the past years. This drags down the percentage of vehicles that have crossed the 150.000 miles mark and it´s simply something to keep in mind when reading these statistics.
Also read: Absolute Best Years Of The Subaru Impreza
How Reliable Is A Subaru Impreza Compared To Its Competitors?
Furthermore, we also have to compare the Impreza to its competitors. This will give us a much clearer understanding of how well the Impreza actually performs. Once again, please keep in mind that we´ve written similar articles for all the vehicles that are displayed. Therefore, we´re confident about the results.
From this table, we can deduce that the Impreza is a reliable vehicle similar to the Chevy Cruze and Mazda 3. However, the Impreza is unlucky because it falls in the same group as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Hyundai Elantra. All three of these vehicles are known for their incredible lifespan and the fact that they can rack up an incredible number of miles.
Because of this, we can only conclude that the Impreza is a reliable vehicle that can drive a good number of miles, but there´re definitely competitors that will do a whole lot better.
|Model||Sample Size||Expected Mileage||Highest Mileage|
Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other vehicles regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)
How Reliable Is A Subaru Impreza Compared To Other Subarus?
Besides comparing the Impreza to its competitors we also have to have a look at Subaru as a brand. The reason for this is that this will give us a better understanding of what we can expect from the brand in terms of reliability. The results are displayed in the table below.
|Model||Sample Size||Expected Mileage||Highest Mileage|
What we can conclude from this is that Subaru does seem to build reliable vehicles that are consistently capable of crossing the 200.000 miles mark. However, we also conclude that none of their vehicles seem to be extremely reliable which we would classify as having an expected mileage of 250.000 or higher.
For this reason, we conclude that Subaru is definitely a reliable brand, but that it doesn´t put up numbers like Toyota and Honda.
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
Furthermore, there´s more to the reliability of a vehicle than just the number of miles we expect it to drive. For example, you also have to know how much the car will cost in terms of maintenance to make sure you´re not paying extremely high annual maintenance costs. To gather this data, we went to Repairpal and Caredge.com.
Here we found that you´ll spend an average of $653 per year to keep a Subaru Impreza on the road. On average, you would expect to pay $562 per year to keep a compact car like the Impreza going. This indicates that the Impreza does have higher than expected maintenance costs which isn´t a good thing.
Why this number ends up so high is something we´ll need to find out. However, it does seem that the pre-2015 model years are the problematic ones in terms of maintenance costs. All model years that come after it seem much more affordable.
|Model Year||Annual Maintenance Cost|
Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Subaru
Owners’ Reviews Of The Subaru Imprezas Reliability
Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the Impreza. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar.com. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.
What we see on these websites is the fact that owners experience positives and negatives when owning a Subaru Impreza. Especially some of the reviews on Edmunds are quite critical, in this case, we also see the 2017 – 2018 and 2021 model years receive ratings lower than 4 stars. The quote below sums up the sentiment quite well.
What a great car. Bought by my husband alone without my input. So much snow we could not drive up our road. I had been telling him to get a Subaru for years. But some irritating problems: You can catch your finger in the exterior door handle and get it chewed up when you open it!
The seats are low and there is too much dash. Too many stupid gimicks. Radio always has to turn on with the ignition. Can’t stop it easily. I had to buy a cushion just to see over the dash as a passenger. Huge glove box to whack your knee as you get in and out.Source, 2019 owner
Subaru Impreza Common Problems
In this section, we will give you all the common problems that the Impreza has, which you should check when you are looking to buy one of these in the used market.
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.
Fifth Generation Problems (2017 – Present)
This generation of the Impreza has definitely had its fair share of problems. As said earlier, it´s mainly the 2017 and 2018 model years that caused the most trouble. However, the 2019 and 2020 model years aren´t as pain-free as we would like. Here´s a list of what to look out for:
- The 2017 – 2019 model years have had problems with cracking windshields. Subaru never issued a recall for this and owners have been left replacing these windshields themselves.
- The 2017 – 2019 model years have had problems with the electrical system, specifically caused by the OEM battery draining completely after not having driven for a day or two. Replacing the OEM battery with another battery is the only solution.
- Engine stalling in the 2017 – 2019 model years was caused by the Engine Control Module (ECM) which may continue to power the ignition coil after the engine is shut off, which could result in a short circuit and a blown fuse. Recall number 19V743000 or 21V264000. In the 2017 – 2020 model years, it could also be caused by a failing low-pressure fuel pump which was recalled under number 21V587000 or 20V218000.
- The 2017 – 2018 model years had a recall for vehicles that were equipped with an aluminum Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve. The PCV valve may come apart, allowing the separated components to enter the engine, possibly resulting in a loss of power while driving. Recall number 19V744000 or 19V745000.
Fourth Generation Problems (2012 – 2016)
None of the vehicles in this generation were without problems. However, the 2015 and 2016 model years were definitely better than the 2012 – 2014 model years which had many recalls and many complaints.
- The 2012 – 2014 model years had faulty airbags. In the affected vehicles, the Occupant Detection System (ODS) may deactivate if a front seat passenger operates a device that is plugged into the power outlet such as a music player or cell phone, or touches a metal part of the vehicle such as the forward/rearward seat adjuster lever (recall 15V419000).
- All model years of this generation had electrical problems in one shape or the other. The main complaint is the key getting stuck in the ignition. Other symptoms include power steering failure and the heater core not working. What caused these problems is unclear but it´s most likely a faulty battery or faulty wiring. Other electrical problems included the relay that controls the secondary air injection pump failing, causing the pump to continuously operate and overheat (recall 16V738000).
- 2012 – 2014 model years had problems with the engine. The engine valve springs in these vehicles may fracture causing an engine malfunction or a possible engine stall (recall 18V772000).
- Premature failure of the 2012 – 2013 CVT transmissions (although the problem continued throughout the generation). Subaru didn´t issue a recall for this and owners were left having to replace these transmissions themselves.
Also read: Subaru Impreza Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids
Is a Subaru Impreza A Smart Buy?
Finally, we have to answer the question of whether or not the Subaru Impreza is a vehicle that´s actually worth getting. When we look at this question from the perspective of how many miles you can expect to get out of the car we see that the Impreza is capable of a good number of miles in its lifespan. However, we also see that there´re alternatives from Toyota and Honda that do much better.
From a maintenance costs perspective, we saw that the Impreza has higher than average maintenance costs. This high number is mainly caused by the pre-2015 model years and the later ones have average numbers. However, overall it´s still nothing spectacular.
Finally, we saw that owners are reasonably satisfied with their purchase, although there´re definitely some drawbacks. Also, the fifth generation has had quite some problems and recalls and the same can be said for the 2012 – 2014 model years of the fourth generation.
Overall, we can only conclude that the Subaru Impreza is a decent vehicle, however, it does seem like it would be worth it to check out some of its competitors before coming to a final purchase decision.
Also read: How Much Can A Subaru Impreza Tow?
Subaru Impreza Maintenance Schedule
If you want to keep your Subaru Impreza healthy for a longer period and save your money on expensive repairs, you don’t want to go wrong in this section. A well-maintained car could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars on repairs, and you would also remain carefree while driving it.
Before/On Every 6,000 Miles
- Change Engine Oil
- Replace the oil filter.
But it’s actually better to change these before 6,000 miles for best performance and long-lasting protection. Still, we applaud Subaru for giving real numbers for the oil change while so many other manufacturers give stupid numbers, just so the maintenance cost will look less.
Before/On Every 20,000 Miles
- Replace the passenger compartment air filter
- Inspect the tires
- See if there’s any prevailing rust
- Check for any fluid leaks
- Tire replacement if necessary
Before/On Every 40,000 Miles
- Replace the air intake filter
- Replace the transfer case fluid
- Inspect the evaporative control system
- Change the transmission fluid
Before/On Every 60,000 Miles
- Inspect the spark plugs
- Inspect the ignition coils
- Have an engine diagnosis with a scanner tool and see for any abnormal readings.
- Inspect the electronics system
- Inspect the brake pads and rotors
- Drive belt replacement
- The manufacturers recommend changing the first coolant at 60k miles and the later ones after every 30k miles. It depends on different factors, you should check the color of the coolant to tell which one it is.
If it’s the silicated one, you would have to change it every 30k miles, and if it’s the extended drain coolant, you can change it after 100k miles.
Before/On Every 100,000 Miles
- This is where the suspension components start to wear out and you might have to replace the worn-out ones
- Inspect the transmission fluid and replace it if necessary.
Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Subaru Impreza
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!