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2016 Subaru Impreza Review

The 2016 Subaru Impreza ranks in the bottom half of our compact car rankings. The Impreza rides smoothly and has a spacious cabin, but its engine feels underpowered at times.

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Spacious interior
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Weak passing power
  • Noisy engine




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Subaru Impreza Overview

Is the 2016 Subaru Impreza a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2016 Subaru Impreza is a good used compact car. It comes in sedan and hatchback body styles, gets good safety scores, and comes standard with all-wheel drive – a rarity in this class. The Impreza features a roomy interior and offers plenty of driver assistance technology, and it gets pretty good gas mileage.

Unfortunately, aside from all-wheel drive, the Impreza doesn't really bring anything to the table that you can't get in many competitors. Throw in its uninspiring engine and just-average reliability rating (that many other compact cars surpass), and it's easy to see why this Subaru finishes lower in our rankings.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 50 Subaru Impreza reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Subaru Impreza?

You can expect to pay between $14,500 and $21,500 for a used 2016 Impreza. These figures are based on over 350 listings for the 2016 Subaru Impreza on our site. The average price is $18,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Subaru Impreza Cost to Own?

The Impreza’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $22,300 – or about $4,450 per year. That’s slightly above average for the compact car class. In comparison, the 2016 Kia Soul and Honda Civic have lower five-year costs of around $19,400 and $19,900, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Impreza?

The 2018 Impreza starts at $18,495, making it Subaru’s least expensive new car and only a bit pricier than the average used 2016 model. You can save money by shopping used, especially if you want a base model. However, there are quite a few benefits to buying new. The Impreza was fully redesigned in 2017. These newer models have sleeker styling inside and out, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more available safety features, like blind spot monitoring. If these are must-have items, you’ll want to opt for one of these newer models.

Read about the new Subaru Impreza »

For a less expensive new car, consider the 2018 Kia Soul hatchback, which starts at just $16,200. The Soul doesn’t offer all-wheel drive like the Impreza, but its cabin is more upscale and it packs more cargo space.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2016 Subaru Impreza?

The Impreza has a reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s considered average for the industry.

Read more about Impreza reliability »

2016 Subaru Impreza Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no safety recalls for the 2016 Impreza sedan or hatchback.

See more information on Subaru Impreza safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Subaru Impreza Is Best?

The 2016 Impreza is the final model of a generation that started in 2012. There were no major changes for 2016, so you can save money by shopping for a 2015 Impreza, while still finding all the same features. The 2012, 2013, and 2014 models offer similar performance, but they have fewer safety features. For example, you won’t find forward collision or lane departure warning.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Impreza »

Which Used Impreza Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Impreza comes in two body styles (four-door sedan and five-door hatchback) and five trim levels (base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited, and Sport Limited). The base model Impreza comes standard with a 6.2-inch touch screen, a CD player, four speakers, USB and aux ports, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, cloth seats, air conditioning, cruise control, and remote keyless entry.

The Impreza Premium trim adds heated front seats, a six-speaker stereo, and alloy wheels. The Impreza Sport Premium trim (hatchback only) adds fog lights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Impreza Limited trim adds a larger 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, automatic climate control, and leather seats. The Impreza Sport Limited trim shares these features, but it is offered only as a hatchback. Available features include a navigation system, a moonroof, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, and the EyeSight safety features.

See 2016 Subaru Impreza trims and specs »

What Does Subaru's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Subaru offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Subaru extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. Subaru provides no additional coverage for CPO vehicles, so buyers receive the remainder of the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty. However, buyers can purchase additional coverage. Every CPO Subaru must pass a 152-point inspection. Additional benefits like owner loyalty discounts, a one-year Starlink Safety Plus trial subscription, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Subaru warranty page carefully.

Subaru’s CPO program isn’t particularly robust, according to our analysis. Among affordable automakers, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, and many others have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Impreza?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2016 Subaru Impreza sedan a Top Safety Pick+ and gave it the top safety rating of Good in all crash tests conducted. The Impreza hatchback also earned a Good safety rating in all areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave both models a perfect five-star rating for overall, side, and rollover crash safety, as well as four stars for front crash safety.

All 2016 Impreza models come standard with a rearview camera. All available safety features are bundled in Subaru’s EyeSight package, which includes forward collision warning with brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and steering-responsive fog lights.

See Impreza safety scores »

2016 Subaru Impreza Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Subaru Impreza or 2016 Honda Civic?

We named the Honda Civic our 2016 Best Compact Car for the Money. The Civic outshines the Impreza with its higher-quality interior, nimbler handling, above-average reliability rating, and zippier engine performance. It’s also far more fuel-efficient (up to 31/42 mpg city/highway). It’s the better choice overall, unless you need the Impreza’s all-wheel drive or hatchback body style (the 2016 Civic offers neither).

Which Is Better: 2016 Subaru Impreza or 2016 Mazda3?

The 2016 Mazda3 is another great pick in the compact car class. Like the Impreza, the Mazda3 is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. However, it’s more fun to drive and gets better fuel economy, even when equipped with its larger available engine. It also gets up to speed confidently – something the Impreza struggles with – and its posh interior is one of the best in this class. Go with the Mazda.

Compare the Impreza, Civic, and Mazda3 »

2016 Impreza Performance

How Does the 2016 Subaru Impreza Drive?

The Subaru Impreza has a flat-four engine with 148 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive are standard; a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available. This flat-four engine provides decent acceleration and pep for around-town driving, but it lacks passing power at highway speeds and feels strained when climbing hills. The five-speed manual makes the best use of the engine’s limited power. The CVT causes the engine to drone loudly under hard acceleration, which can get very tiresome.

The Impreza does redeem itself somewhat, thanks to its refined handling. The Subaru feels stable and sure-footed when rounding tight corners. Its steering is quick and provides good feedback, and its brakes bring the car to a stop assertively. The Impreza’s suspension also yields a smooth a composed ride. Even rough pavement is soaked up nicely.

Does the 2016 Subaru Impreza Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Impreza gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway when equipped with the CVT. That’s pretty good for a compact car and excellent for a vehicle with all-wheel drive. The Impreza’s manual transmission lowers these ratings to around 25/33 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Impreza performance »

2016 Impreza Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Impreza Seat?

The Subaru Impreza has five seats. The front seats are soft and remain very comfortable over long trips. There’s ample headroom and legroom for adults in both rows, which isn’t always the case in the compact car class. Cloth upholstery is standard; heated and leather seats are available. The Impreza’s cabin has a number of quality soft-touch plastics, and the interior is cleanly styled overall. That said, the look may be too plain for many tastes.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Subaru Impreza?

The Impreza has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the vehicle’s LATCH system a Marginal rating for ease of use, noting that some of the anchors are hard to access and difficult to maneuver around.

2016 Subaru Impreza Features

The 2016 Impreza comes standard with a 6.2-inch Starlink touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, a CD player, and an app suite that includes Pandora. Available features include satellite radio, navigation, and a larger 7-inch touch screen. The Starlink infotainment system is pretty user-friendly, and it’s complemented by simple controls on the dashboard for the climate and audio functions. There are a few hiccups, though. The screen is reflective, making it hard to see in direct sunlight. The small indicators on the climate control knobs aren’t very easy to see either, and the car’s speakers provide poor sound quality.

See 2016 Subaru Impreza specs »

Read more about Impreza interior »

2016 Subaru Impreza Dimensions

Subaru Impreza Cargo Space

The 2016 Subaru Impreza sedan has 12 cubic feet of trunk space, which is a bit small for a compact sedan. The Impreza hatchback has 22.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 52.4 cubic feet with the seats folded, which is good for a hatchback.

2016 Impreza Length and Weight

The 2016 Impreza sedan is 15 feet long, and the Impreza hatchback is 14.5 feet long. Depending on the body style and trim level, the Impreza’s curb weight ranges from 2,955 to 3,131 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Subaru Impreza Built?

The 2016 Impreza was built in Japan.


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