How Long Do Subaru Imprezas Last?

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Subaru introduced this premium line of compact cars around three decades ago, and the lineup has made a serious name for itself.

The Subaru Impreza has been mostly a domestic vehicle during this period, but a few models have soiled its reputation.

This has raised concerns as to “How long do Subaru Imprezas last?”.

Luckily for customers and fans of the lineup, the Subaru Impreza can still hold up in today’s time and easily last well over 200k miles before getting any issues.

While most of the time, it should give you 250k miles at the max, some people have reported going over 300k miles which is amazing.

In this article, I will see just how well the Subaru Impreza can do compared to other vehicles and how long it can last in the grand scheme of things.

I will also talk about how you can achieve a longer usage period.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of A Subaru Impreza?

Learning about the Subaru Impreza's life expectancy so you can know how to maintain the vehicle

Assuming that you will get 250k miles from your Subaru Impreza at most, which will likely not be the case unless you follow the contents of this article, you should be looking at 16+ years of service at the most.

The minimum amount of time you can expect from the vehicle is over 13 years.

This three-year range is the result of a variety of different factors which affect the lifespan of the car.

Other times, the car itself can cause a lot of variation when it comes to the lifespan, which is why I will talk about all the things that affect the Subaru Impreza and how you can extend its lifespan to the max.

Does Subaru Impreza Last Longer Than Other Similar Vehicles?

When looking at the average amount of time you can use your Subaru Impreza before you start to get many issues.

You can see that the Subaru Impreza should easily be able to compete with other vehicles and maybe even outperform them; however, these are just raw statistics which can easily change according to the model of the car.

Each vehicle has several different problems that it must overcome and a lot of different opinions on it, which is why it is difficult to understand how well your car can operate compared to other vehicles.

I will try to compare the Subaru Impreza to 3 other prominent vehicles in its vehicle class and see how it lasts according to them.

I will be comparing factors that only affect the lifespan and longevity of the vehicles.

1. Subaru Impreza Vs. Hyundai Elantra GT

First off, I will compare the Subaru Impreza to the Hyundai Elantra GT, a now-discontinued vehicle but still well known.

  • The Subaru Impreza is less reliable than the Hyundai Elantra GT, according to multiple different sources.
  • The Subaru Impreza and the Hyundai Elantra GT are more or less equal when it comes to the total distance they can travel, capping out mostly at 250k miles.
  • The Subaru Impreza has had more models, such as more room for error. In contrast, the Hyundai Elantra GT has only eight models, which perform much more reliably than the Impreza and have fewer issues.
  • To keep the car well maintained, you will have to spend more money on the Subaru Impreza than the Hyundai Elantra GT, roughly $200 more.

Even though the Hyundai Elantra GT is discontinued, it should still offer more reliability and longevity than the Subaru Impreza.

Related: How Many Miles Will A Hyundai Elantra Last?

2. Subaru Impreza Vs. Toyota Matrix

The second comparison will be the Subaru Impreza against the Toyota Matrix, a less prominent compact car that the Toyota Corolla has overshadowed.

  • Across multiple different sources, the Subaru Impreza is ranked much lower than the Toyota Matrix, which can always secure a position in the top 10.
  • The Subaru Impreza stands no chance against a vehicle with one of the most durable engines. The Toyota Matrix can easily last over 250k miles and reach 300k miles much more consistently.
  • On issues and concerns, the Subaru Impreza is beaten by the Toyota Matrix, which, apart from one model, has very few issues.
  • As well as having more problems, the Subaru Impreza is much more expensive to repair when compared to the Toyota Matrix, which is well over $200 cheaper to maintain.

Compared to the Toyota Matrix, the Subaru Impreza stood no chance as it was outclassed in all categories discussed above.

3.Subaru Impreza Vs. KIA Forte 5

The final comparison to the Subaru Impreza I will make is with the KIA Forte 5, which is highly regarded in its reliability and is a well-admired vehicle.

  • In terms of raw reliability, across multiple sources, the Subaru Impreza ranks much lower than the KIA Forte 5, which consistently reaches the top 3 when it comes to reliability.
  • The lifespan of the Hyundai Impreza also pales in comparison to the KIA Forte 5, which can easily and more consistently last up to 300k miles.
  • When it comes to problems, the Subaru Impreza and the KIA Forte 5 are quite close, but I would say that this category leans in favor of the Subaru Impreza.
  • The cost to fix these problems and maintain the car is not in favor of the Subaru Impreza as the KIA Forte 5 is more than $200 cheaper.

Despite having slightly fewer issues, it is still more favorable to get the KIA Forte 5 as the vehicle is much more reliable, lasts longer, and can be fixed for much cheaper than the Subaru Impreza.

Life Expectancy Of Subaru Impreza Car Parts

After these comparisons, you may feel that there is little to no reason to get a Subaru Impreza as the car could not compete against the three vehicles I compared it against.

This should not be the case as a lot goes into your car, and you need to make sure that every part of the car stays in perfect condition so that the owner can get the most out of the vehicle.

Proper maintenance of the car’s parts can easily make it last much longer than other vehicles, which have a better reliability rating than it.

For this reason, I will be discussing all the major parts and components which go into your Subaru Impreza and see how long they should typically last.

I will also discuss ways you can maintain and increase their lifespan, as well as lead to a general increase in the life of the car.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Impreza Brake Pads

The Subaru Impreza has been fairly average in most of the categories that I have discussed.

The same is true for its brake pads as well as Subaru Impreza brake pads can last you a minimum of 30k miles.

With proper care and good driving, you can bump this up to 70,000 miles, making it quite standard for most vehicles in its class.

This means that the brake pads should last you 2 to 4 years, with an average of 3 years.

You can extend this even further by ensuring that you avoid any hard and sudden brakes that will wear out the brake pads.

Purchasing higher-quality brake pads will also make them last significantly longer.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Impreza Battery

Continuing the trend, the Subaru Impreza parts remain to provide the same amount of service like its competitors as the battery of the Subaru Impreza should stay active and problem-free for up to 75k miles at the most, which translates to 5 years.

On the other hand, you can look at three years minimum, only 45k miles.

To make sure that you get the full life of your battery, you must make sure that the battery retains its charge for as long as possible.

This can be done by frequently taking your car out for a ride once or twice a week and driving a fairly good amount. Getting your car serviced can also boost the life of the car.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Impreza Tires

The tires of the Subaru Impreza have quite a variable lifespan as some owners praise the tires for lasting 50k miles while others complain that they give out at 10k.

Overall you should expect an average of 40k miles, with 60k being the absolute most you can think of getting.

To make sure that your tires last as long as this, you must take care of their condition the same way you take care of the brake pads; by driving slowly and making sure that you do not hard stop the car.

Make it a habit to visit the mechanic to regularly adjust the tires’ pressure and have them rotated and realigned, as this will increase their lifespan to the max.

Related: Best Tires For Subaru Impreza

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Impreza Transmission

A typical transmission for any vehicle should last it for most of its natural life. This is unfortunately not the case with the Subaru Impreza.

As the transmission will mostly give out before the minimum lifespan of the car can even be achieved, meaning you will most likely have to make the expensive choice of having to replace the transmission of the Subaru Impreza at least once during its life.

The most you can expect from the transmission is 12 years or 180k miles.

This means that you will have to take extra special care of the Subaru Impreza transmission to last you as long as possible.

You can do this by making sure that you always drive in the correct gear and shift the gear the right way. Also, make it a habit to keep the transmission fluid regulated.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Impreza Spark Plugs

Like most vehicles, the Spark plugs of the Subaru Impreza should be changed somewhat frequently.

Most dealers and the company say that you should initially change the spark plugs first at around 100k miles and the rest after every two years.

You can slightly increase this lifespan by ensuring that the spark plugs used to replace them are high quality and have good durability.

Regular cleaning of the spark plugs and frequent maintenance of the engine can also play a huge role in the longevity of the spark plugs.

Average Lifespan Of Subaru Impreza Key Fob

It would take a lot of effort to go wrong with the key fob of any vehicle.

Luckily for the Subaru Impreza, the key fob is in a very good position as with proper and optimum usage; the key fob can last up to 6 years while most other key fobs only reach four years.

This, however, requires a lot of care from the user as they have to make sure that the key fob is not damaged in any way as the internals of the device is quite delicate.

Make sure that you press the buttons softly and do not spam them either, as it will drastically lower the lifespan of the buttons.

What Is Good Mileage For A Used Subaru Impreza?

Since the Subaru Impreza can only last a maximum of 250k miles reliably, it should be noted that you should avoid buying used Subaru Impreza that have mileages over 100k miles.

This is not only half the lifespan of the car, but anything over 100k miles can cause many issues to spring up as, at this stage, most of the problems start to rise. You should always try to get a used vehicle at as little mileage as possible.

For a Subaru Impreza, you should aim for anything below 50k miles but never settle for anything above 100k miles.

Otherwise, you may find yourself dealing with various expensive problems which may cost more than the car itself to fix.

Always make sure that the condition of the parts and vehicle itself is good too; otherwise, you may have to deal with many problems.

How To Increase How Long Your Subaru Impreza Last

If you follow the tips scattered throughout the article, you will see a definite increase in the lifespan of your Subaru Impreza.

However, most of these tips have been related to the car’s components.

Here, I will mention some general tips and good habits that you should follow if you want to make sure that your Subaru Impreza lasts as long as it possibly can.

  • Frequent checking of the car’s fluids.
  • Scheduled regular maintenance of the car.
  • Regular cleaning of the car.
  • Keeping the car in an unexposed location when unused.
  • Smart and proper driving.

If you make sure that you incorporate these habits into your daily routine and follow them to the letter, you will see that your Subaru Impreza will have a massive improvement in health and performance.

This directly translates to the lifespan of the Subaru Impreza, which will no doubt last much longer than it would have otherwise.

Problems That Limit The Life Of Your Subaru Impreza

There have been three notable models of the Subaru Impreza which have seriously hurt the reputation of the lineup.

These models were released in 2006, 2008, and 2012 respectively, and among these, the 2008 model received the harshest criticism.

These three models are the most problematic in the lineup and should be avoided. Here are just a few problems that affect these three models.

  • Power relay failure.
  • Brake line corrosion.
  • Engine knocking.
  • Paint chipping.
  • Alternator failure.
  • Battery dying.
  • Engine valve spring failure.

Apart from these issues, the three models also had many other problems that did not affect the life of the car but could easily affect the lives of its passengers and driver as they posed a lot of risks to health and could cause injury.

What To Look For When Buying A Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza is a simple vehicle to purchase as not a lot goes into the vehicle itself.

Many would argue that you cannot go wrong when purchasing a new Subaru Impreza, but there are various features and items which you must be on the lookout for if you want a quality Subaru Impreza.

Here are a few of these things that you should note when getting a Subaru Impreza, regardless of being new or used:

  • Vehicle service history (if any).
  • More recent models.
  • Sports trims.
  • Various active safety features.
  • All-wheel drive system.
  • Signs of rust or corrosion.
  • Mileage (if used).

If you are getting a used Subaru Impreza, always check for signs of rust and see the vehicle’s mileage, as depending on how much the car has been driven, there could be a lot of different issues hidden throughout the car.

Recent models are more reliable, especially the sports trim, with great suspensions.

Even without the sports trim, you should be on the look for various active safety features to your liking, which will increase your quality of life while driving.

Related: Best And Worst Years For Subaru Impreza

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is The Subaru Impreza A Reliable Car?

When it boils down to the basics, the Subaru Impreza is a pretty reliable vehicle that can easily give many competitors a run for their money.

This lineup has remained problem-free for the most part and, apart from a few models, is extremely reliable.

While the vehicle does take a hit in its repair cost, and while it is not the most reliable, it goes above and beyond what other vehicles provide.

I would argue that the Subaru Impreza is absolutely worth getting.

Q2. Does Subaru Impreza Have A Lot Of Problems?

There are a few models throughout the lineup of the Subaru Impreza which have been extremely problematic.

These models are infamous for having major issues early on that cost a lot to repair.

Aside from a few select models, most vehicles under the Subaru Impreza series are devoid of issues and, with proper maintenance and care, should offer no problems at all.

Just make sure to avoid models such as 2006, 2012, and the infamous 2008 model, which received the most complaints and criticism.

Q3. Is It A Good Idea To Buy A Used Subaru Impreza?

Most models of the Subaru Impreza, aside from a few problems here and there, are free from problems which is why it is typically a good idea to get a Subaru Impreza used.

The car is also capable of holding its value as well, which will only diminish by around 36% even after five years.

As long as you make sure that the car has low mileage and is in decent condition, you have yourself a trustworthy vehicle that will last you decades.

Q4. Does Subaru Impreza Rust Easily?

Like most vehicles made by the company, the Subaru Impreza has somewhat of a reputation for rust and corrosion; however, this is typical because most Subaru Vehicles are driven in hilly areas.

This renders them more prone to rust.

While the cars themselves should be relevantly durable against rusting, the harsh weather and climates can cause significant rust to the frame and body of the car, which is why as long as you protect the car from the elements, it should stay rust-free.

Q5. Is Subaru Impreza Expensive To Maintain?

When compared directly to its competitors, the Subaru Impreza turns out to be a very expensive car as many of the vehicles in its class are around a hundred dollars cheaper to maintain and repair than the Subaru Impreza.

Overall, compared to other vehicles, which generally cost more to repair, the Subaru Impreza is average at best.

This means that you should expect a lot of expenses when buying a Subaru Impreza, especially if major issues arise, which will bump up the costs significantly.


Despite its shortcomings, the Subaru Impreza is still a fairly reliable vehicle that can offer a lot of utility and longevity if treated right.

While you may be right to think about how long do Subaru Imprezas last, you should feel relieved knowing that your Subaru Impreza will stay fully functional for at least 13 years.

By making sure that you follow the various different tips and tricks scattered throughout this article, you should be able to extend this to well over 16 years.

This will also prevent major issues from creeping up as the only thing you will have to worry about is the expensive maintenance and repair costs which will only skyrocket if you get a lot of issues.