1996 Subaru Impreza LX EJ22 from North America


Best buy for a used AWD sub compact car


First thing I notice to go wrong was the power steering was leaking. Which I found out was coming from the power steering reservoir. Subaru fixed this in their later models by changing the design. Simple to fix with some Stop Leak, needed only a few drops and problem was solved.

Second was on account of my own fault, I couldn't find a power lead for my radio while installing it and blew the illumination control unit. Subaru charges 100 dollars for this, so I routed the lights to work without it.

Well I didn't have this problem, the oil pump gaskets were leaking before I bought it and the dealer had them replaced which is suggested at 100k miles.

General Comments:

If I ever want more power there is a nice amount of choices to go with, all EJ engines including the EJ20t and EJ25t (found in the WRX and STI) are swappable. So when the engine fails I can see the brighter side of it, if it ever fails.

Cockpit or interior is well designed, no noises. Cup holder becomes a pain if you eat fast food, blocking the A/C switches.

Not that fast, but faster than you would think with only 135hp with AWD. When I went from my V6 155hp 185lb torque grand am, I didn't notice that much of a slower ride, just passing up hills and it seems impossible to spin the tires due to AWD.

Snow isn't a problem unless you try to drive over a feet of it. Meant my first snow fall with my Subaru here recently and it was about 10 or so inches and I had no problems. Other cars where having troubles at lights and getting stuck, while the impreza didn't get stuck at all. Just watch turns like you would with any other car.

My Impreza LX has all wheel disc brakes as well, now I have heard other Subaru owners say there's are drum in the back I some how have rear disc brakes which pleases me since they are easier to replace.

Re-sell value seems to stay with this car which makes me feel like I bought a good buy.

Impreza's that aren't 5 door seem to be hard to find in America even on the road for the year models of 93-01 so it can make you feel like you drive an exotic at times.

The design of the exterior is well done too, especially if it comes with a spoiler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2005

1996 Subaru Impreza Brighton 1.8L H4 from North America


A very well-built machine


Radiator hose cracked ($30 to fix)

Idle throttle control unit malfunction (replacing chip would be $400, decided not to fix)

Oil leak when engine is hot and has been running for a long time. Probably from oil pump; I was told it's not a big deal, as long as I keep refilling the oil every once in a while (like half a quart every 500-1000 miles). And it has been fine so far.

Fuel tank leak at 169k miles, replaced for $450 (labor was expensive because they had to remove the rear suspension to get to the fuel tank - because of the AWD)

General Comments:

This is a superbly engineered car. One can see how they've thought about everything, especially with the design of the body. The engine has been running really well for a 170k mile engine.

Acceleration is decent, even with this 1.8L engine. Not as good as some other cars, but still pretty good. Switching to a lower gear is necessary for quick passing. Power dwindles with the air conditioning on (as in all cars). The AWD is good in snow, but makes it feel less "jumpy" when starting on a dry surface (e.g. you can't spin the wheels).

There seems to be a small water leak in the trunk when it rains, but it's somehow underneath the cover at the bottom of the trunk.

Side view is not very good, the side bars on the front windshield kind of block your view when making a turn. Also, on this model (Brighton) there's no right-side rear view mirror on the door, which is kind of annoying.

Overall the car has been reliable and a lot of fun to drive. It's definitely a much higher-class car than something like a Ford Escort (a friend has one and it feels like you're driving a wooden box!). Comfort is great with the bucket seats and the controls are well-positioned on the dashboard. The trunk is not very big, but can fit pretty much anything that I've wanted to transport (except a fridge, which I put on the front seat).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2004

9th Aug 2006, 19:09

I had an Impreza with the same water issue. It turned out to be the brake light was leaking in water at its seal with the body of the car. Try removing it, and putting a heavy band of silicone there to replace the seal. If that fails, then put silicone where the water from the trunk drains out of the brake light-under the trunk lid. I did and never had a problem again! Enjoy your Subie!!!

19th Oct 2009, 15:22

I have a 1996 Subaru Impreza. Before 36,000 miles, two lifters went and after the 36,000 warranty was over the third one went. It has had numerous oil leaks throughout the car, a new rear differential replaced. It has 84,000 on it now and I just put $3,000 of work into it.

1996 Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000 AWD 2.0 4 cam turbo from UK and Ireland


Nothing to date.

General Comments:

My dad bought a silver 5 door in February and ever since the first time I sat in it - I knew I just had to have one myself.

My car is white, has 17 inch gold alloys and a rare fully colour coded body kit - it's amazing how much better it looks than my dads, which has the standard wheels...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th September, 2001

1996 Subaru Impreza STI WRX Wagon 2.0 turbo from Brunei


Power, power and lots of power


Nothing really until I smashed the right fender 3 months back.

General Comments:

Awesome power and amazing speed even with few mods. Did 0-100 in 4.96 seconds. Will fight anything, even a Godzilla (Skyline GTR).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2000

1996 Subaru Impreza 2000 AWD 2.0 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


Sticking passenger window.

Wrong 16" alloys fitted when bought second hand, replaced FOC with 16" STi Gold's (Auto Tecnica, Mirfield).

Stone chipped bonnet.

General Comments:

Excellent performance, road holding and excitement.

Paintwork chips too easily.

Fuel consumption heavy (performance car heavy).

Dull interior except for Prodrive seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 1999

1996 Subaru Impreza 2.0 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


Nothing except some self inflicted minor accident damage. A Heavy "kerbing" in reverse managed to damage the steering rack!

General Comments:

Performance is great but the real knockout is the agility and composure in a wide variety of conditions.

Shame about the slight clutch judder when cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 1997

1996 Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000 AWD 2.0 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


Washer bottle leaked - warranty fix.

General Comments:

Performance/driving experience superb.

Occasionally clunky around town (prefers open road).

Interior not the best, but new models much better.

Headlights not up to performance of car.

Very difficult to know what I could replace it with which would offer same combination of performance and practicality.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 1997