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Tips on buying a 3rd-gen impreza?


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Hello. I will soon (in a month or 2) be in the market for a used Subaru. I am looking at non-turbo Impreza hatchbacks and the 3rd gen (2007-2014) is what I can afford.

To eliminate any confusion, this is the generation that I am talking about:



Sites I am looking at are Gumtree and eBay, these seem to be where the most ads are.

My number 1 concern is reliability. Not fussed about performance.

I am aware that these models can use oil quickly, and have a timing belt (not chain).

I have noticed they come as 2.0L and 1.5L, most of the ads I have seen are the 1.5. Does anyone have any tips that could sway me toward either engine size?

Manual or auto transmission, I am not fussed about. It looks like manuals come with dual-range which is pretty cool. Does anyone know if the dual range on these locks the diff? Or does it not (meaning it can be used on tarmac).

Also, does anyone know if these models come with a USB port for playing music? I could replace the stock system with another head unit. I don't care about GPS, as I use my phone for that.

I'm looking for any other tips that could help me make the right choice, things to look out for, etc.

Thanks for reading.

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Wotcha and welcome.

I own a 2.0RX auto hatch 2008 model. In answer to some of your questions.

Yes it has a timing belt not a chain

No mine does not burn oil

The head unit I have in does not have a USB port but it did come with an 2.5mm headset extension jack in the centre console so with a short audio lead you can connect other media devices. It also has a Bluetooth and in car phone kit.

I have not driven a 1.5 version but I looked and the kerb weight is similar to the 2.0 so power to weight ratio will be a factor there.

Fuel economy around town is normally 26 -28 with 40 on a long run.

The 4 wheel drive is great but the chassis is no way as stiff as the wrx versions with the rear arb being 15mm vs 20mm.

Brakes give good feel and initial bit but can fade with spirited use through heat.

I have had no issues with mine other than a weeping bush on the rear differential front mount - I replaced with an aluminium version from an STI and saved just under a kilo in weight.

The steering ratio is 15.1 vs 13.1 on earlier and later subaru models but the rack is interchangeable with a 14+ model.

You could get clunks from worn front top hats (Suspension bearings)

Check for rust / dirt build up on rear arches - there is a lip that tends not to be cleaned.

The WRX-S cat back exhaust will fit with a larger donut seal giving stainless steel aftermarket options for replacement.

Manual option gives slightly better 0-60 than the auto but at 9-10 seconds this is not a drag machine

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