2011 Subaru Impreza Review

The Subaru Impreza is a diverse car; from the slow and subdued 1.5L, to the very potent 2.5L WRX STI. It's the true embodiment of Subaru's ingenuity in producing cars with a broad appeal. In Kenya, the Subaru Impreza gained traction in the early 2000s when people took notice of its modest fuel consumption and off-road capability. It also benefitted from the good reputation left by its predecessor the Subaru Leone. Now in its fifth generation, the Subaru Impreza has been in production since 1992.

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Detailed Review

The 2011 Subaru Impreza is offered both as a saloon and a hatchback. The saloon is known as the Anesis whilst the hatchback is simply known as the Subaru Impreza. It competes with the VW Golf, Toyota Auris, Mazda Axela, Nissan Tiida and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Under the bonnet, the 2011 Impreza comes with 3 engine options. These are; the 1.5L EL15 engine, the 2.0L EJ20 engine and the 2.5L EJ25 engine. The transmissions available are; a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed automatic, a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed manual resident in the WRX STI. The Impreza is offered in both 2WD and 4WD.

2011 Subaru Impreza Grades

  1. Subaru Impreza 1.5i – This is the base package that comes with the 1.5L engine, a 4-speed automatic transmission, 14-Inch steel rims, keystart, CD/Radio player, manual seats.
  2. Subaru Impreza 1.5i L Package – This comes with the 1.5L engine, 14-Inch steel rims, fog lights, smart start, DVD Player
  3. Subaru Impreza 1.5i S Package – This is a luxury version that comes with the 1.5L engine, 16-Inch alloy rims and DVD player
  4. Subaru Impreza 2.0i S Package – This comes with the 2.0L engine, a 5-Speed automatic transmission and same features as the 1.5i S.
  5. Subaru Impreza 2.0GT – This is a sports version that comes with a turbo charged 2.0L engine, 17-Inch alloy rims, sports seats, an optional 5-speed manual transmission and an upgraded interior trim.
  6. Subaru Impreza WRX STI – This is a ultra high performance vehicle that comes with a turbo charged 2.5L engine, 18-Alloy Rims, Brembo brakes, SI Drive and STI trim.

Legroom & Space
This generation of the Impreza is longer and wider than previous generations. It offers better legroom and interior space. At the first row, there’s sufficient legroom for tall people and the seats have a long horizontal adjust that creates extra space when needed. At the second row, the legroom is good for the outer seats. The middle seat is somewhat tight for adults especially at long distance.

Cabin Storage
There are several storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, beverages, goggles, handbags etc. At the first row there are 2 cup-holders, door panel storage , a storage shelf below the dashboard, a glovebox and the center-box. For the second row, the storage is on the front seat jacket pockets.

2011 Subaru Impreza Boot Space
The Impreza has a fairly spacious boot that compares favorably with similar cars such as the VW Golf and the Mazda Axela. When extra space is required, the rear seats can fold flat in a split configuration.

Other Extras – Navigation, Sports Seats, paddle shifts

Safety Features: SRS Airbags, Curtain airbags, ABS, Electronic Stability Control

The 2011 Impreza is a well designed car that appeals to both the feminine and masculine clientele. Most of them come with steel rims but as much as possible go for alloy rims as they accentuate its sporty look.

2011 Subaru Impreza Fuel Consumption
2011 Subaru Impreza 1.5L fuel consumption: 15.8 km/L
2011 Subaru Impreza 2.0L fuel consumption: 12.5 km/L

2011 Subaru Impreza Acceleration 
2011 Subaru Impreza 1.5L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 13.9 sec.
2011 Subaru Impreza 2.0L accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 10.0 sec.
2011 Subaru Impreza 2.0GT accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 sec.
2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5L WRX STI accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.1 sec.

2011 Subaru Impreza Fuel Tank Capacity: 60 Litres

2011 Subaru Impreza Ground Clearance
The 2011 Subaru Impreza has a ground clearance of 6.1 Inches(155mm). This is slightly below the minimum recommended ground clearance of 6.5 Inches for Kenyan roads and it may not clear some speed bumps. It might be necessary to modify the ground clearance to adjust the car to Kenyan roads. Read our guidelines here on how to safely increase a vehicle’s ground clearance.

2011 Subaru Impreza Stability and Handling
The Subaru Impreza handles the road very well and is a pleasant car to drive. Around corners, it feels reassuringly stable even when you enter at high speed. The only gripe I have with the Impreza is the sluggish acceleration on the 1.5L models. When you floor the accelerator and in urgent need for speed, the car will take ages to gain any meaningful momentum. I think this is down to its heavy body weight; good for stability and bad for acceleration. On the other hand, the 2.0GT is an accelerative car. You floor the throttle and the car whips you back into the seat like an aircraft on take-off. Of course there’s the 2.5L beast in the name of WRX STI but that’s a story for another day.

Service Intervals
Minor Service- At 5,000 km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, and Engine Oil
Major Service – At 10,000km. Requires Air Cleaner, Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, ATF Filter, Cabin Filter, Plugs, Front Brake Pads, Rear Brake Pads, ATF Oil, and Engine Oil

Spare Parts Availability, Cost & Where to buy
Service parts are very affordable and widely available in Kenya. Body parts can be expensive depending on availability. In Nairobi, most spare shops in Industrial Area and Kirinyaga Road stock these parts. You can get listings for these shops here follow this link

2011 Subaru Impreza Reliability
The driving conditions in Kenya are significantly different from those in Japan and Europe. Reliability reviews done for those markets largely do not apply to the Kenyan market. There are differences in roads, fuel, climate, spares, and technical expertise. To give you accurate and reliable local insights, we interview experts such as mechanics and car dealers, who have in-depth knowledge of the Kenyan market. We also test the cars ourselves. Our aim is to give you the right information to enable you make an informed decision when buying a car.

The Subaru Impreza is a reliable car with minimal issues. Below are the most commonly reported issues by owners here in Kenya;
1. Steering pump failure
2. Transmission failure
3. Steering rack failure

With proper maintenance as per the owners manual, these issues can be avoided. To download the 2011 Subaru Impreza Owner’s Manual, click here.

Resale Value – Good

Subaru Impreza Competitors: VW Golf, Toyota Auris, Mazda Axela, Nissan Tiida and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Cost of Ownership
Purchase Price: See Latest Subaru Impreza Prices here
Comprehensive Insurance: Average Ksh. 32,000/ per annum- Or
3rd Party Insurance: Ksh. 7,000/- per annum
Change of Tyres(If neccessary) Ksh. 20,000/- for 4 Tyres

What we like about the 2011 Subaru Impreza
1. Good quality build
2. Spacious boot
3. Some off-road capability in the 4WD models

What we don’t
Sluggish acceleration on the 1.5L model

The Subaru Impreza is an excellent family car that is best suited for urban dwellers. Even though it’s not a true economical car, it still manages to return some decent Km/L. It is a reliable car with minimal issues and lasts long when properly maintained. Compared to its rivals such as the VW Golf, Mazda Axela, and Toyota Auris, it is a more compelling purchase particularly because of the symmetrical AWD found in some models.

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