Do 2015 CVT Subaru Imprezas have an oil consumption issue?
I am considering buying a 2015 Subaru Impreza and wondering if it might suffer from excessive oil consumption. I have asked Subaru about this and they say that oil consumption has been an issue with some of its models in the past but that the issue has been resolved. Has anyone here experienced this problem with the 2015 Impreza, specifically with a CVT model?
I have a 2013 Impreza manual and will be doing an oil consumption test with the dealer on the next service. Check to see if the engine on the Impreza that you're considering is the same as the 2015 Forester. If it is the same , then many owners are having oil consumption issues with that engine.
Do an Internet search and look this up. Also, call your local Subaru dealer and discuss. I've heard that the majority of oil burning problems are with the manual transmission vehicles. I don't know for sure, but, I suspect that a lot of people like to over rev the engines on these cars and it probably results in burning up the engine faster. You can do that in the automatic transmission.
By the way, I personally have a CVT transmission in my 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited. It's a fantastic transmission, gives plenty of power, acceleration and even gets better fuel economy than the manual. You won't be sorry with the CVT.
I have done as Mark suggests, and done considerable Internet research on the topic as well as having reached out to several Subaru dealers as well as Subaru corporate headquarters and even other car dealers, and have determined that oil consumption has indeed been an issue with some Subaru models, partic ularly with manuals, but I've not been able to get a feel for how much of an issue it is with 2015 Imprezas with CVT -- that's why I'm asking here.
I'm not certain about this, but, I've heard that there's less problems with the Outback, Legacy and Tribeca ( now discontinued, new model is going to replace it in a year or so). Here's the 411 on where these cars are built. "Subaru currently makes the Legacy sedan, Outback, and Tribeca crossovers in Lafayette, Indiana. Subaru BRZ, XV Crosstrek, Impreza, WRX, STi, and Forester models are built in Japan. Subaru of Indiana, Automotive Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana." Also, I think that there's a lot of people who love to "race" their Subaru engines. You know the "boxer engine " is a really great machine and it can rev up fast and is more naturally balanced than inline Fours. In the US, you can no longer get an Outback or Legacy with the manual transmission, only the Forester, Impreza models. Largely, these are the cars people are writing about. If you can afford to step up to looking at the Outback, I think you will be favorably impressed. The fit and finish on this car is remarkable and it rides much more comfortably than the Impreza. And since it's a station wagon it will be much more utilitarian than an ordinary sedan. I have a couple of friends with the Forester. It's not a bad vehicle, but, it's much more truck like. The Outback is a versatile smooth cruiser but has the added feature of a go to vehicle for just about every situation. The CVT transmission in the Outback is so good, you'll just wonder how they did it. The engine is so responsive at every speed and it will always be in the most advantageous power band no matter how quickly you accelerate. Good luck.
This may also help you, see this link below. http://www.truedelta.com/Subaru-Impreza/reliability-252
Thanks, Mark, for referring me to those stats finding the Impreza to be very reliable overall, though I have never questioned the car's overall reliability, just its possible problem with oil consumption. So much of a concern was the issue for me, in fact, that I ended forgoing buying an Impreza, which looked to be the ideal vehicle for me, particularly with the Eyesight technology, and instead buying a Corolla, which I know from personal experience, having earlier owned one for three years, to be an outstandingly reliable vehicle with no hint of an oil problem. Still, as I've told a couple of Subaru dealers, I'm impressed enough overall with the Impreza that if I could ever resolve my oil concern with the Impreza, I'd be willing to trade in my new Corolla to buy a new Impreza.
I understand. We have a Toyota Prius and I know that the Toyota Corolla is a fine vehicle. It's impossible to compare these two vehicles as the Subaru is an AWD vehicle, uses a boxer engine and has different dynamics than the Toyota. I would say that the Subaru is a more exciting vehicle to drive, but, I can certainly see how the Toyota Corolla might be more reliable. I love my Prius for the fuel economy and the Corolla is pretty economical for a non hybrid. The Subaru will outperform the Toyota in almost every situation, acceleration, handling, and traction especially with the AWD. We have a Prius as a city car and our Subaru Outback is our highway car and use it to pull our trailer. The Subaru is more of a driver's car. I didn't know that you could get Eyesight on the new 2015 Impreza. My Outback is a 2010 and Eyesight was not available then. Good luck.
Actually, your Toyota Corolla will have better towing capacity than the Subaru Impreza.
Yeah, the availability of Eyesight technology on the 2015 Impreza was what got me interested in the Impreza in the first place. It's what still has me interested in the vehicle -- that and of course the AWD -- and the unavailability of such active-safety features on the Corolla is my only complaint with that vehicle. But the possible oil- consumption issue with the Impreza was just too much of a hurdle for me to overcome -- I certainly couldn't say I hadn't been aware of the issue if I bought an Impreza and the oil problem manifested itself.
I think its less of an issue on the 2015 Outback with the CVT transmission. Really depends upon what you want to use this car for. My Outback pulling the trailer is very stable. Here's a picture of the two together for you.
I think its less of an issue on the 2015 Outback with the CVT transmission. Really depends upon what you want to use this car for. My Outback pulling the trailer is very stable. Here's a picture of the two together for you.
So, you've already purchased the Toyota Corolla? It's not a bad choice at all. You won't regret it. I think that the Subaru especially with the Eyesight feature would be safer though.
If you have not purchased a vehicle yet maybe you should test drive them? It's a whole different feeling in the Subaru CVT than even my Prius CVT. The Prius CVT transmission is really a "power sharing transmission ". Look that up and there's even a YouTube video on this. It's different in the Subaru as its a metal belt driven cone. Maybe it's because it's AWD, but, the feel of acceleration on takeoff in the Subaru is completely different. You'll have to drive one to see. I really needed a much larger car for trips with my trailer, and the Outback was a perfect fit for me. I realize it won't be for everyone.
I've already purchased the Corolla, but I did test-drive an Impreza and loved it as well as a Mazda model with that car's version of Eyesight. I just really like compact sedans and would really, really have liked to have bought an Impreza and was in fact ready to purchase one, had even been ready to put down a considerable deposit on one, before the oil issue raised itself. One encouraging note, though, is that my Car Gurus question has been up for a while now and so far no one has come forward to say that he or she has had an oil issue specifically with the 2015 Impreza with CVT. On the other hand, obviously many, many Impreza owners aren't Car Gurus followers.
Hmm, I see a lot of people asking questions about Subaru Impreza. http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/questions/Subaru-Impreza-Questions- qt1355 Glad to hear that not many people complained about the CVT transmission and oil burning. I think for a lot of people, CVT is still pretty new concept to them. Years ago, I remember someone told me that it's not true when people say "I know what I like." Actually, "people like what they know. " You have to learn about new concepts before you can accept them and there's so much misinformation out there about CVT's. Good luck with your Toyota Corolla, you'll be fine. DID YOU GET THE CVT TRANSMISSION?
Yes, I got the CVT, which I also had with an earlier car, a Honda Civic, and liked it very much.
Great! Good for you. I'll bet that you never had any problems with your old CVT transmission? CORRECT? What year was your Civic?
It was a 2005, as I recall, and, no, I never had any problems with the CVT, but I did have some issues with the hybrid character of the car, which finally led me to trade it in for my first Corolla, which was a straight automatic and not a hybrid. I take it you haven't had any issues with the Prius, and indeed I thought of getting one when the Subaru purchase went sour on me, but the Corolla, after my great experience with the first one, was too much of a draw for me. I just think Corollas are great cars, especially for someone like me who's not performance-oriented but just wants a thoroughly reliable car.
Yes, I understand. I have a friend with a Honda Civic Hybrid. There was a court case and the folks got a settlement of $100 because the car's battery caused them to get only 1 mpg better than the gas only model when they expected the car to get 50 miles per gallon. Just didn't do it, and it was a ripoff. Basically, giving people a $100 is the equivalent of telling some to "buzz off". Not very cool. Other people experienced a complete hybrid battery failure, a very costly affair. When we purchased our Prius, the salesman at Honda told us that the Toyota Prius wasn't worth it and that the Prius was "not a real car". Yeah, he actually said that at which point I walked out of the showroom. We did test drive the car, but, I wasn't very impressed, seemed like it wasn't very responsive to me. We have not had any problems with the Toyota Prius, thank goodness, and we consistently get 45 mpg, just like they said it would. Our car is a 2009 and we have just over 61,000 miles on it and it runs great. Did your hybrid battery fail? Or did you just get lousy mileage? Don't know if you got the $100 settlement? Maybe that was limited to certain states? And, how many miles were on your car? Hope you got a good price for that ?
Here's a great review of your car. http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/latest-reviews/test-drive-2015- toyota-corolla-article-1.2022003
Actually, the mileage on my Civic Hybrid was pretty good -- I forget exactly what I was getting, but I remember I impressed acquaintances with it. The problems had to do with the battery pack, which I eventually had to have replaced, and, more irritatingly, with the car's "auto-stop" feature, where the engine kills at stops and then starts when you're ready to go again -- it worked fine for a couple of years, then the car started lurching or even stalling when I started up again from a stop. Thanks for the Corolla review.
Wow, I knew I was lucky dodging the Honda Civic Hybrid. I was a Honda Accord guy for years, had a used 1980 Accord and then purchased a brand new 95 Honda Accord EX station wagon and kept that 19 years. Sold it for $3,000 last year and acquired my 2010 Subaru Outback. I really wanted to like the Civic Hybrid and was excited when they came out . I even test drove the very first Honda Insight and while 70 mpg sounded great, the car had too many negatives. Talk about start and stop, the engine cut off every time you came to an red light and the A/C turned off as well. Plus, it was a manual transmission only and couldn't carry more than 350 pounds including people. The first iteration was discontinued. So, you can imagine, I was skeptical about the Civic Hybrid, but looked at it anyway. Car had no power. The Toyota Prius was a breath of fresh air and we purchased the car with no reservations. Still like driving it, but , the steering response is not as good as my Subaru Outback. I'm sorry you had to go through that with the 2005 Civic Hybrid. The Toyota Prius has the smoothest transition when it goes from electric to gas and back again. It's so smooth, you don't even realize it's doing it. Seamless. A friend of ours had a Nissan Altima Hybrid and while it was a nice car and had the Toyota drivetrain, it was not as smooth. Stops and starts were very jerky. The Nissan Altima Hybrid is now orphaned . I still think hybrid cars are cool and will continue to get better in the future, and Toyota is leading the way. The Prius was first introduced in Japan in 1998. In fact, there's been reports of 2001 Prius cars going over 200,000 miles with no battery problems. In California, the warranty on our cars hybrid system is 10 years or 150,000 miles. HOWEVER, the largest gains in gas mileage in recent years has been from naturally aspirated gas engines and CVT transmissions. So, all of these advances in modern technology has brought us the great cars and fuel mileage we have today. Cars today have smaller engines, get better mileage and are faster....a remarkable achievement. I've got a good situation in that I have the Prius for a city car and the Outback for a highway car to tow my teardrop trailer. Best of luck with your Toyota Corolla. I also posted a question on this forum asking if anyone with any Subaru model car with CVT if they have an oil burning problem. So far, NOTHING! And, no one has reported any other problems with CVT.
Mark, I wanted to tap your obvious knowledge of various car lines and ask you a couple of questions. First, I know it may be comparing apples to oranges to compare a luxury car to a regular one, but do you have any experience of how a BMW sedan might compare ride- wise and reliability-wise, to the Corollas and Civics and Imprezas we've been talking about. Which is to say, is a BMW hands-down the winner if you could afford it? And what is your reaction to the JD Power study that just came out in which it gave higher marks to certain Kias versus BMWs, Toyotas, Hondas and, trailing significantly, Subarus? (There has been some suggestion, as you're probably aware, that earlier low ratings of Subarus by Power might have been tied to the oil consumption issue.)
Well, take a look at this article I found for you online, right here below. The article points out that Subaru's may be the best value for the money. On the oil burning issue, yes, there are some cars that are affected but most of them are Forester models with the manual transmission. From what I've gathered and read online, the number of Outbacks with the CVT are almost non existent. BMW's are very nice cars to be sure, but, they require more maintenance and in the long run, at least in my opinion, they will cost you more. Further, Consumer Reports says that the Legacy which the Outback is based on is one of the most luxurious riding mid size cars that they've tested in years. And, the Outback did very well in their annual auto survey for 2015. I've had German and Asian cars and from my experience, the Asian cars are tops over German cars. Now, if you were ask me about the Lexus, I would absolutely recommend that car with no reservations. It's one of the finest engineered cars in the world Good luck. https://www.yahoo.com/autos/s/are-subarus-the-best-cars-money-can- buy-.html
See this link as well. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/02/24/consumer- reports-best-category-tesla-subaru/23926159/
Thanks, Mark. You echoed what my brother told me about his Audi, that it was a nice car to drive, but expensive to maintain. At any rate, I hadn't seriously been looking to buy a BMW, just investigating what active-safety features might be had on one after my local BMW dealer approached me with a possibly attractive price on a particular model. And in investigating that model, I was brought to appreciate what an incredibly good value an Impreza is, particularly with Eyesight technology, where you can get both a slew of active-safety features AND adaptive cruise control at a very affordable price at many dealerships. (A BMW dealer told me that the model I was looking into with adaptive cruise control wasn't to be had at any dealership in the country without placing a special order.) I just wish we could resolve that oil issue for once and for all -- I was looking again at the Subaru oil forum on Consumer Reports and found a guy who was reporting problems with a 2014 Forester with CVT. No reports yet, though, on problems with a 2015 Impreza with CVT.
This is from a Consumer Reports moderator on a CR forum on oil consumption issues with Subarus: To all: I checked with our Auto Test staff and we have been hearing your complaints. As a result we plan to share the findings of our investigation into oil consumption. The story will be in the August issue of the Consumer Reports magazine (out in early July). Plus, we will also post on-line at the very end of this month.
Consumer Reports has just published an article online in which it finds certain Subaru models to have indeed demonstrated excessive oil consumption, though not to the extent of certain Audis and BMWs. The Impreza was among the Subarus cited, though the incidence of the problem with it was less than with other models, especially in the latest year cited. Still, if you're one of those affected, obviously the problem wouldn't seem so minimal. No indication, incidentally, whether the problem is greater with CVTs than with manuals, with a CR moderator at the CR online forum on the topic simply noting that the problem is with the engines, not the transmissions.
I meant to say that there is no indication in CR's article that the oil problem is greater with manuals than with CVTs, as some have speculated. It would be nice if someone could come up with the reason that most Subaru owners, it seems, don't have oil issues while some do. CR seems to feel it does not have to do with types of transmissions or people's driving habits. I still haven't heard from anyone reporting oil issues with a 2015 Impreza with CVT.
PWagenbret- it's been awhile, did you ever find someone with a 2015 Subaru Imprezza, CVT transmission and oil burning issues? I noticed that the 2015 Subaru Outback is absent on the list of the Thirsty 30 Oil Consumption Cars, see this picture, and I think that this is all related to people who drive manual-transmission vehicles and bring them to red line.
Mark: I was never able to get a reassuring response about the oil issue either with 2015 or 2016 Impreza models, so I turned my attention to other cars with the active-safety features that I was interested in (particularly adaptive cruise control, which really interests me). Lately I've been looking into Hyundai Sonatas and Toyota Camrys with those features. Do you have any preferences about Sonatas vs. Camrys? Paul
PWagenbret - we have a 2009 Toyota Prius and I generally love the car. Recently, I rented a 2015 Prius and hated it; they lowered the roof line rake from the front windshield and I kept hitting my head on the roof liner, wow! My Mom has a 2009 Camry and again the roof is tilted back more than either my Outback or Prius and I find it annoying. Recently, I discovered that while the engines and transmissions of the Toyota's are very good, at least my Prius, the suspension of the Prius is not so great. At 63,000 miles, my struts need replacement and it's going to cost me just under $800 for KYB, they want $1100 for the original equipment, I'm still thinking about which to choose, but, probably KYB will be fine. Then, I need four brand new tires and a wheel alignment for a total of around $1,500. I'm not sure about the suspension on the Camry, it might be a little better. And, look up the oil burning issue, I think some of the newer Camry's are on the list. As for the Hyundai Sonata, I've ridden in a few- they feel cheap to me and I don't think they in the same league as a Toyota, Subaru or Honda. Speaking of Honda, I had a 1995, kept it for 19 years and one of the best cars ever, discovered they had some problems in the 2000s and by 2008 they went to hell. I've heard that they're making a comeback and are better now. Take a look at Mazda, they're very highly rated as well. Good luck.
I've been reading some very interesting things about the 2017 Hyundai Elantra, supposedly to be available early next year. It will come available with all the active-safety features that got me interested in the Impreza as well as some other features not normally found in a small car. Pricing isn't yet available, but it certainly sounds worth a good look to me.
Yes they use that lightweight 1-20W oil quite rapidly. Before the 7,500 mile change recommendation I've already gone through a qt of additional oil. Also the CVT transmission completely failed on my 2012 Subaru Impreza Limited at 55,000 miles. It was warranty work but over $7500.00 !!!
STEPHENBREYETTE- well, you're very lucky that it failed under warranty, BUT, could you please tell me more about the circumstances that it failed under? And, did Subaru have any clue what may have caused this to happen?
Not sure how to answer, I don't think they actually know. The CVT was sent back to Subaru. I'm 64 and don't drive my vehicles hard. One day it was fine, the next day in my parking garage I heard this grrrrrr (ing) as I drove. Didn't hear it at idle only while moving forward or backwards. First Subaru replaced a "carrier bearing" and "driveshaft" then without even returning the car told me they had to replace the entire CVT tranny. Obviously the first "fix" did not work. My 5th Subaru (I have my 6th on order now) and the third to have a tranny problem. One was a standard tranny, one an automatic tranny and one a CVT. Seems Subaru has some engineering problems. Hopefully the one in my 2016 is better but I won't be keeping that car over the 60,000 drivetrain warranty !
STEPHENBREYETTE- thanks for your reply. You know, its better to be lucky than good. We're both in our mid 60s, and I'm very easy on my cars as well. My car is a 2010 Subaru Outback with the 2.5 and CVT transmission, the first year they were introduced. And, because its the 2.5, the engine doesn't have to rev up very much past 2,000 rpms in normal driving to accelerate the car. Of course, it easily goes much faster and I've had it revving up to 4,000 rpms on harder acceleration with no problems at all. One thing is, Ernie from Boston, advised me to have the CVT transmission fluid changed which I did. I did take the car to the dealership for that, something I normally don't do. I have a private mechanic. My thinking here was this, paying the extra money for Subaru to do this was worth it to me to ensure that they got the procedure right. I have an extended warranty on my car and if anything went wrong, I would directly hold Subaru responsible for anything related to a the CVT failure. It's interesting that the owners manual on these cars say that it only requires an "inspection" of the CVT transmission fluid at various intervals, but, that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be changed. And, since I do use my car for light towing, I have a small teardrop trailer, it makes sense to be extra cautious. Good luck with your next Subaru. So, you're getting another Imprezza?? Did you consider either the Outback or Legacy? The larger platform chassis makes for a much smoother ride, something I appreciate now that I'm older. I'm going to have to leave the younger kids to the Subaru WRX STI , they're cool and I'm sure they're fun for a while, but, I'd probably get tired of the punishing ride, noise, vibration etc after a short time. Besides, these cars draw police like flies on flypaper. It's just an open invitation to get a speeding ticket, LOL.
STEPHENBREYETTE - hey, whenever I'm towing the trailer, the engine is spooling up to around 3,000 to 3,500 rpms on take off. Once up to speed, it levels off. And without the trailer, its around 2,000 to 2,500 rpms. Only when I get up on the freeway to accelerate up to full speed does it see 4,000 rpms, sometimes more. My car has just over 74,000 miles and runs well, spins up easily. It's pretty zippy for a Four. If you really want power, look at an Outback with the 3.6 H6, but, it's a rocket and eats fuel much more quickly. My situation is I need a good car, don't need a racer, and the Four strikes the right balance for me. Everyone's situation is different. If I lived in a mountainous area, I would have definitely gone for the H6. And, even though, its only a Four, we've taken the car and trailer up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with no problem at all. Yes, its a little slower, but, it was fine. The tow capacity of the Four and Six is only 300 pounds, 2,700 vs. 3,000. So, the main thing you're talking and is the speed of acceleration. And, the Four is about 1.5 to 2 seconds behind the Six. Really doesn't matter that much especially when you consider that you cannot safely tow the trailer at super high speed. Now that both of these cars ever since 2015 only come with the CVT transmission in the USA, the only main difference is the engine size.
Looking for a Used Impreza in your area?
CarGurus has 15,170 nationwide Impreza listings starting at $1,595.
Search Subaru Impreza Questions
Subaru Impreza Experts