The Impreza was redesigned for 2017 (but remains strikingly similar to the 2016…). Most notably the seat belt buckles are now encased in a rubber housing making them less flexible than they had been.
Since 2016, Subaru now allows the installation of a car seat in 2C using the innermost lower anchors borrowed from 2D & 2P. Subaru does not state how far apart these anchors are.
For 2012, the 5-door (also called a hatchback/wagon) now has all 3 tether anchors on the back of the vehicle seat… rather than on the rear wall where they had been.
For 2016, Subaru now allows the installation of a car seat in 2C using the innermost lower anchors borrowed from 2D & 2P. Subaru does not state how far apart these anchors are.
The Impreza was redesigned for 2008.
The sedan now features head restraints for all seating positions in back.
The wagon now has all 3 tether anchors at the rear wall of the vehicle (2C moved from the roof where it had been, to the rear wall).
The Impreza was redesigned for 2002.
2002 saw the introduction of lower anchors for 2D & 2P. The tether anchors in the sedan/coupe remain in the same location as they had been (on the shelf below the rear windshield) but in the wagon the tether anchor for 2C is now in the roof, while for 2D and 2P it remains on the back wall (which will interfere to some extent with use of the trunk as the tether strap will stretch all the way across the entire cargo area). If your child’s car seat has a short tether strap that won’t reach to the tether anchor (as they are quite far away in the Impreza wagon), call the car seat manufacturer as many have tether extension straps that they will send you for free so that the tether will reach… as the tether is the most important part of every forward-facing car seat so you don’t want to skip it!
The other important change for 2002 was that 2C now has a shoulder belt (before it just had a lap belt).
There are now head restraints for all 3 seats in the wagon that are adjustable and removable. In the sedan/coupe there is no head restraint at all in 2C, and for 2D & 2P the vehicle seat back is raised such that it will provide some whiplash protection, but not for taller adults.
The 2000 is the same as the 1993-1999 except that tether anchors are now standard (yay for no more retrofitting!) in the 2000 & newer Imprezas for all 3 seats in back. There are no lower anchors (yet… they’ll come in the 2002 Impreza). Because the tether anchors in the wagon are on the back wall of the vehicle, the tether strap will stretch across the entire cargo area and will limit use of the trunk area.
If your child’s car seat has a short tether strap that won’t reach to the tether anchor (as they are quite far away in the Impreza wagon), call the car seat manufacturer as many have tether extension straps that they will send you for free so that the tether will reach… as the tether is the most important part of every forward-facing car seat so you don’t want to skip it!
There are no lower anchors or tether anchors in the 1993-1999 Impreza. Tether anchors can be retrofitted in the 1993-1999 Subaru Impreza as there are already 8mm weld nuts in the rear filler panel (the shelf under the rear windshield) in the sedans and below the rear hatch opening in the wagons.
The buckle stalk (female end of the seat belt) for 2C is very, very long – and twisting it doesn’t do much to make it shorter as it is so very long to begin with. This is problematic for many car seats – and will make a secure installation impossible with many car seats. One car seat which will very much like this very long buckle stalk is a rear-facing Diono in 2C – you’ll want to get all the seat belt buckle hardware completely into the belt path (the part of the Diono under the child’s legs).
There is a lap-only belt in 2C and no real head restraints for any of the seats in back.
The sedan and wagon back seats are very similar except for the following:
The wagon has a “seat belt pocket” in 2C which is a large plastic housing (located where your lower back would be if you sat in 2C) that is used to store the seat belt buckles when you fold the vehicle seat down so that they don’t fall in the seat crack. This housing interferes with achieving a secure installation with many rear-facing car seats (especially infant seat bases) – and we’ve often removed this as the housing is simply held in with 2 or 3 Phillips head screws.
The sedan has rudimentary head restraints in 2D & 2P while the wagon has absolutely no whiplash protection at all in any of the rear seats.