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Subaru Impreza WRX

(2000 - 2005)  Rating

Subaru Impreza WRX

The Subaru Impreza WRX has a supreme grip, no matter what the weather is

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
2.0 16V WRX 218 hp 10.2 l/100km Petrol 6.2 s 230 km/h
2.0 16V WRX 225 hp 9.9 l/100km Petrol 5.9 s 232 km/h
2.0 16V WRX STi 265 hp 12.1 l/100km Petrol 5.5 s 238 km/h
2.5 WRX STi WR1 320 hp ? Petrol 4.3 s 250 km/h

Body type Sedan
Number of doors 4
Number of seats 5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels All
Length 4 465 mm
Width 1 740 mm
Height 1 440 mm
Wheelbase 2 525 mm
Ground clearance 150 mm
Weight (normal) 1 470 kg
Weight (max) 1 820 kg
Boot space (min) 401 l
Boot space (max) 401 l
Fuel capacity 60 l


   The Subaru Impreza WRX was produced between 2000 and 2005. A new model is sold since 2006.

   The flagship of the Subaru Imprezas the WRX STi WR1 is powered by the 320 hp engine. All WRX models offer awesome overtaking ability and suffer from minimal turbo lag, thundering to 100 km/h (60 mph) in 6 seconds or less.

   A combination of permanent all-wheel drive and firm suspension helps the Impreza stay bolted to the bitumen even through fast crests and dips. What's more, the 2.0 and WRX versions manage to soak up all but the worst lumps and bumps. The STi is more hardcore, sacrificing some of this ride comfort for greater high-speed composure. On all models, the steering would benefit from a tad more weight and feel.

   Subaru uses flat-four engines with the cylinders arranged horizontally rather than vertically. They thrum when you rev them hard, but the noise is not unpleasant and is in keeping with the Impreza's sporty character. There's lots of road roar, particularly in the turbo cars because of their larger wheels and tyres, while wind noise is also present at the national limit, but not overly intrusive.

   Residual values for the Subaru Impreza should be reasonable, but the WRX versions will hang onto their value slightly better thanks to their cult status. Hefty emissions mean running costs are steep whichever model you go for, while the WRX and WRX STi drink more than 10l/100km if you make use of their massive performance.

   The plastics used in the Impreza cabin make the centre console look cheap and the door pockets feel flimsy. Overall, it should prove solid and durable, though. The same goes for the mechanicals. While the WRX performance models can have a healthy appetite for clutches, they rarely suffer from serious problems.

   Every Impreza comes with twin front airbags and all bar the entry-level 2.0 now have side 'bags as well. Although stability control is not available, the standard all-wheel-drive system helps to keep you on the road in slippery conditions. On the security front you get deadlocks, shielded door locks and an alarm.

   The mock-aluminum fascia does little to lift a dull cabin awash with shiny black plastic, but the layout is logical and items like the air-con and stereo controls are easy to use. Comfort is good, too, even with the heavily bolstered sports seats of the turbocharged cars. The driver's chair adjusts for height, but a steering wheel with reach as well as rake adjustment would improve things. Taller drivers should avoid the optional sunroof.

   The four-door version may look more like Subaru's Impreza rally car, but the five-door offers extra practicality. Its rear bench splits and folds so that you can carry bulkier items and, although the boot isn't square due to suspension intrusion, it is a usable shape. Unfortunately, passenger space doesn't match that of the best small hatches.

   Standard kit includes electric windows and mirrors, a single-slot CD player and air-conditioning. You also get remote central locking and alloy wheels. Few options are available save a four-speed automatic gearbox for the 2.0-liter car and rally seats for the WRX.


   Advantages: Supreme grip, no matter what the weather; fine handling

   Disadvantages: Dreary cabin; high running costs

   Verdict: Behind odd styling is a superb driver's car.

   Also consider: Ford Focus RS, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII.

Video of the Subaru Impreza WRX
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Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX

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