2004 Subaru Impreza RS Hatch 2.5 litre petrol


Not a bad car, but look around at others


Vibration from front speaker at moderate volume when playing music with certain bass frequencies. Dealer tried to fix, but the problem persists.

Rattles in the dashboard which are very hard to locate.

General Comments:

The RS is a solid feeling car compared to a lot of others in its price range. One stand out feature is the handling. It feels safely stuck to the road and the brakes come on strong when you need them. Having four wheels driving is a big advantage here. The steering feels a bit vague in a straight line, but it isn't a problem.

Although this version of the RS gets a 2.5 litre motor, I wouldn't call it exciting. Its adequate and has reasonable torque, but that's all. I runs on standard fuel, but I think it's a bit thirsty. I get about 11.5 litres per 100 Ks around town. Other cars of similar weight and performance would do better.

My RS is an automatic and it is quite annoying when driving in dense traffic as you seem to be constantly having to touch the brakes because the motor braking effect just isn't there. A sequential shift would be a big improvment here. In addition to the transmission problem the brakes get quite sharp at low speeds and make it even more tiring when trying to control slow speeds.

My biggest gripe with the car is that I have never found a comfortable driving position. The seats are the same 'racing style' as those in the WRX version and seem OK when you try them out at the dealers. But when you've been in them for an hour or so you just want to stop and stretch your legs. Because the steering wheel has no telescoping adjustment and the front leg room is quite restricted I can never quite feel comfortable.

Although Subaru boast about the good visibility in their Impreza I find it has some annoying blind spots. The 'B' pillar seems right in your way as you check for traffic coming from the driver's side and you have to crane your neck forward for safe visibility.

Apart from the excellent handling the Impreza doesn't really shine anywhere else. It gives me the impression that it was rushed into production too soon. Maybe they'll get the next one right.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th August, 2005

2004 Subaru Impreza GX 2.0


Torquey, Unique and Safe


Nothing the car has been fine so far. Very slight rattle from the front right door.

General Comments:

I purchased my Impreza GX after researching the Lexus IS200, Golf and BMW 3 series. Whilst the Impreza is not in the same class as the Lexus nor the Bimmer, I thought it had great potential of being a great driver's car because of the boxer engine's extra torque and lower centre of gravity it provides.

The stock standard Impreza GX understeers quite a bit so I whacked on a rear sway bar, front anti lift kit and a rear camber kit from Whiteline. These are all essential in getting the car to handle much more neutrally. I found that these modifications did transform the Impreza's handling very significantly and it only costs my AUD$1500 in total. Go for the base model impreza and add these mods on.

My only real critisism of the Impreza is the lack of steering feedback even though the mods did sharpen the steering up quite a bit. Fuel consumption is also a surprisingly high for a car in this class.

The boxer engine is very very impressive with its pulling power even thought the Impreza is a bit of a porky pig at 1.27 tons. Man... this engine sounds like a mini Porsche... very smooth even at higher revs. The engine is definitely one of the Impreza's strongest points not so much the AWD system.

I would have preferred a rear wheel drive only impreza matted with a boxer engine. AWD is a bit overated unless you want to go crazy in the wet. Its more a point of differentiation in a marketing sense rather than a functional one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2004

2nd Oct 2004, 02:59

Hi All.

Thanks for the imparted wisdom. Two questions for you:

1. Is the "Whiteline" installed by the dealer on request or post drive away?

2. Is this kit really necessary for general city/ freeway driving?

Many thanks in advance...

22nd Nov 2004, 23:31

Love my GX 2004 Impreza Hatch. In my business I have to haul boxes of goods around city areas and I have found the space available with the compact car size fantastic. Having previously been a V6 driver I have found the economy to be an improvement and it didn't take long to adjust to the smaller engine power... all that torque makes up for it.

1st Mar 2007, 16:55

I agree with all of the comments, but not in the AWD point. The utility of this system depends a lot on the weather, the freeways features and pavement conditions and quality.

Here in Chile, specially in the South,which is very rainy, AWD is extremely useful giving the sensation of a CAT... with an amazing stability and security sensation.

Well I would like to drive the 2.0 R... someone has an opinion? does it worth the money?


Julio, from Chile.

7th May 2007, 06:07

I own one, and I love it, totally worth the money especially if you're one of those people who don't want to shell out for an expensive AWD model.

22nd Aug 2007, 22:32

The Impreza GX is a great car for the money. Its engine answers nicely when asked to respond. As for AWD; I can't complain as I have gave my car an absolute gut full around tight turns and bends and it doesn't move an inch. In a lesser car I wouldn't be writing this. Great looking car; add a set of 18 inch wheels and an exhaust system to add some bark to the bite it already has. See your dealer for an STI rear wing and you are set. You will have a WRC replica for easily under 30 thousand.