Subaru Impreza Reviews from Japan

1999 Subaru Impreza V5 STi Type RA Ltd 2.0 turbo

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance85000 miles
Previous carSubaru Impreza

Summary:

Absolutely fantastic with mind blowing performance

Faults:

Worn near side wiper linkage.

Dash has very small grey patch where it has rubbed away for some reason.

General Comments:

I have now owned this car for 2 years and it has been a dream to own. Has had no major mechanical issues with the car and it is massive fun to drive. I can honestly say that for the money you will be very hard pushed to find anything this quick.

The performance of the car is something else. The acceleration from the 280 Bhp 2.0 liter turbo engine is really quite astonishing, with mid-high 4 second 0-60 times quoted, which is largely thanks to the close ratio Group N gearbox. The downside of this though is that top speed is limited to 118 Mph (de-restricted) but since I don't really get close to that on the mountain roads of Japan, where handling and acceleration are more important, that is not really an issue.

The Type RA's are also lighter than the standard STi's which does aid handling and acceleration, though the Ltd version that I own does come with all the electric goodies found on the normal STi so the weight gains are compromised a little, but the car still comes in with a weight saving over the V5/6 STi.

This car is also equipped with the DCCD which is a controllable center differential that allows you to control the torque split between the front and rear wheels to an extent. With more power sent to the rear in fully open mode, the car can be a lot of fun, especially in the wet.

The handling generally feels a lot more dynamic than my previous car (WRX wagon with Tein Super Street coil overs, uprated ARB's and front/rear strut braces) and the grip is astonishing. However the understeer, common to all Impreza's, is still present on this model, but can be dialed out to a large extent by using the DCCD and adjusting your driving style to suit.

Downsides with this car are mainly the noise and the harsh ride. The car has less sound proofing than standard models, so the engine, road noise and rattles and squeaks are much more noticeable. The ride is necessarily harsh as the STi suspension is quite stiff, but on long drives it can become quite uncomfortable, and as this is my daily driver, I do occasionally do long stretches on the highway.

Also of course, running costs are high. Servicing is every 3 months when I do a full engine oil and filter change. All other fluids, fuel filter, plugs and leads are changed once a year. This is purely down to me, but it is worth it in the long run as the car has been trouble free since I have owned it. Oh, and insurance costs can also be very high.

Finally, as an indication of how good this car is, I was intending to get an Evo 6 as a replacement for the WRX and on a whim test drove an RA, and in my opinion it was simply a better, more involved driving experience and felt quicker. The cars were about the same price to buy (about 1.5 million yen on average for a good example) but for me there was no contest. The car really is that good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th October, 2009

1998 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 turbo

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired5000 kilometres
Most recent distance45000 kilometres

Summary:

Needs a driving enthusiast to get the best out of it

Faults:

Handbrake lamp now always on.

Clutch. My fault in a sense. The off the mark acceleration is indeed "disturbing" and when I first bought it I would drop the clutch and beat Nissan sports cars (Sylvia and Skyline alike) away from the lights. The all wheel drive sticks like glue. But this takes its toll on the clutch which is not built for to be thrashed using the power that the turbo can deliver. Racers need to upgrade the clutch and perhaps the gears. The brakes too are only normal, unlike the power.

General Comments:

A cross between a motorbike and a tank; it accelerates like a motorbike handles like it is on caterpillar tracks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2003

1998 Subaru Impreza STi 2.0 turbo petrol

Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance0 miles
Previous carMitsubishi Lancer Evolution 4

Summary:

Performance, performance and more performance

Faults:

Nothing serious as I've only had it for a short while. Tyres get bare too quickly due to cars power.

General Comments:

Amazing, absolutely amazing performance and road holding, in the wrong hands it can certainly prove fatal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st May, 2000

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews