2003 Subaru Impreza WRX SL 2.0 turbo


The best drivers car available today


No faults have shown up as yet, and the reputation for rock solid build, and bullet proof reliability seem to be true.

General Comments:

The beauty of this car lies in it's engineering.

The lay out of Flat Boxer engine and Four wheel drive train, allow a very low center of gravity. The result is a feeling of great security, and the sense you are glued to the road surface!

I can, "hand on heart", say this is the best handling car I have ever owned or driven in my 25 years of driving experience.

Then we come to the power delivery, this model comes with the 225HP version of this superb engine, the power below 2500 rev's is gentle, easy and mild... and then as you hit 3000 revs the beast is unleashed...WOW!

The down side is the car attracts a lot of attention, some very nice comments and some unwanted. Several owners I know have reported attempted theft and vandelized cars. The security of the car could not be higher, it has a category 1 alarm and immobilizer as standard, and my Subaru dealer fitted a satellite tracking device free of charge.

Don't believe the silly comments about it's looks you may read in car magazines.. If your buying a car just for it's looks then your missing the whole point of this car..It's like a specialist high end, separates Hifi system, it doesen't on the surface look much, it does not grab your attention like cheap mass produced audio equipment, but when you play your Cd's, it allows you to experience music on a level that takes your breath away! Just like driving this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2004

1st Jul 2006, 20:10

Wait till you try the 280bhp STi version. Can pick up a 10-year old model for a song at the auction (in Japan) and it's just an MOT in UK, but you might do well to consider a twin-turbo Legacy. The older the car, the less the safety checks. But that's UK for you: The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

3rd Jul 2006, 05:24

I think when people slate the Impreza's looks, they mean it looks a bit over the top with its big scoop and rear spoiler. Some say it looks ugly, but like you say, you won't be buying this car for its looks.

However, a few people that don't know and don't look like they're into cars say what a lovely car it is. It's down to personal taste. I think most people would say they look good, jealousy plays a part in the negative comments, but not all.

2003 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 turbo


A high performance bargain

General Comments:

I have just test driven an Impreza 2003 WRX which I am going to purchase.

I drove a 2003 Honda CIVIC Type R earlier in the day and Celica T Sport a couple of weeks previous.

I was sold on the looks of the Celica inside and out, granted I didn’t drive it hard out on the test drive; but I never felt the urgency in the 189BHP engine. Sure it kicks at 6000 RPM, but that means you have drive like the devil every where to get performance, which is good. I got up to 80 MPH in no time. Fine on the motorway, but not a daily commute to work for which I do. Even if driven to the 6000 RPM band that Oh yeah factor is not quiet there. As there so many cars offering better performance namely the WRX and Type R. I can’t see how Toyota can’t justify £19,500 (£21,000 list) price tag. I think £18,000 is more like it while these other cars exist. I am going for one last test drive in the Celica in a weeks time were am going to drive it like hell to see if It might change my mind, but I don’t think so.

The Type R; pulls from early so it feels faster compared to the Celica. Similar to the Celica test drive it was short, but long enough to tell me that this car is bit of an animal. But that could be its downfall. Cabin noise from both road and engine noise were OK maybe even nice. But on daily basis hmm? The Celica on the other hand; though not feeling as fast is probably going as quick. But in much more refined fashion, this includes its handling, which for me is good especially as that devilish 6000 RPM can have near or better performance than the Type R at this end of the rev range. But if you do like the Type R at a little over £15,000 (a good deal) you can’t argue.

Yes this is Subaru review.

At £19500 this isn’t a pretty car; I’d like though, to think it has a rugged handsomeness? Inside, I‘d have to say its looks good especially compared to the Type R’s truly plastic look.

But forget these aesthetics, yes on paper the Impreza has better performance with 225BHP it should, but as it is in the same price range as the Celica you may think its performance might be close.

No. This Car is manic, pure driving pleasure; after a momentary wait for the Turbo to spool the WRX launches like a rocket which implanted a manic grin on my face. You don’t have try to get this car going like the above models, it just moves, no fiddling about with rev ranges and ratios, though if you want I’m sure there is more performance to be had.

Like the Celica it is refined while driving, but at the same time making you know you’re moving at serious pace. I won’t dwell on all wheel drive; control and breaking.

All are good if not great! I would also point out this car was not even on my short list originally, just a what the hay test drive.

Sold it self and that’s it; great car.

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

Review Date: 26th October, 2003

18th Apr 2005, 08:07

Subaru still don't sell their top-of-the-range Impreza in the UK. I'm resident in Japan, and visiting the auctions I see six-speed, 2.5-litre models. Suspect you don't have those yet. Presumably Subaru think UK owners couldn't afford them or more accurately couldn't afford to insure them. You are offered the somewhat lower spec. UK models, and then being blackmailed over warranty and service history. Paying through the nose on the understanding that perhaps you will get a better trade-in or secondhand-sale price. And the dealer's got a new excuse for every day of the week when you do try to claim. UK Subaru dealers are expensive, but not always that good. Independent specialists are better and more knowledgeable.

And spares: In Japan a genuine Subaru timing belt for a 4-cam engine is around Stg.30. Last time I asked the price at a UK Subaru dealer it was Stg.160. I mean, come on. Where does mark-up stop and rip-off begin?

Bottom line: Take the plunge and buy a grey import. So many people have done it. Government propaganda on the perils of buying a grey are largely myths. Essentially quid-pro-quo for the UK motor trade's support of the government. But with MG-Rover now history, it becomes a little difficulty to see just what UK vital industry is being protected.