1994 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


It's like trying to keep a wild dog on a leash! It just wants to keep on going!


This is actually my second Impreza. I bought the first one, owned it for a week before I discovered that the big-end bearings were going in the engine and the previous owner had really abused it. It would have cost about £6000 to repair including a new engine so the dealer was good enough to replace it for me. Since I've had this one, I've had a couple of very small oil leakes and the speedometer stopped working for a while, but these were fixed thanks to a very skilled Subaru mechanic. Otherwise I'm really happy with it.

General Comments:

The performance of this beast is out of this world! It really pins you back to your seat when you put your foot down.

The grip on this thing is also unbelievable. It is impossible to spin the wheels and there is just endless grip around bends.

A lot of reviews say that the cabin is really poor and boring, but it has everything you need and a few creature comforts like climate control and a height adjustable steering wheel. It's probably not up there with the BMW 3 Series or the top spec Audi's, but it's still very well equipped.

The huge bucket seats are so comfortable you could just sink in them. They really hug you in and keep you in place when you're going around bends. The interior cloth is also tasteful and suits the car very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2005

1994 Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback 2.0 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


A driver's car with just enough practicality for everyday duties


A well-known fault: AWD solenoid in automatic gearbox failed at about 110,000kms. Cost about $800NZD for the dealer to fix.

ABS electronics glitched and shut down the system - although there was physically nothing wrong. Apparently rare occurrence, though, but expensive to diagnose.

Other wear-and tear items e.g. CV boots and brake pads.

General Comments:

The engine itself is very reliable if properly serviced with good synthetic oil at 10,000kms intervals max.

Top-end (above 5000rpm) performance suffers compared to its sedan stable-mates due to the smaller TD04 turbo used. However that is more than compensated by the quick low-down response in everyday situations.

The auto has unusual gearing that matches the engine at 2500rpm when doing 100kmh at top gear + OD. This makes it a surprising nice highway cruiser and you can leverage that fact to gain better than average fuel economy.

The chassis exhibits typical understeer followed by snap oversteer if the throttle is lifted. Recommend driving around with snow tyres first to fully learn its behaviour.

Once good tyres are fitted, traction is second-to-none - until handling limits are broken at very high speed.

The interior trim feels cheap, nasty, and generally unrefined. However, rattle is minimal for a car of this age as it is generally well put together. The front bucket seats are an excellent fit for me - but they are not for everybody. There is little leg room for rear passengers. The rear seats can be folded down for extra cargo space, which becomes just long enough to sleep in diagonally.

Modding is relatively simple and there are plenty of guides on the Internet, so I won't repeat myself here.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2005

1994 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Import Wagon 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Wow I'm at a blank! Nothing that was not my own fault!

General Comments:

Japanese import STi; 250bhp as standard.

Right, let me first start by saying holy cow, this car is fasssssst, and far superior in every department than the rip off UK version (215 bhp). When I mean faaast, I mean dangerously fast. The imports have bigger turbos and light weight panels; you can lift the bonnet with your little finger.

A Ford Escort Cosworth running 1.5 bar boost couldn't keep up as soon as I hit 3rd gear. The Escort just got left behind like a standard car. That's when I started wondering if it was modded. A quick trip to Graham Goodes (Subaru specialists) confirmed it was running standard boost.

The handling is incredible, helped by the 4WD system (my suspension has been modified by the previous Japanese owner), but the best has to be the unique engine note from the H.K.S exhaust. You can tell of an Impreza approaching streets away, can't say that about most cars now can you (Evo drivers, are you reading)! The STi is a little special, and has the following: blueprinted engine, forged pistons etc, rollerbearing turbo?, different ECU map and many other enhancements.

Bad bits:

Horrendous fuel consumption, even if driven lightly.

Buy a bad one and you will have to re-mortgage for repairs.

Imports should only run on Optimax, otherwise say goodbye to piston no 3.

Steep insurance and servicing.

But the negatives are nothing compared to the performance you get for the price, and the late import classics come with 280bhp as standard.

All I can say is if you are thinking of getting one of these monsters, please make sure you know about these cars. Imports are generally very well looked after, and serviced regularly.

If you're in the market, I assure you that you won't find anything as practical or fun and fast for little money, but make sure you know what you are buying, as the Impreza is an attention seeker ;-)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2004

22nd Dec 2004, 19:57

Turn the caps lock off!

23rd Dec 2004, 06:08

An Impreza is only an attention seeker on a council estate. Anyone wanting a decent practical performance car would buy an EVO!

The EVO is far superior, in reliability, handling and performance.

Whilst the EVO is coveted by chavs, very few own one because they are still expensive whereas Imprezas are dirt cheap now and almost all owned by Britains burberry wearing street kids.