1999 Subaru Impreza 2000 Turbo Type UK 5-dr 2.0 boxer from UK and Ireland
AWESOME, but blew up!!! :(
A piston failed, resulting a severe loss of power and a dented block.
Driver's side front electric window wouldn't stop when put down, resulting in a loud knocking noise.
Driver's side front electric window didn't sit properly against the rubber seal when put up with the door closed, leaving a gap and creating excessive wind noise. Problem solved by opening the door and putting the window up so it sat properly against the seal.
I always fancied an Impreza Turbo, so when I saw a really clean, totally standard looking one with FULL Subaru history from day one and only a few owners for sale nearby for £1795, I jumped at the chance, and managed to get it for £1650. Bargain I thought!!
So, bought as a 3rd fun car, I ran it for several months and it was perfect. It was hard to believe it had covered so many miles; the body was rust free, it pulled like a train (although in gear my remapped Mazda3 MPS would wipe the floor with it), it sounded great, handled like only Scoobys can with awesome grip levels (I used to pray for rain!!) good steering feedback, pretty naff ride, although not quite as hard as I thought it would be, really good seats, way more road noise than a modern car, but all part of the charm. Yes, the interior is plasticky and awful, but just look at the outside, they look great, and everything worked, even the A/C was ice cold, which is very Subaru!!
So, I thought I'd spend a bit of money on the old girl, "I'll keep this one for a while" I'm thinking. So... brand new Dunlop Sport Max tyres all round as the old tyres were worn and created a weird vibration at 90mph+, a new JVC iPod compatible stereo to replace the still original Subaru/Philips CASSETTE player, and then a major service, exactly in line with Subaru's schedule, done by a local guy who's very knowledgeable.
So, about £650 later I'm thinking I won't have to spend any more for a bit. And then, the fateful day arrives... I'm coming home late at night from a friend's, the roads are pretty dead. I'm coming off a roundabout onto a dual carriageway and a heavily modified looking mid 90s Celica, with a bloody loud dump valve pulls alongside me. My immediate reaction, as always, is "you want to play? Great, let's go!". So we go blasting along the dual carriageway, side by side, neither really gaining on the other, until I suddenly lose most of my power, look in the rear view mirror and see a huge cloud of white smoke. I immediately throttle off and nurse it the couple miles home, thinking I've blown the turbo, although it does sound like it's running on 3 cylinders.
Now you may say it's my fault for driving it hard, and yes I was, but I've had tons of new and old cars, and drive them all hard and they've all taken it!! Who buys an Impreza not to drive it hard when it's all warmed up anyway?
Took it to my local guy and was very surprised when he told me a piston had failed, come loose and smacked into the side of the engine block. I got this diagnosis confirmed by a firm round the corner from him on the industrial estate who build race cars and engines. Bottom line... new engine or upper half engine rebuild, and apparently, this is fairly common on older Scoobys!!!
So, almost in tears and not wishing to spend all the extra money on the car after already spending £650 on it, I sold it on eBay as seen, and it went within 5 minutes of being advertised.
I would have another, but be very wary of pushing it hard. I went out and bought a '02 250hp Saab 9-5 2.3T HOT Aero to replace it with, as from experience petrol turbo Saabs rarely break, and so far it's been spot on and driven hard!! Scoobys do rock though!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th November, 2015