2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon EJ20 turbo from North America


Best bang for the buck out there


For the amount of driving I do, (20,000 miles a year), The car has performed phenomenally. It has had its share of problems though.

I'm on my second transmission. My second gear failed at 38,000 miles. The dealer did not cover it under warranty, saying it was due to abuse, which is actually not true. I honestly never abused the transmission, I went over a speed bump on a quiet street, put it in second going less than 15 MPH, let the clutch out and boom. It was a large out of pocket expense.

The dealer did replace the chattering clutch under warranty, saying it was "kinda sorta a recall" No argument there.

A small, but annoying problem is that the dash mounted clock stopped working. It has power and all, just quit. Annoying.

The only other problem was with the fuel filter. I had installed a factory fuel filter purchased from the dealer After installation my car seemed to run correctly, but I was getting like 10 miles to the gallon. after half a tank was used I heard a whining coming from the rear of the car, and the a "check engine light". the fuel filter was defective from the factory.

General Comments:

Aside from the minor problems the good points of this car definitely out- weigh the bad. The odometer now reads 51,000 miles. The brake pads and rotors are original. that's 52,000 miles on the pads and rotors...that's amazing. I always do all my own maintnence and repair on my cars, that's like double what you usually get out of brakes.

The performance is outstanding, I have upgraded most of the engine. New ecu (utec) vf30 turbocharger sti injectors perrin fuel rail ect. You get the picture. this car isn't exactly pampered, and it still runs like new.

Another benefit of this car is the sound. Nothing compares to the sound of a boxer 4 with a good exhaust. Ask anyone who has heard one.

The car is extremely versitile. The wagon has more than enough space for the average person and only weighs 80 pounds more the the sedan. Plus I think the wagons look better then sedan anyway.

Seats are good, arm rest is good, stereo is horrible, but easy to upgrade. The 6 disc changer is handy though. Interior panels are kinda cheap though, but its not that bad, helps keep cost down.

I installed perrin sport springs and the handling is amazing-- Indy car like. The stock suspension is very nice and handles great, but there is a small amount of body roll and too much fender gap. Wagons are definitely worth lowering, the look great with the lower stance.

The car is an amazing investment. For only 25 grand or so you could have a car that is faster then the porsche Boxter or a Audi a4, handles better then a BMW with the all wheel drive, and has more space then anyone could need. The best bang for your buck, in my opinion anyway. I would recommend this car to anyone, and will be purchasing more Subaru's in the future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2005

2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Sportswagon EJ20T from North America


Great AWD performer!


Cold clutch judder. Dealer replaced defective clutch/flywheel/pressure plate, but they did not replace the release bearing. Repeated attempts to have them to correct the problem were ineffective. Another dealer confirmed the problem, but could not touch it because it was was an installation issue, not a warranty problem, and for them to do the work it would mean I would have to pay out of my own pocket to pull the transmission out again. Still unresolved.

Front CV boot failed due to improper install by aformentioned dealer. Paid out of my own pocket to have another dealer replace it.

Driver's side power window binds. Common problem with 02 model. I have to keep a can of silicone spray handy in car.

Driver's side door stop broken. It would keep the door open when parked on inclines. Dealer blamed it on abuse. Still unresolved.

Rear hatch strut burst, causing hatch to almost guillotine me. Replaced under warranty.

Stock exhaust tip rusted and broke off from muffler. I replaced it with aftermarket unit.

Centercaps for factory silver alloy wheels turned yellow with age. I replaced them with aftermarket wheels.

OEM front rotors cracked. Replaced with aftermarket units.

Defective rear rotors resulting in heavy corrosion forming on surface and rotor hat. Replaced under warranty.

Intermittent ABS booster failure. If I hit a large bump or something like a manhole cover the brake pedal would go to the floor and I lose all braking assist. I have nearly caused several accidents as a result and have tried to be more diligent in avoiding poor pavement. Dealer denies there is a problem with the system, but after searching the internet, I have found out that I'm not the only one with this problem. the newer Imprezas with the EBD system do not show this problem, so Subaru must have known something was wrong. Still unresolved.

General Comments:

I love this car. It is a competent performer for what it is. I love sucking in hapless kids in ricemobiles who thought a little station wagon was an easy kill.

Some disappointments... service costs are high. My bad experience with the first dealership I went to didn't help. Also resale value is getting poorer and I can't figure out why. I guess it is because I used to own an Acura Integra Type-R, and I almost didn't lose any money on it when I was forced to sell (too many attempted thefts, insurance costs skyrocketing).

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

Review Date: 24th February, 2005

24th Feb 2005, 23:20

Sounds like your clutch shudder when cold is just the main shaft (where tranny meets engine) just needs greasing.

25th Feb 2005, 12:12

The cold clutch judder problem was recognized in a Subaru TSB for the early 02 models of a certain build date range (which is identified by the VIN). Manufacturing problems resulted in pressure plates that did not operate properly which resulted in uneven wear/damage to the friction disc and flywheel. But my problems worsened with the constant noise from the release bearing. The other mechanic I went to believes it was either not replaced or was not properly installed/greased as you stated.