2003 Subaru Impreza STi type UK 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


The best £25k you will ever spend


Shock absorber failed last week.

General Comments:

If you want a car to put a smile on your face this is for you.

24,000 miles in 15 months and I still smile when the engine fires into life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2005

2003 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0L turbo from North America


The perfect balance between family car and performance



General Comments:

My first car was a Ford Focus with no fun qualities to it at all. It was even the four door model.

To fix that problem I decided to upgrade to something more fun to drive and with only 2 doors. I feel in love with my 2004 Honda Civic Si on the first test drive. Unfortunately 4 months later I totaled it.

With my next car purchase I decided to get away from 2.0l front wheel drive non-force inducted vehicles. The WRX was the perfect choose. It's an all wheel drive turbocharged car. Sure it's a 2.0l, but it's a boxer engine instead of a straight 4 cylinder.

On to the performance. The Civic was great, but nothing compared to my Subaru once it's boosting. Boost comes on at about 2800 RPMs and if you launch it right it can put your head into the headrest. If your the conservative type and drive it regularly you won't even know there is a turbo.

The only problem I have is the stock tires have very little grip, so under steer when taking turns faster then you should is a problem, but that's nothing that a new set of 17 inch rims from something like the stock gold rims from the STI won't fix.

Great buy and worth every penny.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2004

2003 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


If you own a similar sized 'normal' car - think seriously about a WRX


Absolutely nothing.


General Comments:

We use this as an everyday run-around. It does the school runs, shopping and commutes. Each one of these trips is a real pleasure - this car has seriously good fun value!

The performance and torque is excellent, but the real fun comes when you hit some twisty bits and the Impreza really comes into it's own.

I bought a UK spec Euro import and saved 5k on the list price. Dealers can be a bit stuffy when it comes to imports, but this is moon-dial money and Cater ham handling so who cares!

Don't boot it and fuel consumption is good - mine is a 4 door and works fine for my family of 4.

Security is a must - Cat 1 and tracker are essential, other than that, this is a car to be enjoyed everyday of the week.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2004

2003 Subaru Impreza WRX SL PPP 2 Litre from UK and Ireland


For £20,000 the Performance cannot be matched


The 4th gear syncromesh failed after 9500 miles had problems, namely crunching into fourth gear from third.

The boot release cable has failed, so I have to use the key in the boot lock.

General Comments:

I love this car. I didn't expect the gearbox problem after 9500 miles.

It has also begun to baulk when changing into first while driving slowly despite the clutch depressed to the floor.

I think the gearbox is not up to the Prodrive Performance Pack.

Also the brakes are not up to the extra performance given by the pack although a prodrive pad upgrade is available.

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

Review Date: 4th August, 2004

2nd Oct 2004, 15:53

Sad to see the synchro and clutch shudder problems are still present - I have had a 1999 MY2000 WRX from new and it has now done 180,000km with several gearbox problems over the years, clashing from 3rd to 4th and difficulty selecting reverse. The cold clutch shudder also seems to be a common problem with other REX owners I've talked to. Apart from that it is a fantastic car that I love driving. For cornering, overtaking and grip in the wet I have never driven anything better.

27th Oct 2005, 16:11

Any gearbox will baulk when trying to engage 1st while still moving.

26th Apr 2007, 12:29

I don't think impreza gearboxes are that bad that they can't handle an extra 40 lbs ft of torque, it's a bit close to the line to sell them like that don't you think? I've had 2 scoobs, my second one a WRX PPP now has 30,000 miles, gearbox OK, and you don't generally hear about such impreza problems. Its just a case as with any car you get duff examples off the production line occasionally. (touch wood)

27th Apr 2008, 19:05

You said in your review about the brakes not being up to the job, I think your right about that, WRX breaks are rubbish, I've got an 04 PPP, and it doesn't take much to get them fading, keep pushing a little more and they start smoking, as I found out the other day. And this wasn't hours of abuse, it was a quick 5 min blast with another car from point to point. Break upgrade is definitely advisable.

22nd Aug 2008, 06:35

There are big problems with the 03 Impreza's in Australia. 3rd gear seems to be breaking in a few of them, both turbo and non turbo. Mine screwed up when I dropped it back from 4th to 3rd doing 80km. I heard a crunching, then a bang, and now I don't have 3rd gear. It's going to cost about $5000 to fix. Only done 67,000 km.