2005 Subaru Impreza WRX 2.0 from UK and Ireland
Still humiliating the opposition at 80,000 miles
Nothing, but I don't dwell on, or indeed remember trivial problems I can fix in 10 minutes.
Subaru Impreza WRX, hatch, auto., 1998, grey import, assume 250 BHP.
Put 6,000 miles on this car in May 2005 during a visit to the UK and France. Before I arrived, the car had been subjected to attempted theft (so much for a tracker as an anti-theft device) so required the screwdriver start method. Trip to a Subaru dealer was needed to get a replacement ignition barrel. Note: a spare key from Subaru can cost an arm and a leg. Also picked up a full size wheel/tyre, but be advised this sticks up proud of the floor level, so shaped H/D foam rubber is required.
Although car had been serviced, it was soon clear that almost nothing had been changed. My 2002 sticker was still on the fuel filter, front pads were wafer thin, and air cleaner was clogged. Aren't there any honest car servicing mechanics left in the UK? So on the trip, changed air cleaner, oil filter/engine oil, ammeter/air-con belts, front brake pads, transmission fluid, fuel filter. Quick aside: Why do Motor Factor stores jockeys want registration number (when chassis number would surely be more relevant)? If it's in order to supply the correct parts, it's not infallible, as the oil filter was wrong. They must be getting on to a DVLA site. "Welcome to Police State UK" (works best in German accent). UK-supplied brake pads faded out in less than five minutes of minor-road driving.
At 75,000 miles, the autobox had become jerky and a fluid change did not cure it. The small fuel tank (either 50 or 60 litre) started to compromise average speed in drives across France. Regular green petrol has been the lifetime diet of this car, and fuel stops come up every 3.5 hours. With fuel stations few and far between, you need to carry a can, or "pit" as soon as the gauge drops below half. Autoroute petrol stations have problems accepting cash or a non-French card, so getting in and out in less than 10 minutes is a minor miracle. Nevertheless, you can assume at least a 100km/h average even with fuel and meal stops.
From a standing start at the tollbooth you are up to 100mph by beginning of the road proper, which is what you need to get clear of lane-swapping idiots. And the higher-speed, two-lane combination of French National routes eliminates the dodders found on British motorways. "For He shall come to judge the quick and the dead." Contrary to accepted wisdom, French are not "mad" drivers, but tend to follow too closely and are not cowed by the prospect of passing a far quicker car. RHD is not such a problem, but Subaru is basically unknown in France, so you might want to pick up servicing spares in UK, before chilling on the food, the wine, the culture.
It's hard to break the performance car habit, as this defines what you are, and more importantly what you are not. Namely, someone that can be overawed by a car-on-the-firm so-called executive with an inflated ego and an out-of-control spending habit, but in reality is one salary cheque from personal bankruptcy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd June, 2005
17th Aug 2005, 13:13
Nice review, witty and observant. Made me chuckle, so that's cool.
20th Dec 2005, 09:32
I'd like to see you annihilate me in my Audi RS4.
9th Feb 2006, 03:03
Seriously guy, you got to move on from that "my dad can beat up your dad" mind set, or you risk being several decades early for your appointment with that great racetrack in the sky. So trade in the Audi for a tow car, trailer and racer and take out your surplus agression on a closed circuit. There you'll quickly realise it's the driver and his ability to master conditions that count. Flat out driving on public roads in Police State UK will all end in tears. This is the best advice you are likely to get all week, although I doubt if you're quite ready for it. Writing this from downtown Vientiane, where drug money mean the broken highways are full of brand new, largely LHD Japanese vehicles. Is there an angle here?
5th Feb 2008, 05:35
Had a WRX previously and can honestly say this car rocks, especially when you consider the price you paid for it.
12th Mar 2009, 08:21
I like your coment! As the other guy said its witty and informative..
I'm only 21 and I really want a WRX. I test drove the 02 'bug eye' WRX and was blown away. It is the best all rounder I can think of.. but I don't understand why everyone dogs on about the fuel consumption! I drove it hard for about 6-7 miles and the needle barely moved! I guess it's the extra 500cc.
I hate my car, it's a 2002 Polo 1.4 and I have the chance of changing it now to get a small but decent car (Yaris RS, Toyota Glanza V, Swift Sport etc..) but I'm going to wait until next year and then get me one of these.. it just seems so worth it!
12th Mar 2009, 16:39
6-7 miles is hardly a test of fuel consumption. The needle moves randomly at times any way. An Impreza driven hard drinks fuel worse than a lot of super cars. They are not economical cars period! If driven carefully you might achieve mid 20s, but if you're gonna drive it like a girl, what's the point?
13th Mar 2009, 12:09
Go for the WRX PPP, still cheaper than the STI for insurance but just as quick, if your thinking of the 03-05, 0-60 4.8, great car, although the STI will still handle a little better.
14th May 2013, 14:41
Transmission problems at 75k? Not cool.