2003 Subaru Impreza WRX from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

3rd Sep 2003, 07:26

I can't drive yet, but I have to say that the Impreza is a wicked car, but the 2000 models and onwards are ugly, don't you think that?

18th Jun 2004, 20:01

I wouldn't worry a lot about running the car in. Clearly don't red line it yet, but driving normally for 1000 miles is plenty.

13th Jul 2004, 02:42

As the original reviewer (and noting the last comment) I thought I would update my review with a comment.

I have now travelled nearly 15,000km in this fantastic car.

Although I have run-in the car with great care and patience (with the car having been serviced twice since new), I was surprised at the need to top the oil up. The dealer reassures me this is normal.

Other than that, I cannot find a fault with the car (OK, the free carpet mats I got with the car are getting a bit worn out).

I have now had the opportunity to redline the car, and have to say that suddenly engaging on-boost at higher revs is as scary as it is addictive. Yet even in the wet, the AWD traction is nothing short of brilliant (I have to constantly remind myself of the inherent danger of driving too fast in the wet).

The biggest problem with this car is this: what do I do at trade-in time? I have never previously kept loyal to any car brand (the sti would be a great upgrade but the ride is too firm, theres no auto, and it costs too much to insure).

At the risk of sounding a little conceited, the only car that really excites me now is a tiptronic 911 turbo - but its more than six times the price (and a tad outside the reach of my budget)!

Guess I'll have to hang onto my car until a find a few more faults with it...

21st Jul 2004, 21:56

Its me again (the original reviewer). If you thought I sounded too cocky, you were right. Got my first speeding ticket too. Perhaps I'll trade it in on something a little slower...

10th Apr 2005, 03:41

I find an automatic WRX a bit of a paradox as the it is clearly designed as a driver's car, but yet the auto takes a lot of the "hard edge" and control away from the driver.

There's always the new Legacy/Liberty GT if more room and refinement is required... and it will practically be just as fast as what you are driving now, if not even more user friendly at city driving.

10th Oct 2005, 22:57

I am getting a used 2003 WRX Sport Shift.

I have a question.

Does the gear changes up automatically once we redline under manual mode? In BMWs it does to avoid damage.

Please confirm for WRX.

27th Nov 2005, 23:14

No. The auto WRX does not change up in sport shift mode. Hence it is suited to sporty driving.

However it does shift down if revs are too low to avoid stalling.

3rd Apr 2006, 02:41

Hi again, its me (the original reviewer).

The WRX is now 3 years old and it has basically not missed a beat.

Aside from the fantastic performance, this has probably been the most reliable car I have owned to date. Well done Subaru!

22nd May 2006, 01:10

Hi.

Just wondering if there is a display on the dash to let you know what gear your in while in sports mode?? I wouldn't want to gear down in 2nd when I thought I was in 3rd!

I have a FTO at the moment which has an indicator on the dash to let you know what gear your in...

20th Jul 2006, 19:35

OK, (original reviewer again!), I'll address the last 2 comments:

1. Granted, driving the sport shift auto is not as involving as a manual car (and yes, I can drive stick). But the fantastic thing about the sportshift is that you can slot it into "D" and cruise around town - and when the roads suit - still have the ability to bang up and down the gears.

2. Disagree that a "4cyl" WRX lacks any power! Disagree there is a lack of torque! With around 300Nm of torque (and a relatively light weight body), this is more than sufficient. A light throttle definately sees off most average cars!

3. To the last comment, YES, the sportshift has a LCD display in the middle of the tacho which indicates what gear you are in.

I have now owned this car for over 3 years, and believe you me, it is now hard to find another suitable car to replace it with. Subaru do not make auto WRXs anymore in Australia. The Liberty GT is too soft for my liking. Probably the best alternatives are something like the new Golf GTi/Jetta, however they still don't have the "edge" of my Rex (though the DSG is to be commended).

The thing I absolutely have love about the WRX sportshift is how versatile it really is - it can cruise with style, but still has a true sports car feel when the mood arises (refer to my first point).

I'm definately hanging onto my car a while longer!

11th Jul 2007, 05:13

Its been almost a year since the last comment and my fourth year of ownership. I have done well over 50,000 kays. Yep, I am the original reviewer.

What can I say. The car is flawless. It is as reliable and tight as it was on day 1. Mind, I have kept it totally stock and original, other than upgrading the audio. The only major expense has been in replacing brake pads and tyres - but that's to be expected in any performance car.

I recently read an article in Australia (drive.com.au), which confirmed that the Subaru WRX and WRX STi had among the best resale value. Given my positive experience with this car (which I am still hanging onto, as frankly I have yet to find a worthy successor), I can entirely understand why.

Having recently seen the new MY08 WRX (with its controversial styling), I am willing to bet that the MY01-07 WRX's will continue to be as popular as ever. And although the manual Rexxies are undoubtedly the most popular buy, I am entirely happy with the now relatively rare auto for its day to day livability in traffic. Still very happy - how many people can say that after 4 years of ownership?!

27th Aug 2007, 08:58

As I have owned the Subaru's in past (I drive Volvo now, mostly because of it's comfort), I can say there isn't ANY car out there that can compete with Subaru on reliability aspect.

Do yourself a favour and don't trade the car in. At least not on a Golf (or any VW as that matters). Unless you want to pay a lot of money on repairs.

13th Aug 2008, 23:55

Original reviewer again -- and yes, I still have the same car after 5 years of ownership. Is it still reliable? Yep. Granted, the 100,000 kay service was quite expensive and brake pads and tyres have worn quickly. But it is still as reliable as ever. Having still failed to find a better new car out there (for reasonable money) to trade her in for - but getting a little bored - I did something I did not think I would do - I modified her! New exhaust and chip have revitalised her somewhat but she is still as driveable as ever.

22nd Aug 2008, 00:56

Hi there, is the sport shift on the wheel, and is it a 4 or 5-speed auto?

13th May 2010, 02:11

Original reviewer once again, and after over six year of ownership, I have parted with this magnificent car as it reached towards its 100K milestone.

Although I took great care of her, I never had any mechanical or other significant problems with the car throughout all my years of ownership. It really did prove very reliable. Servicing, tyres and brake pads were the only significant expense (though they have added up!)

The only reason that I sold her (reluctantly!) was that I wanted a more luxury orientated prestige vehicle, and it was time for a change. However I miss the Rex already!

To the comment before this one, the tips shift auto is only 4 speed and works via the transmission lever. Flick it to the side and you have tip shift mode.

Plenty of torque means that you never really miss not having the additional cog. And in all the years of owning her, I never had to worry about changing a clutch/transmission!

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