Used 2001 Subaru Impreza RS

2001 Subaru Impreza
List price range
2001 Subaru Impreza

Pros

  • All-wheel drive, scrappy personality, bulletproof reliability record, fun to drive.

Cons

  • Tight rear seat, limited cargo space in wagon with backseat raised, could use more power, no ABS option for L models, a bit pricey.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Variety of body styles and AWD make the Impreza a nice alternative to other mainstream economy cars.

vehicle overview

The Impreza was originally built to battle the Ford Escorts, Toyota Corollas and Chevy Cavaliers that sold so well to young adults, but a zippy advertising campaign touting the underpowered Impreza as "What to Drive" alienated traditional Sube buyers and turned off the young adults it was supposed to attract. Sales of the Impreza were less than successful, and Subaru scrambled to find a solution.

Wonder of wonders, the company decided to reacquaint itself with its legendary all-wheel-drive system. Subaru emphasizes AWD in every ad, article and brochure you can lay your hands on. Ah yes, "The Beauty Of All-Wheel Drive." This AWD model is available in coupe, sedan, wagon, and Outback Sport format.

Two trim levels are offered with the coupe and sedan -- the base L model and the racy 2.5 RS. Inspired by Subaru's success in the World Rally Championship, the 2.5 RS combines the performance and handling of a race car with the comfort and convenience of a modern Japanese coupe. Additional factory options include a short throw shifter, a titanium shift knob, and a strut tower brace to reduce body flex in corners. Normally only available in the aftermarket, these trick options show that Subaru knows who its customers are and how they like to drive their cars.

For 2001, the Subaru Outback Sport wagon continues unchanged with its aggressive bi-level spoilers and body-colored side mirrors, door handles and side molding. Antilock brakes are standard. Features unique to this version of the Impreza include a heavy-duty four-wheel independent suspension with 6.5 inches of ground clearance, 205/60 R15 M+S tires, splash guards, a two-tone paint scheme, and a rear bumper step pad. The wagon has a small cargo area when the rear seat is raised, partially due to the steeply raked rear window. Drop the seat, though, and there's 62 cubic feet. However, the Outback Sport's rear seat is cramped for taller occupants.

Like most Subarus, the wagon comes with a long list of standard features. Air conditioning, power windows, a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area, power side-view mirrors, a tilt steering column and a roof rack are all included in the base price.

Overall, we find much to like about the Impreza. We've driven the 2.5 RS, the L Coupe and the wagon, and thoroughly enjoyed them. All Imprezas behave like street-legal rally cars, and they're a hoot to toss around. Fling one into a corner, and it clings to the pavement. Imprezas are a blast to drive hard and fast, and the all-wheel-drive system performs brilliantly on a variety of road surfaces. Each Impreza model is available with an $800 automatic transmission but to take full advantage of the 2.2-liter, 142-horsepower boxer engine, (the 2.5 RS gets the bigger 165-horsepower 2.5-liter motor) we prefer the five-speed manual. Interiors are comfortable (though the side glass feels a bit too close) and steering and braking are communicative.

There is one thing that bothers us about the Impreza lineup, and that's the lack of an antilock brake option on the L model. To get ABS, you must order the 2.5 RS or the wagon. This doesn't make much sense coming from a company touting safety in its advertising.

The Impreza's impressive road manners and clean styling make it an interesting alternative for those looking for something distinctly un-Honda Civic-like. Its full-time all-wheel-drive system also makes it a shoe-in for those needing sure-footed winter transportation. Although we love the performance of the current 2.5RS, buyers might want to think twice about getting one now. A fully redesigned WRX version with a turbocharged engine debuts next year and it should be a real screamer.

2001 Highlights

RS models get carbon-fiber patterned interior trim, a CD player and embroidered floor mats.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Subaru Impreza.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

a fun car for any age
georgette,02/12/2010
love to drive my car, it is sharp and fun to drive. i was in a parking lot at one of our local grocery stores and when i came out, saw a note on my windshield, and it said, if ever interested in selling my car give him a call and he will be far in pricing it. cannot find one that looks like it and still turns heads when i go by, not bad for a 58 year old. only issue is that i was told may need a pricey head gasket in the future.
Sporty Compact Enthusiast Sedan
2.5RS,06/29/2005
I bought this car because Ii wanted a compact sedan that would be reliable but also fun to drive. The 2.5RS has exceeded in both categories. There is road noise to contend with at higher speeds, but not much more than any other similarly priced compact car. There is an extensive aftermarket community for modifications. The car had a somewhat limited production making them a bit of an enthusiast's entry level tuner as an alternative to Honda. If you do find one of these cars, be warned that *everyone* will ask if it is a WRX or an STI.
If not the Greatest
Ramza,08/17/2004
This is one of the GREATEST cars ever. It's my first car as a teenager, and let me tell you, ive driven an M3 before... and this thing... its quite similiar. Dont get me wrong its not a super fast car but it is a Super quick car. A 5 spd is a MUST!! If you get this thing in 5-spd, you will never regret it... if you push it into the powerband this work of beauty goes off like a rocket. Leaving everything behind. Looks very sporty, very admirable, Definetly an eye catcher. Not to mention its damn comfortable inside. No complaints about the Sound system either, its decent.GREAT Value and a Great buy.
Caution!
Oshkosh,02/19/2009
Great car all around, sporty, decent power, drives strong. Beware of the leaking head gasket, VERY expensive to repair (3-4k), knock sensor tends to go out at least once, otherwise drives superb in snow and rain with great suspension and AWD, Limited Slip is a plus.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
165 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
165 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2001 Subaru Impreza RS features & specs
More about the 2001 Subaru Impreza
Used 2001 Subaru Impreza RS Overview

The Used 2001 Subaru Impreza RS is offered in the following styles: 2.5 RS AWD 2dr Coupe (2.5L 4cyl 5M), and 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M).

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Subaru Impreza?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Subaru Impreza lease specials