I've owned over 25 cars, American muscle through Porsches to Ferraris. I am a car nut. I have used this '02 WRX daily since purchase, (that's about 7 years now), and will never give it up until it is just no longer feasible to repair. The WRX has been so reliable and trouble free that I am amazed it was only $22K back in '02. It is almost as quick as any non-turbo Porsche (I had the dealer upgrades installed, bigger turbo and cooler, exhaust and short shift kit all for $6K), seats 4, has a huge trunk with fold down arm rest for my skis. Holds the road amazingly well and acceleration is brutal. Seats are the best I ever had. Great road feel. Goes through snow like butter.
For the first three years car was great. Then at 60,000 miles the head gasket went. For the next 9 months in and out the shop for over heating problems. Then Subaru gave me a new engine block. Now at 90,000 miles transmission problems; needs 1st 2nd third and reverse gears replaced. $2300. In a manual. I never driven it hard -- I wanted it to last, but as you can see it's a piece of junk. I bought the car brand for their reputation. Once I get the car back I am selling it and buying a Toyota, Nissan or Mazda.
This car just saved my sons life and his 3 friends
written on 08-22-2016
WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A)
I am writing this while sitting in York hospital as my son sits in the ICU. He was a backseat passenger. They are all teenagers and took his friends car , the Subaru, because it handles best and is the most fun....i fact I have learned to be very very grateful for!. Ad teens, rain and a sharp turn , his friend made the mistake of hitting his breaks going into the turn, causing hydroplaning. A suv was coming around the turn , they hit head on/drivers side. All kids had seat belts on. I was called to the scene thinking my son was dead. I got there to see this car crumpled up.but at the inside the car looked fine. The driver came out with only scratches , the passenger, not even a scratch. My son who caught the force of the seatbelt from the high impact, came out with a torn spleen, broken ribs all from the seatbelt. I can explain how bad this wreck was. No one can believe everyone got out and had not even busted faces from airbags..now they all had seatbelt bruising but as a mom. I am so very very very greatful for this car because it saved not only my sons life but all the other kids. Even the surgeon couldn't believe how everyone was unharmed. So yes we spoke of this car over and over at the er, trama and ICU. Thank you for making a car strong enough to hold up to an straight on collision and also keeping them safe inside. Hope Haas
My son bought it used with 170,000 km in 2007 and I got it from him with about 210,000 km. This month it turned 300,000 km. Engine and transmission all original but have small oil leak, probably from valve cover gasket. Had trouble with A/C compressor - replaced this summer (after 11 years of service). Had to overhaul front end - ball joints, tie rod ends, again after 11 years. Shock absorbers started leaking last year - I think 10 years is as good as it gets for driving through Canadian winters. And so apart from some rust (se reference to Canadian winters above), the vehicle looks and driving qualities are the same when we got it, and I even suspect it drives like new.
After having driven and fallen into total lust with the WRX version of the Impreza, I didn't know what to expect from the Outback Sport. Since it lacks the horsepower of its sibling, we expected less, and in that respect, the Subaru didn't disappoint. We just didn't expect it to be that much less. Our best run to the quarter-mile mark was a rather lazy 17.7 at 76.8 miles per hour. We got that time on our very first run and never improved on that time. Automatic shfting took place from first to second at the 6,200 pm redline and from second to third at 6,000 rpm. We took a sixth run to try and duplicate the street start and automatic shifting of the first run to see if the engine was getting heat soaked. What we found was that we could not get close to the time we had gotten on the first run, and that quite possibly the engine didn't work as well when it got hot.
Our braking runs were neither good nor bad. We generated the best 60 to 0 distance on the second run and the best 30 to 0 distance on the third run, showing that unlike the engine, the brakes worked better with a little heat. We experienced a fair amount of nose dive, but given the raised Outback Sport suspension, it was not bothersome. Stability was good with little movement in the lane while braking. ABS system noise was noticeable but not excessive. Overall a nice system for its front disc/rear drum setup.
As mentioned in the braking section, the Outback Sport comes equipped with a heavy-duty raised suspension, so it sits higher than the Impreza TS Sport Wagon or WRX versions. That raised suspension also allows more body roll and slower reactions to steering input. The longer suspension travel translates into slower times through the cones. This vehicle seemed to have grip that disappeared rather quickly, causing us to surmise that the tires were the root cause. One minute grip was there and then suddenly grip was gone, and then the tail would start to move. Not uncontrollable, mind you, just noticeable. A tight line through the cones was the best course of action. Neil G. Chirico