Used 2003 Subaru Impreza

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2003 Subaru Impreza
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2003 Subaru Impreza

Pros

  • A stout 227 horsepower in the WRX, all-wheel-drive grip, a variety of sedans and wagons to choose from.

Cons

  • Often pricey when compared to its competition.
Subaru Impreza years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

From the TS Sport Wagon to the WRX, the all-wheel-drive Impreza is an enjoyable alternative to more mainstream cars.

vehicle overview

Introduction:Are you looking for a small car or wagon? Just about every automaker offers one. How are you to choose? Well, if you want your car to be more than just basic transportation, you should consider the Subaru Impreza.

The Impreza nameplate has been around since 1993. It was a replacement for the Loyale, and it has been Subaru's smallest car in America since the pint-sized Justy disappeared in 1994. Since that time, the Impreza's design and marketing have slowly moved toward the sporty end of the small-car spectrum. Subaru redesigned the Impreza in 2002. It has been a big success, especially because of the WRX version. This is the first time the company has offered this race- and rally-bred car in the U.S. Packing a turbocharged engine and a sport-tuned suspension, the WRX can keep pace with many cars costing thousands more. It's even available as a wagon. If the WRX doesn't suit your needs, there are other trim levels available, including the Outback Sport, which might be for people who want extra utility and a more rugged image without having to pay for a full-blown Outback.

There's not much that can be said negatively of the Impreza. There are plenty of options and trims, the interiors are nice and the car has solid reputation for reliability. The main thing to note is that the Impreza does cost more than most other small cars, so you'll need to take this into consideration when shopping.

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options: The Impreza is available in five trim levels: the 2.5 RS sedan; the WRX sedan and wagon; the 2.5 TS Sport Wagon and the Outback Sport wagon. Standard equipment levels are above average. The 2.5 TS has air conditioning; keyless entry; a height-adjustable driver seat; 15-inch wheels; power windows, locks and mirrors; and a CD player. The Outback Sport adds bigger (16-inch) wheels, a two-tone paint scheme, a bit more ground clearance, massive foglights, floormats and cargo area enhancements like a power point and cargo tie-downs.

The RS sedan features a sport-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, high-performance tires on its 16-inch alloys, sport seats and leather wrapping for the steering wheel, gear shifter and handbrake handle. The all-out WRX has the performance hardware mentioned earlier as well as a functional hood scoop, a limited-slip rear differential, an even stiffer suspension, bigger brakes and the option of 17-inch wheels. Inside the cockpit are alloy pedals, a six-disc CD changer, sport seats and a Momo leather-wrapped steering wheel. Many additional items are optional for the Impreza, including cargo trays, roof rack components and additional gauge packs.

Powertrains and Performance: Powering the 2.5 RS sedan, TS Sport Wagon and Outback Sport is a 2.5-liter 165-horsepower horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine. A smaller, though more powerful, engine can be found in the WRX sedan and wagon. This turbocharged 2.0-liter mill (also a flat four) kicks out an impressive 227 horsepower. Zero-to-60 mph takes less than 6 seconds in the WRX. For all models, transmission choices are a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is standard.

Safety: All Imprezas have antilock brakes, three-point seatbelts for rear passengers, and pre-tensioners and force limiters for the front seatbelts. Side airbags are standard on the WRX. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to test the Impreza, though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the car a "good" rating for front offset crash protection and made it a "best pick" overall. Interior Design and Special Features: Though by no means a match for the cockpit of a Volkswagen Jetta, the Impreza's dash is modern enough in appearance, and the materials used are agreeable. For cargo, the wagons can hold 27.9 cubic feet of stuff, or 61.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.

Driving Impressions: There's no question that the WRX sedan and wagon are an absolute blast to drive. Because of the turbo, power delivery is soft at low rpm. Once past 3,000 rpm, though, the WRX blasts off. On this car, you'll definitely want the manual transmission to maximize performance. The car's handling is quite grippy and stable because of the AWD. Even the 2.5 RS and TS Sport Wagon are enjoyable. Other than looking different, we don't see as much usefulness in the Outback Sport; whatever dirt-infested place you plan on taking it, the TS Sport Wagon would likely get there just as easily.

2003 Highlights

As the Impreza was redesigned just last year, not much changes for 2003. Convenience has been improved; keyless entry is now standard equipment on the 2.5 RS, TS Sport Wagon and Outback Sport. For the WRX, Subaru will offer a standard rear spoiler on the sedan (though you can still get the car without, if you want) and Sonic Yellow is available as an exclusive WRX color.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2003 Subaru Impreza.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

It does it all!
Dave,07/19/2008
I never write reviews, but I love this car and feel I owe it to the brand. I am completely sold on Subarus from now on. Snow, dirt, and wet roads are afterthoughts in this thing. I have taken it everywhere from snowdrifts to Jeep trails, and never had to second guess it. My favorite feature about it is storage space. I considered the few other cars with the elusive combination of storage and fuel efficiency, but none can touch the Subaru's AWD drivetrain. I will never go back to owning a truck for recreational purposes. The wagon can carry multiple bikes, gear for all and still have room for my dog. I love this car.
After 7 years
long time owner,09/30/2009
I bought this car brand new. It has been a rocket of a car despite the turbo lag at low rpms. Very responsive and nimble for a wagon. This was the 2nd gen WRX. Reliable except for some problems. There is strut knocking in the rear, disc/brakes problems (numerous brake replacements) not braking hard. Clutch smells when driving it hard. A bit cramped for tall people. No rear room for adults great space with seats folded down. Comparable to an SUV. Excessive wind noise and engine noise. Fogs up easy on the windows. Lots of fan noise when on high but not much output to help defog.
Love my Rex
Thedog,11/29/2006
I chose my black WRX wagon over an Acura RSX-S. I am glad I did. This car is fast, handles great, drives well, and has been a reliable work horse. I only wish I had hills, curves, and snow to drive it in.
Lucky 13 years
Jo,08/12/2016
Snowstorms, road salt, floods, backroads, and highways my car has seen them all and is still going. She is especially great at dealing in the snow with excellent handling all around and is a nice compact size for parking in the city. I love her and when I buy again, am likely to buy another one.
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Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
227 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
165 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
165 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
19 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
Gas
165 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2003 Subaru Impreza features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2003 Subaru Impreza
Used 2003 Subaru Impreza Overview

The Used 2003 Subaru Impreza is offered in the following submodels: Impreza Sedan, Impreza Wagon. Available styles include WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), WRX AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Outback Sport AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A), Outback Sport AWD 4dr Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5 TS AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M), WRX AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A), WRX AWD 4dr Sedan w/Spoiler (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5 TS AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M), WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A), and WRX AWD 4dr Sedan w/Spoiler (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2003 Subaru Impreza?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2003 Subaru Imprezas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2003 Subaru Impreza for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2003 Subaru Impreza.

Can't find a used 2003 Subaru Imprezas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Impreza for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $10,229.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $25,368.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Impreza for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $17,823.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,053.

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Should I lease or buy a 2003 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.

Check out Subaru lease specials
Check out Subaru Impreza lease specials