A stout 227 horsepower in the WRX, all-wheel-drive grip, a variety of sedans and wagons to choose from.
Often pricey when compared to its competition.
From the TS Sport Wagon to the WRX, the all-wheel-drive Impreza is an enjoyable alternative to more mainstream cars.
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.
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.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2003 Subaru Impreza.
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.
5 out of 5 stars
14 years 282,000 miles
WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
So I bought this car new in November of 2003 I recently hit 282,000 miles. And I have had this thing in corn fields on 4 wheeler trails doing 140+mph and it just keeps going. Same engine same turbo(bigger exaust) same everything nearly. Hell the boots on the CV axles are the originals. At 260,000 miles I changed the timing belt for the 2nd time the rollers tensioner and water pump for the first time. Oh and shortly before that I put in my 2nd set of wheel bearings. And at 280,000 I dropped in my 2nd clutch. This car still gets 25-28mpg.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Race Car meets Soccer Mom Car
WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
My husband and I had a 2005 Ford Focus Wagon. We decided to purchase a new car when we found out the Focus did so poorly on impact ratings. We ended up choosing this Subaru for many reasons. First, our mechanic (good friend of ours) said they were very reliable, secondly, they were super safe, and thirdly, because it fit what we were looking for. I asked for 4 doors, child-friendly, safe, and AWD or 4WD. My husband asked for a race car. You can't find a better comprimise car than this!
5 out of 5 stars
WRX CRUSHES ALL OTHER IMPRORTS
WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Nothing comes close to this level of
performance for the price! It crushes
cars $10000 -$20000 including audi S-
4,A4,TT,bmw3 series,and all of the jap.
sport compacts. 0-60 5.2sec. 1/4 mile
14.2 sec. slolom,skidpad it rules all
with mud and snow tires and 4 catalytic
converters. The potential is unreal and
it goes off road and in the snow better
than most suv's and trucks.
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), WRX AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A), 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 5M), 2.5 TS AWD 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 4cyl 5M), WRX AWD 4dr Sedan w/Spoiler (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A), and WRX AWD 4dr Sedan w/Spoiler (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 4A).
Pre-owned Subaru Impreza models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 227 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 2003 Subaru Impreza comes with all wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic.
The Used 2003 Subaru Impreza comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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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.