Used 2003 Subaru Impreza Sedan

2003 Subaru Impreza
List price range
2003 Subaru Impreza


  • 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.

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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

Race Car meets Soccer Mom Car
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!
14 years 282,000 miles
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.
I Love This Car!!! If you haven't driven one, Find one, Steal one, Borrow one, Rent one, Take your friends!! They are so much fun. Also they should have left the body alone till 05 and came out with the STi in the 02-03 body style. Biggest downfall :::::INSURANCE IS A KILLER on this car!!!:::::
Hit and Miss
It's a nice car. Stock out of the box it has more perfomance than most. AWD is a definite plus especially if you have changing seasons. From what I have learned from my friends' older Imprezas, most of them aren't holding up for much longer than 80k miles. But some of my friends don't take care of their cars like they should. The car is shorter than most sedans, but that's what gives it the mobility that it has. I feel bad for the people in the back seat; there isn't a lot of room, but I never have to be back there! A few weird things: Gears are straight cut (shifting isn't as smooth as most); I get a weird hum at 60MPH (Subaru doesn't know what it is); and coolant -- you go through it like crazy, due to turbos.
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Features & Specs

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


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

More about the 2003 Subaru Impreza
Used 2003 Subaru Impreza Sedan Overview

The Used 2003 Subaru Impreza Sedan is offered in the following styles: WRX AWD 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sedan (2.5L 4cyl 4A), 2.5 RS AWD 4dr Sedan (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).

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

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Used 2003 Subaru Impreza Sedan Listings and Inventory

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

Find a used Subaru Impreza for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $14,410.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 10 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $19,843.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 3 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $18,294.

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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