I guess you don’t need me to tell you why an Impreza is worthy of your money, if you do …clearly you are reading the wrong post. Just to recap: four-wheel drive, all weather performance, stunning boxer engine with low center of gravity, widely tuneable and there is that noise! That noise alone is a good reason to love this car!
Having toned down a little the raw driving experience on the new age Imprezas and the ‘bugeye’ not being quite a looker the 2003 ‘blob-eye’facelift is an everyday super saloon that everybody likes. The price varies depending on the spec and tune, but yet there are a lot of WRX Wagons that have great prices. These wagons are great if you want the Impreza driving experience with fine tuning like ECU remap and exhaust or maybe uprated suspension to give it a little more edge.
If you want a more significant increase in power then you definetly should buy the STi. Expensive, but worth doing mostly because it has a stronger 6-speed gearbox, plenty of engine enhancements including DCCD ( Driver Controlled Center Differential) and stronger internals. The styling is slightly better too. Paying more in the beggining might be a good ideea if you’ll buy a WRX and plan for more power because it’ll save you cash over time.
When buying any car you should obviously look at accident damage at first because there are a lot of cars that have been driven hard. Service history is always advisable. When buying an STi you should be carefull at noises because in time the DCCD can be damaged. Also you should enquire th owner about using it in manual mode because that could also be the cause of some nasty noises.
If you decide to go for the STi and you want more power, the first thing to do would be to replace the whole exhaust system including up-pipe and binning any catalytic converters. It will give you a decent increase in power. Remaping the ECU is the next thing to do as it will unleash that beautiful boxer noise. Engine work is limitless, but you may want to tighten the steering with coilovers and anti roll bars and get that pin-sharp handling found on former Imprezas.
Anyway, whichever you chose with some minor enhancements Impreza makes a great and fast daily road driver.
Subaru Impreza WRX (2003 – 2005) Stats
- Engine: 2ltr, 4-cylinder, turbocharged
- Power: 261bhp
- 0-62mph: 5.2sec
- Top speed: 148mph (UK STi)