From virtual to real racing: should you buy Subaru Impreza II?


Subaru Impreza really should be considered a model of how you can turn a car into a symbol. Of course, the main battlefield for the sedan were rally routes, but the model was racing in other disciplines, and at the same time “shone” in all kinds of computer games. In addition, the Japanese regularly slipped restyling: the original “eye” version sold only three years, from 2000 to 2002, then from 2002 to 2005 the banner carried a quite successful first restyling, and in 2005-2007 Impreza received a second update and the Russian nickname “fox”. However, despite the cool image, the “second” Impreza in Russia has always remained an “imported miracle”, and there are few cars on sale. For example, at the time of writing the material on sale on Avito was less than 250 offers across the country! In addition, the market is unevenly divided not only between the different years of production, but also between the left and right wheel. Thus, more than 80% of the earlier cars on sale – right-hand drive, and there are few (in addition, almost all of them – universals). By the first restyling, the market began to fill up with left-hand drive versions as well, but their share is still lower. And only the freshest cars after the second restyling mainly came here with left-hand drive – there are more than 60% of them. If you look at the total mass of cars, the share of the left rudder is only about 40%. In general, buying a fresh version is justified not only in terms of age, it will be banal easier to find a car with left rudder.

Impreza is not so much a car as a hobby, a blank for tuning and an endless designer for enthusiasts, and all this affects the condition of the bodies of these cars. Choosing a used Impreza from 13 to 20 years of age is not looking for a car in its native paint, but for a car not welded from two or three and not rebuilt after “total”. These cars are probably even more aggressively driven than other BMWs, so we can’t count on miracles. It’s worth getting to know each other right away, at least by checking the VIN and documents, as well as the thickness gauge and inspection of the joints, under-hood space and body racks. By the way, it will be very convenient to check in advance the whole available history of the machine with the help of open databases and paid services such as AutoForex: sometimes this is the case when a hundred rubles can save a hundred thousand.

If no critical defects can be found, you can move on to age problems. There may be a lot of them, too. The most obvious is typical corrosion on the edges of wheel arches, at the bottom of doors and under the plastic pads of thresholds, where holes may already appear. Of course, the hood and the windshield frame also chips up, and the trunk lid is slowly rusting, especially on the station wagons, which, incidentally, in the structure of the secondary market more than half.

Subaru Impreza 2000–07

The doors are difficult not only from below, but also from above: the stylish frameless design increases the care requirements and the risk of leakage. Accordingly, the floors in the salon need not just a touch, but to get maximum information about the existing sources of corrosion. The same applies to the trunk and undercover space: here you can find not only traces of old traffic accidents, but also corrosion of seams and suspension glasses. The bottom also need to be inspected as carefully as possible: in addition to loose rust at the back, rotten sills in the front and widespread corrosion of the mounting points of frames and suspensions here you can find damage to the spars and through defects, which gradually sharpens the body from the inside. In general, we wrote about the details of the inspection and body features of Impreza in a separate material.

Usually, for rare cars like Audi TT or Hummer, we mention the high cost of body parts among the difficulties of maintenance and repair. However, by world standards Impreza is not that rare, so apart from a decent selection of non-original parts, the used parts market can always help. For example, a new hood can be bought for 15-20 thousand instead of 50 thousand for the original, but the “wide” front fender, bumper or headlight on the restyling is easier to look for on disassembly than to buy new ones for 20-30 thousand. Well, we won’t even talk about megatons of various tuning and aprons: the choice is wide, and the main question is quality, including installation works.

Subaru Impreza 2000–07

Impreza pendants are independent: McPherson in front and back. Strictly speaking, it’s too late to talk about the resource of original spare parts, and the price of stock parts is sometimes useless: tuning is relevant for a suspension at least as much as for everything else. However, those who want to “just ride” can be calm: a suspension will not ruin. Everything here is not only strong, but also repairable: for example, ball bearings and rear silent blocks of the front levers are replaceable and cost inexpensive, all key silent blocks are offered in the original version, and small things like stabilizer racks are also available both in price and width of choice. Rear levers in the assembly are expensive – 5-7 thousand, but here are also available interchangeable silent blocks, let their range and not the most outstanding. But “civil” shock absorbers can be bought from 5 thousand at the original price of 12-20 thousand, and for the version WRX you can find substitutes from KYB for a moderate 11-12 thousand. In general, if you don’t go deep into tuning, you can not invest fabulous sums in the suspension.

The same is true for brakes: if we don’t talk about tuning and extreme versions, the brakes are reliable and quite affordable in service. But there are plenty of options: to understand how different Impreza brakes can be, it’s better not to look at the front mechanisms, where there can be both single-piston floating brakes and four-piston brakes. Much clearer picture behind: on base cars with atmospheric motors of 1,5-1,6 liters in the rear can be drums, more advanced version – unventilated disks with diameter of 266 mm, and on the most powerful versions they are replaced by ventilated disks of 290 or 316 mm!

Subaru Impreza 2000–07

Accordingly, the cost of service is also different: there are “cheaper” options everywhere, but the order of prices is still different. However, regardless of the variant of brakes it is necessary to check the condition of trunks and hoses, the parking brake and ABS, as well as assess the condition of calipers. But the steering rack with hydraulic booster has minimum differences in the cost of repair, regardless of the version of the machine: you can not look at the six-digit prices of the original, as the restored rails in the assembly starts from 20-23 thousand. The situation with HSD pump is similar: you can buy it for 8-15 thousand.

Most Impreza cars on the secondary market have all-wheel drive – front-drive cars are common only before restyling, together with the right steering wheel. In fact, four-wheel drive is what Subaru is loved for, and here it is almost always honest, constant with center differential. “Almost always” – because on cars with ACS this is usually the current scheme with the rear axle connected by a clutch when the front slippage, so that those who want to have a permanent four-wheel drive will have to change gears manually. On the most advanced and powerful versions of Impreza, there is a more complex controlled differential that distributes power between the axles, but it is usually a simple mechanism with a viscous clutch to lock. If you want to understand at least a little what these machines are bought for, you will have to not skimp on all-wheel drive and, accordingly, arrange a revision with oil check in the box and the rear gearbox, assessment of the state of cardan shafts and drives and running tests of the locking operation. There is nothing irreplaceable here, especially taking into account the disassemblies, but it is better to bargain for a few tens of thousands of rubles immediately with the seller than with yourself, thinking about repair options.

Subaru Impreza 2000–07

The choice of gearbox at Impreza, as we have already understood, is: it is either a mechanics for 5 or 6 steps, or a non-young four-speed automatic 4EAT. The mechanics in general is quite reliable, although the six-speed gearbox is stronger and preferably a five-speed gearbox, especially when driving actively. And finishes all the boxes it is the active ride, so regardless of the motor should certainly pay attention to check the box: the oil should be clean, gears are engaged clearly and do not fly out under load, bearings – do not hum, and synchronizers – to be present and work. With the machine it is about the same: the box, despite a serious update in the late 90’s, has quite ancient roots, while simple and reliable. The strength of the ACS is hinted at by the fact that it was combined with almost the entire motor range – from sluggish 1.5-liter atmospheres to powerful turbomotors. However, the cooling system could also be different depending on the motor, and there is also a limit of load. One can hope that the Subaru owners are people who are technically horseshoes or forced to change the oil in the machine, but it’s not necessary to do it yourself: it’s better to check everything yourself. Well, in extreme cases, both the mechanics and the automaton can be found. yes, yes, at the disassembly.

Basically, you can start a story about motors right away with the word “disassembly”. And in all senses: it may be a question of disassembling the engine itself, as well as the place where the Subaru owners sometimes go for “contract” engines. Of course, in fact, everything is not so definitely bad – you just need to remember about the design of Subaru opponents and their specifics. The whole range consists of gasoline opposition engines: the basic ones are atmospheric EJ15 and EJ16 for 1.5 and 1.6 liters respectively, above them there is the most popular EJ20 for 2 liters, and further in terms of power there are turbo engines – the same EJ20 in the inflatable version and the 2.5-liter EJ25.

Subaru Impreza 2000–07

Atmospheric motors adjusted to the specific design can be considered quite reliable. However, it is necessary to change oil here at least once in 10 thousand kilometers, as well as to take maximum care of the purity and tightness of the cooling system and the lack of oil leaks at the motor itself. The engine oil will also be used without leaks – the opposition design is inclined to this. But the drop in its level is fraught with oil starvation of the cylinder piston group, especially in the third and fourth cylinders. Jokes about the knocking of the fourth cylinder are already familiar to everyone, so you can immediately move on to turbo motors. Although the situation with them is less clear: if atmospheric Impreza can still be the choice of a quiet driver who loves sometimes to give up gas, the turbine versions are usually bought with quite specific purposes: annealing and piling. Motor lubrication, cooling and fuel quality requirements are much higher here, as are the risks of taking off the crankshaft liners, killing the cylinders or boiling the engine. Well, the search for a car with a 2.5-liter turbo engine should be started only in two cases: either with a full understanding of its technical nuances and possible problems and ways to solve them, or with a conditionally unlimited budget to learn all these nuances and ways to learn themselves in practice. If you are interested, you can start with our detailed material on engines and boxes of this Impreza generation. If it doesn’t convince you, you have a great future.

In general, now it is clear what awaits the one who suddenly decides to make children’s dreams come true and take a ride on Impreza not only in the NFS Underground or Colin McRae Rally – let’s try to make a portrait of the optimal specimen. More precisely, two portraits.

Subaru Impreza 2000–07

Those who are ready for difficulties in the name of drive, can immediately look for a sedan with a turbo engine – to begin with a two-liter. Of course, you should first spend a few months on profile forums, and then listen carefully to the seller to get an idea of the list of modifications made to the machine. Well, the final good purchase for half a million will look like this.

If you’re not ready to put all your money and free time on the opposing altar of fast driving, you should look for a two-liter all-wheel-drive atmospheric sedan, but in the near-East state – about this one. Of course, the list of improvements will be here too, but it is shorter and easier to understand, and the reliability is higher. Driving such a Subaru for a year or two, you will be able to make further conclusions about whether you stay in the club of enthusiasts or not imbued with the ideology of four-wheel drive and opposition motors. The third one is usually not given.

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