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  • Any reason why I shouldn't buy a Subaru Impreza ?
  • santacruzsi
    Free Member

    Looking for a Impreza wagon and seen a 55 plate, 55k miles has a FSH and had th cam belts done.
    Wanting something I can get the bike in, get me out ( and into no doubt ) trouble on an overtake and a bit of fun too.
    Yes I appreciate they have a chav image but they seem good reliable motors also. Running costs will be a little expensive and tax is £290 per year but I’ll own it outright.

    Anyone had one? Real life experiences?

    jimjam
    Free Member

    Test drove several. Owned a Legacy GTB.

    Pros: Faster than most average cars. Overtakes easily once on boost. Supremely surefooted in shitty conditions, even snow. Fast point to point. Parts are cheap. Relatively cheap to get more power from.

    Cons: Cheap horrible interior. Barely room to swing a cat in the boot. Not actually *that* fast unless you look at STI versions. Permanent AWD so very very thirsty. Awkward to work on. Engine will grenade itself if not looked after inevitably.

    Forester XT has basically the same engine and power train but a better interior, useable boot and the added benefit of being less of a scumbag/police magnet than an impreza.

    santacruzsi
    Free Member

    Thanks. Not looking to mod it at all, 220 bhp is quick enough for me, just want to be able to take front wheel off bike and stick it in the back. With my fiesta I have to dismantle it virtually!

    allthegear
    Free Member

    I’ve owned two and no, there are no reasons not to own one. You will get a tiny bit tired of filling it with petrol but, so long as you avoid using it for unnecessary journeys, it’s not too bad.

    Rachel

    isto
    Free Member

    Guy I know has one and he ran off with his best friends wife….true story 😀 Also, as already mentioned (and probably more relevant) they are pretty basic inside.

    santacruzsi
    Free Member

    Thanks folks. Yes I gather they’re a bit thirsty but commute to work most days on the bike so won’t be doing big journeys and yes the interior looks like my missus’ old Toyota Rav 4, but they seem to be pretty reliable.

    cudubh
    Full Member

    Mrs cd has an impreza wrx estate. It is basic inside but still for a 55 plate with 110k on it it goes pretty well. Much more fun to drive than my boring kia sportage. They are fairly expensive for servicing but that can be patially improved by taking it to a specialist, particulalry for an older car. As said fuel consumption is poor but you won’t be expecting anything else and you can just about control it by driving sensibly most of the time. They are noisy on long motorway journeys. Go for it, everybody needs some fun in their life.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    The boot isn’t that big, you’d need to drop the back seats – may or may not be an issue for you.

    yorkshire89
    Free Member

    I had an 05 plate STI. You couldn’t fold the back seats down (not sure if this is STI only?) so was pretty terrible for getting the bike anywhere.

    It’s a really nice car to drive fast, but it needs to be driven fast to be enjoyable imo.
    Driving around town it’s laggy, heavy clutch and feels a bit of a pig.

    Mine never seemed to manage over 20mpg (305bhp prodrive STI though…)

    Pigface
    Free Member

    Someone will try and steal it, I think the days of everybody wanting to race you are over, may be wrong haven’t driven one for ages. Very thirsty.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    My mate had a couple of the non turbo ones which are normal cars, not chav mobiles. I think he managed 35mpg or so. However he did have to spend £150 on HT leads once 😯

    davidtaylforth
    Free Member

    Are you predisposed to drive like a dickhead? Do you think your chances of driving like a dickhead will increase if you have a fast car?

    suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    Thanks. Not looking to mod it at all, 220 bhp is quick enough for me, just want to be able to take front wheel off bike and stick it in the back. With my fiesta I have to dismantle it virtually!

    You’ll get a bike in the back of Forester without taking the wheels off. Flipping the seats down takes 5 seconds.
    I’m looking for another one if anyone knows of one. The Outback is nowhere near as much fun…

    jimjam
    Free Member

    yorkshire89
    I had an 05 plate STI. You couldn’t fold the back seats down (not sure if this is STI only?) so was pretty terrible for getting the bike anywhere.

    STI one has a rear strut brace doesn’t it? Certainly not present on the WRX.

    santacruzsi
    but they seem to be pretty reliable.

    Hmmmmm. NA 2.5 and 3.0 Outbacks, and Legacy’s used by farmers have contributed heavily to this reputation and I personally don’t think it’s deserved. Engine rebuild threads on Subaru forums are like “what tyre” threads on STW.

    yorkshire89
    Free Member

    Jimjam – not in the boot, think there may be one under the floor though?

    br
    Free Member

    tax is £290 per year

    That’ll be the least of your expense for a 10 y/o turbocharged 4-wheel drive car. And if older than 35 y/o, you’ll look like someones Dad borrowed it 🙂

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Engine rebuild threads on Subaru forums are like “what tyre” threads on STW.

    But is that because they’ve been tuned and flogged?

    philjunior
    Free Member

    They’re not massive, but it sounds big enough for your needs, and you don’t commute etc. so fuel costs not a massive problem.

    I would kind of say though that if you drive it like your pants are on fire you will spend MASSIVE amounts on fuel. If you want to do this, another car may be better, as you may otherwise be tempted to try and coax “the big 3-0” mpg out of it by driving like a granny, which kind of defeats the point of having the thirsty engine in the first place.

    Parts are, apparently, quite pricey. Mate had a Forester and a few big bills.

    Pigface
    Free Member

    But is that because they’ve been tuned and flogged?

    They like good quality petrol as well if have been played with, mate holed a piston in an Technica sti by using supermarket fuel.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    “With my fiesta I have to dismantle it virtually!”
    are new fiestas really that small ?

    used to get 2 downhill bikes in the back of a mk3 fiesta.

    back seat folds down , front wheels out – forks sat behind the frontseats in the footwells bikes upright.

    did 4 seasons racing like that.

    jimjam
    Free Member

    molgrips

    But is that because they’ve been tuned and flogged?

    Some of them yeah for sure but they are a hugely popular car for modifying and the tolerances are well known. In my experience (of owning 3 subarus and two engine rebuilds) the non STI engines are made of cheese. Added to that a decent sized turbo which is just cooking your oil all day long….. and if you don’t let it cool down you’ll have head issues.

    Boxer configuration adds another ball ache on top of that, basically an engine out job to change the spark plugs(or you take the engine off the mounts and tilt it), then you have the awd system which is a whole other layer of complexity on top of that.

    welshfarmer
    Full Member

    I owned one for 11 years and the interior was still as solid and practical at the end as the beginning. I don’t get the constant moan about the cheap interior. When I sold it at 13 years of age it had been supremely reliable and had gone places most would think twice about taking a Land Rover Defender. Unfortunately I needed more towing ability or I might still have one. If you enjoy driving for driving sake you will enjoy it and overlook all its’ short-comings. If you just want a car to get from A to B then I am guessing there would be better cars out there to suit your needs

    wrightyson
    Free Member

    Owner of two here. Neither missed a single beat. 2002 bug eye wrx and a 2005 blob with full prodrive kit, that one was good to 60 in 5 secs in all but snow. A little part of me died when I sold it nearly three years ago now. Hold their money really well at the moment and I couldn’t buy mine back as we stand for what I chopped it in for.
    Who cares what the interior is like, when other cars are disappearing in you mirror, seats are decent too so longs the bolsters haven’t been sat on too many times by fat folk.
    Main reason I sold was I couldn’t bring myself to put a tow bar or roof rack on it….

    RaveyDavey
    Free Member

    STI classic had a solid rear bulkhead on the 2 i had. The UK turbo has folding rear seats. Not sure on the newer models though. Fuel economy or the lack of does become tiring after a while. Sub 20 mpg is easily achievable with harsh acceleration.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    hold on jim jam …. dont talk shit im reliably informed by the STW massive that you dont need to let turboed cars cool down before turning engine off…….

    I grew up on the farm where the only time the tractor was on and not earning money was the warm up and cool down – twas drummed into me from an early age.

    run classic turbo diesels still today and still stand by it – let fresh cool oil get through the turbo and circulate it clean before shut down instead of letting the hot oil carbonise in the turbo.

    Still see folk bring their cars straight off the main road – pull up and engine off straight away.

    its the turbos fault when it dies not the nut holdign the wheel.

    suburbanreuben
    Free Member

    But is that because they’ve been tuned and flogged?

    Yes, usually.

    loddrik
    Free Member

    Here’s my old one. It was about 13 years ago but it was the most fun car I’ve ever had. I had a Blitz NUR Spec R exhaust on it and it truly sounded like amplified thunder. 330bhp doesn’t seem that mad nowadays but it was truly mental back then. Mechanically rock solid.

    LS
    Free Member

    I had a 54 plate Blobeye Prodrive-kit wagon up until a couple of years ago. Bombproof in terms of reliability, plenty of room for bikes (got my 21″ 29er in without taking any wheels out, which is actually a tight squeeze in my current Octavia estate) and of course ridiculously quick in all weathers.

    Yes the interior is cheap (as above, who cares?) and also the stereo was crap but the fun-factor was well worth it. Fuel costs did me in the end when I started to do 5-600 miles per week.

    teef
    Free Member

    Neighbours son has one – it’s very noisy and he parks it 50m up the road – presumably because his parents have banned him from parking it outside the house as it disturbs everybody.

    wrightyson
    Free Member

    I know several enthusiasts to this day who have turbo timers fitted so the car actually runs on to do whatever it does before switching off.

    monkeysfeet
    Free Member

    I had a 52 plate WRX, modified etc..the wife hated it as it was so noisey due to the mad exhaust.
    For that reason alone I kept it. 😀

    Never managed much more than 21mpg, but it was a brilliant car. I knew a good non franchise garage that did my repairs/servicing which kept bills down (cambelts were expensive) but eventaully sold it due to fuel.

    Suggsey
    Free Member

    My nephews on his second having had a Mondeo 220 and a Nissan Z350 in between….as others have said treat the turbo with cool down respect and service it accordingly. In my opinion they’re not much different from any other performance 4×4 in terms of running costs…..personally I like normally aspirated v6/V8s and non Japanese cars but hey it’s a dull world if we all like the same! Do it you’d only regret it if you don’t!

    Klunk
    Free Member

    Barely room to swing a cat in the boot.

    used to get 2 bikes in the the boot of mine and all our kit, nice thing was you couldn’t tell they were there.

    jimjam
    Free Member

    Klunk

    used to get 2 bikes in the the boot of mine and all our kit, nice thing was you couldn’t tell they were there.

    Smaller boot than a Focus. 356 ltrs vs 385 ltrs according to Parkers.

    mdavids
    Free Member

    I’ve ran a classic UK turbo 2000 for the last 6 years taking it from 60k to 100k miles. It’s been a second car for a lot of that time which has mitigated the fuel bills somewhat. Fantastic car but now on it’s last legs due to rust.

    As already said above: very reliable, very thirsty, very sure-footed, very quick off the line but nothing special once up and running – you need an STI or a modified one for motorway willy waving. Never had any big bills and never been left stranded.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    one being hatch back and the other a saloon it’s hardly surprising

    butcher
    Full Member

    Never had one, but if it wasn’t for the image and the chances of it being stolen, I reckon it’d be a great car. It’s not something you buy for the interior and good looks…

    Have heard about the catastrophic engine failures, but general consensus seems to be good if they’re looked after.

    Quite fancy a Forester, though they seem quite expensive to buy. Especially the STIs.

    jimjam
    Free Member

    Klunk – Member

    one being hatch back and the other a saloon it’s hardly surprising

    That’s the Focus hatchback compared to the Impreza Wagon, as per the OP. It might actually surprise a lot of people since the Wagon looks like a scaled down estate.

    Klunk
    Free Member

    I always liked the driving position and the very solid and planted feel it had on the worst of roads a great A-B “cross country” car. Hated it in the snow loads of traction to get you up to speed and but no way of stopping like riding a sledge 🙂 (even with anti lock fuse taken out)

    breadcrumb
    Full Member

    If you want something quick, reliable and will take a bike with the front wheel removed how about a Civic Type R?

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