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2002 Impreza RS 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all you folks! I'm about to be come a regular, I feel...

I purchased a 95 Plymouth Neon, SOHC (132hp), automatic tranny back in late 95 and it served me well for about 5 years. No problems at all. It has become quite a money hole over the past two years and now I'm looking at about $3,500 needed to get it functional again--so it is time to say farewell. I loved the Neon. Excellent pickup (even with the 3-speed automatic), super handling, great styling--I have been more than well pleased.

In going with a new car, I am replacing the Neon and my wife's dead '88 Taurus (sitting dead now for 6 months). We both metro to work (...for the time being) so we can make it with one car, and intend to have only one. I am unable to convince my wife to go with a manual tranny, so the replacement vehicle must (like my current Neon) be an automatic. I really want it to be "fun to drive" like the Neon certainly is. Also was looking in the $17,000 range.

My first impulse in finding a new car was to take a look at the new model Neons. Sadly, they are larger (but with the same engine on the low end, and as a result less power overall) and have less responsive handling. The 150hp version is not offered with an automatic, so that's out. I've looked on-line and in the 2002 books at the Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Saturns, etc. They seem so stylishly bland, have poor handling and generally less pickup than I'm used to with the small-body Neon. Then I found the RS 2.5.

I have yet to test drive the car, but I have eliminated all other cars in this stage of my search based on the specs. It has incredible styling (IMHO), 160hp engine (and the boxer seems intriguing, from a technical standpoint), lots of good standard features (though I will _not_ accept one without the fog lights which double the excellence of the body style!), and seems to have an unusually high reliability rating in the 2002 books.

The Impreza I want will come to $20K and some change (I assume I can negotaite that down a thousand or so), and as such is on the very outer edge of what we are willing to spend on a vehicle. (So the WRX is out, even though it amazingly can be configured with an auto tranny as well!)

So...am I correct in assuming that the RS 2.5 w/ its 160hp engine is going to have notable pickup? Even though it lacks the WRX's "sport" suspension, does it handle well? In short, do these things come together in such a way that it could be said to be "fun to drive" vs. the other vehicles I've listed?

Any input appreciated. Thanks!


blakespot
 

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2.5 RS
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169 Posts
:biggest:


Okay blankspot, I own a 2.5 RS.
Just to let you know it has 165 BHP and it handles well. You will definetly notice a difference in pick up but there is always room for improvement. I have a friend that has a Neon and I can smoke him with stock parts. I love my car, the only thing about it is it has excessive body roll when you corner hard. I like to think I am a rally driver. But don't let this stop you from getting one. If you do get it I do recommend you get a better air filter and air intake pipe. I have a Ganz air intake on the way. It is baically a pipe that runs straight to the box and not that stock pipe and that twists and turns all over the place. It gets good gas miliage and is very responsive, but in my opinion the steering wheel is to big for fast truns but I can deal with it. If you can drive a manual get it, I think you will like it. The car doesn't even appear on the auto theft list that comes out every year. No one really knows about the car, you know like they know about Camry's and Honda's and want to steal them. My Suby was sold to me at what the dealer got for it. I did it over the net and I thought it was gonna cost more but it was actually less so I was happy. 20K is about right. The accsories are kinda lame and to few compared to the WRX, but there is always aftermarket stuff if you want to make it pretty. This next part it totally up to you but they might over you the 6 year warrenty, it doen't cost that much but I wish I hadn't gotton it. It comes with a very good 3 year warrenty already. What I should have done was wait till the 3 years is almost up and then get the 6 year instead of having it over lap. Oh yeah least I forget the AWD system. It is awesome in the rain, I have power slide a few times, (on purpose) and it was fun! When the time comes you will see that AWD is better than RW or FW drive it is a lot safer. I was driving a 2wd car I would have spun out. I was on the highway drving fast and I slowed down a bit to get off but it was still to fast. I turned the wheel and felt the backend start to slid but then I felt the power tranfer from the the right back wheel to the front left. So I slid sideways up the ramp with FULL CONTROL! (all that time playin GT3 I guess) But I trusted my car and didn't panic and when the road straightend up I turned back a bit and the car straightend up and took off. I have done it several times on purose and the AWD never fails. I have done it at 60mph and at 25mph. If you yank the wheel while the ground is wet the system may take over and think you want to slide. I think baby grl (my car nick name) likes to slid and so do I. ;)
There are a few things you can do to make it better but other than that it is a safer, better car than most. Like I am gonna get a big brake kit for it, better tires (the stock is fine) but there is always room for improvement. It is even a good car for females that like to drive slow. There is that and have you ever seen a Suby on the side of the road, or a lot of them in a car lot. I checked KBB.org and there was hardly any recalls on it. I have done 5 months of reasearch on this car like I was getting paid for it.
:checkit:
To some it up, it is an awesome car with a lot of potential!

But the WRX kinda over shadows it's little brother. Finding parts and "ICE" for it is kinda hard but it is out there.
 

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2.5 RS
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Almost forgot...

If you can wait for the 03 models then wait. I think they are gonna make some more safety improvements and a few or things. But other than that last I heard there really won't be that much difference from the 02.
 

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Premium Member
2002 Impreza RS 2.5
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Re: Almost forgot...

Icon25rs said:
If you can wait for the 03 models then wait. I think they are gonna make some more safety improvements and a few or things. But other than that last I heard there really won't be that much difference from the 02.
I have no car at the moment. I can't really see waiting.

The body style will remain the same on the '03's will it not?

Also...will I feel the additional power of the straight to box intake? Can you link me to it and give me estimated cost? Thanks.


blakespot
 

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13 Years of RS
2005 Toyota Corolla :(
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5,532 Posts
I have a 2000 2.5RS, and it's a great car. The 02 is a little heavier than mine, but not so much that it's performance is way off. I put a bigger rear sway bar on my car, really helped improve the handling by reducing understeer, and the intake/filter are good for a noticable gain in power (~10 hp, I guess). Here's a link to Larry Ganz site, who sells the GanzFlow Cold Air Intake, and he has all sorts of stuff for the 2.5RS, and he's a great guy to do business with! Poke around there, lots of stuff:

http://www.imprezars.com/products.htm#my00intake
 

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Just take everyones word for it........get the car and don't think about modding for a while. I have a 2000 RS and all I have done is add a Stromung exhaust system and a set of Subaru's 17" aluminum wheels and the car handles better and leaves much of the competition sitting at the stoplight. So forget about the mods for now just get the car and enjoy you will not regret it, I know I don't.
 
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