Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Subaru Impreza Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Subaru Impreza Overview

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Subaru is a company that has built its reputation on producing reliable, affordable and efficient vehicles; they also have been building cars equipped with all-wheel drive since 1975. Once considered the sole domain of trucks and SUVs, the sudden popularity of all-wheel drive among the car-buying public has left many of Subaru's competitors running to jump on the bandwagon—a bandwagon that is now being pulled by a team of Subaru products, including the Impreza sedan and wagon.

The Impreza is Subaru's entry-level car. Until the recent emergence of the sizzling WRX version, the Impreza line remained a quiet but steady competitor in the small car market. Its standard all-wheel drive has gained the Impreza an almost cult-like following, especially in the northeast and upper mid- west states; if you have trouble understanding why, take a standard rear-drive sedan and go live in Vermont for one winter, you'll figure it out. For those of you who already know why you love and want a Subaru, choosing the Impreza is as easy as 1-2-3 (4-5 if you get the manual transmission).

For 2002, the Impreza now features the front face and grille of the rally-inspired WRX. The Impreza's new face gives it a much sportier appeal as well as visually links all the models in the Impreza line together. There are four Impreza models to chose from: the 2.5 RS Sedan, 2.5 TS Sports Wagon, WRX Sedan and WRX Sports Wagon. All the Impreza models use the same body and interior components as well as have similar all-wheel-drive systems, though there are some technical differences between cars equipped with automatic vs. manual transmissions, as well as between the RS and WRX. Where the Impreza siblings differ most is under the hood and inside the wheel wells. The WRX models are powered by a 227-horsepower turbo-charged engine that, when combined with performance tires and a sport suspension, provide one the most exhilarating rides this side of $25K. Though you have to rev the engine well into the 4000 rpm range before you begin to feel its power, the WRX is an absolute blast to drive and is already winning over younger drivers once dedicated to Honda and Toyota. If your taste and budget run toward something a bit less flamboyant, the standard 2.5 RS and TS should fill the bill nicely.

All the Impreza models use Subaru's boxer engine which houses the pistons horizontally on their sides as opposed to vertically in a straight line or V formation. The name "boxer" is derived from the image the four pistons conjure up when in motion, like two boxers punching at each other. This design benefits the Impreza by placing the engine, and its weight, down low; this in turn helps the Impreza to better hug the road. The design also provides for a quieter engine because the horizontally opposed pistons cancel out each other's vibration. The result is smooth and silent 2.5-liter engine that can make 165 horsepower yet still attain an EPA highway mileage rating of 28 mpg (5-speed manual.) You may be interested to know that because the Boxer design is so efficient, one other small car company has been using it for decades: Porsche.

If you take the Impreza for a test drive, you are probably going to fall in love. The Impreza has a good amount of room for four adults, is very comfortable and handles like a dream. Inclement weather, deep snow and muddy side roads do little to deter the Impreza from reaching its destination. The added security of dual front airbags and standard ABS should reassure passengers that this is a safe place to be. The interior is nicely laid out and includes such standard items as power windows and door locks, cruise control and an 80-watt stereo with CD. You can upgrade your Impreza with an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, premium speakers, remote keyless entry, carbon fiber trim and an air filtration system.

If you fall for the Impreza RS but feel the need for more space, then the 2.5 TS Sport Wagon should work perfectly. It has all the same features as the sedan, but adds an additional four cubic feet of interior room and—with the rear seat folded—a generous 61.6 cubic feet of cargo space (as opposed to 11 cubic feet in the sedan's trunk). The 2.5 TS is ideal for those with active lifestyles. Its roof-mounted rack can hold surfboards or skis and its all-wheel drive will carry you confidently through snow packs or sand.

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