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Subaru Impreza Turbo: buying guide and review (1992-2000)

Subaru Impreza Turbo: buying guide and review (1992-2000) Classic and Performance Car
Subaru Impreza RB5 Subaru Impreza P1 Subaru Impreza P1 Subaru Impreza P1 Subaru Impreza 22B Subaru Impreza Turbo
It isn’t unusual for a car to earn classic status through its motorsport exploits, but it’s rarer for such success to transform the reputation of an entire brand. The Impreza altered the perception of Subaru from maker of reliable yet slightly bland workhorses to one known for producing one of the biggest giant-killing saloon cars on public roads.
 
With the Legacy achieving only the occasional competitive result in the World Rally Championship, Subaru’s decision to replace it with the more compact Impreza proved to be an inspired decision. Two years after its debut, the Prodrive-prepared Impreza picked up its first manufacturers’ title in 1995, and successfully defended its crown for the following two years. The Impreza’s reputation in the UK was heightened further by the fact that in it earned Britain its only two WRC drivers’ titles, first in the hands of Colin McRae in 1995 and then Richard Burns in 1999.
 
On the road, the sharp handling, four-wheel drive traction and throbbing flat-four soundtrack lend turbocharged Imprezas an unmistakable character. A heavy thirst for petrol aside, the Impreza ownership experience should be fairly trouble-free. Frequently topping customer satisfaction surveys in the late nineties, reliability remains a strong point today. It is very rare to find an example which hasn’t been modified in some way – usually in the form of an increase in power.
 
Which one to buy?
 
First-gen Impreza Turbo production ran from 1992 until late 2000. Model years can be distinguished by the letters A-G after the GC8 chassis number. Several updates freshened the Impreza formula in that time, with improvements to the brakes, an increase in alloy wheel diameter from 15 to 16-inches in 1994, and styling and interior revisions in 1997 among the most significant.
 
The original turbocharged Impreza was dubbed Turbo 2000 in the UK market and WRX elsewhere. It initially produced 208bhp, with final run versions climbing slightly to 215bhp. Japanese market cars had 237bhp. The STI gained blueprinted engines, which vaguely produced 276bhp (depending on how strongly Subaru adhered to Japanese car makers’ agreement which said their vehicles would not exceed that figure) and uprated suspension and transmission.
 
The stripped-out Type RA was the ideal starting point for a Group N rally car. Much of the WRX’s soundproofing was removed, as were the electric windows, the air conditioning unit and ABS system, and an adjustable centre differential and close ratio gearbox were added.
 
Numerous special editions were produced for the UK market to celebrate the Impreza’s World Rally Championship exploits, often worked over by Prodrive. Some, like the Turbo Terzo and Catalunya Special Editions were little more than limited-run colour and trim variations of the WRX, but others featured more focussed changes.
 
The P1 is one such example. Based on the Type RA coupe, Prodrive tuned the suspension on UK roads, and added gunmetal-grey 17-inch OZ alloy wheels. Power stood at 276bhp, and though the RA’s centre differential was removed, ABS and a quickshift gearchange were added.
 
While Prodrive offered the P1, Subaru had already produced the most sought-after special edition of all. The 22B featured a unique body kit which, courtesy of the WRC-inspired flared wheel arches, increased overall width by 80mm. The engine displacement rose to 2212cc and power to about 280bhp, and a twin-plate clutch and Bilstein suspension further singled it out as the most focussed first-gen Impreza ever produced. 400 units were sold, with just 16 officially reaching the UK.
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine 1994cc flat four
Power 215bhp @ 5600rpm
Torque 214lb ft @ 4000rpm
Top speed 143mph
0-60mph 5.6secs
Fuel consumption 27mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
Insurance group 17
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2520mm
Length 4340mm
Width 1690mm
Height 1440mm
Weight 1235kg
 
Common problems
 
● Any performance car – particularly one so popular with tuners - will be far more desirable with a full service history. Subaru recommends an oil service should be carried out every 7,500 miles or so, but closer to 3,000 miles is preferable. The cambelt should be replaced at 45,000-mile intervals.

● Earlier models suffer from leaky power steering pumps. Listen for any whining, and feel for inconsistent weighting from the rack

● Later examples are known to suffer from faulty MAF units. Watch out for an unsettled idle

● Take a good look at the tyres – they tend to wear on the inner edges. Get the car on full lock in either direction to check their condition

● The clutch isn’t prone to failure, but many Imprezas have been driven very hard. Excessive wear usually manifests itself as judder at low revs

● Look for dents under the car which suggest, contrary to the claims of the seller, that the car has “never been raced or rallied”

● Big end failure can be a very expensive issue with overly-tuned or poorly maintained examples. Listen for knocking noise lower down the rev range and low oil pressure
 
Model history
 
Nov 1992: First edition of the WRX, codename GC8A, released. Official UK models named Turbo 2000.
Oct 1993: Five-door Wagon debuts
Sep 1994: GC8C model replaces GC8B. WRX gains power hike to 256bhp, and wheels increase to 16 inches in diameter
1996: Series McRae special edition released. Prodrive-tweaked model features “Rally Blue” paint, gold alloys, special decals and Recaro seats. 200 units produced
Sep 1996: Revised styling across range. WRX power output rises to 276bhp. Coupe model debuts, with a lighter and stiffer chassis than the saloon
Mar 1997: Catalunya Special edition released, featuring black paint with red metallic flake and gold alloys. 200 produced for UK market
1997: Interior styling tweaks across the range. Turbo 2000 gains leather interior
1998: Subaru Japan produce 22B. Based on the Coupe, it offers WRC-inspired styling, Sonic Blue paint, a small increase in displacement and Bilstein suspension 
1999: RB5 model released to celebrate Richard Burns’ WRC title. Based on saloon, it featured “Blue Steel” Grey paint with matching alcantara trim inside, a unique bodykit and 17” Speedline alloy wheels. An optional WR Sport Performance Pack upped power to 237hp and a Prodrive suspension kit also available. 444 produced for the UK market
Sep 1999: New wheel designs debuted, colour coded door mirrors/door handles became standard, as did remote central locking. The WRX gained brake upgrades
Mar 2000: Prodrive-developed P1 released. Based on Type R coupe, the suspension is set up specifically for UK roads, while power stands at 276bhp. Finished in the same Sonic Blue pant as the 22B
2001: GC Impreza replaced with all-new GD (saloon) and GG (wagon) models
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
- uk.subaruownersclub.com
- www.grahamgoode.com/subaru.html
- www.scoobyparts.com
 
Summary and prices
 
Thanks to reasonably strong numbers of road legal examples on our roads (around 3,300 currently registered according to howmanyleft.co.uk) Turbo 2000 and STi models are still highly affordable performance cars. A clean, almost original Turbo 2000 with around 80,000 miles could be yours for less than £2,500, and even the most immaculate low mileage examples are unlikely to cost more than £5000. The more practical (but ultimately less desirable) wagons are even cheaper.
 
Special edition models go for a little mode. The RB5 generally costs between £5-£7000, and an imported Type RA in original condition is worth a similar amount. Values for an original P1 are creeping up towards the £10,000 mark, but it’s the 22B which has seen values skyrocket – recent sales suggest values are sitting at between £40,000 and £60,000.

Words: Alex Ingram
Subaru Impreza RB5 Subaru Impreza P1 Subaru Impreza P1 Subaru Impreza P1 Subaru Impreza 22B Subaru Impreza Turbo
Last updated: 22nd Mar 2016
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  • Subaru Impreza 2007 WRX New MOT, New Belts

    £5,950 £5,950

    Excellent Mechanics and Condition,  Hatchback, Nakamichi in -dash DVD Player, WRX Plate, Grey Interior

    • Engine size: 2457
    For sale
    £5,950 £5,950
    FridayAd
  • Subaru Impreza wrx

    £5,750 £5,750

    2003 Subaru impreza wrx  2.0ltr turbo 331bhp   I have for sale my 2003 Subaru Impreza wrx, genuine reason for sale. I have had no issues with this car in the time i have owned it, it has been modified and is running 331bhp at the wheels. this car has been mapped by Bob Rawle. it starts first time every time and really moves when it needs too. i have looked after it well in the time i have owned it, i have done one major service and one minor service including changing transmission and diff oils. MOT’d until 7th January 2019. This cars never ceased to put a smile on my face when driving it. it is a real head turner and noise maker. body work is tidy for its age but please remember it is a 15 year old car so it does have a few stone chips and blemishes but still good condition. it gets washed after every other time of use. It had a engine rebuild at approx 85,000. Current mileage is approx 122k. Lots of service history. Bellow is a list of mods and service work that i have done and were done before i bought the car:   Engine mods    walbro 255 fuel pump (Nov 2017)IHI vf35 turbo (Nov 2017)Font mount intercooler (japspeed) (Nov 2017)decat up pipe to turbo (Nov 2017)small sports cat down pipe from turbo big bore exhaust systempierburg 3 way boost control solenoid (Nov 2017)blue sit injectors (Nov 2017)k&n 57i induction (Dec 2017)japspeed silicone intake pipe (Nov 2017)heat wrapped exhaust up pipe and down pipe (Nov 2017)hks dump bovpink vacuum hosepink coolant hoses   Tuning   bob rawle remap (05/12/2017) 331 wbhp 330 lbft   Interior and Exterior mods   coil oversxxr alloysnrg quick release hubnrg short hubmotacorsa steering wheelangeleyesled bulbslight barsplittervortex geneerwing stiffiflow indicator strippro sport gauges (oil temp, oil press, boost)3 pod gauge holderfootwell lightsvolt meterusb chargerjdm tow hookzilla life gear stickpainted pink grille surround and scoop supportsdouble din stereo with satnav    Servicing    new aux bets and idler (Mar 2018)new battery (Dec 2017)resealed the spoiler to stop boot leak (Apr 2018)full service (Oct 2017)oil change (Mar 2018)gearbox and diff oil change (Mar 2018)     NO SWAPS   NO TEST DRIVES UNLESS VALID INSURANCE!   NO TIME WASTERS    SOLD AS SEEN  

    • Engine size: 1994
    For sale
    £5,750 £5,750
  • SUBARU IMPREZA 2.5 WRX TURBO 2007

    £7,999 £7,999

    SUBARU IMPREZA 2.5 WRX 4dr Saloon. Petrol. Manual. 2007 (07 reg), 10 X SERVICES AND CAM BELT DONE, Next MOT due 13/03/2019, 62,380 miles Full service history, Excellent bodywork, Black Cloth interior - Excellent Condition, Tyre condition Excellent, Four wheel-drive, Alloy Wheels (17in), Body Coloured Bumpers, Air-Conditioning (Automatic), Front Fog Lights, Alarm, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), In Car Entertainment (Radio/Cassette/CD), Power steering, Electric windows, Centre Rear Seat Belt, Central Door Locking, Air conditioning, Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel, Air Bag Passenger. 5 seats, Blue, Free Oil Service and Pre-Sale Inspection. HPi And National Mileage Certificate. Finance Available. Credit and debit cards accepted. BUY WITH PEACE OF MIND. WE HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR OVER 23 YEARS, DELIVERIES ARRANGED. GBP 7,999

    • Mileage: 62380 mi
    • Engine size: 2.457
    For sale
    £7,999 £7,999
  • SUBARU IMPREZA 2.0 WRX STI TYPE UK WIDETRACK DCCD PRODRIVE PPP 2005

    £12,995 £12,995

    As an approved RAC dealer all our vehicles are supplied fully prepared inc ,;;12mths MOT;Full engine lubrication service;Recent new timing belt kit ;Brake inspection/ service;Gear / diff oil inspection ;;3mths RAC warranty ;12mths RAC breakdown cover ;;Nationwide uk delivery is available ;;This is one of the most genuine , low mileage , low owner , full service history wrx sti type uk Imprezas we have ever seen @ Glenburgie , prodrive ppp package , totally standard and unmolested car , drives absolutly as it should , a credit to its previous enthusiast gentleman owners who have cherished her.;I wish we could buy more like this , an appreciating classic only likely to rise in rarity and value.;;3 owners;Genuine 61,980 miles;Full service history ( 14 service stamps );;This is the one , genuinely as nice as they come ,;No rips , tears , marks on the interior , paintwork is lovely , original and straight. ;Really is Museum or show spec !!!!!!!!;Fabulous useable classic investment vehicle !!!!!!!;I have taken really close up pics so you can scrutinise this one , original panels car , check out all the original vin stickers inside the doors , boot , bonnet and absolutely no rust whatsoever , the only real slight downside is the wheels are a little flat on the paint , a powder coat would make them mint , but they are also original and unpainted.;;If you don't want it , I can see this one being locked away and parked beside the 22b , 1 is never enough you know.

    • Mileage: 61980 mi
    • Engine size: 1.994
    For sale
    £12,995 £12,995
  • Subaru Impreza

    £5,995 £5,995

    Touch screen satellite navigation, Air Conditioning, rear-view camera, Front Parking Sensors, Cruise Control, ABS, Alloy wheels, 4x4, Service history Automatic

    • Mileage: 38000 mi
    • Engine size: 1498
    For sale
    £5,995 £5,995
  • SUBARU IMPREZA WRX TURBO 2004

    £5,995 £5,995

    Oliverprestigecars ltd have this limited edition wrx , in a very rare dark green , with full leather sports seats meda pack. sunroof. a very nice clean car with just 63 000 miles all backed up with mot history and document service., Upgrades - Metallic Paint, 6 months warranty, 12 months MOT, Full service history, Clean bodywork, Black Full leather interior - Clean Condition, Tyre condition Good, Four wheel-drive, Standard Features - Air-Conditioning, Alarm, Alloy Wheels (17in), Electric Windows (Front/Rear), In Car Entertainment (Radio/Cassette/CD). 5 seats, Solid Green, we off great finance deals and give great px prices., 3 owners, GBP 5,995 p/x welcome

    • Mileage: 63000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.994
    For sale
    £5,995 £5,995
  • SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI UK 2008

    £10,995 £10,995

    Stunning immaculate example, Previously sold at Augustus Autos, Enthusiast owned, Paintwork in fanatstic condition, recent service with full extensive service history and invoices, Subtle safe tuning, Stage 1 remap from Andy Forrest with complimenting Cobra Exhaust ( not loud ) and Mishimoto Air intake system, Rear diffuser, Clutch upgrade, a non abused example, Show car rather than go car... Privacy glass, Cruise control, Lots more...;HP finance available, Warranty,

    • Mileage: 73000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.457
    For sale
    £10,995 £10,995
  • SUBARU IMPREZA STI...HIGH QUALITY FRESH IMPORT GRADE 4. GENUINE RUST FREE CAR...MUST BE SEEN 1999

    £9,995 £9,995

    BUY WITH CONFIDENCE FROM THE LARGEST JAP SPECIALIST IN THE UK, YOU WILL FIND ALL OUR CARS ARE MINT AND ARE INVESTABLE FUTURE CLASSICS.;;OURS CARS WILL COME FULLY SERVICED AND GUARANTEED. ;;WE DELIVER NATIONWIDE AND CAN TAKE YOUR OLD CAR AWAY IN PART EXCHANGE.;;;WE HAVE OVER 50 PICTURES OF THIS CAR ON OUR WEBSITE!! ;PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO HAVE A LOOK ;THIS CAR HAS JUST BEEN IMPORTED DIRECT FROM JAPAN IT IS A HIGH QUALITY GRADE 4 IMPORT! ;THE UNDERSIDE OF THIS CAR IS IN GOOD CONDITION AS IF IT WERE A YEAR OLD!! ;EXAMPLES LIKE THIS WILL SURELY GO UP IN VALUE!!;ONE OF THE LAST OF THE ORIGINAL CLASSIC SHAPE IMPREZAS!! ;THE VALUE OF THESE CARS IS ALREADY ROCKETING UP AND RUST FREE LATE MODELS SUCH AS THIS WILL SOON BE MAKING THE GBP 20K PLUS MARK FOR SURE!!;THIS IS THE SUPERIOR JDM SPEC STI WITH STRONGER ENGINE, GEARBOX ETC ETC;THE CAR HAS JUST BEEN IMPORTED FROM JAPAN AND WILL BE OFFERED FULLY REGISTERED READY TO DRIVE AWAY ALL INCLUDED IN THE PRICE!! ;INCLUDES FULL REGISTRATION PLATES AND MOT NO EXTRAS TO PAY!;THE VEHICLE IS PHYSICAL AND AVAILABLE READY FOR TEST DRIVES;;WE OFFER DELIVERY TO ANYWHERE IN THE UK !!;;PAY ON DELIVERY!!;PARTICULARS INCUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO;Subaru Impreza sti in white fresh import grade 4 import;109672 km;65803miles;Stock engine;Hks air intake;Hks electronic boost controller;Hks Turbo timer;Turbo boost dial;Bc coil overs;Folding mirrors;Alpine twindin;Cdplayer;Momo steering;Twin airbags on dash;Sti red stitched with blue suede front seats;Privacy glass;Stainless cat back;Recent service;Cam belt done at 83713km;Sti strut brace;Red stuff brake pads;Sti high rise boot spoiler;;;BODYWORK IS VERY TIDY AND WILL COME WITH A VERY LONG MOT AND A FRESH SERVICE DONE BY USING VERY HIGH QUALITY OILS ETC.;;DRIVEWISE SHE DRIVES ABSOLUTELY PERFECT AND BOOSTS WELL THROUGH ALL GEARS WITH NO LOSS OF POWER IN HIGH REV RANGE.;;NO DENTS OR ANY SIGNS OF PREVIOUS REPAIR ON THE CAR.;;MECHANICALLY IT IS VERY STOCK AND HAS BEEN RUN ON STOCK BOOST HENCE THE ENGINE IS UNMOLESTED AND SHOWS VERY HEALTHY SIGNS.;;PLEASE DONT FORGET TO LOOK ON OUR WEBSITE FOR 50 PLUS PICS OF THIS CAT TO SHOW EVERY POSSIBLE ANGLE AND TO ALSO INDICATE THE TRANSPARENCY WE SHOW. ;;WE CAN DELIVER THIS CAR NATIONWIDE AND CAN TAKE ANY CAR IN PART EXCHANGE

    • Mileage: 65000 mi
    For sale
    £9,995 £9,995
  • SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI TYPE UK Track Prepared Widetrack 2005

    £13,500 £13,500

    Rare Black widetrack blobeye impreza, Very light very capable vehicle now, RA motorsport fully Forged 2.1 Engine semi closed deck, oil cooler, guages, V34 Turbo dyno print at 340bhp, capable of 500 with different turbo, Full weld in cage by RJS autocare, Big brakes K Sport, XXR alloys with 888 rubber, HKS 3" system, HKS intake etc, in RA motorsport just now for a check over and service before sale. No expense spared, GBP GBP GBP GBP spend in last 8 months.

    • Mileage: 92000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.994
    For sale
    £13,500 £13,500
  • SUBARU IMPREZA GB270 2007

    £11,995 £11,995

    2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5 GB270 Prodrive Performance Pack WRX. World Rally Mica Blue with black upholstery. A stunning Impreza that has been cherished and in beautiful condition, having covered just 39,000 miles. A rare, final edition GB270 Impreza, number 286 of 300. Factory rear wing, Prodrive alloy wheels, mesh grille, and STi style bumpers. Fitted with the Prodrive Performance Pack - 266bhp, 0-60 in 5.3 secs. The cam belt has been changed during the last 1,000 miles and the car has recently had new discs and pads all round. If you are looking for a final edition Impreza then this car is well worth a look, it is a car we think any enthusiast would be proud to own and show. Absolutely any inspection is welcome. Viewing is highly recommended and we know you won't be disappointed. All major debit and credit cards accepted. Please contact us for any further information. Delivery can be arranged.;

    • Mileage: 39000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.457
    For sale
    £11,995 £11,995
    TA Classics
    Office 01604 593445 / Mobile 0 View contact number
    TA Classics
    Office 01604 593445 / Mobile 0 View contact number