2002 Subaru Impreza Overview

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2002 Subaru Impreza Overview

Big changes are afoot this year for the Subaru Impreza, turning this once seemingly ordinary compact car into a high performance street racer. Gone this year are any coupe models. The 2002 Impreza offers two sedans and three wagons. The biggest addition this year is the WRX sedan and wagon, with a 2.0-liter turbo H4 that peaks at 227-hp, paired with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. It hits 0-60 in just over six seconds. Having existed in Japan for a while and as a competitor in the World Rally Championships, the WRX makes its U.S. debut.

Like the rest of the 2002 Impreza lineup, both WRX sedan and wagon feature full-time AWD, so it's easy to switch between responsible parent to weekend racer. A hood scoop, dual exhaust, sport seats with bolsters, and Momo wrapped leather wheel and shifter add sporty touches. A rear spoiler is standard on the wagon. The WRX also comes standard with a limited slip differential. The other sedan is the carryover RS, which shares its 2.5-liter, 165-hp H4 engine with the Outback Sport wagon and the new TS wagon. For a few dollars less than the WRX, this provides a lot of power, pickup, and fun behind the wheel as well. Both the RS sedan and TS wagon come with power features, cruise control, and leather trim. The Outback Sport adds larger 16-inch wheels, sport seats, and a stiffer suspension. Both sedan and wagons have split-folding rear seats and a trunk pass-through. The wagons expand to 62 cubic feet of space.

The 2002 Impreza also made improvements to its body, making it stiffer for better road handling. ABS brakes and dual-front airbags are standard across the line, with the WRX models also offering side airbags standard. Drivers rave about the off-the-line performance of the WRX and its sporty handling on curvy back roads. The AWD adds extra confidence. Cargo capacity in the wagons also gets high points. Drawbacks include poorly placed cupholders and peeling paint. Drivers have had transmission and clutch problems with the WRX and wish it also came with more options. Rear passenger room is limited, and overall cost of the WRX is high.

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