Subaru Impreza / Subaru WRX STi

Carpedia

Dec 05th, 2019

Subaru Impreza / Subaru WRX STi

The Subaru Impreza is a compact or C-segment car that was introduced by Subaru as a replacement for the Leone. It was initially called Loyale but later changed to Impreza. The vehicle comes in four main body styles, namely, coupe, wagon, sedan, and hatchback.

The first Subaru Impreza was introduced in 1992. Since then, it has gone through five generational changes and continues to be in production to this day.

First Gen (1992-2001)

The first Impreza was released in Japan in November 1992 and was available as four-door sedans and five-door hatchbacks in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive. These models were also known as Subaru Outback Sport and Subaru Grand Leone. The use of Sudan’s boxer engine was continued with Impreza as it reduced vibration and torque steer. 

The car went through two facelifts which modified its external and internal designs. During this generation, a limited-edition car was introduced – the Casa Blanca. It was a sports wagon with retro-inspired front and rear end treatment. Another model, the rally-inspired WRX, also underwent quite a few modifications. 

In Australia, the Impreza came with these powertrain variants from 1992 to 2000:

  • (Hatchback) – 1820cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (76kW, 147 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1820cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (76kW, 147 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1820cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (76kW, 147 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1820cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (76kW, 147 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1597 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (66kW, 128 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1597cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (76kW, 147 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (155kW, 290 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (160kW, 290 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (76kW, 147 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (85kW, 170 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (88kW, 175 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (88kW, 175 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1597cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (70kW, 137 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1597cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (70kW, 137 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (155kW, 290 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (155kW, 290 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (155kW, 270 Nm)
  • (Coupe) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (206kW, 353 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (206kW, 353 Nm)

These variants started as lightweight, with minor weight gains in ensuing models. They delivered outstanding performance without the hefty price, and people loved them. What began with 176.5 kW uprated to 191.2 kW, and later, 206 kW. A limited-edition series sporting a 224 kW engine was also introduced. There were only 300 of these manufactured, all of which came with a wing that was tri-planar and a seemingly huge front air splitter.

Second Gen (2000-2007) WRX STi  

The “New Age” Impreza was introduced in Japan in August 2000 with upsized models. The car went through two facelifts in this period.

The first model had an ovoid headlight design, giving it the nickname of “Bug Eye”. The width and height of the sedans and hatchbacks increased. The added width improved the stability, which was necessary as the chassis was intended for rallying. The revisions in the design also brought about a rise in torsional rigidity. 

The first facelift happened in 2002 after the mixed reviews for the headlights. The design was then changed to a more rectangular one, gaining the nickname of ‘Blob Eye’. The new Impreza was available in the following trims - 2.5 RS Sedan and TS Wagon, 2.5 Outback Sport Wagon, WRX Sedan and Wagon, and the new WRX STI Sedan. 

The second facelift happened in 2005 with the redesigning of not only the headlights but the taillights and bumpers as well. This version got the nickname of 'Hawk Eye'. Subaru's jet intake and wings grille design first appeared on the Subaru R2 Kei car in this period.

The WRX was also updated during this time, retaining the five-speed manual transmission gearbox design. In Australia, WRX first came with an EJ305 rated at 218 PS at 6,000 rpm. It received improvements in 2002, including a quicker acceleration. The specifications of the model were then changed to the ones in the Japanese domestic market WRX to improve overtaking and in-gear acceleration. Like all other Imprezas in this generation, it received a facelift. 

A limited-edition Subaru Impreza WRX WRP10 was also released solely for the Australian market. Like every name has a meaning behind it, so did WRP10; the WR stands for ‘World Rally, the P stands for the company’s partnership with Pirelli Tires, and the 10 is for the tenth anniversary of this partnership.

Powertrains available in Australia from 2001 to 2007 were:

  • (Sedan) –1994 cc T4 petrol engine, 6-speed manual gearbox (195kW, 343 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (160kW, 292 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (160kW, 292 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (160kW, 292 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (92kW, 184 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (92kW, 184 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (112kW, 223 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (112kW, 223 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (168kW, 300 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (168kW, 300 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 6-speed manual gearbox (206kW, 382 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (179kW, 340 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (160kW, 292 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc T4 petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (160kW, 292 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (92kW, 184 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (92kW, 184 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 2457cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed Manual gearbox (112kW, 223 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 2457cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (112kW, 223 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (169kW, 320 Nm)

Third Gen (2007-2014)

This generation Impreza debuted in 2007, highlighting two versions – a naturally-aspirated Impreza and the turbocharged WRX. The five-door hatchback came first, with the four-door sedan following it in 2008. Meantime, new five-door hatchback-styled body replaced the wagon.

Petrol engines, which were flat-four and naturally-aspirated, comprised of many variations. Powertrains available in Australia from 2008 to 2013 were:

  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (195kW, 343 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 6-speed manual gearbox (221kW, 407 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed automatic transmission (221kW, 350 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 4-speed automatic transmission (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1994cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed manual gearbox (195kW, 343 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 5-speed automatic transmission (221kW, 350 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 2457cc T4 petrol engine, 6-speed manual gearbox (221kW, 407 Nm)

In September 2007, the hatchback, from this generation, was released by Subaru Australia. Trims for the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre versions were R, RX and RS.

The 2.5 litre, turbocharged, is what the WRX reserved. In 2008 came the sedan-styled body, which paralleled the hatchback’s model range. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program, or ANCAP, tested the Impreza, ending up with an impressive score of 34.66 out of 37 points as well as a four-star rating in the pedestrian safety test.

Fourth Gen (2011-2016)

The five-door hatchback and the four-door sedan versions of the fourth-generation Impreza, called Subaru XV, were revealed at the NY International Auto Show. 

Powertrains available in Australia from 2014 to 2016 were:

  • (Hatchback) – 1995cc 4-cyl petrol engine, CVT automatic transmission (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Hatchback) – 1995cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 6-speed manual gearbox (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1995cc 4-cyl petrol engine, CVT automatic transmission (110kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1995cc 4-cyl petrol engine, 6-speed manual gearbox (110kW, 196 Nm)

The early US models include an option of a 2.0 litre DOHC engine, producing 110 kW, five-speed manual or Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifting six-speed manual mode. The whole trim package included base 2.0i, 2.9i Premium and 2.0i Limited, which was considered quite convenient.

Apart from regular models, Subaru offered the Impreza Sport Hatchback in the Premium and Limited trim levels as well. In 2011, Subaru demonstrated the XV concept vehicle as well, which was based on a raised suspension version of the 5-door hatchback. Coming to sub-models, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, released in 2013, is a version of the Subaru XV Crosstrek, with a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor rated at 10 kW and 65 N.m.

With regards to WRX STI, the newer model retains the same engine as the previous generation STI; the 2.5 litre EJ257 but modifications have slightly increased the fuel economy. It has also provided a 6 kW boost in power, from 221 kW to 227 kW, but torque has dropped from 407 nm to 394 nm at 4000 rpm. On top of this, all combined, a new top speed reaching 258 km/h was recorded as well.

Fifth Gen (2016-Present)

The new and improved Impreza went on sale in Japan in October 2016 and won the Car of the Year Japan Award, while it entered North America and Australia in December 2016. The massive sales in Japan clearly showed a wider range of customers there. A new Subaru Global Platform was also introduced for this generation and is said to underpin all upcoming ones. This implies higher rigidity, greater strength, lighter weight, better rolling resistance, and responsive steering. 

Powertrains available in Australia from 2017 till date are:

  • (Hatchback) – 1995cc 4-cyl petrol engine, CVT automatic transmission (115kW, 196 Nm)
  • (Sedan) – 1995cc 4-cyl petrol engine, CVT automatic transmission (115kW, 196 Nm)

The XV model was presented and was one of the first compact SUVs to be seen in Australia. It won Oz Roamer’s Best AWD SUV under $40,000 for two consecutive years and was the runner-up for Australia’s Best All-Wheel Drive Sports Utility Wagon under $50,000.

As for the WRX, there's still no decision to move to the Subaru Global Platform. However, the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show already showcased the Viziv Performance concept, which has a longer wheelbase of 2730 mm and a minor overall length increment to 4639 mm. Later, in the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, more modifications were shown. The marketing director has implied on making the next versions hybrid and electric. 

If you have a Subaru Impreza requiring parts, you can check out our listings at Carpart.com.au and quickly find sellers of auto parts and accessories. We’re operating across Australia, so it’s easier for you to find local sellers carrying the product that you need! And if you’re selling an Impreza of whatever year and version, or other makes and model for that matter, this is the same place to go, just hit us up at hello@carpart.com.au and we’d be right with you!

- Amara Z.