Junkyard Find: 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2002 subaru impreza 2 5 rs sedan
The Subaru Impreza has been with us since the 1993 model year, and you’ll still see plenty of the first-generation Impreza Outback wagons on the streets (and in the junkyards) of Colorado. All US-market Subarus got all-wheel-drive starting in the 1997 model year, so the company’s American marketers had to show a distinction between the outdoorsy/nature-loving image of the Impreza Outbacks and the rally-inspired image of the other Imprezas when the second-generation cars appeared here for 2001. Here’s a hard-to-find early-second-gen Impreza 2.5 RS sedan, showing off its WRX-like styling in a Denver self-serve yard.
In fact, all ’02 Impreza sedans that weren’t WRXs were RS 2.5s; the Outback Sport came only in wagon form.
The first-generation WRX never made it to American Subaru showrooms, so the ’01 WRX was the first to appear on our roads (legally, that is). The 2.5 RS sedan shared some body parts from the WRX, along with some WRX-ish wheels and a big decklid spoiler. Just as the Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally looked sort of Evo-ish while packing a commuter-grade econo-engine beneath the hood, so did the Impreza 2.5 RS get the ordinary 165-horse, naturally-aspirated H4 engine that went into all those jillions of Legacies and Foresters.
The installation of a Fun Reduction Device made this car even less WRX-like.
But! Someone decided this car looked sufficiently racy to give the wheels the red-paint treatment.
I don’t know if a real WRX scoop was glued/bolted here or if it was a furiously aftermarket unit, because some junkyard shopper purchased it before I got here.
OK, this JDM ad is for the second-gen WRX sedan, but it’s just so heroic that we all need to watch it.For links to more than 2,000 additional Junkyard Finds ( including many Subarus), visit the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
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  • V16 V16 on Feb 22, 2021

    Why would an sport sedan buyer choose this over the new Sonata N series? The V6 motor is the ONLY plus.

    • Johnds Johnds on Mar 01, 2021

      My school teacher had the 2002 Sonata N Line. Definitely a better choice over a 2002 Impreza. It was pretty sporty. For some reason, most sonatas I see from 2002 were silver, white, or black. The bug eye headlights were very popular at that time.

  • DeClercq DeClercq on Mar 01, 2021

    Well this is sad to see. I bought one of these new back in the day because I couldn't afford the WRX. Mine was dark blue and a 5-spd manual. Traded it in a couple of years later for a 2004 Forester XT, 5-spd. Now THAT was a fun ride.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?