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Old 11-06-2004, 07:57 PM   #1
BradM
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Question 2005 Impreza 2.5RS pros and cons?

So, as you can see I'm new to these forums and new to Subaru in general. I've been in a modified WRX that was quite impressive, but that's the end of my first-hand familiarity.

I'm looking to buy a new car this Spring, and in my price range the 2.5RS is a serious contender.

For reference here's what I'm looking at:

2005 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS
2005 Mazda 3 5 Door
2005 Scion tC

Unfortunately, my local Subie dealer didn't have any manual transmission 2.5RS's on the lot, so I couldn't drive one.

Can anyone provide me with some general information on performance/handling of the 2.5RS with the Sport Package?

Can I assume that its handling is comparable to a stock WRX? As far as power goes, I'd imagine I'm looking at good low end power but far, far less on the upper end than the WRX?

Is it a fun drive? Any subjective comments on the car are more than welcome. Thanks!

Brad
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Old 11-06-2004, 08:24 PM   #2
brunetmj
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I have owned a STI a WRX and now the RS. In regard to fun it is not very close. It handles well and it's 2.5 liter engine does have power. But lacks the ferocity that the other two cars have. It is probably a car for someone who is more practical minded. Uses regular gas, less car insurance and probably better gas mileage. I like the car and it suits my needs at this time. I do regret sometimes that I got an automatic. The stick would likely be more fun.
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Old 11-06-2004, 09:26 PM   #3
BradM
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My main concern is the cost of the vehicle and not so much cost of insurance, gas, etc. I'm looking to get something new, <$20K, reasonably sport and fun, good warranty.

I plan on keeping my RWD Nissan for a fun project car, so I don't want the new car payments to completely eat away at the budget for the project.

I'd definitely be getting a manual transmission, no matter which vehicle I end up with.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
johnb732002
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I'd get a low miles WRX if I were you. You can get one for under 20 and they are generally well taken care of. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnb732002
I'd get a low miles WRX if I were you. You can get one for under 20 and they are generally well taken care of. Just my 2 cents.
Ditto. Im sure you can get a good used 04 WRX for under 20k if you look hard.

02-03 WRXs go for about less than 15k, depending on milage etc...


-Mark
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Old 11-07-2004, 01:17 AM   #6
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03-04 WRX is my vote for U. I own a 01 2.5RS and the power is not that great at all. I also regret getting an auto tranny.
Ryan
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Old 11-07-2004, 02:02 AM   #7
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The 2.5 has plenty of power for daily driving. It's fast enough to have fun, but not enough to get you in trouble. I love my car and actually like driving it more on a day to day basis than our WRX.
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Old 11-07-2004, 08:46 AM   #8
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ok I've driven both the WRX and the 2.5RS so let me give you some basic on both cars.

WRX is a dog under 3.5k RPM! The 2.5RS have some juice on that range. The WRX eats up way more gas than the 2.5RS. I get no more than 250miles per tank (half city, half highways). The 2.5RS that my friend drives get well over 350 each tank. That's how much of a difference in gas $$. You have to stay at high RPM to take advantage of the WRX's turbo.

My WRX felt a little stiffer compare to the 2.5RS but that could be just me...

The drive on 2.5RS is definitely fun, its no where slow as far as I'm concern. I sometimes regret getting the WRX since gas is so damn expensive now, but once the turbo kicks in I forget everything.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:37 AM   #9
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the mazda's going to be the best handler out of that group above. if you get the tC w/ forced induction it'll be the fastest (not sure exactly how it handles)

the tC is damn near impossible to get a test drive in.
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Old 11-07-2004, 04:11 PM   #10
BradM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebellion
the mazda's going to be the best handler out of that group above. if you get the tC w/ forced induction it'll be the fastest (not sure exactly how it handles)

the tC is damn near impossible to get a test drive in.
Yeah, the Mazda is supposed to have pretty good handling. I've heard some complain that it's a bit too stiff even (doesn't really concern me). I have heard that it feels a little sluggish, which may be related to gearing. Since they wouldn't let me drive one of those dozen on the lot, I have no idea.

The tC looks good on paper, but the more I read about, the more nervous I get. Scion definitely gives you a lot for your money, but it seems they cut a lot of corners as far as interior materials go. Lots of complaints from tC owners about rattles, creaks, groans, etc.

Are 2.5RS's usually available at or below dealer invoice? If not, I can easily become eligible for the Subaru VIP program.
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Old 11-07-2004, 04:11 PM   #11
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I just brought a 2.5rs during last week, it is a fun car to drive around the town. But compares to WRX and STI, it is still lack of that power. I have also test drive the Mazda3 before i brought the 2.5rs, it is a really good balanced car. But I got the 2.5rs because of the 4wd. And 2.5rs produce more than enough power to go anywhere.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:04 PM   #12
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I was in the same position as you last month. I was looking at:

Impreza RS / WRX
Mazda 3
Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

In my opinion the Impreza is the best. The Lancer had a nice suspension, but the fit and finish quality was very low. The Mazda 3 drove nice, but not as well as the Impreza. I've never driven the Scion.

As for the RS vs. the WRX, I found the RS to be a much better buy. The WRX pulls like a Civic up to ~4K RPM until there's enough boost pressure, and then it pulls fairly hard. The RS has more torque down low and is still fun to drive. I couldn't justify the increase in performance to the increase in price.
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Old 11-08-2004, 01:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionken07
WRX is a dog under 3.5k RPM! The 2.5RS have some juice on that range. The WRX eats up way more gas than the 2.5RS. I get no more than 250miles per tank (half city, half highways). The 2.5RS that my friend drives get well over 350 each tank. That's how much of a difference in gas $$. You have to stay at high RPM to take advantage of the WRX's turbo.
Would explain why you get such lousy gas mileage. I get about 350 per tank in my WRX, but I cruise at 2-2.5k, which gives you more than enough power to keep up with traffic. You don't have to be at high RPMs all the time you know, you can downshift when you want the turbo power.

Out of the 3 you listed, I'd go with the Mazda 3 unless you really want AWD.
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Old 11-09-2004, 12:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdogg3kgt
The 2.5 has plenty of power for daily driving. It's fast enough to have fun, but not enough to get you in trouble. I love my car and actually like driving it more on a day to day basis than our WRX.
I agree whole heartedly with this post. If I could have found a used 2.5RS with a manual transmission a month back, that's what I would have bought. Keep in mind though, I wasn't looking for a powerful car to begin with, just an economical AWD to drive so the 'stang could hibernate.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:20 AM   #15
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I was originally going to buy a WRX, but I found my 2.5RS with 22k for $5,000 less than the rex. I've driving both, the WRX had more power, but I didnt notice it in the city. The RS is a blast to drive. I love my car, and never regret the purchase. If you decide to get one, please get the 5MT, it will make it so much more fun. I love 5MT.
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:58 AM   #16
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very true
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Old 11-20-2004, 05:35 PM   #17
BradM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarren
Impreza RS / WRX
Mazda 3
Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart
Sorry to bring back a bit of an old post, but I'm narrowing down the field and had a few RS vs. Mazda 3 questions.

BTW, I'm pretty much down to the Mazda 3 5 Door or an Impreza 2.5RS Sport.

I saw a tC in person, and while it's a screaming deal, I just don't care for the styling and since I don't like moon roofs, that big glass roof would be a waste for me. Besides, I've read some grumblings from Scion owners about the quality of the interior and rattles/squeaks. I've got a friend who has a 3 year old WRX, and that thing is solid as a rock.

As much as I love Nissan, the SE-R Spec V is out of the running because it's just too damn ugly and has no IRS.

So, back to the Mazda 3. How did it feel compared to the RS? With both having relatively large 4 cylinder engines, did you feel the extra weight of the Impreza and drivetrain loss compared to the Mazda?

How did the suspension feel compared to the 2.5RS?

BTW, does the 2.5RS share the same suspension components as a WRX? I like the way my friend's WRX rides.
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Old 11-20-2004, 09:19 PM   #18
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I think the struts are the same, but the spring rates are different. A set of Prodrive springs would do wonders for the ride and handling. I had a set on my 02 RS and they were awesome. The Impreza is going to be great in bad weather/snow. There are plenty of things you can do to the car to make it perform better, but keep in mind it won't be at the level a stock WRX is at powerwise. The chassis responds well to suspension and brake upgrades. PM me if you have any questions, I used to have an RS I put a fair amount of time into. Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:55 PM   #19
Crash477
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actually, you can make an RS as powerfull as a stock WRX. Just will take alot of money. the chasis is the same on the RS, and WRX.
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Old 11-21-2004, 08:14 AM   #20
lionken07
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oh one more thing I didn't mention in my eariler post. The gearing is better in the RS than my WRX. It felt a lot closer together than my WRX. That's another fun factor you might want to look into (if your getting a 5speed). please tell me your getting a 5speed..
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Old 11-21-2004, 05:05 PM   #21
BradM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionken07
oh one more thing I didn't mention in my eariler post. The gearing is better in the RS than my WRX. It felt a lot closer together than my WRX. That's another fun factor you might want to look into (if your getting a 5speed). please tell me your getting a 5speed..
Yup, definitely want a 5-speed. As long as I have a working left leg, I'll never drive an automatic.

I'm still going to be keeping my 240SX as a fun little project car (it's really easy to work on), so I don't need the RS to be super fast. I just want something that'll be fun and reliable with decent fit and finish.

Hopefully, modding the Nissan will keep me from voiding the warranty on the Subie.
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Old 11-21-2004, 09:51 PM   #22
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Just got my '05 RS wagon. No interior rattles.
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Old 11-21-2004, 10:02 PM   #23
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I was in the market for a TS last spring; I drove that, then I drove a 2 year old Rex, which was about 1K less in price w/ 40K miles. In a side by side contest, it was no tough choice. The bright red TS still sits on the lot. I could tell immediately what you describe about your friend's WRX being a rock; the TS just felt soggy, but I'm sure the RS is a little better, and the low-end is impressive, but I felt that the WRX would stand up to my driving style better. I rarely get over 250 miles out of a tank, but almost none of my daily driving is on a highway, so I'm in stop and go 90% of the time. I also agree that the Rex is just looking for trouble, it begs to go really, really fast. . . It's a tough choice, and Mazda's are notorious for having expensive parts and being tough to work on--high labor costs. I'd go for the 3 if you are set on a brand new car. I was looking at them, the Matrix, and the TS wagon, and I got bit by the Rex and wouldn't change if for the world. Just an fyi, the insurance is about the same on a 2 year old rex and a brand new compact anything. . . at least through progressive in pittsburgh.
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:01 AM   #24
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The first thing you need to keep in mind is that the RS is going to be NOTHING like a modified WRX. The upside is with the same basic suspension mods, it can handle just like a modded WRX. The power is just never going to be there. Not even as much as a stock WRX. But I gotta say, around town, and in traffic, the RS has better driveability from the naturally aspirated low end torque. The handling wont be as good as the WRX, as it has smaller swaybars and lighter spring/damping rates. The good news is a set of used WRX struts/springs/front and rear sways can be had for under $350 and will make it handle identical to a stock WRX. But trust me on this, get STI takeoff struts/springs for about $500-700. You will outhandle a stock WRX by a mile.

The mazda will handle REALLY well. But its not AWD and its just as slow as the RS, actually I think slower. No real benefit to it IMHO

Scion TC, the new ricer hot car. 14 year old boys will say wow. Other than that I see no reason to buy a watered down toyota. WIth the forced induction kit it will be fast. However if you can afford the couple thousand dollars that kit will cost, you should just buy a WRX to begin with. If you ever for a second start saying "well car X will be great if I do modification X to it, then you need to research how much Mod X will cost you. It may or may not be worth it. I looked at TC's for a buddy. A TC with a couple options ends up right around the $20,000 mark. With the forced induction kit you are going to end up paying less for a brand new WRX.
And again, FWD.
You will be able to modify the RS for a LOT less money than you will ever be ablt to change anything on the TC or Mazda. You are almost 100% going to want to mod. Trust me on this one. Its a disease
Buy the RS, then shoot me a PM, next time I come down to visit my parents I'll hook up with ya and take you out in a 300+whp full suspension modded rolbar'd WRX terror ride
The MAJOR plus is AWD. Reading gets snow. (I grew up in outside birdsboro, closer to Amity, hung out in Exeter, got high at the pagoda)
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Old 11-22-2004, 05:02 PM   #25
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BradM, i am going through the exact same purchasing decision as you. I'm looking at the mazda 3 (either wagon or sedan, undecided) and the RS wagon. i've driven and commented on both on this site, and i'm definitely leaning towards the suby. the 3 is obviously a newer car and has a much nicer interior than the RS, and comes with more comfort/convenience features for the money. despite the two cars' similar dimensions, i also found the 3 to be roomier and more comfortable in both the front and the back. but it's no secret that subaru, especially with the impreza line, has always scrimped on their interior and put the real money into the guts of the car. the RS has excellent crash safety ratings, has the better engine (felt much more responsive, even with the added weight of awd) and i felt it handled better. I think the steering feel was about the same, but the impreza definitely felt more "tossable" for me. the awd is a major factor for me as well, as i live up in montreal. one certainly does not *need* awd up here,as snow clearing in this city is decent, and fwd with snows is pretty good as it is, but awd believers insist that it's those few instances when you do need it where awd pays for itself. as for the WRX, i gave that car serious consideration, but it came down to budget, driving style, and looks (i know, shameful :-p). i like the immediate response that you get with low end torque, and to that end, for me, the RS became much more competitive with the WRX, and $10K (canadian) would have been hard to justify. also, the more affordable used WRX's are pre-2004, which means bugeye lamps, which i still cannot stand. so those factors put the WRX out of the running for me. bottom line: i will prolly choose a 5M 'rezza RS wagon over a mazda 3 due to superior power, handling, and awd...actually, add exclusivity to that mix too, as up here in montreal the Mazda3 is about as rare as a french accent.
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