Is the 2003 Subaru WRX Worth Buying? An Unbiased Review of Performance, Reliability, and Value

Are you in the market for a reliable, high-performance car that won’t break the bank? If so, the 2003 Subaru WRX might be a great option for you. This iconic car, which combines sporty design with practicality and power, has been a popular choice for car enthusiasts and drivers alike for nearly two decades.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 2003 Subaru WRX and provide you with an unbiased assessment of its strengths, weaknesses, and overall value. From its history to its engine, safety features, and more, you’ll find everything you need to know before deciding whether to buy this classic car.

History of the 2003 Subaru WRX

The 2003 Subaru WRX is part of the second generation of the Impreza line, which began in 2001 and lasted until 2007. As a rally-inspired car, the WRX was designed to combine speed, handling, and practicality, making it an appealing option for drivers who valued both performance and everyday use.

One of the most notable features of the 2003 WRX is its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 227 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. This engine allows the car to go from 0 to 60 mph in just over six seconds, making it a true performance vehicle.

Performance of the 2003 Subaru WRX

As mentioned, the 2003 Subaru WRX is a powerful car with an impressive engine. Its five-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive system also contribute to its handling and responsive performance, making it a joy to drive both on the road and in more adventurous environments.

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However, the car’s handling can be a bit stiff at times, and some drivers have noted that the suspension could be more forgiving. Additionally, the car’s fuel economy, while not terrible, is not particularly impressive either, with an average of around 20 mpg overall.

Reliability and Safety of the 2003 Subaru WRX

When it comes to reliability, the 2003 Subaru WRX is generally considered a solid choice. Its engine and transmission are known for their durability and longevity, and many drivers have put hundreds of thousands of miles on their WRXs with no major issues.

Safety wise, the 2003 WRX earned high marks in crash tests and comes equipped with side airbags, anti-lock brakes, and other safety features. However, some drivers have noted that the car’s visibility leaves something to be desired, and the lack of modern safety features like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning may be a drawback for some.

Value of the 2003 Subaru WRX

Overall, the 2003 Subaru WRX is a great value for drivers who want a high-performance car at an affordable price. With its combination of speed, handling, and practicality, it offers a lot of bang for your buck and still manages to stand out from the crowd nearly twenty years later.

That said, the car’s age does mean that there are some downsides to consider. Parts for the 2003 WRX may be harder to find and more expensive than for newer cars, and the car’s resale value may not be as strong as it once was.


Q: How much should I expect to pay for a 2003 Subaru WRX?
A: Prices for a 2003 WRX can vary depending on a number of factors, including mileage, condition, and location. On average, you can expect to pay between $6,000 and $10,000 for a well-maintained car.

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Q: Is the 2003 Subaru WRX difficult to maintain?
A: While some parts may be harder to find and more expensive than for newer cars, the 2003 WRX is generally considered easy to maintain for a performance car. Regular oil changes and maintenance can help keep the car running smoothly for years to come.

Q: Are there any common issues to watch out for with the 2003 Subaru WRX?
A: Like any car, there are a few common issues to be aware of with the 2003 WRX. These include turbo failure, head gasket issues, and suspension problems. However, many of these issues can be prevented or mitigated with proper maintenance and care.


Overall, the 2003 Subaru WRX is a great choice for drivers who want a reliable, practical, and high-performance car at an affordable price. While there are some downsides to consider, the car’s turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive system, and solid safety and reliability record make it a great option for a wide range of drivers. So, is the 2003 Subaru WRX worth buying? We think it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you’re in the market for a fun, eye-catching car that won’t break the bank.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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