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I have a question for a friend: He wants a 2002 Impreza and is open to a TS, Outback, or WRX. What should he look for and what motor is the best? Any tips on things to watch out for? He wants to buy one with 70-80k and drive it for a winter car for a few years, hopefully until at least 160k. thanks for any help.

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I have a question for a friend: He wants a 2002 Impreza and is open to a TS, Outback, or WRX. What should he look for and what motor is the best? Any tips on things to watch out for? He wants to buy one with 70-80k and drive it for a winter car for a few years, hopefully until at least 160k. thanks for any help.

 

they all have the same motor (with the exception of the WRX). does he want a wagon or a sedan (if sedan, then obviously the outback is out of hte question). if it's just a winter car and there's snow, i'd probably stay away from the WRX, aside from the obvious lack of need for the turbo, insurance will be higher. i don't th ink there's much difference in ground clearance between the OBS and TS, maybe like half an inch or so. i think the only difference between the OBS and TS are luxury options and a stiffer suspension (the OBS having both more standard options and the stiff suspension, i wanna say the OBS and WRX have the same suspension, but i could be wrong, in either case, the OBS costs more because of this).

 

i have an 03 OBS and i love it, it's a great little car... and the gas mileage is pretty good too. last time i measured, i got 28 mpg, but that includes both city and highway driving (city of providence and philly), and averaging about 70-75 on the highway (i probably could've gotten much better if i kept it around 65, but it was the middle of the night and i wanted to get to philly to see the girlfriend).

 

EDIT: i know the TS and OBS have the EJ25, but it's the phase II not phase I. the phase II is less likely to have the headgasket problem. granted, my car has about 52k on it right now so it's not something i'm worried about in the near future... if it happens, it happens, i'll pay for it. so i guess since he's buying a higher mileage car, he might want to check to see that it doesn't have a headgasket issue in the near future (and he should frankly ask the guy selling the car about it if buying from a dealer), other than that, just look for the standard things... a carfax report is always a good idea...

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A couple of things...

 

A used WRX is more likely to have been beaten and/or modified, just something to consider and watch out for if they want to keep the car for that many miles.

 

A TS is pretty much the same as the OBS, Rizzo is right that the OBS has a wee bit more ground clearance, but it comes from slightly bigger rims/tires and taller springs, not necessarily a *stiffer* suspension though. Subaru calls it a "heavy duty raised suspension" IIRC :rolleyes: Other differences: The OBS has disc brakes in back (vs. the TS drums) and in '02 cruise control was not standard on the TS (it was added for '03). Also the TS had 15" steel rims with plastic wheel covers. The TS lacks a cargo area light, map light and fog lights (all easily added).

 

I vote for the TS or OBS, content-wse, they're similar enough IMO that the aesthetic differences between them are the biggest factor. We've been very happy with the TS and would highly recommend it. We often get 30 mpg on the highway, the car's great in the snow, has good around-town torque and we've never regretted getting it over the WRX.

 

Steve

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A couple of things...

 

A used WRX is more likely to have been beaten and/or modified, just something to consider and watch out for if they want to keep the car for that many miles.

 

A TS is pretty much the same as the OBS, Rizzo is right that the OBS has a wee bit more ground clearance, but it comes from slightly bigger rims/tires and taller springs, not necessarily a *stiffer* suspension though. Subaru calls it a "heavy duty raised suspension" IIRC :rolleyes: Other differences: The OBS has disc brakes in back (vs. the TS drums) and in '02 cruise control was not standard on the TS (it was added for '03). Also the TS had 15" steel rims with plastic wheel covers. The TS lacks a cargo area light, map light and fog lights (all easily added).

 

I vote for the TS or OBS, content-wse, they're similar enough IMO that the aesthetic differences between them are the biggest factor. We've been very happy with the TS and would highly recommend it. We often get 30 mpg on the highway, the car's great in the snow, has good around-town torque and we've never regretted getting it over the WRX.

 

Steve

 

OBS has drums in rear... they didn't add rear discs until 04 or 05 in the OBS.

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