The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Subaru Impreza 1998

Hello there, fellow car enthusiast!

Used Subaru Impreza 1998

Are you in the market for a used Subaru Impreza 1998? Look no further, as we have compiled the ultimate guide to help you find the perfect one for you. Subaru Impreza is well-known for its rally heritage, all-wheel drive system, and reliability. However, before you make a purchase, it’s important to consider certain factors that may affect your ownership experience. In this guide, we will cover everything from the car’s history to what to look for when inspecting the car.

Introduction to the Subaru Impreza 1998

The Subaru Impreza 1998 is a compact car that was manufactured by Subaru from 1992 until 2014. It was offered in two body styles – a sedan and a five-door hatchback. The Impreza was known for its impressive performance and handling, making it a popular choice among car enthusiasts and racers. It went through several upgrades and changes in its long production run, but the 1998 model year is considered one of the best and most sought-after versions of the Impreza.

History of the Model

The Subaru Impreza was first introduced in 1992 as a replacement for the aging Leone. It was designed to be a versatile and reliable car that could be used for both everyday driving and spirited driving. The Impreza quickly gained a reputation for its outstanding performance and handling, thanks to its all-wheel-drive system and sporty suspension. It was also equipped with a range of powerful engines, including the turbocharged WRX and STi models that were introduced in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The 1998 Impreza was part of the car’s second generation, which was introduced in 1992. This generation featured a more refined and modern design, as well as several performance upgrades. The 1998 model year marked the Impreza’s facelift, with updated front and rear fascias, bigger wheels, and an improved suspension. It was also equipped with a new range of engines, including a 2.2-liter flat-four engine that produced 137 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque, and a turbocharged version that produced 227 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque.

Features and Specifications

The 1998 Impreza came in several trim levels, including the base model, the L, the Outback, and the sporty RS. It was available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, and either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The Impreza’s all-wheel-drive system was one of its standout features, as it provided excellent traction and stability in all types of driving conditions.

The Impreza’s standard features included air conditioning, power steering, power windows, and an AM/FM radio. Higher trim levels added features such as leather seats, a sunroof, and a CD player. The RS model was the most highly equipped trim level, with sporty styling cues such as bigger wheels, a larger rear spoiler, and a hood scoop. It also featured upgraded brakes and suspension components for improved handling and performance.

Under the hood, the Impreza was equipped with a range of engines. The base model came with a 1.8-liter flat-four engine that produced 110 horsepower and 110 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful 2.2-liter flat-four engine was standard on the Outback model and optional on the L and RS models. It produced 137 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged engine was available only on the sporty WRX and STi models, and it produced up to 280 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque.

Popularity and Reputation

The Subaru Impreza 1998 was highly popular among car enthusiasts and rally drivers at the time, thanks to its impressive performance and handling. It was also known for its reliability and durability, which made it a favorite among drivers who needed a car that could withstand harsh driving conditions. The Impreza’s all-wheel-drive system was especially well-regarded, as it provided excellent traction and stability on both wet and dry roads.

The Impreza was often compared to other compact cars of its time, such as the Honda Civic and the Mazda Protege. The Impreza was generally seen as a more performance-oriented car, with more powerful engines and a sportier suspension. It was also considered to be a more expensive car, due to its higher trim levels and more sophisticated features. Despite its higher price tag, the Impreza remained a popular choice among car buyers who were looking for a reliable and fun-to-drive car.

In conclusion, the Subaru Impreza 1998 was a well-rounded car that offered great performance, reliability, and versatility. Its all-wheel-drive system, powerful engines, and sporty suspension made it a standout among its competitors, and it remains a popular choice among car enthusiasts to this day.

Driving Experience and Performance

The 1998 Subaru Impreza is a compact car that gained popularity in the market due to its impressive performance and handling capabilities. This section discusses how the car feels on the road, its handling and control capabilities, acceleration and top speed, and fuel economy.

Handling and Control

The Impreza’s handling and control capabilities are some of its strongest features. The car’s all-wheel-drive system delivers superior grip and stability, especially in harsh weather conditions. The Impreza’s suspension system is well-tuned, allowing the car to handle sharp turns with ease. The steering is responsive and precise, giving the driver a good feel for the road.

Overall, the Impreza is a fun car to drive, thanks to its agile handling and quick response. The car’s lightweight design adds to its nimble nature, making it a joy to take on winding roads or to push through tight corners.

Acceleration and Top Speed

The 1998 Subaru Impreza comes with two engine options – a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder and a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. The 2.2-liter engine produces 137 horsepower, while the 2.5-liter engine delivers 165 horsepower. The car’s acceleration is decent, with the 2.5-liter option being slightly faster than its smaller counterpart. The Impreza can go from 0 to 60 mph in around 8-9 seconds.

As for top speed, the Impreza can reach a maximum speed of around 130-140 mph, depending on the engine and other factors. While this isn’t a blistering speed by any means, it’s certainly enough for most daily driving scenarios.

Efficiency and Fuel Economy

The Impreza delivers excellent fuel efficiency for its class, especially given its all-wheel-drive system. According to EPA estimates, the 2.2-liter engine can achieve around 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The 2.5-liter engine is slightly less efficient, with estimates of around 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Compared to other compact cars, the Impreza’s fuel economy figures are competitive, but not exceptional. However, the car’s all-wheel-drive system does add some extra weight and complexity that can affect fuel efficiency.

Overall, the 1998 Subaru Impreza is a solid performer when it comes to driving experience and performance. Its handling and control capabilities are excellent, while its acceleration and top speed are respectable for a car of its class. Fuel efficiency is good, although not class-leading, but the all-wheel-drive system makes up for it in terms of added grip and stability.

Problems and Known Issues

If you’re in the market for a used car, the Subaru Impreza 1998 is a popular choice. However, it’s always wise to know what to expect and potential pitfalls. Let’s take a closer look at the most common problems and issues with this model.

Common Mechanical Issues

One common issue with the Subaru Impreza 1998 is its head gasket. The gasket is prone to failing, leading to coolant, oil, and other fluids to mix. This problem can be expensive to fix, requiring a full engine rebuild. Another common problem with the Impreza 1998 is its timing belt. It’s a critical component of the engine and can break without warning, causing engine damage.

The transmission has been known to fail in these models as well, leading to slipping gears or total transmission failure. Rust is also a common issue with the Subaru Impreza 1998, particularly around the rear wheel arches. Keep an eye out for any signs of rust, as it can spread quickly.

Vehicle Safety

When it comes to safety features, the Subaru Impreza 1998 has a few notable features that stand out. Its all-wheel-drive system provides improved traction and handling in slippery conditions. The car also has ABS brakes, which are known for their reliability and effectiveness.

However, the Subaru Impreza 1998 has received mixed reviews concerning its safety. The side-impact protection isn’t as advanced as newer models, and the car’s poor fuel economy can increase the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

Maintenance and Repairs

To keep your Subaru Impreza 1998 running smoothly, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Regular oil changes, tune-ups, and inspections can prevent expensive repairs down the line. It’s also important to keep an eye out for any potential mechanical issues and address them promptly.

Replacing the head gasket, timing belt, and transmission can be costly repairs. However, it’s worth investing in to keep your car running reliably over the long haul. It’s also important to keep your car clean and well-maintained. Regular washes and waxing can prevent rust from forming and prolong your car’s life.

In conclusion, the Subaru Impreza 1998 is a popular used car model with a few common issues and concerns. However, with proper maintenance and care, it can be a reliable and long-lasting car. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for a Subaru Impreza 1998 and maintaining one that you already have.

Modifications and Customizations

The Subaru Impreza 1998 is a beloved car among car enthusiasts. Many people take pride in owning this car and love to customize and modify it to make it their own. In this section, we will discuss the most popular modifications for the Impreza and the customization options available for this model. We will also consider the costs involved in customizing the car, and the benefits of doing so.

Popular Modifications

One of the most popular modifications for the Subaru Impreza 1998 is installing a performance exhaust system. This modification can give the car a deeper sound and increase its performance. Another commonly sought-after modification is a cold air intake. This modification allows the engine to breathe in cooler air, which can result in more power and better fuel efficiency.

For those interested in improving the car’s handling, suspension upgrades are also highly popular. Coilovers, lowering springs, and sway bars are some examples of suspension upgrades that can enhance the car’s performance and handling capabilities. Another popular modification is upgrading the car’s brakes to high-performance brake pads and rotors, which can significantly improve stopping power.

Finally, many Subaru Impreza 1998 owners like to personalize their ride by adding cosmetic modifications. These modifications can include custom wheels, tinted windows, and vinyl wraps, among others. While these modifications do not necessarily improve the car’s performance, they can give the car a unique look and add to its overall appeal.

Customization Options

The Subaru Impreza 1998 has a number of customization options available to its owners. First and foremost, the car’s interior can be customized with upgrades such as racing seats and a new audio system. In addition, the car’s exterior can be modified with aftermarket body kits and spoilers. These modifications can make the car look more aggressive and enhance its aerodynamics.

For those who are interested in performance upgrades, there are many options available as well. The car’s engine can be modified with upgrades such as turbochargers, intercoolers, and high-performance air filters. These modifications can significantly increase the car’s horsepower and torque. The car’s transmission can also be upgraded with a short-shift kit, which can improve the car’s shift speed and accuracy.

Costs and Benefits of Customizations

Customizing a car can be an expensive endeavour, and the Subaru Impreza 1998 is no exception. Performance upgrades can cost thousands of dollars, and cosmetic modifications can also add up quickly. However, there are several benefits to customizing a car. These modifications can significantly improve the car’s performance, making it faster, more agile, and more responsive. In addition, cosmetic modifications can make the car look more unique and personalized.

In conclusion, the Subaru Impreza 1998 is a car that is loved by car enthusiasts all over the world. With its high-performance potential and customizable nature, it’s no wonder that so many people choose to modify and customize this car to make it their own. Whether it’s performance upgrades or cosmetic modifications, there are countless options available for those who are interested in customizing their Subaru Impreza 1998. While customizing a car can be an expensive endeavour, the benefits are well worth it for those who truly love their ride.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Overall Review

After looking at the various aspects of the Subaru Impreza 1998, it is evident that it is a reliable and versatile car that has stood the test of time. Although there were a few drawbacks, the positives definitely outweighed the negatives.

The Impreza 1998 boasted a solid and durable body, which is a testament to Subaru’s engineering. This car came equipped with a 2.5-liter engine that produced 165 hp, which was more than enough for the average driver. In addition, it had excellent handling and responsive steering, making it a joy to drive.

One of the best features of the Subaru Impreza 1998 was its all-wheel-drive system. This meant that it performed well in all kinds of weather and road conditions, especially snow and gravel. Additionally, it had reasonable fuel efficiency, averaging around 25 miles per gallon.

On the downside, the Impreza 1998 had limited space in the backseat, which could be challenging for those with larger families or frequent passengers. The cabin also had a minimalist design that may not be to everyone’s liking.

Final Recommendations

For anyone considering buying a Subaru Impreza 1998, it is essential to keep in mind its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re looking for a car that is reliable, easy to maintain, and performs well under various conditions, then the Impreza 1998 is an excellent option.

However, if you have a large family or regularly need to transport more than a few passengers, you may want to consider other options. Additionally, if you prefer a more luxurious or spacious interior, then the Impreza may not be the best fit for you.

For current owners of the Impreza 1998, it is crucial to keep up with regular maintenance to ensure the vehicle’s longevity. Regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake replacements will keep your car running smoothly for years to come.

Parting Words

In conclusion, the Subaru Impreza 1998 was a reliable, versatile, and long-lasting car that held its own against competitors of the time. It had a solid engine, great all-wheel-drive system, and top-notch handling. Although it had a few drawbacks, it was an overall excellent car and still is a popular choice among car enthusiasts.

Wrapping Up: Thanks for Reading!

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this ultimate guide on buying a used Subaru Impreza 1998. From understanding its features to finding the right model for yourself, this guide has provided you with the knowledge to make a wise decision. We hope that our efforts have helped you in making an informed purchase.

If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with others who might benefit from it. And remember, if you have any doubts or questions, feel free to do your own research or visit a reliable dealership. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you back here soon for more informative articles.


1. Are Subaru Impreza 1998 models reliable?

Yes, Subaru Impreza 1998 models are reliable. They have excellent build quality and are known for their durability and longevity.

2. What is the fuel economy like on a Subaru Impreza 1998?

The fuel economy on a Subaru Impreza 1998 varies depending on the model, transmission and road conditions. On average, it ranges from 20-27 mpg.

3. How much does a used Subaru Impreza 1998 cost?

The cost of a used Subaru Impreza 1998 depends on the model, condition, mileage and location. On average, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $5,000.

4. Does the Subaru Impreza 1998 have a good safety rating?

Yes, the Subaru Impreza 1998 has an excellent safety rating. It has received high marks for its crashworthiness and safety features.

5. Can I take a used Subaru Impreza 1998 off-road?

Yes, you can take a used Subaru Impreza 1998 off-road. It has excellent handling and all-wheel-drive capability, making it an ideal choice for off-road adventures.

6. What is the maintenance cost of a Subaru Impreza 1998?

The maintenance cost of a Subaru Impreza 1998 depends on the model, mileage and condition. On average, you should expect to pay around $500-$1000 annually.

7. What are the common problems with the Subaru Impreza 1998?

Some common problems with the Subaru Impreza 1998 include head gasket failure, oil leaks, and electrical issues. However, if you properly maintain the vehicle, these problems can be avoided.

8. Can I tune a Subaru Impreza 1998?

Yes, you can tune a Subaru Impreza 1998. It has a robust engine with plenty of aftermarket support for tuning and modifications.

9. What is the difference between a Subaru Impreza 1998 2.5RS and WRX?

The Subaru Impreza 1998 2.5RS is a base model with a 2.5-liter engine while the WRX is a high-performance variant with a turbocharged engine. The WRX also has improved suspension and other performance upgrades.

10. Should I buy a used Subaru Impreza 1998?

If you’re looking for a reliable, practical and fun-to-drive car that can handle different road conditions, a used Subaru Impreza 1998 is an excellent choice. However, make sure you do your research and inspect the car thoroughly before making a purchase.