Possibly Needing a New DD, Looking at 02 / 03 WRX
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This is a discussion on Possibly Needing a New DD, Looking at 02 / 03 WRX within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey guys, within the next year I will possibly be looking for a new daily driver. Obviously the new WRX ...

  1. #1
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    Possibly Needing a New DD, Looking at 02 / 03 WRX

    Hey guys, within the next year I will possibly be looking for a new daily driver. Obviously the new WRX / STi are appealing cars, but I just can't afford that kind of car right now. Anything over $10k is absolutely out of the question, anything between $7500 and $10k is a stretch, and I can definitely afford anything less than $7500.

    I want something fun and practical so Subaru would be an obvious choice. My question is to you guys, how dependable are these 12 and 13 year old WRX's? I understand that it's a turbo car so that means there are more things that can go wrong -- more expensive things too. But as long as the previous owners cared for the car, should I be worried about these cars with 100k to 150k miles on them?

    Also, what are some common problems? It seems that the O2 sensor seems to go out a lot in these from what I see, but are there any MAJOR problems I will be facing with these cars? I'd really like to own a Subaru but don't want to dig myself into a money pit.

    Thanks guys.


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  3. #2
    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    Not good daily drivers imo.

    Practical? yes
    Reliable? yes
    fun? yes
    Expensive to own and maintain? yes, more so now considering age. will use premium 93 octane, the awd (four axles, 3 diffs, replace all tires at once, etc.)
    old? yes!!! Old cars have some of the darndest things go wrong.

    Complete USED WRX Buying Checklist
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    The turbo itself isn't a big reliability issues like a lot of people think, it's the things that are auxiliary to it, like vacuum lines etc.

    o2 sensors going out? not any more than regular cars.

    When I think of daily drivers I think cheap FWD econo boxes. 87 octane, 150Hp, manual trans. etc etc. Just remember these were expensive cars when they were new, so maybe not the best daily-driver/beater. But nearly all of us on this website daily our WRX's and STi's. So, they can make good daily's but are they the cheapest or most ideal? no. Just go test drive some and decide for yourself.

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    Possibly Needing a New DD, Looking at 02 / 03 WRX

    Yes not the most economical I know lol. However the AWD is nice (rough winters here) and sometimes a smile on your face is worth the extra money. Just not if we are talking $2k+ in repairs year after year or something ridiculous. My friend had a 90's BMW 5-Series in high school. Thing about killed him in repair costs lol.


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    Registered User wreckingball man's Avatar
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    Definitely not BMW repair costs. Sometimes depends on the luck of the draw too. Make sure you read the used buying checklist thread I linked. It will tell you what to look for and do as to avoid any major problems.

    Otherwise I've been very impressed by the reliability of subarus in general.

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    Alright thanks man. I appreciate it!


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    Registered User Monk_Knight's Avatar
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    My 03 currently sits with 187,000 miles on it... modified to Stage 2 power levels... only things I've had go wrong in the 90k miles I've had it was a clutch wearing out and a radiator hose springing a leak.

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    Administrator RayfieldsWRX's Avatar
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    The 2 bugeye (2002-2003) WRX's that I've had have been fantastic DD's, modified in a number of ways on both cars. What is a "good DD", is subjective. My car, with its Prodrives/KYB's might rattle your teeth, while being about right for me. Great mpgs? No, with mods, my car gets around 24mpg, because I don't race from stoplight 100 yards to the next stoplight.

    Reliability? The challenge would be to find an unmolested, well-maintained bugeye. Find an older fellow who's offloading his apparently stock car. If the paint and interior look good, the engine has probably been similarly maintained. In that form, I'd put it to nearly what you'd expect from a 12-year-old Japanese car.
    If it's been modified, run away. At this point it's probably been flogged for a long time.
    --Ray
    Grandfather of the Bugeye Mafia
    2013 Subaru BRZ Limited
    2002 Subaru WRX Bugeyebrid Wagon

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    Do you think I would be better off trying to save up some extra money to possibly get an '06 WRX?


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