The 2.5RS Is the Unsung Hero of the Subaru Impreza Family

While most of the world watched Subaru dominate the World Rally Championship in the mid-’90s while simultaneously enjoying the fruits of those labors in the form of the race-bred road-going Subaru WRX STI, those of us the United States were left wanting. But in 1998, to test the waters, Subaru gave us the Impreza 2.5RS—and the success of that car is the reason Subaru finally brought the WRX to our shores in 2001.

The two-door Impreza 2.5RS, like the one above, is somewhat of the last of its kind, in that Subaru stopped making coupe versions of the now-legendary performance sedan in 2000. Considering it also “first high-performance Subaru Impreza in the US” status, and the 2.5RS seen here might be a collector car someday.

That said, this particular 2.5RS currently on sale on Bring a Trailer isn’t exactly in show-car condition, but it is an affordable way to get a taste of early-2000s AWD entertainment. From the factory, the Impreza 2.5RS pumped out 165 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque from its 2.5-liter flat four engine before sending that to all four wheels. With such a short wheelbase, the handling was sharp and responsive—the sort of behavior pro drivers might describe as “lively.”

The interior and exterior are in decent condition, except for a bit of corrosion on the undercarriage and in the engine bay—but for a car that spent its life in the Salt Belt and is showing 88,654 miles on the odometer, it’s par for the course. And the relative lack of aftermarket parts make this Impreza a bit of a rarity, as a lot of ’90s Japanese performance cars were modified to hell and back; this Subaru’s owner only added Borla headers and a cat-back exhaust to help the flat-four engine breathe a little better.

As of this writing, this 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS is currently listed at $3,100 with two days left on the auction block, but don’t count on it staying that low; other examples of the 2.5RS from the same year with more than double the miles are selling elsewhere for a little over $10,000. Is owning a unique slice of Subaru history worth that kind of money? If you’ve ever driven one, the answer is an obvious yes.

2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS 5-Speed

This 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS coupe is finished in silver over a grey cloth interior and is powered by a 2.5L flat-four paired with a 5-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. The seller acquired the car just under two years ago, and modifications include a Borla exhaust and headers, a Stromung catalytic converter, and Stoptech brake rotors and pads. This Impreza is offered with service receipts, clean Carfax, and a clean Missouri title in the seller’s name.

This 2.5RS is finished in silver, and exterior features compared to the base Impreza included a more aggressive front bumper with fog lights, a hood scoop, and a rear spoiler from the Japanese-market Impreza WRX STI. The seller reports that the front bumper and hood were repainted under previous ownership, and corrosion is shown in the roof ahead of the sunroof panel and under the door molding.

The factory 16″ alloys wear Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric All-Season tires. Stoptech Sport brake rotors and pads were added by the previous owner.

The cabin is upholstered in grey cloth and features air conditioning, cruise control, dual front airbags, and a power sunroof. The factory Clarion cassette stereo with CD player has been retained and the display is noted to have partial function.

A set of white gauges sit behind the leather covered steering wheel. The odometer shows just under 87k miles, 4k of which have been added during the seller’s year and a half ownership.

The 2.5L EJ25 flat-four is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive, and modifications include Borla unequal length headers, a Borla cat-back exhaust, and a Stromung high-flow catalytic converter. The seller notes that the rear O2 sensor has been recently replaced, though there are intermittent check engine codes P0420 and P0442. Recent service included a coolant flush, new battery, and right front ball joint.

Corrosion is shown around the undercarriage, suspension, and radiator bracket. Additional images of the underbody can be viewed in the gallery below.

A service in December 2017 included a new air filter, fuel filter, NGK spark plugs and wires, and an oil change. In November 2018 an oil change was performed and the fluids topped off. Various service records and receipts are included in the sale.

The 2019 Carfax report indicates no accidents or other damages.

The seller has provided various engine idle and cold start videos which are shown above.


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