2001 Impreza New Car Test Drive
In the 1980s they called them 'pocket rockets,' subcompact economy cars with a little more power and better handling than the standard models. Most automakers built them because pocket rockets delivered good, clean, practical fun at a reasonable price and created some interest in the showroom.
In the late 1990s, when 'sport' is more often associated with 'utility,' pocket rockets come few and far between. Fortunately, the Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS proves that the concept lives.
With the 2.5 RS, Subaru takes its subcompact Impreza, installs the 2.5-liter engine from its larger Legacy sedan and wagon, adds a screaming rear spoiler and, Viola! An Impreza worthy of the pocket-rocket heritage.
Better still, the Impreza 2.5 RS updates the '80s vision of a pocket rocket. It draws on Subaru's heritage as a force in auto racing's World Rally Championship, and comes equipped with standard all-wheel-drive. It also has something you wouldn't necessarily expect in a subcompact: a back seat that holds two medium-sized adults in reasonable comfort.
We drove the 2.5 RS Coupe.
The $19,295 Impreza 2.5 RS is the hot rod of the Impreza lineup. New for the 2000 model year, the 2.5 RS is available in Coupe or Sedan body styles.
The rest of the Impreza line is powered by the sensible 2.2-liter engine. It comprises the $15,895 Impreza L Coupe and Sedan, $16,295 Sport Wagon, $18,095 Outback Sport (not to be confused with the big Outback).
Destination charge adds $495. Optional automatic transmission adds $800.