The smallest Subarus enter 2004 with a fresh face and a new high-power sedan. Every Impreza has all-wheel drive, ABS, and a horizontally opposed 4-cyl engine. Larger headlamps in a reshaped nose mark the ’04s. The 2.5 RS sedan, 2.5 TS wagon, and SUV-flavored Outback Sport wagon use a 165-hp 2.5-liter engine.
The WRX sedan and wagon have a 227-hp turbocharged 2.0, sport suspension, aluminum hood with functional scoop, and special seats and trim. New is the Subaru Impreza WRX STi sedan with a 300-hp turbo 2.5 and upgrades to suspension, brakes, and steering over regular WRXs. Console switches allow altering STi’s front/rear power split and thus cornering behavior. STi comes only with 6-speed manual transmission; others offer 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic. Front head/torso side airbags are standard for WRX and STi, unavailable otherwise.
WRXs, which account for over 60 percent of Impreza sales, get revised front seats and gauge cluster, plus sunroof and heated front seats as exclusive new options. The STi comes on 17-inch wheels, the 2.5TS on 15s, other models on 16s. A CD player is standard except on STi, where no audio equipment is available. The STi stands apart from WRXs with a taller hood scoop, larger "biplane" rear spoiler, and unique cabin trim.