All Imprezas got a facelift and interior enhancements for the 2004 model year, taking cues from the ultra-high performance WRX STi. A drive in an `04 WRX sedan immediately afterwards found it to be much better in the real world, with only slightly less performance and considerably greater comfort.

  • 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    5-Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec.
  • body style:


All 2004 Subaru Impreza models have bolder front styling, with a sculpted hood that emphasizes new complex headlights that peek from behind triangular covers that have circular inboard sections. The upper grille is an upside-down trapezoid, similar to that of the previous model, but it’s now integrated better with a larger lower grille in a flat lower bumper fascia to give a competition-ready look.

The regular WRX engine is unchanged for 2004, and no changes were needed. If the compact horizontally-opposed turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter twin cam, 16-valve engine’s 227 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 217 lb-ft of torque (at 4,000 rpm) is overshadowed by the STi’s 300 of each, the regular WRX’s power is much more accessible. It’s strong right from the start, with a very healthy midrange and little fade up near redline.

Turbo lag, even with 13.5 lbs of boost, is nonexistent once revs are over 2500 rpm; throttle response is as immediate as a naturally-aspirated engine’s, and power delivery is very linear. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a four-speed automatic available. The five-speed is the best choice for performance, with less weight and more and more closely-spaced gear ratios, but the engine’s strong torque should make the automatic a functional option for anyone who accepts the realities of today’s commute traffic.

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