dimeadozen Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 10:38 a.m.

I've been browsing Impreza 2.5RS's on craigslist for some time now. It seems that on CL, they come in two trim levels- "overpriced" and "part out" Do people attempt to sell these for ridiculous money everywhere in the country, or is this a Denver phenomenon?

Exhibit 1

Here's one with 58K, and a $9800 asking price. The seller stops just short of admitting he bought it to flip.

Exhibit 2

Here's another one. Seller opens the ad by stating "It's a 4 door, not a 2 door", indicating he realizes the 2 door models are more desirable. Side skirts and wing are missing, AC is out, interior is shot, car "appears" to have an oil leak, and has 174,000 miles on it. Seller is asking $4500.

Seller goes on to justify asking price: I know I am asking over blue book and edmunds value, but I know this year of RS is in demand, to me this is what it is worth and I am willing to wait to get the price I want. And I've seen these selling wrecked on Craigslist for $3000

WTF?!? There was a wrecked 20001 2.5RS on CL a few months ago- light front end damage, but the seller claimed it was still drivable. It was also a 2 door, and had 90,XXX miles on it, and looked to be in great condition other than the damage. Asking price was $2500 OBO.

Oh, I get it, they're worth so much because this guy bought and destroyed most of them locally:

Part out of two 98 RS's

$300 for an engine with 116K and a spun bearing?!?!

Apparently the person selling the wrecked 2001 a few months back was the only seller to have a moment of clarity? Maybe the Subaru lifestyle just isn't right for me? I think I need more coffee now.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Sept. 3, 2010 10:44 a.m.

Get a stripper L AWD model, and swap over a turbo motor and the RS body bits.

You will have spent about $5000 less at the end of the day for a much more satisfying car.

I have never understood the allure of the 2.5RS, because Subarus are so goddamn easy to work on. Values are pretty inflated, because of the "rally look" it seems. Pulling an engine takes less than an hour. You'd probably want to swap all the suspension bits anyways. And the 2.5 motor isn't that great; early twin cam ones actually have notorious head gasket problems.

Fletch1 Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 10:54 a.m.

I know your pain. Here in rustbelt Ohio, any low rust jap car brings big money. 2.5rs's are hard to find and people jump on them as soon as they are posted. Many high prices for any jap stuff around here. People who are selling are trying to make a buck and people who are buying don't want to pay anything. That's what I'm finding out. Alot of flippers due to the economy maybe?

SilverFleet Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 10:55 a.m.

I still don't get why the GC-chassis 2.5RS's go for so much. You could get a 02-03 WRX in decent shape these days for around $6-7,000. That's a much better deal, and it's a better overall package. And yeah, if you have to have the Colin McRae look, get a L coupe and swap whatever you want onto it. Subarus are like Legos.

mblommel Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 11:00 a.m.

In reply to dimeadozen:

I've noticed the same thing. You can buy a 02 bugeye WRX for the same money as a 98-01 2dr 2.5RS. Granted they look much better, and weigh less, but jeez what B.S.

Slick has a good point, but how much do all those rally look parts cost if you buy them separately?

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Sept. 3, 2010 11:12 a.m.
mblommel wrote: In reply to dimeadozen: I've noticed the same thing. You can buy a 02 bugeye WRX for the same money as a 98-01 2dr 2.5RS. Granted they look much better, and weigh less, but jeez what B.S. Slick has a good point, but how much do all those rally look parts cost if you buy them separately?

If I remember right, it's the hoods that bring big money. The rest is pretty reasonable.

Fletch1 Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 11:19 a.m.

I've been looking at a Subaru for a good winter car. I've also started looking at the L models since they are cheaper. I found this one but it's an auto:

http://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/1934406785.html

Which engine is the most reliable: 1.8,2.2 or 2.5?

Duke SuperDork
Sept. 3, 2010 11:23 a.m.

Conventional wisdom says the post-apocalypse world will be populated by cockroaches and Subaru J22s.

SlickDizzy SuperDork
Sept. 3, 2010 11:26 a.m.

The 1.8 is just a de-stroked 2.2 with strangled heads. You can cram a lot of boost in a 1.8 with 2.2 heads. 1.8/2.2 is much more reliable than the 2.5. <1996 will be non-interference, which is awesome, because you can just run timing belts until they break and swap them on the side of the road (takes about 15min with experience and the right tools). 1997-up interference models are just as easy to work on and got a little more power, but you can't just ignore the timing belts like you can on the earlier ones.

Automatics suck from a performance standpoint (they suck all the hooligan torque fun out of the car), but they aren't bad reliability-wise. If it "stutters" or "hangs up" going around corners, the AWD clutch packs are probably on their way out (manuals don't have this issue), and the car is best avoided if you don't feel like putting a new transmission in. That being said, I've seen them go for many many gingerly-driven miles with this issue, but abuse will pack one up real fast.

Fletch1 Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 11:30 a.m.

In reply to SlickDizzy:

Thanks for the info.

sachilles HalfDork
Sept. 3, 2010 11:39 a.m.

The market is inflated because the subaru lovers like to swap the wrx drivetrains into the older models. I have a 99 rs(race car) and a 00 rs sedan daily driver, and I can guarantee I can sell them for more than I have in to them. You can't often say that about a car. I also have an 02 wrx, while I'll say it holds a fair value, it's more normal than the other two subies. 02 wagons can be had at very reasonable prices these days.

As for the driving experience, stock versus stock, I enjoy the 00 RS more than the wrx wagon. Handling and steering seem much lighter. Power wise, the RS has more torque down low, which the early wrx's lack. However, it's hard not to like the rush of the turbo when it kicks in. Stock Versus stock at an autocross, I enjoy the RS more than the wrx, but on the same course the RS will be slower, but not by much. Rallyx, amplifies the differences, and I much prefer the RS, and can beat my wrx on the same course. It's very hard to find a rust free RS in New England, so when they are found, they do command a premium which is well inflated over their true worth.

I do like the car enough that I would still keep it if I won the lottery, granted I'd put some money in to it to fix some things. I do like the wrx wagon, but I probably wouldn't keep it.

That being said, if you really want an RS, I could be persuaded to trade my 250k+ mile sedan(with STi seats front and back), and rear quarter rust for any sort of tow rig that could accommodate two adults and two child car seats.

Appleseed SuperDork
Sept. 3, 2010 12:23 p.m.

Its the allure of the two door. Bug eyes are quardraports. To some people, that matters.

sachilles HalfDork
Sept. 3, 2010 1:11 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: Its the allure of the two door. Bug eyes are quardraports. To some people, that matters.

I'm not so sure about that, the 4 door RS seems to carry a premium at least in new england. The 4 door RS was only made in 2000 and 2001.

modernbeat HalfDork
Sept. 3, 2010 2:21 p.m.

I can pick up hoods and front bumpers locally for about $300 (J-Hot). I have a few coupes, and I think my girlfriend has at least one in addition to two RS models.

Unless you HAVE to have a sunroof, it's cheaper to buy a coupe and a Bugeye (WRX or RS) and move everything over. Hell, it's even cheaper to buy a totaled '05 STi at $5-6k and move everything into a $600 L-coupe.

mblommel Reader
Sept. 3, 2010 2:52 p.m.
modernbeat wrote: Hell, it's even cheaper to buy a totaled '05 STi at $5-6k and move everything into a $600 L-coupe.

Oh no. I should have never read this.

...must, resist, uncontrollable urge to search craigslist.

sachilles HalfDork
Sept. 3, 2010 3:16 p.m.

In terms of swapping, at least in this state....it makes more sense to swap earlier impreza's(95 or older).

  1. They are cheaper to buy, and can be made to look like an RS on the cheap as mentioned above.
  2. They don't have obd2, which is tested at inspection time in this state, so it makes engine swaps easier to do.
  3. SRS becomes a non-issue, if you motives are to build a street legal race car.
CLNSC3 Reader
Sept. 4, 2010 4:34 a.m.
sachilles wrote: The market is inflated because the subaru lovers like to swap the wrx drivetrains into the older models.

Bingo! I completely agree with this. If you think stock 2.5RS's are overpriced try looking at some of the wrx/sti swapped cars! I regularly see these sell for far more than comparable wrxs.

I would just get an "L" and swap over the 2.5rs cosmetic pieces(and probably a 22b widebody). You would save a ton of money over buying an RS to begin with. I know that in my area old Ls are a dime a dozen and its easy to find solid runners for around $1000.

modernbeat HalfDork
Sept. 6, 2010 9:33 a.m.
sachilles wrote: In terms of swapping, at least in this state....it makes more sense to swap earlier impreza's(95 or older). 2. They don't have obd2, which is tested at inspection time in this state, so it makes engine swaps easier to do.

Not all.

I've got two '95s that are OBDII. I believe, but I'm not sure, that manual '95s are OBDI and that automatics are OBDII.

sachilles HalfDork
Sept. 6, 2010 9:45 a.m.

I did not know that. Though I do think I'd have plausible deniablility at inspection time.

Supercoupe Reader
Sept. 6, 2010 10:46 a.m.

my L wagon I just bought came from your neck of the woods, seems the owners left it behind on the streets of NY and it got impounded...NYPD auction and $275 later and I'm all wheellin' baby...

Javelin SuperDork
Sept. 6, 2010 10:53 a.m.

You guys are all missing the most important point...

The 2.5RS was the last Impreza to actually look good!

Bah-dum-ching!

irish44j HalfDork
Sept. 6, 2010 8:53 p.m.
SilverFleet wrote: I still don't get why the GC-chassis 2.5RS's go for so much. You could get a 02-03 WRX in decent shape these days for around $6-7,000. That's a much better deal, and it's a better overall package. And yeah, if you have to have the Colin McRae look, get a L coupe and swap whatever you want onto it. Subarus are like Legos.

could be because the 2.5RS GC is sexy as hell bone stock, and the 02-03 bugeye is ugly as hell unless you do massive cosmetic upgrades to it...and then it's still pretty ugly.

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