Weekly Treasure: 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon

Car Culture / Comments

Yes, it's the bug-eyed one.

The Subaru WRX will always have a deeply loyal fan base, and some old WRXs are more valuable and sought after than others. This is one of them.

The second-generation WRX first debuted in late 2000 but only came to North America as a 2002 model. It was built on a heavily modified version of the first-gen model's platform but all of the familiar elements were there, such as all-wheel drive and a boxer four engine. But there was one new element in particular that sparked controversy: the round headlights.

The "Bug Eye" Impreza, as it's now known to enthusiasts, was not met with mass praise but over the years these cars have become highly desirable, especially the WRX models. Compared to its immediate predecessor, this new Impreza generation was a bit heavier but also provided greater stability during motorsport events, specifically rallying. The added weight also created a much safer car than before.

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Under the hood, this new Impreza WRX featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine rated at 227 horsepower and 217 lb-ft of torque. Power went to all four wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. Total weight came to a little less than 3,000 pounds. Unlike today's WRX, the second-gen model was offered in a certain body style many found quite appealing: a wagon.

As we all know, wagons haven't exactly been the most popular type of vehicle lately, though there are some early signs of a potential comeback, like the new Audi RS6 Avant and A6 Allroad as well as the more affordable Subaru Outback.

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The WRX Wagon provided the ideal blend between power, performance and daily usability, and many customers couldn't resist this. Also, just the very idea of owning an AWD compact sports wagon is just plain cool. Having the "Bug Eye" headlights gave it even more character. Unfortunately, the Bug Eye look didn't last long.

Subaru did its first second-gen Impreza and WRX facelift for 2002 and the headlights were given a redesign. Some enthusiasts refer to the refreshed look as the "Blob Eye." Given the short lifetime the Bug Eye models had, demand today for one in good condition is understandably high.

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This 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon, up for sale on Craigslist in Los Angeles, is pretty much everything any enthusiast could ever ask for. It's completely stock and the seller, who is the third owner, has its entire service history dating back to when the car was brand new. The original window sticker and brochure are also included in the sale. The asking price: $7,000.

The seller, a Subaru technician, sadly lost his job recently and has ultimately decided to sell his pride and joy. When purchased from the previous owner it had only 34,000 miles on its odometer. Now, there are 143,000, a result of it being a daily driver for years. Recent work done includes a new timing belt and water pump kit. There have been zero reliability issues and it's still perfect for long road trips and trips to the autocross.

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