The Subaru Impreza isn’t exactly the first car that comes to mind when talking about off-roaders. However, with a few modifications and upgrades, the Japanese import could easily be turned into something that can tackle deep mud with great success. And this yellow 2003 Impreza WRX is the perfect example.

The video at the top of this page is an owner’s review of the stripped-out estate that has been turned into a workhorse. There are many changes over a stock Impreza WRX, including a winch attached to the front fascia (which no longer features the factory bumper), bigger wheels with grippier tyres, a lifted suspension, and a spare tyre on the boot lid. These are all cool mods but we are most impressed by the mileage of the vehicle.

With more than 200,000 miles (around 322,000 kilometres) on the odometer, this is surely a high-mileage hero. It comes without saying that the exterior is by far not in great condition but this is something normal for a machine that is used mostly for off-road adventures. The interior is mostly stock, aside from a few added gauges. Dust covers most of the surfaces inside the cabin but, again, that’s not really surprising knowing how this Impreza WRX has been driven.

The mechanical condition is what we are most interested in, though. The owner of the off-roader says the car should’ve died years ago but it was kept alive with a number of repairs. In fact, it is now on its third engine, third transmission, second differential, and “approximately 2,000 struts have been replaced.” 

However, some context is needed here. When the current owner of the car took it, it had around 140,000 miles (225,308 km) and was still running with its original engine. The service history was unknown and less than a day after purchasing it, the current owner received a small surprise – a damaged timing belt causing a huge repair in the following month. Currently, the car relies on a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine from a Subaru Outback mated to a five-speed transmission from a Forester