Subaru Impreza WRX
Review: The Subaru WRX looks like any other four-door compact car
with one gaping exception: a huge hood scoop that feeds air to the
intercooler. So now the 2009 WRX feels exciting again after an
experiment with a softer model in 2008.
The Subaru WRX must be
going through its college years. It just can't seem to "find itself." A
few years ago, when it joined a punk rock band and wore spikey green
hair, the WRX wanted to be Subaru's wild child. Its Stratocaster engine,
total lack of sound insulation, gothic suspension and giant,
drug-induced rear wing made it fun to hang with, but not something your
parents would appreciate.
Last year, the WRX
decided to wear a Polo shirt and khakis. It was softer, quieter and
smoother, the kind of car your parents wouldn't object to, but it lost
its soul in the process. And its circle of friends.
Now the 2009 WRX has
taken another neck-snapping change of direction: It's still wearing
Ralph Lauren, but also getting a barbed-wire tattoo around its bicep
after a long night of bar-hopping. It wants to be wild again, just not
Most noticeably, the
latest WRX gets a huge boost in horsepower to compensate for last year's
dull engine. The 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four makes 265 hp, a
whopping 41 hp jump over last year's model.
It's a syrupy engine,
just dripping with mechanical sweetness. It doesn't have much low-end
power, but once the revs pick up and the turbo kicks in, you get a hot
blast of acceleration that makes road signs look like a blur.
The suspension is also
much rougher than last year, which is a good thing if you liked the old
WRX's fun-to-drive bits. It has a firm feel that gives you a good sense
of the road, and it stays relatively flat in corners.
Styling-wise, there are
only two words you need to know: hood scoop. And clutch haters, be
warned. You can only get the WRX with a five-speed manual transmission.
Like the 2008 WRX, most
of this car looks fairly boring, like any other nondescript four-door
car. It doesn't have a Raytheon rear wing or Darth Vader fascia, but it
does have a hood scoop wider than Texas that shoves bucketfuls of air
over the intercooler.
Inside, it looks like
any old baby carrier, with the exception of the red "WRX" letters
emblazoned into the seatbacks. The front seats offer plenty of side
support for hard cornering, and the dash looks slick and modern, even if
it feels cheap.
What was tested?
The 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Premium with a base price of $27,495.
Options on the test car: The XM Satellite Radio kit at $453. Total MSRP
Price as tested including the $695 destination charge: $28,643.
Why avoid it?
Some people think it's too abrasive.
Why buy it? It's
returned to its roots as a raw, race-inspired car with all-wheel drive
and a powerful engine.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Finally, if you like any of the WRX's previous personalities, don't
worry. You can still get them. The super-fast, noisy, raw, druggie WRX
is now called the STI. And the softer, slower, preppie version is now
sold as the Impreza GT.
Pricing is as you'd
expect. You can get the tattooed preppie WRX for $25,495, the clean
preppie Impreza GT for $27,000, and the punk rocker STI for $35,000.
Take your pick.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Byline: Subaru Review provided by Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Subaru Home Page
Column Name: Fast
Subaru returns to spunky roots
Topic: The 2009 Subaru
Word Count: 641
Photo Caption: The
2009 Subaru Impreza WRX
Photo Credits: Subaru
Impreza Internet Media
Series #: 2009 - 32
the Microsoft Word version here:
2009 Subaru Impreza
Download the Original Image File here:
2009 Subaru Impreza