WRX grows up without losing youthfulness

2015 Subaru WRX
2015 Subaru WRX

Subaru’s WRX has been known for it’s all-out raw performance at a somewhat budget price. It’s the kind of car that enthusiasts love because it is so raw.

So what happens when Subaru decides to give it a good ride along with all that performance. Heresy? Not quite. The 2015 (yes already) WRX has gained acceptable road manners while keeping most of its wild child attitude.

The WRX is still wild. There is much horsepower, handling capability and, well, bad attitude to suit anyone’s taste. What it does not have is a hatch. That’s gone. All will have to be satisfied with the four-door sedan. It’s roomy enough for five, four will be the most comfortable.

Back to that in a moment. There are 268 horses coming out of the 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged Boxer direct-injected four-cylinder. Torque peaks at 258 pounds-feet but is available from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm. It’s connected to an exhaust which has one fewer muffler chamber and shortened exhaust tubing to give the engine a deeper note. Neat trick but it’s the horsepower and torque that had me at hello.

What can one do with all that? Whatever one wants. The six speed manual has been reworked to be smoother in it’s transitions through the gate. Maybe, but it works well enough to get the WRX to hustle down the road with bluster. Blast down an open piece of road and you’ll love yourself. Throw it around a curve and it performs like a high-speed monorail – no slipping and sliding, but clean negotiation. The new found road manners may have a little to do with that. This thing never loses composure.

The electric power assisted steering is a huge improvement. Response is wonderful and whatever you ask it does immediately. Throw in the standard all-wheel-drive and the WRX is still quite the party on wheels.

It’s still based on the Impreza’s body, just stiffer – 41 percent more than last year. Spring rates are also higher as well as having a bigger stabilizer bar.

I do like the carbon fiber-looking interior. It seems to be better put together than last year. The gauge package is good looking and there is a 3.5-inch screen with graphics and a 4.3-inch display in the center of the dashboard. Go for the optional navigation system and the screen is 6.1 inches. I didn’t get that option but I liked what I got. My premium model had an all-weather package, glass moonroof, fog lights and trunk spoiler.

My car’s color was Crystal Black Silica, roughly that’s black metal flake paint that sparkles in the sun like a Twilight vampire.

The seats were sporty and comfortable with height-adjustable headrests. There was also a plethora of standard equipment: AM/FM radio with HD, single disc CD, iPod/Phone/Pad connection, USB connection and three months of SiriusXM Satellite radio.

There’s not a whole lot I don’t like about Subarus and I couldn’t think of anything I didn’t like about this car. Yeah, maybe dropping the hatchback wasn’t the best of ideas, but this little sedan is quite the machine. The tricked out wheels, flared fenders and hood scoop certainly don’t make it look pedestrian.

The 2015 WRX should be arriving at dealers by the time you read this. The STi model will follow shortly.





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