The Subaru Impreza WRX is one of my favorite enthusiast sedans. It’s invigorating, just a bit raw and makes you want to drive it more and more. Our tester has subtle blue paint and aggressive black wheels, which strike the right tone. It’s sporty without being stupid. Inside is black leather, red stitching, and plastics that are decent, or at least non-offensive. Good looking car, overall.
I was excited for my one-night stint in the WRX. I blitzed home, dashing in and out of traffic in the lower gears. This thing is like a hovercraft, and with the windows down and the engine growling and buzzing, I made record time. The steering is tight, the clutch engagement is heavy, and the brakes have just the right amount of pedal depth. I felt focused and in control. I’ve always felt the WRX is the right Impreza for me. The STI is awesome, but unusable for many everyday driving experiences. I could live with the WRX longterm, and love it.
There’s nothing else on the road quite like the Subaru WRX. Compared to a lot of performance cars in this price range, the WRX still feels raw. Despite no longer running in WRC, you know there’s rally heritage behind the engineering. There’s significant lag from the turbo, meaning you have to wring its neck to really get anything from the new 2.0-liter flat four. Peak torque doesn’t hit until 5,200 rpm. That’s astronomical compared to a lot of modern turbocharged cars that can hit peak torque as low as 1,700 rpm, holding flat until the horsepower kicks up. The steering and clutch are both heavy, though they both feel precise. It takes some effort to drive this car fast, though I enjoyed wringing it out.
I was expecting the ride to be a lot more harsh than it actually was. The refresh for 2018 really did wonders for NVH. Previous WRXs weren’t all that comfortable on the road, but I think I could go on a long trip with this car and not feel my spine crunch or my ears bleed. Still, I don’t think this is the car for me. If there was still a hatchback, I might change my tune. As it stands, I’ll take a Volkswagen GTI Sport and save a few grand.