Sprint Review: Subaru WRX

One new car, lots of information in random paragraphs.

What you need to know: The artist previously known as Impreza Sedan WRX is now just the WRX, thanks to Subaru’s culling of the hatchback version. Heavily infused with World Rally genes, this car has a turbo-charged flat-four (Boxer) petrol engine which sends up to 197kW or 350Nm to all four wheels.

Controlled by clever computers and a central differential, “Symmetrical All Wheel Drive” also features active torque vectoring, vehicle dynamics control and traction control. In plain English that means a WRX has extremely intelligent power distribution, phenomenal grip and plenty of driver aids.

The 2015 models also feature a clever audio system with Bluetooth and touchy screen, rear view camera, aux, USB, CD, radio and voice command. WRX also has a multi-display pod with turbo boost gauge, climate control, keyless entry and start, sporty seats with WRX logos and Subaru’s idea of leather.

Some more facts: With a raft of airbags, the WRX also has a five star crash test rating. Its boot can take up to 460L and the rear seats (60/40 foldable) will comfortably accommodate two adults – three at a push. Subaru claims an average of 9.2L per 100km which is entirely possible if you drive it nicely.

Go for the new automatic (CVT) model to save more fuel and your left leg in rush hour traffic. The Manual WRX has a heavy clutch and the CVT isn’t as slow or dreary as you may think. It does cost N$16,600 more than the Manual and – hand on heart – spoils the fun in corners due to that slipping-clutch sensation.

Where we went: The shops, a mountain pass, smooth highways, bumpy byways and coffee with a sister. For such a mean-looking thing with low-profile tyres, it actually rides quite comfortably. With a semi-aggressive start, our Racelogic box recorded a best 0-100km/h time of 6.44 seconds. The CVT did 6.05…

You should watch out for: Introverts beware; this is a low-slung, body-kitted, dark-wheeled brawler with rumbling quad exhausts and a huge bonnet scoop. The interior still feels a bit low rent but history tells us that they last forever. Same for the rest of the car, if it’s been properly cared for. I’d look at upgrading the brakes.

Why you’ll want one: Bang for your buck. Starting at N$478,400 with a 3-year/75,000km maintenance plan and 3-year/100,000km warranty, a Subaru WRX can easily keep up with more expensive and powerful cars. It lacks their refinement or top speed but will probably outlast them and cost less to maintain. Good car.


Performance

0-10km/h: 0.31 seconds
0-20km/h: 0.63 seconds
0-30km/h: 0.97 seconds
0-40km/h: 1.44 seconds
0-50km/h: 2.15 seconds
0-60km/h: 2.79 seconds
0-70km/h: 3.50 seconds
0-80km/h: 4.22 seconds
0-90km/h: 5.32 seconds
0-100km/h: 6.44 seconds
0-110km/h: 7.43 seconds
0-120km/h: 8.53 seconds
0-130km/h: 10.30 seconds
0-140km/h: 11.66 seconds

0-100m: 6.04 seconds @ 95.54km/h
0-200m: 9.26 seconds @ 124.84km/h
0-300m: 11.97 seconds @ 142.21km/h
0-400m: 14.45 seconds @ 148.99km/h

Maximum acceleration G-force: 1.04G

Altitude: 52m

 

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