The 5-speed manual transmission was a snap to get used to, and I only once missed a shift (my own fault – I haven’t driven a stick in over a year, and I was talking. Whoops.) The gear ratios were tight and easy to hit all the gears with just a flick of your arm.
I never once feared that I’d find a hill that would bring the WRX to its knees. My lack of stick-driving ability, on the other hand, could have been embarrassing if it wasn’t for the transmission’s “hill assist” feature, but I managed to not make a complete fool of myself driving up and down some steep hills and even parking on a downhill!
My takeaway: seriously impressive performance for an AWD vehicle!
If someone thinks of the WRX only as an AWD car – then they haven’t driven one. Yes, it’s AWD, but I’d consider it an AWD SPORTS CAR. The WRX is low to the ground, has a wide-enough wheelbase that it just HUGS the road. I never once felt like I was going to “lose it” coming through a corner too fast. Even in the rain, I drove it harder than I’d ordinarily drive. It handles *THAT* well. The turning radius is great, just like you’d expect from a sports car. Even when trying to get the car to slide, I had to work really hard at it, and use a road surface akin to the snow.
The steering is so precise, that the WRX just seems to follow wherever you point it. No fighting you in the corners, it just GLIDES into and out of each corner you point it at. The WRX handles like a dream.
While I’m not a fan of the bluer-than-blue-in-your-face-blue-BLUE, it really does go with the shape and styling of the car. The car handles so over-the-top, why should the style be a shrinking violet (of course, blending is nice when breaking the law, but I digress.)? The hood-scoop and front grill start the testosterone styling, all the way to the rear spoiler. These help harden up the softness that the eye sees with the smooth, arcing line from the front to the rear with the side view. The wheels just shouted “bad ass”.
Let’s talk a bit more about that hood scoop. Not only does it look good, it’s completely functional and serves to feed cool air into the inter-cooler for the turbo.
Frankly, the WRX is pretty reasonably priced. It had a good array of features (including leather!) for right around $29k. Of course, our model seemed to be missing the advertised USB port*, which was monumentally disappointing, but I got over it. (*missing from our model, even though the Subaru website AND the owner’s manual said it was in the WRX)
Safety features included: Subaru advanced frontal airbag system, seat-mounted front side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags height-adjustable 3-point front seatbelts, rear child-safety door locks, energy-absorbing collapsible steering column, daytime running lights, 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS), brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, traction control system (TCS), vehicle dynamics control (VDC) and Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD).
Standard features included: XM Satellite Radio, USB Audio Interface, 6 speaker audio system, touch-screen GPS navigation system, driver’s 6-way manually adjustable seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle, power front and rear windows with driver’s side auto up-down, power side mirrors, power-tilt/sliding-glass moonroof, leather upholstery, electronic cruise control, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, dual cup holders in the center console and one in each door panel, cargo-area grocery-bag and tie-down hooks (necessary with the way the WRX drives, so your groceries don’t end up all over the back of the car!), retractable/removable cargo-area cover (easy in, easy out), analog speedometer, sport-design electroluminescent gauges, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, 17″ x 8.0″ 15 spoke aluminum alloy wheels, P235/45 R17 summer performance tires, foglights, LED taillights and various other exterior effects that add to the oomph factor of the look of the WRX, and functionality. Plus, the standard warranties: 3-year or 36k new car limited warranty, 5-year or 60k powertrain limited warranty, 3-year or 36k wear item limited warranty (includes: brake pads, wiper blades, clutch linings and transmitter batteries) and a 5-year unlimited mileage rust perforation limited warranty.
Common-Sense Not Included:
Warning: if you have an over-abundance of testosterone, and zero willpower, do not buy this car. Buying it can result in many tickets and possibly losing your license!
Now, if you have a shred of willpower, love to drive fun sports cars and don’t have a family of 7 which you need to transport around, then this just might be a great option for you.
If you’re a family of one or two, love to go do fun things, need to transport a bike or two (with both seats folded down and some Tetris-master skills, you could pretty easily fit two bikes in it), and don’t get car-sick easily, you could easily make this your primary (and only) vehicle. It’s way more practical than a 2-seater sports car, and with the AWD (and some willingness to step off the gas) your travel options aren’t as limited as with some cars. Our model definitely had enough features to keep the car interesting and functional, all without totally breaking the bank.
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|Official website for Subaru of America – www.subaru.com|
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