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Test bench | Subaru WRX: the desire to drive

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(Kingston, Ontario) For a reputable brand that is serious, but sometimes suffers from a lack of inspiration, the WRX is one of those Subaru that makes you want to.

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Take a moment to take a good look! Barring a possible, but highly improbable reversal, this fifth generation of the WRX will be the last to expose its tailpipes to a competition that is sometimes unable to keep up with its pace. And for good reason ! This sedan is undoubtedly the ideal sports car to face, without breaking the bank, the climate and the roads of Quebec during all seasons.

Were it not for the Ford Mustang, the Subaru WRX would be the number one best-selling sports car in Canada. This is a surprising statistic. Probably not as much as the one that reveals that WRX owners have an average of 13 years younger on the clock than “traditional” buyers in this niche. And for good reason. Unlike the vast majority of Mustangs and other classic sports cars, the WRX does not spend its winters under a tarpaulin and, regardless of the weather conditions, knows how to preserve its intrinsic qualities. Without compromise. To these attributes should be added the price. For the amount requested ($30,995), it is impossible to find a vehicle capable of such performance.

  • The WRX has the merit of being comfortable on a daily basis and of being used in all seasons.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    The WRX has the merit of being comfortable on a daily basis and of being used in all seasons.

  • The rear seats are freer following the resizing of the chassis.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    The rear seats are freer following the resizing of the chassis.

  • We would have liked a more greedy trunk.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    We would have liked a more greedy trunk.

  • For the amount requested ($30,995), it is impossible to find a vehicle capable of such performance.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    For the amount requested ($30,995), it is impossible to find a vehicle capable of such performance.

  • Seven out of ten buyers prefer a three-pedal WRX.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    Seven out of ten buyers prefer a three-pedal WRX.

  • Even if it has a button (Si-Drive) to wake up the samurai inside it, this automatic transmission is still a pure syrup CVT with this feeling of “pedaling in a vacuum”.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    Even if it has a button (Si-Drive) to wake up the samurai inside it, this automatic transmission is still a pure syrup CVT with this feeling of “pedaling in a vacuum”.

  • The engine that propels the WRX does not like to panic the tachometer needle.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    The engine that propels the WRX does not like to panic the tachometer needle.

  • This supercharged 2.4 L engine displays a nice flexibility at medium and high revs, launches vigorously and revives energetically.

    PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

    This supercharged 2.4 L engine displays a nice flexibility at medium and high revs, launches vigorously and revives energetically.

1/8

The supercharged 2.4L engine that powers it doesn’t like to panic the tachometer needle. Worse still, it requires premium gasoline which it doesn’t save at all. On the other hand, it displays a nice flexibility at medium and high speeds, springs up with vigor and revives energetically. These findings do not vary depending on the gearbox selected. Approval, yes.

Despite a somewhat catchy command and slightly higher consumption, the six-speed manual participates – subjectively – in this feeling of being one with the car.

An impression likely shared by fans of this model, since 7 out of 10 buyers prefer a WRX with three pedals.

Slightly more than a quarter of WRX owners therefore turn to automatics. Called SPT (Subaru Performance Transmission), this box, it is said, seeks to replicate the operation of a dual-clutch transmission. More responsive no doubt than the one offered on the previous generation, more flexible too, but it’s a CVT. Even if it is configured to distribute the torque unevenly between the running gear. Even if it has a button (Si-Drive) to wake up the samurai who slumbers in it, this box is still a pure syrup CVT with this feeling of “pedaling in a vacuum”. In addition and unlike the manual, this SPT adopts an electronic emergency brake.

More adhesive

Unsurprisingly, the WRX incorporates the modular architecture on which practically the entire Subaru range is based. Known as SGP (Subaru Global Platform), it has undergone yet another development to meet the specific specifications of the WRX. More rigid following the application of 19 m of additional adhesive, it receives more relaxed suspension elements (read with increased clearance) to improve its performance on damaged roads. Considering the state of our roads, this is undoubtedly the best compromise. Of course, on a surface as smooth as that of a circuit, these settings are not the most effective and lead to certain oscillations of the body. And after ? The WRX has the merit of being comfortable on a daily basis and of being used in all seasons.

Remarkably stable and with flawless traction, the WRX quickly inspires confidence. He will be criticized for a direction that is a little too light (particularly in the center) and a front axle that is too numb to grab the apex of the turns.

Refinement in mind

In terms of style, the WRX makes no effort to magnetize the retinas (especially law enforcement) in its path. Many will appreciate this discretion as much as the solutions provided in order to refine the aerodynamics or to oxygenate certain mechanical elements.

On board, it is still mainly the details that hold the attention. The front seats provide more support than in the past, and the infotainment screen – on the more expensive versions, at the very least – is more modern and pleasant to consult. To these improvements, let’s add more open rear seats following the resizing of the chassis where two people will travel comfortably. In return, we would have liked a more greedy trunk, a fatter rim and suitably dressed to feel the road at your fingertips. And a reduced shift lever travel too. Finally, an infotainment screen whose size varies according to the version chosen. But this last criticism has, on reflection, no importance. Entertainment is experienced at the wheel.

Hosting costs related to this report were paid for by Subaru Canada.

Subaru WRX

Price range

Of $30,995 to $41,895

Visible in dealerships

Now

Consumption

12.1L/100km

We love

Sporty all seasons
Solid build
Manual gearbox in progress

WE love less

Small trunk
Disappointing automatic transmission
Steering lightness

Our Verdict

The base model ($30,995) with manual transmission is the opportunity to seize!

Technical sheet

Engine

  • Turbocharged 2.4L DOHC H6
  • Power: 271 hp at 5600 rpm
  • Torque: 258 lb-ft between 2000 and 5200 rpm

Performance

  • Weight: 1515 kg (manual transmission)
  • Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 5.9s
  • Top speed: 236 km/h

Gearbox

  • Standard: 6-speed manual
  • Optional: Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drive mode: all-wheel drive

Tires

  • 235/45R17 (base model only)
  • 245/40R18 (all trim levels except base model)

Tank capacity and recommended gasoline

Dimensions

  • Wheelbase: 2670mm
  • Length: 4670mm
  • Height: 1465mm
  • Width: 1825 mm (excluding exterior mirrors)

It’s only one see again !


PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

Subaru STi

Off the road for the STi (our photo) which, unlike the WRX, is putting its career on hold. Some clues suggest that Subaru could bring it back to life shortly with the help of the electric fairy. One of them: the STi E-RA concept study presented at the last Tokyo Motor Show. This prototype showcases an architecture designed around four electric thrusters capable of producing 1073 hp. Subaru intends to perfect its development before bringing it to the legendary Nürburgring circuit (Germany) next year to set a new speed record.

Style less challenging


PHOTO PROVIDED BY SUBARU

Spinning Impreza of rallies

There was a time when you could draw a direct relationship between the twirling Impreza of rallies and the WRX and WRX STi that turned heads on the street. Today, automotive appearance codes have changed the game. If sportsmanship remains a very buoyant value in the eyes of some of the customers, it is no longer exhibited in the same way. Apart from a few distinctive signs, this fifth generation of WRX illustrates this trend towards greater sobriety.

Share your experience

The Press will soon publish the review of the following vehicles: Acura Integra, BMW i4, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Subaru Solterra and Toyota 86. If you own one of these vehicles or expect delivery, we would like to hear from you.



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