My first few weeks in our long-term 2023 Subaru WRX have been like getting reacquainted with an old friend. Autoblog had a memorable 2015 WRX, well, nearly a decade ago. Time flies. That was a terrific sports sedan, and this one is shaping up similarly. Listed below are my early impressions.
1. The past is at all times present
Cliche, I do know, and Shakespeare and Faulkner’s sentiments are apt when understanding the brand new WRX. This isn’t some great departure from what the automotive is or means. You don’t get up one morning, determine you would like a brand new sedan for commuting to your hybrid office and land on the WRX. Unless you’re a hardcore enthusiast. That’s why despite the fact that I’m driving a contemporary automotive, it makes me consider this, and other things of comparable ilk.
2. So about that ‘modern driving’…
It’s lots of work to operate the WRX. It’s also fun and rewarding. With compromise comes blessings, as Bruce Springsteen wrote. The WRX is small and tight. Harsh even. Loud. It feels rattly and stiff. It’s not very comfortable. It’s quite the other. You may go faster more easily in many various vehicles.
What’s higher than an enthusiast-oriented six-speed manual with a heavy clutch? The throws aren’t numbingly long, yet not intimidatingly close. Excellent. The chassis is rock solid and keeps the WRX flat when pushed. The steering returns satisfying feedback and is lighter than you would possibly expect. It’s loud. The 271-hp boxer turbo 4 provides loads of motivation for a automotive that weighs lower than 3,400 kilos. All of this works together to construct unusual character. After I drive this WRX, my mind flashes back to the MazdaSpeed 3 and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Those are long gone, and Subie fans can get halfway to an STI with the TR package, which we memorably tested in Sicily.
4. Winter beater
Plowing through snow and slush, the WRX is almost unstoppable with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and our winter Blizzaks. There’s clearly some compromise within the raw athleticism, but that’s counterbalanced by husky-like ability to mush through winter. The one downside: when the snow melts and Michigan’s pock-marked roads are their worst, the low-slung WRX and its ultra-stiff suspension will rattle your fillings.
5. Every day driving has its ups and downs
I rolled up a good amount of miles on this thing. It’s loud as hell on the expressway, or really any road. The back seat is tight. The trunk is decent actually, and I used to be in a position to cram large orders from Goal and Kroger back there on a single trip. I also wedged in a sled, skates and hockey equipment for one more winter adventure. Sedans have been forgotten by many automotive buyers, but they still serve a purpose.
6. The design is growing on me
I prefer it, but I also think it’s a bit much. The molded arches’ texture across the wheels is claimed to assist aerodynamics, but I’ve never been a fan of plastic wheel wells on anything. Our 2015 WRX with gold Sparcos and clean sheetmetal solid a more appealing profile. Even perhaps worse, the brand new WRX has nearly half of the rear end engulfed in plastic. Conversely, the gaping hood scoop, LED lights and fenders recall the perfect of the WRX’s design elements through the years. Credit to Subaru for taking risks with the design. There’s really no point to playing it protected with a machine just like the WRX.
7. The case for sedans
There’s something to be said for a sedan. A automotive. An actual automobile. As I’ve said, bordering on repetition, this WRX has an enthusiast spirit. But take away that, and sedans as disparate as Honda’s Accord and Civic, the outgoing Dodge Charger and BMW 3 Series all conjure a timeless feel of a beautiful automotive. Crossovers are the descendants of station wagons, which coined the term grocery getters. Cars might be the other. Frankly, the sedan segment has shrunk a lot, they’re almost enthusiast-oriented by default.
8. It has a CD player!
A veritable compact disc player, that’s nicely integrated into the middle storage console. What within the name of Carson Daly made this occur? I discovered my old Case Logic CD binder, dropped in a Counting Crows album from 1999 and felt a wave of nostalgia wash over. There’s a line in one in all the songs: “if dreams are like movies then memories are movies about ghosts.” That’s form of what the WRX strives to capture.
9. Looking ahead
I keep a Jack Nicklaus four-wood in my golf bag. Belonged to my dad. It’s from the 70s, at the least, possibly even the 60s. I can whack a ball pretty far and get nice loft with it, nevertheless it’s lots of work. Much better to swing easy with the titanium hybrid I exploit for half my shots in a given round. But I like golf and have a way of history. Sometimes it’s more fun to do what’s harder. That’s the lens through which I plan to view the WRX.
This Article First Appeared At www.autoblog.com