Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX review

Happy New Year Everyone!

Anyone thinking about purchasing a new Impreza?

If you were previously in the market for an STI (the more expensive version) but have financial concerns like most of us at this time, I have some really good news for you. I would say "lower your expectations" and go with the new 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX, but that wouldn't exactly be an accurate statement because the new WRX is quicker than the STI and costs $10,000 less. You read it right. Your eyes do not deceive you. No typos here. The new WRX is the best bang for your buck in 2009 if you are shopping Subarus. The improvements made to the 2009 WRX have nearly made the STI pointless, a thing of the past, if you will.

Let's talk "pros" first:

The new WRX costs only a few hundred dollars more than the 2008 WRX;

The new WRX has a new exhaust and bigger turbo;

The new WRX has increased horsepower to 265 (that is 41 more horsepower from 2008);

The new WRX's torque has increased by 18 pound-feet;

The new WRX will get you from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds (that is 1.1 seconds faster than previous models);

The new WRX is faster than the fastest STI tested (2009 WRX coming in at three-tenths faster than the STI);

The new WRX wins in the power category - no roughness, no bumps (which cannot be said of the STI) and exhibits ample acceleration from 3000 rpm;

The new WRX - when tested by Car and Driver - was found to have enough engine strength that the test drivers were able to leave the 5 speed in gear 3 for much of the testing in the category of handling;

The new WRX's suspension has been upgraded to make it more sporty. This has been done by installing larger diameter anti-roll bars, and the springs are stiffer. Front and rear springs are at 43 and 42 percent, respectively;

The new WRX has the smoothest and softest ride; and, last but not least,

The new WRX rode like it was a luxury car and handled well over highway bumps.

Now, for some "cons":

The new WRX's smooth ride was a bit too smooth and soft in corners, and steering can be vague (body roll while in corners leaves something to be desired);

The new WRX's brakes and steering, for that matter, a bit sluggish; and

The new WRX's shift handle felt rubbery.

But it's your call. Go drive the new WRX and the STI to decide if the STI really is worth the extra $10,000. It would seem that the 2009 WRX improvements were made to the most important aspect of this machine - the engine - but that is just my opinion.

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