2009 Subaru WRX

by Colin Mathews

2009 Subaru WRX

Having tweeted the heck out of my miserable old-skool flip-phone while commenting about Subaru’s tight, athletic little 2009 Impreza WRX, it’s time for a recap. Yes, my fingers are more than happy to have a full keyboard at the ready.
Subaru did a fantastic job in addressing the ills of last year’s weak-kneed, flabby WRX. We thrilled to the ’09’s extra 41 hp every time it blurred our vision from 3,500 RPM to redline. We also appreciated the ability of the chunky little all-wheel drive sedan to adroitly carve corners as well as soak up Atlanta’s pockmarked streets with remarkable comfort. And a car full of boys being driven down Piedmont Avenue remarked at how comfortable the rear compartment was. Whether for sports sedan duty, commuting, or people hauling, the WRX is a remarkably versatile set of wheels. That is, if you don’t mind power that’s either middling or insane, with no in-between (read: turbo lag).
And what of curbside appeal? A group of Frisbee players in Piedmont Park, frankly, couldn’t be bothered. The somewhat awkward sedan and its dorky duds make it blend in to the sea of commuter cars in Atlanta. However, the hatchback is a more purposeful, lithe-looking vehicle. For some, the sedan’s incognito m.o. is a good thing, especially those with a record of speeding infractions. But if it’s attention you want, you’ll likely rate double-takes only from mechanics and gearheads who know what fury lies beneath the WRX’s massive hoodscoop.
About that (functional) hood scoop; it flutters at speed, a shame for a car that otherwise is so solid and well screwed-together. Ergonomics inside are first rate, the red-ringed instruments provide excellent gauge visibility at night, redundant radio controls make your tunes easy to manage, and the seat fabric is grippy and reminds of sportswear. But the fixed headrests keep some drivers’ heads canted strangely forward, and the throttle is so feather-light you’ll end up either with aching right anterior calf muscles or too many speeding tickets.
While ultimately a vehicle that will wear well only in the garages of dedicated automotive enthusiasts (after all, an automatic isn’t even available), a reasonable base price ($25,660), kick-in-the-pants performance, and a highly livable day-to-day demeanor mean the Subaru Impreza WRX will make a great match for a special owner.

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