2015 Subaru WRX
Everything you know and love, and then some.No Comments
The chassis improvements are felt immediately without turning the ride into a Home Depot paint shaker.
The Subaru WRX is an archetype of cheap(ish) Japanese excitement. For less than thirty grand, you get more than 250 horsepower, a turbocharger, and a tight chassis coupled with an all-wheel-drive system that welcomes winter with open arms.
However, in the past it wasn't necessarily the whole package; the transmission choices were on the 'meh' side of the fun spectrum, and the interior remained wholly unchanged from the standard Impreza (not what you want to do when trying to convince customers to spend more money over a base model).
Next year, Subaru aims to change that with the 2015 WRX. Based off the current Impreza platform (but far less of it than usual), the new WRX claims to fill every crack in the previous gen's foundations, providing a slightly-more-upscale driving experience with the same ol' turbocharged excitement that owners have come to cherish.
And then there's the CVT. Both we and a large majority of enthusiasts believed that no automaker could produce a CVT that would make sense in a car geared towards performance. However, Subaru has made us look like idiots in that regard. The new CVT has three modes - Intelligent, Sport, and Sport# (Sport Sharp). Intelligent is great for regular cruising, when you might care more about fuel economy than the powerband. In Sport and Sport#, the transmission created stepped gears of fixed ratios, and the results are fast 'shifts' that feel closer to a well-tuned eight-speed ZF transmission than they do to a cookie-cutter CVT.
While the CVT model lacks a certain je ne sais quoi that neither your author nor his driving partner could nail down, both cars drive much better than the previous WRX, which really speaks to their engineering efforts this time around.