As a keen viewer of IGNITION you might recall that we were the first in SA to bring you a report on the new Subaru WRX. Our verdict bordered on sycophantism. This scribe brazenly declared that, in light of recent boxer-powered Car of the Year winners, the Subaru should take the 2015 title too. It’s a statement I stand by: holistically, from performance, to practicality and value, the Japanese sedan leaves one wanting for little.
But of course, objectivity is key. And although the new Scooby has many virtues, we’ll be putting it under greater scrutiny over the next month – it’s just joined our extended term test garage. We took delivery of a gleaming silver example at Subaru’s local head office. This model had seen service in the media press fleet already, with around 11 000 kilometres on the odometer when collected it. It had undergone no particular regimen of pampering, just the usual manner of inspections. Although this one is a little more special than your average WRX.
From all the media units serendipity chose to smile upon DB 70 NM GP – making it the recipient of an STI kit endowment. So it’s got a front lip, side skirts, rear diffuser and a more assertive exhaust system. That’s all garnished by a set of spacers for the black-coated alloys, which fill out those meaty arches better. That last bit addresses a criticism many have about the WRX looking under-wheeled. The final item on the options list is a digital touchscreen interface system, with navigation and an equalizer that mimics a DJ’s mixing board.
But it’s rarely seen use. For now, the amplified boxer quartet keeps the aural senses wonderfully occupied. We also need to stress that this is the manual derivative, which is the most flattering transmission choice. Its slick action makes snap changes irresistible. The lack of traffic in Johannesburg has meant we’ve never regretted not opting for the Lineartronic CVT instead.
We’ve only managed around 800 kilometres to date in our tenure with a home-to-office driving route: we do work rather hard to bring you the latest and best motoring news out there. But with the shutdown period having commenced, the WRX is about to see numerous shopping centre forays and lengthy trips that inevitably ensue over the festive season. We’ll let you know how it’s faring in our next update. Otherwise, so far, so good for the mighty Rex.
Delivery Mileage: 11 196
Current Mileage: 12 078
Current Consumption: 11,7l/100km (9,2l/100km Claimed)
Praises: Boxer burble, slick transmission, bold looks.
Gripes: Not much yet. Could have a meaner hooter tone?
Engine: 1998cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged
Power: 197kW at 5600rpm
Torque: 350Nm between 2400 and 5200rpm
Base Price: R469 000
Options: STI kit (R25 660); Sports exhaust (R5245); SatNav unit (R9300); Wheel spacers (R3760)