Monday, May 19, 2014

Used Car Review - Subaru Impreza WRX/WRX STi (2008-2014)

With the new generation in the spotlight, Myk Belmonte evaluates the old model and sees if it is a bargain buy.

2008-2014 Subaru Impreza WRX/WRX STi

To steer clear of the expected words which will pop up on this paragraph, let me just tell this trait done in the car universe. Just like beer, car companies do offer regular, mild, and super versions of their vehicles. Regular are the plain jane performance models, mild are for those who wouldn't want to be intimidated, and super are reserved for the experienced.

Same story with the regular version, so let us just tell you the related items here. WRX models first debuted to the world, alongside with their regular counterparts, in April 2007 while the tamer STi model was made available in October 2007. Unlike the regular's 2011 availability, those who wanted the high performance model had to wait until 2013 but only available in a sedan body.

As mentioned in the Subaru Impreza review last year, the trunkless version came to the scene through the launching of both variants for the said body style. On the other hand, the sedan configuration was made available in April 2009 but only in WRX flavor. A late 2010 update had the WRX STi being refreshed and necessitated the discontinuation of the WRX variant. Last month, a new generation model of this rally bred vehicle is made available to Filipino consumers which makes this one a great bargain for less cash.

Value and Costs
Please to tell you this news that you can get this rally star for a snip of P900,000 for older models while recent ones costs you P1,400,000. As a general rule, going with a July 2011 and later model is the key to utilize the remainder of the warranty. Anything that appears to be modified extensively is a huge no-no, especially that it spoils the fun in a huge way including your money.

Basically, you should not expect low maintenance costs similar to your top end Corolla or Civic or heck, a regular Impreza. But be thankful that it is lower than a Mustang or that supercar you are drooling about. Apart from the regular wear and tear that one would expect, check if the vehicle is modified.

Exterior and Interior
Everything that is applicable to the regular version is applied here, but the differences include the following (and mostly apply to the WRX STi except when noted): a different rim design, the presence of a hood scoop (for both models), larger fenders, a rear spoiler, and more mufflers. The WRX may look plain but it is one sleeper car.

Space is excellent, something that competitors are ashamed of while interior quality is definitely tops. Everything else were lifted from its non-performance counterparts save for the glowing pink steering wheel on the WRX STi.

There are two separate engines for both variants which keeps their personalities distinct from one another. If you are purchasing the WRX model, then be informed that it has the EJ255 2,457cc belching out 230hp at 5,200rpm and 320Nm at 2,800rpm. For the power and rev happy in you, then the standard option for WRX STi models is an EJ257 2,457cc displacing 296hp at 6,000rpm and 407Nm at 4,000rpm for MT variants and 350Nm at 3,000-6,000rpm for AT models. Do remember that in a 2010 update, the MT is exclusive for the WRX STi sedan while the AT is reserved for the hatchback. When it comes to performance, both have different styles especially that the WRX is blistering fast but not to the point of scaring the first time driver while going with the WRX STi must be done wisely since the MT is a better pick against the AT which does not thrill the drive unless your route involves traffic jams.

Driving Impressions
Do take note that updated models carry a stiffer suspension which can be both an advantage and disadvantage for some people. When it comes to driving pleasure, it will give you smiles all day and the engine tears up the roof, just don't mind the horrible fuel economy which comes standard.

This vehicle can perform two tasks in which you can take it to the daily grind and you can have fun during the weekends. Subaru's task is, in a way, succeeded well especially that its main rival is harsh. What can be expensive before is now affordable for ordinary blokes like us.

The Good:
  • Practical
  • Fast
  • Now affordable
The Bad:
  • Not fuel friendly
  • Power grabbing automatic transmission
  • Maintenance costs will kill you
The Pick: WRX

Engines: 2,457cc EJ255 (WRX) and 2,457cc EJ257 (WRX STi) H4 gasoline
Power: 230hp @ 5,200rpm (WRX), 296hp @ 6,000rpm (WRX STi)
Torque: 320Nm @ 2,800rpm (WRX), 407Nm @ 4,000rpm (WRX STi MT), 350Nm @ 3,000-6,000rpm (WRX STi AT)
Fuel Consumption: 5-7km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (WRX), 6-speed manual (WRX STi), 5-speed automatic (2011-2014 WRX STi)
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent double wishbone

Price (New): P1,700,000-P2,548,000 (range between two variants)
Price (Now): P900,000-P1,400,000
Rival: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
On Sale: 2008-2014 (WRX STi), 2008-2010 (WRX)
Subaru Greenhills - (02) 727-3687
Subaru Global City - (02) 822-4389
Subaru Alabang - (02) 519-7123

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