For a performance car at a reasonable price, the Subaru WRX has been among the better choices over the past few years.
The 2015 model year version gets a complete remake, most notably dropping the hatchback version and going sedan only.
The WRX is still built on the same chassis as Subaru’s Impreza, the more practical, tame model in the family.
But the WRX’s new body is more sculpted and includes bulging fenders, a hood scoop and 17-inch alloy wheels. It comes standard with projector headlights and full LED headlights as an option.
The interior remains fairly sparse, but with a few little touches to stay true to its rally car character, such as a leather-wrapped flat bottom steering wheel, aluminum pedals and bolstered seating.
The engine is new, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 268 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. Additionally, two new transmission options have been added: a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. Subaru said it also has added something called an active torque vectoring system, which works with the symmetrical all-wheel drive to make steering more responsive and cut understeer.
Fuel efficiency has improved, with the manual getting 21 mpg city, 28 highway and the CVT getting 19 and 25.
The key reason to buy a WRX is to have fun driving. After all, it’s not the most practical model you’ll find, and it’s got a distinctive rally car style that run of the mill sedan lovers might find too funky.
But for driving enthusiasts, it’s a cool toy to take out on the roads, or better still, an empty parking lot.
The WRX starts at around $27,000 and ranges to about $30,000.