If your the kinda guy who’s always late to your great-grandparents’ funeral (more than likely caused by your significant other) attempting to sneak in under the radar, unfortunately the 2006 Hawkeye WRX isn’t for you, sorry.
No this car is defiantly not a sleeper, that’s for sure. Flaunting its huge hood scoop, (useless) spoiler and boxer rumble, every cop in a mile radius will hear this boy racer classic on the horizon. Its striking World Rally Blue paint will turn the heads of half the population you drive past, just not many women (Subi’s are not chick magnets if that’s your plan).
Based on the very basic Impreza platform ‘The Rex’ offers only the essentials of 2006 motoring, air con, power windows, CD player and cruise control are all standard (just don’t get your hopes up for cooled seats and a butt massager). Subaru upgraded the interior in 2005, replacing the bug eye’s ‘durable’ materials for a more ‘premium’ (barely) finish.
Now if you buy this car you’re going to get the manual. An automatic WRX is like a manual Camry or a Trump presidency, there is something not quite right about it. Clutch feel is great but it does takes some time getting used to the high grab point. Disappointingly the gear box itself appears to be the same unit used in the granny-spec Liberty, offering long throws that will make you wish you skipped last night’s gym session.
Despite its looks, on paper the WRX is a somewhat silent achiever, putting out a rather average 169kW of power (a Toyota Tarago puts out more) but thanks to its light weight and all-wheel drive traction, the pocket rocket rockets to 100km/h in under six seconds, providing you’re The Stig. Power is dead until 3000rpm then suddenly boost, glorious boost, kicks in propelling you towards your next speeding fine. Though being a flat-four, the engine runs nice and smoothly without vibration whilst the copper behind you writes out your ticket.
The biggest downfall of the Rex is the way it handles. Don’t get me wrong this is no Lincoln Town Car but for a sports car, understeer and a touch of body roll are not what the doctor ordered for corner carving (I think Dr Phil ordered bread rolls). This is despite the WRX having the stiffest, most back breaking suspension of any sports sedan I’ve been in (the bumpy ride makes up for the missing butt massager though).
Being a performance vehicle the WRX is something of a money pit. Within the last six months I’ve spent thousands fixing the clutch and timing belt, but at the end of the day it’s totally worth it for the enjoyment my Rexy adds to my life.
If you are addicted to Krispy Kreme donuts then you probably won’t mind that your dear Subi has a severe drinking problem. On average, I burn through a tank of 98 octane fuel (she demands the best) every week.
Why should you buy a Rex? It offers incredible performance for the money and can put down its power on almost any surface in nearly any condition (just like the Shark Navigator Lift Away but that’s another review).
Now, would I personally buy a new WRX? No, as I’ve become older my tastes in vehicles has changed. As a kid the Rex was my dream car I lusted for. But now after driving for six years I’ve grown a taste for the twisty backroad, native territory for cars like the MX-5 Miata, BRZ and M2.