The venerable WRX; a car that has built a reputation for being affordable, fast, fun to drive and a head turner with that unique boxer thrum. When I decided to sell my highly-modified B5 Audi S4 to get something a little newer and reliable, a WRX seemed the obvious choice. I searched and found a 2014 (MY15) WRX Premium at a decent price, so I snapped it up.
The day I arrived to pick it up and drive it home, I was like a little boy getting the toy he was wanting for so long; excited and keen to get his hands on it and have some fun.
So imagine my dismay when the much revered WRX turned out to be ‘just okay’. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice car inside and out but it just wasn’t what I expected. The 197kW just didn’t seem to really be ‘there’. It’s like the WRX grew up, ditched the backwards cap and torn jeans of its youth and became a stiff that has a white collar job.
After warming the car up properly, taking it for a spin, I found a nice twisty road and decided to have some fun.
While the handling of the car is superb, the clicky sound of changing gears while trying to maintain revs became very noticeable and it didn’t seem to pull with the urgency the numbers seemed to allude to. But, this could also be because I'm so used to a highly modified twin turbo V6 with torque and power out the wazoo.
I have since found out that the warbly EJ20 was not in the MY15 onwards WRX anymore, now replaced with the FA20, similar to the BRZ/86 but with a turbocharger. The sound isn’t quite the same, but the enduring head gasket issues of the EJ’s don’t seem to be as much of an issue.
That being said, it’s a nice car inside and out, fairly well optioned for a car of its age. Leather interior with comfortable pews that hold you a bit when a bit of spirited driving takes your fancy yet are still nice to be in after an eight hour drive. The sunroof adds that little bit of light into a dark cabin, even with the shade open and the sunroof still closed.
The premium audio with built-in subwoofer pumps hard and has removed any need for adding anything in for that extra sound, though the head unit is a bit slow and is the same as some Toyota head units.
Fuel consumption is fairly good, getting 550-650km on a tank with 95RON, and is seriously economical for longer drives, which we do a lot in a country town.
Overall it’s a nice car, probably more in the 'warm' category than the 'hot', unlike versions past with a strong aftermarket support and knowledge. If you can stretch it, get the STI with the 2.5-litre.