The 2015 Subaru WRX is a rather sober and mature sports sedan compared to the vehicle it replaces. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Subaru has completely revised the chassis on the sedan platform of the Impreza (there is no hatchback version). Those revisions beefed up an already stout platform while addressing noise and harshness. The result: a vehicle that would not be out of place going toe-to-toe with an Audi A4.
It’s that good.
The old WRX still felt like a Impreza that’s been eating its Wheaties while this new one is a more sophisticated ride. the new horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine is turbocharged and intercooled. Now direct-injected, the aluminum “boxer” makes 268 horsepower (at 5,600 rpm) and 258 lbs-feet of torque from 2,000 — 4,000 rpm. That torque is exactly where you want it for maximum velocity escapes from the end of a corner.
You can check out the preview (here).
The 2015 Subaru WRX’s new six-speed manual transmission comes standard and a “Sport Lineartronic™” continuously variable transmission (CVT) comes as an option. What!? A CVT in a Subi WRX!? Indeed, many a purist had a conniption fit when they saw the press release.
The Sport Lineartronic CVT features SI-DRIVE performance management with six-speed and eight-speed manual shifting modes and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It works surprisingly well. It works a lot like a dual-clutch performance transmission. You can keep just about any rpm pegged for maximum acceleration around corners. Want to slow down and keep the revs up using the CVT? No problem, it does that like a champ.
Around town, it its regular mode, the CVT is docile and unobtrusive.
Is it a good replacement for the six-speed manual? Good god no. For those of you who need speed and want something to stir your coffee for you, this might be your transmission. The new six-speed manual transmission is performance oriented with a deliberate, notchey feel that mimics more expensive, European manual trannies. Throws are better than the five-speed it replaces and clutch take-up is pretty easy to work with. It’s downright fun to use.
Steering feel is not as communicative as many would like, but the steering weight and response to inputs was excellent. Definitely tops in its price bracket with its amazing response on ANY road. The steering imparts a feeling of confidence as it accurately places the WRX. The rest of the magic is based on the all-wheel drive systems that help the 2015 Subaru WRX maintain optimum directional stability.
The interior is vastly improved over the last model with a quality feel throughout. Seats provide good bolstering while being agreeable for large people over long distance. It’s a good compromise. Unfortunately, the 2015 Subaru WRX has one major fly in the ointment: fake carbon-fiber trim. Fake aluminum, plastic, nylon wood grain inserts – hell, just about anything would be a better option. Even if it were real carbon-fiber, it feels like pandering and takes away from the rest of the sporting feel of the WRX’s interior. It’s a shame.
There is no word on pricing, but Subaru indicated that it would be in the same ballpark (with more content) as the current WRX. As for the STI? Many believe Subaru will make some announcements early next year. Hatchback? They only had the budget to work this magic on one platform. If enough of you make a stink, maybe they will bring one out. Maybe.
The 2015 Subaru WRX’s exterior is pretty much all-new. The only exterior parts shared with the Impreza are the deck-lid and roof panel. Subaru is offering the 2015 Subaru WRX as a sedan only. It does’t look like the amazing WRX Concept that made its rounds on the auto show circuit recently, and that’s a shame. The looks are better in person and the hood-mounted air scoop looks less like an afterthought than the previous model.
Bottom line? It may looks mellow, but it drives like a million bucks!
Check out another accurate, fun and informative TFLcar first drive video review as TFLCar tests the new 2015 Subaru WRX in Northern California!
“Huston, this is a kick ass ride!”