2008 Subaru Impreza Wrx: Soft?!

By: Anthony Fontanelle

What is the big news about the Subaru Impreza WRX? Well, the car boasts same power with a roomier interior and a lighter body. Also, it still rips to 60 mph in a matter of 5.9 seconds. Experts could attest to the fact that such combination is a rarity.

Today, each new model weighs more than their ancestors. This is because automakers keep adding power to compensate. But the Japanese automaker has done exactly the opposite. But it is not all roses. The new WRX is marginally slower in the quarter-mile than the car it replaces, 14.5 seconds at 94.4 mph compared to the 14.3 seconds at 95.5 mph. The car's chassis setup, according to those who tested the car, is also noticeably softer and there is no shortage of body roll.

On paper, it sounds as if the WRX really has not changed, but the WRX we loved for its finger-in-the-air attitude is gone, replaced by a WRX with its finger on the pulse of the mainstream market, said Josh Jacquot, the Senior Road Test Editor at Edmunds, an auto shopper's online guide.

"The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX has received shortage of coverage in the past year, but after all that hype and all that hearsay, what we really want to know is how this AWD beast performs. The guys at Inside Line recently took the 2008 Subaru WRX for a series of track tests, including the slalom and stopping distance tests, and in the end, they determined that the WRX has 'gone soft,'" said Michael Kwan of Mobile Magazine.

At $30,000, the price point is not all that attractive either. That said, even though the new WRX five-door hatchback may look like a family car, it will certainly outrun any production Corolla or Camry, Kwan added.

The Japanese automaker officially unveiled the next generation Impreza WRX at the 2007 New York Auto Show. Since then, its appeal has captivated a multitude. And the magnetism's blaze, illuminating as , evokes what is forthcoming. Created for the 2008 model, the new Impreza is offered as both a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. The dynamic feature of the car is expected to pull more customers.

Unfortunately, not some of the aficionados find it hard to love a "soft" Subaru. "We have had a soft spot in our heart for Subarus for many, many years. In the late 70's a move to bucolic Bradford, N.H., brought a Brat into our driveway. We figured with winter coming on we needed more than two-wheel drive to make it down our narrow and winding road to work on a winter's morning," said Ron Amadon of MarketWatch. "Over 88,000 miles, we had more fun with that little truck than we could have ever imagined at the outset. It was rock solid reliable, sounded like a tractor, and took us everywhere that we wanted to go. What it lacked was much acceleration and some sporty handling."

But there are still lots of reason to love the car. "Enter the Impreza WRX STI. The brand's considerable experience with road rallies came into play here with a neat 2.5-liter, DOHC intercooled turbo four under the hood," he added.

"The sounds the car makes getting up to speed are just great and give the Suby its character. And, they are enough to produce images in your brain of racing across vast surfaces of Sweden or Norway in the dead of winter. Subaru's 'Symmetrical All Wheel Drive' system makes sure the right amount of power goes to the proper wheels and eliminates any torque steer. It should also make it easier to get to the office in bad weather," Amadon concluded.

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