We traveled well in the WRX. Even though we were slated for three round-trips from Cherry Hill to Millville (approximately 50 miles one way), we had bigger fish to fry. More accurately, we had crabs to eat. On a day when not much was scheduled at the track, we took a side trip to Maryland to eat at a highly recommended seafood restaurant in St. Michaels. We drove a few extra hours to tear into blue crabs at the Crab Claw Restaurant, and it was well worth the trip. (We also surprised an enthusiastic Subaru WRX owner with a couple of blue Drive Performance T-shirts.)
WE TOUR THE EAST COAST AND FIND A WHOLE NEW ANIMAL!
Already in Subaru showrooms, the 2009 Subaru Impreza has more to offer than last year. Subaru has expanded the Impreza lineup, adding features, power, and another model.
All new for the 2008 model year, Impreza 4- and 5-door models run the gamut from the economical 2.5i and Outback Sport, which support active lifestyles, to all-out performance WRX STI, with the WRX in between. Determining that Impreza needed more, Subaru added a new model – the 2.5GT – for 2009, and also punched up the performance in the WRX.
Read more about the 2009 Subaru Impreza with charts that compare the model line in Fall 2008 Drive magazine at www.drive.subaru.com.
STEPPING THROUGH THE IMPREZA LINE
The staff at Drive Performance always wants to learn more about new Subaru models, so we drove the 2009 2.5GT and WRX during a long weekend in New Jersey. The main reason for the journey was to follow the Subaru Road Racing Team to New Jersey Motorsports Park near Millville. Time constraints dictated utilizing the cars as we would for daily commutes or touring, but we relished just having access to the preproduction vehicles.
Driving 11,000 miles in my own 2008 Impreza 2.5i developed a foundation for impressions of these two 2009 models. As you might expect from studying specifications and features, the Subaru Impreza models act like stepping stones. They grow in capability from 2.5i to 2.5GT to WRX – then, finally, to WRX STI. Each has its own personality.
The 2.5i performs well, and, if you were never exposed to the higher-performance models, you might be content with that. It’s trustworthy and a lot stronger than you’d expect. Its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive has me looking forward to driving this winter.
The 2.5GT noticeably kicks up the performance. Available in automatic only, its SPORTSHIFT manual control gives the driver the ability to interact with the powertrain. Having more legs than the 2.5i, the 2.5GT certainly won’t embarrass anyone.
But then there’s the WRX. If you love to drive and appreciate performance automobiles, it’ll make you cry if you can’t have one. The zero-60-mph times don’t tell the story – only actually driving it will.
At the pinnacle is the WRX STI. It’s not a car; it’s an experience. (See Version 4.3 for WRX STI coverage.)