2014 Subaru WRX
Price: $38,990 plus on-road costs
Vehicle: Performance sedan
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol, 197kW/350Nm
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 8-speed CVT, AWD
Thirst: 9.2L/100km (8.6 auto)
The complete MY15 range is:
WRX sedan: $38,990 (manual), $40,990 (CVT automatic)
WRX Premium sedan: $43,990 (manual), $45,990 (CVT automatic)
Note: These prices do not include dealer or government charges. Contact your local Subaru for driveaway prices.
2014 Subaru WRX
Price: from $38,990 plus on-road costs
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Capped servicing: No
Service intervals: 6 months/12,500km
Resale value: 55 per cent
Safety: 5 stars, 7 airbags
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo, 197kW/350Nm
Transmission: 6-speed man, 8-speed CVT automatic
Thirst: 9.2L/100km (8.6L auto), 95 RON
Dimensions: 4.6m (L), 1.8m (W), 1.5m (H)
Apart from having a smaller capacity 2.0-litre engine, the new Rex ushers in an eight-step CVT 'auto' transmission (+$2000) aimed at broadening the customer base targeting women and city-oriented drivers along with 'conquest' sales from other marques.
The 2.0 boxer engine made an appearance a year or so back in Forester and features direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. The turbo is a twin-scroll unit helping the Rex achieve 197kW/350Nm outputs while sipping fuel at a best of 8.6-litres/100km in the CVT equipped models.
A close ratio six-speed manual replaces the previous five-speeder and the all wheel drive system goes through a viscous centre differential in a 50/50 split front to rear with a torque vectoring function.
Quick, electric steering, bigger brakes, flatter cornering, a rigid chassis and electronic systems all contribute to the way new Rex drives. It's only about 10kg heavier than the previous model. Special attention was paid to rear wheel grip and neutral handling.
It scores a strong five star crash rating boasting seven air bags and pedestrian safety measures along with some driver assist and electronic systems including the full suite of dynamic controls and a reversing camera.
We had a good old crack at the new Rex in Tassie on some Targa stages -- the perfect environment for such a car and we liked some of what we experienced. It has annoying turbo lag low down despite the twin-scroll system and you have to keep it percolating around the 4000rpm mark to get going quickly.
The gearbox is baulky in fifth and sixth with the wrong gear too easy to select. It has excellent ride characteristics -- not too hard – and capably soaks up poor road surfaces or undulations. The quick steering gives the driver a new measure of control compared with the previous model. It's great fun to punt through a set of switrchbacks.
The new Rex gets on the gas fairly well but we expected more. It doesn't feel like nearly 200kW until you get up into the higher rev range which peaks at a low 6500rpm. The CVT is OK despite reservations.
Driven hard, fuel consumption is up around 12.0 to15.0-litres/100km. You can cruise using as little as 8.0. It's comfortable over a long drive, has a large boot and plenty of room for four or five inside.
Could struggle against lower priced front wheel drive hotrods. Styling is boring, wheels are too small it has lost much of the 'raw' feel of earlier generations. Good Tassie touring car though.