The Top Gear Festival in Durban is absolutely remarkable. And to make...
Driven: 2009 Subaru “Sir Mix Alot” Impreza WRX
In a move which is the exact opposite of everything thought sane by car companies, Subaru has admitted that it fluffed up. They’ve finally given up on that awful hatchback version of the much-revered Impreza and gone back to basics by giving it an arse.
After what seems like years of justifying the new design to your mates, you can now look at the Impreza WRX and smile. I’ve never been so chuffed to see a bigger backside in my entire life.
It rounds of the car and prevents it from looking like an eleven year old Kia Rio. Dark 17 inch alloys, a subtle spoiler at the rear and a neat intercooler up front round off what has become an exciting package.
But with Subaru, it’s never been about appearance, has it? It is quite simply all about the drive, but more on that in a bit. It certainly has never been about the interior. Looking at the dash in this car, I couldn’t help but think that Subaru’s henchmen are so single minded that they literally forgot about it. Either that or they just don’t know what ‘an interior’ is. It’s like having a 17 year old brother who lives in his darkened room, endlessly hacking into the Pentagon but couldn’t operate the washing machine if his freedom depended on it.
The after-market radio is so awful that it’s laughable. I simply can’t understand how in 2009 a Japanese car company can install an after-market radio which is flummoxed by an MP3 disc. You invented the bloody thing you wallies. Get it right.
Thankfully, when they weren’t rummaging around in old parts bins for a light switch, the other 99% of this car’s development time was used by the drivetrain geniuses at Subaru HQ to perfect the best all wheel drive system known to man. Honestly, throw this car into any corner at any speed and you will a) frighten your passengers to death, b) create an orchestra of tyre squeal and c) come out of the corner perfectly in tact.
I’ve never felt so brave and yet so safe. On a good road at an ungodly hour and with plenty of fuel on board (this car has a drinking problem) you’ll struggle to have more fun in anything near this sort of money.
The best part about everything this car does is what it doesn’t do. This is the only car I know that doesn’t try and flatter you. Every car these days is built so that a blind one armed orang utan can do a 1 minute 29 around the Nurburgring in the snow.
But the Subaru just isn’t. If you aren’t careful with the clutch, you will stall. If you don’t work the gears, you’ll be slow and boring. Short-shift in 3rd or 4th and you’ll bang your nose on the steering wheel.
But concentrate, grab the car by the scruff of the neck and drive it like you’re in a bar fight, and the Impreza WRX will never fail to deliver you to sheer driving…heaven.