What is it?
This is the very last Impreza WRX that UK buyers will see for a while; the all new, five-door-only Impreza arrives in October, and there won’t be a UK WRX version. That’s why Subaru’s doing this high-spec, budget price, last-of-the-line special edition of the outgoing car, the GB270.
It’s a bit of a bargain. Both the saloon, and the sports wagon we tested, are priced at £22,995. For that you get the Prodrive engine tune-up (from 226- to 266bhp), the lower Prodrive suspension, 18in black painted alloy wheels, a quickshift gearchange, a waistline spoiler, tinted privacy glass, a limited slip diff and a black mesh grille. That represents a saving of £7000 against the catalogue price.
What’s it like?
The WRX remains a fast, grippy, agile and stirring car to drive. Even now, a decade after the Impreza Turbo first screamed into the collective imagination, there are few cars that offer so much any-weather performance for the money.
At certain times, in certain conditions, and on certain roads where a two-wheel drive hot hatch would scrabble for purchase, a WRX just grips and flies. There are other fast four-wheel-drivers you can buy for around the same money - cars like the VW Golf R32, Mazda 6 MPS and Volvo S40 T5 - but they tend to feel much heavier and less responsive than the Scooby, and they generally cost more. In short, the WRX remains the most capable and entertaining any-weather performance car available for around £20,000. That’s why it’s such a shame we’re not getting a new one.