Find a car review

Make
Model
Long term tests

Subaru Impreza WRX

The Subaru Impreza WRX Sports Wagon has been playing in the snow, and also been given a little Prodrive performance enhancing

Unlike the ’87 hurricane, we knew the snow was coming. I also knew I had to be at Gatwick Airport by stupid o’clock in the morning. Therefore the Subaru and I positioned ourselves at my parents’ house in Surrey the night before. Four hours’ sleep went, 5am came, the alarm went off and outside the world was white and turning whiter by the second. The back-road plan swung into action.

It was snowing so hard up in the Surrey hills that the A25 had become a single white river snaking through the woods. Unsurprisingly, every other soul in the south of England was snuggled beneath a duvet, heeding the ‘unless absolutely necessary’ advice. But with the heater on full it was much more fun out in the frozen darkness.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Braking distances required a bit of forethought, and it was a minor miracle that I only once sailed past a turning with the ABS pumping furiously. Unfortunately this small error meant I had to drive all the way up a hill.

This I did mostly sideways, not through any pseudo Solberg heroics, but just because that’s what the Subaru and its 50:50 four-wheel drive wanted to do, and I didn’t feel in a position to disagree. Ironically, I was chased all the way by the headlights of a gritter (no, there wasn’t any room to let it pass). The flight was, of course, cancelled.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The recently fitted Prodrive Performance Pack wasn’t really necessary in the snow, but the rest of the time it’s been fantastic. I promised details last month so here they are: power is increased by 39bhp to 266bhp at 5700rpm, torque is increased by 74lb ft to an RS4-worrying 310lb ft at 3000rpm, 0-60mph is down from 5.9sec to 5.3, and, more impressively, the 50-70mph time in fifth gear is reduced from 6.6 to 4.7sec. This is all thanks to a recalibrated engine management system, a high-flow intercooler hose and new stainless steel sports exhaust silencers. The price? A very reasonable £1700 including VAT and fitting.

Apart from the very obvious performance gains, other little improvements include a less fluffy response to throttle inputs at low revs and a welcome return of some burble to the Impreza’s exhaust note. All who’ve driven the PPP’d WRX have been impressed – surprised even – by the five-door’s ability to cover ground in an entertaining fashion. Jethro commented that it felt less understeery than the previous generation car. Sub ed Ev enjoyed the way that in top gear (fifth) there’s instant, walloping overtaking ability on tap all the time.

The only complaint is that it does look a bit… ugly. The solution is to get it in black – it goes with everything and disguises all manner of unfortunate design details. I’ve seen one and it looks great. All right, better.

Running Costs

Date acquiredOctober 2006
Total mileage9,672
Costs this month£1700 (Prodrive Performance Pack)
Mileage this month1,951
MPG this month27.2mpg
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/spy-shots/201770/porsche-cayman-gt4-rs-spied-718-to-receive-rennsport-treatment
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can evo magazine’s Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to f…
20 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019