Long term tests

Subaru Impreza WRX

Super allrounder but do the brakes match the performance of the rest of the car?

Subaru Impreza WRX

France. eCoty 2007. Following an unusually sedate Kenny P on a downhill run, a whiff of hot brakes can be smelt inside the GT3 RS that I'm driving. I can see smoke coming off our camera-filled Subaru ahead and, when we stop at the next village, the brakes are in flames. ‘Brakes are too small on that, mate,’ says Kenny. I agree.

There’s an old adage that goes along the lines of ‘ugly ones try harder’. It’s certainly true of the WRX. The thought of driving our Velma-spec Scooby doesn’t always fill you with excitement, but once you’re up and running it’s a fantastic car. I even prefer the more organic, less extreme approach of our PPP WRX to some of the more hardcore Scoobies; it’s plenty quick enough and it has a fine ride/handling balance for road use.

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The brakes have never matched up to the rest of the car, though, requiring a couple of stabs at the pedal before a corner, often resulting in a heart-in-the-mouth moment as they fail to slow you convincingly from the results of that warbling 266bhp flat-four.Before we set off for eCoty, BF56 was booked in at Westaway Motors, Spratton, for a 20,000-mile service and some fresh front pads. A courtesy car was provided and the service was friendly and efficient, with the final bill coming in at £341 (£140 of which was for the brakes).

Now, back from France and several hundred miles after those new pads set alight, Kenny reckons that the brakes feel a lot better than they had at first. Maybe they just needed a heat cycle…

Running Costs

Date acquiredOctober 2006
Total mileage22,202
Costs this month£341.29 (service and brake pads)
Mileage this month2622
MPG this month26.7

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