2011 Subaru Impreza WRX: Grassroots Motorsports New Car Reviews

2 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX: Grassroots Motorsports New Car Reviews

New car reviews 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX

Better than: 2010 Impreza WRX

But not as good as: 2011 Impreza WRX STI

GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 97.30

Don#8217;t worry, we haven#8217;t forgotten about the Mazda 323, Diamond Star triplets and various Audi quattros, but the Subaru Impreza WRX helped blaze a trail a decade ago. The WRX paved the way for the all-wheel-drive, rally-bred machines that would dominate the first tenth of this century. Without that first U.S.-spec WRX. would there have been an STI or Lancer Evo?

The first incarnation of the U.S.-spec WRX lasted through the 2007 model year, with tweaks appearing along the way: two facelifts plus an eventual displacement bump from 2.0 to 2.5 liters.

While the higher-output Impreza WRX STI grabbed much of the limelight, the standard-issue WRX attracted legions of fans#8212;especially fans of wagons, as the STI wasn#8217;t originally available here in such a configuration.

The Impreza WRX received a major redo for 2008, and with the stiffer body and new rear suspension came a couple of complaints: The car had become soft and lost its edge, some said.

Those cries didn#8217;t fall on deaf ears, as Subaru has performed a pretty substantial mid-cycle facelift for 2011.

First, there are the hard-to-miss body changes. All WRX models#8212;both the four-door sedan and five-door wagon#8212;receive the bulging fenders found on the WRX STI. Along with the fenders comes a wider track#8212;about an extra inch and a half between the right and left tires.

This will help improve stability and limit body roll.

Those wider fenders also mean wider wheels. Last year#8217;s 17×7-inch wheels have been replaced by 17×8-inch units. Tire size has also grown, going from 225/45R17 to 235/45R17.

Despite the wider footprint, there#8217;s less rotating mass. The new wheels weigh 1.5 pounds less than the old ones. Once the tire weight is factored in, each corner still weighs 0.4 pounds less than before.

The overall weight penalty between the 2010 and 2011 car is minor#8212;according to Subaru, just 34 pounds.

Other than the wider track, there are a few other changes for 2011: stiffer rear suspension bushings, new gauges, a revised audio system, and a bit more black than silver in the interior. The WRX is still powered by the 265-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbo boxer. A five-speed manual transmission is the only available gearbox.

Some dimensions for those keeping score at home.

2010 overall width: 68.5 in.

2011 overall width: 70.7 in.

2010 front track: 58.9 in.

2011 front track: 60.2 in.

2010 rear track: 59.1 in.

2011 rear track: 60.6 in.

2010 wheelbase: 103.1 in.

2011 wheelbase: 103.3 in.

2010 sedan curb weight: 3174 lbs.

2011 sedan curb weight: 3208 lbs.

2010 wagon curb weight: 3174 lbs.

2011 wagon curb weight: 3208 lbs.

In addition to the two body styles#8212;four-door sedan and five-door wagon#8212;the WRX is also available with a few different trim levels. The Premium version adds an all-weather package (heated front seats, heated mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer) plus fog lights, a power tilt/slide moonroof and a trunk spoiler for the sedan. The WRX Limited adds HID low-beam headlights, leather-trimmed upholstery and a power moonroof.

Here are the new prices:


WRX Base: $25,495

WRX Premium: $27,995

WRX Limited: $28,995


WRX Base: $25,495

WRX Premium: $27,995

WRX Limited: $28,995

Other staff views:

David S. Wallens Editorial Director :

You know, this might be all the WRX that most of us need, especially once the price differences are considered. The basic WRX costs $8500 less than the basic STI sedan.

I can do a lot with $8500, from make a bunch of mortgage payments to buy a ton of hop-up parts. I could also build a sweet rallycross car or an awesome halfpipe with that amount.

True, the WRX doesn#8217;t get the STI #8217;s trick center differential and extra driver controls, but on the road the basic impressions are really close: good torque matched with good grip. Ask yourself what you#8217;re going to do with this car: enter the X Games or commute to the office?

To the average person, the cars now look nearly the same, too. I know that we#8217;re not supposed to be slaves to fashion, but the 2008-#8216;10 WRX wasn#8217;t the most aggressive-looking car out there. The new fenders erase that problem. I also like the new blacked-out interior.

It looks less like a Camry and more like a car that I#8217;d buy.

I also like a car that delivers more yet doesn#8217;t ask for anything else in return. The new wheels are wider yet lighter? Cool, thanks, Subaru.

Okay, there#8217;s a $500 price bump in MSRP. but that seems reasonable.

What#8217;s it like to drive? The 2011 car has that familiar WRX feel. It handles a bit better than before yet doesn#8217;t ride any worse. The interior also feels half a notch nicer. The seats feel nice.

The driver is surrounded by a ton of glass. I could drive this car all day. It actually has a bit of an exhaust note, a nice burble when trucking along.

My biggest personal dilemma: sedan or wagon?

So, why did we say that the new WRX isn#8217;t as good as the new STI. If you have the bread, sure, it#8217;s hard to turn down more power and more control. For most of us, though, the WRX no longer feels like a second-place machine.

Reader comments:

4cylndrfury. Jul 19, 2010 9:03 a.m.

5 door + Matte paint + Half pipe = win. Hopefully Subaru has taken to heart what most other car makers have forgotten – build what people want and they will buy it. Well done Subie!

David S. Wallens. Jul 20, 2010 9:27 a.m.

We had a question asking how the track was widened. Here#8217;s the answer from a friend at Subaru:

To create the wider front track the lower control arms were changed. For the rear, the hub housing assembly was changed to the STI type.

Spinout007. Jul 20, 2010 9:31 a.m.

I#8217;ll take a black wagon please! Holy cow that#8217;s nice.

wemay. Apr 26, 2012 5:50 p.m.

Very Very nice. Evo barely over STi and WRX barely of Ralliart. All four over Golf R and GTi.

kanaric. Jan 1, 2013 3:49 a.m.

I have this car.

Suspension is a but mushy but not unexpected, it is very comfortable for me though I wish there was a sport option. Oh wait there is, it#8217;s called the STI !

I regret not buying the wagon. It looks better imo, more aftermarket exhaust options#8230; I wanted to buy a lighter single exhaust for the sedan WRX. That is not made. Meanwhile there is a CHEAP full titanium catback made for

$800 for the wagon that weighs like paper, and a plethora of other options.

There are some detractors I would say. It has a 5 speed still as if it#8217;s still 1999. Here in the Nevada desert where everyone drives 80 on the highway this leads to VERY POOR highway gas mileage of around 21mpg. I have a daily 80 mile commute. Fortunately I get paid decent money otherwise I would be driving 70 or slower.

Having to change oil every 3000 miles gets old.

Anyways I bought this and spent:

$200 on injen downpipe

$700 on perrin intercooler

$200 on aem intake $450 dyno tune

This car is amazingly straight line fast for cheap money.

One advantage is that the WRX doesn#8217;t have the common #8220;ringland failure#8221; problem that happens with STI cars.

You do notice the lack of a front differential. For example taking a corner at an autox the center differential snaps to RWD mid corner unsettling the car quite a bit. This took a while for me to get used to.

kanaric. Jan 1, 2013 3:53 a.m.

oh btw, do not buy the spt exhaust. The stock exhaust sounds nearly the same. It is an incredible waste of money.

Also the #8220;more power#8221; for the STI is not actually truthful. Cobb tuning for example did extensive dyno tests and found the STI and WRX put the same power to the wheel on 09+ models. The WRX is also faster in the quarter mile stock on any test as well, i assume because of the less weight of the 5 speed and other STI niceties.

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Specs:

Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive Engine: 2.5 liter flat-4 Horsepower: 265 bhp at 6000 rpm Torque: 244 lb.-ft at 4000 rpm Transmission: manual Suspension: strut front, double A-arm rear Wheels: 17×8 in. Tires: 235/45R17 Brakes: 11.6 in. disc (front)

11.3 in. disc (rear) Weight: 3208 pounds Price: Base: $25495

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