2009 Subaru WRX new car reviews

Better than: 2008 Subaru WRX
But not as good as: 2009 WRX STI
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 90.75

The 2008 model year fitted the WRX with a new suspension and sheet metal, but this year Subaru went further. The 2009 version features an additional 40 horsepower along with further revised suspension tuning. Call us simple, but more power and improved handling are always welcome additions to any car. The new WRX also features bigger tires to help extract the maximum potential from the retuned suspension components.

Freshened exterior give this car a meaner stance. Most of the visual cues are borrowed from the tougher-looking WRX STI, and they help to distinguish this beast from the base Impreza.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

What an improvement. The power, handling and looks have all been moved up a solid notch with no noticeable trade-off. Some of the differences are subtle, too, like the darker wheels. It's just a different color, but it makes the car look meaner. The extra power just makes the car smoother around town. Yeah, it's faster, but low-end torque is a good thing.

Thanks, Subaru, for giving the WRX what it needed.

The only downside is that upgrading the '08 to '09 specs isn't a simple affair. We're told that even the strut towers are different. Bummer for those (like us) who have '08 cars.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
11/12/08 10:25 p.m.

Also, my fuel mileage around town has averaged about 21-22mpg, about 27-28 on highway cruising, and 24mpg in mixed daily driving.

Luca
Luca None
6/30/09 7:02 a.m.

We bought a premium sedan with the SPT exhaust. It is surpassingly loud. I agree the hp and TQ numbers must be fudged. Only problem is getting my wife to let me drive it.

Stig911
Stig911 New Reader
7/23/09 7:57 p.m.

Frankly, I cant imagine what the 08 must have been like if this setup is a vast improvement. The 09 is a competent car, but after a mere two weeks with it, before the snow flies the stock suspension is getting tossed in favor of some ASTs. And I say this purely in the context of street driving, no AX, no track. Coming out of a Mini S as my daily driver, the WRX body control is barely acceptable. Modest bumps result in modest wallow. Encounter a decent midcorner bump on an off ramp and you're driving a 64 impala. Scary too. I suspect the low speed shock response and bags of travel are to blame. The motor is stellar, but IMO, they got a very long way to go in the chassis department. Its a great car, but chassis refinement is not its strong suit.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
10/15/09 10:41 p.m.

lol...well you're coming out of a Mini S, everything probably feels like a boat to you ;)

I agree that the shocks are terribly underdamped. Nothing some Konis (from a Legacy GT with minor modifications) can't fix :)

Some beefier sway bars do wonders for this car though..I'm running 25mm frornt and 19mm rear and its' a completely different car now.

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
10/16/09 5:12 p.m.

I've had my 2009 WRX for 10 months now, and I had a 2002 WRX wagon before it. My old WRX had a lot of mods, both power and suspension, and I must say, Subaru did a pretty good job with the 2009's.

My old car was tuned and had a full catless turboback setup, as well as Tokico D-Spec struts and STI Pink springs. The new car actually feels like it has more power and handles better BONE STOCK than my old car with all of its mods!

The only things I have done to mine are switch the stock wheels to some wider and lighter 17x8 Rotas and swap in a STI rear sway bar. 10 months later and I'm still loving it!

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

The 2008 model year fitted the WRX with a new suspension and sheet metal, but this year Subaru went further. The 2009 version features an additional 40 horsepower along with further revised suspension tuning. Call us simple, but more power and improved handling are always welcome additions to any car. The new WRX also features bigger tires to help extract the maximum potential from the retuned suspension components.

Freshened exterior give this car a meaner stance. Most of the visual cues are borrowed from the tougher-looking WRX STI, and they help to distinguish this beast from the base Impreza.

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