To be very honest I’ve found Subaru to be an outlier in the modern world of hybrids and EVs. Instead of focusing on range and sustainability, they’ve stuck to their guns in making capable, rugged, and performance-oriented vehicles. While that’s admirable does the brand still sell desirable products? Is being a modern Subaru enough to entice customers? I tried to find out with the WRX Wagon.
Subaru WRX Wagon Exterior
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Subaru isn’t known to break barriers or do anything groundbreaking in terms of vehicle designs, but wow is the WRX Wagon such a looker. Generally, wagons are good looking but this one presents itself as classy from the side to the rear, but aggressive and capable upfront with the functioning hood scoop punctuating the WRX wagon’s sporty tendencies.
The overall proportions of the vehicle are very nice, it manages to have enough road presence without being overtly large or wide.
The interior is typical Subaru chunky and solid, all the panels you touch are built to a certain standard and it really shows. Thankfully, as well there were no panel gaps at all, everything just felt so well put together as you’d expect from this brand.
This being a Subaru WRX means most of the interior is adorned in black and faux carbon panels with a few piano black and chrome pieces here and there. I do like the contrasting red stitches though, it adds a touch of “sporty class” to the otherwise monotone interior.
Features inside include a very nice and performance-oriented gauge cluster with a small digital display in the middle, and to its right is a massive iPad-style infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Most of the car’s features can also be controlled on the screen (will get to that later).
What I like most about the interior though has to be the space, because it’s a wagon you don’t sacrifice practicality. The second-row seats fold flat via a button found on the trunk that automatically folds the seats for you.
Performance and Safety
The WRX Wagon is powered by a 2.4-liter Boxer Engine, 4-Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC 16-Valve, Petrol, Turbocharged that makes 275 PS and 350 Nm of torque. It is mated to a Sport Lineartronic CVT and all power is sent to the famous AWD system the brand has perfected over the years.
Safety has always been a priority for Subaru, and with that, the WRX wagon is fitted with the latest EyeSight Driver Assistance technology. Including, Pre-Collision Braking System, Autonomous Emergency Steering, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Centering Control and Preceding
Vehicle Adaptive Steering Control, Lane Departure Prevention, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lead Vehicle Start Alert, Manual Speed Limiter, and EyeSight Assist Monitor.
I was lucky enough to drive the previous generation Subaru WRX Sedan and thought it to be one of the best handling (semi-affordable) cars at the time. I was expecting the wagon to be just as good and it is, in fact, it’s actually better in most aspects because the wagon feels so much more comfortable.
I liked how the ride during normal driving conditions is very sedan-like and comfortable, but it’s as if the car knows when the road becomes worse cause it tenses up the suspension to avoid wallowing through bumps, it is tuned so well for what it is.
Its true nature though comes when you really push it, flicking the car from normal mode to Sport Sharp awakens the beast so to speak. Despite it being on eco tires the grip levels were high, even in the rain the WRX wagon shakes it off and projects confidence as if the road was bone dry. The steering is also a thing of beauty, it was very light and easy to twist and turn but it allowed just enough road feedback back to my fingertips to let me know where the limit was. Not to mention the fact that the steering is direct, with very little input I could plant the car exactly where I wanted it to go.
In terms of power, the WRX Wagon has more than enough, 275 PS is no joke and in Sport Sharp mode it surges forward with a purpose. It reminds me of when spaceships engage warp speed in the movies, it gradually spools up and before you know it you’re blasting through the highway.
I also need to point out how solid the whole car feels, at certain times doing 120-140 kph felt like I was doing 60-80. Also, with other vehicles, if you leave loose objects like coins in the door pockets they tend to rattle every time the road becomes bumpy, in the WRX Wagon I heard nothing of the sort, I only remembered I left a bunch of loose change in the car when I was cleaning it out.
Speaking of cleaning it out, a proper Subaru WRX should be able to tackle the beaten path right? Which is exactly what we did. In the middle of a storm and on eco tires my creative director and I veered off the highway and found some mud and sand, and with lumps in our throats, the WRX kept reassuring us that it was all going to be okay, and by God was it an epic experience.
At first, I was timidly making my way through the wet sandy ruts but the car kept egging me on, and after a boot full of throttle input the rally-bred nature burst out, and the WRX leaped forward confidently despite having barely any traction. Every slip of traction was easy to control and even if I wasn’t Colin Mcrae I sure did feel like I was. What amazed me the most was not once did the WRX bottom out, even when I drove it into water puddles with depths that would make the Mariana Trench blush, it never scrapped the surface it just purposely waded through like a true rally car.
Points for improvement
With a price point well north of 2 Million Pesos, I felt that the Subaru WRX Wagon lacked some features that other vehicles in this price point offer as standard. It has no sunroof, there are no heated or ventilated seats, apart from the big screen I found the graphics and icons to be low-res and old.
I also found it quite annoying how certain car features can only be controlled on the infotainment screen, it’s tedious, and a physical button would be more ergonomic to use.
Price and Verdict
The WRX Wagon is the epitome of a “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”, It’s like Colin Firth’s character in the Kingsman movies, It oozes prim and proper style on the outside, but if you provoke it will gladly slam a cane into your face. As a lover of wagons, the WRX is the complete package, practicality, safety, and bundles of capability and fun.
With a PHP 2,658,000 price tag the Subaru WRX Wagon GT-S Eyesight is asking a lot, but what it gives back is a lot more than what other cars offer these days.
P.S. Yes, Subaru still makes desirable cars.