Having spent a very long time reviewing cars professionally, it’s easy to get jaded about it all. That McLaren? It’s alright, I guess. Too bad its electronics freak out in the rain. Or that Bentley Continental. It’s nice, but why doesn’t it come standard with a heated steering wheel?
But sometimes I get a car that transcends my expectations. A car that gets everything just right. A car that I so desperately want in my garage. A car like the Subaru WRX Series.White.
At its core, the Subaru WRX Series.White is just a plain old WRX, only, er, white. Well, that’s not true. There are a few bits, that while optional on other WRX models, come standard here. Among said features are the Performance Package, which includes Recaro front seats, Brembo brakes, and moonroof delete. The Bilstein damper upgrade also comes standard, as do luxuries like LED headlights that turn with the steering wheel, keyless access and push-button start.
As for the things that are exclusive to only the Series.White: it, uh, comes in Ceramic White and gets 18-inch matte bronze wheels wrapped in Dunlop Sport Maxx summer tires.
Now here’s where my inner fanboy gets unleashed: I’m a sucker for white cars, and I love bronze rims, so right off the bat this Subie gets my juices going. It’s ugly in photos, I admit, but when viewed in person, its presence is just about perfect. Its stance: athletic, with just the right amount of fender gap and a great offset to the wheels. I love that blistered front fender, which along with the functional hood scoop, signals that there is a definite purpose to this car.
I’m also a fan of its subtle rear end. Now that I’m old, I don’t want a car that shouts about itself every second of the day. All that’s found here is a lip spoiler, which adds a touch of sportiness, but still keeps the car feeling as if it’s owned by an actual adult.
And as someone who has to do a lot of adulting (note: someone smack me for writing that word), the WRX Series.White works very well as a family sedan. There’s plenty of room inside, and those rear doors open up wide, making it easy to futz around with boring adult things like car seats. And kids.
But it’s when driven in solitude that this car really shines. Mechanically, it’s “just” a WRX, meaning it gets the standard 268-horsepower engine and 6-speed manual transmission. And let’s be real: this is more than enough.
Lay on the throttle and the WRX shows it’s ready to play. Once you get past that initial bit of turbo lag, you’ll find that this Subaru charges ahead like a freight train. You relish the feel of its forceful shove. And as you row through the gears, you quickly find yourself on the wrong side of the speed limit, but not caring as that feeling of acceleration is just so damn intoxicating.
Handling, as expected, is superb. In typical WRX fashion, steering isn’t sharp, but it’s precise. And thanks to that AWD system, it’s easy to stay true to one’s intended line. As you throw this car through the bends, you’ll find that it makes all the right turbo and gear noises, too. It’s fun, and that’s about all you can ask for from a car like this.
That said, the Subaru WRX Series.White isn’t perfect. There are a few flaws, but they’re so minor, nothing should be considered a deal breaker. So in the interest of being as balanced as possible, let’s lay those out.
First off: the suspension is aggressively stiff. I get that firmness = performance in the minds of some buyers, but this is ridiculous. If brands like Audi and Porsche can offer world-class handling with a comfortable ride, there’s no reason Subaru can’t do it here. Acceleration is good, but not explosive. Again, this WRX will get you to extra-legal speeds quite quickly, but when you’re buying a “race car,” you’re also buying into a sense of drama, and this car sometimes feels a bit too calm. And lastly, it’s not available as a wagon.
But I can live with those small issues when the overall package is just this good. The Subaru WRX Series.White is so competent, so capable, it makes me question why the STI is even necessary. Sure, the STI may be faster around a racetrack, but for daily street driving, I can’t see how the STI justifies its near-$10k price premium.
Of course, a go with the STI may have me changing my tune. Or it will remind me of how jaded I’ve become, resulting in an 800-word diatribe that can be summarized with one word: meh.
|Engine||2.0-liter BOXER 4-cylinder|
|Horsepower||268 hp @ 5600rpm|
|Torque||258 lb-ft @ 2000-5200 rpm|
|Suspension, F/R||MacPherson strut/Double wishbone|
|Brakes, F/R||Brembo 4-piston calipers, 12.8-in. vented discs/Brembo dual-piston calipers, 12.4-in. vented discs|
|Wheels and Tires||18 x 8.5-in. aluminum alloy, 245/40R18 97W Dunlop Sport Maxx tires|
|Curb weight||3349 lbs.|
|Overall length||180.0 in.|
|Overall width||70.7 in.|
|Overall height||58.1 in.|