Five months ago I sold my 2004 BMW M3 and purchased a brand new 2015 Subaru WRX Limited. I’ve only purchased two brand new cars and funny enough both were Subarus. My first was a 2008 Impreza WRX STI but I didn’t keep it very long before trading it in for a Mini Cooper S. You can see a complete list of all 24 of my cars here. Back to the 2015 Subaru WRX. It is a major improvement from the outgoing GR chassis produced from 2008 to 2014. The new chassis is noticeably more rigid and that translates to improved handling, better ride quality, and should result in longevity. The WRX, while essentially still an economy car, sounds much less like a tin can when doing normal things like slamming the door shut in anger while yelling at your bitch to get out of the car. I’m kidding. I don’t even own a dog, but if I did I would open the door to let it out.
One hundred and fifty days is a fair amount of time behind the wheel before reporting likes and dislikes, right? I may have jumped the gun on my “Things I Hate About the 2015 Subaru WRX” article back in November just ten days after brining it home from Subaru of Annapolis. Some of those dislikes still hold true. The other things I wrote… well, I may have just been grasping for things to complain about. Now after logging 7,400 miles behind the wheel of the 2015 Subaru WRX I can bring things that are much more note worthy. This is a 2015 Subaru WRX Ownership Update.
1. The cabin is loud at highway speed. Anything above 40 MPH and the road noise becomes annoying, even drowning out the stereo to the point I have to turn the volume up. Unfortunately I’m not totally sure I can blame Subaru for this one because I did replace the factory tires with a set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires to be sure I could get around safely in the winter months.
2. Not having a coin holder still sucks. Coins are collected in the cup holder nearest the arm rest. BMW found small spaces to include coin holders. Why can’t Subaru?
3. Heated seats are a luxury. So much of a luxury in fact that Subaru hid the toggle switch under the center armrest. If I want to warm my ass I have to either brake my neck or feel around blindly with my right hand until I locate the button. The toggle switch doesn’t automatically turn off either. If it’s on, it stays on. And sometimes I forget to turn it off. Then I’m a hot flash victim ten minutes after setting off for my next drive. And when the warmers are turned on the seats take an eternity to warm up. If it wasn’t for my daughter in the back seat, sometimes I think I’m better off eating beans for breakfast. In all of my BMWs the seat warmers were noticeable within 30 seconds of activation. Not these! Oh, and the distribution of heat in these seats was clearly an after thought. Meaning they thought about it after production began. Maybe I’m dreaming, but in my M3 the heat seemed to distributed to all of the right places. Using the seat warmers was a relaxing stress reliever. In the 2015 WRX Limited, it’s just a slow burning blob of warmth. But hey, better than no seat heaters at all!
4. A few weeks ago it snowed and the fuel filler door didn’t open when I pulled the release latch in the cabin. Apparently the latch had frozen or perhaps it’s just that the release spring is on the weak side. Luckily I had my beautiful wife in the trunk, I mean front seat, and had her pull on the release latch in the car while I pried the fuel door open. That worked. Hasn’t happened again.
5. Fuel economy has been pretty good. The window sticker reads 21 MPG city and 28 MPG highway. I log all of my fuel-ups on Fuelly and am averaging almost 24 MPG. Not bad considering that I spend half of my commute in stop and go traffic and while I don’t often wring the engine out to redline, I do put my right foot down enough to get the boost giggles. They’re kind of like hiccups.
6. The brake pedal feel is nowhere near as sensitive as my BMW M3. In that car lightly tapping the brakes could dislodge your eyeballs if you weren’t prepared. The 2015 Subaru WRX is the polar opposite. I really have to step on the brake pedal to get the car to slow quicker than a casual pace. These brakes don’t inspire confidence if I’m honest. The bite, or lack there of, feels as if the pads are made of wood. It doesn’t feel like the pad pressure on the rotors is diminishing but rather like there simply isn’t any more pressure to apply. Don’t get me wrong, the car stops better than most but there’s drama with it – the kind with expletives as you pray you stop in time. Drivers planning on taking their WRX out for an autocross or occasional track day will definitely want to find replacement pads.
7. I changed the oil at 3,000 miles as recommended by Subaru. The oil was still a nice golden brown. If I had thought about it I would have sent a sample off to Blackstone for analysis. Next time. Total cost for the oil change was $43 for six quarts of Eneos Synthetic 5e30 oil and another $8 for a genuine Toyota oil filter. If you didn’t know, the FA20DIT engine in the Subaru WRX uses the same oil filter as the Subaru BRZ and Toyota/Scion FR-S. Next oil change would have been at 9,000 miles if I’m not mistaken.
Wait! Wait! Wait! You said “would have been”? Yeah, I did. And that’s because I no longer have this 2015 Subaru WRX and you’d know that if you read To Japan And Back.
In short, the Subaru WRX was fun but it was in no way refined enough for me coming from my 2004 BMW M3. Subaru owners are going to say, “Everybody knows the WRX isn’t a luxury car and blah, blah, blah.” And to that I can’t argue. For me, it was a matter of comfort. Not only from the driver’s seat (which is way more sporty and comfortable than the WRX) but also for my passengers, whom happen to be extended family the majority of the time. I like driving. And when we go places I want to be the chauffeur and the WRX was not a vehicle that other enjoyed from the back seat. The 535i is.
Plus it’ll spank the WRX on the back roads. Shots fired.