If you are an RFD regular you know I recently replaced my 2004 BMW M3 with a 2015 Subaru WRX Limited. It was difficult, but I followed Subaru’s 1000 mile break-in procedure which I completed in less than a week thanks to a 400 mile round trip to check out Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. Perhaps what impressed me the most about the 2015 Subaru WRX during that trip was the highway fuel economy. It’s no secret that on-board computers are generous when it comes to displaying MPGs. In this case the screen read “36 MPG” at times however calculating at the pump brought things back to earth. I use Fuelly to log every fill-up and graph the stats. Check my WRX’s page here if you want to see real-world figures.
Jumping in a brand new car is great. It’s fresh. It’s got that new car smell that I never want to fade away. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for me to start nit picking the car. This is where I can’t help but compare my fifteen year old BMW to a present day $30k econobox. These are the things I hate about the 2015 Subaru WRX.
The first problem I have with the FA20DIT is the RPM hang. Essentially the RPMs float for what feels like a solid second after letting off the throttle which makes the 1-2 shift incredibly frustrating, to say the least. To note, I don’t recall this RPM hang when driving Sean’s FR-S. I thought maybe this engine has a heavier flywheel but a quick Google search revealed that the RPM hang is common in new cars and is there to help lower vehicle emissions. Sigh.
My second gripe with the FA20DIT is in regard to how smooth the power is delivered. The turbo is slightly audible in the cabin as boost builds with a rush of torque and it feels great but then the thrust decreases and you’re just kind of sailing toward redline. The dyno graph above is from Road and Track. It overlays the new WRX to the STI. It shows a pronounced torque dip in the mid-range and it is definitely felt in the real world. If you’re the type to haul ass everywhere this will get annoying quick. Next thing you know you’ll be installing an intake, J-pipe and that Cobb thing’a’ma’bob (which I hear now reduces the aforementioned RPM hang). Bye bye warranty.
There is a small bowl shaped tray in front of the cupholders but any coins placed in there will proceed to fly out under cornering or braking to find their way under the front seats. Not a coin holder. Sure, there is a cubby in front of the shifter but that has a tacky surface and clearly not intended for coins. More for sunglasses, wallet, or cell phone. There is no ash tray either! My BMW 3-series designed in 1999 had an ash tray and a hidden coin holder!
No Mute Button
Steering wheel control at your finger tips are the best… until I want to lower the volume from 30 to 2 so I can place an order with the nice lady at the Chic-Fil-A drive through. But where the fuck is the mute button on this thing? What, there is NO mute button?? So now I’m holding the volume down toggle for an eternity to lower the volume or I have to take my right hand off the steering wheel, or shifter, and reach for the stupid fucking power button. This makes no fucking sense.
No Rain Sensing Wipers
So it’s raining. I slap up the wiper arm. Too fast. Dial back the speed ring. Too slow. Now I’m in a torrential downpour, its instantly difficult to see 5 feet ahead of me and I’m struggling to find that mother fucking speed ring. ARE RAIN SENSING WIPERS TOO MUCH TO ASK? IT ISN’T EVEN AN OPTION ON THIS CAR!
No Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror
Yeah, I know the auto dimming rear view mirror is available as an option. But that’s just it. This is a WRX Limited. The top of the line WRX! Why, oh why, doesn’t it get an auto dimming mirror standard? And I’ll tell you what’s funny — Subaru has two mirror options, the auto-dimmer and an auto-dimmer with compass. So Why not make the auto-dimming mirror a standard feature on the Limited but make the auto dimming mirror with Homelink an option? Now there’s an idea.
Unimpressive Power Seats
Power seats controls don’t get any more basic than this. Push button to slide forward and back. Push to adjust the recline angle of the seat back. And oh fucking shit, I can adjust the angle of the seat base. Whoop-de-fuckin-do! There is no lumbar adjustment. No adjustable thigh support. Clearly, I’ve been spoiled by Germany.
No Memory Seats
Some may argue the necessity for memory seats. I’ll admit, I don’t use the feature often because I rarely have anyone else drive my car but when I get memory seats in a 1995 3-series it sure would be nice to have them as standard equipment in 2015, especially on a “Limited” model.
Heated Seat Toggle Switch Location
Who the hell ever thought placing the heated seat toggle switches under the center arm rest would be a good idea? Why not place them below the AC controls or somewhere front and center? This feature was definitely over looked. Especially on a manual transmission car. Oh, you want to turn on your seat warmers? Sure, it’s okay to fumble your hand under my elbow while I’m trying to shift.
No Fold Down Rear Center Arm Rest
C’MON SUBARU. Just… next.
No Rear Courtesy Lights
In my M3, there rear passengers had reading lights available on both C-Pillars. When toggled on, a perfectly lit beam would illuminate that passenger’s side to make reading easy while not over lighting and disturbing other passengers. I gotta tell you, man, the Germans are on point.
In reality, these are trivial complaints but it’s the small things that add up to a larger package. I hope Subaru reads this. If any auto makers are reading this, put me on your quality control test team! Let me give you feedback!
Other than those complaints, the 2015 interior re-design is leaps and bounds nicer than the outgoing GR (2008-2014) model. Hard plastics are still in play but the overall design feels more modern. More…2015. Both the WRX and the STI seats are the same design. The only difference is the materials and color. They have decent side bolstering and did a better job of holding my 5’10” frame in place through the corners than the seats in my M3. These seats are a bit on the firm side however I did manage that aforementioned 400 mile round trip without a complaint.
There are few cars in the world that will out shine the E46 M3 for under $100k. The WRX is not one of them and I will never pretend it will be. That’s not why I bought the car. I bought the Subaru WRX because it is an economical and fun family hauler. I’m only 1000 miles in to ownership but thus far the 2015 Subaru WRX has fulfilled everything I’ve asked of it. Be sure to follow my WRX on WheelWell.com to stay up to date with all it’s modifications and build details.
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