With sedans fast becoming a dying breed, receiving one for a review felt like a rare treat, being one with an unyielding affection towards this style of vehicle. The car in question wasn't just any old saloon, but a Subaru WRX, a name recognised by anyone who regards themselves as a petrolhead. Etched into our memories by the unmistakable boxer engine growl in the first and second-generation Subaru WRX.

Depending on who you ask, from a design perspective the Japanese may have lost the plot here. They created what appears to be a grown-up WRX sedan that still dresses youthfully. It's very boxy and in place of smooth contours, it has angular edges everywhere. However, if you're able to overlook its polarising design, you'll discover the treasure beneath the odd appearance. Subaru says that when it created this iteration of the WRX, there were three key deliverables, and in some strange way, they seem to have nailed them all.



It uses a 2.4l turbocharged Boxer engine and has an all-wheel-drive system. The flat four-cylinder motor produces 202kW and 350Nm of torque, and even though these figures may not be on the upper end of the scale, the Subaru WRX puts every one of those kW and Nm to good use. It's a tractable vehicle and it's quick enough to have fun in. This, however, isn't where the WRX scores its main points. Handling is where it will blow your mind,

With its AWD system, the new Subaru WRX has frighteningly great handling. To put this into perspective, you can throw it into any corner at any speed and it will grip that tar as though its life depends on it while keeping your chosen line no matter what. Despite my best efforts to get it to fail this test, it never did. Its road-holding abilities will simply blow your mind, and what makes it more mind-warping is how sharp and precise the steering is. Pick a line and you could run those wheels over a R5 coin - that's how precise it is.



You get the typical safety features here that you would find in any modern vehicle, including adaptive cruise control with a well-engineered Lane Keep Assist. However, the Subaru has included a rather unique feature in this WRX, it's called EyeSight Driver -Assist. It's a driver monitoring system displayed by an eye symbol on the instrument cluster and the media screen. Its main function is to monitor the driver's eyes, so if for whatever reason you're not keeping your eyes on the road, the system beeps and a pop-up message to keep your eyes on the road is displayed on the instrument cluster. It isn't intrusive but will give you a few seconds' grace period before it scolds you. It works well for those who use their mobile phones while driving, and after being scolded once for this, it feels like you're being watched and you more than likely won't do it again. Further to this, the system has facial recognition and will change the vehicle's settings to each driver's preferred presets. Other safety features in the Subaru WRX include a Pre-Collision Braking system, Autonomous Emergency Steering, Lane Departure Prevention, Adaptive Cruise and Steering Control, and Traffic Sign Recognition.


One thing we were impressed by in this new Subaru WRX was its dual character. Its freakish handling characteristics are only available in Sports+, one of five driving modes. In this setting you can discern every ripple and inconsistency on the road, however, its comfort mode is the complete opposite of the performance setting. In Comfort, the sedan is as placid as a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The steering wheel becomes light, complementing the soft dampening of the suspension. It becomes a vehicle that you can daily, drive in traffic, and enjoy on the open road, making the Subaru WRX an exceptional all-rounder. Even though we didn't put it onto a race circuit, it would make for a thrill-inducing track toy if you did.


Subaru WRX price

Subaru WRX 2.4 DIT Manual R799 000

Subaru WRX 2.4 DIT CVT R877 000


Gugu Masuku