2008 Subaru WRX

While Mitsubishi's Lancer has grown more appealing, the WRX hasn't. Subaru has struggled with faces for its cars for years, and the search shouldn't stop here in Corollaville.

While the WRX--to be sold in both sedan and hatchback form--is larger in all dimensions, it's actually about fifty pounds lighter than the outgoing car. Credit for that goes to a new, simpler chassis design.

More than any part of the current car, the interior was showing its age. Added features--heated seats for example--used buttons thrown awkwardly in as afterthoughts. The larger Legacy model has a fantastic cabin, and it was most likely used as inspiration during development of this car. That means that nicer switchgear and fine matte-finish materials will replace shiny, cheap surfaces.

The only thing that won't change is the WRX's powertrain. While the 2.5-liter flat four will get a few new bits, including a new turbocharger, it is the same basic engine that has been used for years. Output figures of 224 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque are being claimed. A five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic will continue to be the two transmission options, and stability control will trickle down from higher up in Subaru's product line to keep the WRX pointed down the road. Expect pricing to remain the same--about $25,000.

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