2009 Subaru Impreza WRX Premium

Andrew Trahan

SPT, SPT, my kingdom for some SPT parts. Don't get me wrong, this WRX is still a powerful little hatch on its own, but I really miss some of those hop-ups we had on the first WRX Premium to grace our fleet.

I must have missed the "appearance parts" Jeffrey speaks about, because our SPT WRX looked virtually identical to this test car. That may be disappointing to those who want to flaunt their ride at Hot Import Nights, but the idea of building a taut, powerful sleeper intrigues me.

I'm not exactly sure if I'd spring for the $800 exhaust (even at 265 hp, this thing is still pretty fast), but I would spring for the short shifter. Unlike David, I'm not really feeling the long throws of the stock gate, especially since it seems to be quite a contrast to the clutch, which wants to engage immediately. Handling doesn't suffer too much by skipping the SPT strut bar and subframe brace, but the stock WRX does exhibit just a bit more body roll than our SPT-tuned tester.

Unless you're dead-set on a sunroof, I'd also recommend skipping the WRX premium model. The inclusion of Subaru's navigation is the only other real highlight of the price increase, and given its awkward interface (apparently, a red dot translates to "begin route"), I'd recommend an aftermarket Garmin, TomTom, or Pioneer in-dash unit instead.

Still, if you're looking at buying a rally-inspired machine for everyday life, it's hard to beat the WRX.

Evan McCausland, Web Producer

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