Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Rex Is Back on the Pace; after Turning Soft a Couple of Years Back, Grant Edwards Finds the Flagship Impreza Has Gulped a Cup of Concrete

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Rex Is Back on the Pace; after Turning Soft a Couple of Years Back, Grant Edwards Finds the Flagship Impreza Has Gulped a Cup of Concrete

Article excerpt

THE Rex is back, baby.

After being given the marshmallow treatment by Subaru a few years back to widen the driving appeal, it's now been given a cup of concrete.

Available in both sedan and hatch with standard or souped-up STI guise, this model is a resurrection.

The Impreza WRX put Subaru on the map in performance terms and helped the Japanese brand build an impressive profile in Australia.

Turbocharged and hard-edged, the Rex developed a cult following among the boy-racers who loved the neck-snapping acceleration and an unforgiving ride.

But the 2008 model forgot those who loved the turbocharged fire-breather.

Now there is a new metal jacket for the Impreza flagship, including an STI sedan, and it looks mean a with performance to match.

Muscular from every angle, it looks like the Rex has been pumping iron.

The trademark all-wheel drive road-holding is back, and at $39,990 for the base model, it's difficult to find another offering delivering similar bang for your buck.

STI versions cost an extra 20 grand, and for the first time you have an automatic option.

Comfort

Familiar materials are used throughout the cabin, including some hard plastics which cheapen the interior look.

The STI model we first tested made some creaks and groans through the dash.

Another bugbear is the seats which would benefit from additional support, an issue only exposed due to the WRX's on-road brilliance.

However, there are no complaints about the layout and interior space.

The dials are well positioned, easy to reach and simple to operate.

Even the satellite navigation and computer is simple to use.

Head and legroom is good up front and back, while the boot in the sedan is expansive.

The ride is firm but doesn't cross the line to uncomfortable.

On the road

From the first time you climb above 3800rpm it leaves you in no doubt that the Rex has been resurrected.

There's a wonderful whoosh as the turbocharger unleashes the power within.

The same 2.5-litre turbo four-cylinder boxer engine is used in both the WRX and STI models, but the latter gains additional sports tuning which results in more kilowatts and torque. …

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