Perhaps more than any other car I’ve driven over the past few years, the 2018 Subaru WRX lends itself most easily to stereotyping. In order to buy one, you must be rocking gold chains, a snapback, and exposed chest hair, right? You must get the sunroof to vent your vape while listening to EDM. We must not be able to hear said music over your fart-can exhaust. Despite looking and sounding so “fast”, you must never actually go over the speed limit lest you be immediately pulled over and subject to search and seizure.
You must have gold rims…
One of the main reasons I started this blog and YouTube channel is to reshape some of the stories that have become dogmatic in car culture. I want to provide objective viewpoints about how a car feels as well as how it makes you feel while driving it–not how you will likely be perceived. Stats, imagery, and discussion of quirks and features can be entertaining and informative, but they can also perpetuate what people believe about certain cars, and that–even among a specialized audience of enthusiasts–can be reduced to mere marketing.
So here’s my take on the 2018 Subaru WRX. It’s an all-wheel drive Toyota Corolla with boost. That’s how it looks; that’s how it feels to drive. And that should help flip the script regarding who should buy it. Yes, tuners and social media influencers should be allowed their fun, but the WRX is really very ordinary and practical. It’s comfy enough, quiet enough, roomy enough, and fuel-efficient enough to serve as a commuter and family car. It’s delightfully boring enough for the average adult to be seen in when lacking a body kit and Monster Energy stickers. It will eagerly get you to and from the office each day without breaking the bank. Sure, it goes and will somehow simultaneously push you into to and pull you out of corners (Subaru proves AWD can be actually be cool), but, basically, this car is a slightly fitter and more capable version of your average, appliance-level vehicle–predictable, reliable, but still down for some occasional fun.
Basically, the WRX is your dad.
Many of us seek status through affiliation. There is a WRX wave similar to the Jeep Wave. Not many people buy a WRX for the reasons outlined above. They want to be part of a specific group, and that’s why Subaru can’t sell the hatchback version any more. And that’s a shame because the American predilection for full-sized trucks and SUVs created a monopoly on practicality at the expense of driveability. There is no reason for these concepts to be antithetical, and the 2018 Subaru WRX proves it. If you really want to sport an attitude, buy a WRX–preferably with a CVT–and leave it stock. Drive it to school pickups, grocery runs, and your master’s league soccer matches. Just don’t forget to wave.