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Used Subaru WRX review: 2010-2011

Buying a used WRX demands caution, not because it's plagued with problems, but simply that it's a high performance car.
EXPERT RATING
8

NEW - There has never been any doubt about the performance of the WRX, it's always been brutally fast, but there have been times when it's been felt that its looks fell short of the mark.

Any complaints about its looks were answered in 2010 with the release of a mean looking new model that should have silenced the critics. One look at the bulging front and rear guards filled with big alloy wheels was enough to tell you the WRX was back in form after the rather soft-looking previous model.

There was also a sedan version of the STi and it featured a large rear wing that added to its menacing image. The standard WRX packed a pretty mean punch with 195 kW and 343 Nm thundering from its 2.5-litre turbocharged flat-four engine.

If that wasn't enough there was the even hotter STi, which delivered 221 kW and a massive 407 Nm. Among the differences that boosted the output of the STi was variable valve timing on both the inlet and exhaust cams, whereas the base WRX only had variable timing on the inlet cam.

If you ticked the regular WRX box you got a five-speed manual gearbox, but had you have checked the STi box you had the choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed sport-shifting auto. The catch was that if you went the auto route you got an engine with 57 Nm less torque.

All WRXs had all-wheel drive. All but the auto had an electronically controlled centre diff, the auto was mechanical, and all had a front limited-slip diff. Along with the pumped-up guards the wheels were moved out to give the WRX a larger footprint, which aided its and handling.

In STi guise the suspension was lower and boasted different spring and shocks rates, a heavier roll bar along with bigger brakes that all add up to more fun at the wheel. It also got lighter alloy 18-inch wheels compared to the 17-inch wheels on the standard car.

Safety was covered by six airbags and electronic stability control; enough to have it rated five stars by ANCAP.

NOW

Buying a used WRX demands caution, not because it's plagued with problems, but simply that it's a high performance car and usually bought by people who like to drive it hard and fast.

Look for signs, not of use as such, but of abuse. Brakes, clutches, suspensions, wheels and tyres can all take a hammering when driven by an uncaring owner.

Certainly look closely for modifications that might have been made to mount roll cages etc., also look for modifications to engines in search of even more performance.

If you find any, and they appear dodgy, walk away and keep shopping. Only consider a modified car if you can verify the bona fides of the person who did the work.

It's also critical that a high performance car like the WRX is fastidiously maintained, so thoroughly check the service history of any car under consideration.

Given a mechanically sympathetic owner and regular servicing the WRX is pretty much bulletproof was the overall report we got from the trade.

SMITHY SAYS

Even more bang for your buck, the WRX is back in town.

Subaru WRX 2010-2011

Price new: $39,990 to $59,990
Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo, 195 kW/343 kW; 2.5-litre 4-cylinder turbo, 221 kW/407 Nm (STi)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual (STi), 5-speed auto (STi), AWD
Economy: 10.4 L/100 km (WRX), 10.6 L/100 km (STi)
Body: 4-door sedan, 5-door hatch
Variants: WRX, STi
Safety: 5-star ANCAP
Expect to pay: $30,500 to $32,000 for the WRX and $46,000 to $48,000 for the WRX STi

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2011 $5,100 $26,400
2010 $4,300 $23,980

View all Subaru Impreza pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$11,990
Based on 133 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,990
Highest Price
$24,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
R (awd) 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,400 – 8,360 2010 Subaru Impreza 2010 R (awd) Pricing and Specs
R (awd) RE 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $5,800 – 8,910 2010 Subaru Impreza 2010 R (awd) RE Pricing and Specs
RS (awd) 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,200 – 11,110 2010 Subaru Impreza 2010 RS (awd) Pricing and Specs
RS (awd) LTD ED 2.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,500 – 11,660 2010 Subaru Impreza 2010 RS (awd) LTD ED Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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