2009 Subaru WRX265
2009 Subaru WRX265. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site

Subaru Canada

Review and Photos by James Bergeron

Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Share this story on Facebook

  • Join the official Autos Facebook group

    Photo Gallery:
    2009 Subaru WRX265

    Bowmanville, Ontario – Fall: everyone knows the telltale signs of autumn. The sun lowers much earlier resulting in darkness sooner than anticipated; the clocks go backwards one hour (in most of the country) giving you that extra hour of sleep on a Monday; and the leaves change colours to gorgeous, vibrant reds and yellows. Perhaps a less obvious sign of autumn is the introduction of new vehicles: most new model year vehicles hit showrooms in September and October, and the new WRX265 from Subaru is no exception.

    Just one year ago, Subaru introduced the newly redesigned Impreza, WRX and STI models. In an almost unprecedented move just one year later, Subaru is offering another new model, the 2009 WRX265; a more powerful, better-handling and better-looking WRX for only $1,000 more than the 2008 model.

    For 2009 Subaru is now offering two variants of the WRX, the entry level version with 224 hp now starts at $30,995, and the new Impreza WRX265 with a more powerful 265-hp engine is priced at $33,995.

    2009 Subaru WRX265
    2009 Subaru WRX265. Click image to enlarge

    The new WRX265 pumps out 265 hp from the same 2.5-litre turbocharged engine as the WRX. The turbocharger in the WRX265 produces 13.3 psi more boost while peak horsepower is achieved at a lofty 6,000rpm. This gives the WRX265 a different personality from previous WRX and STI vehicles as it pulls strongly to redline and loves to be spun fast to keep the power on boil. The extra horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque in the WRX265 also come as a result of an upgraded exhaust.
    The kicker to this deal is that the WRX265 carries the same fuel economy ratings of 11.1L/100 km city and 8.0L/100 km highway as the regular WRX, so you get more power but the same fuel consumption… can’t argue with that.

    As with all Subarus, the WRX265 puts the power to the ground through all four wheels. It employs a viscous-coupling limited-slip center differential and an open-type rear differential. Power is transferred equally front to back 50/50 through the five-speed manual transmission. For 2009 Subaru is not offering an automatic transmission on any WRX model.

    2009 Subaru WRX265
    2009 Subaru WRX265. Click image to enlarge

    The WRX265 adds a few more treats to the goodie bag besides the extra power. It’s also equipped with a suspension that is tuned to provide better handling. The springs are stiffer and the upper strut mounts are taken directly from the STI to provide a more solid foundation for the suspension. Both the front and rear sway bars have been thickened by one millimeter to increase roll stiffness and, in turn, reduce body roll in the corners.

    Perhaps the biggest change that improves handling is the Dunlop 225-series summer performance tires on 17-inch gunmetal-coloured aluminum alloy rims. Standard summer tires mean WRX265 owners should budget for winter rubber – the summer performance tires aren’t designed for frigid weather.

    The WRX265 also features a few aesthetic changes including: red stitching on the seats, WRX embroidered logos on the seats, and a power tilting and sliding glass moonroof. The 265 wears the same rear spoiler as the STI (which is larger than that on the standard WRX model) and the taillights are garnished with body-coloured accents.

    2009 Subaru WRX265
    2009 Subaru WRX265. Click image to enlarge

    The introduction of the WRX265 is coupled with the launch of a new STI package with a base price of $39,995 and the WRX STI Sport Tech Package, which adds moonroof, BBS wheels, navigation system, and Bluetooth for $45,995. This makes the choice betwee WRX, WRX265 and STI much more difficult than before. The WRX265 is also offered in sedan trim, whereas the STI is offered only in hatchback form – this could be a deciding factor for many consumers.

    If you are looking for a quick, rally-inspired vehicle that doesn’t beat you up on the road, the WRX265 is an excellent package. Although the five-speed transmission is a little sloppy, the engine pulls well making the 265 a great highway driver and city machine. Quieter on the road than the previous generation the WRX, it offers a great balance of both comfort and enough performance to keep most drivers happy, without having to go all out for the ultimate rally and track car from Subaru: the STI.

    Manufacturer’s web site
  • Subaru Canada
  • Connect with Autos.ca