2009 Subaru WRX 265
2009 Subaru WRX 265. Click image to enlarge

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Subaru Canada

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Review and photos by Michael Clark

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2009 Subaru WRX 265

Inside Story is a review of interior comfort features, cabin controls, storage options, trunk space and under-hood accessibility based on a seven-day evaluation.

The sleeper lives!

While the gaping catfish mouth on the bonnet will surely get the attention of most gearheads, the overall impression of the WRX265 is delightfully subdued. Hmmmm: Subdue-baru?

2009 Subaru WRX 265
2009 Subaru WRX 265
2009 Subaru WRX 265
2009 Subaru WRX 265. Click image to enlarge

Don’t be fooled by tasteful ground effects and a rear spoiler that can’t hang laundry; this ‘Rex can flex: the 265 parks neatly between the 224-horsepower WRX, and the 305-horsepower STi 5-door version. Hate to spoil the fun, but as much as I would like to share my secrets on dealing with the new lines in your face from the acceleration curve, Inside Story is more concerned with the day-to-day practicality of ownership.

Having already had the pleasure of the entry WRX and the base Impreza, the questions for me this time around concern the addition or deletion of key comfort/convenience components for the 265. MSRP for the WRX265 settles in at $33,995. (Pricing shown does not include freight, taxes, promotional or regional incentives.)

The Cockpit/Centre Stack

A familiar Subaru cockpit is definitely a good thing. The three-spoke tilt/tele wheel incorporates cruise and audio control tabs. The performance breeding shines through, with an oversized tachometer taking centre stage in the IP cluster. There’s a proper engine coolant temperature gauge, with no boost meter provided, nor missed, especially with the non-existent turbo lag. Wipers are variable intermittent, with an electric wiper de-icer bed found on the lower portion of the windshield. Headlamps may not point to an obvious Auto-off setting, but it does exist, when the key is removed with the headlamp switch left in the On position. Power heated exterior mirrors are controlled to the left of the driver on the IP, as well as the dimmer switch, and the stability control cancel. The driver’s door pod houses an Auto descent for the driver’s side pane. Trunk and gas door releasers are floor-mounted, with a keyed trunk lock-out. The centre stack uses an ever-fluctuating upper economy meter that borders on annoying. Simply flip the trip odometer to the A or B position to engage a real-world fuel consumption map. The audio head unit is Sirius equipped, with a built-in six-CD stacker. Climate HVAC is single-zone automatic. The extra horses of the 265 were not enough to merit a sixth gear, though the five-speed box returned no gate complaints. (Purist Alert: an automatic transmission is not available.) Of note; a short throw shifter conversion is available as a dealer install, priced at $479.95 plus taxes and installation.

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