Sporty hatches come in dif­fer­ing tem­per­a­ments. Craig Duff mea­sures a one-time AWD ex­tro­vert against a more mod­ern front-driver

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -


Subaru hits you here on both stan­dard fea­tures and ser­vic­ing costs. De­fault gear in­cludes a 6.2-inch touch­screen to the ST’s 5-inch job and auto lights and wipers. Three year/100,000km war­ranty re­quires twice-yearly vis­its to the shop, or ev­ery 12,500km, to­talling $2247 for the man­ual or $2207 for the CVT (a $2000 op­tion). Re­sale value is tipped to be 57 per cent af­ter three years.


Bon­net scoop apart, the WRX looks pos­i­tively de­mure along­side the ST. The ex­tro­verted spoil­ers and wings of pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions give way to more con­ser­va­tive trim as Subaru looks to push the WRX as a main­stream model and the STI as its per­for­mance ve­hi­cle. The in­te­rior looks dated against the Ford, es­pe­cially with

the red-lit dis­plays.


The 2.0-litre boxer, with the turbo wicked up to pro­duce 197kW/350Nm, pow­ers all four wheels. Six-speed man­ual is stan­dard; the CVT brings pad­dle shifters and three-mode driv­e­train ad­just­ment via steer­ing wheel-mounted tog­gles. The man­ual is good for 6.0 sec­onds for the 0-100km/h dash, the CVT 6.3. Claimed fuel use is 9.2L/100km man­ual and 8.6L CVT.


ANCAP‘s five-star rat­ing re­wards its solid crash test per­for­mance and good pedes­trian im­pact pro­tec­tion, with a score of 35.85/37. Seven airbags are stan­dard and all seats have seat belt re­minders. Add $6000 for a WRX Premium to gain driv­ing aid soft­ware.


All-wheel-drive al­lows the car to use ev­ery bit of power in most sit­u­a­tions. An in­her­ent de­sire to push straight on rather than turn cor­ners means it’s less fun than the ST — but it is as fast. The body doesn’t roll as much in turns and the di­rect steer­ing means you for­give the oc­ca­sional mid-cor­ner kick. The CVT is one of the best of its breed but I’d take the man­ual to keep the en­gine above 2500rpm.

$38,990 18.5pts

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