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STYLING | 7 out of 10
STi...carries an air of purposeful muscularity
Impreza is athletically styled, avoiding the bulbous look that plagues some hatchbacks
Simple and intuitive climate control knobs are likewise well-placed
Subaru has always carved its own path when it comes to styling, and the exterior of the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX is just as polarizing as its predecessors. However, TheCarConnection.com's research shows that the interior of Subaru Impreza WRX, which was redesigned in 2008, is a runaway success.
The 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX is available in either sedan or hatchback body styles, while the lightning-quick Subaru Impreza WRX STi comes exclusively as a hatchback. Reviews of the sedan are mediocre, as Edmunds remarks that, "from the rear doors back, the styling screams econobox, with homely taillights" and a wealth of uninspiring trim elements. The hatchback, however, is a different story entirely—Jalopnik reviewers say that the Subaru Impreza WRX "STi isn't what you'd call traditionally handsome," but they praise its "air of purposeful muscularity," which is enhanced by the "wildly flared arches, huge hood scoop and restrained rear wing." In a nod to the unorthodox styling, Car and Driver notes that the Subaru Impreza WRX features "love-it-or-hate-it styling," and Jalopnik laments that "the controversial looks will keep it from mass-market acceptance." The 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback features a few styling changes for 2009, which Cars.com details as "an Aero Package featuring an STi-type grille with a WRX badge," while the sedan gets "new tailpipe tips."
The inside of the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX is a vast improvement over the rather Spartan interior that characterized previous versions of the Impreza lineup. Jalopnik calls the "swoopy and odd" interior "positively refreshing," while Edmunds raves that the "legible gauges remained so in practically any lighting situation, with a simple layout centering the large tachometer prominently behind the steering wheel." For those Subaru Impreza WRX STi models equipped with the optional navigation system, ConsumerGuide attests that "the navigation system itself is easy to negotiate," which is more than can be said for some competitors.
Not everyone who approaches a 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX will be drawn to the exterior, but it's a pretty safe bet that the interior will leave a positive impression.