2009 Subaru WRX vs. Its Competition

2009 Subaru WRX

The MazdaSpeed3 is a sharply styled beast with similar turbo thrills, less turbo lag, and an equally roomy interior; economy is surprising, but front-wheel drive only means that torque steer can give unpleasant driving surprises—especially on less-than-perfect pavement.

Mitsubishi's turbocharged Lancer Ralliart is nearly as fast as the legendary Evo and a good match for the WRX, but its interior doesn't match the WRX's quality, and it, too, suffers from turbo lag.

The Chevrolet Cobalt SS is a surprisingly good performer, but also front-wheel drive; GM's new direct-injected turbo four is blistering and refined, handling is grin-inducing, and the low-rent interior is Avis abysmal.

Dodge's Caliber SRT4 melds a roomy, convenient hatch layout with good performance stats, but refinement is sorely lacking in every sense and the interior is down there with the Cobalt's.

The STi directly competes with the BMW 1-Series and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Compared to the STi, the Evolution is hard-edged, with a firmer ride but handling that's crisper in the tightest corners; the experience is a bit twitchy, and ride quality is barely good enough for daily driving.

The Evolution also has the advantage of a wonderful automatic-clutch manual transmission that's our favorite manu-matic option to date.

The 135i is a worthy competitor, but it has a somewhat cramped interior and rides like a bigger, heavier car; it's remarkably close in size to the 3-Series, and between the two TheCarConnection.com prefers the 3.

2009 Subaru WRX2009 Subaru WRX
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2009 Chevrolet Cobalt LS2009 Chevrolet Cobalt
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2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart2009 Mitsubishi Lancer
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2008 Dodge Caliber SE2008 Dodge Caliber
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Quick Specs
The 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX is a niche model that won't appeal to everyone; it's extremely entertaining, remarkably comfortable, and very safe, but might disappoint those who value refinement and frugality for the daily grind.
The price is right for the 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt, yet most of its competitors offer a better overall value.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart is essentially the daily-driving Evo, with every bit the racy look but not the jarring ride and peaky powertrain.
The Caliber has a very practical layout and quite a few innovative features to get excited about, but it's lacking in driving enjoyment or refinement--even compared to its low-priced competition.
MSRP From   
Gas Mileage   
18 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy
Turbo Gas 4-CylGas 4-CylGas I4Gas I4
EPA Class   
Style Name   
4-Door Manual2-Door Coupe Base4-Door Sedan Manual DE4-Door HB SE FWD
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
Passenger Doors   
Body Style   
4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4 Door SedanHatchback
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2009 Subaru WRX vs. 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt2009 Subaru WRX vs. 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer2009 Subaru WRX vs. 2008 Dodge Caliber