WRX– First Impressions

by wjw on June 24, 2016

0b828c21184c8543ac1a385d70bdb567Britain didn’t merely shoot itself in the foot, but managed somehow to slice off both legs below the knee.  At least it will be cheap to visit there in the future, if I can avoid being eaten by the starving cave dwellers lurking in the cellars of the once-great metropoleis.

But anyway I want to talk about something more cheerful, namely my new car.

The WRX has been immense fun, though so far most of my errands have been pretty mundane, and I’ve had relatively few occasions to really let the car fly.  Unfortunately I live on a very well-policed stretch of road.

But last week I was in the mountains for the Rio Hondo workshop, and I was looking forward not just to seeing so many of my friends, but to driving there, particularly through the canyon of the Rio Grande, which is a two-lane road with a lot of nice twisty parts, though often blocked by RVs and pickup trucks full of old furniture, cattle feed, and ofttimes people.

The turbocharged boxer flat-four left the RVs and the pickups very nicely in the dust, and the four-wheel-drive glued the car to the corners as if the car were in a trough.  But the highlight was Highway 64 in the canyon between Taos and Angel Fire, which is full of hairpin turns, corners bare of guard rails, and guard rails without reflectors, so that at night you don’t know they’re there until you’re right on them.  There’s a double yellow line through most of it, so I couldn’t pass the 25mph horse trailer that chugged along in front of me for 20 miles or so; but I got to drive the same road later, at night, with no traffic and with Oz Drummond in the passenger seat egging me on, and the resulting high-gee maneuvers were an excellent source of stimulation to the adrenal glands.  And again the 4wd kept the car firmly in its lane, without a hint of breaking free or even squealing tires.

I’m still learning the car, so I still haven’t driven it to its (or my) limits, but I’m still having fun.

The chief disappointment has been gas consumption.  The dashboard reports mileage, which has consistently been good, but I’m beginning to suspect that the logarithms were borrowed from Volkswagen’s engineers.  My trip to Rio Hondo was reported by the car as achieving 29.5mpg, but actual mpg was 23.3.  The mileage on the return trip was reported as 30.6, but actual mileage turned out to be 27.7.  Which is an improvement, though that route is mostly downhill, so it’s sort of what I’d expect.  I will continue to collect data.

And continue to have fun, I reckon.

Shash June 25, 2016 at 3:55 pm

The turbo eats up gas like a hungry hippo. If you don’t invoke it, the mileage should be pretty good. But, by all means, use the turbo when you can. Otherwise, why have that particular car? It’s a blast to drive.

You might want to look up and enlist in some local rallycrosses or autocrosses to really get to know the car. They are lower speed, single car events that can really teach you how your car handles, without worrying about the cops.

Susan Beaty June 25, 2016 at 5:54 pm

My Toyota hybrid consistently reports better mileage than I get when I calculate the mpg myself. We suspect sampling error, but we’re not sure and haven’t really looked into it.

Dave L June 26, 2016 at 5:13 am

No, no , no. We’re just moving our borders back to where they were in 1283. Once the smoke has cleared, we’ll reclaim Normandy and Aquitaine…

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