By on March 23, 2010

How can it be that Subaru is simultaneously so easy to love and so easy to hate? Under the sheetmetal, the company sells some of the most capable and characterful automotive technology in a market that’s otherwise flooded with bland homogeneity. But then there’s the damn sheetmetal. Subaru has “upgraded” the 2011 WRX with the swollen, anabolic looks of the STI, which might look decent in hatch form, but as a sedan (and like all Impreza sedans since the first generation) it’s just plain unfortunate. If only Subaru had snagged Peter Schreyer before Kia did… [via Autoblog]

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38 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: A Wrex’ Progress Edition...”

  • avatar

    My first reaction was that it’s nicely different than the ubiquitous CAD body style, but then I noticed the creases, and more creases, and then still more creases. Origami CAD, maybe. It’s really pronounced in the photo from a distance. But then again, I may be the only person who thinks the bugeyes were the most attractive, albeit in a no-BS kind of way.

  • avatar

    I so miss the days of the bug eye headlamps. The new designs are so overwrought with creases and angles that I rarely like a car designed after 2007.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting, because at the time most people condemned the bug-eyed Impreza as one of the ugliest cars on the road.**

      It really does show that striking/ugly gradually becomes palatable, then dated, then, eventually, a “classic” and “period piece” demonstrative of the design trends of the era.

      ** I also liked the bug-eye, for the record.

  • avatar

    I feel the way you do about Subaru Mr. Niedermeyer. That sedan looks like the bastard love child of a relationship between Suzuki and Mitsubishi.

  • avatar

    It’s an improvement, but that’s not saying much. I still think the 04′-05 MY was the best looking version offered in the states (the bug-eyed ’02-03 coming in close second)

  • avatar
    John R

    Given the choice between the current WRX sedan and this, I’ll take this. This at least looks the part. That being said, I’ll wait for the hatch.

  • avatar

    Haven’t you considered that being ugly is part of the WRX/STi features?

    I don’t find it that offensive. It looks riced out.

  • avatar

    If a Subaru Legacy and a Mercedes Benz C63 AMG were to mate, this would be the resulting offspring.

  • avatar

    22B was the last one I really really liked… they’ve gotten progressively….”quirkier” ever since.

  • avatar

    That’s awful. Every bit as cliched as opera windows, wire wheel covers,vinyl tops, tail fins and 58 Buicks.

    Looks like Manny, Moe, Jack and J.C. Whitney threw up on this thing.

    Sad. Makes my Dad’s old 78 Subaru DL look like it was from the era of classic coach work and custom bodies….

    Yes, I think 07 is my cut off date for attactive designs as well.

    A cartoon.

  • avatar

    Who buys an Impreza sedan? Seriously, the rally car and all its heritage = wagon.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the majority of the Impreza rally cars (up until the last few years) were sedans or two door coupes. Hatches were only recently. The Legacy rally car that predated the Impreza was also a sedan.

  • avatar

    Further prove that we living through the era of the seriously ugly car.

  • avatar

    Also, when will they put in a dual clutch so my wife can drive one and I can buy one?

  • avatar

    Hey, at least the headlights don’t stretch back to the a-pillars.

  • avatar

    It starting to look like a proper rally car again. Me like.

  • avatar

    Looks nearly criminal to have made the sedan. Looks terrible.

    At least the Hatch flowed. The hatch looked the part like a proper vehicle.

  • avatar

    Looks fantastic. I love it!

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Yeah, this ain’t good. It’s sitting way too high and the curvy molded plastic is at odds with the Corollaventional roofline. The flared sides are okay, except that I can stick my fist in between the wheel and the fender. That’s too much space. I all just looks very Pontiac Grand Am.

  • avatar

    At least Subarus are unique. Besides when you are driving it does it really matter?

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Who’da thought a Krogan could fit in a Subaru?

  • avatar

    For the record… I loved the bug-eye from the first minute I laid eyes on it. I hated the pig snout that followed, but I got used to it.



    This car is the definition of a square peg in a round hole. Never in a million years would all those design cues, half-hearted arcs and chopped lines ever go together. It looks bad enough to be something that BOMEX threw out after a drunken office Christmas party. In other words, only pretty when you’re really drunk and completely tasteless… and terribly ugly even when you’re only half-sober (but still completely tasteless).

    Not that the base car is any prettier, mind you… but it doesn’t look like a Chinese carshow concept car (sorry, Bertel) like this one does.

  • avatar
    Kyle Schellenberg

    Good for blind people: creases lead to door handles, hood release and headlights (for cleaning off bug guts). They also don’t have to partake in the breaking of the ugly.

  • avatar


    There’s a good word! I’m not even sure if I know how to pronounce it correctly.

  • avatar

    Suzuki called. They want there SX4 back.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    In the UK they only sell the hatch , which looks so bad you wouldn’t want to be seen dead in it. At least this is a sedan.
    New Subarus always look ugly. The Mk 1 only looked really good just before it was replaced with the bug-eyed model. The bug-eyed model was eventually made to look good , then they replaced it !!!

  • avatar

    As an 09 WRX owner, not sure how I feel about this. From a technical perspective the wider wheels and track are a nice improvement, and it is good to see Subaru making constant updates to their line up. For the hatch they have just given it the STI body, and adapted that for the sedan since the WRX comes in both styles.

    It does bring up the value question with the STI. Subaru has been whittling away at the performance advantage of the STI over the WRX for a few years now. Car and Driver went quite a bit faster on their “Lightning Lap” with the 09 WRX than they did with an 08 STI.

    Any Subaru geek knows the STI drivetrain/brakes/suspension is just flat superior to the WRX, enough to justify most of the price difference. But if you have nothing to show for it on the track what is the point?

    I am expecting the 2011 STI will be revealed at the NY auto show as well, I would think there would be some major updates coming to keep it competitive.

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    The bug eyed imprezas and WRX’s were my favorites.

  • avatar

    I still think the best looking US scooby is the 2000-era Impreza RS.

    It’s been all downhill since then.

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    I even liked the last gen flying vagina ones. I guess I like ugly cars.

  • avatar

    You can check out how the Subaru WRX ranked in the latest April Autos Issue from Consumer Reports. The issue is available free online at for anyone interested. There is a lot of helpful information included.

  • avatar

    As a former Subaru SVX owner, I applaud the sometimes distinctive styling (SVX, XT, Brat, 1st gen B9). In the sea of homogenous cars, I like a little character.

    That said, I’m not a big fan of the current WRX. It looks too plain. I thought about buying the previous generation in 2004 but passed in favor of the Infiniti G35. I would call the 2004 styling too cartoonlike and the generation after that too plain. However I like the looks of this picture and though I haven’t seen one in person, it gives me a favorable impression enough to get me in the door next time I’m looking to buy. It’s racy-mature looking.

  • avatar

    My wife has a bug-eyed WRX wagon, and she thinks that it’s cute. The best I can say about it is that I’ve gotten used to it. She also likes the current version quite a bit. I just showed here the photo of the new WRX, though, and she did not like it at all. While it may be fine for the tuner crowd, I think it is too extreme for the average consumer, who just wants a fun, fast, and capable little car, but does not want to attract undue attention.

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t that just the problem though? Subaru already did what you said in 2008 with the WRX and they pissed off the tuner crowd and the media panned it. Subaru has been chasing the enthusiasts ever since. They did rename the watered down version the 2.5GT so the average consumer does have that option.

      But the WRX is still selling pretty well so who knows how hard they should be chasing the boy racers.

  • avatar

    I’m actually thrilled they’ve put the STI fenders on the WRX. I think sedans are idiotic to buy when there is a hatch/wagon available, so the sedan’s horrid looks are of no concern to me. The WRX hatch, though, now gets wider wheels & tires and the great STI looks. For those of us that don’t want to spend STI money for the unnecessary trick diff and brembo brakes, these are great additions.

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    The more I look at it the more I like it. Throw some Monster Energy Drink and Dirt 2 stickers on it and you have a rally car for the streets. If I could afford an wrx the looks wouldn’t put me off.

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