2019 Subaru WRX Premium Series.Gray: performance, value leader

  • Friday, September 20, 2019 1:30am
  • Vehicles

It’s not every day you get to test drive a special edition, performance sports car with production limited to 750 copies nationwide.

But that was the case with the 2019 Subaru WRX Premium Series.Gray model.

Let’s start with the color: It’s called Cool Gray Khaki by the manufacturer. My description would be Battleship Gray. It’s different – just like the WRX and its symmetrical all-wheel drive and active torque vectoring.

The WRX is a performance and value leader in the AWD sport-compact segment, pricing out around $30,000. And the back seat is functional, seating four adults in comfort.

The exterior was flashy enough to turn heads and generate questions from passersby. More so, than usual.

All Series.Gray models are available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, crystal-black silica badging, foldable exterior mirrors, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels with black finish. It also comes with an optional performance package with ultrasuede-trimmed Recaro seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, JURID front brake pads, LED steering responsive headlights, LED fog lights and keyless access with pushbutton start.

WRX is powered by a 2.0-liter, DOHC, direct injection, intercooled turbocharged BOXER engine that generates 268 horsepower and delivers 23-miles-per-gallon fuel economy in combined city/highway driving.

Acceleration was impressive whether from a standing start or passing at freeway speed. And I found myself looking for out-of-the-way, windy, curvy pavement to enjoy the WRX’s handling chops.

Creature comforts come in bunches, highlighted by Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, automatic climate control, dual USB ports, Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, CD player, rear-view camera, all-weather package, heated front seats and more.

The sound system was particularly sweet. Chris Botti and Jake Shimabukuro instrumentals played with crystal-clear clarity. Music to my ears!

The 2019 WRX Premium now comes standard with the STARLINK 7.0 multimedia-plus system with a seven-inch, high-resolution touchscreen; smartphone integration, Aha, Pandora and STARLINK Cloud apps; Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity along with voice control.

My tester did not come with Subaru’s acclaimed EyeSight safety package, which is too bad. I’m a Forester owner, and it’s hard to beat. But it did come packaged with four-wheel disc brakes with brake assist, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft and heated exterior mirrors.

For inquiring minds, the limited production WRX also comes in an STI Gray.Series model. That model comes with a Bilstein sports-tuned suspension and Recaro seats, along with other upgrades.

The WRX is manufactured at Subaru’s Gunma, Japan, assembly plant and comes with a five-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance.

Base Price: $30,380

Price As Driven: $33,480

Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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