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Old 01-05-2009, 12:25 AM   #1
MotorTrend
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Default '09 WRX versus MS3, GTI, Cobalt SS, Si, Ralliart, Clubman S, and SRT-4

Yes, it should be 'versus'.


The sport compact segment has has boomed in recent years, with automakers from around the globe bringing some serious efforts to U.S. showroom floors lately. Some forgo the comfortable ride for all-out performance, while others attempt to go the jack-of-all-trades route. Which does it best? To find out, we've assembled eight cars from the segment for a comparison, all with four doors, several of them hatches.

We spent the first day driving each car around a 22-mile road-loop near Calabasas, California. Consisting of time on freeways, city streets, and curvy two-lane roads, the loop proved a fine way to evaluate the characteristics of each car in real-world conditions. We hit Willow Springs the next day to flog our rainbow-colored assortment of vehicles around Streets from sunup to sundown.

4th Place: 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX

Quote:
"Wow...it's potent," says editor at large Arthur St. Antoine. "Didn't expect so much kick."


Quote:
"Nicely planted on the road loop's downhill twisties," adds Markus. While firmer, the suspension is still supple enough for everyday liveability, per technical editor Kim Reynolds: "It just has a relaxed comfortableness about it that's appealing." That said, most judges deemed the suspension still too soft for confidence inspiring track activities. "There's a bit more body roll and motion than might be optimal," notes Markus, while St. Antoine has a stronger opinion: "Suspension is very soft, with tons of body roll in turns." Nevertheless, the WRX managed to record the second-best lap time at the Streets.


Quote:
Despite being the quickest at the dragstrip and the next speediest at the track, the WRX places fourth in part due to its less-than-invigorating suspension tuning but also because its five-speed, while perfectly acceptable for routine commuting, is often imprecise when attempting to shift swiftly; its boxer four "idles lumpy" and proved noisier than expected; and its styling, inside and out, was uninspiring in light of some others'. Unbelievably, within this collection of eight cars, fourth place is a strong finish.
Read the full story here.
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Last edited by MotorTrend; 01-05-2009 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:36 AM   #2
Moof
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Hrm, not bad.

The only thing that made me pick the WRX over a Cobalt SS sedan was the AWD.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:40 AM   #3
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MS3 Still gettin it huh. Damn.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moof View Post
Hrm, not bad.

The only thing that made me pick the WRX over a Cobalt SS sedan was the AWD.
Um are you leaving out the interior? The Cobalt interior is terrible. Give it two years and it will look like its been 10.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moof View Post
Hrm, not bad.

The only thing that made me pick the WRX over a Cobalt SS sedan was the AWD.
its GM.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:47 AM   #6
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the lancer and the wrx still are AMAZING cars, and among the group they are visually the most appealing.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxwagon253 View Post
Um are you leaving out the interior? The Cobalt interior is terrible. Give it two years and it will look like its been 10.
Indeed. The cobalt interior is horrid. The e-brake is just a piece of square plastic!

But man... Drive one and you can see why its doing so well in these comparison tests!
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:52 AM   #8
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GTI wins 1st and there are VW ads plastered all over the MT website. Sounds about right.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:01 AM   #9
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I think GM slipped Motor Trend a 20 to get their Cava...um, I mean.....Cobalt up to second place. The car looks like absolute garbage, inside and out. It probably needed something replaced or repaired right after they drove it. After all the praise and great reviews you guys have been giving the 09 WRX, there's no way I believe that it got 4th on this list.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:04 AM   #10
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Cobalt . . . I hate that friggin car lol
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:06 AM   #11
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all those cars are appealing to me...

hell if they gave me a good enough deal on the cobalt i'd rock it
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:20 AM   #12
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When are they actually going to compare the Evo/STI to the Speed3, Cobalt SS, and GTI...

As far as Im concerned, the WRX should be compared to the Mazda3
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxwagon253 View Post
Um are you leaving out the interior? The Cobalt interior is terrible. Give it two years and it will look like its been 10.


When it comes down to cars, aesthetics are the last thing I see. When I look at a Cobalt SS, I see an engine with proven potential, a prime suspension setup, and a transmission that can take a beating. Who cares what it looks like? Besides, I'm more of a 'sleeper' guy.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:42 AM   #14
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That's it... I HAVE to drive this CobaltSS to see what all the hubub is about.

I've had the regular car for a rental and it was... well... not very nice.
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:57 AM   #15
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This comparison doesn't take into account that a VW/Chevy/Mitsubishi will have MAJOR electrical/mechanical issues to deal with as soon as it hits 60K miles (especially the VW).

Flog a Subaru for 100k and see how reliable it is versus the competition and there's no comparison. Yeah, I'm bias but only because I know VW/Chevy/Mistu owners.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delta265 View Post
GTI wins 1st and there are VW ads plastered all over the MT website. Sounds about right.
coincidence? i doubt it.

to go along with a car that didn't win in any category that they tested, but yet wins it all?

they ding the wrx for having too soft of a suspension (yet it posted the second best track time), being "lumpy" at idle (wtf? ), imprecise shifting feel, and looks which are subjective? Got to raise the bs flag on that.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reaper702 View Post
coincidence? i doubt it.

to go along with a car that didn't win in any category that they tested, but yet wins it all?

they ding the wrx for having too soft of a suspension (yet it posted the second best track time), being "lumpy" at idle (wtf? ), imprecise shifting feel, and looks which are subjective? Got to raise the bs flag on that.
thats what im saying man...we got ROBED HAHAH!
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:34 AM   #18
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I recently test drove a Cobalt SS to see what was so great about it and yeah its quick and handles pretty well for fwd but the interior and bland exterior couldn't get much uglier. Looking at this group of vehicles I would like to see what 2 or 3 grand worth of upgrades could accomplish on all of them and do another review.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:42 AM   #19
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thats a great match
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:01 AM   #20
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damn i was all excited to read that they tested all the cars at streets of willow, then i looked at the times and they used the shorter configuration FTL
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:07 AM   #21
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Being an owner of an 08 cobalt ss 2-door i have to say the sedan is horrible to look at, it makes me want to throw up. The coupe on the other hand is much better looking.
and GM really needs to ditch the yellow paint
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesToEmpty View Post
When are they actually going to compare the Evo/STI to the Speed3, Cobalt SS, and GTI...

As far as Im concerned, the WRX should be compared to the Mazda3
I think MSRP is the reason those are excluded. Other than maybe the GTI, these all come in under 30k.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:34 AM   #23
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since when are GM's so unreliable?

my family and I have owned many...

they were great cars/trucks
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:49 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesToEmpty View Post
When are they actually going to compare the Evo/STI to the Speed3, Cobalt SS, and GTI...

As far as Im concerned, the WRX should be compared to the Mazda3
What, the mazda 3 is cheaper than the rs or i the or whatever the hell they call it these days. The wrx should be compared to the speed3 and it should out perform it. This review was justified. Car and Driver had it mid class as well. At the end of the day the wrx is in the same class as every other wrx made, a class of its own. Seriously though, if you have to justify awd to someone than they probably won't appreciate it. Mazdaspeed 3 is a great car and deserves a good review. The cobalt is a amazing car for being us born it is a little pricey for what you get. My only problem with this review is the lack of consistency they had ranking them. eg. GTI refined exterior and by far the best in class interior, it does lack performance though. But their number two is the cobalt wich posts amazing performance runs but looks like a... cobalt.They seem to have a lack of direction. I thought Car and drivers review was better. But all in all they did treat the wrx fairly.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:09 AM   #25
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getting better..
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