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The power and handling make the Subaru engaging and lively, and there's virtually no learning curve to this car. You can just get in and drive it well from the beginning.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2018 WRX has received a mid-cycle refresh, including a new and more aggressive front end treatment, redesigned suspension, optional Recaro sport seats, Subaru's EyeSight safety system, and a generally upgraded interior.The first of the 2018 model year cars arrived recently, and there's no better way to begin than with a Subaru WRX. The WRX is Subaru's mid-level hot rod. Believe it or not, you can still go up to the WRX STI from here.

The heart of the WRX is Subaru's 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed engine. This turbocharged powerplant gives the WRX 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Mated to the 6-speed manual transmission, you'll enjoy impressive acceleration. You can also choose a continuously variable transmission for this car.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The 2018 Subaru WRX is availlable with a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. And if you spring for the optional navigation system, you get a seven-inch touchscreen display with full Subaru StarLink smart phone integration. One thing to know is that every WRX comes with Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, and you don't have to do anything to use it. It's always on, always putting the engine's power where it will do you the most good.

The 2018 WRX has received a mid-cycle refresh, including a new and more aggressive front end treatment, redesigned suspension, optional Recaro sport seats, Subaru's EyeSight safety system with forward emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, and a generally upgraded interior.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The front bucket seats in the 2018 Subaru WRX are well bolstered, which they need to be, because of the car's tremndous cornering power.The result is the most comfortable WRX ever, with a subtle and responsive ride and steering as well as great looks. The test car was painted in Subaru's Pure Red color, and I never got tired of looking at it. The only thing better was to drive it, because the WRX is truly a fun car. The power and handling make the Subaru engaging and lively, and there's virtually no learning curve to this car. You can just get in and drive it well from the beginning.

As you would expect, Subaru gives you a full set of safety features, so you can feel good about the WRX as your family vehicle as well as your sports car. You'll enjoy the standard rear-view camera and tire pressure monitoring system. Optionally, the WRX is available with unusual features like steering-adaptive headlights that point where you're going instead of straight ahead, and which dim the brights automatically for oncoming cars. If you spring for the optional navigation system, you get a seven-inch touchscreen display with full Subaru StarLink smart phone integration.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The engine data display mounted up high on the dashboard shows current boost or vacuum level in the engine and your rate of acceleration.The bottom line on the 2018 Subaru WRX is that this car will make you remember why you like sport compact cars. It's fast, fun, and great to drive. One last feature to mention is the engine data display mounted up high on the dashboard. This shows current boost or vacuum level in the engine and your rate of acceleration. If you're looking for a fun ride that will still carry passengers, you can't do much better than the new Subaru WRX.

2018 Subaru WRX

Base price: $27,885

Price as tested: $32,455

Type: Compact sedan

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4 (268 hp, 258 lbs-ft)

Transmissions: 6-speed manual; Continuously Variable

EPA estimated mileage: 21/27

Overall length: 180.9 inches

Curb weight: 3,320 pounds

Final assembly: Gunma, Japan

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