Is it any wonder that the 2016 Subaru WRX feels right at home on the road less travelled?

Written by on September 7, 2015 in Cars and Chicks, Performance, Road Review, Sedan - 18 Comments


KrystynaLagowski & 2016 Subaru WRXWhen a crew of Subaru aficionados get together with their prized wheels, it’s not just a Saturday morning show’n’shine or a mid-week cruise night. No, it’s an all-day pumped-up extravaganza of a hyper meet, that takes over four parking lots and throngs of road. And about 750 cars showed up for an afternoon of car talk, music, aftermarket goodies and eats, in support of Ronald McDonald House.

Among the predominantly Subaru Rally Blue, the largest representation came from the WRX contingent, old and new. Hardly surprising, given the rally car’s long-standing reputation for spunk and value. Last year, I barrelled around in a WRX that was marvellously moxie, despite being an automatic. What kind of wallop would a six-speed deliver, I wondered?

Luckily, a 2016 Subaru WRX Sport with a stick shift was available, in a deep shade of Lapis Blue – just a tad more sinister than the usual blue. And, I was to discover, most appropriately so.


As my left foot got down to business, I checked out the 6-1/2 inch screen on the dash which connected me to Starlink, and easily hooked up my Sirius stations. Against the cool beats of the Friends of Distinction and Bobby Womack, I took my rightful place in the left lane and shrieked down the highway. Damn! The throttle read my mind, and the powerful 265 horsepower engine blustered effortlessly along the 401.

With a trip to cottage country in the works, I had shopping on the go. Although the WRX was a goodly sized four door sedan, it gracefully sallied around town, even in the thick of rush hour. Hands down, the all-new rear side vehicle detection tech earned its supper nudging us in and around downtown gridlock!

But the real test, the proving ground, would be the 10 kilometres of punishing dirt roads leading up to my cousins’ cottage. Now, I adore my cousins, and their summer hideaway is nicely off the grid, but the route is just plain torturous. Once off the main road, the way to Chez Cousins is a crooked, knobby trail that’s as gorgeous as it is harrowing. Consisting of pebbles, sand and razor grass, it meanders through dense bush, majestic jack pine, poplar and birch. It’s like having mother nature as a backseat driver, breathing down your neck.IMG_0871


I left early on a Friday morning, and sailed up the 400, Georgian Bay bound. Under a clear blue sky, the WRX easily lapped up the asphalt. With wickedly powerful torque, I could overtake slower traffic even in fifth gear, passing tractors and trucks alike. The kilometres flew by in short order, and I eased the WRX off the main drag onto an erratically paved road. Soon, the cut-off loomed and I shifted down, gritting my teeth.

Turning onto Trull Road, I felt the AWD grip the lumpy dirt, while the suspension held tight. I held my breath, gently coaxing the snout along the ragged course, over tree roots and loose gravel. But the WRX skimmed over the bumps with finesse, digging into the harsh terrain with zest. Slacking up on the brake, I bore down on the throttle, and burst through the bush.



The WRX spewed gravel and dirt in its wake, weaving around close corners without yielding an inch. It held true, even as I gripped the steering wheel firmly, leaning into the choppy curves, remembering to breathe. I urged it faster and harder, climbing up sharp rocky slopes, dodging craters and dips. As it jostled along, I clenched the shifter, with occasional quivers wrenching my arm. But clinging steadfast, the WRX dug in and spanked the trail, while the powerhouse engine pushed forward.

Finally, we coasted into the large clearing just in front of Chez Cousins, who were busy preparing lunch. “That was fast!” they said. “How was the road?”

“Perfect,” I said. “Just perfect.”


18 Comments on "Is it any wonder that the 2016 Subaru WRX feels right at home on the road less travelled?"

  1. Jacqueline Gum September 9, 2015 at 9:56 am · Reply

    Very brave…taking a car you have never driven down that harrowing road! Perfect indeed:) Hate to say such a girlie thing, but that lapis blue is very cool! I don’t think that I ever even ridden in a Subaru!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2015 at 3:10 am · Reply

      Oh, Jacqui, you’d totally love the Subaru. They can go from downtown debonair to earthy warrior almost instantly. The all-wheel drive makes a huge difference in the handling, plus the fact that these cars are designed for rallies. And of course, the colour was absolutely perfect, deep and rich blue – so sharp against the earth tones!

  2. Phoenicia September 9, 2015 at 7:57 pm · Reply

    I have always wanted to cruise in an open car down country lanes, think Bridget Jones as the actor Hugh Grant takes her away for the weekend!

    You must have felt an adrenalin driving the Subaru – just you, it and the road!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2015 at 3:07 am · Reply

      It was indeed an adrenalin rush, Phoenicia! Grappling with that overgrown trail, getting the car through all those blind turns on unforgiving terrain, just so exciting.

  3. Lenie September 10, 2015 at 11:14 am · Reply

    Krystyna, once again, WHAT A RIDE. I love the way the Subaru went down those country roads – Living on the border of Grey/Bruce counties I travel on that type all the time. Does that mean I need to get a Subaru WRX? The blue colour would certainly make me stand out amongst all the white, red and black vehicles on the roads here. Keep these posts coming, I truly enjoy them so much.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2015 at 2:55 pm · Reply

      Aw, Lenie, thanks! If you’re in Grey/Bruce, for sure, you know what I’m talking about. I can totally see you in a WRX, tackling those country roads. The all wheel drive is very capable, and can take on whatever you throw at it. And what’s more, you’ll have fun doing it!

  4. Ken Dowell September 10, 2015 at 12:52 pm · Reply

    One of the things I like about your blog Krystyna is that you make modestly priced cars seem attractive if not outright fashionable. Never game Suburu much thought, but this one sounds pretty good. Where I live a torturous road is not a charming route to a secluded hideaway but rather a street iwith massive potholes that leaves to an overused in-construction highway.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm · Reply

      Why thank you, Ken! The way I see it, anyone can get excited over a high end car, but there’s so much more to life. I’d rather write about interesting cars, no matter what the price. The WRX has a lot to offer, as it’s a four door sedan, capable in the city and elsewhere. You can bet it would fearlessly take on those potholes!

  5. Meredith @ The Palette Muse September 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm · Reply

    I can’t think of any better way to test out a fun car than by driving it to a cabin off the beaten path! As always, you’ve made me want to put this one at the top of my list for next time I’m in the market for a new car.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 10, 2015 at 2:51 pm · Reply

      You’d love the WRX, Meredith! It’s also a very practical car, since it’s a 4-door sedan. The best of both worlds, ready to go when you are!

  6. Pamela Chollet September 11, 2015 at 7:20 am · Reply

    I’m sitting here saying to my self, “THAT’S a Subaru”? Did I miss something? I’ve known one person who owned a Subaru wagon, FOR YEARS! He lives a very Bohemian lifestyle in the wood outside of Burlington Vermont. I was on his Doctoral committee and had to fly into Burlington for a committee meeting. He met me at the airport and I swear the moment I sat in the relic he called a car, I thought I had taken a trip in Mr Peabody’s , “Way-back” machine. I never would have thought any car company that made the “love and Peace” Subaru wagon, would design such a sporty version. I guess Subaru’s market has changed.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 6:11 pm · Reply

      Haha, love your story about your Vermont Bohemian. These vehicles appeal to a wide demographic, but specifically, anyone who’s roughing it. Have never heard a Subaru compared to a Way-back machine, but I’ll bet it fit the bill. Subaru is really spreading out its design, to appeal to a greater market – although the WRX has always been the choice of the rally performance crowd.

  7. Erica September 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm · Reply

    I totally want to go to your cousin’s house. That area looks so beautiful. I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a Subaru, but I enjoyed the way you describe it. And I’m glad everything benefited the Ronald McDonald House because I think that is a great charity.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 6:08 pm · Reply

      Yes, my cousins have a breath-taking spot up north, it’s such a pleasure to hang out. Every day we went for a monster walk, and it’s just such a treat to be surrounded by all this natural splendour. You’d love the Subaru, especially if you had some rough and tough driving to do. Everyone loves Ronald McDonald House, they do such important work.

  8. Tim September 13, 2015 at 1:54 am · Reply

    Great photos and what a incredible way to put it through its paces. Off the highway and down the lanes of the back country. It’s kind of what Subaru is known for.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 6:05 pm · Reply

      Thanks for the kind words about the photos, I do enjoy taking pictures of cars in natural settings – particularly appropriate for the Subie. Yes, this was totally right up the alley of the WRX, I would say it’s the kind of driving it was designed for.

  9. Jeri September 14, 2015 at 11:47 pm · Reply

    I know a few people who drive Subarus and love them almost religiously, so it’s safe to say your post does that pull justice. I’ve taken cars on many mountain roads they should not be going, and have yet to regret it!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm · Reply

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Jeri, Subaru owners tend to be very brand loyal. And with just cause, since they’re such reliable, uncompromising vehicles. But be careful on those mountain roads, you daredevil!

Leave a Comment