We drive the Subaru WRX ES Premium CVT

What the WRX is like as a daily driver…

With a huge range of advanced technologies and safety features, Subaru’s latest sports sedan is here to appeal to a larger spectrum of performance enthusiasts and potential buyers. We’ve had the chance to spend some time with the Subaru WRX ES Premium CVT in every-day driving environments, to see what it’s like as a daily driver…

Yes, the WRX has more than enough credentials to boast its rally-intentions and sporty appeal, and it certainly looks the part with its macho styling that gets WRX fans all excited. But now, the WRX has become a lot more suitable as a daily driver, particularly with its ED Premium CVT model. Suspension has been improved, as well as electric power steering, while Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system offers loads of grip and security in most terrains.

It is jam-packed with comfort and functional features that make its cabin a really great place to be in – even if you’re stuck in traffic. I love the comfort of its leather sports seats, they’re super supportive and snug. There’s also loads of storage space for things like water bottles, keys, phones and sunglasses, while the front of the cabin feels extremely spacious. I spent the weekend driving out to Misty Cliffs in Scarborough, Cape Town, with three adults seated at the back and despite all the twist and turns the road had to offer, everyone seemed quite happy while commenting on the absence of body roll, thanks to the WRX’s all-wheel-drive system.

The only complaint was the WRX’s very firm drive quality. Uneven road surfaces and bumps don’t go unnoticed, and it becomes a bit exhausting trying to avoid every crack or bump in the road so you don’t have to endure the impact. That said, if you’re enjoying a smooth, fun road to play on, you get a lot of confidence from its good grip and handling ability.

More of what to love…

CVT, city-friendly, gearbox

I know true die-hard performance enthusiasts aren’t usually too keen on CVT gearboxes, but in the case of the WRX I’d assume that the real thrill-seekers are likely to opt for the STI derivative anyway (in manual transmission). The fact that the WRX ES Premium is available as a two-peddle option shows Subaru’s intention to appeal to a bigger market (and people like myself who have to endure up to two hours of traffic a day). But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the sporty, joyride sort of driving that any WRX fan would expect.

5 Star Safety

Subaru’s Eyesight driver assist technology is a big part of the WRX’s safety credentials, which contributes to its 5 Star Euro NCAP safety rating, to name a few. The Eyesight system is something we became quite fond of when testing the Subaru XV, and I was pleased to see that this is offered in the WRX too. The system is designed to reduce or circumvent crashes caused by driver error and to reduce or circumvent collisions caused by driver fatigue. A friendly indication of what is ahead and around you is monitored by the mounted cameras around the vehicle, while traffic alerts appear on the screen ahead of the driver to help avoid accidents from happening. From cyclists, pedestrians and other potential hazards, the WRX’s EyeSight system picks it all up to help you and other road users stay safe.

Sound System and Entertainment

One of my favourite places to listen to a new or favourite song is in a car with a good sound system, and new Subaru vehicles are home to some of the best acoustics powered by Harmon Kardon. It’s a completely high resolution sound system that will make you fall in love with your favourite songs all over again!


The 2.0 WRX ES Premium CVT model I drove is priced from R631 400. If you’re after a manual transmission though, pricing is from R581 400.

Click here for more info.

Also read: We drive the Subaru XV