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Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Missing The Forester XT? The Subaru WRX Wagon Is For You

If you’re missing the turbocharged Forester (aka Forester XT), then Motor Image Pilipinas thinks you’re the target buyer for their all-new WRX Wagon.

The exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines believes that buyers who want a fast but practical tourer will be best served by the arrival of the WRX Wagon. At its market launch, Mr. Glenn Tan, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Tan Chong International Limited revealed that his Philippine team thought the WRX Wagon would be a niche product. He thought otherwise.

When Mr. Tan had his team run the numbers, what they realized is that the WRX Wagon gives up little in terms of utility and practicality; yet, it still manages to be one fast grocery getter.

The all-new WRX Wagon has a cargo capacity of 492 liters with the rear seats up compared to 505 liters for the final Forester XT (SJ)—pretty darn close. Surprisingly, even when compared to the current Forester (SK), the WRX Wagon is no pushover. Check out the numbers:

WRX Wagon vs Forester XT (SJ) vs Forester (SK)
  • Compartment Opening: 1,055 mm / 1,527 mm / 1,585 mm
  • Compartment Opening (at 270 mm height): 1,120 mm / 1,166 mm / 1,300 mm
  • Compartment Opening (at narrowest): 1,100 mm / 1,100 mm / 1,258 mm
  • Compartment Height: 701 mm / 884 mm / 884 mm
  • Compartment Depth: 1,070 mm / 1,073 mm / 1,100 mm
More than just its impressive cargo hold, Subaru’s also enlarged the WRX Wagon’s cabin, particularly for the rear passengers. Compared to the outgoing Levorg, the distance between the front and rear seats is 869 mm (up from 844 mm from the Levorg), while the seat cushion length is now at 360 mm (up from 342 mm before).

Now, the best part is that the WRX Wagon shares the exact same powertrain as the WRX sedan. This means having a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-4 under the hood making 275 horsepower at 5,600 rpm. It eclipses the final Forester XT’s 241 horsepower output. And while torque is the same at 350 Nm, the WRX Wagon does it across a wider rev range—2,000 to 5,200 rpm versus 2,400 to 3,600 rpm. Oh, and before you ask, they both weigh almost the same, with a slight advantage going to the WRX Wagon—1,619 kilograms for the WRX Wagon and 1,640 kilograms for the Forester XT (SJ).

And when it comes to handling, the WRX Wagon rides on the new Subaru Global Platform giving it outstanding rigidity to absorb all those ruts. Torsional rigidity is up 28 percent, while suspension mounting rigidity is up 75 percent. Rubber bushings versus the WRX sedan’s pillow ball bushings also result in a more pliant ride.

With the WRX Wagon’s traits in mind, Motor Image Pilipinas thinks they’ll be able to woo back buyers who want a daily driver with lots of pep. Barring any surprises from any other brand, they may be on to something here. In its current shape and form, this is a unique offering in this price segment (P 2,558,000) and because of that, they’re extremely bullish about its sales performance; bullish enough to divert all of the region’s allocations to the Philippines. They expect to sell around 30 WRXs a month (both sedan and wagon combined).

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