If one word had to be used to describe the Subaru Impreza WRX, it would have to be "beast". This street demon is meant to own the road and get you from point A to B as quickly as possible.
Equipped with a 2.5 L 265 horsepower turbo-charged Subaru Boxer engine, this car is quite sporty, and has more than enough pickup to win you a few drag races. With a 0-60 speed of just over 5 seconds, this car is more of a rocket-ship than your everyday sedan.
In terms of suspension and handling, it doesn't get much better than this. One particular advantage the WRX has is that like many of its Subaru counterparts, it is equipped with all-wheel drive, making it a pleasure to drive in rain and snow. Having driven this car in the rain, I can safely say that the car took turns and curves as if there wasn't a drop of water in sight.
In terms of pricing, the base model WRX comes in at $25,595 MSRP, going all the way up to the mid 37k range with the fully equipped WRX STI Limited model. To be quite frank, the limited and premium models are nice, but in my opinion overpriced. The base model comes standard with a hood scoop for maximum air intake and for your extra few thousand bucks, you get some interior features that are nice, but don't do much other than make it look a bit more luxurious inside.
If I had to recommend a sporty, affordable, small sedan, I would definitely say the WRX is one of your best options. One of the major downsides is its not-so-great gas mileage, at 21 mpg combined, but if you're looking for a fun toy for under 30k, you can't do much better than this. Comparable cars include the more expensive Mitsubishi Lancer Ralli-Art, the Volkswagen GTI and the Honda Civic SI. For the amount you pay, Subaru really packs a lot into this small car, and if you're looking for high-performance and a fun ride, the WRX can most definitely meet your needs.
Graduate student, writer, insurance producer, runner.