Frugal interior

Now there are other things Subaru does not do quite as well. Interiors, for example.

When you sit in the WRX, you look around and think: This is adequate. The seats are comfortable and offer excellent bolsters. The steering wheel, which now includes audio controls as standard, is round, and that's as exciting as it gets.

My test vehicle included a big navigation screen at the top of the center stack that felt like something a couple of teenagers in San Jose installed. There's a plastic frugality throughout the cabin that leaves the interior feeling unfinished or, worse, unsophisticated. It's all very comfortable and adequate.

Sure, there are some of the features you'd expect, such as the aluminum pedals and the big tachometer on the instrument cluster, but the interior still feels lacking, especially when you weigh it with its $26,000 price tag for a compact car. For the same price you can opt for the WRX five-door, which provides a lot more room for carrying things and people.

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