Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 11:21pm

2012 Subaru Impreza WRX

Driving the WRX brought me back four years to when the current generation was just making its debut and I was car shopping. Though the WRX was high on my list, I ultimately ended up buying a Mazdaspeed3 instead. Why? Because the kind of fun you have with a WRX is the kind of entertainment found best on unpaved, muddy, and/or snow-covered back roads where you blast past rows of trees, shoot up and down hills like a roller coaster, and go sideways as much as possible; it’s the kind of fun where the distinctive note of the turbocharged flat-four rings out through open fields while you do your best impression of an stage-winning rally racer. When I left the office with the keys to the WRX, its dark gray paint was sparkling clean from the car wash; when I arrived home, the yellow light of my garage only helped to show off the more fitting coating I’d added onto the lower half of the WRX: dirt and mud, the product of sheer driving fun.