As a driver in the Commonwealth of Virginia (aka the "go too fast, go to jail" state), Matt's sobering piece on the dangers of the state's absurd obsession with speed enforcement made me sit back and take stock. Is it worthwhile to have an E92 M3 as a daily driver in a state this hostile to speed? After running through a speedtrap from a cop who backed his cruiser into a giant bush in a blind corner (didn't nail me, but gave me a real scare) I had enough. I was sick of driving with a bullseye on my back.
My M3 had just gone out of warranty, and the $3400 BMW wanted for a two year extension was at least $2000 more than I want to spend on it. I had started to think about moving to a fun car that was under warranty, had AWD for the mid-Atlanttic winters, heated seats, sunroof, back-up camera and all the little things that make a daily driver easier to live with.
I ride bikes with the co-owner of a Subaru dealership, who mentioned that a buyer had backed out of a 2015 WRX Premium in Silver due to job loss, and would I be interested. I was until he mentioned the CVT. Noooo, the no-fun transmission! But after reading some favorable reviews and drive impressions, I said I would at least try it, as 2015 WRX's are very thin on the ground right now and otherwise the car was exactly what I wanted. After two long and spirited test drives, I was surprised that the CVT had some real upsides. The Sport sharp mode does a very good ZF 8 speed impression. Manual mode with the flappy paddles works like it should. And the CVT was very good at keeping the 2.0 DIT engine right in the sweet spot when giving it the beans. And for commuting, leaving it in Sport while listening to the XM radio (btw- base stereo system as I have a Crutchfield in town- so an Pioneer Apple CarPlay Nav unit will be going in) and drinking coffee is nice. Still have enough engine to pass dimwits quickly and safely when needed (something the BRZ sorely lacked in stock form), but in normal driving 24-25mpg looks easily doable.
So overall, the WRX with the CVT is an very good option for those wanting an AWD Sports Sedan that plays well in heavy traffic, is stick-adverse spouse-friendly, but still wants to go Because RallyCar on the weekends. Just plan on using that nice double din opening to update the stereo.