The fifth-generation Subaru WRX (second if count from the WRX without ‘Impreza’ attached) has made landfall in Malaysia, with this red example currently on display at Motor Image Malaysia’s showroom in Petaling Jaya.

First revealed globally last September, the latest WRX is now built on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP) and powered by a FA24F 2.4 litre turbocharged flat-four petrol engine rated at 275 PS (271 hp or 202 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 375 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm.

For context, the previous WRX’s FA20F 2.0 litre mill made 272 PS (268 hp or 202 kW) and 350 Nm. As such, the improvements are marginal, accompanied by a broader torque curve on the newer model. Don’t expect an STI version to be coming because Subaru has already made it clear that’s not happening.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring systems are standard pairings for the FA24F, along with a six-speed manual transmission which you see here. The WRX can also be had with a revised CVT marketed as the Subaru Performance Transmission, which is claimed to offer 30% faster upshifts and 50% faster downshifts between the second and third virtual gears.

In terms of design, the WRX is clearly influenced by the Viziv Performance Concept from 2017, with key cues being black body cladding that appears SUV-like but actually serves an aerodynamic purpose – note the vents that help evacuate air from the wheel well.

Other highlights include a hexagonal-shaped grille, an aggressive front bumper, sharper headlamps, C-shaped taillights, a bonnet scoop and a prominent diffuser-like element that is part of the rear lower apron. As for the interior, the WRX follows in the footsteps of the Outback by featuring a large 11.6-inch touchscreen for the Starlink infotainment system with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The dashboard is also simpler than before, without the layered tiers to accommodate a second screen at the topmost area for a vehicle status display. There’s also fewer physical controls, with those for the dual-zone climate control being integrated into the infotainment display.

In terms of equipment, this particular car comes with 18-inch wheels, steering responsive LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights that double as indicators, LED taillights, LED fog lamps, a 4.2-inch multi-info display, seven airbags, an array of passive safety systems, keyless entry and engine start, manual front seats as well as a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel.

Pricing-wise, the WRX with a manual transmission goes for RM286,245 on-the-road without insurance, which also includes a five-year/100,000-km warranty. There are two other versions of the WRX that are also available but not photographed by us yet, and they are the WRX with a CVT and the WRX wagon – the latter is also known as the WRX Sportswagon and is essentially the latest Levorg with the WRX’s powertrain.

The WRX with a CVT is priced higher at RM296,245 and gains some notable features over the manual, including an electronic parking brake with auto hold, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, SI-Drive (Sport Sharp, Sport and Intelligent drive modes) and rear air vents.

This variant also comes with the EyeSight suite, with included systems being autonomous emergency braking, autonomous emergency steering, reverse automatic braking, high beam assist as well as blind spot monitoring.

The most affordable of the bunch is the Sportwagon at RM285,245 that gets the same kit and powertrain as the WRX with a CVT, with the addition of an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, reclining rear seats and more boot space thanks to the wagon body style. Of the three WRX options being offered, which one is the most appealing to you? Let us know in the comments below.