Can you recommend a sporty car similar to the Subaru WRX hatchback?

My friend and neighbour is now on the lookout for a sporty replacement for his Nissan X-Trail. He was ready to buy a 2010 Subaru WRX hatchback but is now stuck having, fortunately, read an article I sent him from your site about the engine issues. His budget is £10,000-12,000. The car should accommodate a family of five, have sporty, comfortable performance, but does need to be 4wd. He was originally keen on an Audi but you seem to pay a hefty supplement for the badge and in my experience they can be a "bill waiting to happen" once a few years old. I would be tempted to recommend the old WRX as I had a 2001 model but I know he wants something more recent. Do you have any other suggestions please?

Asked on 5 October 2013 by LR, via email

Answered by Honest John
The seriously quick competitor to the WRX was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X: and But they did a cooled down hatchback version, called the Ralliart:
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