Subaru WRX Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.53/5 Average
80 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

For years, the Subaru WRX has been the high-performance version of the otherwise practical-minded Subaru Impreza. This latest WRX has lost the "Impreza" name on its badge to indicate its dedication to performance. The WRX name signifies the presence of a higher-horsepower turbocharged engine and a sport-tuned suspension. The WRX STI model, (from Subaru's in-house tuning division, Subaru Tecnica International) offers even more power, along with a more advanced all-wheel-drive system that enhances cornering grip.

Current Subaru Impreza WRX
Debuting for 2015, the Subaru WRX is a four-door sedan powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed ("boxer") four-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and an all-wheel-drive system are standard. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. The STI uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine rated at 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered.

Standard WRX features include alloy wheels with summer tires, automatic climate control, sport front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system. Upper trim levels add extras like foglights, a sunroof, a trunk lid spoiler, heated front seats, a touchscreen navigation system and leather upholstery. The WRX STI gets the more powerful engine, bigger wheels, Brembo brakes, front and rear limited-slip differentials, driver-selectable modes for the center differential and a more aggressively tuned suspension. Options include an eight-way power driver seat, lighter-weight 18-inch BBS wheels, a performance exhaust and a premium nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

The WRX is extremely fun to drive thanks to its strong available engines and responsive handling. The ride quality does suffer a bit, but it's not any worse than you would expect from such a high-performance car. Less forgivable, however, is the large amount of wind and road noise coming into the cabin at freeway speeds. As for the WRX STI, is definitely turns up the performance dial, but it's harsher to drive on a daily basis.

Inside, the WRX is pretty spacious, with simple and straightforward controls. The driver positioning is particularly excellent, as is outward visibility thanks to thin roof pillars and large side mirrors. Previous versions of the Impreza and WRX had lots of hard plastics and unfriendly surfaces. This model is a bit more refined, but most competitors will still feel comparatively upscale. Subaru's touchscreen controls and audio systems aren't very impressive either, and they stand out as a weak point in the cabin.

Used Subaru Impreza WRX Models
The WRX and WRX STI were previously referred to as the Subaru Impreza WRX. Before that, WRX and STI models were simply trim level options on the standard Impreza. Buyers interested in a used model can get additional information on these used Impreza WRXs and WRX STIs in separate reviews.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 80.00
  • WRX Made My Smile Wider:) - 2016 Subaru WRX
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    I own/lease a 2017 WRX.And this cars despite some reviews does not ride harsh at all .I have never been so impressed with the performance .Steering is awesome and car is as tight as a drum.Get one! You will love it.

  • Great Value - True Drivers Car - 2016 Subaru WRX
    By -

    The base audio is good only for the disinterested listener. Skip the HK-Nav package - upgrade the tweeters, speakers and add a subwoofer. Twice the car at a fraction of the cost of the real competitors.

  • Best choice ever! - 2017 Subaru WRX
    By -

    Ive had this car for 2 months now and just getting past the 1k mile break in and this car has been wonderful! Living in New England we see crazy ranges of temperatures day to day and even hour to hour. Recently got a decent snow storm with about 5+ inches and with michelin xice xi3s had absolutely no issues. Felt like dry pavement(unless launching it for fun). Fuel efficiency is awesome if you can stay out boost, to and from work the gauge reads out up to 26mpg in all city driving. Getting into boost still a nice 20-23mpg. Very happy with it! There is a very small bit of road/wind noise, but if youve ever owned a subaru its far ahead of the older models. Barely noticeable. Unless you have loud tires(like the stock dunlops on the premium/limited models). Those things were loud. The snow tires I have on are so much more quite, weird huh. Infotainment system does its job. The Bluetooth command system is subpar though. Cant get it to call most people I want it to. But good for answering calls hands-free while driving. Quality of calls is great. Speakers are decent. Cant really complain, its a wrx. Didnt buy it for the radio/speakers haha. Shifter is a little notchy and noisy. First gear is a pain to get into if youre moving forward at slow speeds. Brakes are good, I would personally like more bite earlier but they are good overall. Visibility all around is on point. Mirrors are pretty good sized as well which I personally like. Things occasionally barely audibly buzz when first warming up after being out in the really cold temps for a day. If you know what youre getting into with a wrx(rally bred vehicle) you wont be disappointed by any means. Unless you really really want that subie rumble, this car is excellent. The perfect daily driver/ grocery getter(solid trunk space)/sports car mix. Premium fuel recommended/required? I personally use shell 99% of the time unless I dont want to drive that far. Shell 93 is expensive, $2.70 last fill up. But its worth every penny. Do your research and test drive it a few times if youre not sure. But its a solid vehicle with excellent all weather traction and space for adults and babies (a little tight with car seats) plus great safety ratings. Faster than youll need it to be but still efficient. Or look into the aftermarket world and create a racer. It does it all and does it well. 10/10 would buy again. P.S. SUBARU BRING BACK THE HATCH

  • Really enjoy my WRX! - 2016 Subaru WRX
    By -

    Extremely well made car that is a blast to drive. It performs well, and looks great without drawing too much attention. Its fun to drive every single time I get into it.

  • Your going to love driving this car! - 2017 Subaru WRX
    By -

    Was looking for a fast sporty car that had the flexibility to put the family in when needed. Meet the WRX. Faster than most of my buddies cars and the back seat has ample room for 2, 6 foot adults. The car is a blast to drive. The driver experience from handling, visibility & ergonomics is great. Upgraded infotainment features are better than previous models but still lacking. The standard radio has poor sound quality. Must set the equalizer to get decent sound. Everything is at your fingertips. The interior is upgraded from years past. The graphite accents are a step above previous models. The exterior has an aggressive look. The graphite wheel package (premium) really makes the car pop. Just drive the car & you will love its get up & go youthful vibe. The twin duel exhaust and engine roar complement the overall experience. @ 28k for a premium model, you get a lot of car for the money. Wind & road noise is not great. Typical Subaru, but you have to concede in some areas if you want to stay under 30. Trunk space is decent for this type of car. They do suggest premium gasoline. Id put it on your list to test drive if your looking for a car in this segment. I looked at Ford & VW, but chose another Subaru based on past experience and overall value. Plus its a blast to drive.

  • WRX ROX! - 2016 Subaru WRX
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    This is my fifth Subaru and by far my favorite! It feels like a big upgrade from my Legacy, even though the Legacy is more of a luxury car. The big difference is the 252hp engine...I love the extra power.

  • This is a practical sports car. - 2017 Subaru WRX
    By -

    This review is for the 2017 Subaru WRX base model 6 speed manual transmission with the optional STI short throw shifter. This is a sports car designed to be driven fast on curvy mountain roads. This is not a car for the chai latte sipping crowd who worries about mobile connectivity and comfort. This car makes road noise so if you are accustomed to riding in a regular soft and quiet car, you won’t like this car. The turbo pulls hard and it goes where you point it like it’s on rails. It’s a heck of a lot of fun to drive and will put a smile on your face. Especially when you turn off the stability control and the track light comes on the dash. This car is only sold with Dunlop summer performance tires that handle great. I bought this car opposed to a Mustang or a Camaro because I need a back seat to take my dogs to the beach and bring home a lot of stuff from Costco. I guess this is my midlife crisis car. But it is probably as practical of a sports car as you can get. But it is a sports car so your insurance will probably go up when you buy this car. Im married, 44 years of age, with no tickets in 20+ years and 820 credit score. My auto insurance went up almost 170 dollars per 6 months with USAA and they tend to be better priced than most. But I live in southern California and we have loads of idiots on the road 24 hours per day running into you so it might be cheaper where you live. But wherever you live, you will probably pay quite a bit more on insurance with this car. The gas mileage on the freeway, (when you are moving) is fantastic. The car sits at 3k RPM at 80 mph in 6th gear. (Please note: never floor the gas pedal in 6th gear when you are driving at low RPM. You can ruin the motor in a turbo charged direct injection engine when you do that. Sixth gear in this car is for economy, not driving hard. I cannot stress this enough. Dont be the guy who blows his engine then blames Subaru for it) When driving around town in stop and go traffic the mileage is not very good. Probably low 20s. But this car, unlike most, actually performs better than the manufacture stated mpg. This car requires premium fuel. It’s a direct injection turbo charged engine that runs at high compression so you have to put high octane gas. If you dont it will run poorly and you will eventually have problems with the engine because your too cheap to run the proper fuel. Suspension in this car is tight and designed for performance so you feel the bumps in the road. So when you go to Starbucks and get your chai latte, be sure to put a stopper in it so you dont end up wearing your latte. The radio/speakers in the base model really do stink. I read on internet forums about how bad they were but I figured it was a bunch of kids who listen to lame music at stupid levels but they were correct. And if you think you can buy an aftermarket radio head and put that in it, think twice. Pretty much no aftermarket head unit will work with the aux, USB plugin, and back up camera in this car. So if you really love your music, you might consider ordering your WRX at the dealer with the Harmon Kardon head unit/speakers installed. It will cost you about 2k so you really need to love your tunes. To me it’s not worth it because I bought this car to haul *** in the mountains of San Diego but I just want everyone who reads this to be fully informed. Also the headlights on the base WRX really stink. The high beams are good but the low beams are quite bad but nothing that some 12 dollar Sylvania Silverstar halogen bulbs wont fix. Also the STI shifter is not the smoothest shifter Ive ever had. My old 96 Honda Prelude SI shifter was much better. Also the cultch travel is a bit long. But these negative points are not enough to make me say this is not a fantastic car. I just want everyone fully informed. Last but not least, the resale value in this car is out of this world good so when you want to sell it 5 or 10 years down the road, you will get real money for it. That is about it. I LOVE this car despite the negatives and I highly recommend it for people who love to drive real sports cars on curvy roads but also need a practical car they can take the dogs to the beach and go to Costco and load up on stuff.

  • More than I expected! - 2016 Subaru WRX
    By -

    I had been looking for a brand new 4 door affordable Japanese performance sedan that offered a 6 speed manual for a while and the only options for me while I was looking were the WRX and the Honda Civic Si. I ended up with the WRX because of the fact that I may be moving somewhere with snow and would like the AWD, although I am skeptical about the reliability of a turbocharged car, this being my first one ever. I know for sure an Si would last a lot longer than the WRX but I was willing to take the leap and so far I am not disappointed. My previous car was a 2008 Hyundai Elantra which I had for the past 8 years since new, and compared to the WRX, the cabin was bigger and the chairs were a little more comfortable, as well as the trunk was bigger, so those are the main differences I notice body wise. The WRX interior quality is high in my book, with me looking at it as a turbocharged AWD Corolla/Civic/Elantra, and compared to my old Elantra as well as our 2011 Corolla S, the leather and metal accents as well as quality plastic make it a lot better than both my Elantra and Corolla, although I do wish there were more compartments. The headliner fabric is really old school with the fuzzy fabric, but they upgraded that on the 2017 to the material they have in most new cars (and on the sun visors for some reason), and I wish the doors would lock automatically after 30 seconds like on my Hyundai as well as if you could just open the door when it is locked in the inside and it would unlock (on the front doors) like on most other Toyotas, Hondas, Hyundais, etc. My main complaint is that the audio system is horrible, being that sound is flat, no bass at all, etc. My stock Hyundai system was as good as my Logitech computer speakers producing rich bass and great treble as well. I had a Costco Executive 50% off discount so I upgraded to the Kicker Speakers (6) for around $300 (including labor) without the sub and it improved it by a bit, but its still only 60% of the sound quality as my Hyundais, although its now bearable. There is only 1 USB port and I plug my USB drive with music into it; it takes about 30 sec-1 min to start playing from when I start the car. The Starlink system overall is not great but it works, since its laggy compared to the system in my 2013 Honda Accord which is faster, with bluetooth taking about 10 seconds to connect too. I drive on average 300 miles in about a 10 day period and get about 22-24 MPG AVG since its mostly local, but when I have driven all freeway for day trips, the best I have gotten is 32.7 MPG but I usually average around 29-30 depending on if I engage boost often or not. The shifting is notchy which I like, and there is rev hang, but you are able adjust your shifting technique to accommodate (although if you get the Cobb Accessport and do the Stage 1 Tune it will rid of it, but thats if you are ok to risk your warranty before 36K miles). The AWD launches the car flat, totally different from FWD and RWD, and the suspension is stiff enough for taking corners but still good enough for daily driving. The main part that makes the car fun is the usable boost from the low to mid range, from around 2K-5.5K RPMS which is what makes it so great! I got the World Rally Blue which is a bit flashy, but I feel like you must get the signature color for this. The rims (on my Premium) are just dark gray 18 Enkeis from the 2011-2013 STI (previously Silver), but it really brings the exterior all together, making it look aggressive and perfect. I feel no need to change anything on the exterior as it already looks so good stock. Overall, if I could go back, I would get the Harmon Kardon audio upgrade since I dont really like aftermarket, and the car would be exactly the way I want it! The Kicker speakers are bearable so I dont see the point in spending more to upgrade again, since I do like listening to that turbo whistle once in a while! Basically if you want a practical, reliable?, economical, powerful, affordable, and fun small sedan that can perform in any weather, this is it!

  • Best combination of fun and value! - 2017 Subaru WRX
    By -

    Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, nothing rivals this car. It performs like a Corvette (actually outperforms a Corvette in bad weather) but you can get two of these for the same price. Im too old for a car with a wing-- I think they look silly-- but when Subaru added the option of a lip spoiler instead of the wing I went ahead and made the purchase. The back seat is plenty roomy for two adults (or a baby seat or two). Note that it ships with summer tires, so if you live somewhere that gets below 45 degrees youll need a second set of tires and rims. Also, youll need the center arm rest extension for comfort, but be warned that the Subaru arm rest extension will replace your nice padded carbon leather/red stitching with cheap black plastic. Get the JDM dual console arm rest extension from subispeed instead-- it gives you the same higher elbow support but it allows you to reuse the original console lid, preserving the overall look and feel.

  • 2017 WRX Base - 2017 Subaru WRX
    By -

    Lots of fun driving. Good grip on wet roads.

Subaru WRX Reviews By Year:
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