Subaru WRX

Car Review: Subaru WRX (2014-2021)

Renowned for the previous Subaru Impreza WRX (especially those built between 1992 and 2007), Subaru’s newer models would drop the ‘Impreza’ moniker to concentrate on a stand-alone model highlighting the qualities of a low priced race-car. Subaru also made the decision to also drop the hatchback (which accounted for half the sales in the U.S.) from the range and focus solely on the four-door sedan. So what’s the fuss all about?  

Subaru WRX

The Good

1. Great AWD performance handling with race-car capabilities

2. Firmer suspension than previous Impreza models

3. Lowered ride height, larger intakes, and larger brakes

4. Fourteen WRX STI Special Edition models were made available – 6 for the U.S. market, 2 for the Canadian market, 1 for the South African market, and the rest for the Japanese market

5. Upgraded interiors and a quieter cabin were introduced in 2017

6. An updated 5.9 inch high-definition multi-function display unit replaced the 4.3 inch display in 2017 as well

7. There is a huge range of after-market accessories available

8. Great safety features

Subaru WRX

The Bad

1. This is a popular boy-racer’s car so many have been thrashed

2. Critics panned the earlier model WRX for its cheaper quality interior and less comfortable ride

3. Insurance costs for a WRX are high and may sway your decision to buy

4. Rev-hang (when the engine speed does not drop automatically when moving through gears on manual transmissions)

5. The clutch is known to be a weak spot in these cars  

The Essentials

Due to the high number of models being given a hard life by previous drivers, it is essential to get a professional, detailed inspection. Service records and the number of past owners can also be tell-tale signs of why it is for sale. Avoid multiple-owner models and be wary of after-market modified performance enhancers like increased turbo-boost, free-flow exhausts, and high-performance computer chips as these usually shorten the life of the engine. Ensure there has been no previous accident damage or branded title as these cars have a reputation for being raced and drivers losing control. Suspension and axles need a close look as well. Make sure you have a decent test drive to see if you like the ride and handling before you think of buying. If you do manage to get your very own WRX, it is advisable to use premium-grade gas to get the realistic performance this car can deliver.

The Alternatives

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (2008-2015), Honda Civic Type R (2017-2021), Kia Stinger (2018-2021), VW Golf GTi (2008-2021), Toyota Camry TRD (2020-2021)

The Verdict

8 out of 10

Like most cars, if you can get your hands on an example that has been well looked after, you will have a great car and many years of pleasure. The Subaru WRX will give you real presence on the road, street cred and give you the power to rival a lot of cars as well. Just for your information, the initials WRX stand for “World Rally eXperimental”.

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