What is the Subaru WRX?

If you like performance cars or searching for specific aftermarket parts for your car, you’ve probably come across WRX parts. The Subaru WRX is a leader among the sport compact vehicles, and the following are some things to know if you’re a car enthusiast interested in learning more. 

Subaru Impreza

The Subaru WRX is actually the Subaru Impreza, manufactured by Subaru since 1992. The car is on the fifth generation now, and there are different models of the Impreza, including the WRX and the STI. These models of the vehicle have turbochargers.

The Impreza WRX  and the STI are similar and are considered competitors to the Mitsubishi Lancer

First Generations

The first generations of the Impreza were announced in October 1992, and they were available as FWD or AWD options with a four-door sedan body style or a five-door hatchback, also known as the Touring version of the car. 

The first generations used the boxer engine, which was standard for Subaru.  

The WRX adoption came from “World Rally Experimental.” Since 1992, all WRX versions of the Impreza have featured rally technology. Specific features include all-wheel drive and turbocharged four-cylinder engines. 

It was in 1994 Subaru introduced the STI version of the WRX. STI stands for Subaru Technica International. 

The Subaru was introduced in America in 1996, and in 2004 the STI came to America. 

In 2008, Subaru introduced a complete redesign of their Impreza line, and the cars became stylistically more similar to Mazda3s. The goal in the redesign was also to add more mainstream appeal to the WRX with a less showy body style and softer suspension. It seemed, based on the 2009 model introduction, Subaru felt their move to make the WRX more mainstream wasn’t necessarily a good one. 

The Current Subaru WRX

The current 2019 Subaru WRX is a compact sports sedan. It has four doors and seating for five. The engine is a 2.0-liter direct-injected, turbocharged and four-cylinder engine. It has 268 horsepower. 

The gearbox is a six-speed manual, and the car has a symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Other features include active torque vectoring, which allows for more responsiveness in the steering. 

Three trim levels are available in the current Subaru WRX, with the base model offering performance equipment and cloth seats. Then, you can also upgrade to Premium and Limited trims. Premium feature faux suede and Limited trims include leather. The higher trims of the Subaru WRX also have improved entertainment systems and automated headlights. 

What About the Current STI?

The current STI has the same chassis as the WRX, but the mechanics vary quite a bit. The STI is considered a higher-performance vehicle than the WRX. For example, the engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder with 39 horsepower and 290 feet of torque. It’s a 2.5-liter injected engine, and there’s a six-speed manual transmission with the STI. 

The vehicle’s front and rear have limited-slip differentials, and there’s performance, sport-tuned suspension. 

You have two options with the STI as compared to the three trim options of the WRX. There’s the base and the Limited, and the differences are similar to what you see in the trim levels of the WRX. 

Since the platforms are the same with the WRX and the STI, you’ll find the interior is similar as is the overall configuration. There are minor interior improvements with the STI over WRX, but the differences aren’t major. 

What Else to Know About the WRX?

First, how fast does the WRX go? The top speed is 155—compared to 174 MPH for the WRX STI. All Subaru models, including the WRX and the STI, tend to receive good safety ratings form the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. 

One safety feature of Subarus that performs well is the EyeSight driver assist technology suite, including specific features like lane-keep assist and lane departure warning, as well as adaptive cruise control. 

All-wheel drive on all Subarus helps them with stability, control, and traction across weather conditions including snow. 

The 2019 Subaru WRX is a very powerful sport compact vehicle that’s available for less than $30,000, but it’s also loud, and the interior isn’t necessarily exciting or high-end, even on the premium models. 

Finally, with the power comes a lagging fuel economy on the WRX. You can get better fuel economy with many mid-sized SUVs than you can with this car, and using manual options can improve your fuel usage a bit, but still, it’s a gas guzzler compared to its competition. 

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