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Base model shown as 2020 Manual
2020 Subaru WRX Manual - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Turbocharged engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Optional Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Driver-controlled center differential on STI models
Pro Review

Subaru WRX: Everything You Need to Know

About the Subaru WRX:

The 2019 Subaru WRX is an all-wheel-drive compact sport sedan with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It has four doors and seating for five. Buyers can choose a manual or continuously variable automatic transmission.

The WRX name stands for World Rally eXperimental, and there’s a story behind that. In the international motorsports world, automakers are often not allowed to race a car unless a minimum number are sold to the public. Subaru races in the World Rally Championship, in which they have to produce and sell this car. Along the way, the WRX became the brand’s best-known performance model.

The WRX is a high-performance sport sedan that gets 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. If that’s not enough power, you can buy the WRX STI with 310 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. STI stands for Subaru Tecnica International, which is Subaru’s in-house performance division.

The thing to know about the WRX and the WRX STI is that these are serious high-performance automobiles. As such, they’re meant for experienced drivers.

What’s New in the 2019 Subaru WRX?

Subaru has added the following new features to the WRX and WRX STI for 2019:

  • New “Series.Gray” limited-production package with exclusive colors and wheels
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard
  • Eyesight driver assistance now standard with Lineartronic transmission
  • Available Performance package for Premium trim includes Recaro seats, brake upgrades, LED forward lighting, and no moonroof

Subaru’s Eyesight package includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and automatic emergency braking. The Eyesight system also provides hill-start assistance and an electronic parking brake. Subaru states that the Eyesight system reduces the number of rear-end crashes by up to 85 percent.

What does the 2019 Subaru WRX compete with?

As a powerful sport compact, the Subaru WRX competes with some very impressive machinery, including:

These cars provide about the same performance level as the WRX or WRX STI. The Volkswagen, Buick, and Kia offer all-wheel-drive, while the Honda and Hyundai are front-drive only. All of these vehicles are pure enthusiast machines with higher price tags than their standard versions.

Exterior design of the 2019 Subaru WRX

The design of the WRX is bold and evokes an image of speed. All WRX models come with flared fenders to hold larger wheels and tires. A large hood scoop directs fresh air to the engine’s intercooler. WRX models include a small lip spoiler on the trunk lid, while WRX STI models have a large raised racing-style spoiler attached to the trunk.

Optional exterior features include:

  • Oversize 18-inch or 19-inch wheels
  • LED headlights and fog lights
  • Moonroof on Premium and Limited trims

Interior style in the 2019 Subaru WRX

Everything about the interior of the WRX is racing-inspired. The seats offer excellent side bolstering and contrasting red stitching. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is flat on the bottom to provide more room to use the aluminum-covered pedals.

Optional interior upgrades include:

  • Recaro performance seats
  • Heated and power-adjustable seats
  • STI design steering wheel
  • Ultrasuede synthetic or leather upholstery

Overall, the WRX interior is comfortable and functional. Nevertheless, performance is definitely the name of the game, rather than luxury. As a sedan, the WRX includes a trunk, which is about average size for a compact car. It will carry luggage for two or a couple sets of golf clubs.

All WRX models come with four doors and include seat belts for five. It’s possible to carry three adults in the back seat, but it will be crowded. Two is a better bet. The WRX does include LATCH child seat hookups for child seats.

Technology: (What technology comes in the 2019 Subaru WRX?)

All WRX models come with a touchscreen display interface and a CD player. The base WRX trim includes a 6.5-inch system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Those services provide access to music streaming and hands-free calling. The system also supports hands-free calling and music streaming through a Bluetooth connection.

Higher WRX trim levels and the WRX STI include a 7.0-inch touchscreen display. This system adds access to Sirius satellite radio. In the WRX Limited trim, buyers can add onboard navigation to the upgraded display and a Harman Kardon premium speaker system.

What kind of safety features are in the Subaru WRX?

As a pure performance model, the WRX doesn’t emphasize advanced active safety features. However, the basics are all there. A full set of air bags, as well as traction and stability controls are included. Of course, the all-wheel-drive system itself also helps keep the WRX under control.

Several features are optional on the upgrade WRX Premium and Limited trims:

  • Eyesight advanced driver assistance
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Reverse automatic braking
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

The 2019 Subaru WRX earned a Top Safety Pick Plus rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This rating applies to all trims and to the WRX STI. The WRX has not yet been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

What is the Subaru WRX like to drive?

The Subaru WRX is thrilling on the road. The turbocharged engine delivers plenty of power, and the all-wheel-drive system provides excellent traction. The six-speed manual transmission is easy to use, with a light clutch feel.

Steering the WRX is easy. The car responds to the wheel instantly and simply goes where you point it. An afternoon drive through the hills is an occasion for celebration. When equipped with the Lineartronic transmission, the engine has enough power to give instant acceleration, eliminating one of the objections to a conventional CVT.

The WRX suspension is supple and allows the tires to manage bumpy roads without jarring the passengers. The STI is firmer, with a track-ready stance. Finally, the WRX brakes are more than adequate for a day of spirited driving.

Should I buy a 2019 Subaru WRX?

The 2019 Subaru WRX is a smart purchase if this kind of performance model is what you’re dreaming about. This car passes all the enthusiast tests, and still comes out on the affordable side compared to most European sport sedans.

The WRX achieves fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway when equipped with the manual transmission. Choosing the Lineartronic CVT drops those numbers to 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. The high-performance WRX STI is rated at 17 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.

If you want an honest, compact performance car, the 2019 Subaru WRX is a great choice.

Should I buy a used Subaru WRX? Are there any I should avoid?

When buying a used WRX, or any high-performance car, you’ll want to have the car inspected by a shop you trust. Many of these vehicles have been abused, and you don’t want to buy one that’s going to give you problems.

If you choose a recent WRX, the car may still be covered under the factory warranty. Subaru covers the WRX with a three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty, with a five-year or 60,000-mile warranty on the powertrain.

Alternately, you can consider a certified pre-owned Subaru. When these cars pass inspection, Subaru extends the factory powertrain warranty out to seven years or 100,000 miles. A Carfax report is included with all Subaru CPO cars.

How much does the 2019 Subaru WRX cost?

The base 2019 Subaru WRX retails for $28,080. Moving up to Premium trim costs $30,380, and the Limited trim carries a price tag of $32,680. The 2019 Subaru WRX STI costs $37,480. All prices include a destination charge of $885.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Subaru WRX


  • World-class performance
  • Excellent balance and handling
  • Motorsports heritage
  • Great aftermarket support


  • Higher insurance costs
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Increased tire wear
Model History

The History of the Subaru WRX

The origins of the Subaru WRX date back to the early 1990s, when Subaru was getting involved in World Rally competition. The company needed a production car with more power, so they looked to their current models. The WRX was built by using an existing Impreza sedan chassis and dropping in a turbocharged engine. The first WRX was sold only in Japan, but it quickly gained a worldwide reputation.

The WRX came to North America in 2002, coinciding with a chassis and body update to the Impreza. The higher-performance STI model followed in 2004. Since that time, the WRX and STI have become favorites of the sport-compact enthusiast movement. Amateur racers, drifters, and hot-rodders have all embraced the Subaru WRX.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Subaru WRX


Body Style
2.0L DOHC Intercooled Turbocharged
268 hp
6-Speed Manual
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
All Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Android Auto
  • Audio
  • Bluetooth
  • CD Player
  • Cruise Control
  • LCD Monitor
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Monitors
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.0L DOHC Intercooled Turbocharged -inc: Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS), variable valve timing and Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
  • Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
  • 4.11 Axle Ratio
  • Engine Oil Cooler
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Sport Tuned Suspension
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 15.9 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Polished Tailpipe Finisher
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Double Wishbone Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
  • Wheels: 17" x 8" Dark Gray Finish Aluminum Alloy
  • Tires: 235/45R17 94W Summer Performance
  • Steel Spare Wheel
  • Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Bumper Insert
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper
  • Rocker Panel Extensions
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Body-Colored Door Handles
  • Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
  • Light Tinted Glass
  • Variable Intermittent Wipers
  • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
  • Lip Spoiler
  • Black Grille
  • Front License Plate Bracket
  • Trunk Rear Cargo Access
  • Auto Off Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps
  • Radio: Subaru STARLINK 6.5" Multimedia Plus System -inc: AM/FM stereo HD Radio w/single-disc CD player, MP3/WMA/CRR/RW file capability, multi touch gesture high resolution display, 6.5" LCD screen, voice activated controls, Bluetooth audio streaming connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free SMS text messaging connectivity (applicable w/compatible cell phone), iPod control capability, rear-vision camera display, SiriusXM All Access radio (subscription required), SiriusXM Travel Link (subscription required), smartphone integration: AHA, Android Auto, CarPlay, Pandora and STARLINK cloud applications, 6 speakers, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack, dual USB ports and roof mounted audio and satellite antenna
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
  • 3 LCD Monitors In The Front
  • Performance Design Front Bucket Seats -inc: height adjustable driver's seat, height and tilt adjustable head restraints and whiplash reducing feature
  • 6-Way Driver Seat
  • 4-Way Passenger Seat
  • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Turbo/Supercharger Boost, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows
  • Sport Leather Steering Wheel
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Valet Function
  • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
  • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access and Mechanical Fuel
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Automatic Air Conditioning
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
  • Illuminated Locking Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Simulated Carbon Fiber Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert, Metal-Look Console Insert and Chrome/Aluminum Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Cloth Door Trim Insert
  • Leather Gear Shift Knob
  • Checkered Cloth Upholstery -inc: red stitching
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
  • Instrument Panel Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks
  • Systems Monitor
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Seats w/Cloth Back Material
  • Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
  • Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
  • 1 Seatback Storage Pocket
  • Perimeter Alarm
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • 2 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners

Warranty Options for the 2020 Subaru WRX (4)










Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2020 Subaru WRX (8)

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Premium Manual
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Premium CVT
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Limited Manual
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Limited CVT
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STI Manual
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STI Limited Manual w/Wing Spoiler
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STI Limited Manual w/Lip Spoiler
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Safety Ratings for the 2020 Subaru WRX

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Subaru WRX Manual:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating