While the Impreza sedan and hatchback were redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Impreza WRX is still based on the previous-generation Impreza. However, this fact doesn’t seem to hurt the WRX at all as it is still just as powerful and fun to drive as it ever was. For the WRX and its upgraded STI sibling, performance, not amenities, define its identity.
What's New for 2014
There are no substantial new features for the current model, but the available navigation system now includes smartphone app integration with Aha radio.
Choosing Your Subaru Impreza WRX
The WRX is available as either a sedan or a five-door hatchback, both of which seat five. Five trim levels include the base WRX, the WRX Premium, the WRX Limited, the WRX STI, and the WRX STI Limited. Although some reviewers treat the STI version as a separate model, it is considered by Subaru to be part of the WRX lineup.
All five trims are equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder Boxer engine. For the WRX designations, this engine produces 265 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque. It also is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. In the STI configurations, the engine’s output climbs to 305 horsepower and torque increases to 290 pound-feet, and the transmission changes to a six-speed close-ratio manual version. No automatic transmission is offered for any of the WRX Imprezas.
The WRX STI and STI Limited feature an advanced all-wheel-drive system called the Driver Controlled Center Differential. What this means is that the driver can designate which wheels get increased power depending on the immediate driving situation. Designed primarily for rally enthusiasts, the DCCD system enhances cornering ability in the heat of competition.
With its emphasis on performance, the WRX series doesn’t offer much in the way of luxury amenities.
It may be hard to negotiate a lower price for this niche market, so keep in mind that the STI is intended primarily for rally driving. It can be difficult to handle in ordinary traffic, lacking smooth transitions and acceleration. If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive daily car, you may be more comfortable in the less-expensive WRX.