The 2017 Subaru WRX is a smart looking vehicle with a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder under the hood that will appeal to anyone who wants a high performance vehicle that is exceptionally fun to drive. It can hold five passengers and is loaded with technology and safety features, making it a great car for everyday driving.
The base model WRX comes with a six-speed manual transmission; moving up to the Premium or Limited trim level adds the option of a Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission.
The 2017 WRX starts at $26,695 for a base mode and can range up to $36,810 for a fully loaded WRX Limited with the EyeSight package and a CVT automatic transmission.
What's New for 2017
The WRX was completely redesigned in 2015 so changes this year are minimal. An upgraded cloth headliner is new for all WRX models. Other minor changes include an auto-on sensor for the headlights and automatic up/down control for the front passenger window.
Choosing Your Subaru WRX
All three trim levels of the WRX share the same 2-liter turbo-four engine that puts out 268 horsepower and manages a very respectable 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in the city.
The base model is paired with a six-speed manual transmission and an advanced all-wheel drive system. An automated continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available as a $1,200 option on higher trim levels.
Optional packages don’t really exist for the WRX—only the Limited trim offering ad-on packages. Accessories are available on all trim levels, though, and range from a performance exhaust system to more trivial items like carbon fiber trunk trim.
Standard equipment includes a 6.2-inch touchscreen that operates the audio system, Bluetooth accessories and a variety of music apps. A USB port also comes standard.
The WRX is available in three trim levels: Base, Premium and Limited.
The WRX is fun to drive, and for most buyers the six-speed manual is the best way to wring every last ounce of performance out of the WRX. The Premium offers the best array of features for the money, unless safety is your top priority. In that case, the Limited with the optional EyeSight package is the way to go. While expensive, the added features will enhance protection for your family.
Since debuting in 2002 as a performance trim level for the Impreza, the Subaru WRX has been a dream of compact-car enthusiasts throughout the U.S. In 2015, the WRX became a standalone model with a new look but with the same level of desirability as before. We spent some time behind the wheel of the 2017 WRX and a summary of our findings is below.
Pricing and Equipment
Though they are among the most expensive compact cars on the market, performance compacts like the WRX offer a lot for the money. The base WRX starts out at $27,515 (delivery fees included) and comes standard with:
Seventeen-inch aluminum-alloy wheel
Sport front seats
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Six-speaker audio system with 6.2-inch touchscreen
In addition to the base trim level, the WRX has two other trims with extra goodies: Premium ($29,815) and Limited ($31,815).
Outstanding performance is what really makes the WRX great. It gets its attitude from a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that churns out 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of twist. Buyers can opt for a six-speed manual or a sport-tuned continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Massive pop from its horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine
Standard all-wheel drive for superb traction and perfect launches
Standard six-speed transmission to satisfy the traditionalist in us
While it performs incredibly, the WRX doesn’t look like a real performer, and the suspension can be a little rough for a daily driver.
We noted a marked improvement in the WRX’s cabin—an area that hasn’t been looked upon too favorably in recent years. There are more soft touch-points than ever before, and there is plenty of room for four adults. Further, a Top Safety Pick+ rating assures the WRX’s cabin is a safe space.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a performance car has a noisy cabin. However, we found the WRX a tad excessive in this department. The new models also lacks the roominess of the previous generation's hatchback body style.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Despite being tuned for performance, the features available with the WRX are impressive. Sure, the base model has all the goodies one would expect, but the upper trims and option packages can make the WRX pretty upscale.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
We expect road noise in a performance sedan, but the WRX is a tad on the obnoxious side. Some buyers may enjoy this noise, but we see the WRX as a more adult compact sedan and expect things like road and wind noise to be kept to a minimum.
The Bottom Line
The Subaru WRX's pricing makes it a reality for many performance-car buyers. What’s more, its adult design language and available high-end features make it a great option for those who want the performance without the racer looks of the Civic Si or Focus ST.
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