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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Subaru WRX
  • 90 Degree Profile 2018 Subaru WRX
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Expert's Rating

3.5Good | Details

MPG

21 City / 27 Highway

All-new for the 2017 model year, the Subaru Impreza prioritized adding safety technologies over boosting dynamic prowess. Good thing the Subaru WRX is here to handle the latter point. Powered by a turbocharged engine and equipped with plenty of performance features, the WRX is more than just an Impreza with a hood scoop.

What's New for 2018

The WRX is new for 2018 and features a redesigned front fascia, more safety technologies, updated interior materials, rear seat armrest cup holders, new roof rack mounting brackets, and additional options such as racing-inspired seats and a Performance package option.

Subaru WRX

Choosing Your Subaru WRX

As with every Subaru sold in the United States, the WRX is equipped with a standard all-wheel-drive system. But unlike the Impreza, there is no WRX hatchback for buyers seeking more versatility.

Under the hood, the WRX uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment while a continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters is available as an option (you want the manual).

For 2018, manual transmission models see a one mile per gallon improvement in city driving with an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. Fuel economy for CVT-equipped vehicles remains unchanged with an EPA rating of 18 city, 24 highway, and 21 combined. Subaru recommends premium fuel.

Active torque vectoring should keep the WRX moving in the intended direction, while a retuned front and rear suspension and revised electric power steering improve stability and steering feel, respectively.

The 2018 WRX is available in three trims.

Base

Starting at $27,855 (which includes the $860 destination charge), standard equipment includes heated outside mirrors, 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, summer performance tires, a six-way manually-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40-split fold-flat rear seats, a leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed steering wheel, a leather shift knob, cloth upholstery, and a 3.5-inch driver information display. A 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a six-speaker audio system are also standard.

The most important thing to know about the base model is that it's only available with a manual transmission. So if you have your heart set on a WRX with a CVT, you'll need to move up a trim.

Premium

At $30,155, Premium models add fog lights, 18-inch wheels, a power sunroof, ultrasuede/leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual USB ports, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and specially-tuned electric power steering and suspension.

A new Performance Package ($2,050) is limited to the manual transmission Premium and features high-performance Jurid front brake pads, red-painted brake calipers, and Recaro performance seats with eight-way power adjustability on the driver's seat.

CVT models ($31,355) receive a transmission with six- to eight-speed manual modes, paddle shifters, auto vehicle hold, and incline start assist.

Limited

The top-of-line WRX Limited starts at $32,455. Adaptive LED headlights and fog lights light the way ahead. Interior upgrades include push-button start and a leather interior with a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Starlink Safety and Security, which adds several services such as automatic collision notification, enhanced roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle recovery, is standard.

A single, unnamed package is available, although its features depend on the transmission. On manual-trans models, the package is $2,100 and includes blind spot monitoring with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and an enhanced Starlink system with a seven-inch touchscreen navigation screen.

The CVT ($33,655) drives the package's price up to $3,300 and adds two more features: Subaru’s excellent EyeSight driver assistance system and reverse automatic braking (RAB). The EyeSight system is a suite of safety technologies that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, and sway warning. RAB utilizes sensors to detect objects and prevent collisions when the vehicle is moving in reverse.

CarsDirect Tip

With a reputation for safety and reliability, one can’t fault Subaru for loading its best features into its most expensive trim. That being said, the WRX generally appeals to those looking for a more spirited driving experience over the Impreza, and the Premium model with Performance package will meet those needs – and still offer wiggle room to add an STI-branded accessory or two. Buyers who want top performance and safety, though, will have no choice but to pay top dollar for a Limited and the added package.

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