2021 Subaru WRX Sedan

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Rear View Driving
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Infotainment System
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2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Review: Fun For The Whole Family

When it comes to perfecting the blend between practicality and retaining your gearhead credentials, the Subaru WRX ranks pretty highly. Picture this: it's time to grow up and your first child is on the way, but you have no intention of giving up your gearhead tendencies. So you take your spouse to see the Subaru WRX STI but one look at that wing and you are shot with a "you must be joking" stare. Relax, for there is a better, more comfortable, less giant rear-winged way of getting all-wheel-drive turbocharged boxer thrills. A smaller 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine powers the standard WRX, and it's available with a six-speed manual or CVT transmission. And while you don't get the full 300 horses the STI has, the WRX isn't that far behind with 268 horsepower. It's not as refined as some of its more modern rivals, but like all WRXs before it, it does have loads of character and charm.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 10 /10
  • Fuel Economy 6 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Subaru WRX Sedan?

For 2021, Subaru has added keyless access with push-button start on the Premium model. The previously available Performance package has also been discontinued. That's it, folks. Subaru is one of those manufacturers that updates its cars incrementally. No significant changes all in one go, but if you look at the updates over the last few years, you'll see that they add up.

Pros and Cons

  • Huge fun to drive
  • It's an all-weather car
  • Lots of room on the inside
  • Good suspension balance
  • You can have it with a manual
  • Lacks refinement compared to modern rivals
  • Infotainment on the base model is poor
  • Standard safety features are minimal

What's the Price of the 2021 Subaru WRX?

The price of the Subaru WRX is indicative of its strong value for money. The base WRX has an MSRP of $27,495. There isn't a lot you can add to the vehicle, so that's basically what it costs. The Premium retails for $30,045, while the WRX Limited has an MSRP of $32,095. If you want the CVT transmission, it adds another $1,900 to the price of both the Premium and Limited. These prices do not include the $925 destination and delivery charge.

Be wary of the options, however. If you include a CVT gearbox, navigation, 18-inch STI alloy wheels, and an STI performance exhaust, the price quickly climbs to over $40,000. That's within spitting distance of the top-spec STI, not to mention a few other brilliant performance cars like the Honda Civic Type R.

Best Deals on 2021 Subaru WRX Sedan

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The WRX's predecessors offered the same sort of driving experience. As nose-heavy vehicles, they were prone to understeer on the limit. It's the safest way to let the driver know that they're pushing too hard, but it feels awful. The current model doesn't seem to be plagued by this problem. It can corner harder than previous models, and the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system does a marvelous job of clawing you out of the other end of the corner. The steering rack is on the quick side, considering that the WRX is supposed to be a more balanced offering. Some will like it; others won't. What we can all agree on is that electronic-assisted steering devoid of feel is a big no-no. The WRX only really starts providing feedback on the limit, which is relatively high considering the engine output and all-wheel-drive system.

The AWD is one of this car's many highlights. Not only does it help the WRX get off the line much quicker than its engine output suggests, but it lets you push much harder than you'd be able to in a rear-wheel-drive car. The grip, quick steering, and power delivery make the WRX feel much lighter than it is. It's confidence-inspiring. The suspension is stiff but not nearly as rock-hard as it is in the STI. The STI requires you to make serious sacrifices in the comfort department, while the WRX strikes a relatively nice balance between firmness and comfort. The WRX remains composed over bumps that would result in back surgery in the STI. Even so, it's still not as well-balanced as some of its rivals, but the upside is a fun factor that its competitors struggle to match. The standard brakes are impressive more than up to the task of reigning it back in.

Verdict: Is the 2021 Subaru WRX sedan A Good car?

There are better cars that offer a more rounded driving experience, but nothing is quite like the WRX. It takes a very old-school approach to performance, offering a manual gearbox and mechanical grip thanks to an all-wheel-drive system, while the torque vectoring system feels natural. It may have a dull interior that misses some gimmicky but likable gadgets, but it offers an unfiltered driving experience, and at the base price it asks, you won't find much better an experience. There is some lag, but it's all part of this car's unique character. Unlike its more significant, meaner brother (the STI), the WRX offers a better compromise between performance and day-to-day usability. It may not be as comfortable and refined as some of its rivals, but there's absolutely no reason not to use this car every day. The same can't be said for the STI. The WRX is affordable, reliable, and the right choice if you like something different.

What New Subaru WRX Model Should I Buy?

The full-fat STI is all about performance at the expense of everything else. The WRX is a more balanced car worth keeping in mind when you choose what trim level you want. The base model with its manual box is appealing, but you don't get a lot in terms of comfort and amenities. For that reason, we'd go for the mid-spec Premium and its new keyless entry and push-button start system, among other features. We'd go with a manual, too. Not only is it more fun, but it's slightly more frugal as well. You do lose out on the advanced safety kit, but just pay attention when you drive.

Check out other Subaru WRX Styles

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Comparisons

Subaru WRX STI CarBuzz
Subaru BRZ Subaru

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan vs Subaru WRX STI

The WRX offers such a unique driving experience that its main rivals come from within the same stable. The WRX STI is a good example of this in-house competition. It's a car like the WRX, but with everything dialed up to 11.

The STI gets a bigger 2.5-liter flat-four, pushing out 310 hp and 290 lb-ft in comparison to the WRX's 268 hp and 258 lb-ft. It's a manual-only kind of car, and it takes no prisoners. It's also easy to spot, thanks to a giant rear wing. Contrary to popular belief, you can have too much of a good thing, however. While we appreciate the added performance and the feel provided by hydraulic steering, the STI is simply too hardcore. It sacrifices everything else on the altar of performance, including comfort. As a driving experience, the STI kicks the WRX to the curb, but in every other way, the WRX is a better everyday car. Since our daily commute doesn't include a stint on a racetrack, we'd rather have the $10,000 cheaper WRX.

See Subaru WRX STI Review

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan vs Subaru BRZ

If you're in the market for a WRX, there's a good chance you're looking for a thrilling driving experience at less than $35,000. For that reason, you might also be interested in the BRZ, the only Subaru that doesn't come as standard with all-wheel drive. Instead, it's rear-wheel drive only. It's worth noting that there is no 2021 model year BRZ as Subaru prepares to launch the all-new 2022 version. Still, the current BRZ is a great, no-frills sports car. It's also powered by a 2.0-liter flat-four but without a turbocharger. The result is 205 hp, which doesn't sound like much. It only weighs around 2,800 lbs and comes with skinny, eco-friendly tires. That means loads of oversteer that even a novice can manage. It will put a grin on your face, that's for sure.

As a practical proposition, it falls a bit flat. It only has 6.9 cubic feet of trunk space, and while it is technically a four-seater, the rear seats are only suitable for small children. It boils down to paying more or less the same amount of money for a slower, less practical car. The tail-happiness of the BRZ is simply not enough to beat the WRX.

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