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2015 Subaru WRX

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2015 Subaru WRX Expert Review

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From its early days as a street-legal rally car to its current role as the poster child of the American boy racer, the Subaru WRX has undergone the most significant overhaul in its 23-year history. Longer, wider, faster, and, above all, more refined than ever, the 2015 Subaru WRX sedan is no longer the wild child of specialty sports cars – and that's a good thing. Of course, the range-topping 2015 Subaru WRX STI has been heavily updated as well to satisfy the needs of hardcore performance types. Available in sedan body styles only, the all-wheel-drive-equipped WRX and STI are well positioned to challenge 2-door and 4-door versions of the Honda Civic Si, Ford's Focus ST hatchback, and the 4-door Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for an affordable sports sedan with all-weather capability, superb handling, and laudable fuel economy, far be it from us to disapprove of the Subaru WRX. Given its newly available CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) and added creature comforts, the WRX has become a feasible alternative for non-enthusiasts.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If pure driving excitement takes precedence over straight-line performance, the rear-drive Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S are worth a closer look. If balancing performance with practicality is more up your alley, the less expensive Ford Focus ST might be the better choice.

How It Ranks

#29

out of 30

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 31

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.3 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Subaru WRX Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The Subaru WRX and high-performance WRX STI sports sedans are all-new for the 2015 model year.

Driving the WRX
2015 Subaru WRX Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The Subaru WRX has long been one the few sports cars that consistently exceeds its published performance credentials in the real world. Case in point: No matter how hard we...

... pushed the WRX, traction under power was beyond reproach, and understeer (where the car pushes straight into corners) went unnoticed. The latter is an impressive feat for an all-wheel-drive sports car, particularly one fitted with electric-assisted steering. Speaking of which, Subaru worked hard to give the 2015 WRX an electromechanical steering system worthy of its dynamic persona, and the hard work paid off. In terms of ride quality, the new WRX handles rough pavement with unexpected compliance compared to its stiff-legged predecessors. This newfound sense of civility comes despite the fact that Subaru engineers stiffened virtually every steering, chassis and suspension component. The ride is taut, naturally, but not overly so. Then again, the same cannot be said for the STI, as every road imperfection – big or small – transmits directly into the cabin.

6-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
Standard on both the WRX and STI, Subaru's revised 6-speed manual gearbox is one of the best in the business on account of its precise action, positive-engaging clutch, and short throws.

SPORT SEATS
Whether you're a seasoned track buff or all-around spirited driver, factory-installed seats rarely offer the appropriate support. Such is not the case with the Subaru WRX – the standard front seats feature high-grip fabric and aggressive leg and side bolstering to keep you in place and focused on more important things – like driving.

2015 Subaru WRX Details
2015 Subaru WRX Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

While "sophistication" and "WRX" were mutually exclusive terms, the latest WRX actually has a refinement story to tell. With soft-touch materials for the upper dash and door panels, a full-color driver information display, leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, and available 8-way power driver's seat, the WRX is now just a few shades behind the markedly more expensive Volkswagen Golf R when it comes to overall interior quality. As for functionality, the outboard rear seats provide more than enough room for most adults, and the trunk offers nearly twice as much space as the Lancer Evo.

Exterior
2015 Subaru WRX photo

Subaru's decision to retire the WRX's time-honored association to the Impreza moniker is a clear way of saying this prominent sports sedan has officially taken on an identity all its own. Consequently, the 4th-generation WRX and STI share very little with its mainstream counterpart. Save for a few pieces of glass, the 2015 Subaru WRX and STI sport a wholly unique exterior, most notably the flared front and rear fenders, distinctive "nose-cone" front-end design, and thinner A-pillars for enhanced outward visibility.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base form, the 2015 Subaru WRX includes such standard equipment as automatic climate control, a backup camera, a 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, 17-inch alloys, a 60/40 split rear seat, and an active torque vectoring system that brakes the inside front wheel in a corner to help relieve the WRX's inclination towards understeer. STI versions add dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, and Alcantara (suede-like) upholstery. Standard safety features on both sedans consist of seven airbags, a full complement of electronic stability aids, and Subaru's Ring-shaped Reinforced Frame body structure that helped earn the 2015 WRX and STI class-topping safety ratings.

Optional Equipment

Aside from an extensive list of dealer-installed accessories, most options for the Subaru WRX and STI are tied to trim levels. Opting for the WRX Premium model lands you a moonroof, rear spoiler, and heated front seats, while the WRX Limited adds LED headlights with an auto on/off function, leather, and an 8-way power driver's seat. STI Limited models gain an 8-way power driver's seat, lightweight 18-inch BBS wheels, a 9-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system, and leather. Because Subaru's current navigation system is about as useful as a DVD rewinder, we recommend taking a look at the latest series of aftermarket navigation systems from Pioneer and Alpine. What's more, most aftermarket nav units cost considerably less than Subaru's factory offering.

Under the Hood
2015 Subaru WRX Engine photo

Not unlike years past, a pair of turbocharged 4-cylinder engines powers the Subaru WRX and STI. The difference this time around is that the WRX features an all-new 2.0-liter engine, while the STI soldiers on with the previous 2.5-liter. Both models come fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox and symmetrical all-wheel-drive, with the WRX offering the option of a sport-calibrated continuously variable automatic transmission. We know what you're thinking, but believe us when we say that the WRX's new CVT is a truly capable autobox. Lastly, it's worth noting that both engines require premium fuel.

2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4
268 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/28 mpg (manual), 19/25 mpg (automatic)

2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4
305 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
290 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

The 2015 WRX carries a starting MSRP just north of $27,000, with the STI holding down a roughly $8,000 premium. Fully-loaded prices for the WRX and STI check in right around $35,000 and $41,000, respectively. Opting for the WRX's new CVT automatic transmission will set you back an extra $1,200. The Ford Focus ST and Scion FR-S start in the neighborhood of $25,000, while the Honda Civic Si sedan and Hyundai Veloster Turbo begin in the low-$23,000 range. Regardless of which model you choose, take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price tool to ensure you get the best deal on your next car. Down the road, we expect the 2015 WRX and STI to maintain reasonably strong 5-year resale values, topped only by the segment-leading Civic Si.

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2015 Subaru WRX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 19 Ratings for the 2015 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

My 2nd WRX

By on Saturday, January 30, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A Real Sports Car - Costs $5000 below its value"

Cons: "No Cons - It's perfect"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My 2009 WRX 5 door was just perfect in all sports car criteria (especially for an old guy who lives in snowy country and drives back roads.I can't bang the alpine bumps any more but I can still enjoy our New England twisty's) My 2016 WRX 4 door is even more perfect. Well over 30 mpg. More precise handling with virtually no under steer at the edge. Plenty roomy for 4 adults. Large functional trunk. Precise shifting via standard linkage. Easy 0 to 60 in about 6 sec is nice - but 60 to 80 for passing is nearly instant and a big safety feature for country roads. In retirement I drive rental cars all over the NE. I have driven all the sport sedan entries from VW, Ford, Chry , etc. The WRX is the only entry that is a real all season sports car. Add all season high performance tires for winter / about $700."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best car I ever had

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Excelent steering, best handling ever, best looks,"

Cons: "Police will watch you, Kids will ask you dumb ques"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I started buying Subarus in the summer of 2014, I needed a reliable vehicle for my wife, so, I decided to buy her an Outback, she was so satisfied with the handling of the vehicle, that I traded my 2012 TDI jetta for a 2015 Forester, but always staring at a WRX. The Outback was great, best snow vehicle I ever had, but at 47 years old, I wanted to feel some adrenaline. I do not know how, but I convinced my wife to trade my 2015 Forester for a 2016 black WRX STI. When I bought it, I felt great in the passenger seat, extremely comfortable and the engine rumble, made me feel powerful. I know I should not say that, but one time I engaged in a race with a 370Z Nissan, we were side to side at a 120 MPH, but the car kept asking for more, like telling me, is that all you have?. This is my daily commute car, it catches attention from people, especially young guys and Police patrols. This is a guys car, normally Women are not attracted by it, this is one of the reasons my wife allowed my to buy it. Overall, stiff suspension, good in cornering, good acceleration response, excellent handling, bad on gas(who cares), beautiful design, proven engine, good in dirt and ashfalt. Buy it, you wont regret it."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Econobox with a great AWD system

By on Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "AWD system is second to none"

Cons: "Econobox "features" are too much to overcome."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"1. The good news is that Subaru has a great AWD system. 2. The bad news is that Subaru removed roughly 1" of ground clearance from the 2014 model. 4.9" ground clearance in a car like this is just not enough. I scrape EVERYWHERE! I've had cars even lower than 4.9" before but I guess the wheels were closer to the corners or something because I have never had issues scraping like I do with the Subaru. 3. The base radio is atrocious and the speakers are laughable. Replacing the "Starlink" system is an enormous pain in the butt. 4. The paint is horribly soft, even by Subaru standards. I have blue paint and basically looking at the car gives it swirls. 5. Ride quality is not great (very bouncy). Probably due to the wheels being so far from the corners. On the upside, the turning radius is tiny. 6. The throttle mapping is very aggressive. 100% throttle at less than 30% pedal makes it really hard to drive in traffic or slowly through a neighborhood."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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