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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

#30

out of 31

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 32

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 22 Ratings for the 2015 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.3/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Great re-design and interior for STi

By on Monday, May 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "pretty much everything at this point"

Cons: "I should have gotten the Nav. not a big deal!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I just bought this car for a daily driver and sold my Evo for this car. Worlds difference in comfort! Interior is so much better. My Family and I fit in this car also. I'm a 6'4" man so height and extra room means the world. the Shifting is great on the STi so easy and smooth."

Buy It Now

By on Friday, March 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Super fun to drive AND affordable."

Cons: "None."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is a great car. Most fun car I've ever owned. It's got more power than you need, and enough to always be fun. It handles great - responsive steering and throttle, and great brakes. From another perspective, it's also practical. Seats 4 adults comfortably, 5 with kids in the back seat. Gets great gas mileage - I got 39 mpg on a road trip when I took it easy. Good sized trunk. Interior is not fancy, but it's not Spartan either. Really a great car."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Awesome ride for the price!!!!

By on Thursday, February 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price and Fun to drive"

Cons: "Ride is stiff, not great on gas"

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

"I was first impressed with just looking at it when I first bought my wife's Impreza. And only fell in love with it the first minute I rode in one. I absolutely love this car!!!! It handles like a dream, turbo boost between 2500 - 3000 RPMs with no turbo lag that gives the impression that it really wants to go FAST! Only problems I've had are minor. The steering wheel locking for a little bit when I parked it up hill. (I must've turned it too hard when I initially parked it, because I haven't had that problem since). Also, the ride at times feels a little harsh. Like feeling every pebble that you run over. But I've gotten used to it. Also, its not great on gas. I've pushed it to 34 mph, but that is late at night on the highway in Southern California with no traffic. For the price you can't compare! Sure the Audi S3 and the BMW M2 has more horsepower, but at the double the cost. In summary WRX is totally fun to drive!"

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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