2021 Subaru WRX

#18
in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$27,495 - $33,995
  1. Home
  2. subaru
  3. WRX

7.2

Overall Rating

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

INDIGO

2021 Subaru WRX Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: August 14, 2020
Kiran Menon's image

Kiran Menon

Content writer

The Subaru WRX is an exceptional vehicle that was primarily built to dominate the rally universe, and it did stand strong on the expectations. The WRX went ahead to create several records and alongside that also established itself as a cult amongst enthusiasts. With performance justifying its near $28,000 asking price, Subaru has been able to churn a lot of WRXs out. There are a few shortcomings, staring with the basic interiors which feel rather dull and the fatter tires do account for increased cabin noise. The love for adrenaline is always alive and will never fade away. Read on to find out more about this enticing road going rally car.

See detailed review »

Pros

Insane handling dynamics

Superb AWD offers immense traction

Offers best in class acceleration

Cons

Interiors can do better

Increased road noise entering the cabin.

What's New?

The Subaru WRX won’t be getting significant changes for 2021 and would still be part of the first-generation introduced back in 2015. However, Subaru is planning on a second-generation WRX for 2022 which is expected to boast entirely new internals and chassis architecture.


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2021 Subaru WRX in Crystal White Pearl color 2021 Subaru WRX in Ice Silver Metallic color 2021 Subaru WRX in Lapis Blue color 2021 Subaru WRX in Magnetic Gray Metallic color
Crystal White Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.5

Engine And Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

4.0

Interior

8.1

Exterior

6.0

Safety

7.8

Competition

8.5

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Subaru WRX Base

Base

power
268 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
23 combined

$27,495


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $27,495 MSRP (21/23/27) 268 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
6-Speed Manual all wheel drive 5

2021 Subaru WRX Premium

Premium

power
268 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
23 combined

$29,795 - $31,695


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $29,795 MSRP (21/23/27) 268 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
6-Speed Manual all wheel drive 5
Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $31,695 MSRP (21/23/27) 268 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
Continuously Variable w/Manual Shift all wheel drive 5

2021 Subaru WRX Limited

Limited

power
268 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
23 combined

$32,095 - $33,995


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M) Starting at $32,095 MSRP (21/23/27) 268 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
6-Speed Manual all wheel drive 5
Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $33,995 MSRP (21/23/27) 268 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2 L, flat 4, premium unleaded (required)
Continuously Variable w/Manual Shift all wheel drive 5

2021 Subaru WRX Premium w/Performance package

Premium w/Performance package

power
268 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
23 combined

$32,645


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 4dr Sedan AWD w/Performance Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 6M) Starting at $32,645 MSRP (21/23/27) 268 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded (required)
6 speed automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.2

Overall Rating


Subaru is not an uncommon name, with the WRX ruling the rally scenes, it is a cult among enthusiasts. The WRX is offered as a regular sedan and as the sportier WRX STI The WRX sedan is offered in 3 trim levels - Base, Premium and Limited. Prices start from $27,495 for the Base sedan and go all the way to $32,095 for the Limited trim. The Limited trim signifies the WRX in the most opulent and loaded avatar apart from the STI of course


In this review, we’ll be pitting the Subaru WRX against its segment rivals like the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion. Here’s our review of the 2021 Subaru WRX.

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Front View
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Rear View

6.5/10
Features

 
 
 

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

4.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.1/10
Interior

 

6.0/10
Exterior

 

7.8/10
Safety

 

8.5/10
Competition

 
 

2021 Subaru WRX Features

6.5/10

The Subaru WRX is offered in 3 trim levels. They are namely Base, Premium and Limited. Apart from the trim levels there is nothing much in terms of options. Customers are limited to engine options and all models come with a 2.0L turbocharged boxer 4 engine. However customers can go out an opt for some of the convenience features offered by Subaru.

Trim

Base

Premium

Limited

MSRP (AWD)

$27,495

$29,795

$32,095

Key Features

Track-tuned suspension

Adds/Upgrades to WRX

Adds/Upgrades to WRX Premium

 

SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Integration

18-inch alloy wheels

SUBARU STARLINK Safety and Security

 

Symmetrical AWD

Available power tilt/sliding moonroof

Keyless Access with Push-Button Start

 

Climate control

All-Weather Package w/ heated front seats

LED Steering Responsive Headlights

 

19-inch alloy wheels

Available Sport Lineartronic transmission

10-way power driver's seat

 

Vehicle Dynamics Control with Active Torque Vectoring

Available Performance Package

Available EyeSight Driver Assist Technology

 

SUBARU STARLINK 7-inch Multimedia with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Integration

Available GPS navigation system

 
 

Brembo performance brakes 

Power-tilt/sliding moonroof

 

The Base trim starts from $27,495 and comes with some of the basic features you’d expect from a midsize sedan. However most of the safety and driver assistance features remain as part of the standard fitment.

The Premium trim as the name suggests is a slightly more loaded trim when compared to the Base. Premium starts from $29,795 and comes with most of the kit that you’d want in a car. Notable difference starts with the Premium getting a CVT instead of the Base’s manual box.

The Limited trim starts from $32,095 and is the top spec variant in the WRX lineup keeping aside the WRX STI. As standard you get remote engine start, climate control HVAC and keyless ignition among a host of other convenience features.

2021 Subaru WRX Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

​Subarus of the past have been accounted for with questionable reliability. However, things have changed and Subaru as a brand is back at it in full pace. The WRX too has seen a lot of technological advancements in its recent facelifts and have been quite solid in terms of reliability. With more than thousands of WRXs on the road each year, it’s no surprise the midsize sedan is a hit amongst the general public especially with Subaru’s rally pedigree.

Reliability and ownership costs

When it comes to vehicle ownership, reliability plays an important role. The Subaru WRX scored an overall score of 79 out of 100 in the J.D.Power ratings for reliability which is commendable. The Subaru gets a score of 86 in overall driving experience as the AWD is tuned more towards proper dirt splash. That said in terms of resale value and customer satisfaction the Subaru WRX scored 79 and 81 respectively. Also the WRX hasn't accounted for any recalls as per the NHTSA, which is reassuring.

Ownership costs for the Subaru WRX stand in at $41,280 for a period of 5 years. It includes everything from repairs, taxes, fees and even fuel cost. The $41,000 cost of ownership might seem a little bit over the top for a $27k sedan but isn't anything too steep given the WRX is a more driver focussed sedan. 

The pricing of a car changes according to different states across the country. This is largely due to destination fees and state taxes. Interestingly different states provide different leasing and financing deals for cars and in some cases the difference is significantly large.

State

Price

Arizona

$27,083

New York

$26,954

California

$26,980

Florida

$26,446

Michigan

$26,851

In some cases the difference is not significant. Here for example It can be seen that the WRX is almost the same price across Arizona, New York, California, Florida and Michigan. Also the cheapest is in Florida, a near $600 difference from Arizona.

Warranty

Before you start cursing your luck bear in mind that if things go south with your new WRX, Subaru has your back with a comprehensive slue of warranty packages:

Criteria

Period

Bumper to Bumper warranty

3 years/ 36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty

5 years/ 60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Rust perforation warranty

5 years/ Unlimited miles

24-hour roadside assistance (Optional Extra)

3 years/ 36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

The only gripe we have with the warranty schemes offered is that Roadside assistance is an additional package. The WRX still comes with many things that can make it a lucrative buy at your budget.

Miles per dollar

In this we’ll be factoring the annual maintenance cost and how many miles the car runs on average in a year. From what we dug up, the annual maintenance cost for a WRX including fuel costs, taxes and finances is around $4,538. On average, cars drive 10,000 miles a year, therefore if we factor both in we’ll get a definitive MPD (miles per dollar) ratio of 2.20. This indicates that the Subaru WRX can run 2.20 miles for every dollar you spend on it. 

2021 Subaru WRX Buying Advice

We recommend you go for the Premium trim of the WRX with the performance package as this specification adds a Recaro driver’s seat which is 8-way power-adjustable along with Brembo brakes, thus giving you enhanced driving dynamics and comfort. 

How about a used Subaru WRX?

As we mentioned earlier, the cost of ownership for the Subaru WRX over a period of 5 years adds up to be $41,280. Eyeing for a used WRX Is never a bad option. If you are planning to pick up a pre-owned Subaru WRX, it can work in your favor, and you might just get a sweet deal for yourself.

​From what we know, the WRX loses around $3,432 in its first year as depreciation. If you were to buy the Base WRX for $27K, that’s nearly 11% of the vehicle price you’re losing in its maiden year. The curve is pretty smooth for the WRX, therefore expect steady depreciation of around half of what it would lose in its first year.

2021 Subaru WRX Engine and Performance

9.0/10

Unfortunately Subaru doesn’t offer a lot in terms of engine options. The only unit you get is a 2.0 L turbocharged boxer 4 engine as Subaru is the only player among the economy segment who uses a Boxer engine. The turbocharged Boxer in 2021 WRX churns out 268 hp and has a maximum torque output of 258 lb.ft. which kicks in at 2000rpm.

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Engine Bay

Models

Subaru WRX 

Nissan Altima VC-Turbo

Hyundai Sonata 

Ford Fusion

MSRP

$32,095

$35,180

$33,020

$35,335

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Variable Compression Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Manual

CVT Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

6-speed automatic 

Power (hp @ rpm)

268@5,600 

248@5,600

245@6,000 

245@5,500

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

258@2,000

273@4,000

260@1,350

275@3,000

The WRX is in fact the most powerful here. The turbocharged Inline 4 of the Altima is a powerful unit as well but is coupled with a CVT gearbox that takes away the fun from a driving perspective. The Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion get similar turbocharged 2L 4-pot engines, churning out 245 ponies each. 

2021 Subaru WRX Acceleration And Braking Performance

The 2020 Subaru WRX is the fastest car in the lot. The Boxer powering the WRX lets this car do 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds. Same goes with the braking as well, with the WRX stopping in 112 feet from 60 mph. Considering it’s a 3200 pound car, the performance is commendable.

​  2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Accelerate 0-60 MPH in just 5.2 sec  ​

Models

Subaru WRX Limited

Nissan Altima Platinum VC-Turbo

Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T*

Ford Fusion Titanium*

0-60 MPH (sec)

5.2

5.9

7.4

6.8

Quarter Mile (sec)

13.7

14.6

15.3

15.1

Top Speed (MPH)

150

140

130

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs)

3294

3436

3527

3676

60-0 MPH (ft)

112

116

118

116

However, if you opt for the CVT, the acceleration of the WRX takes a slight hit with 0-60mph timing of close to 6 seconds and completes a quarter-mile in 14.5 seconds. The WRX manual is leaps and bounds ahead of its competition in terms of outright acceleration. The closest any car can get to the WRX in terms of the 0-60 dash figures is the Nissan Altima Turbo.

2021 Subaru WRX Fuel Economy

4.0/10

The 2021 Subaru WRX will have similar mpg figures to the 2020 WRX. The WRX returns a modest 23 mpg combined. The Flat-four configuration itself is not the most efficient design when compared to the inline-four and loses out on the reliability factor as well, which is the reason why most manufacturers run away from this design.

Models

Subaru WRX Limited

Nissan Altima Platinum VC-Turbo

Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T*

Ford Fusion Titanium*

MPG (City)

21

25

23

21

MPG (Highway)

27

34

32

31

MPG (Combined)

23

29

26

25

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

15.9

16.2

18.5

16.5

Range (City/Hwy/Combined) (mi)

334/430

405/551

426/592

347/512

If you choose to opt for the available CVT, the fuel economy will further go down with figures of 18 MPG for the city and 24 MPG for the highway. The Nissan Altima has the best engine and gearbox combination in terms of fuel efficiency. Despite having a CVT coupled with the inline-four, the Altima returns the best efficiency figures.

2021 Subaru WRX Interior

8.1/10

The 2021 WRX is fairly similar to the 2020 Subaru WRX’s interiors. All trims get sporty front seats that are 8-way power-adjustable. The performance package available for the Premium trim adds track-ready Recaro bucket seats which have extra bolstering than the regular ones.

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Front Seats

Models

Subaru WRX Limited*

Nissan Altima Platinum VC-Turbo

Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T*

Ford Fusion Titanium*

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.8/55.6/43.3

38.0/58.2/43.8

40.4/ 57.9/45.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.1/54.2/35.4

36.7/57.1/35.2

38.0/56.5/ 35.6

37.8/56.9/38.3

The build is good and most of the materials, including the Recaro seats, emit the sporty character of the ride.The rear seats offer enough space for two adults. The lower seating position might be an issue for some as ingress and egress need some effort. Also, you have to do with cloth upholstery apart from the top of the line Limited trim which gets leather-appointed seats. 

How’s the 2021 Subaru WRX’s infotainment system?

In terms of the infotainment the WRX has 2 options. In the lower Base and Premium trims you get a 6.5 inch screen whereas in the Sport and Limited terms you get an 8 inch screen with multimedia connectivity and comes with Navigation as an option. There is the option of the Harman Kardon system which can be had in the Sport and Limited trims which sounds superb. The interface is easy and intuitive. The graphics of the unit seems sharp and crisp for the naked eye and getting used to it won’t be a hassle.

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Infotainment System

 

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Cockpit
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Cockpit
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Cockpit
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Cockpit
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Front Seats
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Front Seats
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Infotainment System
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Infotainment System
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Instrument Cluster
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Instrument Cluster
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Gear Shifter
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan Gear Shifter

2021 Subaru WRX Exterior

6.0/10

Subaru has not experimented with any new design philosophy, unlike Hyundai who keeps experimenting with new design philosophies each year. The Subaru WRX is one of the smallest cars in the segment with a bumper to bumper length of 181 inches. The wheelbase of the 2020 WRX is just 104.3 inches. On the contrary, the Altima is the longest car in the segment with a length of 192 inches and 111.2 inches of wheelbase.

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan 

Models

Subaru WRX* 

Nissan Altima Platinum VC-Turbo

Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T*

Ford Fusion Titanium*

Curb Weight (lbs)

3294

3436

3527

3676

Length (in)

180.9

192.9

191.1

191.7

Width (in)

70.7

72.9 

73.4

75.6

Height (in)

58.1

57.1

58.1

58.1

Ground Clearance (in)

4.9

5.1

5.3

7,8

Wheelbase (in)

104.3

111.2

110.4

112.1

The hood scoop is an indication that the WRX is not your ordinary sedan. The dug in headlamps results in a prominent snout that houses the signature Subarugrille. The toned lines on the side would have made for a dull profile for the WRX if not for the 18” rims. Meanwhile, the low ground clearance improves the WRX's stability, giving it a more planted and stable feel.The Subaru WRX has certain elements that portray the potent nature of this ride.

2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​
2021 Subaru WRX Sedan ​

2021 Subaru WRX Safety

7.8/10

The Subaru WRX absolutely nails it in the safety tests conducted by IIHS and NHTSA. The ride gets a 5-star safety rating from NHTSA, owing to the safety features on offer. The WRX offers SUBARU STARLINK as a standard highlight across the entire trim lineup, which is a suite of driver-assist features like blindspot monitoring, Cross-traffic alert and Lane keep assist, to name a few. Some of the notable safety features on offer in the Subaru WRX are:

  • Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) with Active Torque Vectoring
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Brake Assist
  • Subaru advanced frontal airbag system (SRS)
  • Driver's knee airbag
  • Side-curtain airbags
  • Front-seat side pelvis/torso airbags
  • Whiplash-reducing front seats with height and tilt-adjustable head restraints
  • Height-adjustable 3-point front seatbelts
  • LATCH System
  • Energy-absorbing collapsible steering column
  • Ring-shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure

2021 Subaru WRX Competition

8.5/10

2021 Subaru WRX Vs Hyundai Sonata

Right off the bat the exterior styling of the Sonata is elegant with a more practical interior layout. The ride quality is smooth and composed and this car is perfect for the daily city commutes. The WRX on the other hand is the exact opposite, especially when it comes to the handling characteristics. In short, the decision is easy between the two and it prioritizes more on the buyer’s preferences.

2021 Hyundai Sonata

2021 Subaru WRX Vs Nissan Altima

Both of these Japanese sedans are good in their own ways. The WRX is the sportier car between the two. Hence, if agility and a sportier ride are your priority and can ignore the smaller cargo space and lower fuel economy, then the WRX is the car for you. On the other hand, if space and composed ride quality are your priorities, the Nissan Altima is the one to go for.

2021 Nissan Altima

 

2021 Subaru WRX Final Verdict

We expect the 2021 Subaru WRX’s release date to be around the third quarter this year with an estimated price of $28,000 or thereabouts. The Subaru WRX is a car that has a definitive fan base. If you prefer your car to behave kinky and out of place (in a good way), the Subaru WRX is the one for you

CLEAR ALL

POPULAR TAGS

power adjustable
center console
hood scoop
safety feature
competition
acceleration
simplicity
quicker
breaker
economy
combination
stiffer
delivery
subaru
reliability
package
wonder
downside
transmission
mileage

2021 Subaru WRX Overall Reviews


RD

Randall D. Davis

2020 Subaru WRX

Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

8

User Overall Rating

Posted On: August 10, 2020

Best performer at this price

Pros - Performance, AWD, bucket seats

Cons - Speakers, interior

Overall Review

8 /10 Overall Rating

The beast that no one talks about. There is no vehicle that can beat it in sheer performance at this price.

8/10
Features
8/10
Interior
10/10
Design
10/10
Safety
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

TG

Thomas L. Ginter

2020 Subaru WRX

Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

9

User Overall Rating

Posted On: August 10, 2020

Perfect vehicle!!

Pros - Manual, design, super fun to drive

Cons - It is perfect

Overall Review

9 /10 Overall Rating

A car with a manual gearbox is a rare sight these days. People who run away from manual don’t know the real joy of driving. Gearstick is a source of confidence. It means you are the one who has the control and not a computer.

10/10
Features
10/10
Interior
10/10
Design
10/10
Safety
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Deal Value
1/10
Dealer Review

JS

James L. Smith

2020 Subaru WRX

Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

10

User Overall Rating

Posted On: August 10, 2020

Love this car!

Pros - Fun, fast, reliable

Cons - Gas mileage

Overall Review

10 /10 Overall Rating

It has been 4 months since I bought it and I have never been bored while driving this. It is so fun to drive. The buttery smooth engine paired with a 6-speed manual is a match made in heaven. It has an excellent throttle response. To sum up- the best car I have ever driven!

10/10
Features
10/10
Interior
10/10
Design
10/10
Safety
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

Read all Reviews

Top User Reviews

8

User Overall Rating

Best performer at this price

The beast that no one talks about. There is no vehicle that can beat it in sheer performance at this price.

by Randall D. Davis

9

User Overall Rating

Perfect vehicle!!

A car with a manual gearbox is a rare sight these days. People who run away from manual don’t know the real joy of driving. Gearstick is a source of confidence. It means you are the one who has the control and not a computer.

by Thomas L. Ginter

10

User Overall Rating

Love this car!

It has been 4 months since I bought it and I have never been bored while driving this. It is so fun to drive. The buttery smooth engine paired with a 6-speed manual is a match made in heaven. It has an excellent throttle response. To sum up- the best car I have ever driven!

by James L. Smith

8

User Overall Rating

2020 Subaru WRX Limited has everything!

Only if the gas mileage would have been similar to other trims, I would not have been here writing all this up. Its weird how other trims with manual transmission and same engine configuration is returning with more gas mileage. One of my colleagues has this 2020 WRX and I was baffled when he mentioned his gas average of 23 which sounds like a dream for my 19 best.

by James A. Wilkins

9

User Overall Rating

Old school

No wonder why Subaru still fancies the boxer setup. Linear power delivery, great handling and even better reliability. The only downside is that it is significantly louder but that's covered by the manual stick and I'm happy with the whole package

by Paul O. Bryant

view more reviews