Any opinions on the Subaru Impreza WRX?

I’ve wanted a WRX since I rest drove one back in 2002. It looks like I may be in the market for a new car soon and a new or <3 year old WRX wagon is on the short list. Does anybody have any experience with these cars? I already know it’s more than fast enough for me and I know they redesigned the Impreza last year. I’m particularly interested in the things that become apparent only after months or years of ownership, like build quality, fuel consumption/range, reliability, maintainence costs, and day to day usability.


From everything I’ve read, they’re nice cars, fast, and the AWD works well. The interior is a bit plain, and they only have a 5-speed transmission where other comparable cars have 6. The 2008 model was a step backwards, lacking power and had soft handling. The 2009 model has good power but still somewhat soft handling.

I’d recommend reading some WRX/Subaru forums like this one. There you’ll see actual owners talking about actual problems. Don’t get too discouraged over isolated incidents, remember those forums are often like doctor’s offices, some people don’t post unless they have a problem.

Also, here is a Car and Driver article comparing the WRX to other sport compacts.

I thought about buying one for quite a while, I had my eye on a blue wagon. I wound up getting a Mazdaspeed3.

We’ve owned a WRX since 2001 (right when they came out - hubby’s car), and we’ve been quite pleased. We also own a 2007 Legacy GT (my car, and my one true automotive love), so we’re obviously big fans of the cars :slight_smile: WinkieHubby hangs with a group of Subaru owners here in Central Indiana, so we know a lot of people who own them as well.

Subarus are great cars, and the redesign has made the WRX better, I think - bigger engine, quieter, smoother ride - but they have lost a little of the “sporty” edge. They are still just as fast or faster, but some of the hardcore guys complain because they are a little further from the sports car heritage. However, the guys in our Subaru group who have new WRXs love them.

I’ll combine our Subaru experiences into one, since the new WRX is on the Legacy frame and shares a lot of features with it:

  • Great day-to-day; Subaru is getting top marks in safety these days, which is nice. With the 2.5L engine the WRX comes with now there’s a nice smooth power band without noticeable turbo lag.
  • Gas mileage is OK but not great; I average 22 mphcity / 26 highway in my Legacy with fairly spirited but not nutty driving. WinkieHubby averages a little more in the WRX, but he has done some engine tuning that has helped with that. They do require 91 octane, which adds to the fuel bill - but the fun that comes with that is well worth it!
  • Build quality is great - doors and windows still shut securely in the WRX, the interior is not falling apart or anything. Even after many performance modifications by WinkieHubby, transmission and clutch are in fine shape.
  • Modifications - if you are into performance modifications, they abound for the WRX.

Another site you might want to visit is the North American Subaru Impreza Owner’s Club, There are regional forums there as well, so you can hook up with people near you if that’s your thing.

One of the other teachers in my apartment building drives an Impreza and has nothing but good things to say about it. Granted, it is an Impreza as sold in Japan, but, apart from the steering configuration and a few country-specific points, I doubt there is much difference. He hasn’t had any problems with it in the few years he has had it and everyone I know seems to heartily recommend Subaru in general. I’d say you can’t go wrong with one.