• 2019 Subaru WRX

    The Subaru WRX has an aggressive front fascia
  • Even from a distance, you can tell it means business
  • For a sedan, it's quite sporty
  • while the rear seems almost down to earh
  • The black wheels and blue body go together well
  • The large air dam is inspired by the WRX's roots in rally
  • The dual exhaust creates a nice exhaust tone
  • If you're getting on it, people will hear you coming
  • We like the way it doesn't sit too close to the ground
  • It looks much lower from a distance
  • The snout on the hood is actually functional
  • The rear diffuser doesn't do much but it looks good
  • The headlights look small because of the front end's design
  • When you look up close, they actually have a sport appearance
  • The clearance between the hood and fascia is much smaller than it is with the fenders
  • Those little lights in the corners are actually pretty bright
  • The detial of the side skirts is commendable considering this isn't an STI
  • The plastic grille is nothing to write home about
  • The mirrors seem to sit quite tall
  • If you use the key to unlock the door, the paint here will get chipped
  • The fender vents give the side a bit of aggression
  • The front end isn't as short as it looks, though
  • The spoiler on the back is a nice touch
  • but we still prefer the STI's spoiler
  • The black plastic cladding here does feel kind of cheap
  • The tailights are okay, but nothing to write home abot
  • The tailights take up very little room on the rear
  • The little lip above the exhaust outlets might look cool but it's also a heat sheild
  • For aesthetic purposes only
  • The trunk is actually quite large
  • you get 12 cubic-feet with the seat backs in place
  • There's a lot more room if you lay the rear seats down, tough
  • It's not an STI but the inteiror is still done up nicely
  • The contrast stitching is a nice touch
  • Silver pedals and black accents on the floor mats
  • Our tester had Recaro seats
  • They are both attractive and supportive
  • The dash has kind of an old-school feel
  • But a new model is on the way so a lot will change soon
  • The instrument cluster looks sexy at night
  • Notice how the wheel has grooves in just the right spots?
  • There are grooves at 10 and 2 as well
  • The dual screen layoutis pretty cool
  • The digital boost gauge is awesome
  • The shifter has a nice feel to it - very precise
  • Subaru could have picked a better place for these
  • The back seats are okay
  • but you have to remember not to get too frisky if you have rear passengers
  • There's a 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood
  • 268 horsepower
  • 258 pound-feet of torque
  • at 3,272 pounds, it's actually pretty quick
  • yes, that hood vent is functional
  • 0-60 mph comes in around five or six seconds
  • Top speed is pegged at 155 mph
  • Our tester came in at around $33,000, which isn't bad for a car like this

FUN affordable sport sedan STILL exist!

The Subaru WRX is one of those sporty sedan rally cars that every enthusiast should drive at least once in their life. It went through a generational shift for the 2015 model year that made it even better, bringing new exterior looks, a longer A-Pillar, LED exterior lighting, a roomier interior, better outward visibility, and a new 2.0-liter four-banger that was 0.5-liters smaller than the outgoing unit but offered three extra ponies and 14 extra pound-feet which really helped to offset the 50+ pound weight gain than came with the new-gen model. It’s only been a couple of years since the new-gen model hit showrooms, and Subie put together some minor revisions for the 2018 model year. There was no power gain to speak of, unfortunately, but it did make some minor exterior styling updates, improved the suspension setup, updated the manual transmission, and now offers a new optional Performance pack – the latter of which you really want to know about if you’re hoping to ride off into the sunset with a new WRX. For 2019, there were no changes to speak of but we were excited to get our hands on one anyway. This was our experience.

Exterior

2019 Subaru WRX
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The Subaru WRX has an aggressive front fascia
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834034
Even from a distance, you can tell it means business
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834028
For a sedan, it’s quite sporty
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834026
while the rear seems almost down to earh
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834030
The black wheels and blue body go together well
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834022
The large air dam is inspired by the WRX’s roots in rally
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834025
The dual exhaust creates a nice exhaust tone
2019 Subaru WRX
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If you’re getting on it, people will hear you coming
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834027
We like the way it doesn’t sit too close to the ground
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834029
It looks much lower from a distance
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834023
The snout on the hood is actually functional
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834024
The rear diffuser doesn’t do much but it looks good
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834021
The headlights look small because of the front end’s design
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834033
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834032
2019 Subaru WRX
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When you look up close, they actually have a sport appearance
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834019
The clearance between the hood and fascia is much smaller than it is with the fenders
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834018
Those little lights in the corners are actually pretty bright
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834017
The detial of the side skirts is commendable considering this isn’t an STI
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834016
The plastic grille is nothing to write home about
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834015
The mirrors seem to sit quite tall
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834014
If you use the key to unlock the door, the paint here will get chipped
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834013
The fender vents give the side a bit of aggression
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834012
The front end isn’t as short as it looks, though
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834011
The spoiler on the back is a nice touch
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834010
but we still prefer the STI’s spoiler
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834009
The black plastic cladding here does feel kind of cheap
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834008
The tailights are okay, but nothing to write home abot
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834007
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834006
The tailights take up very little room on the rear
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834005
The little lip above the exhaust outlets might look cool but it’s also a heat sheild
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834004
For aesthetic purposes only
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834002
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834001

Interior

2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833989
The dash has kind of an old-school feel
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833988
But a new model is on the way so a lot will change soon
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833987
The instrument cluster looks sexy at night
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833985
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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Notice how the wheel has grooves in just the right spots?
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833979
There are grooves at 10 and 2 as well
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833978
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833977
The dual screen layoutis pretty cool
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833976
The digital boost gauge is awesome
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833973
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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The shifter has a nice feel to it - very precise
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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Subaru could have picked a better place for these
2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
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2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833964
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833963
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834000
The trunk is actually quite large
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833999
you get 12 cubic-feet with the seat backs in place
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833998
There’s a lot more room if you lay the rear seats down, tough
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833997
It’s not an STI but the inteiror is still done up nicely
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833996
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833995
The contrast stitching is a nice touch
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833994
Silver pedals and black accents on the floor mats
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833993
Our tester had Recaro seats
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833992
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833991
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833990
They are both attractive and supportive
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833962
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833961
The back seats are okay
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833960
but you have to remember not to get too frisky if you have rear passengers
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833959

Drivetrain and Performance

2019 Subaru WRX
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There’s a 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood
2019 Subaru WRX
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268 horsepower
2019 Subaru WRX
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258 pound-feet of torque
2019 Subaru WRX
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at 3,272 pounds, it’s actually pretty quick
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833954
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833953
yes, that hood vent is functional
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833952
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833951
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833950
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833949
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833948
0-60 mph comes in around five or six seconds
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833947
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833946
2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833945
Top speed is pegged at 155 mph

Driving impressions

2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834023
The snout on the hood is actually functional

Grad the door handle, pull the door, and you already feel what the WRX is about, light, simple, clean but not luxurious. Slam the door close and you are sitting in a black spartan cockpit which makes you feel like the good old days. Orange needle cluster, big thick steering wheels with red stitching and three pedals!.

Modern features like the entertainment system and push start button are welcome but who cares.

Even though the push start button comes handy for stick shift newcomers who stall the car. A quick push and you are back on, instead of the old key which used to set you back a steps.

At the push of the start button, you hear the classic Subaru rumble. Some say it is different and not like ’in the old days’ but overall it is still very typical of the Subaru’s boxer engines and I don’t see anything wrong with it. It is a very deep ’bass’ type of sound and with the low sound insulation present in the cabin, you better like it because you are going to hear it all the time.

2019 Subaru WRX
- image 834034
Even from a distance, you can tell it means business

Before we start I am setting my seats in place, they are very firm and bolstered to allow you maximum enjoyment of these lateral G-forces the Subaru All-wheel drive system can create. The steering wheel telescope very far, and you have no problem finding the perfect seating position, even if you are the short arms, long leg type of guy.

The gearbox lever falls right into place but it is quite clunky and noisy. If you bring the windows down and start wiggling the lever you hear unappealing mechanical noise, 'because racecar' I guess.

I don’t mind the mechanical noises as much as the notchiness of the changes. You really have to manhandle the lever to get in gear. It doesn’t require a lot of effort but it just feels wrong. Could also be that my press car was manhandled too many times :)

Let’s get this party going, depressing the clutch is very easy, the release is progressive and light, allowing you to engage power while adjusting throttle input. The engine is not very torquey at lower RPMs but if you maintain a decent amount of gas as you release the clutch you can get some pretty enthusiastic takeoffs. I enjoyed playing with the pedals to get just the right blend of power for clean accelerations from a standstill as well as higher gear shifts. How good you can control your feet will dictate how much smoothness and power you will be rewarded with. These three pedals provide so much connection with the machine, it would be a shame to go automatic. Only cons for me, the gas pedal is a bit too far from the brake pedal, making down shift heel and toe a bit difficult, but you can buy aftermarket spacers to fix that.

2019 Subaru WRX
- image 833955
at 3,272 pounds, it’s actually pretty quick

Should you absolutely need an automatic gearbox, the steering wheel is another source of enjoyment on its own. It is truly something remarkable, the WRX is a ture sports car and no compromises have been made there. Of course, you will pay the price at high speed, where the car requires your attention but this is exactly what the WRX stands for.

This is a car that needs to be loved and taken care of, all the time, with your entire body and soul.

The engine power is just enough to have fun without getting too much in trouble. The torque curve is very representative of the old school turbos. Not much power down low followed by a kick around 4,5000 RPMs. Nothing in comparison with the flat torque curves of the modern and boring turbos. I think the power delivery above 4,500 RPMs should be more linear though. My tester felt like power was going up and down a little too much until it reached maximum RPM at 6,500. In the end, I enjoyed the engine mostly between 3,500 RPMs to 5,500 RPMs, I tried to always stay in that band so that I could enjoy the turbo kick at every gear shifts. Again another fun factor of the WRX.

2019 Subaru WRX
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but we still prefer the STI’s spoiler
The last piece of the WRX puzzle is the AllWheel drive system.

Subaru is well known for its AWD cars, but when it is coupled to their lightest car, it is even better. The WRX can be tossed like nothing else. There is no understeer of course, but the front feel gives you that ’on rail’ feel that is so very special. not only you get tossed sideways but you also feel pulled forward. It is something that needs to be experienced to understand. This is only possible because the suspensions are also very firm. It can be painful at times, but it pays off when you push the car on a twisty on-ramp, rain or shine. Of course, the system is even more impressive on wet pavement, where it just feels like black magic.

To conclude I’d say the Subaru WRX is the most fun to drive sedan for the money. It is a fully immersive experience which will reward all your senses beyond expectations. But buyer beware, you have to live up to the challenge because the high rewards come with high responsibilities. The steering is lovely but twitchy at speed, the suspensions glued you to the road but beware of bad pavements, the engine turbo kick is exhilarating but no smooth operator and the spartan interior is fitted to the task but not here to cuddle you to sleep. To sum it up, WRX owners live life to its fullest: pains and gains.

2019 Subaru WRX specifications

Engine 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed (BOXER), turbocharged/intercooled, aluminum cylinder heads and block
Displacement 1,998 cc
Bore x Stroke 86 mm x 86 mm
Compression ratio 10.6:1
Horsepower 268@5,600 rpm
Torque lb-ft 258@2,000-5,200 rpm
Valvetrain Chain driven Double Overhead Camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder, Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing on intake and exhaust valves
Fuel / Induction Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), Electronic Throttle Control (ETC), twin-scroll turbocharger with intercooler
Transmission Standard: 6-speed manual

Pricing

2019 Subaru WRX
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Our tester came in at around $33,000, which isn’t bad for a car like this
What do you think?
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