When the WRX first appeared here in 2002, we found this rally-car inspired version of the Impreza sedan very engaging: a genuine sports car with tons of power and super-sharp handling lodged within a mild-mannered, all-wheel-drive, four-door sedan. The current "Rex" carries on that tradition, and it tests out very well in some areas.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
NA
2017
NA
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
NA
2017
NA
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags and head protection air bags standard. ESC standard.
Road Test

When the WRX first appeared here in 2002, we found this rally-car inspired version of the Impreza sedan very engaging: a genuine sports car with tons of power and super-sharp handling lodged within a mild-mannered, all-wheel-drive, four-door sedan. The current "Rex" carries on that tradition, and it tests out very well in some areas. But we like it a lot less, because the typical car became more civilized over the past decade and the WRX has not. Like a talented teenager who just won't grow up, after a while the lack of subtlety gets irritating.While staying true to the established formula, the current WRX is a little larger than the last generation, affording a more spacious rear seat; the five-speed manual transmission became a six-speed; and higher trims now offer a CVT automatic. For 2018, the WRX has a freshened exterior, revised suspension, upgraded interior, and new EyeSight features. Despite evolving, the car feels surprisingly raw, remaining a track-ready racer aimed at the serious driving enthusiast. Acceleration is ferociously quick and handling remains enormously capable. But the powerband is narrow and hard to moderate, so power delivery feels jerky. A stiff clutch and clunky shifter make everyday driving a chore.You have to be truly young at heart to enjoy the real-world driving experience. The ride is jarring on all but the smoothest roads, and nonstop engine drone fills the cabin. Controls are simple, arguably too simple for this car's millennial/digital-native target audience. The base audio system's Bluetooth, phone, and voice command structure are rudimentary and behind the times.On the plus side, the WRX shares the Impreza's practical four-door layout and easy visibility, with an adult-scale rear seat and roomy trunk. No one should doubt that the WRX serves up a hot meal. It's just that refinement and finesse aren't on the menu, and the chef tore the lid off the spice jar.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (268 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (310 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 turbo (341 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

No Data Available
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