New for 2015The Subaru WRX has been updated for 2015, gaining an updated front fascia, new turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four, a six-speed manual, and a CVT that’s surprisingly good.
Vehicle OverviewThe Subaru WRX is a compact high-performance sedan that features all-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, and a whole lot of fun. The WRX is also available as the WRX STI, which keeps the 2.5-liter flat-four from years past, but makes more power and has an extroverted “look at me” style with its big rear wing. Though a hatchback model was available previously, the current generation of WRX is sedan-only.
SummaryThe 2015 Subaru WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four, first seen on the Forester XT, which produces 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in this application. Backing up the Boxer engine is a six-speed manual and, for the first time since 2008, an automatic is available in the form of a CVT, which simulates a conventional six- or eight-speed automatic in more aggressive driving depending on the selected transmission program. EPA-estimated fuel economy improves over the outgoing model, with manual-equipped models getting 21/28 mpg city/highway and CVT-equipped just 19/25 mpg. We think it’s a good motivation to learn how to drive a stick-shift. That and the fact that the six-speed WRX is a blast to drive.
The 2015 Subaru WRX doesn’t eschew comfort entirely, offering a 6.1-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated front seats, automatic climate control, HID low-beam headlights, LED taillights, a power-tilt/sliding-glass moonroof, hands-free keyless acces with push-button start, and optional leather-trimmed upholstery.
The 2015 Subaru WRX has not been crash tested by the NHTSA, although the 2015 Impreza received a five-star overall safety rating, the highest possible rating. The 2015 Subaru WRX is considered a 2015 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.
What We ThinkThe 2015 Subaru WRX and more powerful WRX STI earned itself a place on our 2015 AUTOMOBILE All-Stars list. In our review, we explained, “The formula is the same as ever: Turbocharge the Impreza to within an inch of its life, add a wing and some torque vectoring, and, voilà, you’ve got the STI, a rally car with a license plate and air conditioning.”
In a Driven review of a 2015 WRX we praised the revised suspension saying, “An un-sports-car-like amount of body roll was the price you paid for the old WRX's long suspension travel, but no more, as the new car stays flat through corners … The ride can be busy and impacts are fairly sharp, but the way the WRX turns in aggressively and shrugs off midcorner bumps is impressive. The transformed steering may be the greatest improvement. Never mind that this is now an electric setup; the looseness has been banished, the ratio quickened, and efforts firmed up.”
The new WRX/WRX STI are improved in more than just handling: “The new seats have terrific lateral support. An available power driver's seat and keyless ignition are new. The interior isn't a design knockout; it's businesslike, but the cheapness is gone.” We drove the new CVT-equipped WRX and admitted “it’s not terrible,” but we still prefer the six-speed manual, which has improved shift-quality.
"The best thing about the six-speed 2015 Subaru WRX is the persistent temptation to hoon it out," we wrote in a review. "Once you lay into the throttle and hear the turbocharger's jet-like whistle, engaging the boost becomes an itch you just love to scratch."
With Mitsubishi’s upcoming exit from the compact-turbo-sedan game we’re left with the Subaru WRX (and WRX STI), the upcoming Ford Focus RS, and the Volkswagen Golf R. We can’t wait to see how the segment evolves.
- Six-speed manual
- More powerful and efficient 2.0-liter flat-four
- Higher-quality interior
You Won’t Like
- No WRX hatchback anymore
- Ride can be a bit firm
- Ford Focus ST
- Volkswagen Golf R
- Honda Civic Si
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution