2023 Subaru WRX

  • Enhanced traction and performance with standard all-wheel drive
  • Easy-to-read 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Brisk acceleration
  • Stable and engaging handling
  • Subpar fuel economy
  • Noticeable road and wind noise
  • Most driver aids require ordering the automatic transmission
  • Introduction of new rear seat headrests
  • Part of the fifth WRX generation launched in 2022


Subaru embraces its rally-racing legacy with the redesigned 2022 WRX, now in its fifth generation. Sporting SUV-worthy body cladding for added paint protection, the WRX boasts a larger, more powerful engine and an optional adaptive suspension. The latest Subaru infotainment, driver assist, and collision avoidance technology are also featured, but the comprehensive safety package is mainly available on models equipped with the optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), dubbed the Performance Transmission by Subaru.

The 2023 WRX sees minimal changes, including new rear headrests and slight adjustments to the climate control, suspension, and all-wheel-drive system. With the high-performance WRX STI discontinued, the 2023 WRX competes with sport compact cars like the Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo, Volkswagen Golf R, and Toyota’s all-wheel-drive GR Corolla, which targets the WRX’s fan base.

While the WRX no longer enjoys exclusivity in offering all-wheel drive in its segment, it remains a contender, especially against rivals like the Mazda 3 and Volkswagen Golf R, offering more power than the former and a more affordable option than the latter. As the automotive landscape evolves, the question remains: Is the Subaru WRX still the benchmark for sport compact cars? For a comprehensive analysis, delve into our Expert Rating, featuring insights from our dedicated vehicle testing team.


Rating: 8.0/10

Wondering about the WRX driving experience? While it may not match the speed of some rivals, the WRX still offers an enjoyable ride. Our test involved a manual-equipped WRX, clocking in at 6.0 seconds for the 0 to 60 mph sprint at Edmunds’ test track. Achieving this requires a somewhat aggressive launch technique, as noted by our test driver: “I’ll be honest and say I thought I broke this car trying to launch it.” The driveline shock during clutch engagement is intense, demanding a clutch drop from around 5,000 rpm for optimal results. Keep in mind that we haven’t tested the automatic-equipped WRX yet.

The WRX truly shines when navigating twists and turns on a winding road. Its robust midrange power, all-wheel-drive grip, composed suspension, and responsive steering collectively create an exhilarating driving experience.

Regrettably, the WRX’s braking system falls short of delivering the expected response and stopping confidence for a sporty vehicle. The pedal feels too soft, but despite this, the WRX managed to stop from 60 mph in just 110 feet at our test track – a commendable performance within its segment.

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The WRX boasts impressive comfort levels, excelling in both ride quality and seating comfort within its class. Extended periods behind the wheel revealed no significant fatigue or discomfort, with the seats offering excellent support throughout the drive, especially during cornering maneuvers.

While the climate controls integrated into the sizable center touchscreen may pose a slight learning curve and initial distraction, most owners are likely to adapt quickly. On the flip side, the WRX does fall short in the noise department, exhibiting noticeable engine rumble at highway speeds and distinct wind noise over the doors and mirrors during faster drives.



Experience the spaciousness up front in the WRX, providing a roomy feel that exceeds expectations for its class. Discovering the perfect driving position is a breeze, thanks to the extensive adjustability of the steering column and driver’s seat. Navigating the cabin controls is a user-friendly affair, with everything easily accessible—except for the somewhat intimidating center screen. Despite its initial appearance, operating it becomes second nature over time.

The back seat, while slightly more confined, offers reasonable comfort, although the presence of the transmission tunnel in the center of the floor might pose a challenge for those with long legs. Exercise caution when placing passengers in the center of the rear seat.

Entering and exiting the WRX is a hassle-free experience, facilitated by wide-opening doors. Once inside, enjoy an expansive forward view through large windows. However, the elevated trunk line may impact rear visibility more than some competitors in its class, though this is a minor drawback considering the overall package.




The tech in the WRX Limited impresses with its standout feature being the 11.6-inch center screen. Boasting crisp graphics and swift responsiveness to inputs, it significantly enhances the overall interior experience. While the portrait-style layout may not suit everyone’s taste initially, adapting to its functions is a relatively smooth process. The navigation experience is notably user-friendly, thanks to the clear screen and high-contrast display.

One of the tech highlights is the 11-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, delivering excellent audio quality that’s perfectly tuned for immersive high-volume listening. Seamless smartphone connections add to the tech allure, with swift pairing, and user-friendly voice controls facilitated by on-screen prompts and natural language recognition.

Despite our test vehicle lacking some key optional driver aids like adaptive cruise control and forward collision mitigation, the blind-spot monitoring system and lane-keeping assist performed admirably. Notably, they provided reliable functionality without triggering false alarms or excessively sensitive alerts.



When it comes to storage, the WRX, a high-performing compact sedan, faces tough competition from both sedans and hatchbacks. Unfortunately, it falls short in trunk space, offering only 12.5 cubic feet. This is notably less than what the Honda Civic Si and Hyundai Elantra N provide. On the bright side, the WRX compensates by allowing the rear seats to fold down, accommodating longer items with ease.

For smaller items like smartphones and water bottles, the WRX provides adequate storage. Installing child seats in the back is made easier by the wide-opening doors, though it’s important to note that there is less rear legroom available for accommodating larger seats.

Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy


Curious about the fuel economy of the manual-equipped WRX? According to the EPA, it’s estimated to achieve 22 mpg in combined driving, placing it among the less fuel-efficient options in its class. In a real-world scenario, the WRX was put through its paces on the Edmunds’ test loop for 115 miles, managing an average of 24 miles per gallon

This aligns closely with its official fuel economy rating. However, it’s worth noting that some competitors, like the Golf GTI and Elantra N, boast better fuel efficiency, making them more economical choices in comparison.



Is the WRX a smart investment? The WRX boasts an impressive build quality with an abundance of soft-touch surfaces, exuding a classy ambiance upon entering. Regrettably, its fuel economy lags behind competitors, even falling short of the already subpar previous-generation models. Additionally, it stands out as one of the pricier options among high-performing compact sedans.

In terms of warranty, the WRX falls within the class average, offering three years/36,000 miles of basic coverage, coupled with five years/60,000 miles of powertrain protection and corrosion coverage extending to five years/unlimited miles. The added perk of roadside assistance lasting throughout the basic warranty’s lifespan adds a touch of reassurance.



Embark on a thrilling journey with the WRX, where excitement takes center stage. While we may lament the absence of Subaru’s even-higher-performing WRX STI, the standard WRX model delivers an impressive performance boost compared to the Impreza, ensuring a comfortable experience in daily driving. 

The distinctive plastic panels adorning the body may raise eyebrows in photos, but in person, they quickly become a charming aspect, adding an extra touch of personality to the WRX.

Which WRX does Edmunds recommend?

Which WRX does Edmunds recommend

For the optimal WRX experience, we wholeheartedly recommend the Premium trim. This choice not only enhances the car’s overall value but also unlocks desirable features, including 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a top-notch infotainment system, and a premium sound system.

Subaru WRX models

Subaru presents the 2023 WRX sedan in various trims, namely base, Premium, Limited, and GT. Each variant boasts a turbocharged 2.4-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, delivering a robust 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, with a preference for premium fuel. 

Power is distributed to all four wheels via a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission, artfully labeled by Subaru as the Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT).

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