Great bang for the buck; all-wheel-drive traction; impressive fuel economy; choice of powerful turbocharged engines; comfortable sport seats
A lot of road and wind noise inside the cabin; firm ride on STI; no hatchback model; EyeSight only offered on the WRX Limited
For 2018, the WRX and WRX STI see some minor exterior styling updates. The real changes are under the skin, where a revised suspension and improvements to the STI's DCCD AWD system and Brembo brakes take performance up a notch. The WRX Limited gains redesigned LED steering responsive headlights and 19-inch wheels are offered on the STI trim for the fist time. Auto Vehicle Hold is added to the EyeSight system and replaces Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist on cars so equipped. Lastly, a new Performance Package is offered, featuring Recaro seats with an 8-way power driver's seat, red-painted brake calipers with Jurid brake pads and a deleted moonroof for reduced weight and increased body rigidity. See the 2018 Subaru WRX models for sale near you
Unless you're a die-hard track enthusiast, we'd say the WRX is the preferable choice over the STI. It has plenty of power and offers the option of an automatic transmission and the EyeSight driver-assist feature. Overall, it's a realistic daily driver that costs less.
The WRX and WRX STI offer five different trim options: WRX, WRX Premium, WRX Limited, WRX STI and WRX STI Limited.
The base WRX ($27,855) includes a 6-speed manual transmission, 17-in alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, incline-start assist, steering-wheel controls for audio and Bluetooth, cruise control, aluminum alloy pedal covers, a STARLINK 6.2-in touchscreen, AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM radio with six speakers and USB/iPod integration, HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, illuminated power window switches, electric-assist power steering, automatic climate control, power windows, heated power mirrors, power door locks, sport seats, a rear backup camera and a tilt-telescopic steering wheel.
The WRX Premium ($30,155 manual, $31,355 CVT automatic) adds the All-Weather package (heated seats, heated side mirrors and windshield de-icers), fog lights, 18-in wheels, illuminated vanity mirrors, a power sunroof, 7-in touchscreen audio, a low-profile trunk spoiler and the SI-DRIVE performance-management system with two manual shifting modes (6-speed and 8-speed) and steering-wheel paddle-shift control switches (automatic only).
The WRX Limited ($32,455 manual, $33,655 CVT automatic) adds a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, leather seating, LED low-beam steering responsive headlights and welcome lighting.
The WRX STI ($36,955) brings a more powerful 2.5-liter engine, hydraulic power steering, LED low-beam headlights, auto on/off headlights with wiper activation, 19-in alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, front and rear center limited-slip differentials, Subaru's Driver Controlled Center Differential and fog lights, but no sunroof.
The WRX STI Limited ($41,755) includes Recaro seat with 8-way power driver's seat, automatic on/off headlights, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, lane-keep assist, a power sunroof, keyless entry with push-button starting, navigation and a 9-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Buyers can choose between the traditional tall STI trunk-lid spoiler or a low-profile spoiler.
Options for the WRX Premium include the Performance Package that adds Recaro front seats, Jurid brake pads and a deleted moonroof. EyeSight is only available on the WRX Limited equipped with the CVT automatic, although a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert can be added to manual transmission-equipped models. The Limited trim offers the navigation and Harman Kardon upgrade, as well as keyless access and push-button starting. There are also numerous dealer-installed options, including a performance exhaust and a short-throw shifter kit.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2018 Volkswagen Golf R -- Volkswagen's all-wheel-drive Golf R is a rival worthy of a test drive. The R has a much nicer interior, better navigation and audio systems and a more livable ride. On a track, however, the WRX STI is still the more desirable car.
2018 Ford Focus RS -- The Ford Focus RS offers 315 hp and all-wheel drive in a 5-door hatchback. While competitively priced, the interior of the Focus RS is more refined than the WRX, as is its audio and infotainment setup, although the RS won't be as readily available since 2018 is the final year for production.
2018 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design -- The S60 T6 R-Design costs about $10,000 more than the STI, but it offers 325 hp with all-wheel drive, plus a more luxurious and roomier interior and more refined exterior styling.
Used Audi S4 -- A 2012-2016 Audi S4 model is a great alternative to the WRX, as it offers a much better interior, more power and a higher pedigree.