Subaru WRX Midsize | Compact

WRX

The WRX Sedan and Sport Wagon are new high performance models boasting a 227 horsepower turbocharged engine. Unique WRX features include a Momo brand leather-wrapped steering wheel, larger brakes with twin piston calipers, and an aluminum-alloy hood. Full time all wheel drive is standard, and all models now feature four-wheel anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights.

User Reviews (268)

Showing 1-10 of 268  
poostick   [Aug 13, 2008]
Model Reviewed: WRX wagon
Strength:

Very fast.
Looks good.
Easy to work on.

Weakness:

*The transmission is suspect and should be warranted by Subaru but it won't be. After selling it the new owner called and said she had to replace the tranny. So upon purchasing the 2002 Subaru WRX bring it to a Subaru dealership and have them go through the entire car and stress that they check the tranny. Pay the extra amount for a Subaru dealership to check it as it could save you thousands down the road.
*Buy better tires. If you live anywhere it snows buy two sets, one set of good summer tires and a decent set of winter tires and have them changed out for the season. I did this and was able to go through two summers and two winters on Falken summer tires and some unknown brand of winter tire, the car kills the snow with winter tires.
*I also had a soda cup failure in the center console and the soda leaked down into the console and the brilliant people at Subaru put the 'brain' to the security unit there so that fried out.
*A/C is weak.
*Hood, front 1/4 panels, and roof right above the windshield are very prone to rock chips, so buy a bra or bug deflector and every few months get that touch up paint out

A very good car, it was very hard to find one in good condition and hadn't been in a major wreck or been repaired properly. Finally found one and got a good deal. Upon purchasing I changed all the fluids, tinted the windows so I could be blunted, bought the crossbars for my skis and bike, changed the brakes and upgraded to cross-drilled rotors front and back and went for the bigger rear rotors, bought all weather rubber floor mats and rubber mat for the cargo area both highly recomended to keep your unit clean and legite. I read all the reviews I could find and drove the car for 50k miles before i sold it. From about 55k miles on it was impossible to shift into first without coming to a complete stop. Also makes a very strange humming sound that was scarry at about 110 mph, but goes away around 120 mph. It is not as hard as most people think to change spark plugs, just remember to mark which ignition coil goes to which spark plug. That being said, remove the air intake on the passenger side and the battery, windshield washer tank on the driver side. Buy a spark plug socket that pivots and prepare to get your hands dirty. It is a boxer engine so it's not as easy as say a Honda civic but it really isn't that hard. I changed them twice in my ownership, the first time took about 3 1/2 hours but the second time took less than 2.

Similar Products Used: I will not buy another Subaru. I'm going back to Toyota Tacoma.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
S|lent   [Nov 04, 2007]
Model Reviewed: Sedan
Strength:


-High power and good bang for buck
-4wd Traction and stability in all weather conditions, Wet and dry. Bridgestone tyres play a big role here too
-5 Star safety rating
-Smooth 6 speed close ratio transmission
-4 Door sedan which still practical for most people
-Aggressive looks
-Standard with bucket seats (could also be a negative for comfort) Found that over long periods my lower back started to ache a little, but it might be due to the fact that i have weak back muscles.
-High speed cornering with 4wd traction.
-Engine exhaust note. Just change to a 3 inch turbo - back exhaust and it'll make the engine exhaust note a lot sweeter
-Shift feel, although changing 1st to second was not the best the shift feel was still smooth
-Brembo brakes deffinetly a plus
-Although expensive to modify there’s a lot of potential for this car.
-Runs extremely well overall on the track, supreme driving with good tyres will equate to quick lap times
-Extremely reliable engine, i was able to push this engine to the limit in hot weather without having to worry.
-DCCD
-Capable of blowing away Holden commodres and most other cars in its class using half the juice.

Weakness:

-Monster turbo lag. About the worst case of turbo lag.
-Though the transmission is smooth and comfortable the WRX does not have the most durable gear box, many WRX owners are ussualy extreamly rough with their car, constantly launching it they end up with blown gearboxes. Easy to get around if you dont abuse the car
- Although it looks good the Shift knob i had is the optional one which is aluminum and it gets really pretty hot in summer
-Maintenance wise, Spark plug location is just about the worse I can think of, Subaru of course would recommend they take your cars to them, and they take your money so you have to take it to a Subaru dealer if you want them changed. Speaking of which on the maintenance area Subaru charged me a whopping 1400 for a full 100 000 k service so that something to take into mind. Other big issues is tyres, Bridgestone’s don’t come cheap.
-Well not a huge negative, you'll find a lot of hoons wanting to race you.
-Handling at the expensive of ride comfort

Having never owned a WRX i had to see what all the fuss was about, so i purchased the STI version of the base model (jap spec). The jap spec sti comes standard with 208 kw of power which equates to a blistering 5.45sec 0-100km/h sprint, a 0.25sec gain - and costs $16,000 more than the standard, however i found that if you launch the car properly you could clock 0 - 100 in less then 5 seconds averaging about 4.6 seconds 0 to 100. The STI also comes with brembo brakes, stiffer suspension and a more rigid body which makes the STI a true track weapon. Visually when you see one of these on the roads, its unmistakably a WRX and with a closer look the STI badge is clearly visible. I simply fell in love with the exterior design from the get-go. The interior however wont win any awards for luxury and style but it does suit a model which is suited to being run on the track. Inside, the STi gets the standard WRX interior look, with brushed aluminum-look console and drilled aluminium pedals, but in addition adds color to the seat and door inserts, a new STi wheel, dials and a new stick to go with its short-ratio 6-speed transmission. The 6 speed close ratio gear box might equate to the quick 0 to 200 time which was suppressing. Other things to go into mind, and i must say this im particuarly proud of, The pincode security for the car. This basically disables the fuel pump if the code is not punched in on the pad. The standard semi bucket seats were noticeable and definitely a plus for most people.

Now to the practical, driving the car. I did a quick run on the track and noticed quite alot on the first run. First thing i noticed is the stabilty of the car being able to full foot the corner exit, COMPLETELY stability even in the rain. Theres also the addition of a driver control centre differential (DCCD), which means that the dreaded understeer, a problem with front- and all-wheel-drive cars, is eliminated. If the car senses that you're going through that hairpin a little quick, it will throw up to two-thirds of the torque split to the rear wheels to get you around. Though a 4wd turbo as sophisticated as this is not without its weaknesses.

Even with the DCCD the front end of the car is abit dull and unresponsive, straight when the nose is turned in, it didn't have as good a response as i thought it would. Though understeer is unavoidable for a 4wd, the STI has massive amounts of understeer, the car still turns in relatively well but not as well as i expected to be for a light weight car. Understeer at such a amount has more negatives, over 10 or more laps i found my tyres burning faster than expected, and replacing tyres on this car is a pain in the wallet. In the end i had the pleasure of enjoying the corner exit and 4wd traction.

The brakes however over a long period on the track was superb, shown no major signs of brake wear, unlike that of its rival Lancer evolution, which when i drove shown a slight brake wear towards the 9th lap. The straight line speed of this machine was truly amazing for a 4 cylinder. The Subaru WRX STi engine is the only block in the Impreza range that features AVCS, or Active Valve Control System, essentially the company's variable valve timing system. This equates to the awesome straight line speed which the Subaru is known for. In my personal opinion I think the biggest difference from the base model WRX was the straight line speed, The petrol-powered engine has a 8.0:1 compression ratio, compared to the standard WRX's 9.0:1 comp. ratio, Subaru recommends minimum of 98 RON unleaded petrol when filling the 60 litre fuel tank for maximum performance. Because of these figures the STI has much higher fuel consumption even by driving normally.

The slick 6 speed transmission was very comfortable and controllable. As for daily driving this car might pick up a bit more negatives. The 2.5 liter block was a lot easier to drive then its previous 2 Liter, but still turbo lag was huge, and the stiff suspension does not win anything on the public roads which of course being extremely bumpy. Road noise is accountable but in my opinion not a big issue. Strangely enough on the luxury/practical side of things, the STI has a poor sound system, after hearing the sound quality i was forced to put subs in my car to get more out of it. On the plus the WRX was still a practical car having decent boot space, and of course being a 4 door 4 seat sedan would certainly bring more fans to the area. In my opinion the car was great to drive on the public road minusing out the stiff suspension and other small things. The cars engine exhaust note, Steering feel, exterior looks makes this car a real killer and certainly a must for any die-hard fan. However people that don't need so much performance on a racy platform and looking for a less pricy machine that still delivers should settle with the base model WRX. Die hard, should i say richer fans need only apply for the STI

Similar Products Used: Lancer evolution 8
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jay Hutchins   [Nov 02, 2007]
Model Reviewed: WRX Wagon
Strength:

Handling is superior once you get ride on the bridgestone's that come stock. Acceleration is great. Seats are very supportive while taking corners at 40 MPH.

Weakness:

Audio system sucks and I upgraded with the subwoffer. Exterior and interior styling is ok but could be better.

I started my search for a new car with two simple criteria. or so I thought.
1) Wagon
2) AWD

When I started looking the choices were Audi, Volvo, BWM, Mercedes. All of which were very nice but very expensive. A friend who drove a WRX sedan told me to go drive the car. I had not even considered Subaru. After some research on realibility (I am a former Honda owner) I decided to take it for a spin. I fell in love.

This car is a ball to drive. I commute 36 miles one way to work and it is my daily driver. I put Michelen tires on it for the winter (I live in Michigan) and wow what a great car. This thing handles better then any other car on the road.

I have since done a few mods. Upgraded the brakes with new rotors, lines and pads. Added a front and rear sway bar, end links and a rear strut bar. This all but eliminated the body roll of the taller wagon body and it rides like it is on rails without affecting the ride quality. It stops on a dime which is important in bumper to bumper 80MPH traffic on I75 every morning.
I will keep this car forever and continue to tune it as it becomes my second car.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Sean   [Jun 20, 2007]
Model Reviewed: Subaru Impreza WRX
Strength:

The WRX is nearly perfect, the WRX STi is perfect.

Acceleration, handling, confidence, steering, aftermarket accessibility, looks (subjective to taste, but awesome), Subaru community, reliability, interior = formfitting and supportive, stock 6 disc changer is fine by me.

Owning an original car is worth every penny. Anyone with no taste can buy an SRT-4, but it takes class and style to own a WRX.

Weakness:

Gas mileage isn't excellent, I'm averaging 20/24 or so, with a few mods.
Road noise (not a huge problem at all, really)

Subaru owners, specifically WRX owners, are among the best. None of us bought this car because of advertising, peer pressure or chance, the car sells itself.

I've wanted this car since it crossed the US borders with the 2002 model year. The high expectations I'd set for the car were more than met, and its given me a sense of joy unparalleled by any other vehicle.

Similar Products Used: Acura TSX, Acura Integra, Audi TT, Nissan 350z
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   [May 24, 2007]
Model Reviewed: Subaru WRX
Strength:

Turbo
AWD
People will have a rubberneck (meaning they will always take two looks)
ITS A SUBARU PEOPLE!!!

Weakness:

I would have to say its not very quite BUT WHO CARES ITS A PERFORMANCE CAR!!..(wrx)

The most impressive car I have ever owned. I have drove alot of cars due to me working at a dealership we carry Toyota,Nissan,Audi,Volkswagen,Volvo..and the best for last SUBARU!..First you get standard AWD, and 5 star crash test rating.I also live in michigan and i can tell you this by far handels the best in all types of weather best of call.I have done alot of up grades its pretty nice to get to know the scooby techs they do the stuff on the side for a badass price.I have a borla hush exhaust,megean down/up pipe,cobb ap programmer,greggy spec B boost/gauge,exedy stage 2 and fidenza flywheel and after all these up grades all other OEM parts have never failed!..these cars will never have problems and never will.I will always recommend a Subaru!!

Similar Products Used: LOL!!!...NOTHING!!!!.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian   [Jan 09, 2007]
Model Reviewed: Subaru WRX sedan
Strength:

Once the turbo kicks in...gubye
My fiance hates my car (hehe)
Seats keep you where you need to be
AWD
Turning at high speeds
say, *%$# you, to rain and snow
Lots of mod potential
Will be at a safe but faster 270hp with Vishnu's ECU (Subaru calls it an EGI) reflash

Weakness:

Fog lights look better on the earlier modles
Shift knob is aluminum and gets really freakin' hot in the summber and cold in the winter
No tach light/noise to let you know you need to shift. Comes in handy when racing the car next to you, it sucks having to look down all the time so you don't shift to early or to late
Spark plug location, Subaru wants your money so you have to take it to a Subaru dealer if you want them changed. Or if you have a lift in your garage like so many of us do (haha) do it yourself.
shifting from first to second sucks

I absolutely love this car, however for some reason this car does not love me back. I already knew how to drive stick before purchasing this car because I didn't want to deal with the manual transmission problems later on from beating the piss out of it initially. Stock the car is great, gets up to high speeds very quickly. Acceleration is what it is, of course there is some tubo lag, its stock. If you are looking for less lag, get an up-pipe and match it with a BOV; if you have the money, get a better turbo. This car owns both rain and snow, no stopping this car in either condition AWD is great! I have upgraded some things in the past few months like an injen CAI, greddy BOV and magnaflow 3" cat-back exhaust. Everything on the car seemed to be going great when I was passing a truck and shifting from third to fourth gear. As I was giving it gas my car started to die. I just recently had it towed to the nearest Subaru dealer and they are telling me so far that it may be the spark plugs mis-firing a couple cylinders (this is what they think so far). I'll write another review soon to update you all on what happened and what it cost to repair my poor car. If anybody else is having the same issue please email me at lighteningvoice@aol.com!

Similar Products Used: Nada
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Andrew Milner   [Dec 19, 2006]
Model Reviewed: WRX
Strength:

Most servicing work is easy. Belts, brake pads/discs, fuel filter, air filter, but some bulbs can be a hassle first time. When you disconnect the battery it doesn't mess up the radio/CD. Good brakes mean you can reduce journey times without increasing top speed.

Weakness:

Oil filter is difficult to change without special tool, but a snap with. Allow two hours to change spark plugs. Switch above steering wheel can cause a panic if you accidently flip without realising. Car won't start. "Oh my God, what's happened?" Occassionally car will not restart if engine is stopped immediately after starting from cold. Small fuel tank. Rapid brake pad wear. Handling inferior to Legacy (GTB). Plastic bumbers means car gets beated up in French carpark. Watch out for oil pump pressure dropping, and be sure to change front crank oil seal when changing timing belt. This job needs your full attention.

Subaru WRX: Had three of these including an Sti, which is 278bhp here in Japan, all bought at auction. Driven them in UK, France, Germany and Japan. You know about the performance, so do BMW and Porsche drivers now. Will easily pull 130mph (in Germany), so assume 150 would be possible. All are 2.0-litre engine here so no head gasket problems. Listen for piston slap when you buy. Trade won't touch car with slap, so potential bargain as only slaps only when cold for first five miles. Make sure the drain and filler plugs are pulled up tight. You get a bit of engine oil smell, especially after canning it. Dipstick is hard to read accurately so you tend to over fill. When draining down for winter antifreeze, make sure you have refilled completely by letting engine tick over. The bargain of the range is a WRX Auto Sports Waggon, especially as regular unleaded is fine. The autos have (or had) a fuse under the hood so you could make the car front drive if you had transmission failure, or were forced to put different diameter tyres on the rear. The price paid at auction is the real market, and although they cost more new, they sell for less than sedan/manual secondhand. Fog lights are decoration unless you angle them as cornering lights. No.1 wife hit a deer head on with a WRX in UK, and car was still driveable after a duct tape repair. Deer was unavailable for comment. WRX gives surprisingly good fuel economy, and in auto, an easy car to drive when dog tired. Problem is, everyone under 80 wants to race you.

Similar Products Used: Twin Legacy, NSX, Skyline GTR (only V-spec. is worth considering), Lexus, Forester
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
MShellhammer   [Dec 16, 2006]
Model Reviewed: WRX
Strength:

power and controll in the rain, dirt or snow.fun to drive!

Weakness:

sterio not too strong.not easy to work on, but not hard to work on.I got pulled over 3 times in the fist 3 hours of purches, and 9 times in the last 3 months!

THis car kicks my old eclipse in the balls! better handling and alot more room inside!I can fit the car seat in the back and still have the room to lay down! I feel more than safe at 130 MPH....I couldnt see my self in any other 4 door!!and ever one knows that youre car kicks ass, every one wants to race!

Similar Products Used: mitsubishi Eclipsegsx, hona and acura.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
krikbob   [Sep 21, 2006]
Model Reviewed: wrx
Strength:

build, boxer engine, awd, drivable, accelleration, love the rexxy engine rumble.

Weakness:

none, well, costing me alot in mods.

its interesting to read all the different reviews hear. i laugh at guys complaining about the stereo. yes it is crap, what your paying for is all the r&d mate. this is a rally bred car. its a car designed to be driven. bang for your buck, you wont get better. and turbo lag is to give v8's a chance.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kdanderson   [Aug 12, 2006]
Model Reviewed: wrx wagon
Strength:

Acceleration-Turbo lag is very apparent. Below 3500 RPM this car is dogish. Above 3500rpm holy mackeral. Enough said.
Handling-Very well. I have yet to drive this car hard through corners but up to this point on and off ramps it sticks well.
Appearance- I have a black wagon. I get many second looks. This car has red brake calipers and believe it or not it really does look rather neat.

Weakness:

Some complaints.
1. fuel mileage. Best so far is 23mpg all hwy. Worst is 19mpg 80% city driving
2. The stereo is mediocre. I am not a stereo geek. I have always had stock dealer stereos and this is one of the weaker I've had.
3. The seatbelt reminder buzzer. ANNOYING
4. Shifter is notchy
5 Rear electric window is making noises when raised and lowered.
6. Very little storage for things such as sunglasses and such
7. The door glass seems very "breakable" when the door is closed with the window partially opened.
8. The AC system is lacking. We had several 90+ degree days and the AC had troubles cooling the car quickly. Eventually the job was done but it often took 5-10 minutes.
9 Fuel- Premium stinks$$$$$$$

i have owned gm products prior to this car. My previous car was a 97 pontiac grand am(unreliable POS) I purchased this car based on Subarus record of reliability and this cars performance combined with AWD. up to this point I would have to say that I am satisfied kinda.....

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 268  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

carreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com