Subaru WRX 2021 Review
Regardless of which you view as superior between the Japanese rally machines, only one of these cars is still in production today – and yes, we’re talking about the Subaru WRX STI. With the fourth generation model, Subaru decided to drop the Impreza name and simply label their sports sedans as WRX and WRX STI. In the case of the Subaru WRX, things are a little more peculiar than you would expect.
The model that’s still on sale here today is in a sense at the end of its lifespan, having been first launched here in 2014. More than that, it isn’t exactly the updated version of the WRX that consumers in other markets may enjoy – but then again neither is the WRX STI that saw a minor update locally in 2018. It is offered in a singular variant, with a singular engine and transmission.
You don’t often get many performance cars that are actively used in motorsports while maintaining some semblance to the version you can buy in showrooms, and that’s one of the great things about Subaru’s sport sedans. The Subaru WRX also happens to be the penultimate performance Subaru model you can purchase, featuring quite nearly all the technologies that made this Japanese brand famous.
Subaru WRX 2021 Specifications
While not being the most potent performance model from the Fuji-based car manufacturer, the Subaru WRX does happen to have one of the most advanced performance engines available across the range. The FA20DIT beating at its heart is a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol flat-four boxer engine pushing 268 PS and 350 Nm of torque from 2,400 rpm to 5,200 rpm.
For reasons unknown to the public, Subaru decided to go with their older performance engines for the Subaru WRX STI, being a turbocharged 2.0-litre boxer in the Japanese domestic market and a turbocharged 2.5-litre boxer in export markets. This means that the Subaru WRX is more technologically advanced with its direct injection system, and many tuning companies note the higher performance ceiling of this engine.
Unfortunately, the sole transmission variant for the Subaru WRX is a Lineatronic CVT-type automatic transmission. There are manual transmission options in other markets, but Subaru chose not to offer this locally. The unit itself is chain driven for better strength and longevity, and there are virtual ratios as well as manual overrides to give you some semblance of gear control.
Naturally, the Subaru WRX comes with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, although it doesn’t come with the Driver Controlled Centre Differential system that features in the Subaru WRX STI. This means that the system shuffles the torque split between the front and rear axles by itself, and for the most part this is effective in finding traction in slippery situations.
Dimensionally, this generation of Subaru WRX is much larger than its predecessors, though that isn’t altogether surprising given that older Imprezas were a touch too small for a modern market. Dimensionally the wheelbase stands at 2,650 mm, with a length of 4,595 mm, a width of 1,795 mm, and a height of 1,475 mm. The kerb weight is a hefty 1,537 kilograms, though that is expected with all-wheel drive cars.
Subaru WRX 2021 Exterior
Between the Subaru WRX and its sportier sibling, the only real telltale sign is the wing – or lack thereof in the case of the WRX. It’s your typical Impreza body shape with some additional vents and a sportier looking front and rear bumper to help differentiate it from the more pedestrian variants. At each corner sits an 18-inch alloy wheel, which is a minor upgrade over the 17-inch units in the launch variant.
At the rear are dual twin tail mufflers, as well as a rear diffuser to add that touch of sportiness. The front gets LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights, as well as front LED fog lamps for effective lighting when the sun goes down. It’s definitely a far less shouty, less boy-racer look than the STI portrays, possibly even being able to pass as a regular Japanese sedan to the untrained eye.
Subaru WRX 2021 Interior
The interior of the Subaru WRX is pretty much what you would expect from a modern Subaru product, with a two-tier centre stack that displays various information readouts up top and a seven-inch double-din head unit that functions as infotainment below it. The front seats are sporty pieces, with 10-way power adjustment for the driver and red stitching for that touch of raciness.
Subaru WRX 2021 Safety Features
Unfortunately, the Subaru WRX does not get the EyeSight system found in other models through the range. It is an older product after all, and it’s difficult to integrate advanced safety systems with vehicles that also have manual transmissions, hence the omission. It does manage to provide a plethora of electronic aids like four-channel ABS (one for each wheel) with EBD, active torque vectoring, brake assist, a brake override (not so great for left foot braking), and electronic stability control with variable modes. Front, side, curtain, and knee airbags are provided as well. Perhaps the only more advanced system is lane-change assist.
Subaru WRX 2021 Strengths & Weakness
There’s no getting around the most glaring weakness of the Subaru WRX, and that’s the fact that it only comes with a CVT-type automatic in our market. The model itself is highly competitive in terms of pricing if you think about it – more so than a European hot hatchback and offering more performance – but that transmission can be a bit of a sore point.
After all, one of the joys of driving is in precise gear control – whether that comes from a manual transmission and three pedals, or a quick shifting dual clutch or automatic transmission. The WRX has so many great elements, from its engine, to its chassis, to its clever all-wheel drive system – but you can never really escape the fact that it just isn’t as sharp as it could be.
That being said, it is a great sort of gateway to performance cars if one isn’t quite looking to commit to something so aggressive. It’s definitely fast enough for the money, and if looked after properly it will last you a fair amount of time. You get most of what an STI offers, perhaps without that last 10% of aggression that they reserve for die-hard fans of Subaru. Great handling on-and-off road is something few cars can claim, and the Subaru WRX delivers on that.
Subaru WRX 2021 Price
The current singular variant of the Subaru WRX is available for RM 214,629.00 – which is on-the-road, without insurance. This is inclusive of a five year warranty and five year free service labour, as well as whatever SST exemptions are currently in place.
Subaru WRX 2021 Features
For the price that you pay, you get a reasonable amount of functionality. Automatic headlights, wipers, and air-conditioning are present to make your life a little easier. Keyless entry and start are included in the purchase price, as is the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity for the infotainment system. There’s even a rudimentary voice recognition system for command inputs, and steering responsive headlights.
Subaru WRX 2021 Fuel Consumption
The claimed fuel consumption for the Subaru WRX stands at 8.6 litres per 100 kilometres, which translates to roughly 11.6 kilometres per litre. Being a turbocharged car with a CVT-type automatic transmission, this figure can swing quite wildly depending on the way in which you drive it.
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- Body Type: Sedan
- Transmission: Automatic/Manual
- Engine Capacity: 1998 cc - 2457 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 5
- Price: RM 209,729 - RM 292,187
User Review of Subaru WRX
Good mechanical wise
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