2015 Subaru WRX Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Subaru WRX Review

2015 Subaru WRX
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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Subaru WRX

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The redesigned 2015 Subaru WRX reclaims its place as a sport compact performance benchmark. It's got the power and handling that few can match. Overall refinement, however, remains an issue.

  • Pros

    Very quick acceleration; impressively sharp handling, especially with the STI; secure grip provided by standard all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Above average amounts of wind and road noise; weak-sounding base stereo; tricky-to-use optional touchscreen; STI's jarring ride quality.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Subaru WRX is fully redesigned. Highlights include new styling based on the latest-generation Impreza, a new engine for the base WRX, a stiffer body structure with a retuned suspension, and a slightly roomier interior with higher-quality interior materials.

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Subaru WRX

Average Consumer Rating (See all 21 reviews) Write a Review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Raw, uncouth fun!

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru WRX

If absolute refinement is non-negotiable, the WRX is not for you. Don't bother reading any more reviews - go and buy a VW GTI! Subaru have built a great car, but it is one with compromises. Ride quality is firm to rough. Wind and road noise (OEM-equipped Dunlop Sport Maxx RT rubber to blame) tend toward the higher end of the spectrum. Interior fit and finish is lacking. The cable-linkage shifter-feel is rubbery, loose and inconsistent. Throttle mapping is anything but linear - closer to binary or step function; expect a herky-jerky ride if less-than-spirited acceleration is demanded. Rev-hang is quite pronounced in 1st or 2nd gear, requiring slow clutch release when shifting while driving slowly (think stop-and-go traffic). My early manufacturing cycle specimen has a heavy clutch, necessitating greater finesse while shifting (this seems to have been fixed later on based upon driving a friend's late-2015 WRX). Steering is tight but somewhat vague. The general feel of the WRX gives the impression of a bigger, heavier car. All that said, I wouldn't trade the WRX. The car driven is a raw experience but the extra effort required to drive it smoothly is very rewarding. Every (non-stop-and-go) commute is a blast; every heel-toe or shift nailed perfectly or the wave of acceleration following the lag leaves a grin plastered wide across my face. With the inevitable winter storms here in the midwest, inclement weather is joyfully anticipated once the Blizzaks have been slapped in place. Passenger comfort is quite good. Cargo space is sufficient for short car-camping trips for four. Fuel economy is solid at 27 mpg mixed. The WRX covers all bases while offering great entertainment as a daily driver.




Goes like hell

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru WRX

Rides rough, lots of interior noise




Great all purpose car that is a blast to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru WRX

First I am a long term subaru owner. I have had a Forester, Outback, and 2 Legacy's in our family. First the items that i dont like which are few. The car will ride a bit rough. You can rectify this by switching out the tires. I have put Continental DWS's on and wow, it really is smooth. The car is a bit noisy. its a performance sedan. It's not going to like a 50, 000 dollar luxury sedan. On a road trip its perfectly fine. The stock radio/speakers are not so hot. its an very easy fix. buy a good aftermarket radio and speakers. The car is a blast to drive. i have the CVT. you can drive this car as an everyday commuter and get over 30 miles on the highway and average overall 27 miles to the gallon. if you shift in the sport modes this thing will knock you back in the seat with its power. you will not find anything on the market that will deliver all this for the price. The handling is superb. If you take this car on a road trip you can cruse at 75-85mph and not realize how fast you are going. This car delivers the goods. My advice get one!




Fun car

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru WRX

Very fun car love the sound from the engine and that's a good thing because i rarely turn the stereo on its the worse I've ever owned the Bluetooth i don't use that's how bad it is too I use a head set instead




Fun and reliable as of 13k miles

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru WRX

I loved the car stock but went to Stage 1 with Cobb intake and AccessPort it really woke up the car. It handles like a dream. I take corners like a mad man all the time. The basic sound system is not great and an absence of auto blinkers(where it blinks 3 times automatically) and 17 inch tires aren't great, but I still love this car. I owned a 2002 Mustang GT with alot of bolt ons and I'd pick this WRX in a heart beat. MPG's are great if you have a little self control, and the wife loves it which is a miracle. It's great for families with lots of safety and room. This car isn't perfect, but I love it. I hope to keep it for many years to come.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

15200 mile review wrx limited

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Subaru WRX

For the money you can't beat it! It's very quick, handles extremely good, and is pretty efficient. The things that need to be improved are audio, navigation, and infotainment system even when purchased with Harmond Kardon system. The interior also needs some attention paid to getting rid of some annoying rattles especially from the arm rest. Once again though I can't stress enough you can't beat it for the money. Note that this vehicle is equipped with a set of summer tires. If you live in a cold climate you will 100% need to either switch to all seasons or buy a set of winter tires. I went with a set of winter tires and its safe to say it's unstoppable now!



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Full Expert Review: 2015 Subaru WRX

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Subaru WRX is fully redesigned. Highlights include new styling based on the latest-generation Impreza, a new engine for the base WRX, a stiffer body structure with a retuned suspension, and a slightly roomier interior with higher-quality interior materials.

Introduction

Ever since its debut back for 2002, the turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Subaru WRX has been a cult favorite with drivers drawn to its considerable performance and affordable price. Now, for 2015, enthusiasts again have a reason to smile as a fully redesigned WRX arrives and, yes, it still offers massive bang for the buck. But Subaru also hopes this new 2015 WRX will gain an even wider audience, thanks to a slightly roomier cabin, increased performance and improved fuel efficiency.

As before, the 2015 WRX is based on the Impreza sedan, though Subaru has dropped "Impreza" from the WRX's name to signify a higher-performance bloodline. Compared to its humble relative, the 2015 WRX features a stiffer chassis, a retuned suspension and a major power increase. As a result, its performance capabilities are far beyond those of the standard-duty Impreza.

For that power surge the base 2015 WRX relies on a new, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's smaller than the previous-generation WRX's 2.5-liter engine, but peak horsepower is up slightly -- now 268 -- and, more importantly, it makes more usable midrange power and returns better fuel economy. That power goes to all four wheels, naturally, but this time it's through a revised, torque-vectoring AWD system that improves traction and car control when driving out of turns. You also get your choice of two new transmissions: a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that has steering-wheel-mounted paddles for manual-like shifting when the desire strikes. With either transmission, you're looking at a 0-60 mph dash of under 6 seconds, which is excellent for this class of car.

The winged wonder, the high-performance WRX STI, is back as well, but it carries on with its larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder rated at 305 hp. This could be seen as disappointing given that the STI has effectively had the same power output for more than a decade. But Subaru says it's sufficient and wanted to focus more on making the STI an even better-handling car. To that end, there's even stiffer suspension tuning, quicker and more communicative steering (it's still hydraulic-assist, unlike the regular WRX's new electric-assist power steering system) and an adjustable center differential that can be used by the driver to fine-tune the car's traction characteristics. The results are impressive, as the STI grips heroically through turns and feels sharper and better balanced than any previous WRX sold here.

Outside of performance, though, the WRX comes up a little short in a couple areas. The new car grows 1 inch in length, which opens up trunk and passenger space a bit, but the 2015 WRX's interior design and materials quality, though noticeably improved, are still nothing special. Forward visibility is excellent, but the cabin is still excessively porous to wind and road noise, and the suspension is undeniably stiff-riding, especially in the STI. Finally, Subaru's optional touchscreen navigation system is merely adequate relative to the competition and needlessly ties up basic audio functions within its screens and menus.

Despite its flaws, the WRX remains nearly peerless. Its only true current performance rival is the aging Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf R will change that however, with 292 hp, standard all-wheel drive and hatchback versatility that the WRX no longer offers. More affordable alternatives include the 2015 Ford Focus ST and 2015 Volkswagen GTI. Both offer nicer interiors with easier-to-use touchscreens, but they're also slower than the Subaru, and their front-wheel-drive layout will appeal less to hard-core drivers.

In the end, your choice will likely depend on what you want from your high-performance sedan. And the 2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STI, though flawed, continue to offer a level of performance and driver engagement that's rare at this price point.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STI are high-performance sedans that seat five. The WRX is offered in base, Premium and Limited trim levels. The WRX STI is offered in base, Limited and Launch Edition trims, the latter limited to 1,000 units.

Standard WRX features include 17-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, cruise control, full power accessories, automatic climate control, sport front seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 4.3-inch central display, a rearview camera, a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Upgrading to the Premium trim adds foglights, a sunroof, a trunk lid spoiler, heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats. The Limited model gains LED headlights (low beams only), leather upholstery and an eight-way power driver seat.

The base WRX STI builds on the base WRX's equipment list by adding a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, foglights, Brembo brakes, front and rear limited-slip differentials, driver-selectable modes for the center differential and a more aggressively tuned suspension. STI Limited models add an eight-way power driver seat, lighter weight 18-inch BBS wheels, leather upholstery and a premium nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

The small production-run Launch Edition gets gold-painted lightweight BBS wheels, leather upholstery with simulated suede inserts, keyless ignition and entry and a short-throw shifter.

A touchscreen navigation system is available on all but the base model WRX. It also comes bundled with a 6.1-inch display, voice controls, smartphone app integration (Aha radio), satellite radio and, depending on the trim level, keyless ignition/entry and the nine-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system. Other major options for the WRX and WRX STI include a performance exhaust, upgraded speakers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2015 Subaru WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 268 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission and an all-wheel-drive system are standard. A new CVT is optional and features steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and settings that mimic either a six- or eight-speed automatic.

In Edmunds testing, a manual-equipped WRX accelerated from zero to 60 mph in an impressively quick 5.4 seconds. Subaru claims a WRX with the CVT requires 5.9 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the manual transmission is 24 mpg combined (21 city/28 highway). The CVT model is rated at 21 mpg combined (19 city/25 highway).

The STI uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder boxer engine rated at 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered. Fuel economy rates 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway). During Edmunds testing, the STI Launch Edition went from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

Safety

Every Subaru WRX comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag and active front head restraints.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Subaru WRX earned a highest possible rating of "Good" in the small-overlap and moderate-overlap frontal offset impact tests. It also earned a "Good" rating for its performance in the side impact, roof-strength and whiplash protection (seat and head restraint design) tests.

During Edmunds testing a WRX STI Launch Edition came to a stop from 60 mph in 108 feet, which is a very short distance for a sport compact car.

Interior Design and Special Features

Interior quality has never been the WRX's strong suit, but the 2015 WRX can claim to be the best of the breed so far. The cabin design is simple and straightforward and the controls are very easy to locate and use. The new 4.3-inch multi-information display atop the center stack relays audio, Bluetooth and climate control information, as well as a turbo boost gauge display, all-wheel-drive operation and the rearview camera.

That said, most competitors in this price range give off a more premium vibe, and the difference will likely be most apparent (and bothersome) to buyers who pick out a loaded WRX and expect more in the way of interior refinement. We're also not very keen on the base audio system's poor sound quality or the finicky touchscreen interface that comes with the optional navigation system.

On the upside, the cabin is spacious, with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. One inch of added wheelbase gives the new WRX even more generous rear legroom. A new thick-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel imparts the proper sporty vibe after you slide into the firm, well-bolstered driver seat. The driver positioning is particularly excellent, as is outward visibility thanks to thin roof pillars and large side mirrors. Trunk space measures 12 cubic feet, a respectable figure, though hatchback competitors have an edge when it comes to total versatility.

Driving Impressions

The 2015 Subaru WRX delivers the power and handling performance of cars nearly twice its price. The new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is strong throughout its rev range, and its rush of midrange power will surprise you at first, and then quickly become addictive. This is a car that feels even quicker than its acceleration numbers indicate. The manual transmission is a little tricky to use because of its heavy clutch action and the sensitive gas pedal, though it's still the obvious choice for gearheads. The new CVT is surprisingly capable, and its different driver-selectable modes and shift paddles make the most of what the WRX has to offer.

Thanks to a firmer chassis (up to 40 percent stiffer than last year's WRX), a retuned suspension and the new torque-vectoring feature for the all-wheel-drive system (which helps the car's handling balance when exiting corners), the new WRX is a noticeably tighter and more precise-handling car than before. It absolutely devours tight, twisty roads and imparts a feeling of driver confidence that its front-wheel-drive competitors simply can't replicate. The ride quality is undoubtedly stiff, but for this class of car we don't think many drivers will take issue. Less forgivable, however, is the large amount of wind and road noise coming into the cabin at freeway speeds.

As for the WRX STI, it simply kicks everything up a few more notches with its trick limited-slip differentials, powerful Brembo brakes and stronger engine. It's an even sharper tool than the standard WRX to be sure, and will win favor with drivers wanting a car for track days. But the firmness of the ride quality gets kicked up a few notches, too, and it presses the limit of acceptability in our opinion. There's more power and cornering ability with the STI but the performance benefits definitely come at the cost of comfort. You'll have to be a dedicated WRX fan to put up with the STI's rough ride on a daily basis.

SPONSORED CONTENT
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Subaru WRX in VA is:

$68.92 per month*
*Disclaimer

Talk About The 2015 WRX

2015 Subaru WRX Discussions See all Started By

redmonder
redmonder
04-04-2014
Which one would be better for everyday driving and weekend moderate racing with modifications? The Subaru WRX or the Nissan Altima Sedan? I am going to install some modifications into the car I choose...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
02-14-2014
2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STI Priced...


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
01-12-2014
2015 Subaru WRX STI Bound for 2014 Detroit Auto Show...



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