2013 Subaru Impreza WRX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • powerful engines
  • impressive handling.
  • Below-average fuel economy
  • disappointing interior materials
  • substandard sound systems.
Other years
2013
Subaru Impreza WRX for Sale
2013
List Price Range
$11,995 - $19,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although they're still wildly entertaining to drive, the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models are showing their age as newer hot hatchbacks hit the market.

Vehicle overview

In all honesty, we were hoping to be introducing an all-new 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI in this space. By all accounts, the new sport-tuned models would have been based on the redesigned Impreza that debuted last year. We were hoping that the improvements in fuel efficiency and interior quality would have carried over to the WRX, but alas, we must wait yet another year.

To the Subaru's credit, the WRX and STI still offer thrilling performance, even as they start their ride off into the sunset. The Impreza WRX generates 265 horsepower and features a well-tuned and balanced chassis that allows for hard cornering on a track or on winding canyon roads. Then there's the added benefit of all-wheel drive to help improve traction in inclement weather or while powering quickly out of tight corners. The WRX STI further enhances performance with a more powerful turbo that kicks output up to 305 hp, plus limited-slip differentials both front and rear to get that power to the pavement.

Outside of performance, however, the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI come up short of the competition. A certain lack of refinement is most noticeable within the interior, where hard plastics abound and the fit and finish seems unimpressive. The navigation and audio systems are also a sore spot, as they suffer from indifferent performance and frustrating controls.

In dramatic contrast, the new 2013 Ford Focus ST provides a much nicer cabin with up-to-date electronics. The Focus ST doesn't out-perform the WRX in terms of performance numbers, but it's just as rewarding to drive at full throttle. The handsomely appointed 2013 Volkswagen GTI is also worth checking out, although it is even more outclassed by the WRX when it comes to performance. The even sharper WRX STI variant of this Subaru gets you into a different sporting class altogether, and at that level its archrival 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution comes into play.

With the likelihood of a much improved WRX and STI set to debut next year, we find it hard to recommend a 2013 model. At the very least, we'd wait to see what finally arrives. If time is of the essence, we'd steer shoppers toward the aforementioned alternatives.

2013 Subaru Impreza WRX models

The 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models are available in either sedan or five-door hatchback body styles. The WRX is offered in base, Premium and Limited trims, regardless of body style. The Limited trim is available on the STI, but only as a sedan.

Standard WRX features include 17-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, a sport-tuned suspension, cruise control, full power accessories, automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, sport front seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio and a six-speaker CD player with iPod connectivity and auxiliary audio input.

Upgrading to the Premium trim adds foglights, a sunroof, a trunk lid spoiler (for sedan models), heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats. Limited trims further benefit from xenon headlights and leather upholstery.

The WRX STI trim adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch BBS wheels, Brembo brakes, front and rear limited-slip differentials, SI-Drive vehicle settings, an even more aggressively tuned suspension and a bigger hood scoop along with xenon headlights, foglights (for hatchbacks), heated seats and faux-suede and leather upholstery. The WRX STI Limited sedan adds foglights, different 18-inch wheels, a sunroof and leather upholstery.

A touchscreen navigation system is available on all WRX and STI models and also includes voice activation, real-time traffic, text messaging capabilities and satellite radio.

2013 Highlights

The Subaru Impreza WRX returns unchanged for 2013.

Performance & mpg

Powering the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX is a turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed "boxer" four-cylinder that produces 265 hp and 244 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission and all-wheel-drive system are standard. In Edmunds testing, a WRX went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, which is the quickest time among similarly priced high-performance compacts. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.

The STI gets a version of the same engine boosted up to 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard. It went from zero to 60 in a blistering 4.5 seconds and achieves fuel economy of 17/23/19.

Safety

Every 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, hill-hold assist, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the WRX came to a stop in an excellent 114 feet, while the STI did it in an even better 106 feet.

In government crash tests, the WRX was awarded four out of a possible five stars for overall, frontal and side impacts. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety bestowed its highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

The 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX offers an impressive amount of performance for the money, featuring plentiful power and tenacious cornering grip thanks to its firm suspension and summer performance tires. The WRX STI kicks it up a few more notches with limited-slip differentials front and rear, powerful Brembo brakes, a six-speed manual transmission and truly thrilling acceleration when the throttle is wide open. Ride quality for either version is acceptable considering the performance, but some drivers might object to the extra levels of road noise.

Both WRX models are wildly entertaining to drive hard, but in the face of newer, more polished competition, their former luster has dulled quite a bit. And with the likelihood of a new crop of WRXs on the horizon, we suggest shoppers postpone their purchase.

Interior

With a priority placed on performance, the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX suffers when it comes to interior quality. The cabin's design is decent enough, but is rife with cheaper, hard plastic trim. Furthermore, opting for the navigation system will also get you loads of frustration, as the menus and operation of the audio system are unintuitive and complicated. It's also worth noting that sound quality from the stereo is disappointing.

There is, however, plenty of room inside the cabin for passengers and cargo. Generous head- and legroom provide enough space for taller adults, and the front seats feature aggressive bolstering to keep passengers securely anchored to their seats when cornering. When it comes to hauling stuff, the hatch can accommodate up to 19 cubic feet of cargo. Folding the rear seats expands that space to a generous 44 cubes. The sedan is no slouch, either, with its 11.3-cubic-foot trunk.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2013 WRX Hatchback
leob1,02/25/2014
This is a very practical, fun, AWD performance car with outstanding value for the money. A 0-60 time of 4.7 and ability to surpass 60 easily in second gear gives lots of confidence merging into traffic. The whine of the turbo is intoxicating combined with the rumble of the flat four boxer engine. It is super practical with the hatchback and can accommodate large items easily (seats fold down); big screen TV's, large boxes, mountain bike, etc. The hatch also works as excellent rain protection when you are loading (unexpected surprise). The AWD is incredible for inclement weather, but be sure to get at least all season tires so you can stop and turn in easier in snow (had stock summer tires).
2013 STI Limited
aggarcia,02/07/2013
Most hard core performance buyers are not looking at Edmunds, but I did not like several things they said in their review. In the performance category, not much besides a supercar offers as much performance for the dollar than the STI. The AWD, SI Drive, and adjustable differentials, and 6 speed transmission are world class. The interior uses cheaper materials, but this is based in the Impreza platform. You buy a STI for the performance not to impress any one. Right now Subaru has a 4 month waiting period to get a STI or WRX, so someone must be wanting them. I enjoy everyday I hop into my STI and get to make going places and experience. The factroy NAV/SAt system sounds pretty good to me.
Subaru Sti
lucas14,02/22/2013
The Subaru WRX Sti limited was about what I expected. I bought the care to be my daily driver. It is very fun to drive and more comfortable than I would have expected. Paying the extra money for the limited package was well worth it. Heated seats adds some extra comfort in the winter time, and the sunroof will be nice in the summer. I'm not impressed with the stereo system, but I can easily be remedied with some aftermarket additions.
great value in sport compact
ejhara,10/04/2013
4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Fine car, starting with styling. Has functional hood scoop and side vents for cooling turbo and brakes. 360 tour takes you by four doors and nice spoiler plus four exhaust tips. Subarus tend to be durable (I've had five). AWD and hill-holder on manual shift are great features. Secure-feeling, nicely-handling car, even when you are not putting your foot into the throttle. When you do that, hang on! Great power for a 2.5 liter. Update: Still a headturner. Good power at any rpm. Odd rattles. WR blue ages well. Door gasket keeps fraying. Gas filler door hard to open. Puzzling deficiencies like these, but still love the car. (22k mi.) Update #2: 40k miles/5 years old. Car still looks good and is a head-turner, especially to those who have watched the "Fast and Furious" franchise. Car remains mechanically very good. Appearance is excellent. I use Klasse AIO "wax," and keep car garaged and covered much of the time. I've had two sets of A-pillar rattles fixed at dealer, and passenger-side window motor is very weak, and soon to be replaced. Airbag issue affects this car. With snows, the car is fine in the winter, but it remains a little low to ride over drifting snow. Replaced battery at 32k. Due to my inattention, I curbed a factory wheel. Had it fixed, but it cost me $250. I would buy this car again--maybe at 50k miles on my current one--but Subaru is making strange noises about dropping a manual shift, which would dissuade me from getting another. Since I live in Michigan, I'm going to inspect car for underbody corrosion soon. There is no visible exterior rust. Car is a blast on trips: Somehow, I never worry about passing on a two-lane road, as the 2.5 turbo blows you right past anyone. I like the WR blue, and my current plan is to buy the same car, same color, and not the STI (too much $ for not that much of an upgrade). Here is an October, 2018 review update: I only have 33k miles (after 5 and 1/2 years) on the car presently (apparently I made an erroneous mileage estimate last review); I have no mods on the car. But I do have regular maintenance: every 3500 miles new synthetic oil, and went through the expensive dealer-suggested maintenance at 30k. (Why do I need oil and gas cleaner/additive from dealer at this maintenance if I use Shell premium and Amsoil oil at 3750 mile changes? I think I know.) Car runs great and looks excellent. The World Rally Blue has lasted quite well, and is an attention-getter. I would buy the same color again. One complaint is that the exhaust (cat back, factory) has corroded noticeably. No holes, but it looks bad. (I have a 2012 Equinox, driven at same place, same conditions, etc., whose exhaust system still looks new.) I was not intending to get an aftermarket exhaust, but if I keep the car, I will, just for the appearance factor. I have sprayed the backs of the two mufflers (visible under bumper) with high-temp Rustoleum, and that improved looks from the back dramatically. I have had the passenger-side window motor replaced, and several door gaskets. (They have worn by regular use.) Mechanically, car is great. Car's interior is a bit tight when the driver is wearing down jacket. Car's lights are great. I miss having Sirius radio, and a six-speed would be nice instead of my five-speed. I'm starting to get "buy" requests from people, largely because of appearance of car (new) and that I have not made any performance mods to it. If I do sell it, I would get another, or possibly a left-over Forester XT. I suppose I have one nagging question at this point: Why did Subaru turn out an exhaust that won't tolerate northern Michigan winters without corroding badly? Shouldn't they test an AWD car in extreme northern conditions, including road salt? Wouldn't using an exhaust with appearance longevity be showing "Love" for their customers? I really like my Subaru dealership mechanic (Mike) who knows WRX's inside and out, primarily because he drives one.

Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
265 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
305 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
265 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
265 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.3%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX

Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX Overview

The Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX is offered in the following submodels: Impreza WRX Hatchback, Impreza WRX STI Limited, Impreza WRX Sedan, Impreza WRX STI. Available styles include 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), STI 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Limited 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Premium 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX Base is priced between $15,200 and$19,991 with odometer readings between 78917 and86402 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX Limited is priced between $18,388 and$18,388 with odometer readings between 66452 and66452 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STI is priced between $17,995 and$17,995 with odometer readings between 83936 and83936 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited is priced between $19,995 and$19,995 with odometer readings between 87224 and87224 miles.

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Which used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2013 Impreza WRXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,995 and mileage as low as 66452 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX.

Can't find a used 2013 Subaru Impreza WRXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Subaru Impreza WRX for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $10,496.

Find a used Subaru for sale - 6 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $13,606.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru Impreza WRX for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $18,696.

Find a used certified pre-owned Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $9,568.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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