2014 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
2014
Subaru Impreza WRX for Sale
2014
List Price
$25,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although they're still wildly entertaining to drive, the 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models are showing their age as newer hot hatchbacks hit the market.

Vehicle overview

The 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI are a family of high-performance sedans and hatchbacks. Based on the previous-generation Impreza and inspired by Subaru's years in international rally competition, these cars are aimed at serious driving enthusiasts who spend their weekends carving up back roads and tearing up racetracks. Although entertaining to drive, the 2014 WRX and WRX STI represent the last hurrah for the current car, as Subaru is preparing a redesigned Impreza WRX for 2015.

Accordingly, if you decide to purchase a 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX or WRX STI, you're either buying a classic streetable rally car or a performance car that's a bit past its "best by" date. Certainly, it's hard to argue with their performance numbers on paper. The base WRX has a turbocharged, 2.5-liter "boxer" four-cylinder engine rated at an impressive 265 horsepower. The STI uses a higher-performance version of this engine that makes 305 hp. In either case, getting the power to the ground is no problem thanks to standard all-wheel drive. The addition of front and rear limited-slip differentials on the STI translates to ridiculous grip, making it a cult favorite among car enthusiasts who regularly drive in foul weather.

Outside of performance, however, the 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI come up short in the face of newer competition. The interiors of these cars betray a significant lack of refinement: Hard plastics abound and the overall fit and finish is unimpressive for cars in this price range. What's more, the factory audio system is weak, while the optional navigation system has dated software and is more difficult to use than rivals' systems.

If you're looking for alternatives, there's really just one car that's very similar: the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the STI's longtime rival. It, too, generates close to 300 hp that's put to the ground through a rally-bred all-wheel-drive system. Perhaps not surprisingly, it's also stuck with a similarly dated and underwhelming interior design. However, the availability of an automated manual gearbox gives the Evo potentially broader appeal in households where not everyone wants to deal with a conventional manual and its associated clutch pedal.

On the more affordable side of the spectrum, the 2014 Ford Focus ST and 2014 Volkswagen GTI offer much nicer interiors, and they're easier and more comfortable to drive on a daily basis. That said, they're both slower than the Subaru, and their front-wheel-drive layout will likely have less appeal for hard-core drivers. In the end, your choice will likely depend on what you want from your high-performance sedan or hatchback. From our standpoint, the WRX and WRX STI, though flawed, continue to offer a level of performance and appeal that's rare at this price point.

2014 Subaru Impreza WRX models

The 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI models are available in either sedan or five-door hatchback body styles, both of which seat five. The WRX is offered in base, Premium and Limited trim levels, regardless of body style. The WRX STI is offered as a single base trim level on the hatchback, while the sedan comes in base and STI Limited trims.

Standard WRX features include 17-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, 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 shift knob and steering wheel (with audio controls), aluminum-trimmed pedals, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, USB/iPod integration and an auxiliary audio input. The hatchback also features a roof spoiler, a rear wiper, and a cargo cover and tie-downs.

Upgrading to the Premium trim adds foglights, a sunroof, a trunk lid spoiler (for sedans), heated mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer and heated front seats. The Limited model gains xenon headlights (low beams only) and leather upholstery.

The base WRX STI builds on the base WRX's equipment list by adding a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels (hatchbacks get lighter-weight BBS wheels), Brembo brakes, front and rear limited-slip differentials, a more aggressively tuned suspension and a bigger hood scoop. It also comes standard with xenon headlights (low beams), foglights (hatchbacks only), heated seats and simulated suede/leather upholstery. A rear spoiler is standard on both body styles. The WRX STI Limited sedan adds foglights, the BBS wheels, a sunroof and leather upholstery.

A touchscreen navigation system is available on the WRX Limited and all STI models. It includes voice control, traffic data, text messaging capabilities, smartphone-based Internet radio (Aha), HD radio and satellite radio.

2014 Highlights

Smartphone app integration (featuring Aha Internet radio) is now included on 2014 Subaru Impreza WRXs and WRX STIs equipped with the optional navigation system. Otherwise, the 2014 WRX and WRX STI are unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder boxer engine that produces 265 hp and 244 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission and an all-wheel-drive system are standard. In Edmunds testing, a WRX sedan went from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, which is very quick among similarly priced, high-performance compact cars. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg in combined driving (19 mpg city/25 mpg highway) for both the sedan and hatchback. Cars like the Focus ST and VW GTI earn significantly better mpg ratings.

The STI gets a more elite version of this engine tuned for extra performance and rated at 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway). These numbers aren't great, but they're comparable to the STI's chief rival, the Lancer Evolution.

When we instrument-tested a 2009 WRX STI, it went from zero to 60 mph in a blistering 4.5 seconds, but two 2011 STI sedans we tested were a full second slower. Although Subaru has never confirmed that any drivetrain changes were made to the STI, there's a good financial case to be made for buying the less expensive base WRX if you can do without the STI's fancy differentials and lightweight wheels.

Safety

Every 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, hill-hold assist, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. The STI features ventilated disc brakes front and rear. In Edmunds brake testing, a WRX sedan came to a stop in an excellent 114 feet, while an STI hatchback did it in an even better 106 feet (the STI sedans we tested did no better than 112 feet, however).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the regular, non-WRX versions of the previous-generation Impreza the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving

The 2014 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 high levels of road noise.

Interior

Interior quality is not the WRX's strong suit. The cabin design is simple and straightforward, but there's an overload of cheap, hard plastic trim for a car in this price range. We've not been impressed by the assembly quality of the test cars we've examined, either.

The outdated touchscreen interface for the navigation system is frustrating to use, and when equipped, it makes the audio system complicated to operate. The sound quality is subpar as well, making aftermarket audio upgrades a virtual necessity.

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 while the seats are in place. Folding the rear seats expands that space to a generous 44 cubes. The sedan has an 11.3-cubic-foot trunk.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Last of it's kind
bnewton_xp,11/14/2013
STI 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
After owning a 2007 STI, I consider the 2014 STI a great improvement. Much improved seats and lower road noise over 2007 STI. 2014 STI is a bit more refined than 2007 STI, however the 2007 STI car was a bit more raw and in-your-face. I chose the hatchback over the sedan as it offers the best of both worlds in performance and utility. Plus the hatchback does not appear to draw as much attention as the sedan with the big wing. While I could've waited for the new 2015 STI, but with the next STI/WRX being more road focus I felt like the next car would lose little bit of it's rally heritage and that what makes STI unique.
Good car but not great
hookshot,08/22/2014
STI 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I got the 2014 hatchback STI in white. Engine: strong mid-range power, but weak top end. Some turbo lag, power comes on around 3k rims and dies off around 5.5k rpm. Redline at 7k. Fuel economy is poor even in intelligent mode which saps the power. I avg 22 mpg and I mainly drive like a grandma. Expect 18 mpg avg if you have heavy foot. Exterior: what can I say it looks aggressive. I swapped the gun metals for gold bbs and it looks good. Custom molded the base impreza mud flaps to fit. Looks great. Interior: the stock Bluetooth sucks. Seats are good not brz good. Nice overall not great. Hatchback folds down, tons of space, although u don't wanna stratch that leather.
Awesome Ride! Won't Let you down!
Jeremy Doss,12/30/2015
Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
This car is pretty much awesome in every aspect, especially with Subaru's awesome drive train and other warranties. It's super reliable and he'll a fast! Not to mention it's got a huge community for modding. The only drawbacks were the stereo head unit and some interior rattle. If that bugs you do what I did and get a new head unit and it'll sound great!

Safety

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 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX

Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX Overview

The Used 2014 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 Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), STI 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Premium 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and Limited 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 5M). Pre-owned Subaru Impreza WRX models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 305 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual. The Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX Base is priced between $18,500 and$20,983 with odometer readings between 75018 and92861 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX STI is priced between $22,995 and$22,995 with odometer readings between 92028 and92028 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited is priced between $25,990 and$25,990 with odometer readings between 40422 and40422 miles.

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Which used 2014 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) 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2014 Impreza WRXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $18,500 and mileage as low as 40422 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 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX.

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Should I lease or buy a 2014 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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