2018 Subaru WRX STI
- In both WRX and WRX STI, acceleration is swift and among best-in-class
- Delivers superb handling and steering response on twisting roads
- Full-time all-wheel drive enhances traction and performance
- Offers several premium safety equipment options
- STI's high-performance suspension makes for a rough ride
- Interior quality lags behind competitors
- Above-average amounts of wind and road noise
Which WRX does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4 / 5
The 2018 Subaru WRX is among the swiftest and best-handling compact cars around. It's not especially quiet or comfortable, but it's a reasonably priced performance car you can drive daily.
You might reasonably expect some rough edges in a car born of Subaru's decades-long participation in rally racing, a form of motorsport largely run in dirt, mud and gravel. But the real surprise is just how domesticated these cars really are. The WRX and even-faster WRX STI are powered by turbocharged four-cylinder engines optimized for performance but capable of decent fuel economy. The WRX delivers 268 horsepower and an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined with the manual transmission, while the STI wrings out 305 hp and 19 mpg combined.
The WRX also offers a good serving of modern tech and convenience, either as standard equipment or options, including a choice of two multimedia systems, two audio systems, smartphone app integration, navigation, and driver aids such as blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking. These attributes, plus comfortable seating, a roomy cabin and excellent visibility, make the WRX a legitimately practical daily driver and family car.
But there's no denying that the WRX can be a loud and raucous car. You'll hear plenty of road noise and feel plenty of road surface inside the cabin, especially in the STI, which can drive from dealer lot to weekend rally race and be instantly competitive. Key rivals such as the Volkswagen GTI and Ford Focus ST far surpass the Subaru for daily civility. To be fair, Subaru says it has made efforts to quiet the 2018 model with thicker glass, seals and insulation. We haven't yet driven the most recent model to hear the difference.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Subaru WRX as one of Edmunds' Best All-Wheel-Drive Sedans for this year.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Subaru WRX is a five-passenger sedan offered in five trim levels: base, Premium, Limited, STI and STI Limited. The base model comes ready for action with 268 horsepower and performance tires, while the Premium adds larger wheels and heated front seats. The Limited adds luxuries such as leather upholstery and has more available options. STI models start with Limited equipment but add a 305-hp engine and performance brakes and suspension. The STI Limited goes all in with sunroof, navigation, driver aids and more.
Base WRX models start with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (268 hp, 258 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. The standard equipment list also includes 17-inch wheels, performance tires, heated side mirrors, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connection, and a six-speaker media system with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, satellite and HD radio, CD player, USB and auxiliary inputs, and smartphone app integration.
The WRX Premium adds 18-inch wheels, foglights, a sunroof, heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icers, and a 7-inch touchscreen.
The Limited builds on that with LED headlights and foglights, automatic high beams, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, leather-trimmed upholstery, keyless ignition and entry, and an optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters.
Options for WRX Premium models with manual transmission include the 7-inch touchscreen, an upgraded Harman Kardon audio system, and a new Performance package that bundles Recaro front seats (including an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat), upgraded brake pads, and red-painted brake calipers. This package deletes the sunroof, however, in the interests of weight savings.
A manual-equipped WRX Limited is eligible for options including navigation, upgraded audio, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, while Limited models equipped with the CVT can add Subaru's EyeSight system, which bundles features such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive ("bending") foglights that help illuminate corners and curves. The EyeSight system is not available with the stick shift, though.
STI models come equipped like the WRX Premium but with a bigger engine, 19-inch wheels, and no sunroof. The base STI adds a more powerful 2.5-liter engine engine (305 hp, 290 lb-ft), Brembo brakes, front and rear limited-slip differentials, and more aggressive suspension tuning. Options include Recaro sport seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, and keyless ignition and entry.
The STI Limited adds back the sunroof plus keyless ignition and entry, an eight-way power driver seat, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the premium audio system with navigation. The lone option is a low-profile trunk lip spoiler. EyeSight is not offered for the WRX STI.
Several dealer-installed options are available for the WRX and STI, including a performance exhaust (base WRX), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, short-throw shifter, carbon-fiber trim, unique shift knobs and interior lighting accents.
Noise & vibration2.5
Ease of use3
Getting in/getting out4
Audio & navigation
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite WRX safety features:
- EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM)
- Projects alerts and warnings (about pedestrians, potential collision) into a head-up type display in the windshield.
- Reverse Automatic Braking System (RAB)
- Automatically applies the brakes if driver fails to respond to alerts and obstacles.
- EyeSight Lane Keep
- Recognizes lane markings on both sides of the car and will guide you back to the middle if you drift too far from center.
2018 Subaru WRX STI for Sale
Fifteen years ago, the Subaru WRX introduced many Americans to the notion of all-wheel-drive sport compact performance. The 2018 Subaru WRX powers forward with a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine, just like the original, while the maximum-performance WRX STI variant gets a 2.5-liter boxer with even more verve.
Either way, there's certainly no shortage of speed. The base WRX checks in at 268 horsepower, while the STI boasts 305 hp. That's a lot of ponies for a sedan the size of a Corolla. Sure-footed all-wheel drive makes the most of that impressive output whether the road is wet or dry, joining with accurate steering and crisp handling to provide a true sport sedan driving experience.
A purist-pleasing six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, while a commuter-friendly continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. Because gearless CVT transmissions can be unsettling for drivers accustomed to moving through the gears one step at a time, Subaru has programmed this one to "shift" through a series of simulated gear ratios. Consequently, it feels much like a regular automatic to the driver, even though there's no actual shifting going on.
Glancing at the sticker price of the WRX or especially the STI, some shoppers might expect luxurious appointments and a refined ride. These aspects are notably absent. The WRX is available in three different trim levels with a number of appealing amenities. But the overall experience remains relatively austere and intense, particularly with the STI's firmer suspension. There's also a fair amount of hard, cheap-looking interior plastic, which is disappointing in a car in this price range. The WRX family isn't for everyone; in other words, it's aimed at enthusiastic drivers who are willing to forgo some comfort and polish in return for performance that inspires.
On the safety front, Subaru's EyeSight bundle — including lane departure prevention and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking — is available, though only on the high-end Limited model (and only when equipped with the CVT). According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crashworthiness improves from Good for the regular WRX to Superior for the EyeSight-equipped model.
Fuel economy ranges from 23 mpg (20 city/27 highway) for the manual-transmission WRX to 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway) for the manual-only STI, with the self-shifting WRX splitting the difference. You can certainly find more fuel-efficient performance cars in this day and age, though the endearingly quirky character of Subaru's engines will add value for some shoppers.
At the end of the day, the 2018 Subaru WRX is an all-season athlete meant for those who want every trip to be a thrill ride. Just like the original all those years ago, the standard 2018 WRX is a no-brainer if you're looking for AWD performance on a budget, though again, pricier versions bring cosseting luxury-brand alternatives into play. If you're a fan, Edmunds' peerless reviews and pricing data can help you find the WRX that's right for you.
2018 Subaru WRX STI Overview
The 2018 Subaru WRX STI is offered in the following styles: , and STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M).
What do people think of the 2018 Subaru WRX STI?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 WRX STI.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 WRX STI featuring deep dives into trim levels including STI, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2018 Subaru WRX STI here.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2018 Subaru WRX STI?
2018 Subaru WRX STI STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
The 2018 Subaru WRX STI STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $38,199. The average price paid for a new 2018 Subaru WRX STI STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $2,595 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $2,595 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$35,604.
The average savings for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is6.8% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 3 2018 Subaru WRX STI STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which 2018 Subaru WRX STIS are available in my area?
2018 Subaru WRX STI Listings and Inventory
There are currently 9 new 2018 Subaru WRX STIS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $38,028 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,680 on a new, used or CPO 2018 Subaru WRX STI available from a dealership near you.
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Subaru WRX STI for sale near you.
Can't find a new 2018 Subaru WRX WRX STI you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Subaru WRX for sale - 5 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $13,441.
Find a new Subaru for sale - 1 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $25,172.
Compare prices on the New Subaru WRX for sale in Ashburn, VA to other major cities
Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Subaru WRX STI and all available trim types: STI. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 Subaru 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.