2019 Subaru WRX STI

What’s new

  • New limited-edition Series.Gray trim level
  • The WRX STI sees small revisions to its drivetrain, including a 5-hp bump
  • Updated infotainment system
  • Greater availability of advanced safety and driver aids
  • Part of the third WRX generation introduced for 2015

Pros & Cons

  • 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
  • Excessive wind and road noise
  • Interior quality lags behind competitors
  • High-performance suspension makes for a rough ride
Other years
MSRP Starting at
$36,595

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Which WRX does Edmunds recommend?

For most drivers, the base STI will do just fine. If track days are going to be a regular occurrence for you, the new limited-edition Series.Gray — assuming you can find one — will be a good choice considering its enhanced suspension.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.9 / 10

The 2019 Subaru WRX STI is a delightful oddball. It's the high-performance variant of the middle-of-the-road Impreza sedan with much more power and racetrack-worthy handling. Unlike the latest front-drive hot hatchbacks from Honda and Hyundai, the STI is all-wheel-drive and sports a relatively rare horizontally opposed four-cylinder boxer engine.

With 310 horsepower, a mandatory manual transmission, and development with roots in rally racing, the STI is intended for the rare individual who wants performance above all else. As such, there are significant sacrifices made to comfort and convenience. The ride quality is rough, the cabin is loud, and a lot of advanced safety features are absent.

Looking for alternatives? The STI's historic rival, the Mitsubishi Evo, has been absent for several years. The closest competitors at the moment are the Honda Civic Type R, the Hyundai Veloster N and the Volkswagen Golf R. All are more refined and more robustly equipped with the latest features. But if you want a high-performance car that comes as close to hardcore status as possible, the WRX STI is the ideal pick.

2019 Subaru WRX models

The 2019 Subaru WRX STI is the high-performance variant of the WRX sedan covered separately. Power comes from a 2.5-liter turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinder boxer engine (310 horsepower, 290 lb-ft of torque). A six-speed manual sends power to all four wheels via a driver-adjustable center differential and front and rear limited-slip differentials. It is offered in base STI trim, a limited-edition Series.Gray and Limited trims.

Standard STI features include 19-inch alloy wheels with summer performance tires, Brembo brakes, automatic adaptive LED headlights, heated mirrors and wipers, remote keyless entry, selectable drive modes, cruise control, hill start assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, faux-suede and leather upholstery, heated front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, Subaru's Starlink telematics and monitoring systems, a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and two USB ports.

The new Series.Gray trim is limited to only 250 examples and comes with unique gray paint, black 19-inch wheels, a high-performance Bilstein sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry with keypad access, Recaro front seats (eight-way power driver's seat), and a faux suede-wrapped steering wheel.

The Limited trim comes with a sunroof, keyless entry, the Recaro seats with leather upholstery, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, a navigation system, and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Shoppers can opt for a lip spoiler in place of the big rear wing.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Subaru WRX STI (turbo 2.5L flat-4 | 6-speed manual | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2018, the current WRX STI has received some revisions, including an increase in power and an updated infotainment system. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's WRX STI, however.

Scorecard

Overall6.9 / 10
Driving8.0
Comfort6.0
Interior8.0
Utility6.5

Driving

8.0
The WRX STI is packed with performance but requires finesse in casual use. Braking and accelerating smoothly will take some adjustment time. But it handles well, and the steering is precise and highly communicative. By the numbers, this performance sedan is very impressive.

Acceleration

7.5
Pulling away from a stop in routine driving can feel underwhelming in the STI. The turbo boost builds higher in the rev range, so the car feels a bit lifeless below that point. Zero to 60 mph takes 5.5 seconds, which is still pretty quick but modern competitors are quicker.

Braking

8.0
The STI's big Brembo brakes have quite a bit of power. In everyday driving, they require a bit more effort than we'd like. In Edmunds testing, a simulated-panic stop from 60 mph only took 108 feet — a distance that's comparable to results from much more expensive performance cars.

Steering

9.0
The steering is weighted a bit heavy but is precise. It's easy to tell what the wheels are doing at almost all times. Whether you're driving at speed or simply putting around town doing errands, the steering is one of the WRX STI's strongest suits.

Handling

9.0
This Subie is one of the most nimble cars on the road. Its sporty suspension affords incredibly quick directional changes, and it rockets out of corners with its grippy tires and all-wheel-drive traction. Stitching together multiple corners in a WRX STI is about the most fun you can have in a car.

Drivability

6.5
Mastering the STI's stick shift is a bit tricky. Even drivers experienced with manuals will have to manage the delicate balance of the clutch engagement and engine rpm since the engine is a little gutless at low rpm. The pedals, however, are placed perfectly for easy heel-and-toe downshifting.

Off-road

6.5
The WRX has its roots in rally racing, so the sophisticated AWD will give it some capability on well-maintained dirt roads or in inclement weather. The front fascia is far too low to allow for off-roading in the traditional sense, however.

Comfort

6.0
Comfort isn't a priority in this type of vehicle, yet the WRX STI still falls behind its chief rivals. A firm ride and an abundance of interior noise dominate the experience. The supportive seats are a high point.

Seat comfort

7.5
The optional Recaro front seats have dense padding and lots of lateral support. They're firm but forgiving. The rear seats have a similarly firm padding and are relatively well-contoured. The door armrests could use some additional padding, and the center armrest is too low and far away to be truly useful.

Ride comfort

5.5
The STI's ride is very stiff. If there's a bump out there, you'll feel it in the cabin. Small bumps upset the ride quality, and larger bumps or potholes feel like tectonic events as you drive over them. If you want a WRX with decent ride quality, steer clear of the STI.

Noise & vibration

5.5
Anything over 60 mph creates significant wind noise, and anything over 70 mph creates engine and tire noise that is hard to drown out with the subpar stereo. The panel construction seemed good, but the stiff ride causes a lot of shaking on almost any manner of highway.

Climate control

6.5
The climate control system works well, but the controls are not very intuitive at the outset. Dual-zone climate control and heated front seats are standard. The bilevel switches for the heated seats are pretty dated.

Interior

8.0
The WRX STI has excellent space for a compact. It also has impressive outward visibility. For the most part, the controls are easy to learn.

Ease of use

7.0
The stereo volume and tuning knobs are a bit small and slippery, and some regularly used buttons require a reach.

Getting in/getting out

8.0
It's easy to get in and out up front, with only minor head-ducking because of the STI's ride height. The bolstered front seats are easy enough to slide into and out of, though you do have to step over wider doorsills than in most cars. The rear doors are larger than average and provide easy access.

Driving position

7.5
Kneeroom for the driver is a little tight, so your knees might graze the steering column when you're getting in and out. Otherwise, the bucket seats and steering wheel offer a suitable amount of adjustability.

Roominess

8.5
The WRX has never been short on passenger space, and the STI is no different. There's plenty of front head- and legroom as well as lateral room for your elbows. Anyone under 6 feet tall will have enough headroom and legroom in the rear seat as well.

Visibility

8.5
You get superb visibility thanks to a low dash and hood and narrow front roof pillars. It makes it easy to look through turns. The long rear side windows make lane changes easy even without a blind-spot monitoring system. The tall rear wing doesn't compromise visibility much at all either.

Quality

6.5
If the WRX STI had been updated along with its Impreza sibling, this score would be higher. The interior is put together well, but there is a lot of hard plastic in the cabin for a $40,000 car. A few faux suede surfaces, including the optional Recaro seats, help class things up a bit.

Utility

6.5
Compared to rival hatchbacks, the WRX STI is naturally less competitive when it comes to utility. There's enough room for a few suitcases in the trunk, and small-item storage is acceptable.

Small-item storage

6.0
The center console bin has a grippy rubber base and is large enough for a few plus-size smartphones. The center armrest is less impressive with relatively small cupholders that aren't deep enough to prevent most cups from spilling. The door pockets are narrow but can hold an average-size water bottle.

Cargo space

6.5
The trunk has a wide opening with a relatively low liftover height. The rear seats fold easily for expanded space, but the trunk only has 12 cubic feet of cargo space. That's not much when you compare it to the hatchbacks in the performance car segment.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.0
Car seat accommodation is average. It's easy to access the car seat anchors through Velcro straps, and there's enough space for a big rear-facing seat.

Technology

For 2019, Subaru has added an updated infotainment system that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But Subaru's EyeSight suite of advanced safety features isn't offered with the STI lineup.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2019 Subaru WRX.

5 star reviews: 83%
4 star reviews: 11%
3 star reviews: 6%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.8 stars based on 18 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • handling & steering
  • engine
  • appearance
  • fuel efficiency
  • driving experience
  • interior
  • wheels & tires
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • value
  • maintenance & parts
  • road noise
  • transmission
  • steering wheel
  • sound system

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, Everything I dreamed of!
G-Man,
STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Bought a 2019 Subaru WRX STI Series.Gray on 10/2/18. Driving this STI compared to the 2016 standard STI I test drove before getting my previous car, a 2016 WRX Limited, was a night and day difference. I literally didn't buy the 2016 STI because of the gearing that had me always running the engine hard/high rpms even to putt around the city. This new 2019 with revised gearing is as close to perfect as any 6 speed I've driven. The Series.Gray limited edition shocks/suspension, tuning, steering wheel, etc. make for a smooth yet razor sharp handling package far superior than any previous WRX I've driven, as well as car's I've driven that are $10-20k more. Can't recommend any 2019 STI enough!!

4 out of 5 stars, Great car with minor flaws
Adam W,
STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I bought this car new and have driven it a year and 7000 miles. The cons: 1. base package stereo lacks a lot, poor volume and sound quality 2. Lots of road noise 3. The center console is too low. If you rest your elbow on it, you'll lean like a cholo. A $15 aftermarket add-on levels it . 4. Terrible factory summer tires. I had to swap them out for all season tires as they were useless in the snow. 5. Unforgiving suspension, potholes will wreck wheels and bearings. Pros: 1. Impressive mpg - around 24 mpg average 2. Great handling 3. interior design and colors 4. Nice performance and turbo music, especially in sport sharp mode with the traction control off. 5. Unique body design. 6. Value retention!

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See all 18 reviews



2019 Subaru WRX video

2019 Subaru WRX STI First Look | NY Auto Show

2019 Subaru WRX STI First Look | NY Auto Show

WILL KAUFMAN: Subaru fans rejoice. Subaru is finally bringing one of their limited run special edition STI models to the United States. And this one is a United States-only model. In recent years, it seems like the STI hasn't quite been getting the love it deserves. It's running an older engine on an older platform. In order to keep the car fresh, Subaru Technica International, Subaru's skunkworks, has gone over the car from nose to tail, making a bunch of changes to make it faster, more aggressive, better handling, and more desirable. From the outside, some of the changes are pretty obvious. Fender flares have been added, widening the car's track by about 1.7 inches. That means that this STI wears the widest tires on any Subaru yet. You'll also notice the carbon fiber roof to reduce weight, and the carbon fiber wing to increase downforce. Under the hood, you'll still find an EJ motor, but in S209, Subaru has added a larger HKS turbo charger. They've upgraded the intercooler. They've upgraded the pistons. They've done a lot of work to bring the power in this motor up to 341 horsepower. STI has also done a lot of work on this STI's suspension. They've overhauled a lot of the components under there. They've added bigger brakes for better stopping power as well. The only transmission you're going to find on an S209 is the six speed manual, which is the way things should be. Inside the, cabin along with some minor visual updates, you'll also find a little paddle on the steering wheel that lets you spray water onto the turbo intercooler, a nod to older STIs. Subaru is only going to be making 200 of the 2019 WRX STI S209. So if you want one, you should get in line now. For more information about the 2019 Subaru WRS STI S209, sure to check out our full first look on edmunds.com/roadnoise. And for more videos like this, stay tuned right here to YouTube. Make sure to like and subscribe.

Subaru has finally brought one of its limited-edition, super-hot S cars to the U.S.: the 2019 WRX STI S209. Subaru says this is the fastest STI it has ever made. But with only 200 being produced, you may never get the chance to find out. Edmunds News Editor Will Kaufman gets up close with the super Subaru at the Detroit Auto Show.


Features & Specs

STI 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
STI 4dr Sedan AWD
2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M
MSRP$36,595
MPG 17 city / 22 hwy
SeatingSeats 5
Transmission6-speed manual
Horsepower310 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all for sale
See all 2019 Subaru WRX STI features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite WRX safety features:

Blind-Spot Detection
Alerts the driver to a vehicle lurking in the blind spot.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Warns if a vehicle is approaching from the sides as you back into traffic.
Starlink Safety and Security
Notifies first responders if a collision is detected. Also includes an SOS button for assistance.
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 TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good

Subaru WRX vs. the competition

Subaru WRX vs. Subaru BRZ

The BRZ is smaller and less experience, but beyond that, its two-door, rear-wheel-drive layout presents an entirely different driving experience than the turbocharged and all-wheel-drive WRX. Think of the WRX as a fast, family-friendly sedan and the BRZ as an entry-level sports car. Alas, "sports car" applies to the BRZ's handling since its less powerful engine means it's slower than the WRX.

Compare Subaru WRX & Subaru BRZ features

Subaru WRX vs. Ford Focus ST

The less powerful Focus ST only comes with a manual transmission, limiting its appeal, and its front-wheel-drive configuration means it's somewhat less capable in the snow compared to the WRX. On the upside, the Focus ST's hatchback layout provides more storage space, while its lower starting price and higher fuel economy mean it's a less expensive commuter car. On the extreme downside, though, you'll have to get one soon because it's been discontinued for 2019.

Compare Subaru WRX & Ford Focus ST features

Subaru WRX vs. Honda Civic

The Civic Si's enjoyable to drive, but its greatest attribute compared to the Subaru WRX is value. The Honda starts at a lower price, and though it has no options, it comes with more standard features. While the Civic Si is not available with an automatic transmission, it's rated by the EPA at 32 mpg combined versus the stick-shift WRX's 23 mpg.

Compare Subaru WRX & Honda Civic features

FAQ

Is the Subaru WRX a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 WRX both on the road and at the track, giving it a 6.9 out of 10. You probably care about Subaru WRX fuel economy, so it's important to know that the WRX gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the WRX has 12.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Subaru WRX. Learn more

What's new in the 2019 Subaru WRX?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Subaru WRX:

  • New limited-edition Series.Gray trim level
  • The WRX STI sees small revisions to its drivetrain, including a 5-hp bump
  • Updated infotainment system
  • Greater availability of advanced safety and driver aids
  • Part of the third WRX generation introduced for 2015
Learn more

Is the Subaru WRX reliable?

To determine whether the Subaru WRX is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the WRX. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the WRX's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2019 Subaru WRX a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Subaru WRX is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2019 WRX and gave it a 6.9 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 WRX is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2019 Subaru WRX?

The least-expensive 2019 Subaru WRX is the 2019 Subaru WRX STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $36,595.

Other versions include:

  • STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $36,595
Learn more

What are the different models of Subaru WRX?

If you're interested in the Subaru WRX, the next question is, which WRX model is right for you? WRX variants include STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M). For a full list of WRX models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2019 Subaru WRX

Sixteen years ago, the Subaru WRX introduced many Americans to the notion of all-wheel-drive sport compact performance. The 2019 Subaru WRX powers forward with a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, just like the original, while the maximum-performance WRX STI variant gets a 2.5-liter four-cylinder 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 310 hp, up slightly from last year. 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 automatics 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 (plus a special Series.Gray version for 2019) that include 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 for a car in this price range. The WRX family isn't for everyone. 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, but comes only with the optional CVT automatic. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the WRX a Top Safety Pick+ for its best-possible crashworthiness, crash prevention and headlight scores.

Fuel economy ranges from 23 mpg (21 city/27 highway) for the manual-transmission WRX to 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 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.

The 2019 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 2019 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.

2019 Subaru WRX STI Overview

The 2019 Subaru WRX STI is offered in the following styles: STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What do people think of the 2019 Subaru WRX STI?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 Subaru WRX STI and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2019 WRX STI 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. 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 2019 WRX STI.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 Subaru WRX STI and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 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 2019 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 2019 Subaru WRX STI?

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 2019 Subaru WRX STIS are available in my area?

2019 Subaru WRX STI Listings and Inventory

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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2019 Subaru WRX STI.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 [object Object] WRX STI for sale near you.

Can't find a new 2019 Subaru WRX STI WRX STI you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Subaru WRX for sale - 12 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $25,217.

Find a new Subaru for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $10,785.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2019 Subaru WRX STI and all available trim types: STI. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2019 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 2019 Subaru WRX STI?

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.

Check out Subaru lease specials