2020 Subaru WRX Consumer Reviews

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Simple and raw, hard to find attributes nowadays.

Canucked, 01/29/2020
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
27 of 28 people found this review helpful

TL;DR: Seat adjustment is lacking on the Base and the manual trans makes itself just a little bit more difficult to use. But overall the car is simple and raw. It feels great and I love it to bits. The base model WRX doesn't feel like you cheaped out. The only other options I would've liked would be the Performance Package which is only available from Premium Trim and up. However, that adds a lot of weight and price to the car which I can live without. My only serious issue with the interior is the driver's seat. The base has a basic manual adjustable, non-heated, fabric seat. Manual adjustment is fine, you set it once for life basically unless you share the car with someone and it's a whole bunch lighter than motorized seats. I would've like heated seats but a sacrifice I was willing to make to keep the price down. The big issue I have with the seat is no lumber adjustment at all. And even worse: no adjustment for your thighs/ knees. It's a common grumble amongst owners. The position and travel path of the clutch brings you in forward towards the dash but that squishes your legs if you are taller and the front of the seat cushion does not adjust up to meet and support your thighs. The only other grumble I have is kind of a broad complaint of how shifting works with the 6MT and this engine. First and foremost, I am not a veteran of the stick shift. I have only driven other people's cars with it twice before buying this car. I stalled it 6 times getting it home, mostly at lights trying to get away too quickly. I am getting better, that's me not the car. While shifting the 6MT (mine has the short throw shifter as well) is satisfying and entertaining and rewarding there are 3 things that make it somewhat challenging. First is the clutch and it's travel which is sort of up and towards the dash rather than more of a natural forward push towards the firewall. Not a huge deal but it does play into the seat not being super comfy. Second problem you may or may not notice depending on what your past cars have been is the throttle mapping. It's not linear, meaning 10% throttle does not mean you are using 10% of the engines power or load. There is a point where the slightest adjustment of the throttle will make your seemingly under control revs go shooting up while you're trying to shift. Third is the rev hang which is well documented and grumbled about with this engine but it's definitely noticeable and often gets in the way. It's a deliberate feature that holds engine revs up when you depress the clutch. It helps with downshifting a bit. However, it is always on and works when you are up shifting as well. The shift from 1st to 2nd is where you will notice it the most. Say you take off in first nice and smooth, rev to 3k, depress the clutch to go into 2nd. Pretty standard right? The problem is at that point 2nd is usually between 1500 and 2k rpm and your engine is holding you at 3k for at least a full second. That particular shift is something I am still trying to smooth out and master. This transmission is not the easiest in the world. It's a bit old fashioned and the only assist is the spotty hill assist which you have 0 control over. It makes it a bit of a learning curve but it's not super difficult. I am confident driving it in any situation and I've only been at it for 5 days. That was a lot of words to describe just an issue with seat adjustment and a couple shifting woes but I think the detail will help some people. Things I like about the car: The simplicity of the base model. It feels a lot like my first car, a 1996 Impreza, but obviously much quicker and more exciting. Visibility is incredible. It has the same "fishbowl" feel as the older Subaru's I've driven. There is a ton of space in this car, including the rear seats which can actually fit full size adults. They've maintained the mechanical feel of the car despite the electric power steering and drive-by-wire throttle. I am a huge fan of hydraulic power steering but this electric steering is surprisingly good. The only difference I've noticed is the lack of a bit of "rubber banding" feel from a hydraulic steering set up. Finally: obviously the car is pretty and obviously the car is quick. There are tons of videos on its performance available for you to peruse.

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2020 STI v 2018 WRX

Krish Bellamkonda, 07/22/2020
STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

@6mos- STIll loving it :-) As the title says, I traded in a 2018 WRX base for a 2020 STI base. 2018 WRX was a great car, with excellent driving dynamics, awesome value and more than enough power for tooling around town. I was averaging 30 mpg consistently with spirited driving giving me around 25 mpg on premium gas. Life was good, but given the 2020 STI might be the last of the kind, I decided to test drive it and see if I wanted an upgrade. I had concerns over the ride quality, clutch engagement and general refinement which was a tad below WRX due to an older powertrain dating back to 2004. But I came back very impressed on how well it drove, how engaging it was compared to 2018 WRX. Since I believe cars should be left the way they came from the factory(no aftermarket engine tuning), I decided to move to a STI. STI Strengths:- STIs drive very differently from the WRX. It is a much mature car at higher speeds and also the engine is free-r revving to redline. Although they look the same, the cars are entirely different from dynamics point of view. Also with the drivetrain's ability to switch between rear-bias to front-bias and drive modes(S,S#), the car handles like extremely well. The ride quality of 2020 is way improved over 2017 STI, but not as supple as WRX base trim(17 inch wheels).But suspension tuning and all the reviews about STI's ride harshness is exaggerated. If suspension is holding you back from STI, you should really test-drive the car. The car(STI) is much quieter with more quality materials than base WRX. Although with WRX and STI, quietness is not the forte of either. STIs offer very predictable handling and what I observe is that more you engage with the car, more you pay attention to the shift points and nuances of clutch engagement, it is way more rewarding than WRX. Also the WRX has very irritating lumpy power delivery where you get abrupt dropoffs when you rev hard. STI is way smoother and has much more linearity in the way power is delivered. Also, the clutch engagement point more sorted out than WRX although it is a tad harder. The shifter is much nicer with clear throws(with STI short shift kit). It is way shorter than WRX(with short shift kit). It feels more direct in terms of engagement and also, vibrations. With STI, my gas mileage is between 20-23 mpg. It has gone below 20 during the break-in period. So gas mileage is definitely not one of the strengths of this aging engine. But my goal was to become a better driver(more technical) and also take the vehicle to track in stock form at some point. STI is like 9/10s of a budget sports car which needs 9/10s of engagement from the driver to have fun, where WRX is like 6/10s of a budget sports car which needs 6/10s of engagement from the driver to have fun. Which brings us to WRX strengths. WRX Strengths:- Whereas WRX is a much more chuckable, agile car with predictable body roll/handling, STI is more of a heavier feeling car(hydraulic power steering) with little/no body roll and more precise handling and built for more serious, precise driving. WRX is lot more fun than STI in "chuckability' factor and puts a smile no matter how you drive it. The ease of driving WRX is something I miss with the STI. STI is meant for more track duty and this is where it is a bit of a letdown "around town". So STI is more technical than WRX. So if you deeply engage with the vehicle it is fun, Whereas WRX is fun no matter whether you deeply engage or merely engage. So for a daily driver, I would pick WRX over STI to put you in a better mood no matter how your day has been. Also it is easier to drive, when it comes to overall effort. I have a Corolla Hybrid which I use for daily drive, so I don't miss WRX as much. In addition, gas mileage for WRX (30 avg, 25 worst) is amazing for a car a that's as much fun as it is. Also, the turbo spooling and whine is something which is more audible and fun with WRX. In STI, it is replaced by rumble. I personally liked WRX turbo whine better. Also, WRX has better overall drivetrain vibration management than STI. STI shifter(being direct, not cable) has a constant vibration which exaggerates over bad roads. It is not a big deal, but it does irritate you, depending on how engaged you are. In short, if you don't want to be engaged at 9/10s, then WRX is a vehicle for you. Because STI does not tolerate relaxed driving as much as a WRX. So, in short WRX or STI are awesome choices for a 4 day near-sports car. For STI comparisons, I test drove Civic Type R and I didn't like the ergonomics nor lack of AWD. Golf Type R is very boring. For WRX comparisons, I test drove Civic Si, VW GTI and it didn't compare to WRX fun. Previously, I have owned 2008 & 2013 BMW 328i manual, 2017 Audi A4 Quattro(with auto-bad mistake for my driving style), 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan and the WRX and STI made me a believer in Subaru brand for the type of driver I am (semi-sporty 4 door compact manual car enthusiast). Save the manuals!

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It isn't a Lexus, it's a sports car

Wasatch John, 05/09/2020
Limited 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

I've read numerous reviews before buying my WRX. It receives great ratings for acceleration and handling. Most reviews have scored it low for ride and amenities. This a sports car! The ride is firm like it should be, yes the road noise does come through, but in my opinion it's not distracting. As far as amenities go, I have the Limited with the Harmon Kardon stereo and Nav. It has just the right amount of things I need. Some higher end cars have more things that are in my opinion too much and I would never use them. The WRX to me has the right balance for a performance sports sedan.

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Near perfection

Moshpits, 09/12/2020
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

There’s so many perfect things about this car that make up for some of its negative aspects. I went with the base model for many reasons, at 2k rpms the turbo starts taking off and at 2500 it’s fully active. Handles corners like it’s nothing but the tires are really decent for summer tires only. Car looks beautiful it appeals to that inner child that wants to have a race car and it has a nice amount of power. The 6mt is pretty damn good as well, I say pretty good because the clutch pedal is where the problem begins. The way it’s compressed is uncomfortable with the seats provided. It really causes my right leg to throb and hurt when driving for longer than an hour. Luckily that’s usually only once a month on a 4 hour trip. But I’m trying to figure that one out, most likely just have the bottom padding replaced with something actually comfortable, it’s rock hard. The upper part of the seat is perfectly fine for me a 190lb 6,3 man. The lower seat tho is horrible. It’s pretty easy to stall the car even if you’ve been driving clutch for over 8 years, it’s not at all the same so keep that in mind. There are some things you can do to remedy this issue but they void they warranty at most dealerships so be aware of that. Infotainment center is alright it’s about the same as my 2018 Impreza base hatch manual, it’s alright no complaints, in fact it’s cool it comes with a CD player I’ll never use :D. Speakers in the base are just alright, they have some decent bass for being a cheap speaker but as an audiophile the Rockford and harmons aren’t worth the price. So for me I’ll have aftermarket ones soon enough, I already threw 2 10’s on the stock stereo and it helps immensely but the deck needs to go if you want really good sound control and quality. Especially if you want a more clear bass. But for now it gets the job done and is good enough for a year or so. The turbo whine is amazing. It’s not super loud sadly but a boomba bpv not bov, will make you fall in love with the car every time you let off the throttle. The fa20 is reliable And I have yet to see anyone have real issues with a stock one. My only complaint is again the clutch engagement and the seat padding. It is very stiff if your coming from an Impreza but you will get over it within the first day or 2. The interior in the 2020 base is still really nice, I don’t know what kind of interior others are wanting but for me it looks amazing, I also liked the base Impreza hatch interior though. Fake carbon fiber still looks cool. Headlights are actually bright enough in my small town that I didn’t have to replace the bulbs like I did on the Impreza. We don’t have many lit up roads so I’m glad the base headlights do really well. I’ll replace them soon with aftermarket headlights but they’re perfectly fine. No complaints other than they don’t look that pretty but 400$ can get you a nice pair of headlights. Overall an extremely fun car, on the highway I’ve been averaging 32 mpg at around 80 mph even with some hills. City I get about 28. If I’m spirited driving then it drops about 2 or 3 mpg. So really great gas mileage either way. Way more than they advertise it gets and I’m not even trying much to get good gas mileage it just does well by itself. Gotta give the fa some credit. It really does do well for gas mileage. If your thinking about this car and you aren’t sure I’d say go test drive one and take a day or more to think about it. The summer tires are the only other downside depending on where you live. Since I just got mine and it’s almost fall I need all seasons or winter tires very shortly here. So sadly I’ve gotta cough up more money on that since I live in Colorado and it can snow heavy here. I’ve driven a 2018 Mercedes g wagon with 566hp and similar tq numbers, while it was faster, it didn’t feel as good as this wrx does. And it’s not even close to the 180k price tag for the g wagon. The steering in the 2018 g wagon was all over the place as well, apparently the 2019 and up have a different steering rack but either way, for what this wrx costs and what it does stock is crazy. Love the car so damn much, it’s hard to not smile when driving it. Subaru did a very good job making it more friendly to people who don’t know much about turbo cars. So maybe down the road you can get them for a bit cheaper and still have a solid car even if the owner doesn’t know what they’re doing. But we will see. Maybe the fa20 has an issue that only time will let us know. As it sits it’s an amazing car especially for the price. Update. Right around 9 months of ownership atm. No issues have cropped up.

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2020 STI. A legend of the past, today.

Betai Arriaga, 07/16/2020
STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

The 2020 STI is a through and through sports car. It hearkens back to the JDM analog legends of the 90's in all the best ways. We will remember cars like this fondly in years to come...we even already are starting to when you glance at the classifieds and see the $$$$ they're commanding. It has quick, weighty, and fantastically communicative steering without being tiring or twitchy. It still uses a hydraulic rack and pinion set up, which makes it far more of a connected feel for the driver than almost anything left on the road. The engine (freshly updated in 2019...but still the EJ257) delivers a classic turbocharged punch with the torque really coming into play once the turbo comes onto boil over 3.5k RPM. The aggressive gearing paired with the powerband means this is a car that you have to shift often, which is a joy with the precise 6 Speed (the only available transmission). The legendary AWD system (with actual mechanical limited slip differentials, and a driver controlled electronic center differential) will carry you through even small ineptitudes on your part as the driver, through any weather you throw at it. Although a set of winter tires would be recommended if you're planning on really tackling ice and snow. This is a car for the enthusiast that you can actually use...Every. Single. Day. And I do, happily. In the coming electric autonomous future...this is a car that still demands to be driven.

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