2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited

What’s new

  • Redesigned front bumper for the WRX STI
  • Keyless access and push-button start now standard on the WRX STI
  • The WRX adds welcome lighting
  • Part of the third WRX generation introduced for 2015

Pros & Cons

  • Both the WRX and the WRX STI offer swift and near best-in-class acceleration
  • Superb handling and steering response on twisty roads
  • Full-time all-wheel drive enhances traction and performance
  • Offers several premium safety options
  • Excessive wind and road noise
  • Interior quality lags that of competitors
  • STI's high-performance suspension makes for a rough ride
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2020 Subaru WRX Review

The Subaru WRX may have its roots in the speedy world of rally racing, where roads can change from dirt to gravel to asphalt in a single run, but today's WRX is also a fast and legitimate family car with a roomy interior, good visibility and comfortable seats.

Vestiges of the 2020 Subaru WRX's rally roots are found in the standard all-wheel-drive system and its small but powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine. While these tools help rally racers handle different road surfaces and speed away from corners, their real-life application will prove useful for drivers in wet climates or threading city traffic.

Drivers will find the standard 268-horsepower WRX comfortable and commuter-friendly — it's even available with a continuously variable automatic transmission and a suite of advanced driver safety aids — while the 310-hp WRX STI is for purists only. You can still drive it on the street every day, but its stiff suspension and lack of an automatic transmission limit its appeal.

For 2020, the WRX adds a few small, fresh details. The STI trim gets a subtle, new front-end look and now comes standard with keyless entry and push-button start. The standard WRX, meanwhile, adds welcome lighting to its feature set. It's worth noting that an all-new next-generation WRX is expected for the 2021 model year.

While the WRX models aren't as quiet or refined as their competitors, you won't find sport sedans with more power and all-wheel drive for less money. But there are some competitors worth considering. The Honda Civic Si and Type R, as well as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R, offer superior fuel economy and quieter, nicer interiors. The recently redesigned Hyundai Veloster is worth a look. Or if you want to go a slightly different direction, the Dodge Charger is a roomy sedan with robust V6 or V8 engine power.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

6.9 / 10
The WRX STI is packed with performance but requires finesse in casual use. Pulling away from a stop might feel underwhelming until the turbo boost kicks in, but the STI still covers 0-60 mph in a quick 5.5 seconds. Smoothly braking and accelerating take some time to figure out, even for drivers with plenty of manual-transmission experience. This issue is less pronounced in the standard WRX models, and it further reinforces the STI's reputation as an uncompromising high-performance sedan.

On the other hand, the steering feels accurate and precise, with just the right effort and resistance. And the STI's taut suspension makes it one of the most nimble cars on the road.

How does it drive?

The high-performance compact sedan segment isn't brimming with plush, comfortable choices, and the WRX STI is more punishing than most. Its aggressive suspension tuning works great on the track but delivers a stiff, firm ride in daily driving. Feeling bumps on the road is characteristic of STI trims. But the regular WRX remains sporty and is far more forgiving.

Given its mission as a lightweight performance car, there's not much heavy sound-deadening material inside the STI's body panels. An abundance of interior noise dominates the driving experience. The supportive Recaro sport seats are a high point, though, and the rear seats are similarly firm and well-padded.

How comfortable is it?

The high-performance compact sedan segment isn't brimming with plush, comfortable choices, and the WRX STI is more punishing than most. Its aggressive suspension tuning works great on the track, but delivers a stiff, firm ride in daily driving. If there's a bump in the road, you'll feel it (this is particular to STI trims however, as the regular WRX remains sporty, but far more forgiving).

And given its aim as a lightweight performance car, there's not much heavy sound deadening material inside the STI's panels. An abundance of interior noise dominates the experience. Supportive Recaro sport seats are a high point though, and the rear seats are similarly firm and well-padded.

How’s the interior?

Several of the WRX STI's main competitors are hatchbacks, but that doesn't detract from the Subaru's roominess. There's plenty of head- and legroom up front and for anyone shorter than 6 feet in the back. For a compact sedan, it offers excellent space and impressive outward visibility. The low dash and hood and slim side pillars make it easy to see ahead and around turns.

It's similarly easy to dial in a comfortable, commanding driving position thanks to a height-adjustable seat and a steering wheel with a broad range of adjustments. The long rear side windows also make for safe lane changes, even without the blind-spot warning system. It's easy to feel confident flinging around the STI at speed.

How’s the tech?

The STI's 7-inch touchscreen is an improvement over earlier iterations, but it still feels dated compared to the newer displays and infotainment systems in rivals. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — standard from 2019 — offer a workaround for iPhone and Android users. You'll want it since we found the native Starlink system prone to multiple episodes of random disconnections, failures to connect, and an odd habit of being unable to distinguish between wireless Bluetooth or wired USB connections.

Voice controls are similarly a mixed bag, requiring careful enunciation, which can be affected by road noise. Audio quality is poor and starts to distort as you increase the volume past 75%.

How’s the storage?

The WRX STI is a sedan among hatchback competitors, making it less versatile than rivals such as the Honda Civic Type R and the Volkswagen Golf R. There's enough room (12 cubic feet) for a few suitcases in the trunk, and a low, wide opening makes it easy to load cargo. The rear seats also fold down for more flexibility, but matching hatchback models offer twice the cargo capacity.

Small-item storage is acceptable, with enough room in the center console bin for a couple of plus-size phones. The cupholders are too shallow to be of any real use. The STI offers good space for child seats, though, with easily accessed anchor points and room enough for large rear-facing car seats.

How economical is it?

The EPA rates the WRX STI at 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway), well below the Volkswagen Golf R (24 combined). It averaged an underwhelming 19.7 mpg on our highway-heavy 116-mile evaluation route.

Is it a good value?

Subarus typically offer good value, but the STI's price tag is hard to swallow when you compare its standard and optional equipment with rivals. There's also a lot of hard plastic in a car that costs nearly $40,000 as tested. Some nice faux suede surfaces and optional Recaro seats class things up a bit, but you're paying for performance here, not luxury.

The fuel economy is not particularly impressive, with an EPA rating of 19 mpg combined. We got just a bit better than that (19.7 mpg) in our testing. Warranty coverage, too, is merely average but does include a three-year/36,000-mile roadside assistance plan.


The WRX STI can make any drive fun, whether running errands around town, taking a road trip, or racing around tight turns on back roads. It's also a blast to jump on the accelerator and hear the turbo four-cylinder engine work its magic. Capable and stable on wet roads, it's one of the few high-performance sedans that you can also use for winter sports fun.

The stiff ride can get tiresome quickly, however, especially for passengers. Even experienced drivers will need to adjust to the STI's sensitive clutch engagement and aggressive braking. For many drivers, the STI's combination of price, power, and ability to upgrade and modify will outweigh these trade-offs.

Which WRX does Edmunds recommend?

The high-performance STI sure looks good on paper. But its high-strung engine, harsh suspension and manual-transmission-only configuration mean it's best left to hardcore enthusiasts. For everyone else, the WRX Premium is a better place to start. It comes with a larger touchscreen infotainment system and can be optioned with additional performance and safety features.

2020 Subaru WRX models

The 2020 Subaru WRX is a five-passenger sedan offered in five standard trim levels (base, Premium, Limited, STI and STI Limited).

Base WRX models come reasonably well-equipped, starting with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (268 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque), a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. Performance tires and 17-inch wheels bolster handling capability, while inside you'll find cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Tech features include a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, Bluetooth, satellite radio and a rearview camera.

The WRX Premium, our recommended trim, adds upgrades such as a sunroof, heated front seats and a 7-inch touchscreen. Moving up to the Limited brings enhancements such as adaptive LED headlights, a power-adjustable driver's seat and leather upholstery.

Both the Premium and Limited trims offer options, such as an automatic transmission. With this feature, the WRX also adds Subaru's EyeSight system, which bundles adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and other driving aids together into a single package. EyeSight cannot be paired with the manual transmission.

Premium trims with the manual transmission can add the Performance package with Recaro sport seats and upgraded brakes. Limited models can also get a navigation system and premium Harman Kardon audio system.

STI models come similarly equipped to the WRX Premium but with a larger engine and more power (310 horsepower, 290 lb-ft of torque), upgraded Brembo brakes and differentials, reworked steering, and more aggressive suspension tuning. STI models are only available with the six-speed manual transmission.

Finally, the STI Limited adds a sunroof, Recaro sport seats, leather upholstery, navigation, and the upgraded Harman Kardon audio system. The lone option is a low-profile trunk lip spoiler.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Subaru WRX.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 7 total reviews

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    Features & Specs

    STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Wing features & specs
    STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Wing
    2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M
    MPG 16 city / 22 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed manual
    Horsepower310 hp @ 6000 rpm
    See all for sale
    STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler features & specs
    STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler
    2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M
    MPG 16 city / 22 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed manual
    Horsepower310 hp @ 6000 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited features & specs


    Our experts’ favorite WRX safety features:

    EyeSight Assist Monitor
    Projects alerts and warnings (about pedestrians, potential collisions) into a head-up display on the windshield.
    Reverse Automatic Braking System
    Automatically applies the brakes if the driver fails to respond to alerts and obstacles while backing up.
    EyeSight Lane Keep Assist
    Recognizes lane markings on both sides of the car and will guide you back to the middle if you drift too far from the center.

    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.1%

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Roof Strength Test
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test

    Subaru WRX vs. the competition

    Subaru WRX vs. Subaru BRZ

    The BRZ is smaller and less expensive, 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" only 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. Honda Civic

    The Civic Si is enjoyable to drive, but its greatest attribute compared to the Subaru WRX is value. The Honda costs less, 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 29 mpg combined versus the stick-shift WRX's 23 mpg combined.

    Compare Subaru WRX & Honda Civic features

    Subaru WRX vs. Volkswagen Golf GTI

    The GTI doesn't pack quite as much power as the WRX, but it's a similarly fun and engaging "driver's car" that can also be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission. The GTI rides with a bit more civility than the Subaru, and its interior is miles ahead in quality, style and refinement. But the Golf is front-wheel-drive and only comes in a hatchback body style, giving the WRX a handling edge in dry or wet conditions and, depending on your preference, more or less utility.

    Compare Subaru WRX & Volkswagen Golf GTI features


    Is the Subaru WRX a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 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 2020 Subaru WRX?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Subaru WRX:

    • Redesigned front bumper for the WRX STI
    • Keyless access and push-button start now standard on the WRX STI
    • The WRX adds welcome lighting
    • 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 2020 Subaru WRX a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Subaru WRX is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 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 2020 WRX is a good car for you. Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2020 Subaru WRX?

    The least-expensive 2020 Subaru WRX is the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Wing (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $41,695.

    Other versions include:

    • STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Wing (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $41,695
    • STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $41,695
    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 Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Wing (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M). For a full list of WRX models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Subaru WRX

    2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited Overview

    The 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited is offered in the following styles: STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Wing (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

    What do people think of the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 WRX STI Limited 5.0 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 2020 WRX STI Limited.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 WRX STI Limited featuring deep dives into trim levels including STI Limited, 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 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited 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 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited?

    2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

    The 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $42,595. The average price paid for a new 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is trending $2,782 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $2,782 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $39,813.

    The average savings for the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) is 6.5% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 1 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited STI Limited 4dr Sedan AWD w/Low Profile Trunk Spoiler (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    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 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limiteds are available in my area?

    2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited Listings and Inventory

    There are currently 4 new 2020 [object Object] WRX STI Limiteds listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $42,595 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,364 on a new, used or CPO 2020 [object Object] WRX STI Limited 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) 2020 [object Object] WRX STI Limited for sale near you.

    Can't find a new 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited WRX STI Limited you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Subaru WRX for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $19,678.

    Find a new Subaru for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $10,271.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited and all available trim types: STI Limited, STI Limited. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited 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 2020 Subaru WRX STI Limited?

    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