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The Subaru WRX has dominated the rally racing scene for more than 20 years. Today, it remains one of the most exhilarating compact sports sedans on the American market. While the WRX can easily match the performance of a coupe, a four-door design makes it a far more practical choice. Standard all-wheel drive enables you to remain on the road even after a snowstorm.
A few key updates have helped make the 2019 Subaru WRX more appealing. A lot of techies will be interested in Subaru’s revamped infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, upper trims fitted with an automatic CVT now benefit from a standard advanced safety package.
Compare the 2019 Subaru WRX Base vs Premium - What is the difference?
With an MSRP of $27,195, the base WRX is the least expensive trim. However, it still offers an exciting level of performance. A turbocharged 2.5-liter, Boxer four-cylinder gives the base WRX the necessary motivation. Subaru rates it to develop nearly 270 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission puts you in complete control of the gear shifting.
Standard Symmetrical all-wheel drive enables you to have fun regardless of the weather conditions. Performance tires and a sports-tuned suspension aid the sedan’s athletic handling. If desire, you can equip the base WRX with a dealer-installed performance exhaust.
The base WRX definitely doesn’t sacrifice much style. It features a vented hood and a low-profile trunk spoiler. Quad exhaust outlets also help give the WRX a racy appearance. Heated side mirrors come with the optional All-Weather package. Some of the available paint colors for the base WRX include Lapis Blue Pearl, Chrystal White Pearl, and Pure Red.
While most people won’t describe the base WRX as being luxurious, it does provide useful features. A flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in leather accentuates the sedan’s high-performance design. Cloth upholstery adorns the cabin. Some of the other conveniences include dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and 60/40-split folding rear seats.
This year, the base WRX receives Subaru’s updated Starlink infotainment system. Its 6.5-inch touch screen now provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support. You’ll also enjoy the sport gauges, which include a 3.5-inch LCD color display. Some of the other in-vehicle technology consist of Bluetooth streaming, satellite and HD radio, and a backup camera. Folks who are not satisfied with the base stereo system can opt for a more powerful Kicker sound system. It includes upgraded speakers and an amplified subwoofer for enhanced bass production.
No advanced driver-assist technologies are found on the base WRX. Nevertheless, you will get the essentials like four-wheel antilock braking and traction control. Keyless entry and an anti-theft system gives you a bit more security.
Expect the WRX Premium to feel just a touch more luxurious. Cold-weather features, like heated seat cushions and wiper blade defrosters, come standard. You’ll also enjoy a larger 7.0-inch infotainment screen and a power-sliding sunroof.
While the engine remains the same, buyers can opt for an automatic CVT transmission on the WRX Premium. If you decide to stick with the six-speed manual transmission, Subaru gives you access to an optional Performance package. While Recaro sport seats provide a more stable feel when taking tight turns, the upgraded brake pads help provide more stopping power. Red brake calipers also come in the Performance package.
WRX Premium models equipped an automatic transmission provide Subaru’s EyeSight safety package. You’ll receive automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, and lane departure warning.
To enhance the WRX Premium’s appearance, Subaru adds a more striking set of 18-inch wheels. Fog lights are also found on this trim.
Compare the 2019 WRX Premium vs. Series.Gray Trims. What is the difference?
The WRX Series.Gray is new for 2019. Only a limited number of this special-edition model will be produced. It features an exclusive Cool Gray Khaki paint job and a unique set of 18-inch black wheels. While Subaru’s LED Steering Responsive Headlights don’t add to the sedan’s styling, they do promote better nighttime visibility. LED fog lights come equipped on the WRX Series.Gray as well.
Although the WRX Series.Gray doesn’t provide a ton of interior upgrades, it does receive keyless ignition. The Premium trim’s optional Performance package comes standard.
Compare the WRX Series.Gray vs Limited - What is the difference?
Subaru designed the WRX Limited for the drivers who desire more everyday comfort. It goes without the WRX Series.Gray’s Performance package. Unlike the other trims, the WRX Limited boasts genuine leather upholstery. You’ll especially appreciate the WRX Limited’s eight-way power driver’s seat, which provides lumbar adjustment. Navigation makes the Limited trim even more rewarding for the drivers who plan to do a great deal of traveling.
Subaru’s EyeSight safety package comes standard with the available automatic transmission. However, you can also get blind-spot monitoring and rear automatic braking.
Compare the WRX Limited vs STI Trims. What is the difference?
The STI trim is engineered to deliver a more track-worthy performance. It comes equipped with a larger turbocharged engine, which has been tweaked to develop an exciting 310 horsepower. In terms of 0-60 mph acceleration, expect the WRX STI to be around 0.7 seconds quicker than the regular WRX models. Along with the extra power comes a more aggressive suspension and a driver-controlled center differential. High-performance Brembo brakes are also found on the WRX STI. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only available transmission.
In regard to standard features, the WRX STI is equipped similar to the WRX Premium. However, Subaru doesn’t offer the WRX STI with a sunroof. There are some exclusive features inside the WRX STI, including a race-bred steering wheel with red stitching. Ultrasuede/leather-trimmed upholstery also helps set apart the WRX STI. A power driver’s seat and keyless ignition are optional.
When checking out the WRX STI, you’ll notice its slightly meaner appearance. It comes equipped with a more prominent rear wing and a larger set of 19-inch wheels. Brightly colored brake calipers also help the WRX STI to command attention.
Remember, none of the STI models can be equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight safety package. You also can’t get reverse automatic braking. However, LED Steering Responsive Headlights do come standard.
Compare the 2019 WRX STI vs Series.Gray STI - What is the difference?
The special-edition Series.Gray STI looks similar to the WRX Series.Gray. However, it flaunts a larger rear spoiler and bigger wheels. While the Series.Gray STI trim packs the same amount of power as the base STI trim, you’ll benefit from stiffer Bilstein suspension dampers. WRX STI options, like power Recaro seats and keyless ignition, come standard.
Compare the 2019 WRX Series.Gray STI vs STI Limited - What is the difference?
If you want the maximum power and the utmost comfort, take a look at the range-topping STI Limited. It comes loaded with the Series.Gray STI trim’s standard equipment plus more. It features a sunroof and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. A trunk lip spoiler is optional.
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Which One Should You Choose?
If you’re seeking a fun driving experience, you can’t go wrong with the base WRX. It’s fast, comfortable, and stylish. With the arrival of a standard touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the base WRX has become even more appealing. Of course, standard all-wheel drive gives the base WRX a serious edge over some of today’s other performance cars.
In its standard form, the WRX Premium is not a big upgrade over the base WRX. However, it gives you the opportunity to get an automatic transmission and Subaru’s highly rated EyeSight safety package. The slightly more expensive WRX Series.Gray is also worth the money. Do you care about upgrades like leather upholstery and a power driver's seat? If so, you may want to go for the WRX Limited.
Drivers seeking an additional degree of performance will crave one of the available STI trims. You’ll appreciate the extra power and enhanced handling on the track. However, a stiffer ride makes the STI models less comfortable for daily commuting. Furthermore, every STI trim comes with a six-speed manual transmission. As you may know, some manual transmissions can be cumbersome to use in heavy traffic.
2019 Subaru WRX Key Features
When shopping for a new 2019 Subaru WRX, you’ll have to choose your preferred powertrain. Most people will be happy with the standard turbocharged engine. While an automatic transmission is available, it actually causes you to sacrifice some fuel efficiency. Expect the high-performance STI models to be even harder on gas. Remember, you can’t get an automatic transmission on the WRX STI trims.
Drivers who plan to use their WRX for daily commuting will find the standard suspension to be more suitable. STI trims come equipped with a stiffer suspension, which translates to a rougher ride.
Your family will definitely appreciate Subaru’s available EyeSight safety package. All of the advanced driving aids work flawlessly. While blind-spot monitoring is extra, it’ll take your sense of security to the next level.
Power front seats don’t come standard on the 2019 Subaru WRX. However, seat comfort is exceptional. Lumbar adjustment is found on the WRX Limited.