2020 Subaru WRX Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
For decades now, the Subaru WRX has remained a fixture at rally racing events around the world. Not only is this sports sedan fun to drive, but it also provides a reasonable amount of space for passengers. Although the WRX isn’t a luxury car, it does offer some nice technologies.
What’s New for 2020?
With an all-new WRX scheduled to debut sometime next year, Subaru opted not to make it serious changes to the 2020 model. Nevertheless, you can opt for a new Performance package. It comes with an upgraded set of Brembo brake calipers, which helps the car to stop quicker. Meanwhile, a redesigned front bumper is featured on the STI model.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Subaru WRX – The Pros
1. A Sports Car You Can Drive Year-Round
Some sports cars are only good for summer driving. They don’t offer good traction in wintry weather. If you desire a fun car that can handle the snow, very few compare to the 2020 Subaru WRX. It comes standard with Subaru’s renowned Symmetrical AWD system. When encountering snowy streets, you’ll be able to keep moving with greater confidence. Not only is this AWD system outstanding for slippery conditions, but it also enhances handling.
2. Fun Base Engine
While some people will ultimately choose the more powerful STI model, even the base 2020 Subaru WRX packs a punch. Its turbo flat-four engine delivers a total of 268 horsepower. A unique design allows Subaru to mount the engine lower to the ground. This effectively improves the car’s balance. With a 0-60 mph sprint of 5.5 seconds, the WRX is definitely a competitive driving machine. Many people also enjoy its distinctive growl under the hood.
3. Race-Ready STI Model
Folks who desire a more formidable track car should consider the STI model. It comes ready to compete on the track. Motivation comes from a larger turbocharger engine with 310 horsepower. When accelerating hard, the 2020 Subaru WRX reaches 60 mph in roughly 4.9 seconds. While an automatic transmission isn’t available for the STI model, many drivers love the action of its performance-tuned manual transmission. A stiffer suspension allows you to aggressively attack curves with more assurance.
4. Can Be Driven Daily
Although the 2020 Subaru WRX can be taken to the track, it’s also a good car for commuting. Its ride is comfortable enough to please most drivers. Fuel economy isn’t bad with the standard engine. When equipped with a manual gearbox, the WRX will return 21 in town and 27 mpg during freeway driving. A comfortable driver’s seat makes the WRX more suitable for the everyday grind. Help features, like a backup camera, are standard across the lineup.
5. Racy Exterior Styling
The 2020 Subaru WRX is essentially a high-output version of the Subaru Impreza. However, it looks noticeably more menacing. Many people immediately notice the WRX’s vented hood, which helps optimize the turbocharged engine’s performance. A race-bred body kit allows gives the WRX a sleeker profile. On the rear, quad exhaust outlets add more aggression to the car. While the standard WRX has a muscular appearance, a large wing spoiler and yellow-green brake calipers help set apart the STI model.
6. Easy-to-Use Infotainment System
Many sports car lovers prefer to focus more on the art of driving. Complicated technologies can take away from their overall driving experience. Fortunately, the 2020 Subaru WRX surrounds you with easy-to-use features. Updated last year with a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen, Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system is a breeze to operate. It’s perfect for folks who are seeking simplicity. Developers also designed the system to quickly stream apps from your smartphone. Remember, a bigger 7.0-inch touch display with navigation is available.
7. Can Satisfy Families
Unlike some performance cars, the Subaru WRX is not cramped on the inside. Its interior has no trouble accommodating four adult-sized passengers. The WRX’s roominess is a big asset for drivers who routinely travel with their family and friends. There’s enough backseat legroom to keep passengers happy on longer rides. While the base model will serve your needs, upper trims provide additional creature comforts like a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Furthermore, about 10 grocery bags can fit in the trunk.
8. Available Harmon Kardon Audio System
Luckily for music fans, the 2020 Subaru WRX does come standard with satellite and HD radio. However, its six-speaker stereo doesn’t have a powerful sound. If you desire a more entertaining soundtrack, step up to the optional Harman Kardon premium audio system. It comes equipped with a 440-watt amplifier for superior performance. Expect the system’s nine speakers to provide great clarity. When you really want to blast your favorite music on the open road, there won’t be any distortion.
9. Automatic Transmission Brings Active Safety Features
Models equipped with a manual transmission don’t offer Subaru’s EyeSight safety system. Buyers who desire these features will need to opt for the automatic CVT. By constantly monitoring traffic, this system helps you to better react to road hazards. During emergencies, the pre-collision feature applies full braking force to help prevent rear-end crashes. Smart cruise control and lane departure warning are also integrated into EyeSight.
10. Steering Responsive LED Headlights
Subaru’s Steering Responsive LED Headlights are worth the extra money. They’re especially beneficial for drivers who travel on rural roads. When approaching corners, these headlights automatically pivot to improve visibility. This means you’re more likely to spot animals like deer crossing the street.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Subaru WRX – The Cons
1. Fuel Economy Needs to Improve
In comparison to other small sports sedans, the 2020 Subaru WRX is not quite as efficient. When equipped with an automatic transmission, fuel economy drops to only 18 mpg in city traffic. Meanwhile, folks who choose the high-performance STI model must spend even more money on fuel. According to the EPA, the WRX STI returns just 16 mpg in town and 22 mpg on the interstate. Remember, premium octane is an absolute necessity.
2. Less Reliable Than the Competition
If you’re seeking the reliability of a Toyota Camry, you’ll find the 2020 Subaru WRX to be a disappointment. In regard to long-term dependability, the WRX receives a two out of five rating from J.D. Power. After you start to accumulate some miles, expect to make a few trips to the repair shop. Keep in mind that the WRX’s powertrain warranty only provides 60,000 miles of protection.
3. Interior Isn’t Very Quiet
The WRX is a performance-focused car that doesn’t make luxury a big priority. While the WRX’s cabin remains mostly quiet on smooth roads, you will hear a bit of noise on rough pavement. There’s also some wind noise present at highway speeds. Folks who prefer a more hushed ride should consider the Volkswagen GTI, which has one of the best interiors in the segment.
4. Hatchback Body Style No Longer Available
In the past, the WRX was offered in a hatchback body style. Unfortunately, the 2020 WRX is a sedan-only model. This fact may disappoint drivers who need more cargo room. Subaru lists the current WRX with around 12.0 cubic feet of cargo space.
5. Heavy Clutch
When driving in slow-moving traffic, the WRX’s manual transmission has a heavy feel. Some drivers may grow tired of constantly changing gears. Expect the Honda Civic Si’s manual gearbox to offer a much smoother performance. It’s easier to shift at low speeds.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
2020 Honda Civic Si
The 2020 Honda Civic is another rewarding small sports sedan. While the Civic Si may surpass the WRX in some aspects, it does not offer as much performance. A 205-horsepower engine puts the Civic SI at a disadvantage. Not only does the 2020 Subaru WRX accelerate quicker, but it also comes standard with Symmetrical all-wheel drive. You can’t get all-wheel drive on the Civic Si, which makes the car less appropriate for rough winters.
2020 Mazda Mazda3
Many people applaud the Mazda3 for its sporty handling and everyday practicality. However, it fails to offer a high-performance engine. Don’t expect the 186-horsepower Mazda3 to keep pace with any version of the WRX.
2020 BMW 3 Series
The BMW 3 Series has a luxurious cabin. It also offers some potent engine options. Nevertheless, many drivers will favor the WRX’s raw performance. Subaru also lists the WRX with a more affordable sticker price. Unlike Subaru, BMW charges extra for the convenience of all-wheel drive.
For the price, the 2020 Subaru WRX doesn’t have many serious competitors. It’s a fun performance car that has all-weather capabilities. Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system is exceptional. You can also use the WRX to transport your family. Despite's its slightly dated graphics, Subaru's Starlink infotainment system works flawlessly.Before you head out to buy a new WRX, take note of its below-average reliability and mediocre fuel economy.
• Why buy a 2019 Subaru WRX? w/ pros vs cons