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Overview (Final Score: B)

The Subaru WRX gets its name from World Rally Cross – and that explains the car’s focus. Yes, it’s a four-door sedan capable of toting the family around and grabbing some groceries in everyday use, but this is also an on/off-road racer made for spitting gravel and sliding corners. The fact that it can do that other stuff is icing on an already sweet cake.

The WRX comes in two flavors and several trim levels. The WRX is the standard version of this rally machine and the WRX STI is the more powerful, race-ready version. Each has several trim levels and package options to go with.

The 2017 Subaru WRX carries through with the updates made to this generation of the rally car. A few detail changes for the interior mark the only difference between this WRX and the 2016 model. Next year for 2018, Subaru has promised a mid-cycle refresh for this fun little goer.

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For those who want excitement in their daily drive but need the versatility of a small family car with a spacious trunk, the 2017 Subaru WRX is one of the best choices available. If comfort and convenience are your top priorities, the WRX may not be your thing.

What We Love About the 2017 Subaru WRX:

  • Fun driving and race appeal are still its focal points
  • Versatile enough for everyday use on top of weekend fun
  • Excellent safety and reliability expectations

 

What We Don’t Love About the 2017 Subaru WRX:

  • Standard WRX model may be outclassed by some competitors
  • Interior not as comfortable or upscale as the competition
  • Relatively low fuel economy

 

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Performance (10/10)

The 2017 Subaru WRX comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder horizontally opposed (Boxer-style) engine and a six-speed manual transmission. This setup is rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard. An optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) is also available as an upgrade for automated shifting and includes paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel.

With the WRX most drivers can expect to achieve 0-60 mph times of under 6 seconds, depending on transmission choice. Our average was 5.7 seconds with a manual transmission.

The WRX STI model has a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is also the Boxer style. This engine outputs 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque with a six-speed manual transmission as the only option. AWD is standard, as is a driver-controlled center differential and a lot of other performance goodies.

The STI model is capable of 0-60 times of about 5 seconds, with our average being 5.4. Few rivals in this segment can get close to that.

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The WRX and WRX STI both have extremely well-vetted chops for performance driving and rally racing. They have superb handling, excellent cornering dynamics, over-built braking systems and powerful acceleration. Shifting is likewise dreamy with a short stick throw and extremely positive clutch.

Pricing and Value (8/10)

The base model 2017 Subaru WRX is price competitive with most rivals when the Subaru’s standard all-wheel drive is considered. Most buyers of the base WRX are likely getting into the Premium trim, which has better interior comforts and accouterments.

The 2017 WRX STI model is more expensive than some would-be rivals, but it truly has few actual competitors given its extreme performance and race focus. The STI is more likely to be purchased in its base trim level than in a premium-level one.

In either case, if the focus is on performance, the buyer has likely made a good choice with the WRX. Resale values are exceptional with this vehicle and versatility is enough that there is not much loss in daily use needs.

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Total Score and Competitive Comparison (68/80, 85%)

The 2017 Subaru WRX sees rivals in the Ford Focus ST, Focus RS and the Volkswagen GTI and Volkswagen Golf R. The Focus ST and GTI are rivals to the WRX, while the RS and R are rivals for the STI. Both options offer stiff competition against the Subaru models and both are available as hatchbacks while the WRX and WRX STI are not. All-wheel drive is not standard in either the Ford or Volkswagen models, but is available as an upgrade this year in both.

In the end, the main differences are in the drive. The Ford models are generally punchier at higher speeds thanks to superior turbo spooling, but often not as fast off the line. The Volkswagen models are fast off the line and quick in the corner, but may not have that race-ready appeal the Subarus carry. Both the Ford and VW models have better interiors.

None of the competition has the race-cred chops of the Subaru WRX and WRX STI models nor the unlimited appeal that these Subys bring as their base currency. The 2017 Subaru WRX is a solid little rally fun machine that will always deliver.

You can learn more about the 2017 Subaru WRX and Read the FULL REVIEW Now.

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