Subaru Impreza WRX Car Review: Buyers Guide

October 19, 2023

Are you in the market for a thrilling, turbocharged ride that marries performance with everyday practicality? Look no further than the Subaru Impreza WRX. This compact powerhouse has garnered a cult-like following, known for its impressive all-wheel-drive capability, punchy acceleration, and rally-bred heritage.

Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or just diving into the world of high-performance cars, this comprehensive buyer’s guide will navigate you through the ins and outs of the Subaru Impreza WRX. From its engine prowess to handling on twisty roads, we’ll break down what makes this car stand out in the competitive landscape.

Strap in and get ready to uncover the compelling reasons why the Impreza WRX could be your next thrilling drive.

What You Should Know About Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Impreza WRX

The Subaru Impreza WRX is a performance-oriented variant of the famous compact car, the Subaru Impreza. Introduced in 1992, the Impreza is known for its all-wheel drive setup, ruggedness, and seating capacity. However, the WRX model is the epitome of performance engineering by Subaru.

One of the most exciting things about the Subaru Impreza WRX is its evolution. Initially introduced to serve as a rally car, the WRX has come a long way to become a household name among car enthusiasts. The second generation took the WRX name to new heights thanks to its exhilarating performance and excellent handling.

Other important details about the WRX include its iconic colour scheme, influenced by a popular cigarette brand. It’s no wonder that the WRX remains a car enthusiast’s favourite, thanks to its exceptional handling, incredible speed, and overall reliability.

History Of The Subaru Impreza Wrx

Subaru Impreza First Gen

The Subaru Impreza WRX is a special car that first came out in Japan in 1992. It won 3 championships for Subaru and lots of other races too! “WRX” stands for “World Rally Experimental,” which means Subaru was trying to win lots of rallies. They were the first Japanese company to do this, so it is very important!

Subaru Impreza Second Gen

It became popular in Australia in 1994 because of its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and strong four-cylinder engine. It also won five MOTOR magazine Bang for Your Bucks titles over twelve years! The second-generation Impreza WRX had “bug-eye” headlights that are now a defining feature. Its design helped the Impreza range win the 2000 Wheels Car of the Year award.

The Impreza WRX has changed over the years, and each version was named after the shape of its headlights. In 2006, a new model came out with a very powerful engine that made it drive better.

Subaru Impreza Fourth Gen

This car had 169 kilowatts of power and 320 Newton meters of torque. In 2014, a fourth-generation car was released without “Impreza” in its name. This car had an even more powerful engine with 197kW of power and 350Nm of torque for exciting driving experiences.

In 2022, Subaru launched the fifth-generation WRX. This car is known for being fast and exciting. It has a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which helps it go faster.

Subaru Impreza WRX Fifth Gen

It also has a strong body that makes it safe and reliable. People have loved this car for a long time, and it will continue to be one of the most popular performance cars ever.

Key Features of A Subaru Impreza

Interior Key Features

Performance Features

One of the notable features of the Subaru Impreza’s performance is its advanced symmetrical all-wheel drive system. This system gives the driver precise vehicle control, providing balance and stability. Additionally, it gives maximum grip to the tire and ultra-low centre of gravity, allowing for better traction on any terrain.

Furthermore, the Subaru Impreza has an impressive two-litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine that delivers a commanding performance. The engine boasts a Direct Injection and Active Valve Control System that ensures the car consumes less fuel while giving out maximum power. The Boxer engine also has a high compression ratio that enhances the vehicle’s overall performance.

The Subaru Impreza’s performance is also improved by its enhanced suspension system that ensures maximum grip and stability on the road. The car comes with MacPherson-type struts at the front and double-wishbone rear suspensions that provide drivers with an optimal balance between comfort and sporty agility.

Handling And Driving Experience

When it comes to the handling and driving experience of the Subaru Impreza, it is clear that this compact car is a delight to drive. The all-wheel-drive AWD system is a standout feature, providing exceptional grip and stability on the road. Whether driving in wet or dry conditions, the Impreza offers confidence-inspiring handling that instils a sense of safety and security.

Its agility and quick steering also mark the driving experience of the Impreza. The car responds well to driver inputs and feels agile and responsive on winding roads or through city traffic. The Sport trim takes things even further by offering Active Torque Vectoring, which helps to enhance cornering ability and improve overall handling.

Another strong point of the Impreza is its braking performance. The car features strong brakes that provide excellent stopping power and a firm, consistent pedal feel. This inspires confidence when driving in traffic or coming to a quick stop in an emergency.

Subaru Eyesight

EyeSight is a suite of advanced driver-assist systems designed to make driving easier and safer. It employs dual stereo cameras to detect objects, vehicles, and pedestrians and monitors traffic movement to optimize cruise control and alert you if you start to sway outside your lane. This technology enhances drivers’ situational awareness and increases their confidence while navigating unpredictable or congested roads.

Notably, EyeSight has a proven track record of reducing the frequency and severity of collisions. In fact, studies show that EyeSight can reduce the number of rear-end collisions with injuries by up to 85%. This technology also enables the Impreza WRX to achieve top safety ratings from reputable organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Exterior And Interior Design

The Subaru Impreza Design Concept has a special style. The front looks like a hexagon, and it has headlights that look like wings. It is low and wide because it has All-Wheel Drive technology.

It also has silver window frames on the sides and cameras on the A-pillar, which make it look bigger inside. On the back, there is a shape like a hexagon with sharp points for tail lights that go along either side of the car.

The inside of the car looks amazing. The details show that it was made with care. You can see this when you look at things like the dashboard, door trim, and armrests. The seats are comfortable and made of leather with dark blue piping and stitching.

One cool thing about the interior is the special colour approach that makes it look bigger than it is. The top part of the cabin is light platinum in colour and becomes darker towards the bottom to go with its modern style.

The dashboard has a big touch screen that makes it easy to use. You can find navigation, car info, and audio all in one place.

The steering wheel is also special. It has black parts and a touch panel that lets you control the car without taking your hands off the wheel.

Safety And Reliability

The Impreza boasts a stellar performance in adult occupant safety, scoring an impressive 94%. This means that the vehicle provides a high level of protection for drivers and passengers during a crash, reducing the risk of serious injury or death. This score is attributed to the car’s numerous safety features and innovative design, prioritizing passenger safety.

The Subaru Impreza is also a car that is safe for children. With a score of 89% in child-occupant safety, the Impreza provides a positive and secure environment for youngsters travelling in the car. This score is a testament to the Impreza’s commitment to being a family-friendly vehicle.

The Impreza does not compromise pedestrian safety either. With a score of 82% in pedestrian safety, the vehicle is designed to reduce the severity of injuries in the unfortunate event it comes into contact with a pedestrian. This feature is a testament to the attention to detail that has gone into designing every aspect of the car, prioritizing everyone’s safety.

The Impreza’s safety assist technologies are crucial in ensuring safe distance travelling. With a score of 68%, the various technologies employed in the vehicle assist drivers in navigating adverse situations, such as sudden braking and lane departure. This feature is a testament to Subaru’s commitment to designing vehicles that meet modern road safety demands.

WRX Engine

Fuel Efficiency

The basic model 2023 Subaru Impreza sedan with a manual transmission can get 13.8 litres/100km in the city and 7.7 Litres/100km on the highway. It is a good car for long trips since you don’t need to fill up with gas often. The top-tier 2023 Subaru Impreza Limited with a CVT can get even more 13.8 litres/100km in the city and 7.7 Litres/100km on the highway.

This advanced technology helps it use fuel efficiently. The Subaru Impreza also has lightweight designs, an aerodynamic body, and modern engine technology, which help make it fuel efficient. Additionally, some models have CVT, which makes power delivery smooth and helps save fuel.

Infotainment And Entertainment

The infotainment system in the Subaru Impreza is centred around the intuitive and user-friendly LCD touchscreen display, which is brimming with features. The display allows drivers to seamlessly navigate through various functions with ease and convenience, with the inclusion of Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity. This means passengers can easily access their favourite apps, stream music, and send messages, all while enjoying the ride.

To further enhance the driving experience, the Subaru Impreza is fitted with a top-of-the-line digital radio (DAB+). This ensures that regardless of the destination, be it in the hustle and bustle of the city or off-road adventures, drivers and passengers can tune into high-quality, crystal-clear radio stations for their entertainment.


Starting at $27,290 the base model of the Impreza is a Sedan and comes with a 2.0-litre flat-four engine. A five-speed manual transmission, and an all-wheel drive. The base model is well-equipped with standard features, including automatic headlights, 16-inch steel wheels, and a 6.5-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

At the top of the Impreza range is the Sport trim level, starting at $37,990. The Sport trim level adds performance-focused features, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, sport-tuned suspension, and larger 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport model also has aesthetic upgrades, including unique styling elements and a rear diffuser.

Pros And Cons


  • All-Wheel Drive Capability
  • Reliability
  • Safety
  • Fuel Efficiency


  • Limited Cargo Space
  • Price

Ownership Costs

For five years, the average cost of owning a Subaru Impreza is $23,441. It is worth noting that this cost varies depending on various factors, including location, driving habits, and maintenance.

Comparison With Competitors

Comparing the Subaru Impreza with its competitors, it’s safe to say that this car holds a unique edge. Let’s take a look at the competition. The Toyota Corolla, for example, is a solid choice with its reliable reputation and decent fuel efficiency. However, the Subaru Impreza bumps the power with an extra 20 horsepower, giving drivers the confidence to push through any road conditions.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Subaru Impreza offers the same city driving efficiency as the Toyota Corolla, but its highway efficiency is even better. This means you can travel further without worrying about frequent fill-ups, which is incredibly convenient for long-distance drives. Plus, with its signature all-wheel drive, the Impreza delivers unparalleled traction and stability when navigating slippery or rough terrain.

The Mazda 3, for instance, may have a sleek design and good handling, but it lacks the AWD system that the Impreza prides itself on. Meanwhile, the Honda Civic may have a similar horsepower to the Impreza, but it still needs to catch up on AWD capabilities.


1. Is The Subaru Impreza Wrx A Good Daily Driver?

Yes, the Subaru Impreza WRX is a good daily driver as it balances performance and comfort, making it enjoyable to drive daily.

The Subaru Impreza WRX is a great daily driver due to its versatility. It has a turbocharged engine that provides excellent acceleration and is perfect for spirited weekend driving. Yet, it’s also gentle enough to navigate through traffic with ease.

The WRX offers all-wheel drive, which provides better handling and stability in all road conditions, making it a great choice for daily commuting.

2. How Does The Impreza Wrx Compare To The Subaru Sti?

The Impreza WRX is a less powerful and less performance-oriented version of the Subaru STI.

While the Impreza WRX shares many similarities with the STI, such as the same basic design and platform, it lacks the more powerful engine, stiffer springs, thicker tires, and more powerful brakes characteristic of the STI. In terms of performance, the WRX is still a capable sports car, but it falls short compared to the STI. However, the WRX does offer better fuel economy and a lower price point, making it a more practical choice for some buyers.

3. What Is The Impreza Wrx’s Fuel Economy Like?

The Impreza WRX boasts a decent fuel economy, achieving 6.6 litres/100km combined with its six-speed manual transmission. However, those who opt for the continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic will experience a slightly lower combined fuel economy of 7.7 litres/100km. It should be noted that these numbers are competitive for a vehicle of its class and capability.

4. What Is The Difference Between a Regular Impreza And a WRX?

The Subaru Impreza and WRX are both vehicles with distinctive features. While the Impreza is generally categorized as a modern commuter vehicle, the WRX is a performance-focused turbocharged sports sedan.

The WRX has a more powerful engine, improved suspension, and sportier exterior styling. In terms of power, the WRX comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque compared to the Impreza’s base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque.


As you venture into the world of Subaru Impreza WRX, it’s evident that this compact yet powerful vehicle offers a unique blend of practicality and performance, satisfying the cravings of both driving enthusiasts and daily commuters. With its turbocharged engine, rally-bred DNA, and all-wheel-drive prowess, the Impreza WRX stands tall in its segment.

If you’re eager to get behind the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRX, Madman Motors is your one-stop destination. Specializing in these high-performance vehicles, we provide a range of meticulously maintained WRX models. Their expertise, passion, and commitment to quality ensure that you’ll find the perfect Impreza WRX to match your desires.

Contact us today and take the first step toward owning a piece of automotive excitement that the Impreza WRX promises. Experience the thrill of each engine rev and every wheel twist – all waiting for you at Madman Motors.

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