Subaru gave the 2015 WRX a life of its own after years of hiding behind its inspiration, the Impreza. The World Rally eXperimental model started out as a racing car that captured the eyes and hearts of many enthusiasts.
In the years since, the Subaru WRX has become a popular mainstream car. However, some recent models have dulled the WRX’s shine, and drivers are complaining of various issues. Here are the most common Subaru WRX problems you should know about.
Subaru WRX Issues That Cause Most Owner Complaints
A major problem drivers have cited with the Subaru WRX is internal engine failure. Replacing or repairing the many moving parts in an engine can be expensive. According to the owner, the WRX does not have the best reputation in this area.
The known weak points of the model include pistons, connecting rods, piston rings and connecting rod bearings. Owners have also complained about turbo issues with newer WRX models, reports Tuning Pro. However, this does not mean that older models do not face the same problems. Turbo technology has come a long and arduous journey in the last decade.
However, many WRX owners experienced turbo issues when modifying and tuning the car. Increasing vehicle power puts a lot of strain on the stock turbo, affecting its longevity. Wear is also a major cause of turbo failures.
Gasket leaks also seem to be a big problem when it comes to the WRX. Although oil leaks are common, they can seriously affect the engine in the long run. Misfires are also a common problem, but they could indicate a deeper problem in the engine.
Other notable issues WRX owners have reported include jerky full-throttle shifts and harsh STI high-performance suspension.
Overall reliability and years to avoid
The Subaru WRX doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability. Consumer Reports gave the car a 2 out of 5 for reliability, ranking it below its competitors. CR’s testers appreciated the car’s fun handling and quick acceleration. Still, they found the ride to be uncomfortable overall, with harsh bumps and tremors when going over bumps.
If you’re still considering buying a WRX, you know the models to avoid. Consumer Reports notes that the 2021 Subaru WRX would not be the best investment. The website reports that the model year lacks advanced safety features like automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and pedestrian detection.
Additionally, CoPilot Search lists the 2015 and 2016 WRX models as the worst years to buy. The site reports that both models end up with a bad clutch after prolonged use. Other problems in these two model years are electrical and motor problems. All of these problems are expensive to fix.
What are the best Subaru WRX model years to buy?
All is not lost for the Subaru WRX. The car may not meet the needs of everyday commuters, but it does meet the needs of rally car fans. Still, the vehicle has several good model years that will satisfy many owners.
CoPilot Search notes that 2017 through 2020 are the best WRX model years. That’s because they’ve reported fewer problems and you won’t break the bank by buying one of these used models. The 2004-2007 models also rank high with consumers, but can be expensive, especially in STI form.
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