LA Auto Show Spotlight: 2015 Subaru WRX

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Subaru-WRX-550What is it?

The 2015 Subaru WRX is an all-wheel-drive sports car in the guise of an economy sedan. Well before Americans could first buy one in 2002, the WRX established itself for its rally car reflexes and cheap speed, no surprise considering that the WRX STI race cars aren’t far removed from the factory.

Why should you care?

New England and the Pacific Northwest are designated Subaru nations, and while the rest of the states may feign some interest in Subaru’s quirky, no-nonsense cars, those regions buy more of them than anywhere else. The new WRX has 268 horsepower from a new 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, torque vectoring that can position the car more tightly through turns, and the ability to gut winter storms with ease. The stiffer chassis, refined styling and higher-quality interior bring class to what was a boy racer car. The Impreza is one of the safest compact cars in its class with regards to the new small overlap front crash test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the WRX also holds that honor.

What’s not to like?

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) should be avoided at all costs. This is a performance car, and if you can’t row your own gears, you should buy a regular Impreza and save gas. Oddly enough, the fuel-saving features of Subaru’s CVT give it worse mileage than the manual (estimated at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway compared to the CVT’s 19/25 rating). The hatchback is gone, too.

How much?

Prices haven’t been announced for the car’s expected spring debut. Given the current car’s MSRP and Subaru’s modest price increases, we’d figure the 2015 WRX starting at around $27,500 including destination.


Photos by Clifford Atiyeh for

Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Based in Connecticut, he writes for BestRide, Car and Driver, The Boston Globe and other publications.