2020 Subaru WRX




The 2020 Subaru WRX has earned definite bragging rights among performance sedans, especially affordable ones. This punchy, all-wheel-drive five-seater provides an attractive mix of fun driving and practicality, and it's one of the few cars that you can still get with a manual transmission (on multiple trim levels!). Subaru has bestowed some improvements upon this year's model, which it calls "the best-handling, best-performing WRX ever." The higher trims boast new standard features, such as approach lighting, and a new optional Performance Package adds Recaro seats and Brembo brakes with eye-catching red calipers.


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Trims and Features


The five trim levels of the 2020 Subaru WRX are the base, Premium, Limited, STI, and STI Limited. As mentioned, each comes with AWD - a Subaru staple - and a standard 6-speed manual transmission (upgraded to a close ratio version on the STI trims). A Sport Lineartronic continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters is offered for the Premium and Limited.


The non-STI trims have the same powerplant, a 2.0-liter turbo Boxer engine that kicks out 268 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. The STI and STI Limited get a powertrain upgrade with their turbocharged 2.5-liter BOXER engine (310 hp and 290 lb.-ft. of torque) and a driver-controlled center differential; as mentioned, the CVT is not available for these trims. Optional on Premium and Limited and standard on STI and STI Limited, the Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) feature optimizes the engine control unit and throttle as well as the gear ratio shifts on CVT-equipped versions to provide three distinctly different driving modes according to your whims.


The base WRX offers plenty of fun with its performance tires on 17-inch wheels, low-profile trunk spoiler, flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in leather, and sport-style fabric front seats with red stitching. For convenience, it also has heated power exterior mirrors, auto climate control, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and track-inspired aluminum-alloy pedals. The upgrades to the Premium include fog lights, 18-inch wheels, a windshield wiper de-icer, and heated front seats. It's also the only trim that's eligible for the aforementioned Performance Package (Recaro front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, Brembo brakes, and moonroof delete). The Limited features a standard moonroof, power driver's seat, push-button ignition, LED fog lights and headlights, and leather seating. The STI gets 19-inch wheels and a larger spoiler, plus turn-signal indicators are integrated within its power side mirrors. SI-Drive becomes standard on this trim, along with the Brembo brakes, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-responsive headlights, and a trim-specific steering wheel. The STI Limited gets a moonroof and the sporty elements of the Performance Package.


Safety and Technology


Subaru offers some fine active-safety technology, although not on every trim of the 2020 WRX. The STI Limited gets a blind-spot monitor with lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment. Reverse automatic braking is offered on the Limited, and buyers who opt for the CVT may choose to add the Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite (pre-collision automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure with sway warning), which is not available on stickshift versions. All WRX models have daytime running lights, a rearview camera, a full array of passive safety features (air bags, a reinforced structure, and more), and, of course, Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.


Every WRX gets a STARLINK infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB ports, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth capability, and more. Higher trims get a slightly larger touchscreen, and navigation and a premium Harmon Kardon sound system can be added (these options become standard on the STI Limited).


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