2021 Subaru WRX in RI


Driving enthusiasts on the hunt for an engaging, track-inspired car should make the 2021 Subaru WRX their first stop. This eye-catching, all-out entertaining sport sedan has so much to offer with its standard 268 hp turbocharged engine (310 hp available with the 2.5-liter turbo) and standard all-wheel drive. It also offers something unusual: a manual transmission (a CVT is also offered on select trims). Once you figure in its track-tuned suspension, quick-ratio steering, and vehicle dynamics control system with active torque vectoring, and you have yourself a daily driver that’s a blast to drive yet doesn’t sacrifice practicality. The ’21 WRX even has a spacious and comfortable interior that provides great outward visibility and an ample supply of the latest technology.

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Trims, Powertrain and Fuel Economy

Buyers of the 2021 WRX have five trim levels to choose from – Base, Premium, Limited, STI, and STI Limited – all of which can be had with the true driving enthusiast’s coveted stickshift. The Base, Premium, and Limited get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine (268 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque) with that six-speed manual tranny coming standard, but a continuously variable transmission is available. The STI and STI Limited have a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine (310 hp and 290 lb.-ft. of torque) and come only with an enhanced close-ratio six-speed manual. As mentioned, every WRX is AWD. The base, Premium, and Limited return an EPA-rated 20 mpg around town and 27 mpg on the highway, while the STI and STI Limited get 16 city/22 highway.

Standard and Optional Equipment

The Base has 17-inch wheels, front and rear underspoilers, a rear bumper diffuser, a low-profile trunk spoiler, quad stainless-steel exhaust outlets, heated side mirrors, performance front seats, single-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with red stitching, a leather-wrapped shift knob, aluminum-alloy sport pedals, dual USB ports, a 12-volt power outlet, a rearview camera, and a 60/40 split flat-folding rear seatback. The Premium gets 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, halogen fog lights, a windshield wiper de-icer, a moonroof, a PIN code entry system, keyless entry and ignition, and heated front seats.

The Limited ramps it up with LED steering-responsive headlights, LED fog lights, a power driver’s seat, and leather seats; enhanced exterior mirrors with built-in turn-signal indicators are available. The STI loses the fog lights and moonroof but gains the side mirrors with turn-signal indicators and 19-inch wheels. It also has some STI-specific features (a trunk spoiler, gauge cluster, and leather-wrapped steering wheel), plus combination suede/leather seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Recaro performance front seats are optional. The top-end STI Limited returns the moonroof and receives the Recaro performance front seats as standard equipment. All trims qualify for an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink.

Safety and Technology

The 2021 Subaru WRX’s standard AWD adds another intriguing element – better traction in varied conditions – to an already highly desirable vehicle. The Premium and Limited trims with the manual transmission are eligible for Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology bundle (adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure with sway warning), but EyeSight is standard on the CVT versions. Buyers of the Limited can add some more features: high beam assist, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking. The STI can’t be outfitted with any of those features; however, the STI Limited includes blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. It’s not eligible for EyeSight, high beam assist, or reverse automatic braking, though.

The Base trim keeps its occupants connected with Subaru’s StarLink infotainment system, which has a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming capability, HD radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a six-speaker sound system. The system found in the Premium and STI moves up to a 7-inch touchscreen and adds voice recognition. Navigation and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system are options for the Limited but not for the STI; these premium features are standard in the STI Limited.

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