2021 Subaru WRX in RI

Overview

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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Trim Levels

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 (as well as a CVT). 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. For this model year, the Premium trim level comes standard with push-button ignition and keyless entry.

Trims, Powertrain, and Fuel Economy

Buyers of the 2021 WRX have five trim levels to choose from – the 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 Subaru’s Sport Lineartronic advanced continuously variable transmission is available. This special tranny comes with paddle shifters and two drive modes that simulate either six or eight speeds. The STI and STI Limited have a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine (310 hp and 290 lb.-ft. of torque) and are made 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.

Base

The manual-only WRX Base gets 17-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, front and rear underspoilers, a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, a low-profile trunk spoiler, and quad stainless-steel exhaust outlets. Its track-oriented interior has performance front seats, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum-alloy sport pedals, cloth upholstery, dual USB ports, a 12-volt power outlet, automatic climate control, and a 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatback. It also gets Subaru’s STARLINK infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, satellite and HD radio, and a six-speaker audio system.

Premium

The Premium qualifies for the Sport Lineartronic transmission and receives 18-inch wheels, fog lights, a windshield wiper de-icer, a moonroof, keyless entry, automatic headlights, heated front seats, push-button start, and a 7-inch touchscreen. The Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology bundle is optional with the manual version of the Premium to provide adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane departure and sway warning; those driver aids are standard with the CVT. Also available is Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), which can enable three levels of vehicle performance, from fuel-efficient to high performance.

Limited

The Limited gets some more desirable standard features, led by LED steering-responsive headlights, LED fog lights, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and leather seats. It’s still eligible for the CVT and EyeSight suite, along with these options: body-color side mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, navigation, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, automatic high beams, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking.

STI

The STI receives a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine (310 hp and 290 lb.-ft. of torque) which calls for premium fuel (91 octane or higher). As a true performance sedan, it gets a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and a Driver-Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) AWD system (which controls the locking of the center differential for optimal handling).

The STI loses the CVT option and the moonroof, but it gets standard SI-Drive, body-color side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, a high-performance STI sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, 19-inch wheels, an exclusive STI trunk spoiler, an STI-design leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, simulated suede and leather seats, special STI gauges, and dual-zone automatic climate control. EyeSight is not found on this track-inspired trim, nor are the other driver aids (automatic high beams, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, and reverse automatic braking). The STI can be ordered with Recaro sport seats and additional power adjustments for the driver’s seat.

STI Limited

The STI Limited is similar to the standard STI, but it returns the moonroof and blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. The Recaro sport seats and additional driver’s seat power adjustments come standard along with navigation and the Harman Kardon sound system.


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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