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A Starting Line banner is shown over a blue 2025 Subaru WRX tS.

The 2025 Subaru WRX tS Is a Dachshund Amongst Greyhounds

The newest generation of WRX hasn’t exactly been the most well-received entry in Subaru’s long line of affordable rally-inspired compacts. Whether you’re still stuck on the black plastic cladding or you’re mourning the loss of the high-performance STI variant, this generation has been met with divisive opinions overall. I personally have grown to not mind the appearance of the current generation WRX. It’s certainly not my favorite (that honor will forever be held by the 2007-2014 WRX wagon), but I no longer outright hate the appearance of the new WRX. However, what I do hate is watching what was once one of the best performance bargains on the market turn into an overpriced and misunderstood vehicle, and the recently revealed WRX tS shows that Subaru still doesn’t really know where to go with the WRX nameplate.

The black and blue interior and dash in a 2025 Subaru WRX tS is shown.

Sharper, But Not Sharp Enough

The WRX tS is supposed to be a more performance-focused premium model as opposed to the GT, which, as its name implies, is the “Grand Touring” model and is only available with the “Subaru Performance Transmission,” which is a fancy way to say a performance-tuned CVT (it is probably the best CVT out there when it comes to the driving experience, but that’s not exactly a high bar to meet). Most enthusiasts would rather do away with the CVT and opt for a manual while keeping the premium performance features of the GT trim, which is where the tS comes in.

The WRX tS has had plenty of work done to the platform to make it handle better. The headlining feature of the tS is adaptive dampers with multiple ride settings, a feature previously only available on the GT model. It also features six-piston Brembo brakes in the front with 245/35 R19 Bridgestone Potenza S007 tires standard. Other features include standard Recaro seats with blue accenting, and the side mirrors, shark fin antenna, and spoiler are painted black to give the tS a unique appearance amongst other WRXs. So, with all these great performance features, how could one possibly find a way to complain? Well, it’s quite easy, actually, and it starts with two rather important specs: 271 hp and (roughly) 3,500 lbs.

The WRX tS is expected to slot in above the WRX TR trim, which starts at $41,655, meaning that you would be paying in the mid $40k range for an enthusiast vehicle with the power-to-weight ratio of a commuter car. The competition in this segment is far too intense for Subaru to be moseying on in with a comparably lethargic 271 hp car. The WRX tS will be in the price range of the GR Corolla Circuit and the Honda Civic Type R, both of which make the WRX look like a minivan on the track and in a straight line. The only reason to buy the WRX tS over either of the other two is that you are a diehard Subaru enthusiast and specifically want the best performance-oriented WRX you can purchase new off the dealer lot. Otherwise, it’s impossible to justify purchasing it over any other performance vehicle in that price bracket.

A close-up of the digital display in a 2025 Subaru WRX tS is shown.

A Tough Sell for the Money

Overall, the current generation of WRX still has merit in my book. The base model is still quite the performance bargain at $32,735. The power-to-weight ratio makes sense in that price bracket and slots in perfectly with the competition, even though it does come quite close in price to the base model GR Corolla, which is a much better car if you’re willing to shell out the extra change. However, the GR Corolla is not nearly as easy to come across as the WRX, and that would also be assuming that you could find a dealer willing to part with one for something even resembling the MSRP. The base WRX runs into none of those problems and is easily available for MSRP at most Subaru dealers. All in all, what I’m trying to say is that while I always love to see new performance models coming out, in the case of the WRX, I would stick with the base model for now and skip the higher trim options like the tS. That is unless Subaru finally decides to finally give the WRX a power output from the 21st century.

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