Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

An orange 2023 Subaru WRX Limited is shown driving near a black 2023 Subaru WRX GT.

The Iconic Subaru WRX

Subaru has been building amazing cars for many years, and the brand’s emphasis on unsurpassed off-road handling has produced some of the most flexible vehicles of the 21st century. Subaru has always built its cars for those with an adventurous spirit. The WRX is one of these high-end performance vehicles and has been proven in decades of off-road rally races, becoming one of the most iconic cars Subaru has made. Due to its popularity, rarely does a Subaru WRX for sale stay on the lot for long.

Through the use of a significantly more powerful engine, the STI variant of the WRX takes the car’s specs to a new level. Sadly though, the STI has been put on hold until Subaru develops a fully-electric version of the WRX. Thankfully, the used market still has many WRX STI models available since the car was produced until 2022. Over the decades, the WRX has become a Subaru fan favorite due to the flexibility and fun that is possible with its turbocharged all-wheel drive platform.

One of the most popular Subaru WRX for sale, a red 2022 Subaru WRX, is shown parked near a lake.

Subaru Is an Adventurous Brand

Subaru is a brand whose reliability is strongly defended by its owners, although objective tests reveal that it ranks closer to the middle of the pack. However, the reliability of modern vehicles is a high bar these days, with most cars far surpassing the long-term reliability of the vehicles of yesteryear. Subaru’s real strength lies in its safety. Its cars have ranked very high in safety ratings for many years. Its state-of-the-art safety features make Subaru one of the most safe brands on the market.

The unifying feature of all Subaru vehicles is their adventurous side. Subaru designs its cars to perform on and off the road. The WRX is part of this Subaru tradition, coming with a sophisticated all-wheel drive powertrain, allowing it to perform at a high level in all conditions. Many people love the WRX because of the versatility of the design, which enables them to have fun driving in a wide variety of conditions.

What Makes the WRX Special

The Subaru WRX has been around since 1992 and was the first of the turbo pocket rocket cars. The name “WRX” stands for “World Rally Experimental,” and it was originally the performance version of the Subaru Impreza. This powerful little car has proven itself on the world rally stage, winning several world competitions for rally driving. Subaru has used its knowledge and expertise in off-road vehicles to produce a performance car that perfectly marries off-road capabilities with a finely-tuned turbocharged engine. On the road, on the track, and on the rally course, the WRX continues to be a favorite of many drivers and enthusiasts around the world.

The WRX ranks high on the list of the most iconic Subaru models, arguably at the very top. Many drivers consider it one of the all-time best off-road sports cars ever made. From the powerful Boxer engine to the high-performance suspension, the WRX keeps proving itself worthy of the great reputation it has. The 2023 model has a 2.4L turbocharged Boxer engine with a six-speed manual transmission or an available performance transmission with paddle shifters. This drivetrain sends 271 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. The interior of the WRX is the perfect blend of sporty and comfortable.

A blue 2022 Subaru WRX is shown parked on dirt.

The Bespoke WRX STI

While the WRX is an absolute beast of an off-road rally car, Subaru designed another version with a better engine, suspension, and aesthetics. The “STI” designation stands for “Subaru Tecnica International,” which is a subdivision of Subaru that develops high-end performance vehicles. The WRX STI takes the great design of the WRX and multiplies the capability. Faster acceleration, better handling both on and off-road, and improved ergonomics make it a standout rally car. The 2021 WRX STI came with a 2.5L turbocharged engine producing 310 hp. Sadly, Subaru is no longer building a WRX STI since it has focused its engineering and designers on perfecting electric vehicles.

For those who are fans of the WRX, it is disappointing to find out that Subaru is no longer making the STI version. However, while some are skeptical about the future of EVs, many remain excited to see what an all-electric sports car designed by STI would be capable of. EVs are known for their phenomenal acceleration and advanced all-wheel drive systems, making electric motors an excellent fit for the WRX STI. We are just starting to see high-end electric sports cars, and the results are already impressive. Unfortunately, we shouldn’t expect to see a new WRX STI for several years.

Those who are still set on owning a WRX STI should look to the used market since there are no more new models. Due to the demand for these vehicles, finding a good deal on a used example can be a challenge, but it is still possible. Subaru has produced the WRX STI since 1994 and introduced it to the American market in 2002, so there are plenty of model years to choose from. Finding a good Subaru dealership with a decent selection of used and Certified Pre-Owned vehicles is a great way to find a used WRX STI.

A red 2017 Subaru WRX is shown parked in a warehouse.

A King of the Rally Course

Since it was first produced, the Subaru WRX has been winning rally events like there is no competition. Subaru Motorsports USA was founded in 2001 and has won 15 of the last 17 national rally championships. The dominance which the Subaru WRX STI has shown over the decades continues to impress even those who were dubious of the car. Over the last 22 years, Subaru’s Team USA has won more than 100 rally and rallycross events, even bagging a couple of team championships in 2019 and 2021.

With the design of the WRX STI, Subaru has made driving on unpaved roads an experience that makes you feel in control––a rarity for off-road driving. The precisely-tuned components, from the engine to the suspension, make this car handle like a dream. Sure, it still requires skill to drive the WRX STI well in a rally event, but the capacity for greatness is there, as one can see when one looks at all its victories in races over the decades. Whenever someone wonders what the gold standard is for rally driving, just look at the blue and gold Subaru, and that will tell you all you need to know. Subaru makes one of the most consistently-successful rally cars ever designed.

The Subaru WRX: An Impressive Past and Hopeful Future

From the early 1990s to today, the WRX has provided adventure-loving drivers the opportunity to own their own rally car. The powerful engine, finely tuned handling and suspension, and iconic exterior design really make the WRX the standard for off-road performance cars. The WRX has a very strong following because Subaru has designed and manufactured these cars so well. Both the new and used markets have some great deals on the Subaru WRX, but if you’re looking for the STI, you’ll be limited to shopping for used cars until Subaru unveils the rumored all-electric version. The future is bright for the WRX, and I think most people can agree that Subaru has proven its competence over the decades.

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