Subaru Keeps 2018 WRX Pricing Sane as It Waits for a New Platform

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The manual transmission might be on its last legs, but you’d never know it by browsing through Subaru WRX equipment lists. A six-speed manual comes standard on all five trim levels, helping make the all-wheel-drive compact a perennial favorite among driving enthusiasts of reasonably modest means.

For 2018, the WRX and WRX STI offers more standard equipment and a face that’s cleaner — and ever so slightly meaner — than before, though one feature seems notably absent. That, of course, would be the stiffer global platform found under the new Impreza. Oh, and add “extra horsepower” to that list.

As Subaru fanboys wait for a next-generation model, at least the updated version won’t cost them much more.

The entry-level 2018 WRX adds $300 to its MSRP, nudging its after-delivery price to $27,885. A turbocharged 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder provides the motivation for lower-rung models, making the same 268 horsepower as before. Premium trim sees a similar price bump (to $30,155 after an $860 delivery charge), while the Limited adds $600, placing its total cost at $32,455.

Checking off the box for a continuously variable transmission adds $1,200 to the price of all three models.

The improvements for 2018 go deeper than just the WRX’s face. Subaru has subtly tweaked the model’s suspension tuning, steering and brake feel, and pursued a smoother shifter feel and clutch take-up for the manual transmission. Larger multi-function displays grace the interiors of all, some see larger infotainment touchscreens.

Moving up to the WRX STI, the turbocharged, 305-horsepower 2.5-liter Boxer remains. The price of an STI has jumped $900, for an as-delivered price of $36,955. An STI Limited — sporting either a wing or low-profile spoiler — will cost $800 more than in 2017. That model rings in at $41,755.

The slight exterior refresh carries over into the interior, which sees new materials and trappings, such as rear-seat cupholders. While there’s no extra horses on tap, at least stopping power gets a boost — the Brembo brakes now feature stronger monoblock six-piston calipers in front, monoblock two-piston calipers in the rear, and larger drilled rotors.

The updated WRX should appear in showrooms imminently.

[Image: Subaru]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 12 comments
  • Jh26036 Jh26036 on Apr 21, 2017

    Clicks in, no wagon update, meh.

  • WRC555 WRC555 on May 12, 2017

    The lack of a current generation WRX hatchback model forced me to keep my old WRX, later acquiring a used 9-2x Aero, then bought a new Forester XT. SOA certainly managed to sell vehicles regardless of not offering what I truly wanted to buy! I actually prefer the WRX to be noisier and tauter-riding. Else it's just another compromised sport touring car so many other manufacturers offer. I have only driven the CVT-equipped Forester XT, and it's OK for daily use. Though it seems pointless to market it with a sport tuned suspension when handling is still tall-SUV-lousy. I am not sure if the WRX CVT has the same 3-mode engine mapping setup, but it is a huge improvement over the old WRX/FXT auto tranny.

  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.
  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys dudes off the rails on drugs and full of hate and retribution. so is musky.