By on April 20, 2017

2018 Subaru WRX STI

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]

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12 Comments on “Subaru Keeps 2018 WRX Pricing Sane as It Waits for a New Platform...”

  • avatar

    They’re keeping it sane? That’s good; I was afraid it was going to be insane.

  • avatar

    I see that the entry level price for head gasket problems is now $36,955.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      And we have a winner! A mention of ancient head gasket problems by a person who has probably never owned a Subaru in only the third post! Tell us what else you’ve learned on the Internet!

      • 0 avatar
        Silent Ricochet

        Salty Subaru fan detected.

        Head Gasket problems were prominent up until the end of the last decade. Check Car Complaints and enthusiast forums. I will admit, it doesn’t seem to be a common complaint with recent model years, but excessive oil consumption is. Hey, it’s what makes Subaru, a Subaru, right?

        • 0 avatar

          Guess what the fix was for non-STi models that had a failed head gasket? Replacing the head gasket with the STi’s part.

          The only people that are blowing head gaskets on STi’s have probably swapped a bigger turbo onto the stock block.

      • 0 avatar

        @Steve Brio: I have owned and raced WRXs so no winner yet. The ancient 2.5 in the STi still has unresolved hard gasket issues. The base WRX is a performance bargain.

  • avatar

    It’s fine to make modest improvements to the platform. But until they bring back the hatch they will be minus at least one customer right here.

  • avatar

    I once liked Subaru autos. I’ve owned two – both wagons. However, the CVT did it for me.

  • avatar

    One of the best cars available on the market today. Roomy, engaging to drive, good amount of trunk space, excellent seats, manual transmission. When I test drove a 2017, I was shocked at how strong the engine is. The negatives I noted were poor shifter feel, rough ride and pretty high noise levels. Hopefully, 2018 is improved in these areas.

  • avatar

    Clicks in, no wagon update, meh.

  • avatar

    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.

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