The 2023 Subaru WRX has entered the new year relatively unchanged. Fresh from its updated debut in 2022 as the reincarnation of the brand’s iconic rally conquering machine, the fifth-generation WRX is an entirely different animal from its unhinged predecessors. It rides on an enhanced Subaru Global Platform with a full inner frame construction that delivers 14 percent better front lateral rigidity and a 75 percent increase in suspension mounting point rigidity than any WRX.
However, the widebody styling and rugged plastic cladding are not for everyone. Subaru’s tailoring decision has left some true-blue enthusiasts scratching their heads, but underneath its quirky sheet metal are proven components that bring back memories of rallying dominance.
2023 Subaru WRX: What’s New?
As an all-new car in 2022, the 2023 WRX is mostly the same except for new rear seat headrests. Moreover, the base price has risen a bit, something we expect from new cars amidst chip shortages and supply chain issues. The Subaru WRX will soldier on in a single four-door sedan body style. If you desire a fast hatchback, the Toyota GR Corolla and VW Golf GTI are the WRX’s closest rivals.
Standard Boxer Engine & Symmetrical AWD
The 2023 WRX wouldn’t be a Subaru without its most prominent features: A turbocharged Boxer engine in the front and a symmetrical all-wheel drivetrain underneath. The new WRX has a 2.4-liter horizontally-opposed gasoline engine that pumps out 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque, the latter arriving from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm.
Sweetening the pot is a standard six-speed manual with improved shift quality and optimized gear ratios, making the most of the engine’s low-end torque. Those who don’t want to manually row gears can opt for Subaru’s “performance” automatic transmission, essentially a CVT with paddle shifters and revamped software to offer rev-matching downshifts.
How Quick Is The Subaru WRX?
With the CVT automatic, the 2023 Subaru WRX rushes from zero to 60 mph in around 5.4 seconds (the manual takes 5.5 seconds). For reference, a similarly priced VW Golf GTI goes from zero to hero in 5.1 seconds, while a costlier Toyota GR Corolla does the deed in around 5.4 seconds.
Trim Levels & Pricing
The 2023 Subaru WRX is available in four trim models: Base, Premium, Limited, and GT. Below is a concise breakdown of each model’s standard equipment and pricing. The MSRP figures are inclusive of the $1,020 destination fee. If you have questions about new vehicle financing, this auto loans 101 guide will point you in the right direction.
The base Subaru WRX starts at $31,625 (M/T) and $33,475 (CVT). It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels (wrapped in summer performance rubber), welcome lighting, remote keyless entry, dual seven-inch infotainment touchscreens, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights with automatic high beams, single-zone automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system.
The WRX Premium starts at $34,125 (M/T) or $36,175 (CVT). The Premium variant receives more performance-minded goodies like 18-inch dark gray alloy wheels (wrapped in summer tires), an innocuous rear spoiler, and LED fog lights.
Other standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control with voice activation, an 11-inch infotainment touchscreen, alloy pedals, heated front seats, push-button start, and dual USB-A rear charge ports. You can get a power moonroof and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon audio system for $1,875 more.
The 2023 Subaru WRX Limited starts at $38,515 (M/T) and $40,765 (CVT). The features list includes adaptive swiveling headlights, body-color wing mirrors, faux leather upholstery with suede inserts, a 10-way power driver’s seat, and navigation. Also standard is a Harman Kardon audio system and a power-operated moonroof.
It also has more advanced safety tech like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic rear braking (CVT only).
The range-topping Subaru WRX GT is exclusively available with a CVT and has a $44,415 starting price. For the money, it has a great list of features like an electronic suspension (with Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings), 18-inch matte gray wheels, Recaro front sport seats, a black Ultrasuede interior, and customizable drive mode settings.
2023 Subaru WRX Safety Ratings & Features
CVT automatic WRX models receive Subaru’s EyeSight advanced driving assistance package. It includes forward collision mitigation, lane departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and evasive steering assist.
Apart from the standard EyeSight tech, the Subaru WRX is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ with a Good rating in all crash tests. However, it has yet to receive a safety rating from NHTSA at the time of this writing. Every 2023 Subaru WRX has anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control, and airbags to protect the front, sides, knees, and overhead.
The 2023 Subaru WRX has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty from the factory. There are options available to extend the factory warranty. Before you decide, see this helpful guide on Subaru extended warranties.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.