Three years have lapsed since we last laid our eyes on the 4th-gen WRX, which therefore means that time is ripe for Subaru o unleash a refreshed version. For the 2018 new model year, both the 2018 Subaru WRX and the 2018 Subaru WRX STI receive mild changes that span from a highlighted exterior surface to performance tweaks such as Brembo brakes. But even with the changes, the WRX and its WRX STI counterpart still remain familiar.
According to Subaru, the two models are rally-bred legends that return with changes such as a retuned performance, inside and out updates, and leading-edge technology. The so-called retuned performance is well-demonstrated by the 19-inch alloy wheels that done a Y-shaped spoke design – a first on the WRX STI. Another change that falls under this category is the Brembo performance braking system that comes with larger, cross-drilled rotors, and 6-piston front and 2-piston rear monoblock calipers for enhanced fade resistance and improved braking feel.
Exterior wise, the new models both feature bold new designs for the front grille and headlights. The grilles are now larger and increase cooling and airflow. The LED steering responsive headlights are all-new and now have improved visibility around corners.
Beneath the hoods are however the same engines that powered the previous generation Subies. The 268 horsepower and 258 pounds of torque is still provided by a turbocharged 2.0L flat-four direct injection engine. Pairing for this engine is through the six-speed manual. The CVT is offered as an option. For better performance, Subaru still offers the 2018 Subaru WRX STI with a 305 horsepower- and 290 pounds-ft. of torque – capable turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine.
But as it was expected by some, there’s no doubt that both vehicles offer the best steering and handling in their class. On the flip side however, this comes at the detriment of other crucial features. According to Subaru, both models’ interiors have been reinvigorated but what Subaru won’t tell you is the fact that the build quality is still wanting relative to other options available in its class.
So, at the end of the day it actually boils to two things: fun or comfort. As a prudent buyer however you’d want to check what the competition offers before making that decision. The Volkswagen GTI and the Ford Focus ST go head to head with the standard WRX hatchback. Here, what the 2018 Subaru WRX lacks is a refined interior feel, enhanced practicality, and an overall on-road performance. And in case you prefer to stick with the WRX STI, both the Golf R and the Focus RS are potential options here.
Competition is stiff – no doubt about that but the 2018 Subaru WRX still has some things going on for it other than those mentioned above. The best way to figure out the best vehicle for you is certainly by taking a test drive with tons of curves.
Changes To The 2018 Subaru WRX Interior
According to Subaru, both the quality of the interior and safety features have been updated. Just to name but a few of the new features, buyers should expect redesigned interior door grips, new armrests with cup-holders, and redesigned door seals. The top-of-the-range WRX Limited models in addition to those features also come with a high-definition 5.9” screen that replaces the previous model’s 4.3” infotainment display. Buyers who prefer the WRX Premium will have the option of getting anywhere between 6.2 to 7.0”. Other new additions for the new 2018 Subaru WRX include technologies such as vehicle hold and eyesight assist monitors. Vehicle Hold feature takes away the functions of both the Hill Assist, and Hill Holder while the EyeSight Assist Monitors project the notifications and alerts to the windscreen.
For additional costs, the WRX Premium model comes with an available performance package that tacks in features such as red-painted brake calipers, Recaro seats, and double-spoke designs.
Has The Exterior of the 2018 Subaru WRX Changed?
Subaru is still going to make use of the existing platform – Subaru Global Platform, meaning that both the 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI models’ designs haven’t changed as much and as such should be expected to return with a familiar look. Three years have gone by without Subaru making any major changes but given the contemporary look the two models still wear, no major changes should’ve been expected.
The Subaru WRX 2018 receives minor changes that are highlighted by the 19-inch wheels on the STI’S, revised suspensions, and new front fascia. Brembo brakes have also been upgraded. The front fascia gets wider air intakes, new grille designs, and refreshed LED lights. Subaru also says the front structure has been bolstered for improved safety.
Trim models to be expected are five in total: base WRX and WRX STI. The WRX model is offered in standard, premium and limited trims, while the performance 2018 Subaru WRX version can be had in its base, and Limited form.
2018 Subaru WRX Engine Performance
Nothing has changed much beneath the hood of both vehicles. The standard model comes equipped with a 2L turbocharged engine that cranks out 268 hp and 258 lbs. ft. of torque. It should take this vehicle about 5.4 seconds to sprint from naught to 60 mph with the manual transmission.
The 2018 Subaru WRX STI obviously gives better power and torque from the turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder engine. With the STI you’ll only get a beefed-up six-speed transmission system.
Pricing & Release Date For The New 2018 Subaru WRX
The new vehicle is expected to go for sale this spring in major markets including the United States. Pricing has increased slightly for both models, with the base model expected to retail for $27,855 and the WRX STI price starting from $36,955. A slight increase of $340 and $940 for the WRX and WRX STI models respectively.
In conclusion, most will acknowledge the fact that the 2018 Subaru WRX scores big in terms of safety, better traction and a standard all-wheel drive system, superb steering and handling abilities, and quick acceleration. However, Subaru is yet to address issues that pertain to the interior quality, ride quality, and road noise.
Continue reading: 2018 Honda Fit