2023 Subaru WRX Review

By Alexi Falson on 06 Nov 2023
image for 2023 Subaru WRX Review
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Exciting performance with immense grip
  • Spacious, practical cabin layout with decent boot space
  • Generous equipment lists for base model with large infotainment display
  • One of the best CVT automatics on sale
  • Manual variants missing some key safety equipment
  • Firm ride around town
  • Thirsty fuel economy figures
  • No official ANCAP safety rating
    • 63L
    • 192
    • 5600 / 2000
    • Unrated
    • Automatic
The Subaru WRX is one of the original dual-purpose vehicles, offering a mix of performance and family-friendly touches that have made it an automotive icon over the years.

While some cars are designed exclusively to be fast, and others only to be practical, the WRX has the imposing task of offering a slice of both excitement and practicality.

With prices moving north, though, just how well does the Subaru WRX stack up against its rivals, and does it remain one of the best affordable family packages? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Subaru WRX Competition

Subaru WRX

Hyundai i30 N
Cupra Leon VZx
Volkswagen Golf GTI & R
Toyota GR Corolla
Honda Civic Type-R
Toyota GR86
Subaru BRZ

Starting Price: $45,990

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

The Subaru WRX range kicks off from $45,990 for the entry-level WRX manual sedan, with the WRX automatic sedan priced at $49,990, while the WRX manual Sportswagon is priced at $50,990.

Step up to the WRX RS and prices rise to $51,490 for the manual and up to $55,490 for the WRX RS automatic, while the WRX GT Sportswagon is priced at $56,490.

Finally, the range-topping WRX tS is priced at $57,990 for the sedan and $58,990 for the WRX tS Sportswagon.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car purchasing service, one of our car specialists can help you save and find the best value model for you.

Subaru WRX - RS (AWD) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Model WRX
Series MY23
Variant RS (AWD)
Drive AWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 2387
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5600 / 2000
Cylinders FT4
Torque 350
KW 202
Fuel tank size 63.0
Fuel usage specs 8.5 / 0
CO2 192
ANCAP security rating Unrated

What Features Does the Subaru WRX Have?

Subaru’s entry-level WRX sedan range picks up a set of 18-inch alloys, as well as adaptive LED headlights, cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry & start, adaptive cruise control for automatic variants, a rear-view camera and an 11.6-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the base WRX Sportswagon receives ambient lighting, USB ports in the rear and electronically reclining rear seats.

Step up to the WRX GT and RS variants and you’ll pick up a set of power-adjustable and heated seats, wrapped in Ultrasuede in the sedan or leather in the Sportswagon, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, front and side-view monitors and Subaru’s EyeSight safety monitor - for automatic variants only.

The RS picks up a ten-speaker Harman Kardon sound system while the GT Sportswagon receives a powered boot lift, while the flagship tS variants pick up ultrasuede upholstery, adaptive dampers and some added drive modes.

Range Features:

  • 18-inch alloys Adaptive 

  • LED headlights 

  • Cloth upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel 

  • Adaptive cruise control (automatic variants) 

  • Rear-view camera 

  • 11.6-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Electronically-reclining rear seats (Sportswagon) 

  • Panoramic sunroof (GT & RS) 

  • EyeSight safety monitor (GT & RS automatic variants) 

  • Ten-speaker Harman Kardon sound system (RS) 

  • Ultrasuede upholstery (tS) 

  • Adaptive dampers with individual drive modes (tS)

Is the Subaru WRX Fun to Drive?

Designed to give family buyers a slice of performance motoring, the Subaru WRX remains a heap of fun on the road, without sacrificing too much in the way of daily driving comfort.

Power comes supplied by a larger 2.4-litre turbocharged boxer engine delivering 202kW of power and 350Nm of torque, which is thrown to all four wheels via your choice of a six-speed manual or CVT automatic.

Off the line, the WRX’s four-pot feels eager to pick up speed, and while it’s not an outright thriller, the powertrain offers an impressive kick up to speed when needed.

Where the WRX platform really shines is when the curves begin, with the sporty suspension package helping to keep body roll to a minimum, and Subaru’s lively steering rack comes to the forefront.

The Rex is happy to change directions on a dime, offering the driver a tonne of grip when pushed in the twisties that make you feel like a junior rally driver; a testament to the WRX’s original design brief.

Around town, the WRX is happy to bumble around reasonably smoothly, though some of the more abrupt bumps on the road will act as a quick reminder of the sporty suspension hardware lurking underneath.

Overall, though, considering its lasting impression when provoked, the WRX is a fabulous little package that offers thrilling performance and reasonably well-manned behavior on a daily drive, so long as you can put up with the fairly firm ride.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Subaru’s 2.4-litre boxer four-cylinder is rated at 8.5L/100km in the CVT automatic, while the WRX with a manual transmission is rated at 9.9L/100km on a combined cycle.

This means that the WRX in both manual and automatic form is not a particularly fuel-efficient package, though we’d guess that buyers in this segment aren’t putting fuel economy at the top of their list of demands.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

While the engine and underpinnings have been inspired by performance motoring, the WRX’s cabin has been designed with family-friendly motoring atop the brief.

This means that the front of the cabin offers a spacious layout, perfect for even the tallest of drivers, while all the switchgear and controls are particularly ergonomic and user-friendly.

The sporty seats offer a great blend of comfort and stability when you’re pushing the car, and pick up heating, electric adjustment and lumbar support in the GT and RS, with cloth upholstery as standard, or Ultrasuede and leather for the sedan and Sportswagon, respectively.

The cabin feels familiar to the Subaru brand, which has updated the dashboard with a large 11.9-inch vertically-mounted display with some physical buttons remaining in place for the climate inputs.

There’s a heap of practical touches inside the WRX, which offers a storage tray at the base of the dash, cup holders, bottle holders, a key stash and some added storage inside the armrest.

Move to the rear of the cabin and there’s enough space for adults in the second row, meaning you won’t hear any complaints from kids in the rear, while the Sportswagon offers an added bonus of reclining rear seats.

Finally, boot space figures total 414L in the sedan, with the WRX Sportswagon offering cargo capacities of 492L, making it the more practical option of the two and a genuinely usable family car.

Is it Safe?

The latest WRX is yet to be tested by ANCAP safety rating.

Standard safety equipment for all WRX variants includes a rear-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assistance, rear-cross traffic alerts and curtain airbags.

Automatic WRX variants pick up autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, emergency steering, lane-keep assistance, traffic sign recognition and leading vehicle departure alerts.

For now, the WRX manual misses out the aforementioned safety equipment, though Subaru says it will update the manual with the equivalent safety gear in the next model year.

Our Verdict: Is the Subaru WRX Worth it?

As far as a family-friendly performance motoring goes, the Subaru WRX remains one of the best in its class, confidently delivering thrills while offering a practical cabin for growing families.

While it’s a shame that manual variants miss out on some essential safety kit, the WRX ticks all the important boxes that buyers are likely looking for in a fast, family-friendly package, particularly in the Sportswagon.

If you’re tossing up your best options in the world of attainable sports cars, be sure to reach out to one of our Car Buying Specialists who can help find you the best price.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty

  2. 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder produces 202kW/350Nm

  3. 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds (6.1 for CVT automatic)

  4. 8.5L - 9.9L/100km fuel economy figures (CVT auto vs manual)

  5. No official ANCAP safety rating, yet


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

car icon
close sticky hub button


Maximum of 3 vehicles