Wheel Chasers

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Subaru WRX as Your First Car

The Subaru WRX is a unique car with a special appeal for drivers, especially those who are just starting. With its sporty design, high-performance engine, and affordable price tag, it’s no surprise that it’s become such a popular choice for first-time car owners.

If you’re considering the Subaru WRX as your first car, there are a few things you should know about why it’s such a great choice. What makes the Subaru WRX unique as a first car?

There are a few distinguishing features that make the Subaru WRX stand out as a first car. These include:


Sporty Design – The Subaru WRX has a sleek and sporty design that is sure to turn heads. It’s a car that looks like it’s ready for a race track, but it’s also practical and functional enough to use as a daily driver.

2. All-Wheel Drive – Another unique feature of the Subaru WRX is its all-wheel-drive system.

This means that all four wheels are powered by the engine, which provides better traction and handling in all types of weather conditions. 3.

Powerful Engine – The Subaru WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that delivers 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. This gives the car plenty of power and acceleration, making it a lot of fun to drive.

4. Affordability – One of the biggest advantages of owning a Subaru WRX as a first car is that it’s relatively affordable compared to other sports cars on the market.

With a starting price of around $27,000, it’s a lot of car for the money.

Benefits of owning a Subaru WRX as a first-time car owner

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not the Subaru WRX is right for you, here are some of the benefits of owning one as your first car:

1. Fun to Drive – The Subaru WRX is a blast to drive.

Its powerful engine and precise handling make it a joy to take out on the road, whether you’re on a winding mountain road or just cruising around town. 2.

All-Weather Capability – Because of its all-wheel-drive system, the Subaru WRX is capable of handling all types of weather conditions. Whether you’re dealing with rain, snow, or ice, you can feel confident that your car will be able to handle it.

3. Practicality – Despite its sporty nature, the Subaru WRX is a practical car with plenty of interior space, making it a great choice for a daily driver.

It also gets decent fuel economy for a sports car, with an EPA rating of 21/27/23 mpg city/highway/combined. 4.

Reliability – Subaru is known for making reliable cars, and the WRX is no exception. With proper maintenance, this car can last for many years and provide you with a lot of fun driving experiences.

5. Resale Value – Because of its popularity and reputation for reliability, the Subaru WRX holds its value well.

This means that if you decide to sell it down the line, you’re likely to get a good amount of money back for it. In conclusion, the Subaru WRX is a unique and exciting choice for a first car.

Its sporty design, powerful engine, all-wheel-drive system, and affordability make it a popular choice for young drivers who want a car that’s both practical and fun to drive. Whether you’re looking for a car to use as a daily driver or one that you can take out on the weekends for some spirited driving, the Subaru WRX is definitely worth considering.

When it comes to buying your first car, it’s important to consider a variety of factors to ensure you make the right choice. If you’ve set your sights on a Subaru WRX, then there are a few things you should keep in mind to help you make an informed decision.

What to consider when buying a first car, specifically a Subaru WRX

1. Budget – The Subaru WRX is an affordable sports car, but it’s still important to set a budget before you start shopping.

Consider your overall financial situation, including income, expenses, and any debt you may have. This will help you determine how much you can reasonably spend on a car.

2. Maintenance and insurance costs – Owning a performance car like the Subaru WRX can be expensive, not just in terms of the initial purchase price but also in terms of upkeep and insurance costs.

Research the maintenance requirements for the specific model you’re interested in, as well as what you can expect to pay for insurance. This will help you factor in these costs when determining your overall budget.

3. Purpose – Consider what you’ll be using the car for.

Will you be using it as a daily driver? Do you plan on using it primarily for recreational purposes, or do you need it for commuting?

These factors will help you choose the right model and features for your needs. 4.

Features – Look at the available features for the specific model you’re interested in. Do you need all-wheel drive for better traction in inclement weather?

Are performance upgrades important to you? Do you require advanced safety features?

These are all factors to consider before making a purchase.

Safety ratings and features of the Subaru WRX

Safety is a top priority when it comes to choosing a car, especially for first-time car owners. The Subaru WRX has a number of safety features that make it a good choice for those looking for a combination of performance and safety.

Here are some of the key safety features:

1. Advanced airbag system – The Subaru WRX has a comprehensive airbag system, including front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger and curtain airbags that provide protection for all passengers in the event of a collision.

2. All-wheel drive – In addition to providing better traction, the all-wheel-drive system on the Subaru WRX also helps to improve handling and stability, which can help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

3. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology – EyeSight is an advanced driver assist technology that uses cameras and sensors to provide a range of safety features, including lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and pre-collision braking.

This system can help drivers avoid accidents and stay safe on the road. 4.

High-strength steel body construction – The Subaru WRX’s body construction is designed for maximum safety. It uses high-strength steel in key areas to provide better protection in the event of a collision.

5. Brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution – These features help to provide better control and stopping power in emergency situations, which can be especially important in a high-performance car like the Subaru WRX.

In addition to these safety features, the Subaru WRX has also received high safety ratings from reputable organizations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2021 Subaru WRX a five-star overall safety rating, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named it a Top Safety Pick.

In conclusion, the Subaru WRX is a unique and exciting choice for a first car, and it offers a winning combination of performance and safety features. By considering your budget, purpose, and features you need in a car, you can make an informed decision about whether the Subaru WRX is the right choice for you.

And with its advanced safety features and high safety ratings, you can feel confident that you’re making a smart and safe investment in your driving future. If you’re considering purchasing a Subaru WRX as your first car, it’s important to take into account the ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs.

This high-performance car requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly and reliably.

Maintenance and upkeep costs of a Subaru WRX

1. Regular Oil Changes – The Subaru WRX should have an oil change every 5000 miles or every 6 months, whichever comes first.

2. Timing Belt Replacement – The timing belt should be replaced approximately every 80,000 to 105,000 miles depending on the model year.

3. Coolant Flushes – The coolant should be flushed and replaced every 30,000 miles.

4. Brake Service – The brake pads and rotors should be inspected every 12,000 miles and replaced as needed.

5. Timing Chain Service – The timing chain on a Subaru WRX generally does not require replacement unless there is a failure.

6. Suspension and Steering – The suspension and steering systems should be inspected every 30,000 miles and any worn or damaged components should be replaced.

In addition to these standard maintenance items, it’s important to keep up with regular tire rotations, aligning the wheels, and replacing items such as spark plugs, air filters, and fuel filters as needed. When considering the costs of owning a Subaru WRX, it’s also important to factor in any repairs that may be necessary due to wear and tear or accidents.

The higher insurance costs, as mentioned earlier, also come into consideration.

The different generations and models of the Subaru WRX and their differences

The Subaru WRX has been available in several different generations and models over the years. Here are the differences between the various generations:

First Generation (1992 – 2001) – The first generation of the Subaru WRX was only available in Japan at first, but it eventually made its way to other markets including Europe and Australia.

This model is known for its boxy design and relatively modest power output. Second Generation (2002 – 2007) – The second generation brought a more modern design to the WRX, with a smoother body style and an increase in overall power.

This generation also introduced the STI model, with even more power and improved handling. Third Generation (2008 – 2014) – The third generation of the WRX saw a return to the boxy and angular design of the first generation.

It also had a larger engine and a more refined suspension system for improved handling. Fourth Generation (2015 – 2020) – The fourth generation of the WRX saw an even more aggressive and sporty design, a completely updated engine, and a slew of performance upgrades.

This generation also introduced the eyesight driver assist system in the later years. Fifth Generation (2022 – Present) – The fifth and current generation of the WRX has improved handling, a more powerful engine, and a refreshed design.

It also had a significant reduction of road noise and improved interior quality. There have also been a few limited edition models of the Subaru WRX throughout the years, including the Series.Gray, Launch Edition, and Final Edition.

These models often include unique design elements such as special edition wheels or exclusive paint colors. In conclusion, it’s important to keep in mind the ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs when considering purchasing a Subaru WRX as your first car.

Regular maintenance and repairs can add up over time and should be factored into your budget. Additionally, understanding the differences between the various generations and models of the Subaru WRX can help you make an informed decision about which version is right for you.

Modifications and upgrades for the Subaru WRX

One of the reasons why the Subaru WRX has such a strong fan base is its potential for aftermarket modifications and upgrades. These modifications can enhance performance, aesthetics, and overall driving experience.

Here are some popular modifications and upgrades for the Subaru WRX:

1. Engine modifications – One of the most common upgrades for the Subaru WRX is modifying the engine to increase power output.

This can be achieved through modifications such as installing a cold air intake, upgrading the exhaust system, and adding a turbocharger or supercharger. It’s important to note that engine modifications can void warranties and may require professional installation and tuning.

2. Suspension upgrades – Upgrading the suspension can improve the handling and ride quality of the Subaru WRX.

Upgrades can include installing coilovers, sway bars, and strut braces to enhance stability and reduce body roll. Adjustable suspension components can also allow for fine-tuning the suspension to personal preferences.

3. Brake improvements – Enhancing the braking system can help improve stopping power and decrease braking distances.

Upgrades can include installing larger brake rotors, high-performance brake pads, and stainless steel brake lines. Brake upgrades are particularly beneficial for those who plan on participating in track days or performance driving events.

4. Wheels and tires – Swapping out the stock wheels and tires for aftermarket options can not only enhance the appearance of the Subaru WRX but also improve performance.

Lightweight alloy wheels can reduce unsprung weight, while high-performance tires can enhance grip and traction. 5.

Exterior modifications – Many Subaru WRX owners choose to customize the exterior of their cars to give them a more distinctive look. This can include adding body kits, front lip spoilers, rear spoilers, and custom paint or vinyl wraps.

It’s important to research local laws and regulations before making drastic changes to the exterior of the vehicle. 6.

Interior upgrades – Upgrading the interior of the Subaru WRX can improve comfort and functionality. Popular upgrades include aftermarket seats for better support during spirited driving, upgraded stereos or audio systems, and custom interior trim pieces.

While modifications and upgrades can significantly enhance the performance and appearance of the Subaru WRX, it’s important to approach them with caution. Some modifications can affect the reliability and drivability of the vehicle, and improper installations or tuning can lead to engine damage or other issues.

It’s also vital to research local laws and regulations regarding aftermarket modifications to ensure compliance.

Common issues to watch out for with a used Subaru WRX

If you are considering purchasing a used Subaru WRX, there are a few common issues to be aware of. While these issues are not necessarily deal-breakers, it’s important to inspect them thoroughly or have a professional mechanic assess the car before making a purchase.

Here are some common issues to watch out for:

1. Head gasket failure – This is a common issue with older Subaru models, including older generations of the WRX.

Head gasket failure can lead to coolant leaks, overheating, and costly repairs. It’s important to check for signs of coolant leakage around the engine and to perform a compression test to assess the condition of the head gaskets.

2. Ringland failure – Some Subaru WRX models, particularly those with high-performance modifications, have been known to experience ringland failure.

This can cause loss of power, excessive oil consumption, and potential engine damage. It’s important to inspect the car’s maintenance history and inquire about any modifications or heavy usage that may have stressed the engine.

3. Transmission issues – Manual transmission models of the Subaru WRX have occasionally experienced issues such as grinding gears, clutch failure, or premature wear.

Ensure smooth gear shifts and listen for any abnormal noises or vibrations during a test drive. Additionally, check the clutch for signs of wear or slipping.

4. Suspension wear – The Subaru WRX is known for its performance-oriented suspension, but it can experience premature wear or failure in certain circumstances.

Inspect the suspension components for signs of leakage, corrosion, or excessive play. Uneven tire wear or excessive bouncing during a test drive could indicate suspension issues.

5. Turbocharger issues – The turbocharged engine in the Subaru WRX can be prone to issues such as boost leaks, wastegate failure, or turbocharger shaft play.

Look for signs of oil leakage around the turbocharger and listen for any abnormal sounds, such as whining or grinding, during acceleration. It’s worth noting that not all Subaru WRX models will experience these issues, and regular maintenance and proper care can help mitigate potential problems.

However, it’s always a good idea to have a used Subaru WRX thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic before making a purchase decision to ensure you’re aware of any potential issues and can negotiate accordingly.

Fuel economy and gas mileage of a Subaru WRX

When considering purchasing a Subaru WRX, it’s important to take into account its fuel economy and gas mileage. As a performance-oriented vehicle, the WRX is not known for being the most fuel-efficient car on the market.

However, improvements have been made over the years to enhance its efficiency. Here’s what you can expect in terms of fuel economy with the Subaru WRX:


EPA Ratings – The EPA rates the fuel economy of the Subaru WRX as 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined for the 2021 model year. These ratings may vary slightly depending on factors such as driving habits, road conditions, and the specific model and year of the car.

2. Real-World Fuel Economy – In real-world driving conditions, the fuel economy of the Subaru WRX may vary based on factors such as driving style, traffic conditions, and the presence of any modifications.

Some WRX owners have reported achieving better fuel economy with careful driving techniques, while others have experienced lower numbers due to more spirited driving. 3.

Manual vs. Automatic Transmission – The transmission choice can have an impact on the fuel economy of the Subaru WRX.

Generally, manual transmissions tend to offer slightly better fuel efficiency compared to automatic transmissions. However, the difference may not be significant enough to sway your decision if you prefer the convenience of an automatic transmission.

4. Driving Habits – Fuel economy is also influenced by driving habits.

Aggressive acceleration, frequent speeding, and heavy braking can negatively affect the fuel efficiency of any vehicle, including the Subaru WRX. Driving in a more fuel-conscious manner, such as maintaining a steady speed and avoiding abrupt acceleration and braking, can help optimize fuel efficiency.

It’s important to note that the fuel economy of the Subaru WRX is generally considered acceptable for its performance capabilities. While it may not be the most fuel-efficient car available, the power and driving experience it offers more than compensate for the slightly lower fuel economy.

Insurance costs for a Subaru WRX as a first car

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a Subaru WRX as a first car is the cost of insurance. Insurance premiums for the Subaru WRX are typically higher compared to average sedans due to its higher performance potential and the associated risks.

Several factors influence the insurance costs for a Subaru WRX:

1. Vehicle Value – The value of the car plays a role in determining insurance costs.

As a higher-end compact sports car, the Subaru WRX may have higher repair or replacement costs in the event of an accident, which can contribute to higher insurance premiums. 2.

Performance Capability – The WRX’s performance capabilities and higher horsepower can be seen as higher risk factors by insurance companies. The potential for more aggressive driving or involvement in accidents may lead to increased insurance costs.

3. Age and Driving Experience – Younger drivers are generally considered higher risk by insurance companies, and premiums tend to be higher for them.

If the Subaru WRX is being purchased as a first car by a young driver with limited driving experience, this can further impact insurance costs. 4.

Location – Insurance rates can also vary based on where you live. If you reside in an area with higher rates of theft, vandalism, or accidents, the insurance premiums for the Subaru WRX may also be affected.

5. Safety Features – While the Subaru WRX does offer some safety features, insurance companies may consider it as a higher-risk vehicle due to its performance-oriented nature.

Adding additional safety features such as advanced driver assist systems or anti-theft devices may help offset some of the higher insurance costs. It’s essential to obtain insurance quotes specifically for the Subaru WRX and to compare rates from multiple reputable insurance providers before making a purchase.

Taking a defensive driving course or maintaining a clean driving record can also help reduce insurance costs. Additionally, shopping for insurance as a first-time car owner may reveal potential discounts or package deals that can make the premiums more affordable.

In conclusion, the fuel economy of the Subaru WRX is moderate, considering its performance-oriented design. While the gas mileage may not be the highest, it still offers an enjoyable driving experience.

When it comes to insurance costs, the Subaru WRX is typically associated with higher premiums due to factors such as performance, value, and the demographics of the driver. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and obtain insurance quotes from multiple providers to ensure you find the most reasonable rates for your specific circumstances.

How the Subaru WRX compares to other first-time car options

When considering the Subaru WRX as a first car, it’s important to evaluate how it compares to other options available in the market. While the WRX offers a unique blend of sportiness and practicality, there are several factors to consider when comparing it to other potential choices.

Here’s a breakdown of how the Subaru WRX stacks up against other first-time car options:

1. Performance – The Subaru WRX is renowned for its performance capabilities, particularly its powerful turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive system.

When comparing it to other first-time car options, the WRX often outshines in terms of acceleration, handling, and overall driving experience. It offers a level of excitement and sportiness that may not be found in other cars within the same price range.

2. Practicality – While the Subaru WRX is a performance-oriented car, it still offers practicality as a daily driver.

It has four doors, seating for five, and a decent amount of cargo space. This makes it suitable for individuals who need a car for daily commuting or carrying passengers and cargo.

When comparing it to other first-time car options, such as two-door sports cars or compact sedans, the WRX offers a balance between performance and practicality. 3.

Affordability – The Subaru WRX is comparatively affordable when considering its performance capabilities. While it may have a higher price tag than entry-level sedans or compact cars, it offers a performance level that is typically associated with more expensive sports cars.

Its affordability is further enhanced by its reliability and resale value, making it a good long-term investment. 4.

Fuel Economy – The fuel economy of the Subaru WRX is not its strongest suit. It offers average gas mileage for a sports car, but it may lag behind some other first-time car options.

If fuel efficiency is a top priority, there may be other options available that offer better gas mileage, such as hybrid or electric vehicles or compact sedans with smaller engines. 5.

Insurance Costs – As discussed earlier, the insurance costs for the Subaru WRX can be higher due to factors such as its performance capabilities and demographics of the driver. When comparing it to other first-time car options, it’s important to consider insurance costs and obtain quotes to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, the choice between the Subaru WRX and other first-time car options depends on personal preferences and priorities. If performance and driving experience are top factors, the WRX may be the clear winner.

However, if fuel efficiency, lower insurance costs, or specific features are of utmost importance, other options may be more suitable.

Test-driving and shopping tips for buying a Subaru WRX

When shopping for a Subaru WRX, it’s essential to thoroughly evaluate the car before making a purchase. Here are some test-driving and shopping tips to consider:


Research and Preparation – Before visiting a dealership or private seller, conduct thorough research on the Subaru WRX, its different generations and models, common issues, maintenance requirements, and pricing. Being well-informed will empower you to make better decisions during the shopping process.

2. Test Drive – Schedule a test drive to experience the Subaru WRX firsthand.

Take the car on different types of roads to assess its acceleration, braking, handling, and overall driving dynamics. Pay attention to any unusual noises, vibrations, or warning lights.

Test the features, controls, and amenities to ensure they meet your expectations. 3.

Vehicle History and Maintenance Records – Obtain the vehicle history report and review the maintenance records if available. This will provide insights into the car’s ownership, accident history, and maintenance performed.

A well-documented service history is important for ensuring that the car has been properly cared for. 4.

Professional Inspection – Consider having a professional mechanic inspect the Subaru WRX before finalizing the purchase. They can evaluate the mechanical condition, identify any hidden issues, and provide an estimation of any imminent repairs or maintenance requirements.

This inspection can help uncover potential problems in the vehicle. 5.

Negotiation – Research the market value of the Subaru WRX and compare prices from different sellers. Use this information to negotiate a fair price.

Consider factors such as mileage, condition, age, and any additional features or modifications when evaluating the price. 6.

Warranty and Financing Options – Inquire about any existing warranties or extended warranty options for the Subaru WRX. Additionally, explore financing options to ensure you secure favorable terms and rates.

7. Title Transfer and Documentation – Ensure that all necessary paperwork, such as the title transfer, bill of sale, and registration, are completed accurately and in compliance with local laws.

By following these tips, you can make a more informed decision when buying a Subaru WRX and increase your chances of finding a reliable and suitable car. In conclusion, comparing the Subaru WRX to other first-time car options involves considering factors such as performance, practicality, affordability, fuel economy, and insurance costs.

It’s important to assess each factor based on personal preferences and priorities to make the best choice. During the shopping process, conducting thorough research, test driving the vehicle, obtaining a professional inspection, and negotiating a fair price are vital steps in ensuring a satisfying purchase.

With careful consideration and diligent evaluation, owning a Subaru WRX as a first car can be an exciting and rewarding experience.

Durability and longevity of a Subaru WRX as a first car

When choosing a first car, it’s important to consider the durability and longevity of the vehicle. As a performance-oriented car, the Subaru WRX has a reputation for reliability and a strong track record of longevity.

Here’s an in-depth look at the durability and longevity of the Subaru WRX:

1. Subaru’s Reputation – Subaru has built a reputation for manufacturing durable and long-lasting vehicles.

The company is renowned for its engineering prowess and commitment to quality. This reputation extends to the Subaru WRX, which benefits from Subaru’s extensive experience in producing reliable cars.

2. Boxer Engine Design – One of the key factors contributing to the durability of the Subaru WRX is its Boxer engine design.

The Boxer engine layout has horizontally opposed cylinders, which provides inherent balance and reduces vibrations. This design has proven to enhance durability and longevity, as it distributes the workload evenly across the engine components.

3. All-Wheel Drive System – The Subaru WRX’s all-wheel-drive system not only provides excellent traction and handling but also contributes to the durability of the car.

The balanced power distribution to all four wheels helps reduce stress on individual components, enhancing overall durability and longevity. 4.

Regular Maintenance – Like any vehicle, the Subaru WRX requires regular maintenance to ensure its durability and longevity. Adhering to the recommended maintenance schedule, including oil changes, fluid checks, and filter replacements, is crucial.

Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and using genuine Subaru parts during maintenance and repairs can further contribute to the car’s long-term durability. 5.

Proper Care and Driving Habits – Longevity also depends on how the car is driven and cared for. It’s important to practice good driving habits, such as avoiding aggressive driving, excessive idling, and frequent rapid acceleration.

Proper care, including keeping up with routine cleaning, rust prevention, and addressing maintenance issues promptly, can help extend the lifespan of a Subaru WRX. 6.

Resale Value – The resale value of the Subaru WRX reinforces its reputation for durability and longevity. The demand for used Subaru WRX cars remains high, and their value tends to hold well over time.

This is a testament to the car’s durability and desirability among enthusiasts. Overall, the Subaru WRX has a strong track record of durability and longevity.

When properly maintained and cared for, it has the potential to provide many years of enjoyable and reliable driving.

Best driving practices for a Subaru WRX

Driving a Subaru WRX is thrilling, but it’s important to follow best practices to ensure both safety and optimal performance. Here are some driving practices specific to the Subaru WRX that can enhance your experience and prolong the lifespan of your car:


Warm Up the Engine – Before driving the Subaru WRX aggressively, it’s important to allow the engine to warm up properly. This ensures that all the components reach their optimal operating temperatures, reducing the risk of premature wear or damage.

2. Avoid High RPMs during Cold Starts – When starting the car, avoid immediately revving the engine to high RPMs. This can cause extra stress on the engine components before they have had a chance to properly warm up.

Allow the engine to warm up for a few minutes before driving. 3.

Be Mindful of Turbocharger Operation – The Subaru WRX is equipped with a turbocharger, and it’s important to be mindful of its operation. Avoid aggressive acceleration while the engine is under heavy load, such as when climbing steep hills at low speeds.

This can help prevent excessive stress on the turbocharger and prolong its lifespan. 4.

Observe Speed Limits and Traffic Laws – While the Subaru WRX is a performance-oriented car, it’s important to adhere to speed limits and traffic laws for safety reasons. Reckless driving or exceeding speed limits can increase the risk of accidents and put unnecessary stre

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