Subaru WRX Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Subaru WRX Years to Avoid – If you’re a car enthusiast looking for a performance-oriented sedan with a rally-inspired heritage, the Subaru WRX is likely on your radar. With its turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive capability, the WRX has gained a dedicated following over the years.

However, not all model years of the Subaru WRX have been created equal.

In this article, we’ll explore the Subaru WRX years to avoid, shedding light on the worst model years that you should steer clear of when considering a purchase.

Subaru WRX Years to Avoid

When investing in a pre-owned Subaru WRX, it’s essential to be aware of the specific model years that may have had issues or received negative feedback from owners.

By identifying these years, you can make an informed decision and potentially save yourself from future headaches.

Let’s dive into the details and discover which Subaru WRX model years you should approach with caution.

Which Year Models of Subaru WRX to Avoid

When it comes to meeting the needs of World Rally Championship fans, the Subaru WRX stands as the go-to choice in the sport compact car segment. However, not all model years of the Subaru WRX have been free from issues.

We will guide you through the Subaru WRX years to avoid, shedding light on the worst model years that have experienced recurring problems.

By familiarizing yourself with these problematic years, you can make a more informed decision and avoid potential reliability headaches down the road.

The Subaru WRX is a relatively new entrant in the rally-inspired sport compact car market, which means there is a limited selection of model years to choose from.

As with many vehicles during their initial years of production, the 2015 and 2016 models have emerged as the ones plagued by the most problems, particularly related to their clutch systems.

Due to this recurring issue, it is recommended to steer clear of these specific model years.

While the majority of Subaru WRX model years offer spirited drives without major reliability concerns, it is crucial to be aware of the two years that should be avoided due to their reported issues.

2015 Subaru WRX

This model year has garnered complaints primarily centered around clutch-related problems. Many owners reported issues with the clutch pedal feeling incorrect or slipping.

Additionally, high numbers of complaints were filed regarding drivetrain, engine, and transmission problems.

The most severe cases involved a faulty clutch plate at 9,000 miles, which incurred an average repair cost of $1,600, a complete clutch failure at 25,000 miles with a replacement cost of $1,400, and throwout bearing noises at 10,000 miles.

Read Also: Subaru BRZ Years to Avoid

2016 Subaru WRX

The 2016 model year shares the same clutch problems as its predecessor, the 2015 model. However, the number of reported issues in this year is relatively lower.

Some owners have also encountered engine issues and electrical problems, but these occurrences are fewer and less significant compared to clutch-related concerns.

Expensive repairs reported for the 2016 WRX include replacing a faulty clutch at 10,000 miles, costing around $1,500, and addressing a failed radiator at 43,000 miles, with a repair cost of approximately $800.

It is worth noting that other Subaru WRX model years have generally exhibited better reliability and performance, offering enthusiasts the spirited driving experience they desire along with comfort and agility.

Which Year Models of Subaru WRX Are Safe to Buy Used?

Which Year Models of Subaru WRX Are Safe to Buy Used

For those seeking a thrilling driving experience, the Subaru WRX stands as a go-to choice, boasting a firm ride, quick steering, and refined performance.

Despite being a relatively recent addition to the market as a standalone model, the Subaru WRX offers a limited but commendable range of model years.

When shopping for a used Subaru WRX, consider selecting from the following model years:

2017 Subaru WRX

The 2017 model year has garnered few problems, with reported issues primarily involving the engine, drivetrain, and electrical system. However, these occurrences are infrequent and not commonly experienced by owners.

The most severe issues recorded include premature clutch failure at a mere 6,000 miles, throw-out bearing noise at 9,000 miles, and squealing noise at 25,000 miles.

Despite these isolated cases, the overall reliability of the 2017 WRX remains intact.

Read Also: Most Expensive Subaru

2018 Subaru WRX

Considered a reliable car with minimal concerns, the 2018 model year exhibits few problems that warrant worry. Some owners have reported electrical, engine, and drivetrain issues, but these occurrences are rare.

The most severe problems filed include a knocking engine at 7,000 miles, an eyesight system malfunction at 2,000 miles, and a non-functional radio at 2,000 miles.

These instances, however, represent isolated cases rather than chronic issues.

2019 Subaru WRX

The 2019 model year showcases a commendable track record with only a single clutch problem on record.

Other issues related to the engine, electrical systems, and drivetrain are almost non-existent. The most notable problem reported is a sudden clicking noise at 15,000 miles.

It’s important to note that subsequent model years beyond 2019 have yet to accumulate any filed complaints, further indicating their reliability.

In addition to the mentioned years, the 2020 and 2021 Subaru WRX model years also exhibit strong performance and reliability, with no chronic issues reported thus far.

These years provide a sense of reassurance, requiring ordinary repairs and maintenance typically associated with any reliable car.

By opting for any of the recommended model years, including 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, you can embark on your Subaru WRX journey with confidence, knowing that these years have demonstrated a consistent track record of dependability and performance.

Read Also: Subaru Ascent Years to Avoid

Subaru WRX Problems

Let’s explore some of the most common problems and reliability concerns associated with the Subaru WRX. By understanding these issues, you and current owners can make informed decisions and take necessary precautions to address potential problems.

1. Engine Issues

While the Subaru WRX’s engine is known for its power, some model years have exhibited weaknesses in certain internal engine components.

The rods, rod bearings, and piston rings have been identified as areas prone to failure, particularly in tuned and modified engines.

It’s worth noting that these issues are more prevalent among WRXs that have undergone aftermarket modifications, as opposed to stock models.

2. Oil Leaks

Reports have indicated that the Subaru WRX has experienced oil leaks, causing concerns for owners. Many drivers have observed excessive oil consumption, which can be attributed to a faulty oil pump seal.

If left unaddressed, this oil leak can lead to significant and permanent damage to the engine.

Read Also: Subaru Outback Years to Avoid

3. Defective Turbocharger

The presence of a defective turbocharger in a performance-oriented car like the WRX is disappointing. Numerous WRX owners have reported instances where the defective turbocharger resulted in engine misfires and power loss.

This issue can significantly impact the vehicle’s performance and overall driving experience.

4. Faulty Oxygen Sensors

Owners have expressed frustration with the WRX’s oxygen sensors, noting their tendency to fail prematurely.

This problem has been reported across various WRX models, leading to issues such as rough idling and engine misfires.

The proper functioning of the oxygen sensors is crucial for maintaining optimal fuel efficiency and performance.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all Subaru WRX models and model years are affected by these problems to the same extent. While some years may have a higher incidence of issues, others may exhibit improved reliability and performance.

What year is the fastest WRX?

The fastest WRX model year is the 2013 Subaru WRX Special Edition. It boasts impressive acceleration, capable of reaching 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. With a top speed of 142 mph, this limited edition WRX is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine, delivering 265 horsepower and 244 lb-ft of torque.

Is Subaru WRX expensive to fix?

While Subaru WRX vehicles are known for their reliability and handling prowess, it is important to note that they can be expensive to repair and maintain. Like any vehicle, the cost of ownership for a Subaru WRX can be influenced by factors such as parts availability, labor costs, and specialized components.

To maintain a more affordable ownership experience, it is recommended to adhere to routine inspections and scheduled maintenance, similar to any other car model.

Is the WRX a good daily driver?

Yes, the WRX is considered a good daily driver. With its all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, the WRX offers enhanced traction and stability, making it suitable for year-round driving, even in challenging weather conditions.

The AWD system helps deliver power to the ground efficiently, minimizing issues like torque steer often associated with high-performance front-wheel-drive cars.

The WRX’s balance of power, handling, and practicality makes it a viable option for daily commuting and enjoyment on the road.


the Subaru WRX is a thrilling and performance-oriented compact sedan that has gained a reputation for its reliability and handling capabilities. However, it is important to be aware of certain years that may present more problems than others.

When evaluating any used vehicle, it is crucial to conduct thorough research, consider individual vehicle history, and perform a comprehensive inspection.

This will help ensure that you make an informed decision and select a Subaru WRX that meets your expectations and offers a reliable driving experience.

By being aware of the Subaru WRX years to avoid and focusing on the recommended model years, you can enhance your chances of finding a dependable and enjoyable vehicle. Whether you’re seeking exhilaration on the road or a reliable daily driver, the Subaru WRX can deliver the performance and reliability you desire.

Remember, it’s always beneficial to consult with a trusted mechanic or Subaru dealership for personalized advice and recommendations based on your specific needs and preferences.

Keep the information about Subaru WRX years to avoid in mind during your search to make an informed decision and enjoy the exciting experience that the Subaru WRX has to offer.

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