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6 Affordable New Sporty Cars With More HP Than The Subaru WRX

The 2024 Subaru WRX is one of the most affordable new sports cars, but it also has the fewest horsepower. Check out six sporty cars with more power than the WRX.

Sports car buyers have many good choices, and if you are looking for horsepower as a gauge, here are nine models to consider. My report is based on information obtained for the U.S. News Affordable Car with lots of horsepower ranking

U.S. Reports says, "We can help you find a muscular car priced to suit your budget. The (seven) vehicles on this list have ample horsepower and cost less than $35,000. In addition, we've included two excellent bonus picks for those who can stretch their budget above the $35,000 limit.”

I’ll focus on the 2024 Subaru WRX and see why it has the lowest horsepower of any model on the list and if it’s a good value for sports car shoppers. Read my 2024 WRX model guide here.

Additionally, I'll compare its horsepower to other sports cars in its price range to give you a better understanding of its performance and value. 

U.S. News says, “The Subaru WRX ($32,735) has strengths that make sense considering its rally car heritage. This compact car is a blast to drive, hugging corners confidently thanks to its firm suspension and standard all-wheel drive.”

First, here’s the U.S. News ranking from least to the most horsepower. Vehicles under $35,000.  

  • 2024 Subaru WRX: $32,735 | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.5/10 | 271 horsepower
  • 2024 Hyundai Elantra N: $33,700 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.6/10 | 276 horsepower
  • 2023 Hyundai Sonata N Line: $34,475 | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10 | 290 horsepower
  • 2024 Kia K5 GT: $31,990 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.2/10 | 290 horsepower
  • 2024 Toyota Camry TRD: $33,485 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.2/10 | 301 horsepower
  • 2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: $30,920 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.1/10 | 315 horsepower
  • 2024 Chevrolet Camaro: $30,900 | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.1/10 | 335 horsepower

Sports Cars Above $44,000

  • 2024 Honda Civic Type R: $44,795 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.2/10 | 315 horsepower
  • 2024 Acura Integra Type S: $51,800 | U.S. News Overall Score: 9.1/10 | 320 horsepower

What else does U.S. News say about the 2024 Subaru WRX?

WRX Has Shortcomings

U.S. News says, “All models have a turbocharged four-cylinder with 271 horsepower. Though the engine is underwhelming below 3,000 rpm, it finds its feet once the turbocharger kicks in, urgently motivating the car. This peppy powertrain helps the WRX dash from zero to 60 mph in 6 seconds." 

However, compared to other sports cars in its price range, the WRX's acceleration and top speed may not be as impressive. I'll provide a more detailed explanation of the WRX's performance in my 2024 WRX model guide here, helping you understand its strengths and weaknesses in the context of its competitors.

“However, this Subaru also has shortcomings for you to consider. Gas mileage is below average, and there isn’t much cargo room," says U.S. News.

What Is The WRX Gas Mileage?

The 2024 WRX with a 6-speed manual transmission gets an EPA-estimated 19/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg. 

The 2024 WRX with an automatic (SPT) transmission gets an EPA-estimated 18/25 city/highway mpg and 21 combined mpg.

As you can see the WRX has the least amount of horsepower than any of the other affordable sporty cars. The 2021 WRX STI which was the last year of production, is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine producing 310 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. 


The 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine in the 2024 WRX has 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. 

Subaru Corporation has their reasons why they didn’t increase the WRX’s power and torque in the next-gen 2022 when it received a remodel, but there’s plenty of potential for growth, offering hope for future improvements. 

Geez, even the 2024 Toyota Camry TRD sedan has 301 horsepower. 

To be competitive with the other six models on the list, it needs close to 300 horsepower to even be in the conversation. 

The WRX is priced competitively

What is the 2024 WRX Pricing?

The 2024 WRX has five trim levels: Base, Premium, WRX TR, Limited, and GT. Each trim level offers different features and performance capabilities, with corresponding price points. I'll provide a detailed breakdown of the pricing and features of each trim level in my 2024 WRX model guide here, giving you a clearer picture of its affordability and options.

The 2024 WRX 6-speed manual trim level starts at $33,855. The WRX Premium 6-speed manual is $35,755, The WRX Premium with Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) is $37,105, the WRX Limited 6-speed manual is $40,135, the WRX Limited SPT is $41,685, the all-new WRX TR 6-speed manual is $42,775, and WRX GT SPT is $45,335. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,120).

The 2024 WRX TR is new and will only be around for one year. So if you want one you need to act quickly. Read my report on the WRX TR trim here. 

The new 2025 WRX tS has additional performance upgrades from Subaru Tecnica International (STI) but it has the same 2.4-liter Boxer with 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Read my report on new WRX tS here.

The WRX Sales Drop

It’s not a surprise that the WRX Sedan sales have decreased significantly this year. WRX sales have slipped 39.0 percent through the first five months of the year. This decline in sales could have implications for the WRX's future, such as potential changes in its features, and pricing. But I don't believe Subaru will drop the WRX car line. Check my report here. 

Speaking of Cargo Room

What I think the Subaru WRX really needs is a hatchback body style. Get rid of the sedan and develop a new WRX hot hatch with 305 horsepower and watch sales skyrocket. The hatchback offers much more utility and versatility. 

What About You?

Would you buy a new WRX hatchback with 305 horsepower? I know I’d be first in line. Your thoughts on the WRX's performance, features, and potential improvements are valuable and can contribute to a more comprehensive discussion. Let Subaru know what you think by clicking the red Add New Comment link below. 

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru


Michael Martin (not verified)    June 13, 2024 - 9:28PM

If Subaru made a hatchback model with widened fender panels similar to the 2010 -2014 model year WRX, I would trade in my 2021 WRX sedan right now. The worst thing Subaru did was discontinue the hatch and give us the stupid gutless Crosstrek...

Judson Gassner (not verified)    June 14, 2024 - 7:26AM

I have a ‘22 WRX with the Sti exhaust and short throw shifter. I like it but would love a hatchback WRX with 300+ hp, please make that happen Subaru!

Ken Tucker (not verified)    June 14, 2024 - 6:13PM

Subaru stopped making a WRX wagon back in 2014 (I think). I am still baffled as to why but there was a rumor that die-heart WRX and WRX-STI fans thought a wagon diminished the brand so Subaru stopped making them. This seems like an incredibly dumb business decision but Subaru is known for doing weird things for weird reasons.

And yes, if Subaru ever started making a WRX 6 speed wagon again, I'd finally sell my 2010 WRX 5 speed wagon and buy the new one.

Randall Lombard (not verified)    June 23, 2024 - 5:33AM

In reply to by Ken Tucker (not verified)

I hated the STI Wagon. It looked nearly identical to the regular WRX for $10k more. The giant STI wing invoked fear on the street. Mustangs would literally hide from me when they saw my '06 Wing in their rear view mirror. The hatch version looked like a neutered STI to me.

Shawn pitchford (not verified)    June 15, 2024 - 8:09AM

The only reason I bought a WRX is because I could also fit my family in it. So I wouldn’t buy a hatchback and I’ve always found them ugly. The whole point of WRX is not the out of the box HP if you owned one you would know, you obviously don’t. With just a little more money mine will have over 400hp. Stage 1 Cobb tuning you can get up to 293HP, some get over 300.
That’s just with a tune! So obviously they tuned it down to get the gas mileage requirements.
The community behind WRX is amazing, you don’t just get a car, you get admission into a group.
I wish I could get a STI but I don’t want a used vehicle that someone else has possibly ruined, and I would have to say I’m happy and as I upgrade my car from the many upgrade sites that exists, I am happy as hell and I plan on getting one of the newer tr.
Why is some of those cars on the dam list, if it’s not AWD it’s not the same type of car you idiot.
I would love a Honda, if it was AWD. It’s not, so it’s not even in the same category for me.

actualrexowner (not verified)    June 15, 2024 - 4:46PM

I own a '23 VB WRX. The car fits in my smallish garage with a Yakima rack kit and largish kayak on top, and, and it is unfazed by the awkward load going around tight corners. It doesn't need a hatch, because you could buy a Subaru wagon/crossover/impreza thing for that. If you drop that turbo 2.4 into a crosstrek, there you go, WRX with a lift. I don't see the need, WRX sedan is a nimble, quick vehicle, and throwing the weight distribution off by changing the body styling seems like a bad plan.

Jason Ward (not verified)    June 16, 2024 - 2:03AM

I'm sorry but I quit Subaru for the GR chassis, recently came back with a 22 VB. They should not go to a hatchback. That one decision killed the STI along with them pulling from the WRC.

We are car guys. A hatchback is a wagon. /End

Silentwolf (not verified)    June 19, 2024 - 12:53AM

Not much competition out there when it comes to AWD sports cars, but with Toyota having both the GR Yaris and Corolla (the V6 Camry disappears for 2025) , the Golf R is losing the manual but staying around, and Honda not making the type R AWD. While all are hatches, I really think Subaru has lost its rally roots and sportiness has left them so I don't expect they want to continue even just the WRX as it is.

Randall Lombard (not verified)    June 23, 2024 - 5:27AM

I couldn't care less about a hatchback. That is not the problem. I want more horsepower!!!!!! Chargers, Challengers, Camaros, Mustangs, Honda R's, Camry TRD's, Hyundai N's , every Tesla, ALL possess more power than the weak WRX. My very first 2006 STI had more power than the latest WRX does 19 years ago!!! What is Subaru trying to prove?? That their cars are too good for power? Oh, I know, I know... Safety first! ...except that ALL cars are safe today. Safety isn't selling cars today. It's utility and power, and WRX's used to have more than its competitors. Not anymore. There were surpassed about 10 years ago. Now they're just plain stuck in the past. Worse, they don't realize it.