Should you buy the 2023 Subaru WRX? What are the most reliable sports cars under $40,000? According to Consumer Reports (by subscription) newly updated reliability rankings, the 2023 Subaru WRX is not recommended and is ranked number six out of the six new sports cars under $40,000.
Consumer Reports sports car rankings
For sports cars under $40,000, the 2023 Mini Cooper is recommended and ranked number one with 82 points. It's followed by the 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata, with a recommended score of 82. Also recommended are the 2023 Toyota GR86/Subaru BRZ, getting a score of 76, and the 2023 Honda Civic (Si/Type R) with 74 points.
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The 2023 Volkswagen GTI (65 points) and 2023 Subaru WRX (63 points) are not recommended by Consumer Reports.
CR says they don't recommend the WRX sport-tuned sedan because of past reliability issues. They say, "We expect the 2023 WRX to be less reliable than other new cars."
Consumer Reports gives the 2023 Subaru WRX a predicted reliability rating of 2/5. Keep in mind that this prediction is based on Subaru's brand history and the previous models of the WRX, according to CR, not the next-generation model.
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Even though reliability is low, CR says they give the WRX a high predicted owner satisfaction rating of 4/5. The 2023 WRX gets nearly perfect marks in overall performance. In acceleration 5/5, transmission performance 4/5, braking 5/5, and handling 5/5. The rating also applies to the next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX.
The WRX gets lower scores for comfort and convenience. The WRX gets a 2/5 for ride quality, 2/5 for noise, 4/5 for seat comfort, 3/5 for interior fit and finish, and 3/5 for trunk and cargo area.
Surprisingly, the WRX gets a 4/5 rating for fuel economy. What is the WRX fuel mileage?
The 2022 Subaru WRX with a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gets an EPA-estimated 19/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The WRX with a CVT automatic transmission gets 19/25 city/highway mpg and 21 combined mpg.
When will the 2023 Subaru WRX be available for U.S. customers?
Subaru of America has yet to announce pricing and upgrades for the 2023 model change. We expect few changes to the 2023 sports car since it received a complete remodel in 2022. The 2023 Subaru WRX will likely increase in price by $500-$600 for each trim level.
What is the price of the 2022 Subaru WRX?
The 2022 WRX is still a good value. The 6-speed manual trim level starts at $30,600. The WRX with Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) is $32,450, the WRX Premium 6-speed manual is $33,100, WRX Premium SPT is $35,150, the WRX Limited 6-speed manual is $37,490, WRX Limited SPT is $39,740, and WRX GT is $43,390. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($995).
The Subaru WRX STI has had EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged engine issues, and a lawsuit that Subaru of America settled. Consumer Reports is basing some of its data on the higher-performance STI. The FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer is too new, and more data on the powerplant must be collected before it can be evaluated for reliability.
CR says they don't recommend the WRX sport-tuned sedan because of past reliability issues
Should performance customers avoid the next-generation Subaru WRX? No, because the FA24 is better than the EJ25.
Subaru beefed up the FA24's engine block and internals to handle the increase in horsepower. In a turbocharged engine, it's even more critical because of the extra boost from the turbocharger. Subaru increased the thickness of the cylinder walls and added larger connecting rods, which are twice as thick as the EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged engine in the WRX STI.
Subaru also upgraded the valve springs. The FA24 comes with new" Beehive" valve springs that are smaller at the top and broader in the middle, making them stronger and can handle more pressure and higher revs (500-700) than a typical spring.
Another significant improvement in the new FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged powerplant is the addition of direct fuel injection instead of the older port injection. Port injection places the fuel injector in the intake manifold upstream from the intake valve. The air and fuel mix before entering the combustion chamber is less efficient.
Check out: Subaru’s NEW 2.4-liter turbo Boxer engine - The Science EXPLAINED
Direct injection shoots the fuel directly into the cylinder, delivering a more precise air/fuel mixture and improving efficiency. It increases the pressure and horsepower and lowers the cylinder's temperature, reducing the chance of pre-ignition.
Subaru also improved the FA24's cylinder head, giving the air a straighter shot into the cylinder by taking out the bends. Subaru engineers took out turbulence and improved the airflow at higher revs. More air plus more fuel from the direct injection equals more power.
The new FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine upgrades will allow tuners to increase horsepower in the new powerplant without blowing it up. Without modifications, the new engine will deliver improved responsiveness and acceleration over the outgoing 2.0-liter engine.
The Japanese automaker's best-turbocharged engine is the new 2.4-liter Boxer powerplant in the next-generation Subaru WRX.
Consumer Reports does not recommend the 2023 Subaru WRX, but the data is from previous model years. The NHTSA reports no recalls for the 2022 Subaru WRX, which indicates no problems with the next-generation WRX's 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine.
Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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