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CR Says They Don't Recommend The Next-Gen Subaru WRX - Why They Are Wrong

Where does the 2023 Subaru WRX rank in reliability with other sports cars? See why Consumer Reports says they don't recommend the performance car. Check out where it ranks with sports cars under $40,000.


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.

2022 Subaru WRX
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

The 2023 Volkswagen GTI (65 points) and 2023 Subaru WRX (63 points) are not recommended by Consumer Reports.

Is the next-generation WRX reliable?

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.

2022 Subaru WRX
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

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).

Our take

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

2022 Subaru WRX

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.

You Might Also Like: 2023 Subaru Reliability From Best To Worst - One Model Is Not Recommended By Consumer Reports

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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Photo credit: Schumacher Subaru


Don (not verified)    December 9, 2022 - 9:16AM

Beefed up engine all for that extra 3 HP. Not even increased torque from the extra displacement. Turbo boost dialed down. Sad, sad day.

Iodoxy (not verified)    July 29, 2023 - 6:52AM

In reply to by Don (not verified)

Larger engine is making same power at lower boost, and has a much wider and flatter torque curve (yes there is more torque from 2000-3000 rpm than the old car) this is not 'sad' but great news for three reasons.

1. For people who tune their cars, you go from 12 psi to even a low 16 psi of boost and you easily out-power the old car and the last generation STi, and still have the broader torque curve.

2. For people who do not tune, reliability is increased as the engine internals are under less stress at lower boost to make the same power as the old car. The new chassis is stiffer by 28% and weighs almost the same (and in two of the trims weighs less).

3. New engine is under square, and does not rev hang like the previous generation, or other cars in the segment.

Drew (not verified)    December 12, 2022 - 8:28PM

Ugliest WRX ever. Most new tech only on CVT model, 20% larger motor, no increase in power. Selling worse in first year than last model did 7 years into run, less torque than same motor makes in a outback, legacy, or ascent. I couod go on all day...but I think you get the point.

Iodoxy (not verified)    July 29, 2023 - 6:46AM

WRX only 'suffers' from poor reliability because people tune and modify them. Apart from Jeeps, few other cars have the extensive catalog of go-fast and appearance parts as the WRX has. The 2.4L engine seems to have no reliability issues (per CR) in other cars, nor does the 6-speed manual (now unique to the WRX).

Many WRX fans (both those who actually own the car, and those who just pretend they own one) focus too much on numbers and not the driving experience. Subaru has made the WRX a better drivers car all around. They have also integrated it into the rest of their lineup, similar to what manufacturers like VW/Audi and Volvo have been doing for a while. One or two basic platforms for a car and a simple line up of engine choices.

Life isn't drag racing Civic Type-Rs. If you only want that go buy a V8 Camaro or Mustang and troggishly punch the gas pedal at every stop light.

Oh yes, I just bought a WRX! I never would have considered the last model. Terrible stock tuning, uneven power band and difficult to drive smoothly.

hi (not verified)    October 25, 2023 - 3:24PM

In reply to by Iodoxy (not verified)

why buy a sports car to treat it like a soccer mom van, its labeled as a sports car on their site, and if im going to pay 1000$ or more a month because every insurance company sees it as a sports car. then im damn well going to drive it like one. and if it cant handle what it has been labled as and intended for. then that makes the car unreliable.