2020 Subaru WRX STI, 2021 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI
Denis Flierl's picture

New Subaru WRX And STI Reliability - What To Know Before You Buy It

The 2020 Subaru WRX and STI are still the best performance value, but they aren't perfect. What to know before you buy it.
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The next-generation Subaru WRX STI is still another year away and if you can’t wait, the 2020 WRX STI is still a good performance buy. But there have been some issues with current-generation models you should be aware of before you decide to buy one. We will start with the WRX as it has a separate issue than the STI.

It’s been well documented by Consumer Reports, the NHTSA, and other sources that the WRX 6-speed transmission clutch could be an area of concern. Consumer Reports says the gearbox is “clunky” and it has a “stiff clutch.” But these aren’t the real concerns.

2020 Subaru WRX STI, 2021 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI

There have been numerous complaints about current-generation Subaru WRX 6-speed manual gearbox clutch issues. There have been reports that the sport-tuned model is having premature clutch and throwout bearing failure with less than 50,000 miles on the car.

Car Complaints says some new-generation models have experienced clutch problems between 9,000-25,000 miles on the performance sedan. The cost to replace is around $1,600. Some of this could be driver error.

2020 Subaru WRX STI, 2021 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI

The WRX STI has had well-documented issues with its EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine. There have been a number of lawsuits over premature engine failure due to a defect that allowed contaminated oil to carry “damaging metal debris through the engines,” according to court documents.

This is expensive and it could cost you $6,000 or more to get the 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine repaired or replaced. Keep in mind the lawsuit covered the 2012-2017 Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI model years. We haven’t heard of any issues yet in the 2018 -2020 models, so Subaru may have fixed this after 2017.

Subaru did settle up with owners and agreed to reimburse class action members. The automaker paid owners 100 percent of all out-of-pocket expenses they incurred for parts and labor paid to a Subaru retailer for the cost of a qualifying repair performed during the extended warranty period.

The sport-tuned 2020 Subaru WRX and performance-tuned STI aren't perfect, but they are still the best sports car value in America. If you can wait, the all-new next-generation 2022 models will arrive sometime next year.

You Might Also Like: One Unique Quality Sets The Subaru WRX Apart Making It The Best Sports Car Under $30K

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Comments

Clutch and throwout bearing issues isn't uncommon for Subaru. I've owned many cars and have putt over 200K miles on most with about 50% city/highway driving. I never had to replace any drive train components on any of them...except for my Subarus. On my 2008 Outback, the last Subaru I will ever buy, I was told that Subaru went through at least 3 throw out bearing variants. Mine went at about 100K but how it went caused the flywheel to be taken out as well (along with the clutch and pressure plate). Yes, it was $1600 to fix it. Subarus are a cult car and I can't figure out why. Unless you can do repairs yourself, they aren't inexpensive to maintain and they can't defy laws of physics with their AWD drive train. I'll take my Honda with a set of studded tires for winter.
While I love my ‘16 WRX the transmission was the biggest disappointment. One of the first upgrades purchased was a Raceseng 735g/1.62lbs weighted shift knob just to get thru the notchy gates. Then we come to the exploded throw out bearing at 58k miles. The transmission started to grind going into 3rd whether upshifting or downshifting unless you held in the clutch and waited for the RPMs to drop below 1000rpm with less than 10k miles The clutch however never slipped even while pushing 400whp but it was never dropped nor abused(mainly due to the grinding tranny) And doesn’t include the times the cable came loose, fighting, because it didn’t want to shift into 5th at all. All those issues are in the distant past now with a swapped in STI 6mt DCCD with a twin disc Competition Clutch. Now the car shifts as it should, is quicker and really pulls. This is how the car should have come from the factory
Owner of a 2020 WRX here. I have done extensive research before buying and even inquired with consumer reports about reliability. The issue with their ratings is that the reliability score for this and other year's models of the current generation is based on one model year - I believe it was 2016 - for which they have sufficient data from their user surveys. For all other year's, there is insufficient data. So that's to be taken with a grain of salt.
Sounds like Subaru fixed those oil leaks, finally. I have a 2004 WRX so I’m still dealing with leaks.