Subaru WRX Years To Avoid | 9 Best & Worst Years 2023

Unsurprisingly, the Subaru WRX is one of the most sought-after cars in the world. Subaru introduced the WRX to the U.S. market as a compact sports sedan in the 2015 model year. The Subaru WRX is the most stylish and powerful car in its price range.

However, beware that not all Subaru WRXs are created equal; some Subaru WRXs from specific production years must be avoided at all costs. While the reasons for avoiding them may differ, it is crucial to know and avoid all the models that could cause problems.

Subaru WRX years to avoid include 2015-2019; they are considered the worst. The best years for Subaru WRX include 2020-2023. This result was concluded from trustworthy sources such as NHTSA, Edmund, JD Power, and Kelley Blue Book.

Subaru WRX Years To Avoid

The WRX has a loyal fanbase thanks to its exciting performance and all-weather capability, but there have been persistent problems with a few specific model years.

In this section, we’ll look at the Subaru WRX model years that are supposedly the worst.

5. Worst Year: 2019 Subaru WRX (3.86 Rating)

Source: johnsonsubaru

The 2019 Subaru WRX has just a few problems, but we can not say it’s among the best ones and can not confidently recommend it to anyone. There are hardly any problems with the engine, electrics, or drivetrain. However, sudden clicking noise is the worst complaint reported at 15,000 miles.

The other reported issue with this model is the radio going black, the volume issues, and the screen freezing. These issues were reported at around 12,000 miles. Misfiring and knocking is other common concern reported by some owners.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

4. Worst Year: 2018 Subaru WRX (3.71 Rating)

Source: autonews

Similar to the 2017 WRX, the 2018 WRX suffered a number of problems that caused the battery to deplete too quickly. In several cases, owners said they were stranded in dangerous areas and often had to jump-start or replace their vehicles’ batteries. The steering was another concern for drivers, with frequent reports of the wheel locking up in the driver’s hands.

It has a few minor issues with dependability, such as a broken radio and a leaking rack and pinion seal. However, a few issues with this model year could be deal breakers: a small trunk, low gas mileage, and a high total cost of ownership.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Worst Year: 2017 Subaru WRX (3.67 Rating)

Source: motorauthority

Regarding reliability, the 2017 WRX is the third-worst model ever. The most prevalent complaint was that the battery would drain too quickly, leaving the driver stranded and requiring frequent battery replacements.

There were complaints about the steering, with some drivers saying the wheel would lock up on them unexpectedly. The engine knocks, the radio doesn’t work, and the power steering leaks are the other commonly reported issues with the 2017 WRX.

One customer complained that although he loves driving his car, it has a terrible stereo system and sounds horrible. Although it’s not dangerous, it can be very annoying while driving.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Worst Year: 2016 Subaru WRX (3.51 Rating)

Source: Edmunds

Due to its poor reliability rating, inferior cabin, and high ownership costs, the 2016 Subaru falls into the lowest third of a very competitive class. This model’s common concerns are a terrible clutch, clutch noise, and failed radiator.

The 2016 WRX is an improvement over the 2015 model, but purchasers should be aware of several issues with its reliability. The clutch on this model is notoriously unreliable; owners claim it frequently fails, slips, and even emits a smokey odor. This may be a dealbreaker for individuals who use a manual transmission instead.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Worst Year: 2015 Subaru WRX (3.22 Rating)

Source: torquenews

2015 is the worst WRX year, and we recommend avoiding it completely. The 2015 WRX received the most complaints and recalls on NHTSA. The long-term reliability of the 2015 Subaru WRX is still in question.

According to, If you look at repair costs and average mileage when problems arise, the 2015 Subaru WRX is the worst model year to date. Poor clutch plate and flywheel issues are the most commonly reported issue with the 2015 Subaru WRX.

Where the clutch is the source of most 2015 WRX complaints, the pedal may feel wrong or slip for some drivers. Other frequent complaints concern the vehicle’s drivetrain, engine, and transmission. This model also suffers from problematic AC / heater.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Best Subaru WRX Years To Buy

Based on available statistics and the experiences of other Subaru WRX owners, certain model years are generally accepted as more reliable. The reliability of any given vehicle ultimately depends on the owner and how they treat it, but it is generally agreed that later WRX models are more reliable.

4. Best Year: 2022 Subaru WRX (4.15 Rating)

Source: Motor1

As the start of its fifth generation, the 2022 WRX receives a complete redesign that makes it more polished and quiet than ever before while maintaining its status as a top pick among drivers. Since it’s the first model of the latest generation, it cannot beat the already best-performant 2020 and 2021 models.

Auto critics have praised its improved exterior, new platform, and engaging driving dynamics. It has a more potent engine, all-wheel drive, and adaptive suspension as an option. All trims include either a 6-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission coupled to a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine (271 hp).

Base, Premium, Limited, and GT are the available trim levels. The EPA estimates a combined 22 MPG for city/highway driving and 19 MPG for city/highway driving alone.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

3. Best Year: 2021 Subaru WRX (4.19 Rating)

Source: Car and Drive

The 2021 WRX is the last model year of the fourth generation, and it has received generally positive reviews from customers and few complaints. This model year is even better than the 2022 WRX.

This year, the Premium trim level in the middle of the range now comes standard with keyless entry and push-button start. Base, Premium, Limited, STI, and STI Limited are the available trim levels.

What we like about this model is it was the last year you could buy an STI, as they are famously entertaining vehicles. A 2-liter 4-cylinder engine (268 hp) is standard on the base and mid-level models. However, the STI models have a more powerful 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine (310 hp).

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave this vehicle their highest possible grade of five stars for safety. The EyeSight Assist Monitor, the Reverse Automatic Braking System, and the EyeSight Lane Keep Assist are all essential safety elements.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

2. Best Year: 2020 Subaru WRX (4.21 Rating)

Source: Car And Drive

The 2020 Subaru WRX was a major improvement over its predecessor, particularly regarding reliability. The 2020 WRX reliably provides excellent handling, potent engines, and safety ratings.

Auto journalists agree that the WRX’s cabin is roomy despite not being particularly attractive because of the vehicle’s focus on performance. In addition, there are also big doorways to let you get in and out of the car without any hassle.

There have been relatively few issues reported with the 2020 WRX, with only 11. J.D. Power gave the 2020 WRX an excellent score of 77 out of 100 for Quality & Reliability, placing it #1 Compact Sporty Car segment.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

1. Best Year: 2023 Subaru WRX (4.55 Rating)

Source: The car connection

The 2023 Subaru WRX is the second model of the fifth generation and the best WRX model available today. With the perfect score of five out of five from Kelley Blue Book, the 2023 WRX made it to #5 Best Compact Cars.

Sedan enthusiasts can choose between the standard, Premium, Limited, or GT versions of Subaru’s 2023 WRX. Each one is equipped with a 271-horsepower, 258-lb.-ft.-torque turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four-cylinder engine. Furthermore, its Standard all-wheel drive enhances traction and handling.

The 2023 Subaru WRX is expected to be one of the most dependable subcompact cars.

Reviews, Ratings, Recalls & Complaints:

Common Subaru WRX Problems

The Subaru WRX has a solid reputation as a trustworthy compact car. Nonetheless, there is no denying that certain years are less reliable than others. Some of the most frequent WRX reliability issues are as follows:

1. Oil Leakage:

Subaru WRX reportedly had problems with oil leakage. Many WRX owners have complained about the vehicle’s excessive oil consumption. The oil pump seal is responsible for this problem. This could lead to irreparable engine damage if left unchecked.

2. Problematic Engine:

It seems that the WRX’s engine experienced some internal problems. The rods, rod bearings, and piston rings are some of the most common points of failure in an internal combustion engine. In the case of the WRX, this issue appears to arise primarily with tuned and modded engines.

3. Defective Oxygen Sensors:

Dissatisfied WRX owners have complained about the reliability of the vehicle’s oxygen sensors. Many WRX models suffered from this issue, which manifested in various ways, including rough idling and engine misfires.

4. Faulty Turbocharger:

A malfunctioning turbocharger is unacceptable in a vehicle with racing roots like the WRX. Several WRX owners complained that their vehicles’ turbochargers were faulty, resulting in misfires and a loss of power.


1. Is Subaru WRX Reliable?

When it comes to dependability, the Subaru WRX does not fare well. Repairpal gives the Subaru WRX a 3.5 out of 5, placing it at #32 out of 36 in reliability among compact cars.

2. What is the Price of a Used Subaru WRX?

The price will vary significantly based on criteria such as the vehicle’s age, condition, and mileage. A typical 2015 WRX can be had for around $19,990. For the year 2023 model, the price jumps to $30,605. Prices for the STi model are expected to rise as well.

3. Subaru Vs. Impreza: Which One is Better?

The base model Impreza is intended primarily as a commuter car. But the WRX is a high-performance variant built on the same chassis. The WRX has been upgraded in every way. Simply put, the WRX is a street-legal race car.

4. Is Subaru WRX a Good Car To Buy?

The Subaru WRX is a good car to buy. Its all-wheel-drive convenience and exciting performance make it the perfect daily driving car for many people. However, careful research is required to select a trustworthy vehicle.


The Subaru WRX is a favorite among sports car enthusiasts for good reason. Whether you’re looking for something old-school or brand-new, there’s always a model year that works for you. However, avoiding WRX’s initial models is better because they can cause trouble.

We’re confident you’ll have a good time no matter the model you choose from the list of best models. That’s the whole point of these automobiles—to have lots and loads of fun.

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