Is a Subaru WRX a Reliable Car: Performance, Maintenance Costs, and Overall Ownership Experience

Subaru’s WRX is an impressive vehicle with a loyal following. However, one of the most frequent questions people ask is whether the Subaru WRX is reliable. In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the car’s performance, maintenance costs, and overall ownership experience to answer that question.

Key Takeaways

  • The Subaru WRX is a reliable car known for its impressive performance and all-wheel-drive capabilities.
  • The car’s reliability track record is above average, with few noteworthy issues.
  • Maintenance costs for the WRX are generally reasonable, but certain repairs can be expensive.
  • Overall, the WRX offers an enjoyable driving experience and a solid ownership experience for those interested in a sporty, reliable vehicle.


The Subaru WRX is known for its impressive performance, making it a popular choice among driving enthusiasts. Equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the WRX delivers 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The car’s all-wheel-drive system provides exceptional handling and traction, making it a joy to drive even in challenging conditions.

The WRX’s performance is further enhanced by its available sport-tuned suspension, which offers a more engaging driving experience. The car’s standard six-speed manual transmission is also well-regarded for its crisp, precise shifting.

Maintenance Costs

Maintaining a Subaru WRX is generally reasonable, although certain repairs can be costly. According to RepairPal, the average annual cost of maintenance and repairs for the WRX is $682, which is slightly above average for a sports car. However, most of the car’s maintenance needs are relatively routine, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake pad replacements.

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One potential area of concern is the WRX’s high-performance brakes, which can wear out more quickly than those on a typical vehicle. Replacing the brakes on a WRX can cost upwards of $1,000, depending on the extent of the damage. Additionally, the car’s turbocharged engine may require more frequent oil changes than a non-turbocharged engine, which can add to the cost of ownership.

Reliability Track Record

The Subaru WRX has a solid reliability track record, with few notable issues. According to J.D. Power, the 2021 WRX received a score of 81 out of 100 in the firm’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study. This score is well above average and indicates that the car is likely to be reliable over the long term.

Owners have also reported few significant issues with the WRX. According to Car Complaints, the most common problems reported by WRX owners relate to the car’s electrical system, followed by engine issues. However, these issues are relatively rare, with most owners reporting few or no problems with their vehicles.

Overall Ownership Experience

Overall, the Subaru WRX offers a solid ownership experience for those interested in a sporty, reliable vehicle. The car’s impressive performance and all-wheel-drive capabilities make it a joy to drive, while its solid reliability track record provides peace of mind for owners.

Additionally, the WRX offers a spacious interior and ample cargo room, making it a practical choice for daily driving. The car’s fuel economy is also reasonable, with an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.


How often does a Subaru WRX need an oil change?

The frequency of oil changes for a Subaru WRX can depend on a variety of factors, including driving habits and the type of oil used. However, most experts recommend changing the oil in a turbocharged WRX every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

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Is the Subaru WRX expensive to insure?

Insurance costs for a Subaru WRX can be higher than those for a typical vehicle, due in part to the car’s high-performance capabilities. However, rates can vary depending on factors such as the owner’s driving record, location, and age.

What is the warranty on a Subaru WRX?

The 2021 Subaru WRX comes with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, as well as a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Additionally, Subaru offers a roadside assistance program for the first three years of ownership.


Overall, the Subaru WRX is a reliable car that offers impressive performance and a solid ownership experience. While maintenance costs can be slightly above average, the car’s solid reliability record provides peace of mind for owners. If you’re looking for a sporty vehicle that’s fun to drive and reliable, the Subaru WRX is certainly worth considering.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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