What Is the Best Subaru WRX for Under $20,000?

Article Highlights:

  • The VA generation Subaru WRX pricing
  • The GE generation WRX may not be worth the money
  • Buying a Subaru WRX is a worthwhile endeavor

No matter how you put it, $20,000 is a whole lot of money. Thankfully, all that money gets you a whole lot of Subaru. Specifically, that chunk of change can net you a very nice Subaru WRX you can drive and enjoy for years to come. However, there’s a lot of WRX’s out there, and only one generation of WRX is the best for your $20,000 budget.

What’s the best year for the WRX?

A silver Subaru WRX shot from the front
The current WRX has become an icon | Jim Mahoney via Getty Images

RELATED: Subaru WRX Sales Surge Despite Chip Shortage Woes for Subaru

Now, given the current market due to the semiconductor shortage, prices are going to be a little higher. That’s doubly true of states with snowy winters. Consumers there pay a premium for AWD cars, and the Subaru WRX is no exception. Thankfully, we have two generations of WRX to choose from. The first ran from 2007-2014, known internally as the GE or GV generation. Then there’s the current VA generation that runs from 2014 up ’till now.

The GE generation and older WRX models are coming up in value, especially hatchbacks. Though some prefer the driving experience of the newer VA cars, the GE generation Subaru WRX hatchback is an icon. Expect to easily reach that $20,000 mark for a hatchback, especially if it’s in the iconic Subaru blue paint. Additionally, these are considered more collectible and will likely have more miles on them at this price point, as all the clean ones have been snapped up.

The 2014-2021 Subaru WRX is the most reliable ‘Rex

A WRX's EJ25 engine shot from the top down
The famous EJ motor | Antony Dickson via Getty Images

That leaves us with the current Subaru WRX. It’s far and away Subaru’s most popular WRX yet, and the 2022 WRX likely won’t be changing that. Thankfully, these models are also the least collectible, keeping prices low. But, if no hatchback is a dealbreaker for you, you’d best save up some money and go for a GV generation WRX. But if we’re sticking to the budget, a clean VA generation ‘Rex is the best way to spend $20,000 on a Subaru WRX.

At that price point, things can vary wildly depending on two factors: modifications and miles. Usually, lightly modified cars are a safe buy, as long as no one has touched the motor. Beware of tuned cars. The FA and EJ boxer engines already eat oil, and a tune will only make that worse. It’s not hard to find models with under 80,000 miles on them, but the current market does mean they’ll sell fast.

Is it even worth it to buy a WRX?

A silver Subaru WRX hatchback on stage accompanied by Ikuo Mori, president of Fuji Heavy Industries
The previous WRX during its debut | Toru Yamanaka via Getty Images

All that might sound like a lot of headache to get your hands on the VA generation Subaru WRX, but it’s certainly worth it. The Subaru WRX is already an iconic car, and the mechanical changes brought by the VA generation bring increased reliability and speed to the table. If you want a cheap, fast, fun car, you can’t go wrong with a Subaru WRX. There’s a reason you see so many of them at Cars and Coffee.

RELATED: Buy a Subaru WRX if You Want to Save Money