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Subaru bills the WRX as a rally-inspired, AWD four-door sports car. Comparing current sales to sales figures from the first five months of last year, it appears that WRX’s popularity is increasing. So, how did the Subaru WRX make such an impressive comeback for 2023?

2023 Subaru WRX sales through May 2023

According to Good Car Bad Car, Subaru sold 13,047 WRX models in the United States from Jan. 1 through May 31, 2023. Compared to 4,747 sales during the same period in 2022, a 174.85% increase. However, comparing May 2023 to May 2022 sales reveals a mere 3.63% increase from 2,674 to 2,771 units. 

The data’s most surprising reveal isn’t skyrocketing 2023 model year WRX sales; it’s how poorly it sold during the first three months of 2022. For context, for a few years leading up to 2022, Subaru averaged approximately 2,000 WRX sales a month, and in December 2021, the WRX posted 2,037 sales. However, in January 2022, WRX sales dropped to 341 units, followed by 31 in February and 204 in March. Overall, the automaker sold 8,479 fewer WRXs in 2022 compared to 2021.

Should the increased WRX sales so far in 2023 excite Subaru?

While the 175% sales increase over 2022 isn’t a solid indicator of growth, the numbers indicate a potential return to pre-pandemic levels of nearly 30,000 sales per year. The last year Subaru sold more than 30,000 WRX models was 2017, with 31,358 units sold. Finally, the first five months of 2017 saw 13,530 sales compared to 13,047 for the same period in 2023. 

While 2023’s initial sales figures lag behind calendar years with the highest sales, they are up from more recent entries. If this is the beginning of an upward trend, it should excite Subaru officials. However, the automaker should remain cautiously optimistic since 2021 Subaru WRX sales also saw a temporary peak with 27,141 units before crashing again in 2022.

Reasons the WRX is gaining popularity

The 2023 Subaru WRX offers four grades/trim levels: Base, Premium, Limited, and GT. Subaru lists the Base model’s starting MSRP at $30,605, and the GT tops the list at $43,395. The $33,105 Premium and $37,495 Limited grades round out the WRX lineup, making it a fairly affordable sports car with standard AWD 

Some may not appreciate the WRX’s fuel economy ratings. However, even the GT gets an EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, with lower grades getting 1 mpg better highway mileage. Those numbers represent good fuel efficiency for a sports car.

The 2023 model year WRX features a 271-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four-cylinder engine with 258 lb-ft of torque. Of course, every WRX comes with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system. Subaru provides a fully synchronized six-speed manual transmission in the three lower grades. In contrast, the Subaru performance eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in the GT trim and optional in the other grades. 

Is the Subaru WRX here to stay?

As the “rally legend for the next generation,” the 2023 Subaru WRX fills a unique niche for drivers that desire a small, four-door sports car that delivers plenty of value. While other vehicles compete for the same niche, few offer the same level of precision as the WRX. Its position ensures WRX’s popularity for years to come.

Related Only 1 Subaru Model Has Annual Maintenance Costs Over $700

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