Sedans & Coupes

The 2021 Subaru WRX Isn’t More Expensive, But It’s Still Pretty Pricey

It’s hard to put a price on fun. This is clearly something that automakers capitalize on when creating exciting vehicles like the 2021 Subaru WRX that up the fun-factor in your daily drive. With sleek lines, a sporty silhouette, and more power than most compact sports cars, the Subaru WRX is hard to overlook. 

However, in the past, the price tag may have swayed buyers against purchasing this sweet ride. It may continue to be challenging to get consumers to take a second look at the 2021 Subaru WRX with its consistently high sticker price. 

Why are gearheads obsessed with the Subaru WRX? Is it the way the car handles on the open road? How it takes a sharp turn? The way it looks sitting in the driveway? We would venture to say that the answer is yes to all of the above. However, are these bragging rights and fun features something you can fit into your budget? Subaru is toeing the line when answering that question due to the high starting MSRP of the WRX

All this begs the question, is the 2021 Subaru WRX worth it? Let’s take a closer look at everything this sports car has to offer. Then, we will let you be the judge.

How much does the 2021 Subaru WRX cost?

A blue 2021 Subaru WRX STI and a red 2021 Subaru WRX parked on display
The 2021 Subaru WRX and WRX STI on display | Photo via Subaru

While it may look like a typical compact car to the untrained eye, the 2021 WRX packs a much more powerful punch. With robust handling and a more sporty interior, you can tell that the WRX is built more for performance than comfort. This is even more evident once you get behind the wheel. But even though this sports compact piles on the thrills, is it worth the hit to your bank account?

Subaru announced the pricing and features of the 2021 Subaru WRX via a press release. The base model’s starting MSRP remains at $27,495, which is higher than that of the 2020 Ford Mustang. Meanwhile, the mid-tier Premium trim incurs a small bump of $295, bringing its price to $30,045, but drivers will get the addition of a proximity key and push-button start in return. The top-of-the-line Limited model will also cost the same as its 2020 counterpart, starting at $33,995. 

Notably, all models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. However, shoppers can add a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for $1,900 on the Premium and Limited trims.

Finally, the high-performance 2021 Subaru WRX STI models are $250 more expensive than last year’s iterations. The base STI now starts at $37,245, and the STI Limited begins at $41,945.

Does the fun justify the price?

There’s a reason WRX drivers get so many speeding tickets; the car is an absolute joy to drive. A 268-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine powers the regular 2021 Subaru WRX models. Meanwhile, the WRX STI gets a performance boost by way of a 310-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine.

Unlike most other compact cars, the 2021 Subaru WRX comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system. This drivetrain provides extra grip on the road, which gives drivers a little extra added confidence. The inclusion of AWD may give it the edge over other sporty compacts, such as the Civic Si and Golf GTI.

But is the 2021 Subaru WRX’s robust engine and sporty driving dynamics worth the high cost to begin with? That depends on your preferences. The WRX is one of the most fun cars available under $35K, but you can get more for your money by choosing another vehicle. For instance, those who want to go big can get a more powerful and much roomier 2020 Dodge Charger for just $29,995. Meanwhile, you can save a bit of cash by choosing a 2020 Honda Civic Si, which starts at $25,200.

However, none of the 2021 Subaru WRX competitors will have quite the same feel or unique style as this modern classic.

Should you buy a 2021 Subaru WRX?

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If the WRX tempts you, then you should take a test drive. However, it might be worth considering purchasing a used model. The current-gen WRX launched for the 2014 model year. Plus, it hasn’t received any significant updates since Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were made standard for the 2019 model year. 
A used Subaru WRX is still quite expensive, with a base 2019 version going for around $24,475, according to Consumer Reports. However, this small discount might help reduce the sticker shock that buyers of a new 2021 Subaru WRX may face.