What Does Consumer Reports Have Against the Subaru WRX?

This rally inspired Impreza spin-off is raw and absolutely created with the car enthusiast in mind. From the old school “bug eyes” to the new WRX generations that moved away from the Impreza name and now stand alone, this is a Subaru model that enjoys a large and loving fan base.

Though Consumer Reports loved the Subaru WRX back in 2002, the newer model doesn’t impress. Though it remains true to itself on important levels, the 2020 Subaru WRX is, apparently, not as reliable as its reputation would have us think –– so says CR. So, what does Consumer Reports have against the Subaru WRX, anyway?

A talented teenager that won’t grow up

According to Consumer Reports, there are things to love about the 2020 Subaru WRX. CR praises the WRX for its adept handling and name it a model that possesses “affordable high performance.” These highlights are at the very core of why so many people love the Subaru WRX. It’s not just a car. It’s a car you can drive.

That said, CR goes on to describe the 2020 Subaru WRX as unrefined. It’s reported as lacking in some areas that should come easy to most modern cars. Despite the WRX’s exciting acceleration and its roomy backseat and trunk area, this Subaru stands sub par in terms of its CR review.

“We like it a lot less, because the typical car became more civilized over the past decade and the WRX has not. Like a talented teenager who just won’t grow up, after a while the lack of subtlety gets irritating.”

Consumer Reports on the 2020 Subaru WRX
Subaru WRX STi at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show

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WRX Reliability ratings

Earning a score of 61, the lowest overall score on the CR list of “sports/sporty cars under $40,000” is attributed in part to its low predicted reliability ratings. The 2020 model of the Subaru WRX earned just a 2 out of 5 for predicted reliability. But there isn’t any back data on the reliability of previous model years posted for at least a decade.

So, while we know that CR uses extensive research to gain data, we are wondering how exactly this 2020 WRX reliability data came to be. Why all of a sudden is the CR predicted reliability for this vehicle so low? According to CR, there aren’t any active recalls on this model. Nor do they mention anywhere in the review why it earned such a low reliability rating.


Agree to disagree

While Consumer Reports ratings and reviews are often extremely helpful, we feel that the CR harsh judgement of the WRX is a little misplaced.

“For 2018, the WRX has a freshened exterior, revised suspension, upgraded interior, and new EyeSight features. Despite evolving, the car feels surprisingly raw, remaining a track-ready racer aimed at the serious driving enthusiast.”

Consumer Reports | 2020 Subaru WRX review

What CR had to say about the “clunky shifting” and overall “raw” quality of the 2020 WRX means this racer remains rally rooted. The 2020 Subaru WRX may not be the smoothest-shifting plush ride, but it was never meant to be. We are pretty sure the WRX is happy with itself just the way it is, and probably enjoys all of the modern upgrades it has received in recent model years.

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CR may think it’s unruly and unrefined –– and they may be right. But the 2020 Subaru WRX probably doesn’t care what they think. It will keep to the streets with its “ferocious acceleration,” continuing to deliver the excitement that its drivers crave.