Subaru's turbocharged, rally-inspired WRX still isn't moving to the new Impreza platform for 2018, but that doesn't mean it's not getting any changes. Subaru has announced new styling, new suspension tuning, and some interior changes. What hasn't changed is the price, starting from $29,995.
The 2018 WRX gets a revised front bumper with a new grille and new fog lights. Subaru has changed up the door trim as well. They also claim "more passenger side body strength" although they don't make clear what they've done, or why only the passenger side is stronger.
Changes to the interior include a new instrument panel and new center console trims. That new instrument panel holds a new gauge cluster, as well as a 5.9-inch information display. In the back, there is a new folding center armrest with cup holders. The interior changes lead to a quieter cabin, as does thicker window glass. They also make for a more modern-looking place to sit.
Mechanical changes include suspension revisions that promise improved handling as well as steering feel. Six-speed manual transmission cars get a new shift lever and improved shift and clutch feel. The CVT cars get changes to improve the gear selector operation. There is also a bigger battery, and we have to assume that's for more rally lights. Or to support the extra demands of the infotainment and safety systems. But we'll go with more rally lights.
The WRX starts with the base six-speed manual trim for $29,995. It has a 2.0L turbocharged boxer four that makes 268 hp. It has all-wheel drive, 17-inch alloys, and a 6.2-inch infotainment screen. Go for the automatic and you get a continuously variable transmission and a price tag of $31,295.
Next up is the WRX Sport, available in manual ($33,195) and CVT ($34,495). They add blind spot warnings, and new for 2018 automatic and adaptive LED headlights. There is also a new 10-way power driver's seat.
Top trim is the WRX Sport-tech. That model adds a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Harman Kardon sound system. It also gets leather seats and push-button start. An RS package on manual-equipped cars swaps the 10-way seat for 8-way power adjustable leather and Ultrasuede Recaro sports seats. The back seats get the leather and Ultrasuede treatment too. Performance enhancements include Jurid performance brake pads and red calipers.
The CVT-equipped Sport-tech models can get Subaru's EyeSight that adds pre-collision detection and braking, adaptive cruise, lane departure and sway warnings, automatic reverse braking and vehicle hold.
The 2018 WRX models are expected to arrive at dealers this June.
2018 Subaru WRX pricing:
WRX 6MT $29,995
WRX CVT $31,295
WRX Sport 6MT $33,195
WRX Sport CVT $34,495
WRX Sport-tech 6MT $36,495
WRX Sport-tech RS 6MT $38,795
WRX Sport-tech CVT $37,795
WRX Sport-tech EyeSight CVT $39,095