This year marks nearly two decades since the WRX arrived in Canada, riding a wave of popularity generated by the sports car's performance in World Rally Championship racing. The WRX and its more extreme STi variant are in their third generation in North America, having been last redesigned for the 2015 model year.
What's New / Key Changes from Last Year
Subaru has updated the WRX's engine and differential tuning for 2020 and spiffed up the interior with red door trim stitching. The STi gets revised exterior styling and new wheel designs.
Subaru's compact sport sedan comes in WRX, WRX Sport, WRX Sport-tech, WRX Sport-tech RS, WRX STi, WRX STi Sport and WRX STi Sport-tech trims.
WRX models use a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine, while the STi gets a more potent 2.5L. All variants are standard with a six-speed manual transmission. WRX Sport and Sport-tech can be optioned with a continuously variable automatic. AWD is standard in all cars, but STi models get limited slip differentials front and rear.
WRX standard features include 17-inch wheels, a windshield wiper de-icer, variable intermittent wipers, a 6.5-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, multi-information display, automatic single-zone climate control, tilt-and-telescopic steering column adjustments, keyless entry, power windows, heated side mirrors, manual six-way driver and four-way front passenger seat adjustments, heated front seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
WRX Sport adds LED fog lights, automatic on-off steering-responsive LED headlights, low-profile spoiler, sunroof, welcome lighting, 10-way power driver's seat and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist.
Sport-tech trim brings 18-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch infotainment display, a nine-speaker stereo, SiriusXM traffic and travel link, passive keyless entry and leather seating.
Sport-tech RS models gain ultrasuede/leather seats and Recaro front seats with eight-way power driver's adjustments.
WRX STi reverts to the smaller infotainment screen, six-speaker stereo, blind spot monitor, passive keyless and manual driver's seat adjustments. It adds an underbody aerodynamic diffuser, brushed aluminum door sills, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upshift warning light and black-and-red ultrasuede seats.
WRX STi Sport adds a high-profile spoiler, 19-inch wheels, passive keyless entry with trunk access, 10-way power driver's seat, and blind spot system.
Finally STi Sport-tech gains back a 7.0-inch infotainment screen, nine-speaker stereo and Recaro seats.
WRX STi Sport-tech comes with a choice of wing or lip rear spoiler.
The other notable option is Subaru's EyeSight active safety system. It's available only in WRX Sport and Sport-tech trims.
Subaru's fuel consumption estimates are 11.3/8.5 L/100 km (city/highway) for a WRX with the six-speed manual, or 12.9/9.7 with the automatic. WRX STi ratings are 14.3/10.8 L/100 km.
If a fast car with AWD is what you're after, the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 are strong competitors for the WRX STi. Mini now makes AWD widely available in JCW versions of its Clubman, too.