2013 Subaru WRX Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jun 29, 2013
  • Standard all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • 4- and 5-door body styles
  • Up to 305 horsepower
  • Only available with a manual transmission
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 25 mpg on the highway
  • 5-passenger seating


While the base Subaru Impreza was redesigned for 2012, the WRX continues to be built on the previous generation's platform. Available in 4- and 5-door body styles, this turbocharged Impreza variant has been carried over unchanged for the 2013 model year.

Exterior Features

Given its go-fast character, the 2013 WRX 4-door sedan is suitably equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires, sport-tuned suspension, exaggerated fender flares, unique grille and bumper design, functional hood scoop, four tailpipes, and power-adjustable outside mirrors. The 5-door WRX adds a rear window wiper, rear spoiler and diffuser, and LED taillights with clear housings.

An available WRX Premium trim level offers a few extra desirable features, including fog lights, heated mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer, power tilt/slide moonroof, and a decklid spoiler (4-door). Buyers who select the 2013 WRX Touring get all of this, plus HID headlights.

In addition to a more powerful engine, the base 2013 Subaru WRX STi is upgraded with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, Brembo high-performance brakes, fog lights (5-door), larger trunk spoiler, cooling ducts in the front bumper and vents in the fenders, and heated mirrors. The WRX STi Limited is available only in the 4-door sedan body style and boasts unique 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and the power tilt/slide moonroof.

Interior Features

Amenities found within the 2013 Subaru WRX 4-door include keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, sport front seats with 6-way adjustment for the driver, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with contrast stitching and integrated audio controls, electroluminescent gauges, and embroidered black cloth upholstery. The interior also features a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, automatic climate control, cargo cover (5-door), aluminum foot pedals, and a 6-speaker sound system with a USB port, auxiliary input jack, and iPod integration.

There's little differentiating the base WRX from higher trim levels; the WRX Premium adds heated front seats, while the WRX Limited is upgraded with leather upholstery.

Likewise, the WRX STi is nearly identical to the base WRX, with the exception of a unique sport steering wheel and a combination of black Alcantara and leather upholstery. The WRX STi Limited goes with full leather on the seats.

Optional Features

Factory options for the 2013 Subaru WRX, including the WRX STi, are limited to a voice-activated navigation system linked to a 6.1-inch LCD screen.

Under the Hood

The all-wheel-drive 2013 Subaru WRX is equipped with a 2.5-liter, turbocharged, 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed Boxer engine that delivers 265 horsepower and 244 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed manual with hill-start assist is the only available transmission.

A 2.5-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder Boxer engine is also used for the WRX STi, but more boost pressure and Subaru's dual active valve control system help generate 305 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque. In this case, a 6-speed manual transmission is standard.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Subaru WRX are:

  • WRX: 19/25/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • WRX STi: 17/23/19 mpg


The 2013 Subaru WRX's standard safety features include 6 air bags, traction control, daytime running lights, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, brake assist, and electronic brake-force distribution.

As this preview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 Subaru WRX.


The WRX STi is equipped with a unique Si-Drive AWD system engineered to deliver optimum performance with three programmed modes and a center differential that can be controlled by the driver, directing the bulk of the engine's power to the rear wheels, front wheels, or somewhere in between. Unlike the base WRX, the WRX STi also makes it possible to turn the traction control system completely off.
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