2015 Subaru WRX First Drive Video

Ryan drives the brand-new for 2015 Subaru WRX. Can this new model live up to its heritage? The new WRX is powered by a new 2.0-L flat-four with a twin-scroll turbo making 268hp and 258 lb-ft peak powering all four wheels thanks to Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system (50:50 in the 6MT, 45:55 variable in the CVT.) Pricing was not announced at the time of the review, but we expect it will be close to the outgoing models.

Some other details that I couldn’t fit in the review: the steering rack is tighter at 14.5:1 (versus 15:1 previously), the steering wheel is smaller (but not as small as the BRZs), the seats have a movable headrest due to safety requirements (but they’re really nice anyhow), the front stabilizer bar is upgraded from 21mm to 24mm, the rear bar is 20mm (previously 19mm), rear springs are 62% stiffer than before. Also, SI-Drive now adapts intelligently to driving style, going to the 8-speed stepped mode when driving aggressively. The car also stays in the SI-Drive mode you last used (I or S, not S#). This is due to the way the car was rated by the EPA. The MPG numbers you’ll see are basically a mix between I and S, not optimum MPGs which is why, on paper the CVT gets only 19 city / 25 hwy / 21 combined whereas the 6MT gets 21/28/24. In the real-world in I-mode the CVT will get equal to or better MPG than the 6MT.

2015 Subaru WRX Specs:

  • 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve 4-cylinder BOXER engine; turbocharged with intercooler, Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS), 268 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. peak torque
  • 6-speed manual or Sport Lineartronic CVT with SI-DRIVE
  • 4-wheel disc brakes
  • 17 x 8-in. aluminum alloy wheels
  • 235/45 R17 94W Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tires (5×114.3 bolt-pattern)
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, two types: with 6-speed manual, Continuous AWD uses viscous coupling locking center differential; with Sport Lineartronicâ„¢ automatic, Variable Torque Distribution AWD uses planetary gear-type center differential and an electronically controlled hydraulic transfer clutch
  • Active Torque Vectoring
  • Incline Start Assist
  • Launch Control (CVT only)
  • Sport-tuned suspension

22 Comments

  1. Dawson Jones says:

    You increase my excitement with your excitement! I’m so excited!
    I agree with the plastic piece on the steering wheel. Hopefully it comes off easy enough to paint.
    I also hope 15″ rally wheels will fit over those brakes.
    Have a date for your STi test drive?

  2. Michael says:

    Ryan enraptured. Looks like Subaru hit this one out of the park. If the WRX for 2015 is that good, then other than power, I wonder what the STI can still bring to the table. I look forward to a comparison with Mitsubishi’s Evo.

  3. Will says:

    I guess I’m a harsh critic because I drive a Subaru WRX (I’ve owned 3 WRXs now), but you missed the whole point of a WRX. It’s supposed to be a little pocket racer that makes you feel like a rally driver. And how can you test a manufacturer’s sport sedan without putting it on a track? Like it up with the 2014 WRX, and show us that the handling is improved. I really don’t care the nav is garbage and the steering wheel is ulgy. I don’t even care that it’s so damn slow. I care about whether the car understeers and noises and quirks that make the car fun. That’s why the BRZ was a success.

    And this business with Subaru comparing themselves to Porsche, I have driven every water-cooled 911 and they are completely different cars. Not that either is better, but they are 100% different and shouldn’t be compared. The Focus ST, Audi S4/RS4, M3/M4 and THE EVO are all suchbetter choices.

    Sorry to be so critical, but with such a elemental car I expected better from an enthusiast site.

    • ricochet says:

      This was a first drive with preproduction cars on public roads – not a comprehensive testing ground. We’ll get them onto an airstrip for some more significant testing as soon as we can. And, speaking of that, what kind of test would you like to see? WRX vs. 911? vs. Evo? or something else completely different. Naturally, we have some ideas, but if you have something in mind, we’d be happy to consider it.

      • Will says:

        I didn’t mean to be so harsh, but please hurry! I don’t imagine I’m the only one wants so see what the new WRX can do.

    • Miguel says:

      They are only staying they wanted to come close to the 911 handling..jeez misinterpret much? As far as the Focus ST being a better choice. Don’t take my word for it, can’t wait to trade in my 2011 hatch.

  4. Hamski says:

    I’ve been saying since the reveal at the show how well they did fixing every issue WRX owners have had with the WRX line in previous years; 5×100 hubs, glass 5 speed, larger displacement engine(bleh), single scroll journal bearing turbo, etc. They have outdone themselves on almost every issue.

    The ONLY thing that kills this for me is the size of the chassis in comparison to the GD chassis. These newer Subarus certainly don’t seem to still exist in the sport-compact category. Can you comment at all on your experience driving it?

  5. doug says:

    what’s the point of all this if it’s an automatic snowmobile tranny?

  6. FDurocher says:

    Thanx for the review. Sadly, this is the last video of yours I will watch. While appearing to cash the check that somebody has written you for this review, you clearly refuse to be objective about this car. You completely dismiss or avoid some of the core components that makes a WRX a distinct vehicle. The absence of unequal headers that leads to the departure of the rumble? Play the sound on the HK sound system? You’re kidding me, right? Yeah, I guess anybody who likes their WRX for what it already is should just skip a generation because none of that stuff matters.

    In all fairness, this is the same aura that the 2008 had when it debuted. Here’s to hoping they bring back some of the things that everybody is missing.

    • ricochet says:

      To me, performance is more important than sound. That why the JDM STI has them, high end tuners use them, and I personally have upgraded all my track Subarus to have equal length headers. If you like the sound in inefficiency, that’s great (and don’t get me wrong – I do think UELs sounds very cool), but don’t assume that’s the #1 reason why *everyone* likes their Subarus. It’s clearly not the case. And the 2008 WRX only proves my point. That car was derided because it was a step back in performance, not that it lacked rumble. Thanks for watching!

      • FDurocher says:

        Agreed – the 2008 was clearly a step backwards. But there are certain things that make a WRX a WRX. If it’s all about performance and nothing about character, then one could also make a case for abolishing the boxer motor. Or the AWD. I mean, why don’t we just make the WRX a mid engine, RWD two-seater while we’re at it? Performance would be awesome.

        My point is that it’s the character of the car that they are losing by making some of these decisions. And not all of us have the money for several track cars. I want my WRX to be a WRX.

        • Jonathan says:

          “The absence of unequal headers that leads to the departure of the rumble?”
          False. Listen to a JDM STi or the old-school Legacy rally cars. Still rumble! Just not off-beat like a Harley or something.

          “If it’s all about performance and nothing about character, then one could also make a case for abolishing the boxer motor. ”
          Also false. The boxer engine exists FOR performance, i.e. low center of gravity, and SHORT (in order to fit a longitudinal engine without such a drastic effect on weight distribution).

  7. GBear says:

    i agree with hamski… he hit the nail on the head

  8. Adam says:

    I just can’t like it… It is slower 0-60 than a stock 02 with less HP, and it sounds like crap…. I don’t see me buying another wrx any time soon…

  9. tuner car or not? says:

    the review was very thin honestly. like watching road and track tv or something. there is no way an auto wrx is any kind of fun. the important things are how much boost stock? Engine comp ratio? is that new 6speed as strong as the old sti six speed? if iirc the brz is capable of 600whp on a stock motor. this is a direct injection 2.0 but turbo so should be capable of the same if not more. all i care about is did subaru make it a better platform for modding?? lets be honest….that is the #1 reason anyone gets a wrx.

  10. Jonathan says:

    “if iirc the brz is capable of 600whp on a stock motor”
    That’s just absurd. Guys running 400wHP on track cars are using build engines.

    • tuner car or not says:

      You may think its absurd but the only absurd thing is your doubt. Look up the Full Blown Motorsports FRS. Imagine the potential with turbo friendly compression.

  11. Gary says:

    For Subaru this will bring the segment of buyers that left for civic si, focus st, and mustang. The auto is a great idea. Less ricer wheel flares and more style will boost sales. I see this being like the 2014 forester, a home run!

    • Miguel says:

      Agree with you 100 percent. Subaru said that the majority of the market that will not like or complain about the changes will be the 2nd hand owner. I understand now why I filled out surveys the first two years I bought my 11. I applaud that they did something about most of my complaints. These cars have always been acquired taste, more than half the people at my office think my hatch (that everyone is upset is gone) is ugly. Once again I will pass up an STi because of the refinements to the engine and the broader torque curve, that’s more real world use for me. Maybe when the STi gets a new engine….

  12. a e new says:

    cvt sux.
    it feels fast because that ‘feel’ is artificially induced.

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