2019 Subaru WRX: Easy Leader in Its Class

In the market for a sedan that can seat the entire family in comfort, but still offers the power and performance to deliver that adrenaline surge? The Subaru WRX fits the bill admirably. It's been a mainstay in the segment for a long time now, and the 2019 model continues that tradition of power and performance. How does the WRX compare to other cars in its segment? What makes it such a standout option over its competitors? Our comparison will help to illustrate that.

Subaru WRX

The 2019 Subaru WRX sees several upgrades from the previous year model, including an updated infotainment system and more safety and driver assist features. The STI trim level gets more horsepower, and two new trim variants are being offered. Across all trim levels, the WRX delivers excellent handling on all surfaces, and some of the best acceleration in its class.

There are seven trim levels total, but across all of them, the WRX is offered as a sedan with seating for five people. All-wheel drive is also standard on all models, something that immediately sets the WRX apart from its competitors.

The base trim offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, as well as 17-inch wheels, hill start assist, Bluetooth, and support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also offers a rearview camera and automatic climate control.

The Premium trim level brings 18-inch wheels, as well as a seven-inch touchscreen. Notable safety and driver assist items on this trim include blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts. It also offers adaptive cruise control and automatic braking.

The Limited trim brings a navigation system and leather seats, while the STI offers lots of performance upgrades, including a larger engine, Brembo brakes, bi-LED headlights, and other niceties. The Series Gray and Series Gray STI trims are variants, and respectively offer performance upgrades and suspension upgrades.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is a close competitor of the WRX, but it falls short of delivering what the Subaru offers to drivers. It is available in four different trim levels - the S, Rabbit, SE, and Autobahn. Note that all trim levels have the same engine (a turbocharged 2.0-liter) and are front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is not even available as an upgrade.

The S trim level offers 18-inch wheels, as well as LED fog lights and folding rear seats. A 6.5-inch infotainment screen is provided, and you'll find several driver assist and safety features available, such as automatic emergency braking and blind spot monitoring; but only offered as optional upgrades.

The Rabbit trim is basically the S trim level with some Rabbit-specific badging and unique colors, plus a push-button start system. The SE trim offers leather seats and a sunroof, as well as a larger sunroof and an available Experience package that offers an adaptive suspension system.

The highest trim, Autobahn, brings a Fender audio system to the table, as well as automatic high-beams and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Compare the Subaru WRX

Prices do not include government fees and taxes, any finance charge, any dealer document processing charge, any electronic filing charge and any emissions testing charge.

WARNING: Operating, servicing and maintaining a passenger vehicle or off-road vehicle can expose you to chemicals including engine exhaust, carbon monoxide, phthalates, and lead, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. To minimize exposure, avoid breathing exhaust, do not idle the engine except as necessary, service your vehicle in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves or wash your hands frequently when servicing your vehicle. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/passenger-vehicle.

Ford Focus

2018 was the last production year in the US for the Ford Focus, so this model is at a significant disadvantage to the WRX already. Buyers frequently complained about tight rear seating and a lack of power and performance, as well as the fact that most of the more beneficial safety and driver assist features were only available on the highest trim level.

The Focus was available in the S trim, the SE trim, the SEL trim and the Titanium trim. ST and RS packages were available for the final year of production, as well. Most trim levels were relatively basic in terms of features and functions, and drivers were required to upgrade to the SEL trim to gain access to most of the features included standard with the WRX.

Audi A3

The Audi A3 moves into 2019 with few changes, but the small trunk size on the all-wheel drive model is definitely a drawback. The rear seats are also much smaller than in the WRX. Audi offers the A3 in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels, although the Premium Plus level is where most of the features really come into play.

With the Premium Plus trim, buyers are able to benefit from 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, LED headlights, and even a wireless charging system in the car. There are also additional safety features, such as rear cross-traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring. With the Prestige trim level, buyers get a high-end audio system, power folding mirrors, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams.

So Many Reasons to Choose the Subaru WRX

From our comparison, it should be pretty clear that the Subaru WRX manages to deliver far more than its competitors, particularly in the area of power and performance, but also in terms of available safety features and driver assist aids. Some features, such as all-wheel drive, aren't available with competitors, even as upgrades. While other brands offers some competition, you simply can't overlook all that the Subaru WRX has to offer.