The WRX vs. the Competition - How Subaru Compares

The Subaru WRX has long been the yardstick against which other performance-oriented models were judged, and the 2019 model is no exception to that rule. It's sleek, powerful, and fast off the mark. It's also one of the best handling vehicles in its class, with always on all-wheel drive to handle anything the road might throw your way. Of course, the WRX is not the only option available to you - there are other models on offer that approach it in terms of style and performance. How does Subaru compete with the likes of VW, Ford, and Audi? Let's take a closer look.

Subaru WRX

The 2019 Subaru WRX sees a handful of changes, none of which are major. Two trim variants were introduced, and the STI was slightly improved to produce 5 additional HP. More technology was added for safety, too.

There are five trim levels on offer with the most recent WRX model - base, Premium, Limited, STI and STI Limited. There are also a couple of limited-edition trims - Series.Gray and Series Gray STI. The base model features a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. Add to that 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen that gives you access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a rearview camera.

The Premium trim brings larger 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, and a larger touchscreen for the infotainment system. It also introduces a CVT and Subaru's EyeSight® system, which includes blind spot monitoring, lane departure prevention technology, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

The Limited Trim brings everything above, plus an eight-way adjustable driver seat, leather interior, and a navigation system. The EyeSight® system is also available, but only if you choose the CVT. The STI trim is more performance oriented, with a larger 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, 19-inch wheels, performance brakes, bi-LED headlights, and several options, such as a keyless ignition and Recaro seats.

Both of the Series Gray variants are similar to the Limited trim, but feature performance items like LED fog lights and automatic headlights (bi-LED) to name just a few.

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Compare the Subaru WRX to Popular Competition near Los Angeles

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The original "hot hatch", the Volkswagen Golf GTI is one of the top contenders against the WRX. For 2019, VW's offering gains a few more horsepower, gets improved brakes, and has a new seven-speed automatic transmission introduced.

You'll find four trim levels available with the GTI - the S, Rabbit, SE, and Autobahn. The S offers 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, automatic wipers, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It also includes access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Bluetooth. Note that many safety features and driver assist items are only available with the optional Driver Assistance package, which brings automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

The Rabbit ups the ante with adaptive LED headlights and black wheels, as well as push-button ignition. The Driver Assistance package items are standard features with this trim. Opting for the SE trim adds a sunroof, as well as a larger eight-inch screen. The Autobahn trim brings a Fender audio system and dual-climate control, as well as the navigation system.

Ford Focus

Ford's Focus may not be one of the first cars to come to mind when you think about competitors to the WRX, but it can compete if you equip it correctly. The Focus ceased production for the US market in 2018 though, so it competes on an uneven playing field.

Ford's offering was originally available as either a sedan or a hatchback, and buyers could choose the S, SE, SEL, or Titanium trims. ST and RS packages were also available for those who wanted a little more oomph in their ride. The S package offered a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (not turbocharged) and 15-inch wheels, remote entry, and a few basic niceties like Bluetooth connectivity and MyKey.

The SE option brought 16-inch wheels, as well as cruise control (not adaptive) and arm rests. The SEL trim level offered 17-inch wheels, fog lights, and Ford's Sync 3 system, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Finally, the Titanium trim offered 17-inch wheels and chrome trim, leather trimmed seats, and a handful of other upgrades. Most safety and driver assist items were only available as options across all trim levels.

Audi A3

Stylish and strong, the Audi A3 is a better competitor with the WRX than the Focus. It is available in three trim levels - Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige. Note that all-wheel drive is not standard, but is optional across all three.

The base model offers leather seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a powerful sound system. The Premium Plus brings LED headlights to the car, as well as keyless entry, 18-inch wheels, and blind spot monitoring. Wireless charging is also offered. The Prestige level brings a navigation system and most of the driver assist features that we've come to expect as standard items. Note that those can be added as options with lower trim levels.

The Subaru WRX - Outperforming Its Rivals

In the end, it's easy to see that the WRX outperforms its rivals in just about all areas, from performance and comfort to standard features. Subaru has long been a leader in top safety features and the WRX combines all that with luxury and power as well. This sleek and powerful car gives you a top-notch option in this vehicle class.

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