2013 Subaru WRX vs. Its Competition

2013 Subaru WRX and STI Special Editions
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Lancer Ralliart are the closest competitors to the WRX and STI.

Compared to the STI, the Evolutioni is a sharper, edgier car to drive, and its superb Twin Clutch automatic manual gearbox helps make the most of it on the track.

On the flip side, the STI is much more refined, and more comfortable for longer journeys.

Moving down one notch, the WRX competes with the Mitsubishi Ralliart, though the WRX is both faster and much more pleasant inside.

Other competitors, like the Mazda MazdaSpeed3, have to make do with front-wheel drive--and the same applies to the Volkswagen GTI as well.

In both cases, these are hatchbacks, while the Subaru offers a choice of hatch or sedan body styles.

One other strong new rival for 2013 is the Ford Focus ST; with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 252 hp, and a level of style and interior refinement that's on par with other Focus models, the ST is arguably the new champ for budget performance.

But with no all-wheel drive or automatic-transmission option, it also has some barriers.

2013 Subaru WRX and STI Special Editions2013 Subaru WRXBrowse Used Listings2013 Ford Focus2013 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2013 Mazda Mazda32013 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2013 Mitsubishi Lancer GT2013 Mitsubishi LancerBrowse Used Listings2013 Volkswagen GTI 4-door HB DSG PZEV *Ltd Avail* Angular Front Exterior View2013 Volkswagen GTIBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.2
The 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX and STI are fun to drive, tractable in a wide range of conditions, and surprisingly comfortable and versatile; but the lack of an automatic transmission and poor fuel economy are factors that might limit their appeal.
8.8
Whether or not you consider the exciting new ST performance model, the 2013 Ford Focus lineup is evidence that small cars don't have to feel so appliance-like.
8.2
The 2013 Mazda 3 drives with a lot more sophistication and verve than you might expect for a small car this affordable, practical, and fuel-efficient.
7.6
The 2013 Mitsubishi Lancer models looks sharp and handles well--and the Ralliart and Evo provide all-wheel-drive performance thrills--but there are enough flaws to limit their appeal.
MSRP From    
N/A$16,200$16,700$15,995$23,995
Gas Mileage    
23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy
Engine    
N/AGas I4Gas I4Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class    
N/ACompactCompactCompactCompact Cars
Style Name    
N/A4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Sedan Manual DE FWD2-Door HB Manual PZEV *Ltd Avail*
Drivetrain    
N/AFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
N/A5555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
N/ASedanSedanSedan2 Door Hatchback
Transmission    
N/AManualManualManualManual