The current Subaru WRX and WRX STI have been with us for a good long while now—seven model years, to be exact. Over the course of this time, we’ve seen a number of special editions, including the all-conquering S209 (the formerly JDM-only special). But the base cars themselves have been given only incremental improvements—not to mention a small facelift for 2018. For 2021, the WRX and WRX STI live on for what should amount to their final lap around the sun. All-new iterations of the Subaru performance sedans are expected to arrive for the 2022 model year.
The only change to the 2021 WRX is the addition of a standard proximity key with push-button start on Premium trims. Aside from that one small change, the rest of the WRX line is indiscernible from its 2020 counterpart. As a result of this change, the 2021 WRX Premium price rises to $30,970—a small $250 price hike compared to last year’s model. The standard WRX and the top-trim WRX Limited still start at $28,420 and $33,020, respectively. All three models come with a six-speed manual as standard, but a very “meh” continuously variable automatic transmission is a $1,900 option on Premium and Limited models.
As for the STI, everything is the same as last year. That means motivation still comes courtesy of a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine with 310 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual and Subaru’s full-time all-wheel-drive system come standard, too. STI Limited models are once again available with a low-profile rear wing at no cost—perfect for those who want their hot-compact with a side of subtlety.
Both STI trims also see a modest $250 price hike for 2021. The base STI now starts at $38,170, while the STI Limited rings in at $42,870. Maybe instead of maligning the fact that Subaru is charging more for the same car, we should just be thankful that this storied performance nameplate is sticking with us for yet another year.