Which Subaru WRX Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

In 2015, the Subaru WRX developed a distinct personality. The Subaru Impreza served as the basis for the automobile when it was initially introduced in 1992. Subaru’s WRX is a rally-bred sports car that has quickly gained popularity among enthusiasts.

However, the first few years are fraught with significant issues that must be avoided at all costs. Engine troubles, gearbox issues, clutch sliding, annoying sounds, and other issues are common.

Continue reading to see why some models should be avoided and which WRX models are safe to purchase.

Subaru WRX Years to Avoid (List of Years)

These are the Subaru WRX years I suggest you to avoid buying:

  • 2015 Subaru WRX
  • 2016 Subaru WRX
  • 2017 Subaru WRX

Worst Years of Subaru WRX:

For WRX, there is just one year considered to be the worst.

  • 2015 Subaru WRX

Subaru WRX model year 2015 is considered the worst in terms of total complaints and in terms of repair costs and average miles when issues arise.

The 2015 Subaru WRX has also been plagued by complaints of a faulty clutch plate and flywheel.

What Makes These Subaru WRX Years Worth Avoiding?

According to my research on several forums, websites, and owner comments on various platforms, I’ve compiled a list of the major and particular difficulties with the Subaru Wrx and why the last few years of them are worth avoiding. Therefore, let us begin.

2015 Subaru WRX Problems:

The clutch is the most often reported issue with the 2015 WRX. Clutch pedal problems were noted by several owners. There are also many complaints about the drivetrain, engine, and transmission, all of which are common.

Internal engine failure is a common complaint from WRX owners. Repairing or replacing an engine’s numerous moving components can be expensive. Owners report that the WRX doesn’t have the finest reputation in this region.

The 2015 Subaru WRX has two safety recalls so far. There are two issues: the subwoofer wire can overheat and catch fire, and the turbo intake duct can stop the engine.

2016 Subaru WRX Problems:

This year’s model Subaru WRX is also plagued by clutch issues, much as the 2015 model. Engine and electrical difficulties are also common occurrences. The number of these is small, so it’s not a big deal.

The 2016 WRX has two recalls. The turbocharger air intake duct may fracture, which might cause the engine to stall.

Another recall addresses the automated emergency braking system, which may not work as planned and might result in the car not immediately stopping for an impediment.

2017 Subaru WRX Problems:

Only engine, drivetrain, and electrical system issues have been reported in the 2017 Subaru WRX. However, there are just a handful of them around, and even fewer owners have them.

In terms of J.D. Power’s expected dependability rating, the 2017 WRX is rated at 2.5 out of five.

Basically, the major issues of WRX are:

Engine Issues:

The Subaru engine is engineered to deliver ample power for an exciting ride. However, buyers are dissatisfied with the WRX’s engine.

Bad clutch:

Manual gearbox is offered on a wide range of Subaru vehicles. The clutch in these Subarus is made to the same stringent standards as other Subaru components.

When you let off of the clutch, the engine may rev, but you won’t be able to accelerate as you normally could.

Other signs include a burning odor or a high-pitched noise, which may necessitate a costly (almost $1600) replacement.

Transmission Issues:

Problems with the transmission can cause the car to shift slowly, grind when accelerating, feel shaky, or make whistling noises or a burning smell from under the hood.

Windshield Cracking Issues:

Glass on the outside of a car’s body gives the necessary visibility for safe driving. However, the WRX’s auto glass is causing a number of issues.

The WRX versions from 2015 and 2016 are also listed as the worst years to buy by CoPilot Search. The website claims that the clutches on both models fail after a long period of use.

Another concern that affected those two model years was electrical. This all adds up to a hefty bill thus if you’re looking for a subaru WRX, steer clear of these two variants.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

The Subaru WRX is an excellent sports car in terms of performance. It also had excellent results in crash tests.

The WRX was revamped for 2018 and received some changes and faults were resolved, and starting from this year, they appear to be really dependable and well worth your money to purchase.

Here is the list of Subaru WRX that are safe to buy:

  • 2018-2022 Subaru WRX

The year 2018 has its share of problems, although the number of complaints isn’t as high as in previous years and not nessesarily fall in the avoid list but you should know about those issues so I’m adding those.

Battery draining constantly, eyesight system malfunction, and hood latch sensor failure are just a few of the issues that have been reported.

With enthusiast-worthy performance but lacking refinement, the 2018 Subaru WRX is still a good buy on the secondhand vehicle market.

In terms of performance, the Subaru WRX is an excellent vehicle. It boasts a powerful acceleration and engaging handling, as well as all-wheel drive as standard.

There’s little doubt that the 2019 Subaru WRX is one of the fastest and strongest sport compacts on the market today. There has only been one reported clutch issue with the 2019 Subaru WRX. Engine, electrical, and drivetrain issues are virtually non-existent.

Although there are no significant changes this year The 2020 Subaru WRX is still a good used vehicle to consider. Its strong engines and agile handling make it a joy to drive tiny vehicle.

The 2021 Subaru WRX is a mixed bag. First, the positive. Its tight suspension and standard all-wheel drive make it a pleasure to drive on twisty rural roads. It grips on any road surface.

The primary issue is that the WRX, even by sports car standards, can be somewhat punishing as a daily driver. The transmission needs skill to change properly, and the ride can be harsh and jerky on difficult roads. The inside is also loud and poorly finished.

The 2022 model year is a complete overhaul, with new aesthetics, a new engine, and an enhanced infotainment system.

As a result, I placed these Subaru WRX models in the safe years.

Subaru WRX models from 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 are all good choices. These do not have any persistent issues. You’re not going to pay any more than you would on routine maintenance on any other dependable vehicle.


Consider the information I provided on the Subaru WRX. If you are planning to purchase a Subaru WRX, this article will be a valuable resource. Still, I would advise doing your research before making a purchase in order to be more specific.

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