Why Do WRX STI Get Bad MPG?

It’s boxy and angular design creates a significant amount of aerodynamic drag, making it harder for the car to cut through the air and ultimately leading to increased fuel consumption. Additionally, the powerful engine dynamics of the WRX STI play a role in it’s poor fuel efficiency. These cars are equipped with an impressive turbocharged engine, which provides exhilarating speed and performance but also demands a greater amount of fuel to sustain it’s high power output. The drivetrain of the WRX STI, specifically it’s all-wheel-drive system, also contributes to it’s low MPG. While the AWD system offers exceptional traction and handling, it adds extra weight and increases mechanical resistance, both of which result in decreased fuel efficiency. Speaking of weight, the WRX STI isn’t a lightweight vehicle by any means. It’s sturdy construction and robust components significantly add to it’s overall mass, requiring more fuel to propel it. Lastly, a unique PEBWAC error, which stands for "Pressing the Enormous Boost With Abandon Constantly," is often observed among WRX STI owners. Many drivers can't resist the temptation of unleashing the full power of the turbocharged engine, often leading to constant boost pressure and higher fuel consumption.

How Many MPG Does a WRX STI Get?

The Subaru WRX STI, known for it’s extraordinary performance and rally-inspired heritage, has garnered a dedicated fan base over the years. One of the considerations for potential owners is often fuel efficiency. According to data collected from 19 vehicles, comprised of 772 fuel-ups and covering a total distance of 172,369 miles, the 2021 Subaru WRX STI delivers an average combined MPG of 19.07.

To achieve this figure, the WRX STI combines it’s powerful engine with advanced technologies that enhance fuel economy. The vehicles direct-injection turbocharged engine is designed to provide both efficiency and exhilarating performance.

It’s important to note that fuel efficiency can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as driving conditions, driver habits, and the vehicles maintenance. These variables influence the final MPG achieved by individual drivers. Nonetheless, the 19.07 combined MPG average, with a margin of error of 0.26 MPG, serves as an informative benchmark for potential WRX STI owners.

While the Subaru WRX STI may not be the most fuel-efficient vehicle on the market, it compensates with it’s engaging driving experience and incredible performance. The renowned symmetrical all-wheel drive system and sophisticated suspension setup contribute to the vehicles impressive handling and responsiveness on both paved roads and unpaved surfaces, making it perfect for those seeking thrills behind the wheel.

This figure, although subject to variations influenced by multiple factors, provides valuable insight for those considering the iconic Subaru WRX STI as their next automotive investment.

How the Subaru WRX STI Compares to Other Sports Cars in Terms of Fuel Efficiency.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Subaru WRX STI holds it’s ground against other sports cars in it’s class. The WRX STI combines high-performance capabilities with a relatively fuel-efficient engine. While it may not match the fuel efficiency of hybrid or electric vehicles, it offers a competitive mileage compared to other gas-powered sports cars. This makes it an attractive option for those seeking thrilling driving experiences without compromising too much on fuel economy.

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The fuel efficiency of the WRX has always been a subject of interest among car enthusiasts. According to the EPA, the WRX delivers a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg with the manual transmission and 21 mpg with the CVT automatic. However, in real-world testing on a highway fuel economy route, both the manual and automatic WRX models exceeded expectations by achieving an impressive 28 mpg.

Are WRXS Good on Gas?

The WRX, famous for it’s performance capabilities and rally racing pedigree, is often associated with it’s fuel efficiency. Many potential buyers wonder if the WRX is a gas guzzler or if it can provide respectable fuel economy.

To answer this question, we turn to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ratings. The WRX with a manual transmission is rated to deliver 22 mpg combined, while the version equipped with the optional CVT automatic achieves 21 mpg combined. These ratings provide a good baseline for understanding the vehicles fuel efficiency.

However, real-world tests often give a more accurate representation of a cars fuel economy. During a test conducted on a 75-mph highway fuel economy route, a six-speed manual WRX Limited and an automatic WRX GT both managed to achieve an impressive 28 mpg. This performance exceeded the EPA ratings, showcasing the WRXs capability to deliver better fuel economy than expected.

It’s worth noting that individual driving habits and conditions can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency. Aggressive driving, constant acceleration, and heavy payloads will inevitably reduce mileage. Conversely, adopting smooth driving techniques and maintaining the vehicles recommended tire pressure can help improve fuel economy.

Comparing the Fuel Efficiency of the WRX to Other Sports Cars in It’s Class

  • The WRX offers impressive fuel efficiency compared to other sports cars in it’s class.
  • With it’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the WRX delivers a combined fuel economy rating of 24 miles per gallon (mpg).
  • This makes it a competitive choice against similar sports cars in terms of fuel efficiency.
  • Whether you’re cruising on the highway or tackling city streets, the WRX strikes a balance between performance and fuel economy.
  • Other sports cars in this class may have larger engines and higher horsepower, but they often sacrifice fuel efficiency.
  • The WRX proves that you don’t have to compromise on fuel economy to enjoy a thrilling driving experience.
  • It’s intelligent all-wheel drive system further enhances it’s efficiency by providing optimum power delivery to all four wheels.
  • So, if you’re looking for a sports car that offers both excitement and fuel efficiency, the WRX is definitely worth considering.

Source: 2023 Subaru WRX Review, Pricing, and Specs – Car and Driver

The WRX and STI may belong to the same Subaru family, but when it comes to pricing, they couldn’t be more different. While the WRX offers a range of affordable options, the STI takes things up a notch, commanding a higher price tag. But what’s it that makes the STI so much more expensive? It’s not just about the engine size or power; the STI is a specialized performance vehicle built for the track, packed with advanced features and engineering that make it a force to be reckoned with.

Is the WRX or STI More Expensive?

It requires additional features and components to handle the demands of high-speed driving and precise handling. These enhancements add to the overall cost of the STI compared to the WRX.

These include a more advanced all-wheel drive system, a higher-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and more aggressive styling. These performance enhancements not only improve the driving experience but also contribute to the higher price tag of the STI.

Another factor that adds to the cost difference between the two models is their respective trim levels. The STI is typically offered in a single, well-equipped trim level, whereas the WRX is available in various trims, including base, Premium, and Limited.

It’s worth noting that the STIs performance capabilities and specialized features make it a niche vehicle. As a result, it tends to have a higher resale value compared to the WRX. This is an important consideration for those looking to buy a performance vehicle as an investment or for potential future upgrades.

However, the WRX still offers a high-performance driving experience at a more affordable price point. Ultimately, the decision between the two models comes down to individual priorities, budget, and driving preferences.

Alternative Vehicles in a Similar Price Range and Performance Category to the WRX and STI.

  • Tesla Model 3
  • Audi S3
  • BMW M240i
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG A35
  • Volkswagen Golf R
  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost
  • Chevrolet Camaro LT
  • Nissan 370Z
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Toyota 86

In addition to it’s beefier brakes, the STI also stands out with it’s lighter weight compared to the WRX. However, it’s weight reduction isn’t the only difference as the STI boasts upgraded suspension systems that contribute to it’s unique driving experience.

Is the STI Lighter Than the WRX?

When comparing the STI and the WRX, one noticeable difference lies in their respective weights. The STI, despite it’s enhanced features, actually tips the scales with a lighter load than it’s WRX counterpart. This weight reduction can be attributed to a deliberate diet that the STI underwent, shedding unnecessary pounds to enhance performance.

However, it’s not simply a matter of shedding weight; the STI also boasts some upgraded suspension systems to effectively carry it’s lighter load. These enhancements ensure that the weight distribution is optimized for superior handling and control, allowing the STI to make the most out of it’s reduced weight. Thus, while the STI may be lighter overall, it still retains the necessary components to provide a thrilling and dynamic driving experience.

One example is the brakes. The STI comes equipped with slightly beefier brakes, ensuring better stopping power and improved performance in high-intensity situations. These upgraded brakes enhance safety and provide the driver with a sense of confidence and reassurance, especially during aggressive driving or track sessions.

Engine Differences: Compare the Engines of the STI and the WRX, Exploring How Their Different Power Outputs and Torque Levels Affect Their Respective Weights.

The engines of the STI and the WRX differ in power and torque levels. These differences have an impact on the weights of the respective vehicles.

While the WRX’s impressive performance capabilities are undoubtedly it’s defining feature, it’s important to acknowledge it’s trade-off in terms of fuel efficiency. Despite the automatic WRX showing improvements compared to it’s predecessor, it should be noted that it’s EPA tested in Sport mode, which prioritizes performance over fuel economy. As a result, the WRX’s gas mileage may not be as favorable as some other vehicles in it’s class.

Why Does WRX Get Such Bad Gas Mileage?

Additionally, the WRX is equipped with a turbocharged engine, which is known to consume more fuel compared to naturally aspirated engines. The turbocharger increases the power output of the engine, but also requires more fuel to operate efficiently. This combination of high-performance capabilities and turbocharging technology leads to a significant decrease in fuel efficiency.

Furthermore, the WRX is designed with an all-wheel drive system, which adds extra weight and increases drag on the vehicle. This additional weight and drag contribute to the lower gas mileage of the WRX. The all-wheel drive system improves traction and handling, which is preferred for performance-oriented driving, but it does come at the cost of decreased fuel economy.

The WRX is designed with a sporty and aggressive appearance, which often means a less aerodynamic shape. Poor aerodynamics can result in increased wind resistance, requiring the vehicle to work harder and consume more fuel to maintain speed.

Lastly, the WRX offers various performance enhancements and upgrades, such as larger performance tires, sport-tuned suspension, and upgraded brakes. While these features enhance the driving experience, they also contribute to increased fuel consumption.

Overall, the WRXs bad gas mileage can be attributed to a combination of factors: it’s focus on performance, turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive system, less aerodynamic design, spirited driving experience, and additional performance enhancements. While these aspects may result in lower fuel economy, they’re essential for delivering the thrilling performance that the WRX is renowned for.

The Cost of Owning a WRX With Poor Fuel Efficiency

  • Rising fuel costs
  • Frequent trips to the gas station
  • Increased fuel consumption
  • Higher annual fuel expenses
  • Reduced overall savings
  • Environmental impact
  • Potential damage to the engine
  • Inefficiency compared to other vehicles
  • Higher monthly budget for fuel
  • Limited driving range
  • Possible need for more frequent maintenance
  • Less resale value due to poor fuel efficiency

On the other hand, the 2.0 L WRX engines have shown to be more reliable and better able to handle modifications without experiencing major issues. While Subaru engines, in general, require careful maintenance, the 2.5 L STI engines are more prone to head gasket failures and bearing issues when subjected to increased power. However, the 2.0 L WRX engines offer a more robust foundation for modifications and have demonstrated better durability in this regard.

Is WRX More Reliable Than STI?

The 2.5L STI engines have a notorious reputation for being less reliable when compared to the 2.0L WRX engines. This is primarily due to the fact that the 2.5L engine is known to have issues with head gasket failure and bearing failure under increased power and modification. On the other hand, the 2.0L WRX engines are generally considered to be more robust and able to handle higher levels of modification without major issues.

The 2.5L STI engines head gasket is a common weak point, especially when you start pushing it beyond factory power levels. The increased boost and heat that comes with modifications can put additional stress on the head gasket, leading to failure and potentially costly repairs. This can result in premature wear and eventual failure.

While they aren’t bulletproof, they’re known to be more tolerant of increased power and modifications. This is partly due to different design factors, such as smaller cylinder bores and better cooling, that contribute to their overall reliability.

However, it’s important to note that the reliability of any engine is highly dependent on proper maintenance and care. Regular oil changes, proper cooling system maintenance, and avoiding prolonged high-load situations can go a long way in preserving the life of any Subaru engine, regardless of displacement.

However, it’s crucial to prioritize regular maintenance and responsible tuning practices to ensure the longevity of any Subaru engine.

Comparison of Reliability Between Different Generations of WRX and STI Engines

  • First generation WRX and STI engines
  • Second generation WRX and STI engines
  • Third generation WRX and STI engines
  • Fourth generation WRX and STI engines
  • Fifth generation WRX and STI engines
  • Sixth generation WRX and STI engines
  • Seventh generation WRX and STI engines
  • Eighth generation WRX and STI engines
  • Ninth generation WRX and STI engines
  • Tenth generation WRX and STI engines


It’s boxy shape and high spoiler create significant wind resistance, increasing drag and causing the engine to work harder. The high-performance engine itself is another factor, as it requires more fuel to generate the power and torque that enthusiasts crave. The STI's all-wheel-drive system, while providing excellent traction, also adds weight and contributes to increased fuel consumption. Furthermore, the STI is a heavy vehicle, with various performance enhancements and robust components that contribute to it’s overall weight. Finally, there’s a unique PEBWAC error, or "Pedal-Enthusiast Blunders With Acceleration Control," which refers to the tendency of some STI owners to have a heavy foot, constantly pushing the limits of acceleration and consequently decreasing fuel efficiency. Nevertheless, for the loyal fans of the exhilarating performance and rally heritage of the WRX STI, the trade-off of fuel efficiency is a small price to pay for the sheer joy of driving this iconic sports sedan.

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