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How Many Miles Can A Subaru WRX Last? (Answered)

How many miles can a Subaru WRX last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand WRX, that’s, of course, a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at this question in great detail but first, let’s start with a quick answer:

On average, a Subaru WRX lasts between 190.000 – 210.000 miles. A WRX needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.33 times per year, with a 14% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, WRX owners spend an average of $682 per year on repair costs.

Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll first explain in more detail how many miles a WRX can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much a WRX costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. Furthermore, we also discuss the common problems that the car can have. Read on!

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How Many Miles Can A Subaru WRX Last?

To answer this question, we went through an odious deal of work to look at all the Subaru WRXs listed for sale in the US. And we carried out this research along with various other platforms, and after all that work, we have analyzed all the data and have given our conclusion at the end of this article.

Our analysis is based on facts, not computer-generated estimates. After we have compiled all the data, the highest miles that the WRX can last came out to be 225k miles. This is the number after which the WRX would start giving up and would want to go to heaven, and if you are in the market to buy it used, you should definitely stay away from those close to this number.

Amount Of MilesPercentage Of Cars
Cars With 150.000+0.37%
Cars With 100.000 – 149.0002.79%
Cars With 45.000 – 99.99932.16%
Cars With 0 – 44.99964.68%

We expect the result to be more than 3% for a reliable car, and we have a lot less than that. Only the very recent ones should show lower percentages because they didn’t have enough time to cross the 150k mile mark in huge numbers.

And because the Subaru WRX hasn’t been around in the US until after 2014, the percentage is less, as it didn’t have enough time to cross the 150k mile mark in huge numbers.

When we analyzed the other data regarding WRX reliability, more than 60% of owners want to sell it when it didn’t even cross the 45k mile mark. Now, this indicates that there might be an underlying problem that’s making them sell their vehicle.

We have many other tests on our list. These tests will make clear whether or not the Subaru WRX is reliable. We also have a dedicated section that will address the common problems of the Subaru WRX.

Also read: How Well Does A Subaru WRX STI Drive In The Snow? (Answered)

How Reliable Is A Subaru WRX Compared To Its Competitors?

We can’t just rely on one type of test, our testing is rigorous, and we aim for the best possible factual answers that can help you make your final decision with complete satisfaction. It’s valuable to know how Subaru Crosstrek competes with its competitors in terms of reliability.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Subaru WRX3548130.37%225000
Mazda 345282756.07%240000
Dodge Charger GT AWD1425231.61%209650
Nissan 400zNANANANA
Ford Focus70404816.83%268286
Buick Regal GS11076.36%214568
Audi A31749181.03%231490
Hyundai Veloster1521291.91%180000
Volkswagen Golf1.605271.68%240000
Jaguar XE59550.84160000
Acura TLX3782401.06%140000

You might also want to look into it…

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Nissan 350z20183.98%250000
Infiniti G353319428.40%250000
Audi TT23893.78%200000
BMW Z448391.86%170000
Mitsubishi 3000GT29517.24%230000
Toyota MR27922.53%140000

The Subaru WRX does have a lot of competition, as the Japanese power game has seen a huge surge in recent years, so maybe the gentlemen’s agreement is no more.

We see a lot of horsepower from the Japanese automotive groups as all the upcoming models are getting more and more horsepower. The Nissan 400z would definitely give the WRX a tough challenge, we don’t have enough data on it yet to give its percentage, but it would be legit. 

The comparison of the percentages has revealed that the Mazda 3, Ford Focus, and Buick Regal are the most reliable ones in this category. Others that achieved much greater percentages have been around for a very long time, so a lot more of them had time to cross the 150k mile mark. 

Do you want to know more about how this car compares to other cars regarding the expected miles it can last? Read more about that in this article: How Many Miles Can A Car Last? (156 Models Analyzed!)

How Reliable Is A Subaru WRX Compared To Other Subarus?

This is the test that gives us an overall image of how the Subarus perform as a whole. If a company turns out to be reliable in our rigorous tests, then it would mean; if Subaru is releasing a new model, it should also be reliable.

If the company turns out NOT reliable, it would mean that most of their vehicles wouldn’t be reliable. So after the data scrutinizing, we have compiled a list of Subarus, and we will see how the WRX will perform against its badge mates.

ModelSample SizeCars With 150.000+ Miles% Percentage Of Cars With 150.000+Highest Mileage
Subaru WRX3548130.37%225,257
Subaru Crosstrek5990881.47%250000
Subaru Impreza45071533.39%250000
Subaru Legacy29221675.71%230000

From the data, it’s clear that Subarus can easily last up to 250k miles, and the most reliable Subaru came out to be the Legacy in terms of numbers, but when we take into account that it has been around for a long time now, then it’s an okay-ish number. But overall, Subarus are reliable.

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Subaru WRX (& STI)

How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?

You should pay extra attention because this data will let you know how much you would have to spend on maintenance annually on top of the buying price you will pay. If this data comes out to favor the Subaru WRX, then it would mean that it’s reliable.

In other words, the low maintenance cost will mean that the car is reliable, and a high maintenance cost suggests that there are some problems with this vehicle, and we will also be addressing those common problems.

Model YearAnnual Maintenance Cost
2015$652
2016$684
2017$729

$682 is what you would have to spend annually on maintenance, which is a lot. But because this is a performance-oriented Impreza, that high maintenance cost is to be expected.

Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Subaru

Subaru WRX Common Problems

Subaru has been making the WRX for a long time, and we finally have them here after a long waiting period. They are known to be reliable unless they are overturned and abused.

It’s common to see people blow them up due to improper modifications. If you keep them in stock, which is already quite adequate, they will go a long way before even thinking about causing any issue.

Although some recalls and TSBs for the Subaru WRX, the earlier production models would have some unresolved assembly line issues, i.e., the 2015 models, the later models, would have them resolved.

NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the car isn’t having any problems that I should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.

Personally, I like this one on Amazon because it has a lot more functions than basic OBD2 scanners. This particular one also runs tests on your emission system and tests if you’re fuel mix is optimal (or if your engine is misfiring), so you have a complete understanding of how the car’s performing.

Engine Misfire

WRX owners have reported the illumination of check engine light accompanied by engine misfires. This is a common problem in Subaru WRX that the manufacturer released an improved spark plug wire set to mitigate the problem. If you face this problem, then it is recommended that you also check the ignition coil for any short circuit or carbon tracks.

The replacement cost for the improved spark plug set, including new spark plugs, can range from $300 to $691.

Also read: Types Of Gas A Subaru Impreza Takes (Also WRX)

Failed Knock Sensor

In the case of a failed knock sensor, the check engine light will also illuminate, indicating a problem with the engine. Our experts report that even if the sensor tests okay while the vehicle is being driven, it can still fail intermittently, causing irritating issues.

The replacement cost for a failed knock sensor can range from anywhere between $318 to $366.

ABS Control Module

One of the most common problems in the Subaru WRX is the malfunctioning ABS Control Module. For this problem, previously, the entire anti-lock braking system had to be replaced. Still, now it is possible to replace only the ABS control module without having the entire ABS replaced.

The average cost of the ABS control unit can range from $916 to $943.

Clutch Chatter

Numerous Subaru WRX owners have reported clutch chatter. This has been especially the case when the vehicle was being driven from a cold start. The problem required replacing the clutch, but if your vehicle is still under warranty, you can take it to your dealership, and they will replace the clutch with new and improved parts.

If your vehicle is not under warranty anymore, then the clutch replacement can cost you anywhere between $500 to $1000.

Also read: Subaru WRX Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Is a Subaru WRX A Smart Buy?

It’s a WRX. Of course, it’s a smart buy. But If you are looking for a more sophisticated answer, then we have got that as well. After all the research and scrutinization, we have concluded that the WRX is, in fact, reliable. If we take a look at their maintenance cost, then it’s also not that much.

The depreciation rate of a Subaru WRX is one of the lowest among all the vehicles out there, which means that they hold their value quite well. The most amazing thing about the WRX is that it comes standard with all-wheel drive.

This is a sports car that has plenty of power which is available at a second’s notice. But don’t go crazy as the components are not race-ready YET. If you are looking to modify it further, make sure to go with a professional tuning company because a little mistake in modding your WRX can cost you a lot of dollars on repairs. 

If you want to keep it stock, then you don’t have to worry about reliability. They are extremely reliable, given that you carry out the regular maintenance REGULARLY. If you are negligent regarding the maintenance, it will cost you many repairs later on.

We have given the maintenance schedule, so make sure to follow it and keep an ear out for rattles and weird noises because these noises are often precursors for some major issues, i.e., the timing chain, rocker arms, turbo, etc. 

Subaru WRX Maintenance Schedule

If you want to keep your Subaru WRX healthy for a longer period and save your money on expensive repairs, you don’t want to go wrong in this section. A well-maintained car could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars on repairs, and you would also remain carefree while driving it.

If you neglect the regular maintenance, it would cost you a lot to fix the major issues that arise due to the lack of maintenance. So here’s the maintenance schedule that you should be looking into…

Normally the manufacturers give a farfetched schedule that looks good on papers and would show low cost, but you should dump that schedule because your car won’t last that long with their schedule. You would have to replace stuff earlier to get better performance and longer life.

Before/On Every 6,000 Miles

  • Change Engine Oil
  • Replace the oil filter.

But it’s actually better to change these before 6,000 miles for best performance and long-lasting protection. Still, we applaud the Subaru for actually giving genuine numbers for the oil change. In contrast, so many other manufacturers give stupid numbers so that the maintenance cost will look less.

  • Brake inspections
  • Tire pressure check
  • Diagnosis for any check engine lights
  • Oil filter replacement
  • Check for any oil leaks

Before/On Every 20,000 Miles

  • Power steering check
  • Exhaust system check
  • Transmission fluid level check
  • Fuel lines inspection to make sure that there is no leakage

Before/On Every 40,000 Miles

  • Change fuel filter
  • Flush and change hydraulic fluid
  • Service fuel injectors
  • Inspect the valve cover gasket, and replace it if necessary.
  • Inspect the timing chain whether it’s in sync or not.

Note: If you regularly add extremely high-quality cans of petroleum in your gas tank, you can save some bucks on servicing internal components as the petroleum would do the cleaning job without needing to open anything.  You can look up the term Sea Foam or something similar to any other brand of your choosing, and by adding that in your tank, the internals of your engine will remain happy.

Before/On Every 60,000 Miles

  • Replace the spark plug if the spark is orange
  • Rotate or replace the brake rotors as per requirement
  • Clean the fuel system. But if you regularly use the sea foam, you can save some bucks.
  • You might consider changing the timing chain at this point, as in most cases, by this time, the timing chain starts jumping, and that is not good, you will also hear a lot of rattles from the engine if the timing chain has lost its synchronization and has worn out.

Other Maintenance Tips

  • Normally, most manufacturers suggest changing the engine oil at around 10k miles but that’s too good to be true, it’s better you change the engine oil on/before 6000 miles to make sure that the engine remains healthy for a longer period of time.
  • Another important thing is to use high-quality cans of petroleum regularly in your fuel tank, it will help keep the internals clean and would save you a lot of dollars on expensive service for the engine internals, like the throttle body, EGR, cylinder heads, etc.
  • To keep your Subaru WRX protected from rust, you have to make sure that it doest retain mud on it for more than 4 days because mud contains moisture, and where there is moisture & iron – there is rust, and you wouldn’t want that, so keep your WRX clean.