Sports Cars

2019 Subaru WRX gets more features, WRX STI gets 5 more horsepower

Plus the turbocharged sedans each add limited-run Series Gray models.

Subaru

Subaru has a handful of changes in store for the WRX and WRX STI this year. Both models get limited-edition Series Gray packages, limited to 750 WRXs and 250 STIs. The WRX adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility standard on all trims, while the STI packs on 5 extra horsepower thanks to lessons learned from the track-focused Type RA.

The base 2019 Subaru WRX now comes standard with the company's 6.5-inch Starlink touchscreen infotainment system, which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Last year, the base WRX had a 6.2-inch touchscreen without those features. Moving up the trim roster, the WRX Premium and Limited continue to offer a 7.0-inch touchscreen. The WRX had not previously offered CarPlay and Android Auto, even though other newer Subarus like the Crosstrek and Impreza had added it.

2019 Subaru WRX and WRX STI

The changes to the 2019 WRX and WRX STI are mostly beneath the surface.

Subaru

Another change for this year's WRX is that the EyeSight active safety system is now standard on the Premium and Limited models when they're equipped with a continuously variable transmission; previously it was a paid option on the Limited trim. The EyeSight suite combines adaptive cruise control, precollision warning and braking and lane-keep assist.

As had been rumored, for the 2019 WRX STI, Subaru took lessons learned from the Type RA and applied them as standard. The turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine gets tougher pistons, a new intake and exhaust and a reprogrammed computer to boost output from 305 to 310 horsepower. The six-speed manual transmission's third gear ratio has also been tweaked to improve acceleration – again, just like in the Type RA.

The 2019 Subaru WRX and WRX STI also offer a new Series Gray trim package. It follow in the footsteps of prior special-edition models like the BRZ Series Blue and Series Yellow. The cars wear Cool Gray Khaki exterior paint, black badges, black wheels and ultrasuede-trimmed Recaro seats. On the WRX, the Series Gray builds on the WRX Performance package, plus features LED fog lights and push-button start, for a sticker price of $33,480 with destination. The STI Series Gray also boasts Bilstein suspension dampers and push-button start, with a starting price of $40,580.

Subaru had already refreshed and mildly tweaked the options on the WRX and WRX STI for the 2018 model year. The 2019 cars go on sale this summer. Aside from the Series Gray cars, prices are similar to last year's figures, with the WRX priced from $28,080 for a base model with a manual transmission to $34,580 for the Limited CVT, while the STI is priced from $37,480 and the STI Limited is $42,280.