How Long Does The Subaru WRX Last?

Subaru has a devoted fan base who have remained brand loyal over the years and many other people who are newly drawn to the brand. As such, new questions are emerging from those who are considering purchasing a Subaru.

One of the frequent questions asked by people who are considering the purchase of a Subaru is how long do they last? In this article, we will assess how long a Subaru WRX will last.

How Long Do Subaru WRXs Last?

The WRX will likely last between 200,000 to 250,000 miles before experiencing a catastrophic failure of a major part or component. If you frequently red-line your vehicle or subject it to other abuse, you may not reach the 200k mile mark before reaching catastrophic failure.

Additionally deferring regular maintenance like oil and coolant changes can also decrease the life span of your vehicle.

How Long Will A Used Subaru WRX Last? 

While the general expectation for a brand new WRX is that you will get at least 200k miles before the car needs major repair, you may not get to drive the full 200k miles in your time of ownership if purchasing a used WRX.

If you are purchasing a used WRX you can subtract the number of miles that are currently on the car from 200,000. This will roughly estimate the number of miles that remain until the car will more than likely require some sort of major repair.

For example, if you are purchasing a WRX that already has 70,000 miles on the odometer, you can expect to get another 130,000 miles out of the car before it will need a major repair.

Naturally, this equation only works so long as the previous owner has taken proper care of their vehicle. If the previous owner abused the vehicle or neglected to perform required repairs in a timely fashion, the lifespan of the WRX could be significantly shortened.

When purchasing a used vehicle of any type, especially a turbo-charged vehicle like the WRX, you should examine the service records and vehicle history to determine if the previous owner has taken care of the car.

What Is Considered A High-Mileage Subaru WRX? 

There is not a concrete definition of when a Subaru WRX becomes a “high-mileage” vehicle, but like most cars, a WRX with 100,000 miles or more will be considered a high-mileage vehicle.

Even if the car has this amount of miles, given the average lifespan of the WRX, you still have another 100,000 miles before the car will likely need a major repair. In many instances buying cars in this mileage range can provide cost savings to potential buyers since the price of cars often drops significantly once they reach this mileage mark.  

If you plan to buy a WRX in the 100,000-mile range, be sure to assess the condition of the engine and turbo thoroughly. You may even want to take the car to the dealer to have the ECU flash count checked.

This will help you to determine if the car has been tuned during its life to produce more boost but returned to stock when selling it to you. In many instances, a WRX that has been tuned to produce more boost will not last the 200,000 miles until a major repair is needed.

Is The Subaru WRX Reliable?

The 2019 Subaru WRX had a reliability score that is slightly above average. J.D. Power and Associates rank this model year WRX as a 77 out of 100 on their reliability scale.

The 2020 WRX received a J.D. Power Score of 82 which elevated the car from the average category to the great category.  

The most current model year WRX has not been rated, but if previous rankings of the vehicle remain constant, you can expect it to be in the average to high average category.

Most Reliable Years Of The Subaru WRX

While many owners state that the 2004-2007 WRX’s were some of the most reliable models, these cars are nearly two decades old and will likely not be as reliable as they were in their prime. Models of this vehicle ranging from 2017 to current have all received 3.5 out of 5 stars in Repair Pal’s reliability estimates.

Additionally, the 2017-current WRX models have had a limited number of recalls ranging from 0 recalls in some years to 3 recalls in other years.

Common Problems With The WRX That Impact Its Lifespan

There are a few common problems with the WRX that may lessen its lifespan for you. As you may have guessed, this list is largely composed of internal engine failures that could mechanically total your car depending on its age and value.

The more common issues are:  

  • Ringland Failure
  • Rod-bearing failure
  • Piston-rings
  • Rod Knock
  • Turbo Failure
  • Blown Head Gasket

Another issue, while less catastrophic than the issues listed above is the throw-out bearing failure. The Subaru WRX with a manual transmission is known to have throw-out bearings that fail frequently and require replacement.

How Often Has The WRX Been Recalled?

There have been a total of 149 recalls of the WRX model of Subaru overall since it was first put into production.

The 2010 and 2012 models both have a total of 20 recalls on them (each), while the 2011 model also has a total of 19 recalls on it. The 2013 and 2014 models are not far behind as they have a total of 18 recalls each.

While the list of recalls for the newer model year WRX isn’t as long as the 2010-2012 model years, there have been between 1-3 recalls issued depending on model year.

Tips For Extending The Life Of Your WRX

Most people try to get as much life as they possibly can out of any vehicle that they own, and we have a few tips for those who are looking at how they can do this.

Here are some suggestions:

Reduce Miles Driven

This may seem like obvious advice to some, but simply driving less often can extend the life of your vehicle. If you leave it in the driveway more often, then you will notice that you can extend how long you can make the mileage on your Subaru last.

Just try to make trips that are essential if you want to make the most of the 200,000 or so miles that it can run. If you choose to use this method, keep in mind that letting a car sit for extended periods of time can also create issues.

Monitor Fluid Levels

Make sure you keep an eye on the fluid levels of your vehicle. Fluids such as oil help to lubricate metal parts of your engine to reduce wear.

Antifreeze is another important fluid to monitor since it helps to cool the engine and prevent the block from cracking in cold temperatures.

Changing Fluids

Changing your fluids is just as important as checking the levels of fluid for your car. As the fluid in your car is used, it begins to break down or absorb water in some instances.

By changing your fluids, you help to ensure that the fluids are operating as designed to provide viscosity or hydraulic pressure etc.

Use The Proper Octane Gas

By using the proper gas you prevent pre-detonation and engine knock which can be harmful to your engine.


The Subaru WRX is a vehicle that is admired by many. Even though the vehicle can be prone to internal engine failures, the WRX is a fairly reliable vehicle overall. If properly maintained the WRX should last for 200,000 miles or more.

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