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Car and Driver: 2017 Subaru WRX Priced From $27,515

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2015 Subaru WRX STI

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Subaru’s tried and true rally specials, the WRX and the WRX STI, drift into the 2017 model year with minor equipment changes.

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The base six-speed manual 2017 WRX costs $125 more than it did in 2016, for which buyers now get an auto-on sensor for the headlights, auto up/down control for the front passenger window, and an upgraded cloth headliner that looks more like one designed for a car than a U-Haul truck. For $27,515, you get the same 2.0-liter turbo flat-four that routes 268 horsepower to all four wheels. A 6.2-inch touchscreen to operate the six speaker-audio system with HD radio, SiriusXM, Bluetooth, USB, and various music apps comes standard.

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As before, the 2017 WRX Premium ($29,815) brings wider 18-inch dark gray wheels on summer tires, power moonroof, heated folding side mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, fog lamps, and sportier heated front seats. The cost of choosing the navigation option ($2600), which upgrades the touchscreen to 7.0 inches, goes up by $500 on base and Premium trims, but it now includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and push-button start. The WRX Limited brings LED low-beam headlights, approach lighting, an eight-way power driver’s seat, and leather trim with red stitching for $31,815.

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The Lineartronic CVT may be fine on other Subarus but in the performance-oriented WRX it is an experience we’d avoid at any cost, which in this case is $1200. This soul-sapping automatic is optional on Premium and Limited trims, and its only side-benefit is for those who desire additional safety features. Where before only blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert were available, Subaru’s EyeSight camera system now brings adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, auto-braking (including in reverse), lane departure warning, and corner-illuminating fog lamps. The whole bundle, including the upgraded stereo, runs $3795. Unfortunately, just as with the regular Impreza, EyeSight is offered only on the CVT Limited trim.

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The 2017 WRX STI, at $36,015, is $525 more costly than the 2016 model. There’s nothing new here, just the same driver-adjustable center differential, brake-based torque vectoring, and the usual turbo lag before the 2.5-liter boxer four uncorks all 305 horsepower. The fully-loaded Limited STI ($40,815) costs only $25 more than it did in 2016. Six-speed stick drivers only need apply. Don’t expect your Subaru dealer to stock 2017 models until summer.

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