Our Subaru WRX Special Edition test car is a cousin of the Scion FR-S (A.K.A. Subaru BRZ), and much like that car, it won’t break the bank on fuel costs.
The same things that impressed me about the FR-S with respect to fuel economy impressed me with the WRX: The car is so fun, so chuckable on tight curves, and has such a good mid- and high-RPM punch that I’d expect it to be pretty “meh” worthy when I looked at the fuel economy readout, but no. The car averaged an honest 24 MPG in a week’s worth of fairly hard driving and rev-matched downshifts whenever I got the chance.
If I owned this car and the rorty exhaust note ever lost its charming ability to bring out the hoon in me– not stinking likely, but hey– I think I could push that average even higher. The WRX is a light car, tipping the scales at just 3,208 lbs. I’m sure a car that svelte has ample ability to approach 30 MPG on the highway when driven gently. Unlike some recent experiences of mine, I’m not doubting my ability to beat EPA estimates in the WRX. EPA’s highway rating for the WRX is only 1 MPG better than my week-long average, as displayed on the car’s dashboard readout. I did not have occasion to do a full tank refill to manually calculate my observed fuel economy and compare that figure with the car’s estimate.
It’s hard not to compare my press cars’s fuel economy to the fuel economy of my Ford Ranger. In my mind, my faithful little truck kind of serves as a gauge of day-to-day operating costs, I guess. According to my Fuelly tracking, the Ranger is averaging 29 MPG over its lifetime right now. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that I could match that figure with the WRX, if I drove it like a sensible human being who doesn’t know how to blip the throttle during downshifts. But even if I never did better than the as-tested 24 MPG, would it be worth the five fewer miles traveled on each gallon of gas?
You bet it would. Few vehicles– especially not my Ranger– are this much fun.
Disclosure: Subaru provided the vehicle, insurance, and a tank of gas.