Long-Term Subaru WRX Interior Review: Sporty with a dash of tech

Long-Term Subaru WRX Interior Review: Sporty with a dash of tech

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Change tends to happen slowly when it comes to Subaru interiors. It makes sense, as its buyers are and always have been the sort to enjoy the consistent, rugged nature of its products. Our long-term Subaru WRX sips heavily from that same cup of evolution for its new generation. However, there are still a lot of new bits to parse, and spending an elongated period with our orange sedan allowed me to gather some more definitive thoughts.

Slipping into the well-bolstered, super comfy “Ultrasuede” seats of our Limited tester is mighty easy, in some part thanks to the high-for-a-sport-sedan seating position. That’s a real boon for visibility, which is shockingly good for a new car. Thin pillars, a low dash, large windows and a sizable rear window all make for a sedan I’d never complain about seeing out of.

Ergonomically, all of that is a big win. Also positive is the layout of the center console. The pair of cupholders are far enough back that you can put a drink in them and not smash them with your elbow pulling the gear lever back (the door pocket works nicely for drinks, too). I adore that it has a physical handbrake still, though the tiny cutout just to the right of it is useless.


You’d think that the opening ahead of the shifter and under the infotainment screen would be a good place to put your phone, and it can be, but you’re going to need a small-ish phone for it to work. Any iPhone of the “+” variety is going to be too long and hang over the lip that would keep it at bay. Assuming you drive the WRX how it’s meant to be driven, that ultimately means your phone is going to fly out of the cubby and into your shifting hand on full-throttle acceleration. Not good! To avoid that, I ended up just tossing my phone in the cupholder most of the time. That requires a little snaking of the cord past the shifter, but it’s easy enough to tuck in between the passenger seat and the center console. Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto would be a nice upgrade.

And on the topic of the unavoidable, massive central touchscreen in the dash, it’s a mix of good and bad. The heated seat controls being touchscreen-only is frustrating when you’re impatiently waiting for the screen to load up to click them on in sub-freezing temperatures. Backup physical controls for the temperature settings, defrost, volume and tuning are all greatly appreciated, though. The only disappointment there is that the screen itself is bordered in piano black trim that gets very dusty after just a short time.