3rd Gen Subaru WRX Wheel Fitment Guide
June 4, 2021
The Subaru WRX is one of those cars that has just about everything an enthusiast wants. They're practical, pretty quick off the line, AWD, manual, make all the fun boost noises everyone loves ( *stututu* *psshhht*), and look reallllly good. Like, really good. I mean, they've been one of the best selling and fastest selling sports sedans on the market for years for a reason.
This is also one of those cars that a lot of people are very...well..."passionate" about. The argument of what generation is the best, "but it's not an STI", all the other Subaru stereotypes are ages old at this point. But no one questions that these cars are great because...they are (well, maybe the Evo guys have something to say about it...). The aftermarket support and mod potential for the WRX are plentiful (I mean more than a Stage 2 tune, ope) and the nostalgia of the WRX is very real.
So, I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that you clicked on the WRX wheel fitment guide because you own a WRX and are looking to pick up a new setup to dial in. Well, you came to the right place. We've put together a few WRX wheel fitment setups based on the suspension you are running and/or want to run. This fitment guide is going to cover the 3rd gen WRX that was officially released in 2007 to 2014.
If you own the newest gen WRX, check out our latest fitment guide by clicking that nice blue button.
Alright, buckle up now. This is going to be a good one.
Quick History of The Subaru WRX
Woah. Before we get on the gas, let's just cruise for a minute and talk a little bit about the history of the WRX.
I promise it's noteworthy.
The first generation of the Subaru WRX was released in 1992 everywhere but the U.S. ouch. This isn't the first time we've missed out on the good cars. The Japanese and European markets always get the good ones first...
In fact, the Japanese domestic market (JDM) also got an "RA" version of the WRX which literally was the perfect starting point for legit race car builds (rally). It was meant for enthusiasts to mod and tune for rallycross. You don't see manufacturers doing that anymore.
The WRX RA wasn't supposed to be a creature comfort friendly car so it only had less soundproofing, manual windows, no ABS or horn, shorter gears, and was overall lighter and more robust.
Photo from Road and Track
In 1994, the STI model was brought to the market (not in the US again...). This is where the rally history begins. Even if you don't know much about rallycross, everyone knows the Impreza (WRX STI) as THE rally car.
This is also where the classic rally blue WRX with gold wheels aesthetic started. This was actually the case because of Subaru's partnership with State Express 555 tobacco colors: blue and yellow (gold).
Photo for Supercars
After the STI was released, it was entered into the World Rally competition by a rally legend, Collin McRae. The WRX is truly an iconic rally car and changed the way of modern rally racing.
Collin and the Subaru World Rally Team ended up taking home three consecutive championships in 1995 (driver's championship), 1996 (manufacturer's championship), and 1997 (manufacturer's championship).
Photo from Top Gear
Moving forward, the US market officially got the WRX in 2002 which would be the 2nd gen WRX (200-2007) otherwise known as the "New Age" WRX and "Bug Eye" WRX.
The 2nd gen generation actually went through two revamps, one in 2004 and one in 2006, because some people just weren't a fan of the design.
The 2004 revamp is also known as the "Blob Eye" WRX leaving the 2006 revamp to be known as the "Hawkeye" WRX.
The first facelift also got a new EJ25(5) 2.5L turbocharged engine making about 227HP along with all the cosmetic changes.
The 3rd generation WRX was released from 2007 to 2014 where the present generation lives on. Now, the 3rd gen is a little hefty compared to previous generations, but as I said before, it still scoots.
This is generation kept the 2.5L engine and overall l was more grownup looking, but Subaru fans weren't pleased.
Subaru tried to revamp the 3rd gen in 2008 with stiffer suspension, but the damage had already been done.
The current generation started in 2015 and is powered by a twin-scroll turbocharger with better weight distribution.
This generation makes about 268-300 ponies which is plenty to make your driving experience memorable.
How Much Horsepower Does a Subaru WRX Make?
The WRX is powered by the famous Subaru EJ25 engine which is a responsive 2.5L turbocharged engine. This engine is renowned for its tuning capabilities and beautiful engine soundtrack.
It takes roughly 265 horsepower give or take a few ponies.
Is The Subaru WRX Reliable?
The WRX unfortunately is notorious for having head gasket failures and thus burning a lot of oil.
Aside from that, the WRX is known to have some transmission and clutch issues as well.
Despite all of this, these cars are still pretty reliable if you take care of them. Most of the time, these issues occur because of poor maintenance.
If you're looking at picking up a used WRX soon, make sure you know the full history of the car with maintenance records.
What Do WRX and STI Stand For?
WRX is associated with Subaru's involvement in the rallycross world. WRX stands for "World Rally eXperimental"
STI on the other hand stands for "Subaru Technica International" which is a motorsport division of Subaru.
WRX Lowering Springs Wheel Fitment
Although lowering springs aren't as common on the WRX compared to coilovers, lowering springs is still a great modification because the lower your car's center of gravity improving the handling.
Now, if your WRX is slammed on its nuts, you may need to roll your fenders to clear the tires and/or may experience some rubbing. This is also dependent on the tire size you run.
17x7 is a fairly small wheel size and width so you could definitely size up and/or run a bigger tire if you wanted. If you track your WRX, a wider 17-inch wheel and a bigger tire would be a great fitment setup.
The 18x9.5 setup is definitely more common and desirable. Wider wheel = wider tire = more grip.
What Are The Best Lowering Springs For The WRX?
When it comes to lowering springs, there's a lot of really great options on the market, and honesty, there aren't that many detrimental differences between them.
Both Tein and Eibach say their lowering spring kits lower cars about 1.5" which is a pretty significant drop.
WRX Coilovers Wheel Fitment
Coilovers for a WRX is the most common suspension route to take. Not only will you get a lower center of gravity, coilovers also manipulate the way your car handles.
With that being said, there are a lot of fitment approaches you could take with coilovers. I'll cover the two most popular fitment setups and popular wheel/tire sizes of those: flush and poke.
If you're looking to go with the classic flush or nearly flush fitment for daily driving or track use, you're not alone. This is by far the most common fitment style for a WRX on coilovers.
As far as offsets go with a 18x9.5, a +30mm to a +45mm offset is where most fall into. Again, you're going to see a flush to nearly flush fitment style which is ideal for both track setups and daily driving.
If you're a weekend track rat and daily your WRX on the weekend, even better.
Offsets are going to be lower around +15mm and +20mm. This will push the wheel out slightly which will help you achieve a poke fitment, especially with a wider wheel.
You're also going to see a bigger tire with these poke setups. For a 18x10.5 +22mm, you see anything from a 275/35 to a 295/35.
If you want to stretch your tires, which a lot of WRX owners do, you could run a 235/40 on a 18x10.5 wheel.
Now, poke fitments are probably going to either roll/pull your fenders or a widebody kit/overfenders. This is super common for stance builds and even hardcore race cars.
After all, the WRX does have a rich history in rallycross as we previously discussed.
What Are The Best Coilovers For The WRX?
If you were looking for an entry to mid-level coilover for daily driving and/or weekend track events, BC Racing is hugely popular for the WRX.
Their BR series is a great entry-level coilover that offers great handling capabilities and the perfect amount of adjustment. Their DS series is a good upgrade for those who spend a little more time on the track than the average "track the daily" crowd.
Another great coilover option for the WRX is Fortune Auto and their 500 series coilover. This series starts at $1.3K so it's a little more pricey compared to the BR series from BC Racing, but you're going to get a quality coilover that performs very well daily driving and on the track.
This series is also equipped with Subaru rear camber adjustment plates that are made with Aluminum T6 6061. This will give you some room to mess with camber.
We hope this Subaru WRX wheel fitment guide helped narrow down the type of wheel and tire setup you're going for.
Make sure to reference the gallery for even more specs. There's tons of information that will help you find your perfect fitment.
If you own a WRX and/or love the WRX, I have two questions for you...
1) What fitment specs are you running? (P.S. make sure your car is in the gallery!!)
2) What generation of the WRX is the best, in your opinion?