Have owned 2 with only minor issues. (O2 sensor, resistor affecting cabin vent) You can't find a better driving car for the money.
However my cousin had a '12 with the dreaded ringland failure. He was under warranty but had to fight for a month to get them to honor it. They eventually replaced his whole short block. The manager at Subaru said they used to get maybe 3 ringlands a year and at that time (2015) they were getting 5 a month.
The good thing is many wrx owners are wrench turner types and it's easy to crowdsource any issue with a few searches. The consensus I've found is that the stock tune is jack of all trades master of none. Getting a tune or buying an access port will go a long way to ensuring the cylinders health. Also I'm guessing you aren't going to be racing kids at stoplights.
I bought mine, resale value is high. I don't know how well they lease but that could be an option to mitigate risk.
was a Subaru or death person. She got a 2014 WRX and immediately had engine problems. She never had a problem dealing with Subaru before and did all of her scheduled maintenance and repairs at the dealership for her previous cars. It took 3 months for the issue to get resolved.
Even though the car was only 4 months old, it took almost that long to get the warranty to cover everything - she was even looking for ways to just return the car for either a refund or replacement. Obviously, that wasn't a viable solution.
She sold the car last year after having more issues and bought a Mazda. They lost a customer for life - one that had purchased 4 Subaru cars in her life, either for herself or family.
Subaru is using/used the same boxer engine that is in the Forester, etc. and did not spec up the rest of the internals when they started to increase performance output. Piston rings, etc. will eventually fail and things go catastrophic very quickly. This was a cost saving approach on their part, but was especially bad on the 2.5-liter engine.
I would personally avoid anything from 2012 - 2017 and would still avoid the car, as its consistently in the least reliable car list.
Owned two...a 2003 and a 2019. Solid so far. My 03 was modified and still lasted 250k before I had head gasket issues.
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