Greene Ford Compares 2017 Ford Mustang VS 2017 Subaru WRX Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2017 Ford Mustang

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2017 Subaru WRX

Safety Comparison

Both the Mustang and the WRX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 7 times as many Ford dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mustang’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Mustang’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The WRX STI 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the WRX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Mustang has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The WRX doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Mustang has more powerful engines than the WRX:




Mustang 3.7 DOHC V6

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Mustang ECOBoost 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

320 lbs.-ft.

Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8

435 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

WRX 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

268 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

WRX STI 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

305 HP

290 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mustang GT 5.0 DOHC V8 is faster than the WRX STI 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

4.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

7 sec

8.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.5 sec

12.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.2 sec

2.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

112.2 MPH

102.4 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Mustang ECOBoost 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Subaru WRX 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

14.3 sec

In a Road and Track race course test, the Ford Mustang GT Fastback was clocked 2.65 seconds faster than the Subaru WRX STI (56.81 sec. vs. 59.46 sec.) at an average lap speed 10.7 MPH faster (127.2 MPH vs. 116.5 MPH).

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Mustang gets better fuel mileage than the WRX:







2.3 4 cyl./6-spd. Manual

21 city/30 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual




17 city/23 hwy

2.5 turbo 4 cyl./Manual


2.3 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

21 city/30 hwy

18 city/24 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


3.7 V6/6-spd. Auto

18 city/27 hwy



To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Mustang uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Mustang ECOBoost for maximum performance). The WRX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Mustang has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The WRX doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Mustang GT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the WRX:



Mustang GT



Front Rotors

12.5 inches

15 inches

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

13 inches

11.3 inches

12.4 inches

The Mustang stops much shorter than the WRX:





70 to 0 MPH

149 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Mustang’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the WRX (265/35R20 vs. 245/40R18).

The Mustang’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the WRX Premium/Limited/STI’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mustang offers optional 20-inch wheels. The WRX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Mustang’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The WRX doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mustang’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the WRX (107.1 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mustang is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 4.5 inches wider in the rear than on the WRX.

The Mustang’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the WRX’s (58.4% to 41.6%). This gives the Mustang more stable handling and braking.

The Mustang EcoBoost Fastback handles at .98 G’s, while the WRX STI Limited pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The Mustang ECOBoost uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The WRX doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Mustang Fastback has 1.2 inches more front legroom, 2.8 inches more front hip room and .7 inches more front shoulder room than the WRX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Mustang Fastback has a much larger trunk than the WRX (13.5 vs. 12 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

When three different drivers share the Mustang Premium, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The WRX doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mustang Premium’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The WRX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mustang’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The WRX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

On a hot day the Mustang’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the WRX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Mustang’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Mustang Premium’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Mustang has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The WRX has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the STI/Limited.

Standard air conditioned seats in the Mustang Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The WRX doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Mustang owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Mustang will cost $1700 less than the WRX over a five-year period.

Recommendations Comparison

IntelliChoice recognized the Ford Mustang as a “Best Value of the Year” for the 2015 model year.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2015 issue and they ranked the Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback higher than the Subaru WRX.

The Mustang was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 6 of the last 12 years. The WRX hasn’t been picked since 2003.

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