2021 Subaru WRX Limited vs 2021 Ford Mustang Comparison in Columbus, OH

Since the 1960s, the Ford Mustang has served as the gold standard of affordable sports car manufacturing. However, among the many others that have attempted to dethrone the old king, the 2021 Subaru WRX may have done exactly that. In order to fully decide which vehicle is this year's premier sports car, we've taken the 2021 Subaru WRX and the 2021 Ford Mustang and put them side-by-side to compare their specs and features. Does the WRX dethrone the long reigning champion? Read on to find out!

Subaru WRX against a sunset

Design and Engineering: 2021 Subaru WRX vs 2021 Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang design has reached an iconic status and has changed very little over the years. The 2021 Mustang carries on this traditional body styling with standard 17-Inch Sparkle Silver Painted Aluminum wheels and LED Signature Lighting. Alternatively, the Subaru WRX applies a bold and innovative sense to sports car aesthetics. Its standard 17-inch Dark Gray aluminum-alloy wheels, low-profile trunk spoiler, front/rear under spoilers, and four-door body give the WRX a distinctive look all its own.

Once inside, you'll be surprised at just how roomy the 2021 Subaru WRX really is. With 96.6 cubic feet of passenger volume, the WRX has over 13 more cubic feet of space in the cabin. Also, the Mustang's driver seat is only 2-way adjustable at the start of the lineup -- compared to the 6-way seat in the entry-level WRX. And you'll need to upgrade your Mustang to match the standard Automatic Climate control found in the entry-level WRX.


Subaru Digital Instrument Cluster

Technology: 2021 Subaru WRX vs 2021 Ford Mustang

When the Mustang first arrived on the scene in the mid-1960s, "high-tech" meant there was an AM/FM radio and an Air Conditioner if you were lucky. Now, two decades deep into the 21st-Century, sports cars are expected to have some real impressie hardware in the cabin. The 2021 Subaru WRX meets that expectation with its standard STARLINK® 6.5-Inch Touchscreen Multimedia system that can be upgraded to 7-Inches w/ navigation. The STARLINK® Multimedia System allows you hands-free access to your favorite apps and allows next-level smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay™ and Android™ Auto. Also available for the WRX is a Harmon Kardon 9-Speaker Audio System.

The 2021 Ford Mustang sports many similar features, but you may not find them at the start of the lineup like you will in the similarly-priced Subaru WRX. That's because the standard Ford Sync system in many of their vehicles doesn't even start out with a touchscreen.

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Subaru WRX off-road with a large dust cloud

Performance: 2021 Subaru WRX vs 2021 Ford Mustang

Credit where credit is due: The 2021 Ford Mustang lives up to its equestrian name with 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. The WRX has a respectable power output itself, however, with 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Remember though! The 2021 Subaru WRX weighs about 200lbs less than the Mustang, so more of that power is actually transferring to performance instead of just moving around all that weight.

Also remember, every trim level of the 2021 Ford Mustang comes with one drive type: Rear-Wheel. Meanwhile, every 2021 Subaru WRX has Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that is far better suited for the Midwest winters.


Dash Controls of Subaru WRX

Safety: 2021 Subaru WRX vs 2021 Ford Mustang

Subaru maintains one of the industry's best reputations for making safety a priority in their vehicles. That's as evident as it has ever been in the 2021 Subaru WRX. This sports car was awarded a 5-Star Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the 2021 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and the highest IIHS Rating for Front Crash Prevention. This is because every WRX also is equipped with Track-Tuned Suspension, Vehicle Dynamics Control with Active Torque Vectoring, Quick Ratio Steering, and Aluminum Front Lower Control Arms. All of these combine to give exceptional control over your WRX whether you're whipping around the track or just trying to get home from work. Also available for upgrade is the Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist technology which offers features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and pre-collision braking.

To be fair, the 2021 Ford Mustang also was awarded the Top Safety Pick Award from the IIHS, but without the litany of advanced airbags, traction control, and other safety enhancing features found in the WRX, there's just really not any competition in this department.


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The Best Value

The Ford Mustang has been and always will be a fixture among affordable sports cars, but this year belongs to the 2021 Subaru WRX. With a starting MSRP of $27,495, the 2021 Subaru WRX has a very similar price to the 2021 Ford Mustang- and it comes with more features. With more cabin space, a modern look, and a much safer overall design, the 2021 Subaru WRX just has a better bang for your buck. Call or visit us today to take one for a test drive!

2021 Subaru WRX2021 Ford Mustang
$27,495Starting MSRP*$27,205
268 w/ 258 lb-ft of TorqueHorsepower 310 w/ 350 lb-ft of Torque
Symmetrical All-Wheel DriveDrive TypeRear Wheel Drive
Four DoorsDoor CountTwo Doors
Standard AutomaticClimate ControlStandard Manual
96.6Passenger Volume82.8
3,294 LbsCurb Weight3,492/3,512 (Automatic/Manual)
27/20Highway/City MPG Rating30/21
15.9 galStandard Fuel Tank Size15.5 gal
Projector Low-Beam & Multi-Reflector High-Beam HalogenHeadlights LED

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.

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