Every WRX and WRX STi comes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, seven airbags, auto-on LED headlights (which make you visible more reliably in poor light), auto wipers, a reversing camera, and seatbelt reminders on all five seats.
The seven airbags are in the usual places: two directly in front of the driver and front passenger; one alongside each front occupant at chest level to protect from side-impacts; a curtain airbag down each side at head level protecting front and rear occupants; and a knee protection airbag for the driver.
WRX (and WRX Premium) automatics also come with Subaru’s third-generation EyeSight active safety suite, which includes adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, and lane-keeping assistance, among other features.
The auto braking relies on stereo camera-type sensors, is effective and city and highway speeds, and recognises brake-lights and pedestrians, Subaru says. It will warn you of an impending collision, and can apply the brakes automatically to mitigate or avoid it.
A different sensory safety suite called Vision Assist enhances EyeSight on WRX Premium autos, and is supplied on its own with WRX Premium manuals and the STi Premium and Spec R. It includes a blind-spot monitor, which warns you if a vehicle is travelling in the blind spot over your shoulder, and a lane change assistant, which warns you if a vehicle is approaching quickly from behind in the lanes either side. A rear cross traffic alert warns you, when reversing, that another vehicle or person is about to cross your path.
Vision assist also gives you Front-view and Side-view monitors, which can display views from, respectively, the front and the left side of the car. The front-view monitor, which uses a camera mounted on the grille, offers the potential to show you more than you can see from the driver’s seat (perhaps because a truck alongside you creates a blind spot).
The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) awarded the Subaru WRX and STi its maximum five stars for safety, most recently in March 2014.