We get many calls for upgrades on this model, as a guide to assist you we have created this list to save your time, guarantee your money is invested correctly and most of all give you maximum value!.

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Typically this car is a “Subaru’s new 4wd crossover” a road car with some offroad capability.
There are some good features of this car, new 2.0 litre engine, (similar to the BRZ) lots of upgrade options and most of all, with a sensible budget with some well planned ideas it turns a great car into a potential STi turbo beater!

(All Australian models 2011 – onwards)
Can be converted and fully tuned, using EcuteK Software for almost any improvement, and allows solid results with correct settings and allows good improvement.
The ECU in this model can also be upgraded to “EcuteK Race Rom” for added features that were never included in the Subaru ECU
Can be tuned to suit forced induction with all factory stock parts. (amazing yes!)
All functions of the engine are able to be adjusted, VVT cams, fuel mixture, ignition, separate injectors and more

Extra available features..
ECU can be upgraded with functions that were never supplied by Subaru:

  • Launch control
  • Flat foot shifting
  • 4 separately tuned maps
  • Auto gear change blip on downchage
  • Boost control (if fitted)
  • In dash boost guage
  • In dash AFR guage
  • and more

Overall performance can be improved with ECU tune. However the mid range dip in Torque is a mechanical design in the engine that can not be tuned out.
The engine is detuned and also limited due to emisions requirements when delivered by the factory.
Poorly designed upgrades (turbos, superchargers etc)  magnifies the risk of engine failure.
Run too much boost or too much ignition advance and the result will inevitably be engine failure
Car MUST be run on 98 Ron Fuel unless a custom (ecuteK) map is done.

On this model the aif flow meter sensor is more reliable than previous model, but can suffer contamination and in turn this will effect reliability and performance. (see MRT for this solution)
The twin rear exhaust O2 sensors if located incorectly related to modified exhaust can cause problems, if old can also dull the cruise performance of the car and increase fuel use.
Crank, cam  and Knock sensors are reliable, but with age can fail.
Early reports are this model has ins come cases cam sensor faults that cuases poor erratic idel and in some cases engine stalling

Not worth considering as the intercptors simply do not have enough options to tune and modify the latest technoplogy control inputs.

NEW (replacement) ECU
Factory ECU retune is best value unless a really serious engine rebuild is chosen.
See notes above

Available with turbo kit

Bigger injectors empty your wallet and add no power unless part of a E85 fuel retune or major engine rebuild.
Save your $$ for suspension and get some GOOD improvements.
OEM Injectors are big enough unless you do a major engine rebuild or big boost turbo kit.

More than adequate

(Some traps for people here, unless carefully chosen.)
Zeor or little gain in power, only change if you want the looks, noise or a turbo kit!.

Other than a intake noise no power here.
A replacement panel filter in the std airbox will save on future servicing but give no power improvement.

Items such as aftermarket plug leads, high capacity discharge ignition systems etc all will ad very marginal if any improvement.
A GFB alloy pully kit will fit some models, but this varies as this model now has stretch fit belts and no adjustment like earlier models.
If fitted a kit or alloy crank pulley will result in snappy throttle response.

Available with turbo kit

Like above if you have a solid budget, then a rebuild will give some great benefits, but a rebuild will cost over $7k and then you need to choose carefully there are many options, but only if you REALLY want to.
Best value here first and foremost is Pistons and Rods.

Is the car serviced correctly? Because often a service by a workshop who really knows subarus will be your best choice for first place for power and reliability.


  • Upper engine cleaner and in tank fuel additive. (when was this last done, its a subaru suggested option).
  • Good quality low friction engine oil such as Mobil 5 w 30 will give around 5 kw and better fuel economy over a non synthetic oil.
  • Fuel system service, MRT offer this and often get good results, cleans the EGR “gunk” out of the intake and combustion area.
    Also injectors as well as inlet manf and exhaust as well as fuel pump, lines and sensors.
  • Synthetic trans and diff oil, again like engine oil this adds up in benefits.
  • Timing belt, fuel filter are again areas that should be checked and renewed.

check out the performance / suspension section for REAL gains and benefits.
If I owned this WRX suby, I would invest some of my budget in the MRT XB kit and then brakes and suspension as this is guaranteed BEST VALUE!
more here https://mrtperformance.com.au/performance/suspension

Refer the MRT vehicle service section here and take advantage of our free 78 point check to ensure your car is in top shape!


  1. Check service history.
  2. Check brakes
  3. ECU upgrade and re tune.
  4. New brake pads and discs if needed
  5. Front and rear sway bars.
  6. Complete (quality) exhaust.
  7. Front and rear sway bar links
  8. Positive shift kit.


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