A Definitive Wheel Guide for Subaru Impreza, WRX & STi Owners
Welcome Subaru owners to our wheel and fitment guide for your Subaru Impreza, WRX or STi. In this guide we’ll go over a brief history of Subaru within the World Championship Rally, wheel sizes, bolt patterns, offset and styles that will help you decide with confidence on what wheel you should run on your Subaru. For those who know just about everything when it comes to Subaru history in the rally scene, feel free to skip straight to fitments. For those interested in learning a bit more about Subaru’s legacy, you just might get a better insight into Subaru wheel design choices for you to consider later.
A Brief History of Subaru in WRC
Image by Box Repsol (https://www.boxrepsol.com/en/de-leyenda-en/1994-carlos-sainz-and-his-subaru-impreza-an-intense-year/)
Subaru “dabbled” in the World Rally Championship series since the 1980s, but in 1989 – Subaru dedicated itself to the sport by introducing the “Subaru Tecnica International” team, or STi for short. That decision paid off, as within 6 years, Subaru went on to win the series 3 years in a row from 1995 to 1997. Dressed in the iconic World Rally Blue, fluorescent yellow decals, and gold wheels – the Group A Subaru Impreza GC8 555 stole the hearts of many during those winning years. Boasting nearly 360hp from a 4 cylinder turbocharged DOHC EJ20G engine, paired with a four wheel drivetrain and 6 speed transmission, Carlos Sainz took the Subaru legacy to the next level in 1995 with an intense win at the WRC.
Ever since then, with 47 Rally wins at its back, Subaru has continued to improve and grow within the rally sport community. Today, it’s recognized as one of the most iconic AND popular rally cars to date – slowly making its way to challenge the “King of Rally”, Lancia, for the top spot in rally. This brief history brings us to today, with a more consumer-friendly version of these masters of rally, the Impreza, WRX and WRX STi.
Let’s Talk the Subaru Bolt Pattern - 5x100 or 5x114.3?
You can find the perfect size and offset - but if you don’t know your bolt pattern, you’re in a world of trouble when it comes to finding the perfect wheels. All Subaru Impreza WRX through 2014, the 2004 WRX STi, and standard Impreza models use a 5x100 bolt pattern. Everything else uses a 5x114.3 bolt pattern.
The 5x114.3 bolt pattern also works on Subaru’s CUV/SUVs such as the Forester, Outback and Ascent. The 5x100 bolt pattern also works with the Subaru BRZ and Crosstrek, but we’ll discuss those fitments at a later time.
Wheel Size - 17”, 18” and 19”
Sizing is a bit trickier to decide as it will depend on the style, vehicle, comfort and look you’re trying to achieve. So we’ll break it down by year, and vehicle spec to help you make a decision.
Subaru Impreza 2007 and Older
We recommend sticking with a 17x7.5” wheel size to retain that iconic rally look. However, if you’d like to bump up a size, 18x8.5” works as well and looks pretty aggressive if you plan on lowering your vehicle a bit.
Subaru Impreza 2008 and Newer
While a bigger body doesn’t always mean bigger wheels, it does in this case. From the factory, your vehicle should be coming with 18” or 19” wheels (depending on your package). We recommend sticking within the 18x8.5” or 19x8.5” sizing. If you’re looking for the modern day rally car look, 18x8.5” is perfect - but if you want more of a big wheel, stance sort of look, the 19x8.5” is the option for you. You can always lower your vehicle a bit on 18” wheels if you’re trying to achieve a more “stanced-out” style - and finding 18” tires is a bit easier than sourcing 19”. Depending on what package your vehicle came with (18” or 19”), our wheels will swap over to your OEM tires.
Subaru WRX and STi 2014 and newer
From the factory, you should be coming with either 18” or 19” wheels (depending on the package). We highly recommend you stick within this range, especially if you plan on lowering in the future. Although, you can jump up to a 20x8.5” if you really want the wheel to be big, and stand out. For more of a rally style, stick with the 18” - Stance or Street style, aim for the 19” or 20” sizing. For those who are interested in getting the Brembo Big Brake kit in the future (or already have them) our 18”, 19” and 20” will clear those upgraded brakes.
Thing to Consider about Sizing
We just want to briefly talk about a few additional things when it comes to wheel size. 18” is the most common size for Subaru Impreza, WRX and STi FOR a reason. It’s the most widely available sizing, and comfortable on the road. While bigger does look better (in our opinion), consider that you may lose some meat on the tire wall to compensate for larger wheels. The bigger the wheels, the heavier they are and more power is required to move them. Not that your “from the factory” engine is not capable of moving bigger wheels, but it is something to think about. Sizing down from the factory spec isn’t recommended, (unless it’s 19” to 18”) due to the size of modern day brakes and calipers.
Offset - What Works the Best
We’ve been in the wheel game for nearly a decade now, and believe us when we say we’ve found the sweet spot that works across the board for passenger car Subarus. Whether you have a Subaru Impreza, WRX or STi – +35mm to +45mm is your sweet spot. From the factory, the OEM offset is +55, which tucks the wheel in from the fender. Our most popular Subaru spec, +35, pushes the wheel out closer to your fenders giving you that nice flush look without hitting the fender. If you’re not wanting to sit “hella flush”, our +45 offset pushes it out 10mm from the factory stance. Making it slightly more aggressive, while still giving it that fresh OEM+ look some may want to achieve. Though, take it from us personally - +35 is the way to go when it comes to Subaru fitments.
Here’s the Fun Part: Choosing a Style!
Now that you’ve narrowed down the bolt pattern, size and offset – We’ve got a couple great recommendations specifically for our Subaru owners. First and foremost, Gold Subaru Wheels are classic, iconic, and will work with every factory color Subaru has to offer. You may think it’s played out, but believe us - Gold wheels were meant for Subarus.
18x8.5” ET30 - 5x114.3 (Subaru WRX and STi Specific)
If you’ve been a fan of Fifteen52 for a long time, you’ve probably heard of our iconic Turbomac wheel design. Used by Ken Block in multiple Gymkhanas throughout the years, this particular wheel design is what started all the vented outer ring hype that’s been seen through the wheel industry for years. Why not tie the legacy of rally style with Subaru’s rally heritage with Gold Turbomacs? Offered in a slightly more aggressive offset of +30mm (compared to our recommended +35mm), and perfect 18x8.5” sizing – you can find this wheel in Gold, Rally White and Asphalt Black
Available in 17”, 18” and 19” (Impreza, WRX and STi fitments)
Carlo Sainz won the first overall championship with the GC8 on a set of Gold 6 Spoke wheels. If you love classic motorsport style, the Tarmac EVO is for you. While geared more towards the Super Touring style (in which Subaru did not participate in), this classic 6 spoke design featured a faux center lock design, and looks gorgeous on classic and new passenger Subarus. Available in 17”, 18”, and 19” – if you’re obsessed with all things motorsport, the Tarmac EVO is a fantastic option for your Subaru. Available in Gold and Rally White.
Available in 17”, 18” and 19” (Impreza, WRX and STi fitments)
You simply cannot go wrong with the classic 5 spoke motorsport look. A flat face with spokes roll back at the lip to give the wheel depth and profile that looks straight out of the motorsport paddock. Thinner spokes give room to display big brakes (or custom painted brakes), in proper motorsport fashion. Available in 17”, 18”, and 19” with Asphalt Black, Gold and Speed Silver color ways - it’s our most popular wheel design for newer Subarus.
We hope with this guide you’ll have a better understanding of wheel fitments for your Subaru. If you have any additional questions, or just want to chat about Subarus - feel free to reach out via email, call us or chat with us! We’d love to help you out. If you need some more visual confirmation, check out the Subaru wheel gallery below!
Subaru Wheel Gallery