Exhaust For WRX


New member
I have a 2011 WRX sedan 4door and I've been thinking about throwing a new exhaust on it.

The stock exhaust sounds "alright" in my opinion but it's still pretty quiet.

I really want to retain the signature Subaru boxer growl/bassy/low sound opposed to the ricer Honda Civic whailI hear every night from kids flooring their Hondas till VTEC kicks in.

I did a bit of searching around this forum and youtube and I understand that many people think the SPT exhaust is quiet restrictive and pretty much only adds a little bit of sound.

It certainly does seem to be on the expensive side and I really don't want to spend a ton of cash just to get a little bit louder sound from my rex, but then again, I really don't want my car to be obnoxious and draw unwanted attention to myself.

I am very new to the Subaru community and was wondering what are the "better" exhaust wrx that you guys have on your rides, and is the SPT exhaust just a huge rip off?

If there is an exhaust out there like a magnaflow, borla, HKS, etc etc that sounds just like/or better than the SPT exhaust I would really like to know.

Anyways, please help a newbie out. thanks
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On a quest of STi erudition!
First and foremost, welcome to IGOTASTI!! You're going to absolutely love it here!! Post some pictures of the ride!!

Second, I suggest you try looking on Craigslist in your local areas as far as what used CBE (catback exhausts) are currently listed for sale.

You have to determine whether you want to retain the stock look of a quad tip exhaust, or opt for a single outlet.

Loudness is determined by how restricted the exhaust you choose is. I'm assuming your current exhaust (downpipe + CBE) is stock. So, you'll be replacing just the catback portion. What determines if your WRX has boxer rumble or not, are headers. Subaru's have the iconic boxer rumble due to their unequal length headers. Most other cars, such as Civic's, have equal length headers. Since you're retaining your stock headers, you don't have to worry about that aspect.

You have many options ranging on a wide spectrum of loudness. You have quiet exhausts, such as the SPT, then you also have HKS N1 Race on the other end of the spectrum.

You really can't go wrong with any of the exhaust brands. First, figure out what type of look you want in regards to tip outlets. Second, determine if you'll be buying used or new. If you decide to watch/listen to videos of the exhaust you choose, just be aware that your's may sound different since not all cars have the same exact layout (downpipe, midpipe, axleback combinations).


Squirrel Meat Aficionado.
Staff member
Good call @Alin, on how the header affects the "boxer rumble".

@77dreamer you should be able to put any Catback (or Axleback for that matter) on the car without worrying about changing the flow enough to warrant a tune. That said, if you are looking for more power sometime in the near future, you might just want to go with a full Turboback (downpipe + catback), which will also require a tune. Turboback + Tune, is known in the Subie community as a "Stage II" upgrade. It's by far the most common upgrade for the WRX/STI. So common, that it's even become a meme. :LOL: While a protune is best (custom tune performed with the car running on a dyno), there are a number of Off-the-Shelf (OTS) tuning MAPS available from various vendors. If that is the route you choose to go, you'll need a device which you will attach to the OBDII port to upload, or "flash", the tune onto the ECU after downloading it off a vendor's website.

The most common, and probably most user friendly, device for Subaru's is the Cobb Accessport (Version III). They are kind of expensive, but keep in mind that it does a lot more than just flash tunes. They offer a ton of diagnostic tools, sensor monitoring and even data logging which can be used to diagnose any engine problems you may encounter in the future.

When it comes to Catbacks, my personal favorite is the Cobb SS (stainless steel) 3". Visually, they appear to be stock, but of course are not. They provide a nice deep rumble, but don't drone too bad and are not obnoxiously loud. The finish is very nice as well. I've had mine installed for over 10 years and it still looks great. Definitely look around on YouTube for examples of the volume and tone of various exhausts.

If/when you consider a new downpipe, we'll have to have a slightly different conversation, because there is far more variability in downpipes (and pitfalls, should you not get a tune or get a half-assed tune) than with catbacks. Feel free to reach out at any time and I'll help point you in the right direction.