I will go to my grave and sing that aSubaru WRXis not a Subaru WRX unless it hasHeaders of unequal length. Inefficient? Yes. Who cares?Sounds great. But I realize that this is very much waiting for me because this is all new2022 Subaru WRXis no worse off without the noise. Today's version of the rowdy four-wheel-drive rally-sport compact is more civil, efficient and stylish than ever.
Longtime WRX fans may cry badly, but this new WRX doesDieToday's WRX. We criticize today's cars for being dull, boring and uninspiring. While the latest version's personality may be hidden behind wisps of pleasant everyday usability, it's there. You just have to dig a bit for it.
2022 Subaru WRX specifications
- Basic price (tested):$30,100 ($36,990 est.)
- Drivetrain:2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder with turbocharging | 6-speed manual or CVT automatic | all wheel drive
- PS:271 at 5,600 rpm
- Torque:258 lb-ft at 2,000 to 5,200 rpm
- loading volume:12.5 cubic feet
- Seating capacity:5
- curb weight:3,297 pounds
- Fuel Consumption:19 mpg city | 26 highway | 22 combined (manual) 19 mpg city | 25 highway | 21 combined (automatic)
- Take fast:The new WRX is a suave commuter, but when you are, it's a clown.
Shut up about the disguise
Brad Iger wrote acomprehensive and in-depth overviewthe new VB generation WRX for us as early as December, so I won't waste your time or my very expensive internet ink repeating much of it here. What you need to know is that the new car is now basedan SUV platform, is longer and wider than the car it replaces, uses a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder instead of the 2.0, and wears dark plastic body panels along all four wheel arches and fenders. This last piece is what IAgainwant to talk about it.
I hear you okay? Your screeching could even be heard at the top of the doorless tower I do all my blogging from. You allhahathe costume.
“The plastic trim around the wheel arches looks like it was pulled from a Connect the Dots site. Looks so cheap.”Heycomplained.
"Grey trim instead of color matching will now make any light or light colored cars look cheaper than they actually are."Jon Bengrumbled.
"Boooooooor-ing. Fuuuuuu-gly. Plaaaaaaaa-stic. Ho Hum."dgnoveltycomplains.
“WRXs used to be exciting, unique and cool… now they just look like Camrys and Civics. Now with extra plastic.”FedSmokers Geistgrabbed.
With all due respect, you're all wrong.
Have you forgotten so quickly what theoutgoing WRX—the VA generation—looked like? Do you remember feeling underwhelmed when you first saw it? Hardly anything differentiated it from other compact sedans. Sure, there was the hood scoop on the front. But from the side and from behind? Completely unobtrusive if you do without the wing. There's certainly something to be said for a good sleeper, but that's a WRX, man! Let me see something more unruly, impetuous, quick-tempered.
Thanks only to the fairing, the WRX's profile is now much rougher, reminiscent of something that looks like it's not afraid to get a little dirty, something that's meant to have mud spraying off its wheels. Isn't that the roadworthy rally car ethos? The fairing is also vented and angular, which is a cool contrast to the dark colored wheels and more puffy fenders.
There is also a practical aspect to all of this. Cars are the most likely to rustaround their wheelhousesbecause stones and pebbles, which are thrown up there during normal driving, deposit the paint, exposing the sheet metal underneath to the weather. Exposed sheet metal plus moisture equals rust. The WRX's new plastic trim protects the car from this. What's so wrong with protecting your bows? A protected wheel arch means more vehicle longevity overall, and longevity is hot. That saves you moneynotgo to the body shop for rust repair.
No driving modes, no problem
One great thing about the new WRX, that's all I can sayat
I haverecently tested is its visibility. It's one of the few sporty sedans currently on the market that has resisted the urge for a low roof, high waistline and tiny windows. The driver's seat lifts up nicely and you can actually see out of the car with ease. The windshield is also quite high so you don't feel claustrophobic.
The seats were also comfortable and provided ample support during the five-hour drive from New York City to northern Massachusetts. That was a good thing as the ride itself is very stiff. Once off, you won't need to check your pelvis again, but you'll definitely notice which cities take better care of their potholes than others. The car keeps you awake on boring sections of the Autobahn, I can tell you that.
The WRX Subaru I borrowed came with the blessed manual transmission. One complaint I remember having about the VA WRX was that its gates were very poorly defined. I kept messing up shifts, accidentally going from fifth to second, what a bummer. And maybe that's totally subjective, but the VB WRXtatfeel a little better. However, I could still have used gates that were only a few millimeters apart; They were still a bit too close together for my taste. That being said, the shifting action delivered nice, muffled clunkers when the shifter was tucked into gear and luckily wasn't thereThe rubberiness of the BMW M3 shifter. The clutch pedal itself was on the lighter and springier side, but didn't tire my left leg in stop-and-go traffic.
At 271 horsepower, the WRX doesn't feel like it has enough power to outrun you, but you also have enough to satisfy it on a paved driveway - the key word here is "paved". It's the only way you'll feel like you're really sending it. Steering is light and responsive, and braking feel is more progressive than the rude, tweaking grab you'd experience on other sports cars. The top-of-the-line, automatic-only GT trim has a ride mode selector that lets you change damper settings, steering feedback, and so on, but the Limited trim I drove didn't have such a selector. And you know what? I liked it so much. It was a car that you could just get in and drive without worrying about messing around with various electronically controlled things for the carOptimumdriving mode. Things felt dated that way, and refreshingly so.
It's certainly not quiet in the WRX - wind and tire noise permeate the cabin - but you can also hear the four-cylinder boxer roaring like a deep bass line. It wasn't uncomfortable - I don't like cars where you can't hear the engine at all - and it kind of reminded me to listen to a heartbeat or breath, even if my beloved unequally long bubble was missing. What I couldn't tell, however, was whether or not this noise was artificially injected, because when I did my typical sports-car-drives-through-a-tunnel dance (you all know it: music off, windows down, leave it drop by three or four gears (get off), the resonant exhaust note actually wasn'tThesea.
But the weirdest thing about the WRX's exhaust note was the resonance it was idling at. In an underground parking lot, the noise sat at a low frequency that rang in my ears. If the feeling ofspinach teethdistilled to one tone, that would be it.
By far the biggest and most noticeable flaw had to do with the 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen in the center. True, there were still fixed knobs and dials for volume and temperature controls. But as Brad pointed out, changing something like your heated seats brought up a whole new touchscreen menu that I was forced to take my eyes off the road to look at. I feel like I'd almost prefer itthe base system? But I would have to try it and see.
The limited trim
I drove the WRX before Subarupublished its official prices on Thursday, I don't actually know what the MSRP was for the test car. But it was in the Limited trim that added the larger touchscreen, a 10-way driver's seat, dark 18-inch alloy wheels, aluminum alloy pedal covers, red dashboard stitching, red upholstery stitching, dual-zone climate control, auto-level headlights, a Harmon Karon 11-speaker system, a power sunroof and a body-colored trunk spoiler. Along with the six-speed manual, the MSRP should be around $36,990, including destination.
If I had written this story 15 years ago, I might have had more opportunities to bring it to the table. At present, however, I have very few; There aren't many sporty, manual, four-wheel drive sedans out there. There's always thoseVolkswagen Golf GTI and Golf RAlternatives, although the former is front-wheel drive and the latter is thousands of dollars more expensive. Then there are theHyundai ElantraNAndHonda Civic I, although these are also only front-wheel drive. However, the WRX leans more towards the everyday suitability of the GTI and the Civic Si. It's not as hot as the Golf R or the Elantra N.
Predictably, the WRX's fuel economy isn't as great compared to its front-wheel drive rivals, but you'll likely have better traction than them if it's snowing and you've got a good set of snow tires.
Stiff ride or not, refinement is what I remember from my time with the WRX. The car is perfectly docile and well behaved on the way to work. But give it a stab on the gas, a slap on the clutch for rev adjustment and personalityWilleget up - one who's down for some playing time but also knows when to stop. That sense just doesn't swim as close to the surface as WRX fans might like. Irrespective of this, the car is the likeable colleague who does the work during the week but can take off with you on the weekends. They just won't goad you into a mutually assured destruction. That is theVeloster N's job.
But what's perhaps most evident about the 2022 WRX is that it feels like a solid base, whether for the yet-to-be-announced STI or mods WRX owners will almost certainly install. It could use a little more power, but the gearing feels good, the handling is sharp and the suspension already rides solidly. There's a foundation - and it's good - but there's room to build if you want more. Perhaps that's why it feels tamer out of the box than it should be.
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Is the 2022 Subaru WRX worth buying? ›
The redesigned 2022 Subaru WRX is a blast to drive and has plenty of character. From the strange body cladding and practical sedan body style to its bleating boxer engine and brilliant handling, it is a worthy sport compact car.Why is Subaru discontinuing the WRX? ›
Subaru intends on meeting the regulations and standards of the ZEV (zero-emission cars), CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy), and GHG (greenhouse gasses). The company, therefore, doesn't plan on continuing with the production of the gas-powered WRX STI model from Subaru.Why do people buy WRX? ›
The Subaru WRX is a near-speed machine but unlike many sports cars, it's known to be reliable. The WRX offers a level of performance that's above other cars in its segment. The all-wheel-drive turbocharged four-cylinder returns a decent fuel economy and can transport people and things with ease.Are WRX increasing in value? ›
It's about to jump in value because the last-generation Subaru STI with a turbocharged Boxer engine rolled off the assembly lines in Gunma, Japan. Subaru of America sold thousands of 2021 WRX STIs last year and at the beginning of 2022.What cars are better than a WRX? ›
- 1 Ford Focus RS. Via: Reddit.
- 2 Toyota Camry TRD AWD. Via Toyota. ...
- 3 Infiniti Q50 3.0t AWD. Via Infiniti. ...
- 4 Dodge Charger AWD. Via: Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM. ...
- 5 Toyota GR Yaris. Via Toyota. ...
- 6 Kia Stinger GT AWD. Via Kia. ...
- 7 Mercedes-Benz A35 AMG. Via: Mercedes-Benz. ...
- 8 VW Golf R. ...
A Mediocre Fuel Economy
This puts it very close to the bottom of the segment. Not only is the 2022 WRX's fuel economy worse than most of its competitors, it is worse than any previous WRX model year. Even the Hyundai Elantra and Golf GTI offer much better fuel economies than the WRX.
INTRODUCING THE 2023 WRX
The all-wheel drive performance car also comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in summer performance tires; 6-speed manual transmission; Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control with Track Mode; and Incline Start Assist.
The STI isn't coming back anytime soon. Subaru says they are now exploring opportunities for the next-generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification. “In the meantime, a next-generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform,” Subaru said.Is the 2022 WRX a good daily driver? ›
The strut front suspension and double-wishbone rear setup make sure that you have an almost flat ride quality on the highways without compromising too much on the slow-speed ride quality. The suspension is tuned to the neutral side and that helps the WRX to come out as a competent daily driver.
How well is the 2022 WRX selling? ›
2022 Subaru WRX Makes A Rebound And Picks Up The Pace.
|2022 Subaru WRX||2022 WRX GT|
|New WRX||WRX touchscreen|
You really only need to be concerned with breaking-in your new Subaru for the first 1,000 miles. During this time, it is recommended that you avoid revving the BOXER engine beyond 4,000 RPMs unless in an emergency.Does the 2022 WRX need premium fuel? ›
Performance Subaru models – the WRX, WRX STI and BRZ – have a premium fuel requirement, but even with those vehicles, check your manual for information on which fuels are appropriate. Fuel stations in the United States typically offer three or more choices of fuel grades that vary by state.