2022 Subaru WRX Review: It's not like they were nice before (2023)

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Design|Kompfort|Technology|Performance|Security|fuel consumption|pricing|FAQ


6.0 / 10

From anti-bullying initiatives in elementary school to hackneyed adages like “don’t judge a book by its cover,” we’re taught from a young age not to make assumptions based on looks — and most of us make an effort, if only to nothing else for the sake of appearances. But when it comes to cars, sometimes we just don't back down. If the four-wheeled device in question is ugly or unconventional, we flatly refuse to like it.

The2022 Subaru WRXmight stumble upon this trap cuz boy is it an unusual design. when it wasfirst unveiled last year, DiePeanut gallery crossed the WRX's extensive plastic trimon the lower body, which looks more appropriate on aFörsteras Subaru's legendary sporty sedan. Also adding to the drama is last-place fuel economy and an inexcusable lack of active safety when the WRX is fitted with a manual transmission.

But while it's certainly not attractive -- at least in my eyes -- it's not like people flattered the bug-eye or narrow-body designs of previous generations when they were new. And do any potential WRX owners really care that much about little things like fuel economy and safety nannies? If you can overcome these stylistic and logical compromises, you won't miss what a capable, comfortable and fun four-door the 2022 WRX is.

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Fast statistics 2022 Subaru WRX Limited 6MT
Motor: Turbocharged 2.4-Liter-H4
Exit: 271 horsepower / 258 pound-feet
0-60 MPH: 5.6 seconds (estimated)
Basic price: $29,105 + $960 destination
As-Tested-Preis: 36.955 $

Galerie: 2022 Subaru WRX Review

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(Video) 2022 Subaru WRX Review: It’s Not Like They Were Pretty Before



  • Exterior color: WR Blue Pearl
  • Interior color: black
  • Wheel size: 18 inches

The Roo's new face features a pointed grille and narrow headlights that help the car more closely match the current Outback and Forester, and the wrinkled taillights look far more modern than the outgoing WRX's blob-shaped units. The chiseled fenders look like modernized flares from the legendary Impreza 22B, and the huge hood vent for the intercooler is another WRX signature feature. A lip spoiler adds just a touch of aggressiveness — hopefully Subaru will soon offer a large basket-grip wing to atone for the STI's discontinuation.

But while the details are attractive, the overall product looks messy and run-down. A pitched roof and sloping bonnet give the new WRX decidedly economical proportions, a problem that plagued the previous generation but is made much worse by the new Subaru's extensive bodywork. Though the wheel arches themselves are round, they're clad in unattractive beveled plastic - a cue borrowed from the outback wilderness that looks only acceptable on a crossover and totally out of place on a sporty compact sedan.

There's more textured black plastic on the front bumper, where it takes the form of an oversized faux air vent at each corner - the previous generation Honda Civic springs to mind - and a lower bumper. And almost the entire rear bumper is done with the stuff, but at least it's shaped a little more organically and understatedly, framing the four-outlet exhaust while still offering some resistance to low-speed damage and an easier repair or replacement than a glossy one painted unit. Rallycrossers will likely find the fairing more appealing than most - a fitting niche for the WRX.

The cabin is generally more appealing, making it a comfortable place to do the business of driving. An 11.6-inch touchscreen display takes center stage, with vertical HVAC vents and wing-shaped dash elements protruding from either side. The flat-bottomed steering wheel rim is the perfect thickness, and the stylish faux suede-trimmed seats look perfectly appropriate to the WRX's mission. There's definitely some cheap plastic inside, but it's mostly limited to the lower doors and parts of the center console. Where it matters most –Armrests, window sills, knee pads and Co. - the Subaru is nicely padded.

2022 Subaru WRX Review: It's not like they were nice before (9)

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(Video) 2022 Subaru WRX Review: It’s Not Like They Were Pretty Before



  • Seating capacity: 5
  • Seat configuration: 2 / 3
  • Cargo capacity: 12.5 cubic feet

The decently engineered interior also helps the WRX feel smooth and comfortable on the day-to-day drudgery. These well-cushioned front seats offer plenty of lateral support for sporty driving, but are also decently comfortable on long freeway stints. The 2022 WRX deflects unpleasant noises and harshness better than its earlier self, although the occasional boomy exhaust note intrudes at certain part-throttle engine speeds. But it's not very intrusive, especially given the WRX's intended mission.

The WRX offers near-best headroom and legroom in its class, and there's more than enough room for even tall drivers. The rear cabin is a little more cramped, but still roomy enough for most people, even on non-stop two- or three-hour trips. Cabin storage isn't phenomenal, with a decent-sized center console locker and deep door pockets, but little else. Cargo space is just okay, too — at 12.5 cubic feet, it's the worst in its class by almost two units, but it's also shaped well for big boxes, and the 60/40 rear seats fold flat for a long timeArticle.

Inside dimensions: Headroom front/rear: Legroom front/rear: Freight volume:
Subaru WRX: 39.8 / 36.7 inches 43.1 / 36.5 inches 12.5 cubic feet
Honda Civic Me: 37.6 / 37.1 inches 42.3 / 37.4 inches 14.1 cubic feet
Hyundai ElantraN: 39.9 / 37.3 inches 42.3 / 38.0 inches 14.2 cubic feet
Volkswagen Jetta GLI: 38.5 / 37.2 inches 41.1 / 37.4 inches 14.1 cubic feet

Technology & Connectivity


  • Center display: 11.6 inch touch screen
  • Instrument cluster display: 4.2 inches
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: No

Subaru was one of the first mainstream automakers to put a large, vertical touchscreen in its cars, and the device in both the mid-range WRX Premium and my flagship WRX Limited reviewer measures an impressive 11.6 inches - thatBase WRX gets a more modest 7.0-inch screen. The Limited also features standard navigation. All models get a wired connection for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The so-called Starlink infotainment system works well. The graphics look a bit '90s-like, maybe like a PlayStation One's home menu, but the touch responsiveness is modern and the embedded navigation pans and zooms smoothly. The huge display offers plenty of space for smartphone mirroring, so there's plenty of room for maps, music, calendar notifications, and the like. When using Subaru's embedded apps, a split-screen feature reduces distraction.

However, I wish there were more hard buttons for the commonly used climate controls. You only get physical temperature adjustments, while seat heating, fan speed, and in-screen airflow are locked in.

Performance & Handling


  • Engine: 2.4-Liter-H4-Turbocharger
  • Power: 271 hp / 258 pound-feet
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Now we cook with gas. Predictably, the Subaru WRX comes into its own once you stop arguing about knobs and styling and start putting down the hammer. Subaru's 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four, already featured in theOutback XTAndrise, shows up in the 271-horsepower, 258-pound-feet WRX. That's an increase of just three ponies, but the new car feels scarier and easier to drive than its slightly more pointed predecessor. That's not to say there's no turbo whoosh near the 5,600rpm power peak, but it does add excitement rather than feeling flat-footed and sluggish.

The 2022 WRX's new engine revs low at around 6,100 rpm, which means full-throttle upshifts happen sooner than expected — embarrassingly, I hit the fuel cut more than once while blasting up the iconic Angeles Forest Highway. Luckily, the Shifter is a willing playmate when this redline arrives, with short throws and a pleasantly mechanical feel. The clutch pickup point is a little vague, but it's also consistent and easy to use, so a day or two of getting used to it is all that's required to get the Rexy running smoothly and quickly.

(Video) I Finally Drove A NEW 2022 Subaru WRX - My Thoughts

That is, until it's time to enter a corner. The driver's relationship with the uncommunicative steering could stand for couples therapy because it's just so callous both at turn-in and once the WRX has settled. Your toxic ex can't hold a candle to the emotional unavailability of the helm. Subaru claims its new dual-pinion electric power steering is designed to improve the driving experience, but I'm not buying it. It is by far the worst dynamic characteristic of this car. As unfortunate as that is, the WRX claws back some points by exhibiting exceptional grip and chassis composure in both tight switchbacks and wide switchbacks.

Angeles Forest was not in good shape—winter storms the week before my trip tore up the sidewalk, leaving it covered in gravel and snow plow scratches. Nonetheless, the Subaru WRX tracked beautifully through the corners, with zero understeer and easily controllable oversteer when provoked (such as by back braking). handle from theStandard summer tires are phenomenal, and the WRX's stiff structure pays off with a compliant suspension that still controls body roll, center bumps and brake dive very well. The WRX inspires a lot of confidence once you learn to trust the unapproachable steering.

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  • Driver Assistance Level: N/A
  • NHTSA Rating: Not rated
  • IIHS Rating: Not Rated

The 2022 Subaru WRX gets a terrible score in this category for not offering a single active safety feature with the standard manual transmission. That's a real shame, because the automaker's EyeSight suite - including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking - is very good. Unfortunately, it's only available with the WRX's optional continuously variable transmission. I have no idea why EyeSight and a six speed manual are mutually exclusive sinceHondaadded adaptive cruise, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning to the manual-only Civic Si andEnter Rsince 2020.

Neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the new WRX in their crash tests, but the previous generation sedan received a five-star rating and was named a Top Safety Pick, indicating good crashworthiness. We expect nothing less from the latest WRX.

fuel consumption


  • City: 17MPG
  • Autobahn: 26 MPG
  • Combined: 22 MPG

With 22 miles per gallon of premium fuel on the EPA combined rating, the WRX is the least efficient vehicle in its class. The Civic Si, for example, gets an impressive 31mpg, while the Volkswagen Jetta GLI can cover 28 miles and the Elantra N 25 miles on a single mug. Of course, the WRX has more power than the VW and Honda, and it comes standard with all-wheel driveDrive not available from any of its main competitors. This feature might be worth every splurge for rally wannabes and snow belt dwellers, although I bet an Elantra N with proper tires would be almost as much fun in an ice race without filling OPEC's pockets as much.

(Video) My Subaru WRX 1 Year Ownership Review | How Good Has It Been?



  • Base Price: $29,105 + $960
  • Trim base price: $36,955
  • Tested Price: $36,955

TheWRX starts at a reasonable $30,065 with destination, but my Limited tester — the most expensive way to get a six-speed manual — was slightly more expensive at $36,955. That's a lot of money for a supposedly inexpensive entry into the world of sporty cars, especially one that doesn't have many modern safety features and demands sacrifices at the pump. Starting at $28,315 with all-season tires or $28,515 with summer tires, the Civic Si is a great ride despite its lower horsepower. In the meantime,the similarly powerful (but front-wheel drive) Elantra Nis $32,945.

The base Subaru comes with a smaller 7.0-inch touchscreen, but it's pretty darn good value thanks to its power and all-wheel traction - the WRX is a bit cheaper than the Elantra N and offers less compared to the 71 PS more expensive Civic Si. Many of the Limited trim's best features, like the large touchscreen display, push-button start and heated seats, are standard on the $32,565 mid-size WRX Premium, which seems to be the best balance of price, performance and comfort. Anyone who wants a manual transmission, can do without active safety and likes WR Blue paintwork (who doesn't) can hardly find fault with such equipment.

2022 Subaru WRX Review: It's not like they were nice before (12)

Reviews of WRX competitors:

  • Honda Civic Si: 9.3/10
  • Hyundai Elantra N: Not rated
  • Volkswagen Jetta GLI: Not rated

frequently asked Questions

What is the Subaru WRX?

The 2022 Subaru WRX is the company's sporty sedan offering. Originally a homologation special for the Subaru Impreza that competed in the World Rally Championship, in recent years the WRX has been a model in its own right, unrelated in name to the Impreza sedan and hatchback.

How fast is the Subaru WRX 2022?

With a supercharged 271-horsepower, 258-pound-feet 2.4-liter flat-four, the Subaru WRX can hit 60 mph in an estimated 5.0 seconds. The 2022 WRX has limited turbo lag, but its 6,100 rpm revs come sooner than expected.

Is the Subaru WRX practical?

There's plenty of room up front, with best-in-class headroom and legroom. The rear seat is a little less roomy, but comfortable enough for two average-sized adults. There is 12.5 cubic feet of luggage space that expands into the cabin via 60/40 split folding seats.

Is the 2022 Subaru WRX going well?

(Video) 2022 Subaru WRX 3-Lap Review: It's Good, but Outclassed on the Track - Matt Farah

Subaru boasts that the new WRX's dual-pinion steering helps with feedback and response, but it's too numb to really enjoy it. The rest of the car, with MacPherson struts in the front and multi-link rear suspension, offers plenty of grip and excellent body control, making it a lot of fun to drive around corners.


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.

What are the main issues with Subaru WRX? ›

Subaru WRX problems prompting the most owner complaints

The WRX doesn't have the best reputation in this area, according to owners. The model's known weak points include pistons, rods, piston rings, and rod bearings. Owners have also complained of turbo issues with newer WRX models, Tuning Pro reports.

Why not to buy a Subaru WRX? ›

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.

What happened to the 2022 WRX? ›

The microchip shortages, supply chain issues, and the recent Subaru plant shutdowns are some of the reasons for slow sales, but it's only part of the problem. Performance fans can order a new 2022 WRX from retailers to their specs and have it shipped from the factory. But it's not happening in any significant way.

What cars are better than a WRX? ›

10 Greatest Alternatives To The Subaru WRX STI
  1. 1 Ford Focus RS. Via: Reddit.
  2. 2 Toyota Camry TRD AWD. Via Toyota. ...
  3. 3 Infiniti Q50 3.0t AWD. Via Infiniti. ...
  4. 4 Dodge Charger AWD. Via: Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM. ...
  5. 5 Toyota GR Yaris. Via Toyota. ...
  6. 6 Kia Stinger GT AWD. Via Kia. ...
  7. 7 Mercedes-Benz A35 AMG. Via: Mercedes-Benz. ...
  8. 8 VW Golf R. ...
Mar 17, 2022

Does a WRX hold its value? ›

iSeeCars ranked all small cars on how much they depreciate on average over five years and found the Subaru WRX drops in value less than all small cars in its segment. The average new vehicle depreciates 40.1 percent, while the Subaru WRX has an average 5-year depreciation of 29.4 percent.

Is Subaru canceling the WRX? ›

Subaru Canceled The WRX STI Because Regulations Change Way Too Quickly. Three months into 2022 and two years into one of the hardest decades in recent memory, and here comes Subaru killing off the WRX STI with next to no explanation.

Do Subaru WRX have transmission problems? ›

The 1-800-LEMON-LAW hotline has been abuzz with Subaru WRX drivers calling in complaining about issues with their transmission and/or turbo engine. Problems include loss of power, check engine light, clutch noise, fluid leaks, and assorted transmission issues.

What is so great about the WRX? ›

What really sets the WRX apart from other sporty compact cars is its standard AWD. In addition to helping get its added power to the ground with minimal fuss and avoiding the torque steer that plagues some front-wheel-drive performance cars, AWD makes the WRX a viable candidate for year-round daily driver duty.

Are people buying the new WRX? ›

Subaru of America has only sold 6,212 WRX sports cars through the first six months of 2022, down from the 14,272 sold through six months of 2021. That's a drop of 56.5 percent.
Next-Gen Subaru WRX Sales Look Dismal Because There's No STI.
2022 Subaru WRX2022 WRX GT
New WRXWRX touchscreen
Jul 5, 2022

Should I get an Impreza or WRX? ›

Your choice between the 2022 Subaru Impreza and 2022 Subaru WRX will depend largely on the level of performance you're looking for. The Subaru Impreza is offered in a 5-door or sedan body style and is a modern commuter vehicle. The WRX, on the other hand, is a performance-focused turbocharged sedan.

Is it better to buy a WRX or STI? ›

Overall, the key difference between the Subaru WRX and WRX STI is performance. The Subaru STI is the more powerful and performance-oriented of the two. It comes with a bigger engine, stiffer springs, thicker tires, more powerful brakes, and more.

How well is the 2022 WRX selling? ›

An increase of 9.8 percent isn't much, but the 2022 WRX has been down since its dealer launch. Subaru of America has only sold 8,742 WRX sports cars through seven months of 2022, down 47.3 percent from the 16,577 sold through the first seven months of 2021.
2022 Subaru WRX Makes A Rebound And Picks Up The Pace.
2022 Subaru WRX2022 WRX GT
New WRXWRX touchscreen
Aug 6, 2022

How long does it take for a new WRX 2022 to be broken in? ›

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.

How many 2022 WRX have been sold? ›

Subaru WRX – US – By Year
4 more rows

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.

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.

Do you need to put premium gas in a WRX? ›

However, the engines found in the Subaru BRZ, the Subaru WRX, and the Subaru WRX STI are built for higher compression with a powerful turbocharger -- as a result, regular fuel can be problematic in these engines. Instead, premium gas is required.

Is a WRX comfortable? ›

Though it's a small car, the WRX provides a decent amount of seating space. Both rows of seats are comfortable and have enough legroom for adults.

Do WRX break down a lot? ›

If you have a WRX and you push the motor hard then yes they will break down a lot. That is true with a lot of vehicles on the road though. If you keep your motor relatively close to stock and drive the vehicle without pushing it then there should be no major problems with them.


1. 2022 Subaru WRX | Common Problems
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2. 2022 Subaru WRX Review: It's Not What We Thought
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3. Hard Truths of Owning a WRX in 2022 (Donut Media Won't Tell You This)
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