2022 Subaru WRX First Drive Review

HEALDSBURG, Calif. — Our initially appear at the 2022 Subaru WRX was transient and endured from a distinct absence of driver’s seat time. That demonstration was also geared toward showing off the competency of its overhauled “Subaru Performance Transmission,” which is a tarted-up CVT by another (just as prolonged, somehow?) identify. This time, we got the vehicle to ourselves and the only designs obtainable were being Premium and Restricted trims outfitted with the 6-velocity guide – the meat and potatoes of WRX profits volume with a consider price that exceeds seventy five%.

Sending electricity to that gearbox is a new two.four-liter turbocharged boxer-four that would make 271 horsepower and 259 pound-ft of torque. All those figures are properly the very same as the aged two.-liter boxer-four, but the larger sized motor delivers a substantially broader torque curve than the a person it replaces. The foundation product checks in at just three,297 pounds (not undesirable for AWD, even for a compact), the Premium at three,320 and the Restricted at three,390. All of these figures are pretty much similar to the outgoing WRX.

Subaru has made a large to-do about the 2022 WRX being the initially to be fully differentiated from the Impreza on which it has historically been primarily based. We are fairly positive one thing equivalent was stated previous time, but in functional phrases, the new WRX rides on an evolution of the very same world-wide platform shared by most Subarus, like the Impreza, and shares no human body panels with that vehicle inspite of the two being compact sedans. Even the greenhouse form was tweaked a bit. Additionally, you know, that cladding. Subaru says the honeycomb texture on the plastic smooths out turbulence around the wheel wells, bettering the car’s efficiency aerodynamically and maybe even chopping down on some wind sound.

The 6-velocity is very fantastic. The clutch pedal feels alive in a way you really do not normally discover in sporty cars primarily based on a mass-sector offering, making it a snap to locate the engagement position and time shifts. If we’d alter anything, we’d question for some a bit taller gearing in initially and 2nd, as you’re out of the two so promptly because of to the two.four-liter’s 6,000 RPM redline. Third equipment is fairly flexible, but lower-velocity switchbacks will catch it flat-footed.


When we weren’t active dodging freshly fallen rocks and trees on a route that took us from Santa Rosa, Calif., to Issue Arena on CA-one, it nonetheless managed to be cold, windy and in the shady pieces, nonetheless slick from days of rain. We even saw the occasional burst of graupel – not very hail and not very sleet but undoubtedly frozen. AWD lovers would have authorized. Regardless of the once in a while hostile temperatures (elevation-dependent), the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires gripped admirably, and the WRX supplied no objections as we enthusiastically scrubbed up their sidewalls.

It is uncomplicated to dismiss Subaru’s claims about the boxer’s lower heart of gravity as mere marketing bluster, but it does make a change. Even the Impreza, with its carefully uninspiring motor, nonetheless handles attractive for a fairly primary compact sedan. The WRX is that, only sharper and with way far more supreme grip. While Dan was organized to create off the perceived absence of understeer in his experience-alongside as a testomony to the skill of the qualified behind the wheel, we saw for ourselves just how eagerly the new WRX turns in.

While its method to putting electricity down may perhaps be an application of brute power at all four wheels, it is not just a muscled-up Impreza. It is light-weight on its ft for its sizing, it responds to steering inputs fantastically and the all-wheel generate imparts great self confidence.

The WRX’s new platform is stiffer the two laterally and torsionally, and Subaru took advantage of the additional chassis rigidity to soften up the damping a little bit in buy to enhance experience quality. Considering the fact that our testers all had the set steel suspension, we got to see the effects of this firsthand. Our route took us more than some heinously pockmarked Sonoma County roads, and when the WRX was considerably from supple, it was not punishing. We did take note some fairly major road sound on the rougher surfaces, but very little out of line with our expectations for the vehicle.


The interior is distinctive to the WRX. Comfortable surfaces are several and considerably among, but Subaru at minimum put some effort and hard work into style and substance aesthetics. Carbon weave pattern on a person part breaks up the interior door trim properly, for case in point, and the stitching and fit all through the cabin all present well. The new WRX is a bit reduce than the aged a person but is a contact roomier inside with the exception of rear headroom, which endured a bit from the lowered roofline.

The obtainable 11-inch infotainment display screen which is shared with the Outback relatively than the Impreza and other Subarus, absolutely dominates the dash and is fairly uncomplicated to use. We’ll dock them a bit for the absence of wireless Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay, at minimum in the pre-creation cars we were being able to sample, but that’s our only big gripe with the tech. It is not the most strong technique out there, but it operates. The foundation technique fills the very same area with two screens separated by buttons within a black plastic panel – it is possibly uncomplicated sufficient to use but appears like an aftermarket application.   

This provides us another opportunity to gripe about the reality that some of the coolest driver’s gizmos are relegated to the new GT product, which is obtainable completely with the CVT SPT. Adaptive dampers? GT only. Recaro seats? GT only. Selectable (and configurable) generate modes? You guessed it. And if this were being just about any other vehicle, we’d settle for at face worth that Subaru’s bean-counters couldn’t justify the stickshift in a quality offering. But when the automatic is the rarer preference, that excuse just doesn’t fly.

Subaru has another a person in the chamber while: conquest profits. The GT is “white space” for Subaru, indicating it did not exist before, and Subaru says it was developed nearly intentionally to draw in people other than classic WRX buyers. All those who want the automatic, the fully loaded cabin, the electronic gizmos and the entire Vision basic safety suite, in other text – not the observe junky who wishes the most inexpensive trim with all of the efficiency pieces and none of the unwanted frills. We’re not positive wherever this hypothetical purchaser stands on vaping we forgot to question.

For all of this consternation pertaining to Subaru’s determination to firewall some of the WRX’s far more intriguing options behind the CVT SPT, there is a path to redemption. The GT is not the pinnacle of WRX efficiency, nor will it be the finest-outfitted model for prolonged: We really don’t know the specifics, but a new STI is coming.  

Till then, the WRX versions we drove effectively confirm that the Impreza has a fantastic chassis in search of far more electricity. If you can get past the appears, which operate amazingly well in man or woman, and the transmission kerfuffle, what you will discover is a refined consider on a experimented with-and-real components. The quasi-redesigned Nissan Z, Cadillac CT4 and CT5, and even Subaru’s personal BRZ (alongside the Toyota GR86) have verified that gasoline-run fanatic cars are not wherever automotive products development is devoting its effort and hard work and bucks. That is a refrain fanatic buyers should really get used to – unless they are keen to appear further than fuel engines.

We’ll get another shot at the WRX when Subaru is able to crank out a several far more early builds with the absolutely-not-a-CVT. The business says the gap should really be somewhat little, so you will not have to wait also prolonged. Even if you’re in the seventy five% of prospective buyers who really don’t care about it, it is a milestone truly worth viewing out for, mainly because it indicates the subsequent matter coming down the pipeline is STI.

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