2022 Subaru WRX worth its long wait makeover

James Raia

The 2010 Ford Transit, the first year the compact van was imported to the United States.

Thirty years after its automotive mentor, the Impreza, was unveiled for the World Rally Championship, the Subaru WRX debuted in its second generation. It’s been a long time coming.

The first stand-alone WRX (World Rally eXperimental) arrived in 2014. Eight years later, the sport compact’s full makeover is welcomed and much-needed. It’s available in base, Premium, Limited and GT trims.

The 2022 Subaru WRX is the second generation debut of the spirited compact.
The 2022 Subaru WRX is the second generation debut of the spirited compact.

The turbocharged WRX is among a stellar list of punchy sedans, a front-engine, all-wheel drive sedan with a desire to capitalize on its aggressive four-cylinder engine. They all make driving enjoyable. In the Subaru, shifting gears, darting around town and negotiating highway and mountain roads with zippy confidence makes it further desirable. It’s the consumer version of the original rally car.

Matched against the Hyundai’s Veloster N Volkswagen Golf GTI, Golf R and turbocharged Mazda 3, the 2022 Subaru WRX is offered with a new chassis and with a 2.4 liter (it was 2.0 in the previous generation), 271-horsepower engine. It’s available with a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission. The new exterior design and sporty interior seem best with the six-speed gearbox and an available adaptive transmission.

Like a few of its competitors, the WRX is quick enough, but it seems to drive faster than its specs. The 0-to-60 miles per hour standard is achieved in 6.0 seconds. But the little Subaru has a noticeable turbo lag. Its midrange performance is the car’s strong point, matched by its cornering on winding, fluctuating roads. The WRX handles with ease what’s presented around the bend like it knows what’s coming.

The 2022 Subaru WRX offers a six-speed manual transmission.
The 2022 Subaru WRX offers a six-speed manual transmission.

Despite its compact status, the WRX provides comfortable front and rear seating and is classified as a five-passenger vehicle. It’s one of the auto industry’s mysteries how sedans are rated for three rear-seat occupants. It’s only feasible for the smallest of petite adults or children. All occupants travel in comfort on supportive, well-bolstered seats.

The interior is highlighted by the 11.6-inch infotainment screen, with its large size and vertical placement unusual for a compact sedan. The icons are large, easy to read and crisp. Determining destinations and viewing the directions is also easy via the clear screen and bold colors. The 11-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system provides top-notch sound.

With the Premium trim, standard equipment is plentiful: 18-inch wheels, LED foglights, keyless ignition and entry, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, alloy pedal and dual-zone automatic climate control.

The technology applications on the 2022 Subaru WRX are straightforward and efficient.
The technology applications on the 2022 Subaru WRX are straightforward and efficient.

The new WRX is more handsome than its predecessor if a sporty look is appealing. The second generation is three inches longer and two inches wider. The front hood air scoop and other vents aren’t for show, they’re functional for cooling or aerodynamics. The restyled, larger grille, as well as new headlights and taillights designs all, add to the car’s new good looks.

For personal device users, there’s plenty, in two 2.1-amp USB-A ports for both front and rear passengers. There are also two 12-volt outlets as an Auxilliary port.

Subaru doesn’t get superior mileage throughout its lineup, and the WRZ is among the carmaker’s lowest numbers. The EPA estimates are 19 miles per gallon in city driving, 26 mpg on the highway. The 22 mp combined mileage is the car’s weakest attribute.

The top-line GT gets more stuff, including a sunroof. But the Premium trim is the best deal with an MSRP of just under $34,000. Its price-to-performance comparison is top-notch, perhaps the best in the industry.

The sport-oriented sedan also costs about $10,000 less than the average price of a new car in the United States. Poor gas mileage aside, the value makes the attractive new WRX further appealing.



Article Last Updated: September 6, 2022.

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