Are you excited for the 2022 Subaru WRX?
It’s been a minute since Subaru launched a brand new WRX — and their development team made a wide range of changes for this fifth-generation model. For starters, it naturally has new styling, though you’ll mainly see that down the sides and around the back, as this car still has a familiar face. It also gets a new engine (bet you can’t guess which one?), transitions over to the new Subaru Global Platform, and gets a welcome tech update. You can even get it in the appropriately loud Solar Orange Pearl. In short, it’s a better car all around on paper — but we’re interested in hearing your thoughts on it.
Did Subaru do enough? Is this where you think they should have gone? What’s with the cladding? Stuff like that. Let us know what you think below. Instead of offering up our full opinion, we’ll cover your thoughts and comments in a near-future video.
You get more power, but it’s not a huge difference
Right off the bat, the biggest change to the 2022 Subaru WRX lineup is the engine. It drops the old 2.0-liter unit for a new 2.4-liter boxer engine. It’s the same FA24F mill shared with the Ascent, Legacy XT and Outback XT, though you do get a slight bump in grunt here. At 271 horsepower @ 5,600 RPM, though, it’s only a 3 horsepower improvement on the previous generation. The 258 lb-ft torque figure between 2,000 and 5,200 RPM is also the same as the old engine, though Subaru says the key difference here is that the new engine’s torque curve is broader and flatter in that band. The increased displacement helps in that area, while the turbocharger gets an electronically controlled wastegate and air bypass valves to improve responsiveness and acceleration, so it may actually feel a bit faster.
Don’t worry, there’s still a three-pedal option
Most importantly, especially for WRX faithful, is the standard transmission. You can (thankfully) still get the 2022 Subaru WRX with a six-speed manual transmission. In fact, the three-pedal option is the standard on the base, Premium and Limited. A new GT trim also makes an appearance for this new model, and that adds in Subaru’s “Performance Transmission” option. Now, the automaker insists on calling it an automatic, but you and I will recognize it as the optional CVT. In the GT, you get more performance settings including variable dampers and SI-Drive settings, but the CVT is your only option if you want that trim. Subaru says the simulated 8-speed manual mode offers 30% faster upshifts and 50% faster downshifts than before, and the total ratio coverage has been enlarged.
Overall, the 2022 Subaru WRX comes in stiffer than the old car, both in terms of torsional rigidity (up 28%) and suspension mounting point stiffness (improved by 75%). Subaru says its development team also track-honed the suspension and improved the front suspension geometry, and added a new dual-pinion electric power steering system to improve steering response and feel.
More changes on the inside
You’d expect the 2022 Subaru WRX to get a massive interior upgrade as well — objectively, it needed one — and fortunately there are notable improvements. Every version save the base model gets Subaru’s 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment system. The GT version gets a premium Harman Kardon sound system, but every model (even the Base) gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. There’s also an updated steering wheel and gauge cluster (though it is still analog), while the GT gets Recaro seats.
At the moment, it’s not clear exactly what the fuel economy specs or pricing for the new WRX will be. We’ll have to wait a few more months for information on that, but folks should have the opporunity to try the car out first hand in early 2022.
In time, the WRX STI will be along as well — reportedly with quite a bit more than the old version’s 310 horsepower.