WRX – If it seems like an age since Subaru sent us a new WRX, you’re right, and here it is, the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX Sedan and Wagon.
WRX is all new, including the 2.4 engine. If you’ve seen the pictures from overseas, the sedan was gathering some unkind critique of the rather odd looking plakky wheel arch garnishes. WRX has always had its haters. The Levorg wagon from the previous generation never got the hoopla it deserved. It was a different car to the WRX, but was so close as to make no never mind.
Subaru hasn’t made that mistake this time. Although the sedan is slightly wider, courtesy of the big, butch fenders, they are so obviously twins.
Lighting is LED with dusk sensing and high beam support, but there are no fancy matrix systems here. They do the job very well indeed.
The wagon is prettier but the sedan gets huge chunky tail lights that mean business. The look isn’t a world away from that which was replaced. I’m glad Subaru has resisted the urge to put wheels the size of satellite dishes on the list of standard gear. It makes the ride even worse and does nothing for anything but ego.
The quality inside is a vast improvement over the old car.
Gone is the useless 3rd LCD screen, with infotainment via an 11.6” portrait tablet, assisted by a 4.2” MFD in the driver’s panel. There is no HUD, and the driver has conventional dials. For such an unashamedly masculine car chockers full grit and determination, Subaru must reach deep into its parts bins and fix this oversight forthwith.
Seating is comfy, but not all models get powered adjustment. It looks classy enough, even in the cloth-covered base car.
The dash looks more modern too.
There is a cornucopia of surfacing and materials that have you stroking them in moments of wandering attention.
There is more than enough space in the rear for short trips, but WRX is a small car, and as a tourer, is a 2-up situation only.
There are plenty of USBs, wired Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, excellent climate control, and fancy Harmon Kardon sound. The latter is reserved only for sedans, which must surely be something to do with bean-counting
Switches are easy to get to and use, and there is a general atmosphere slightly grown-up boy racer. I’m glad WRX hasn’t lost its youthful exuberance, but, it doesn’t feel as edgy or dangerous as it once did back in the days when it battled EVO X the love of our inner bogan.
WRX is all about the road, and its complex, and rather marvelous interaction with the car and the driver.
The wagon definitely feels softer on the road, but everything is reletive and the ride is still firm. Subaru says the wagon is aimed the family buyer, while the sedan, especially in the manual, is the raw hard-core experience. Is it though?
The 202kw/350Nm boxer flat four engine comes with either a revised 6-speed manual, or a “Sport Lineartronic” 8 speed CVT automatic. The 6.1 second 0-100 hasn’t been confirmed in Australia, and we’ve read different figures elsewhere, but anything with a 6 in front doesn’t feel terribly hard core. There is no STI model ,so this is your lot.
The 8-model range has a manual option, but only in the sedan, as WRX and WRX RS models. The CVT is available in sedan as the WRX, with RS and tS topping the sedan list, and in Sportswagon, GT and tS versions. All have AWD with a claimed economy of 9.9L/100k for the manual, and 8.5 for the CVT.
All models have Macpherson Struts at the front and double wishbones around back. tS versions add variable electronic suspension dampers that change with the drive modes. Drive modes have the inevitable names of: comfort, normal, Sport, Sport+ and individual. There is also a Track mode on a separate button. We did a couple of circuits of the Winton racetrack in the manual sedan. Since the manuals don’t have adaptive suspension, we weren’t able to get the full boom-shakalaka.
Buyers might buy WRX with a view to track days, but I’ll wager most will go no further than a mountain weekend drive as we’ve done. If you want the STi look, there is a range of accessories. Sadly, none of them involve more power.
Electric steering is well tuned, with oodles of perceived feedback. Fast changes of direction are dispatched like a capering mountain goat in full frollick mode.
Perhaps it was the weight of expectation, but WRX felt as if it had grown older and wiser, but just a little softer.
Track days are fun, and worth many shekels of anyone’s money.
It is a ticket to take your ride by the scruff of the neck, and wring it for all its worth. Acceleration is smooth, and the engine has enough low-down grunt to get off the mark fast. Even letting loose, WRX remains calm and poised and feels anything but brutal.
Having said that, in the hands of a competent driver, the Subaru is a weapon. In my hands however, the experience altogether more driving Miss Daisy than a scene from Bullitt.
The manual WRX’s don’t need rive modes. They give everything they’ve got right from the start. Try not to get near the rev limiter though, as it causes no end of conservation as it retards the excitement to protect itself.
The full specifications will be in the written review with the link in the description below.
Prices range from $44,990 for the Base maual sedan to $57,990 for the CVT tS Sportswagon.
|WRX AWD Manual||$44,990|
|WRX AWD Sport Lineartronic®||$48,990|
|WRX AWD RS Manual||$50,490|
|WRX AWD RS Sport Lineartronic®||$54,490|
|WRX AWD tS Sport Lineartronic®||$56,990|
|WRX Sportswagon AWD Sport Lineartronic®||$49,990|
|WRX Sportswagon AWD GT Sport Lineartronic®||$55,490|
|WRX Sportswagon AWD tS Sport Lineartronic®||$57,990|