Subaru WRX and WRX Sportswagon 2022 Launch

Subaru releases the 2022 WRX and WRX Sportswagon and we drive them

Subaru WRX – an iconic name and brand that has been providing enjoyment to fans for almost thirty years. Now the all new fifth generation model has been launched and it’s the best yet.

2022 Subaru WRX - TS Sportswagon, TS, RS and GT Sportswagon.

Rally bred with a stunning history globally, the WRX has also had its share of success locally with the likes of Possum Bourne, Dean Herridge, Cody Crocker and more recently Molly Taylor.

‘WRX’ stood for ‘World Rally Experimental’, and the car delivered on its promise.

Introduced to Australia in 1994, a key ingredient in WRX’s success was the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive linked to the compact 2.0-litre, horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder, turbocharged Boxer engine, a powerhouse that set Subaru apart from the pack.

We are going to give you some details about the various models, pricing and some driving impressions here, and more detailed individual reviews are following in the coming weeks.

With two models and three variant in each model the WRX now caters for a wide audience, those that want the pure sports sedan the same as before, and those that want the sporty WRX nature in a family friendly sportswagon package.

In a similar way that previous buyers could choose between a WRX and an STI, the new model offers a clear choice for buyers.

While we are on that topic, readers will no doubt know by now that there won’t be an STI version this time around, but more exciting things are coming in the future for the STI branding.

Subaru Impreza WRX and STI range from MY97 to MY06.

Some previous WRX Articles

2022 Subaru WRX launch range

WRX Highlights

  • All models come with a new 2.4L direct-injection, turbocharged Boxer engine with more useable torque.
  • Underneath all models is the excellent Subaru Global Platform, which is quieter, smoother, tighter and more responsive.
  • There is a choice between a revised short shift 6 speed MT and a smooth and responsive 8 speed CVT.
  • A new cockpit design features an intuitive layout with highly visible and readily accessible instruments and controls
  • Models feature the vertical central screen that first appeared on the Outback.

2022 Subaru WRX - TS and RS sedan.

WRX Model Walk

As mentioned there are two models. The Sedan and Sportswagon and they are different.

Sedan comes in

  • WRX AWD MT
  • WRX AWD RS MT
  • WRX AWD, Sport Lineartronic
  • WRX AWD RS Sport Lineartronic and
  • WRX AWD tS Sport Lineartronic

Sportswagon comes in

  • WRX Sportswagon AWD, Sport Lineartronic
  • WRX Sportswagon AWD GT Sport Lineartronic and
  • WRX Sportswagon AWD tS Sport Lineartronic

Some important notes

  • Manual WRX doesn’t get Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive), EyeSight®, Intelligent Driving Dynamics or Drive Mode Select
  • Drive Mode Select is only available on the tS versions.

2022 Subaru WRX launch range accessories

What does the WRX look like?

Well the pictures say it all.

The sedan is more aggressive and purposeful, the Sportswagon more refined.

WRX Sedan also incorporates a number of performance-inspired exterior design influences including air outlets located on the trailing edges of the front wheel openings, side garnishes and a lip-style boot spoiler.

Both have the traditional front bonnet scoop, albeit a 20mm lower now to aid frontal visibility. All WRX variants feature power-folding exterior mirrors.

2022 Subaru WRX AWD tS Sport Lineartronic 16

Wheels and Tyres

All sedan variants are all fitted with 18×8.5-inch alloy wheels.

Sportswagon AWD and Sportswagon AWD GT are fitted with two-tone, diamond-cut, 10-spoke 18×7.5-inch alloy wheels and Sportswagon AWD tS carries unique design 10-spoke wheels.

Sedan variants run on 245/40R18 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres and Sportswagon variants have 225/45R18 Yokohama BluEarth GT rubber.

All four wheels are fitted with a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and all WRX Sedan and Sportswagon variants carry a temporary spare wheel and tyre.

2022 Subaru WRX - RS sedan. interior front seatsWhat is the WRX like inside?

Initial impressions are that it is roomier, more comfortable and the revised layout with the large vertical central screen is spot on.

Inside, the cabin features stylish black and grey upholstery on the Sedan and black upholstery on the Sportswagon, with red stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Cloth trim is used for WRX Sedan and Sportswagon while WRX GT Sportswagon uses leather accented trim and WRX RS Sedan and tS Sedan and Sportswagon are trimmed in Ultrasuede®.

2022 Subaru WRX - GT Sportswagon.

A new cockpit design features an intuitive layout with highly visible and readily accessible instruments and controls.

The clean instrument layout features prominent tachometer and speedometer displays directly in front of the driver with the engine temperature gauge and fuel gauge respectively integrated into the rev counter and speedometer faces. The colour changes with the drive mode selected, where appropriate.

Surprisingly though there is no head up display, which would be handy. As would wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity.

2022 Subaru WRX - RS sedan.

A high-resolution, 4.2-inch multi-information display with easily recognised colours ensuring high visibility is located between the two main dials.

The functionality and intuitive use of the 11.6 inch central vertical screen is class leading.

The screen also displays images from the Front View Monitor, Side View Monitor, and Reverse Automatic Braking and also serves as the interface for adjusting the air- conditioning mode, setting cabin temperature, adjusting airflow direction and setting the front seat heaters. (Note: features may vary according to the model grade.)

Rear seats are comfortable with reasonable room for knees, head and shoulders. The boot room is ok in the sedan but excellent in the Sportswagon. For the first time in WRX, seat heaters are also fitted to the outer rear seats on selected models.

2022 Subaru WRX - GT Sportswagon.

WRX Features

There is a more detailed model walk later in the article.

All three model grades come to market with an extensive standard equipment list that includes:

  • 11.6-inch central information display,
  • eight airbags,
  • Subaru Vision Assist with Blind Spot Monitor,
  • Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert,
  • dual-zone, climate control air-conditioning,
  • 18-inch alloy wheels,
  • self-levelling LED headlights,
  • Steering Responsive Headlights and
  • LED front fog lights.

2022 Subaru WRX - TS Sportswagon.

WRX Driving impressions.

First up impression is the balance. This is a well-balanced sports car.

Think how the Golf GTi was better balanced than the ‘R’ version, how the original MX-5 didn’t have a lot of power but provided a superb fun driving experience.

Response to driver steering inputs is well weighted, linear and instantaneous. Engine response is the same.

Figures alone don’t tell the full story.

People that quote power and torque figures and may say the latest WRX is lacking haven’t driven it. Sit behind the wheel and all that goes out the window.

The flatter torque delivery of the larger engine allows a better driving experience.

With the 6 speed MT the short shift is noticeable and sixth gear can happily potter along or accelerate when necessary. It was noticeable though that in sixth gear at 110kmh (sticking to the speed limit) it was sitting about 2300rpm.

2022 Subaru WRX - TS Sportswagon.

To allow maximum use of available power and torque, I would choose the Subaru Performance Transmission which is a newly developed Sport Lineartronic gearbox with a variable torque distribution centre differential and sports shifting control.

It’s the best CVT I’ve ever driven and I would choose it over most DCT transmissions and many automatics.

It also happens to come with the Drive Mode Select functionality that is simply brilliant.

On some nice tight twisty roads that are part of the high country Targa rally, the new CVT was stunning. I played with the drive mode select function as we drove and chose different modes as we went through different corners. It’s only by doing this can you tell just how good it is.

More importantly you FEEL how good it is.

Its true seat of the pants confirmation of technology making driver engagement better.

I’m not ashamed to say that the technology is way better than I could ever replicate in a manual transmission. My EGO isn’t that big.

Differences between Sedan and Sportswagon.

In normal mode the sedan grips like a limpet. It sits a little bit lower, with a slightly wider track, wider and different tyres and a slightly harder suspension tune all add up to a stunning dynamic package.

This is the WRX as has always been.

The Sportswagon has a slightly softer suspension tune, different tyres while sitting slightly higher and is longer. It’s more forgiving while still having astonishing levels of grip and handling.

This is the WRX that the family can buy and love.

2022 Subaru WRX AWD 2.4l turbo engine

WRX Engine and Drivetrain

Under the bonnet a new, more powerful direct-injection, turbocharged 2.4-litre, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder Boxer engine delivers power 202 kW @ 5,600rpm and Torque of 350 Nm from 2,000 – 5,200rpm.

Power is up five kilowatts over the outgoing model and while torque output remains the same, it is produced lower in the rev range, generating high torque from low engine speeds.

As mentioned there is a choice between two transmissions; a precision six-speed, close-ratio manual, or the Subaru Performance Transmission with Sports Shift Control for rapid-response gear changes and Drive Mode Select (on tS variants).

Drivers can change the car’s on-road characteristics to suit their own preferences with a variety of driving modes that change WRX’s driving dynamics and character.

An ‘Individual’ mode allows full driver customisation.

Both models have a fully-independent suspension layout featuring MacPherson-style struts at the front and double rear wishbones, designs chosen to improve handling while maximising driving stability, ride comfort and interior quietness.

Electronically controlled dampers debut on selected models to enhance the already sporty handling while refining ride quality.

On variants equipped with Drive Mode Select, the power steering input force is adjustable to three levels, each with different steering weight characteristics.

Drivers can select between Comfort, Normal and Sport, each with progressively heavier steering response.

2022 Subaru WRX - TS sedan.

All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system

AWD and Manual Transmission

WRX variants equipped with the manual transmission utilise a fully mechanical AWD system devoid of electronic control or adjustment. This system features a centre differential with a viscous-coupled limited-slip differential (LSD) with torque split between the front and rear axles based solely on the amount of traction available.

AWD and Subaru Performance Transmission

WRX variants equipped with the Subaru Performance Transmission feature a Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) AWD system.

This system gives a nominal 45:55 front/rear torque split ratio but, using the information provided by numerous vehicle sensors, can control and adjust the amount of torque sent to either the front or rear axles as demanded by the Transmission Control Module.

Rather than simply relying on traction variance between the front and rear axles, the system can alter the torque split to enhance handling performance.

All WRX variants – with the exception of the WRX AWD tS sedan and WRX Sportswagon AWD tS – equipped with the Subaru Performance Transmission feature a single-mode VTD system which prioritises traction for increased stability and overall sporty performance.

WRX AWD tS sedan and WRX Sportswagon AWD tS move to the next level with a two-mode VTD system. Using Drive Mode Select, drivers can choose between ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’ modes.

‘Normal’ mode features the same AWD characteristics as the other variants while ‘Sport’ mode restricts the amount of torque transmitted to the front axle by the LSD, reducing understeer and improving turning performance for a more engaging driving experience.

WRX Sedan and Sportswagon have ventilated 316mm front disc brakes clamped by two-pot sliding calipers. For this all-new WRX, rotor thickness has been reduced from 30mm to 28mm to lower unsprung weight.

At the rear, single-pot calipers clamp 290mm ventilated brake rotors on manual transmission cars while 300mm vented rotors are used for cars fitted with the Subaru Performance Transmission.

WRX Safety

We have reproduced a full explanation of all the safety features HERE

2022 Subaru WRX launch track cars

WRX Final Thoughts

I like the fact that there is now a choice between the outright sports sedan and a more family friendly Sportswagon.

Ignore those that tell you that the Sportswagon isn’t a WRX. They are wrong.

As you age slightly the marginal thrill of the sedan, with its harder suspension tune and full on attitude is best left for the youngsters.

To be honest the number of drivers that can really notice and more importantly make use of the marginal difference between the sedan and Sportswagon are very few.

I’ll take the Sportswagon every day. It will keep up with the sedan in all but the most extreme conditions, (which happens as often as a blue moon in real life) or on the track.

It does however offer more practicality and flexibility as well as a more pleasant everyday ride.

If you want a track car, or are a purist, buy the Sedan.

However if you want a sports car that you can live with every day, but still offers exhilarating performance, ride and handling dynamics, buy the Sportswagon. This is the one I would buy, the WRX Sportswagon tS.

When you find a suitable section of road, switch it to Sport+ mode, have a blast then happily continue on your way.

2022 Subaru WRX AWD RS Manual 18

Equipment by Model Grade

WRX AWD

Performance

  • 2.4-litre turbocharged, horizontally-opposed Boxer engine
  • 6-speed manual or Subaru Performance Transmission
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Exclusive to Subaru Performance Transmission variants:

  • Auto Stop-Start
  • Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)

Exterior

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Self-levelling LED headlights
  • Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH)
  • Front LED fog lights

Interior

  • Cloth seat trim (new design)
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Dual-zone, climate-control air-conditioning
  • Sports pedals

Entertainment, Technology and Safety

  • Central information display with 11.6-inch touchscreen
  • 6-speaker audio
  • SRS airbags – dual front, dual front side, dual curtain, driver’s knee and front passenger seat cushion
  • Subaru Vision Assist featuring:
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

Exclusive to Subaru Performance Transmission variants:

  • EyeSight® Driver Assist system featuring:
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Autonomous Emergency Steering
  • Intelligent Speed Limiter
  • Lane Centering Function
  • Lane Departure Prevention
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lead Vehicle Start Alert
  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management
  • Speed Sign Recognition
  • Subaru Vision Assist features:
  • High Beam Assist (from EyeSight® cameras)
  • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)

2022 Subaru WRX - RS sedan.

WRX AWD RS adds:
Exterior

  • Electric sunroof
  • Heated door mirrors
  • Front windscreen wipers with de-icer

Exclusive to Subaru Performance Transmission variants:

  • Door mirrors with position memory
  • Passenger’s side auto-dipping door mirror

Interior

  • Ultrasuede® seat trim
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Driver’s seat electric lumbar support
  • 8-way power-adjustable front passenger’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

Exclusive to Subaru Performance Transmission variants:

  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with dual memory function

Entertainment, Technology and Safety

  • 10-speaker Harman Kardon® audio, sub-woofer and amplifier
  • Satellite navigation
  • Subaru Vision Assist featuring:
  • High Beam Assist (HBA) – from rear-view mirror for M/T and from EyeSight® cameras for Subaru Performance Transmission as per WRX AWD Subaru Performance Transmission variant
  • Front View Monitor (FVM)
  • Side View Monitor (SVM)
  • Driver Monitoring System featuring:
  • Drowsiness warning
  • Distraction warning
  • Climate-control setting (last used)
  • USB charge ports – rear passenger (x2)

Exclusive to Subaru Performance Transmission variant –

  • Subaru’s Vision Assist featuring:
  • EyeSight® Assist Monitor
  • Driver Monitoring System featuring:
  • Auto door mirror adjustment
  • Auto driver seat adjustment

2022 Subaru WRX - TS and RS sedan.

WRX AWD tS adds:

Performance

  • Sport Lineartronic transmission only
  • Electronic control dampers
  • Drive Mode Select – Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, Individual

Exterior

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with unique finish
  • ‘tS’ exterior grade badging

Interior

  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel with ‘STI’ logo plate insert
  • Instrument cluster with ‘STI’ logo
  • Felt-lined door pockets

Entertainment, Technology and Safety

  • Driver Monitoring System featuring:
  • Drive Mode Select memory function

2022 Subaru WRX - TS sedan.

WRX Sportswagon AWD

Performance

  • 2.4-litre turbocharged, horizontally-opposed Boxer engine
  • Subaru Performance Transmission
  • Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
  • Auto Stop Start
  • Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)

Exterior

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Self-levelling LED headlights
  • Steering Responsive Headlights (SRH)
  • Front LED fog lights

Interior

  • Cloth seat trim (new design)
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Dual-zone, climate-control air-conditioning
  • Sports pedals
  • Rear passenger air vents

Entertainment, Technology and Safety

  • Central information display with 11.6-inch touchscreen
  • 6-speaker audio
  • SRS airbags – dual front, dual front side, dual curtain, driver’s knee and front passenger seat cushion
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist system featuring:
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Autonomous Emergency Steering
  • Emergency Lane Keep Assist
  • Intelligent Speed Limiter
  • Lane Centring Function
  • Lane Departure Prevention
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lead Vehicle Start Alert
  • Pre-Collision Braking System
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management
  • Speed Sign Recognition
  • Subaru Vision Assist featuring:
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • High Beam Assist (HBA) – from EyeSight® cameras
  • Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
  • Driver Monitoring System featuring:
  • Drowsiness warning
  • Distraction warning
  • Climate control setting (last used)
  • USB charge ports – rear passengers (x2)

2022 Subaru WRX - GT Sportswagon.

WRX Sportswagon AWD GT adds:

Exterior

  • Electric sunroof
  • Power-operated tailgate with hands-free badge sensor
  • Front and rear windscreen wipers with front de-icer
  • Door mirrors – heated, position memory, auto-dipping (passenger side)

Interior

  • Leather-accented seat trim (new design)
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with dual memory function
  • Driver’s seat electric lumbar support
  • 8-way power-adjustable front passenger’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

Entertainment, Technology and Safety

  • Satellite navigation
  • Subaru Vision Assist featuring:
  • EyeSight® Assist Monitor
  • Front View Monitor (FVM)
  • Side View Monitor (SVM)
  • Driver Monitoring System featuring:
  • Auto door mirror adjustment
  • Auto driver seat adjustment

2022 Subaru WRX - TS Sportswagon.

WRX Sportswagon AWD tS adds:

Performance

  • Electronic control dampers
  • Drive Mode Select – Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, Individual

Exterior

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with unique spoke design
  • Lower front bumper premium trim
  • ‘tS’ exterior grade badging
  • Dual sports-style tail pipes

Interior

  • Ultrasuede® seat trim
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel with ‘STI’ logo plate insert
  • Instrument cluster with ‘STI’ logo
  • Felt-lined door pockets

Entertainment, Technology and Safety

  • Driver Monitoring System featuring:
  • Drive Mode Select memory function

2022 Subaru WRX launch range

Colour Range

New MY22 gets an exciting new exterior colour palette with eight different hues available for the WRX Sedan family and seven for Sportswagon.

New to the range are Solar Orange Pearl, Ignition Red, Ceramic White and Sapphire Blue Pearl.

Exterior Colours WRX Sedan WRX Sportswagon
WR Pearl Blue
Solar Orange Pearl (new)
 
Ignition Red (new)
Sapphire Blue Pearl (new)
Ceramic White (new)
 
Crystal White Pearl  
Ice Silver Metallic
Magnetic Grey Metallic
Crystal Black Silica

Seat trims – Sedan

  6-speed manual or Sport Lineartronic® 6-speed manual or Sport Lineartronic® Sport Lineartronic®

only

Trim WRX AWD WRX AWD RS WRX AWD tS
Cloth – black and grey

 

   
Ultrasuede® – black and grey  

 

Seat trims – Sportswagon

  Sport Lineartronic® only Sport Lineartronic® only Sport Lineartronic®

only

Trim WRX AWD Sportswagon WRX AWD GT Sportswagon WRX AWD tS

Sportswagon

Cloth – black

 

   
Accented leather – black   
 
Ultrasuede® – black

 

   

 2022 Subaru WRX Manufacturers List Price*

Sedan
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
Sportswagon
WRX Sportswagon AWD Sport Lineartronic® $49,990
WRX Sportswagon AWD GT Sport Lineartronic® $55,490
WRX Sportswagon AWD tS Sport Lineartronic® $57,990

*Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Ltd’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive-away price of Subaru vehicles, consumers should be advised to contact their local authorised Subaru dealer.

WARRANTY: five-year, unlimited kilometres, 60-month/75,000km Capped Price Servicing Program, 12-month Roadside Assistance Program.

About Rob Fraser 1903 Articles
Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.