The 2022 Subaru WRX is new from road to roof. The first vehicle to be built on the company’s new Global Platform, it is 7.4 centimetres longer and 3.0 cm wider. Track width is up 3.0 cm, the wheelbase lengthened by 2.0 cm and the centre of gravity has been lowered.
The stiffer new platform is treated to a larger displacement engine.
The styling is familiar, but there has been a new emphasis on aerodynamics. The functional hood scoop feeds air to an intercooler, mounted atop the engine – made possible because of the low profile of the horizontally-opposed engine.
The fenders bulge out from the body sides, the front end boasts slim new LED headlights and there are functional vents everywhere. They act as outlets at the back of the front fenders, and the lower portion of both front and rear bumper covers.
The fifth generation Subaru WRX is not only bigger, it’s more powerful, but only slightly.
All models get a 2.4-litre turbocharged version of the reknowned flat-four that produces 271-horsepower and 258 lb.ft. of torque. That is only three more horsepower than the outgoing 2.0-litre engine, and no additional torque.
Subaru claims revisions to the tuning have resulted in a broader torque curve and more a responsive throttle. The WRX has never had much of a reputation for exceptional fuel economy and the new one is no different. In fact, the larger displacement means a slight increase in fuel consumption.
But, fuel economy is not high on the priority list of anybody shopping for a fun-to-drive sport compact car. These folks look for an excuse to go for a drive, and welcome the sight of a road with plenty of twists and turns. Driving takes precedence over getting there.
The larger engine does not improve speed or acceleration compared to the outgoing model. A flat-out run to 100 km/hr from rest requires six seconds, mid-pack at best. Unlike most small, turbocharged engines, where torque is evident from barely off idle, this one requires you to keep it in the 3,000 – 5,000 rev range for maximum punch.
A short-throw six-speed manual gearbox is standard on the 2022 Subaru WRX and a welcome experience.
The latest generation of 6-9 speed automatic transmissions may be more efficient and result in improved fuel economy and faster acceleration, but they are no replacement for the joy of shifting for yourself. The number of us who feel that way is dwindling, but as enthusiasts we prefer the involvement.
The new WRX’s suspension was developed in favour of the handling side of the ride/handling scale. Much of the traditional Subaru ability to soak up major road blemishes remains. But the same low profile summer rubber that provides excellent grip, leaves little room for absorption. As a result, less than billiard-table smooth surfaces are evident in a slight high frequency vibration-like feel from the rear end. That may well have been a case of improper wheel balance.
2022 Subaru WRX – A true treat to drive quickly
The name WRX conjures up thoughts of performance rallying – being able to tackle less than perfect surfaces and conditions with an alacrity missing in ‘normal’ vehicles.
The 2022 WRX absolutely nails it. Light, communicative steering, sophisticated long-travel suspension and plenty of power combined with that wonderful all-wheel-drive system and its ability to pull out of corners and tricky situations make this a true treat to drive quickly on any surface.
The WRX is faster than it feels so good brakes are often necessary to avoid embarrassment. Thankfully, the new WRX has ventilated discs behind all four wheels, an upgrade from the outgoing model. Braking is strong and linear, no problems there.
The biggest news inside – literally – is the 30-cm tablet-style infotainment screen with split screen display and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Four door access, a driver-focused cockpit, supportive front seats, good rear seat and cargo space- all assembled with attention to detail.
Competent, practical and loads of fun to drive, the 2022 Subaru WRX offers great value when overall, all-season performance is factored in.
Check out Wheel Woman’s post on the 2022 Subaru WRX here. #savethemanuals
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Subaru WRX Sport-tech
As tested: $41,020 including freight
Auto-dimming rear view mirror, steering responsive LED headlights with automatic high beams, blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert
30-cm touch screen, 11-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, GPS-based navigation and satellite radio, USB ports front and rear
Heated front and rear seats, power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, proximity key with push button start, power sunroof, power heated and folding mirrors, cruise control, tilt & telescope steering wheel, 18-in alloy wheels, Ultrasuede upholstery with red accent stitching
Turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder, 271 horsepower, 258 lb.-ft. of torque, premium fuel recommended. Six speed manual transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 12.3 / 9.0
Length, 4,670; mm; width, 1,825 mm; wheelbase, 2,675 mm; weight, 1,558 kg
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