Review: 2022 Subaru WRX (Manual)
This is, of course the all new 2022 subaru wrx so about the wrx. Well, completely new here brand new platform brand new styling, it doesnt share a single panel with the impreza anymore, so i mean totally different as far as all the dimensions and everything about this – and i got ta say the styling is definitely polarizing and styling is subjective. So im not going to dwell on the styling too much here, but i will say up front. I actually think it looks very good. I love those c shaped headlights there with the drl there theyre smaller headlights, theyre pushed out to the corners there and look really nice now. This is a limited trim were looking at here, so that drl will also do your turn signals. But if you go for a lower version, the headlights look very very similar, but that led part wont do your turn signal and so its just a little bit of a difference there, but both headlights, i think, look really nice. The grille is now larger. Here you have a nice large hood scoop here on the debrex and its nicely integrated with this hood, which really has these cool curvatures to it here and a lot more dimension to it than it did before. As far as the uh, you know, body cladding – that is the elephant in the room here that i wasnt crazy about. When i first saw it, i will say that, as time has gone on, the sting has worn away a little bit, and i think that, especially in these darker colored vehicles like this world rally, blue one, it doesnt stand out quite as much so its not quite So bad now up front there, you will see that you have a little bit of that material, but its not as much as you have on the sides in the back.
But the good news here about these new fenders is that first off theyre aluminum. So a little bit lighter now, but also you have an actual functional fender vent here, which is cool that you have that, and you also see this texture on this plastic that is actually functional. That helps to reduce the turbulence with the airflow and gives the vehicle slightly better stability as a result and then out back outback uh still its a lot. I mean the entire rear. Bumper is that you know rougher black plastic and thats, actually more black plastic than you get on a subaru crosstrek. A super crosstrek looks less rugged than this does in the back, in my opinion, um. So you know i just im still not a huge fan of that rear bumper, but some nice parts there. You have nicely polished off exhaust tips there with the quad exhaust and i love the tail lights. They have that really cool detailing in them that they say was inspired by magma and i actually think thats a really cool touch. You also hear on premium and higher trims, get a little lip spoiler there on top of the trunk lid, which is already kind of curved up to give you a spoiler already, and that also helps with airflow, and all that i just wish theyd put a little Bit more body coloring there on the rear, bumper, but otherwise you know. I think that, overall, the debrex, i think, is a really nice improvement, so the whole vehicle has grown nicely, and so it makes a lot more muscular, so overall, its about three inches longer than the previous generation youre on about a one inch longer wheelbase than before.
The width has gone up by 1.2 inches for both the overall width and the track width. So thatll give you better stability on the corners which ill get to in a minute here, and they also actually managed to lower the roof line, as so its about 0.3 inches lower than the previous generation wrx and thats. Something that even like that roof is not shared with an impreza, its all completely unique. Also, while were up here at the roof, youll see, you still have mounting points here for a roof rack which you can still put on, and that is one unique touch that this has that a lot of the competitors do not have also one other thing. You know, while were talking about the whole rugged nature here of the wrx um. They actually increase the ground clearance by half an inch as well, so it actually is a little bit better, potentially off the beaten path than the previous generation wx. So maybe that justifies the extra cladding a little bit im, hoping that maybe the sti gets a little more body colored panels, but other than that. I still ive actually really warmed up to the wrx styling here, and i think that overall, its a really nice improvement in a lot of ways and is a really sharp looking car, especially in world rally blue. You got ta love it road rally, blue rights for the interior in the 2022 wx. Well, they made some really nice improvements in here.
Obviously, the main dominating thing you can see is the 11.6 inch touchscreen here uh, but the rest interior, though, has had some nice improvements, so its actually roomier in most ways than it has been in the past and so first thing sitting down in these seats. You have these new seats which actually have larger bolsters than they did in the past, and they really focus on making them more comfortable as well and here in this limited trim and the premium youll have heated seats now these seats. Also, you can see you have these ultra suede uh material on them, theres no way to get leather anymore in any wrx. So this is the nicest seat youre going to get here and youll see the debris stitched into the headrest there. If you go for a premium or a base trim, then you will still have the same seats, but they will only be cloth either way, though these seats really hug me in nicely weve already been doing a bunch of aggressive driving this morning and uh. They do a really good job holding me in place and are totally comfortable the power adjustments here as well and the limited. Now, if you go for a gt trim of the wx, which is automatic only, but if youre, okay with that and youre willing to go to that absolute top trim, you do get recaro seats in that and uh theyre still an ultra suede material on them.
But theyre going to have even bigger, bolsters, unfortunately thats still just only locked into that gt term and only with that automatic. So if you want those cool seats, youll either have to go for that or hopefully those seats will also be available in the coming sti. Moving on to the steering wheel, its a great nice steering wheel, has this like d shape to it now with the flat bottom and a little bit of a faux carbon fiber and the wrx thing here on it look nice, but just a really great nine and Three grip: its like a tiny bit lower than your average nine and three grip, and just gives you a really good grip on the wheel, nice, ten and two notches and uh. Just you know a few buttons here on at this one, since it doesnt have the adaptive cruise, it has less than you would in an automatic equip wrx, but its still just a great wheel. Gauges are also good, simple gauges. It would be nice to see them. Go for something like a digital gauge cluster, like you see in other competitors, but theres, nothing wrong with these gauges. You know nice, clear, simple, attractive. Looking fonts and stuff in the middle, there youll see a little display and pretty typical to any other subaru with the things that it will show you on there. But one cool touch is that now is a boost gauge built right into the middle there, which is great because uh, you know the previous generation having the boost gauge up over to the right in the middle of the dashboard wasnt ideal.
In my opinion, i really love having it there right, basically next to the tack, so its right, where youre going to be looking whenever youre doing performance, driving and then coming over to the center of the dashboard. Here, though, the 11.6 inch touchscreen is the main thing here, and that is on everything from premium and up. If you go for a base, trim youll actually get two 7 inch screens its the same kind of setup as youll see in any kind of base, outback or legacy. They have the same thing. This system is okay, so i really love how it has volume and tune knobs and a few physical controls here for climate, so thats nice, the screen itself its a little slow, sometimes its been a little bit buggy in the past, subarus that ive reviewed, but it Does all the basics really well its? You know easy to navigate its not too confusing or anything. So i really do like that about it. It does also have smartphone integration, so you have apple carplay and android auto, but it is still wired in you. Dont have any kind of wireless smartphone integration like some of the competitors offer, but overall i think this screen really achieves its purpose of really bringing the wrx into the next generation here and making it feel a little bit more modern in here, but otherwise, so you Have a good amount of storage space here in the denver x with a nice large pockets in the doors with a bottle holder in the middle.
Here you have some usb jacks, as well as a nice little bin and another power outlet and auxiliary jack as well, and then youll see this other little extra like key holder kind of slot. You also have two cup holders great to still see a manual e brake as well here, and then you also have the center armrest, which has a little bit of padding to it, but its pretty hard under the padding. I wish that was a little bit softer anyway. You open that up and youll see a good size space there and also youll see another power light in there as well, but im going to say that overall, all the materials in here feel, i think, a little bit nicer than the previous generation. You know nice soft elbow points, some nice soft touch here, even on the dash. You see the red stitching here, especially on the passenger side and uh. I, like the little like metal looking trim. You have here around the air. Vents is not actual metal, its just plastic, but nicely have some contrast there. One last little thing to mention is you have a harman kardon stereo upgrade, which is on the limiteds its an option on the premium as well, though so, thankfully, you dont have to go up to limited if you want to have a good sounding stereo the base Stereo might sound good as well, but i dont have a chance to test that today, but um good to have that back seat space here in the wrx is also one of the benefits i think of having this slightly longer wrx for this new generation.
So, im five foot nine me sitting behind myself. I have probably about five inches of leg room to spare back there i mean it is a good amount of space should be very good for you know if you want to install any kind of car seats, baby seats, that kind of stuff should all fit back. There very easily and its a pretty comfortable back seat as well, although its worth noting that you actually have slightly less headroom in this generation as a result of that lower roof line than before, but still being five nine. I still had you know, maybe about two inches or so to spare there for my head, but if youre a taller person sitting in the back of a wrx, you know just keep in mind. This might be a little bit tighter, but you know youll see that they have a full down center armrest here, but thats only in the limited trim with the two cup holders pulled into it. You also will see what you look for theres two usb jacks there and theres also pockets in those doors with another little bottle holder and those seats do also fold flat. So it gives you extra practicality if you need a little bit more space than what the trunk offers, but moving on to the trunk here. That is another area where they did say that they increased the amount of space there in the trunk. Now to my eyeballs it looks a tiny bit smaller than the previous generation, but they say that it is bigger and uh, so maybe its just the cutout or something.
But you will also see beneath the floor. There theres also a couple little cutouts, but no huge, bins or anything under there. But yes, overall, this interior is just a really nice place to be, but lets start up and go for a drive. The deborah x here has the same subaru key, like any of the other subarus have has some nice metal here on the sides of it, though, and isnt too big its just a really nice key. I really like this key, so it is keyless access, keyless entry and push button start in premium and higher trims. If you go for a bass trim, you still get a twist key and you just have you know the remote access, but you do not have the proximity key, but everything premium enough does have that. But youll see you can see the very obvious cutout for where you would have the uh key go in, but anyway push button. Star is really great here on these higher trims. So you just leave the key in your pocket, hit the end to start button and it starts right up all right so setting off here in the 2022 wrx. So the first things that im noticing here well, you have excellent visibility. A huge windshield hood drops down really nicely nice and a pillars a little window there, the door mirror, and so all very good, as far as you know, seeing out very easy to drive, of course um.
But the other really big thing that jumped out at me right away, is the gearing here, nice and short, gearing for the manual transmission, which is something that is getting more and more rare among manuals these days or the fuel economy, stuff everyones going to have super Tall gearing – and this is like insanely short like so much so that i can like comfortably drive around in fifth gear at like 45 miles per hour and still have some low end. Grunt part of that is thanks to this bigger engine which well get to in a minute here, but im just really impressed that im shifting a lot – and i like that, because you know someone who loves driving a manual if youre one of those types of people Youre going to love this and considering 85 percent of denver x, buyers go for the manual so way to save the manuals, never expires uh, but because its such a large percentage. I think they really focus on this manual experience and making it be. What manual lovers would want and im really impressed with the ride quality thats. Another thing, the refinement i mean this road is pretty rough with its pavement here and uh. Still, you know its not making a racket with the road, noise and uh. You know its very just comfortable, and so they said that you know a lot of this. They increased the torsional rigidity and the lateral stiffness and all that, and so that allowed them to actually go a little bit softer on the dampers.
And so you have an improved ride, quality while still having better handling and uh. So you know im just noticing its been a couple of years. Admittedly, since ive driven a wrx that wasnt an s209, that thing was a lot stiffer, obviously, but as far as regular xs, i feel like. This is definitely a little bit more comfortable than before. Now, if you do want to go up to the gt version, youre willing to go for the automatic transmission that will have adaptive dampers, which have been a comfort setting, so that may potentially be even more comfortable. Uh, unfortunately, were only gon na be driving the manuals. Today but um, you know just for the standard suspension setup here, though its still its just really nice. They also did a bunch of other advanced uh little changes behind the scenes to the suspension as well to give it better handling. For example, we have a rear sway bar thats, now mounted directly to the body thats uh, one of the things from the super global platform which the wrx is now on for the first time ever, and so even so, some of these uh little bumps were going Over here, it soaks up really nicely nice and flat handling and its also exaggerated by this steering, which the steering is definitely lighter feeling than the previous generation. In my opinion – and so that means that it really gives you this eager feeling and wants to dive into corners, and you have good amount of grip too, with these tires, so that really helps as well, so were driving a limited model currently, and so this limited Has 245 wide summer tires on it here and if you were to go for a base trim, there are 235s, but everything else the base trim goes up to 245 wide summer tires.
All trims have summer tires by the way. So if you are in an area that gets weather youre going to want to budget in some money there for all season or snow tires – and i also really like with this manual that the flywheel is uh fairly light. So it means that its pretty easy to rev match your downshifts ill play around with that more here, as were driving more during the day and im not going to go full attack yet because im saving my first acceleration reaction for actually starting from a stop. But i mean this motor really has a good amount of punch and these corners were in up in the mountains here, and it is phenomenal these corners. This really allows me to get a great first impression here of the handling, and it is just very stable, very confidence inspiring. Of course, we still have the signature super, symmetrical all wheel, drive system and here in the manual its still the traditional viscous coupling unit, and so it has a 50 50 split. But that of course can change depending on the scenario and uh. So i mean obviously it means that you can have plenty of grip, no issues whatsoever with any kind of traction here and uh. It just feels great, especially you know, having a turbo motor up here in higher elevations and whatnot. You know thats, really one of the big perks of the turbos youre, always going to have good punch, never feels like its running out of steam or anything and pulls really nicely so yeah.
We have this 2.4 liter uh turbocharged boxer engine here, and it does have a few unique touches. So, even though its the same displacement as when you get in like an outback xt or an ascent or something like that, they do have unique valve springs here. So they say that this, this version of this engine will actually be more durable at higher rpms because they know obviously, that youre going to be in the higher rpms much more than an ascent owner would be so theyve beefed that up to take that abuse. Theres. Also, a few different things with the turbo that theyve tweaked as well, so that its quicker response. You also have a broader power curve here, and so i am definitely noticing that compared to the previous generation, this is less peaky uh. You know i really enjoyed the peakiness thats honestly kind of been like a signature, wrx trait um, and this i mean well again do an acceleration from a stop to really see, but at least once youre up here in the higher rpms uh, just attacking a background. Like this, it really theres no drop off theres. Just you have nice media power. It still does make peak power at 5800 rpms, so youre still going to have to wring it out. If you want the absolute most out of it, but you know theres just way more power in the lower rpms now than before this thats. What youre, really going to feel at the seat of your pants is that youre going to have an extra pickup whenever youre, you know, just in normal, daily driving scenarios and youre not doing a full on drag strip launch, and so you know, i think, as far As how people actually use and experience these vehicles, this will be a noticeable improvement with this engine, even though the power isnt really much improved and torque is actually identical to the old um motor, even though you have the additional displacement so im not sure you know Why they didnt turn it up just a little bit more, but you know at least you do have 271 horsepower, so that is more than before, 258 pound feet of torque still and they didnt actually quote a 0 60 time either.
So im not going to be able to say exactly how much faster this is, but they did show us a graph showing that you do have a much stronger acceleration uh, especially under 45 miles per hour than you had in the past. So you know, hopefully that will make this a good bit quicker whenever you actually do a 0 60 test, but yeah just i love driving this thing around corners, it its fantastic and i would say it actually is a good bit less body roll than what you Get with the previous generation as well. I actually didnt love the handling in the previous generation wrx in its normal configuration before they added on the performance package and stuff. Like that, just the standard wrx. I thought it was like uh. Okay. This definitely needs like bigger, sway, bars and stuff, and you know wasnt how i would have liked it to be out of the factory. This, i think, is ready to go right out of the factory. I think it has really really flat handling feels much much better. Its a huge improvement, but as were going down some downhill sections here. One thing i do wish uh was a little bit more uh aggressive, i think, was the braking response, so theres a lot of brake travel and even once you do start getting some braking action out of it, its fairly dead, its kind of a numb brake feel And i dont really feel much bite action happening and its kind of just me like just like putting a lot of pressure on the brake and just like hoping that it does uh.
You know the braking that im wanting it to do, but its its not as grabby and its not as confidence inspiring as i would like the brakes to be obviously thats, something you could probably change. You can always swap pads and things like that, but just from my booster standpoint, i wish that this was a little bit more aggressively boosted. Obviously, whenever you go up, if there will be some type of brembo package, possibly down the road like they introduced on the previous generation, that could certainly help. So maybe this is just kind of giving some head room for that to be added on later or obviously for the sdi version. That is inevitably coming at some point. That will, of course, probably address this, but that is really the only shortcoming i mean they still work, fine, its just that i just yeah. They just dont, give me as much confidence i would like. But honestly you really dont have to use the brakes very much. Even whenever you are um, you know doing some good speeds around these corners because it just grips and just keeps on gripping again even on this damp road. Its doing a really good job having the wider track certainly helps. You know youre over an inch wider for the track and the width overall, and so all thats going to give you that more stable handling as well. But i feel like this really goes back to one of the signature things for the devrex.
Is that its just so good with its handling and its just a joy to go around corners? And i remember the one of the original marketing things for the 2002 wx, which now is exactly 20 years ago, that that car was debuted. One of the advertisements said it uh puts corners in a headlock and gives them a nookie and thats kind of i feel like it still has that same kind of character to it, and i think part of that also helps that they actually kept the weight really Low in this, so youre still for a base model under 3 300 pounds like 32.97 and thats, actually only about three pounds heavier than the old base, and when you go to a premium trim, you actually have lost 31 pounds over the previous generation and then i Think limited youve gained about 17 pounds, but i mean very minimal uh additions there. Now it is worth noting, though, if you go for an automatic wrx, youre gon na have a pretty significant weight penalty because it adds in the eyesight, the extra eyesight tech, and so overall you gain about 140 pounds give or take a few. I was expecting them to gain weight with this vehicle and the fact that they didnt, even though its bigger, even though it has more tech and all these improvements, a bigger engine. The fact that they kept the weight the same and even slightly less for the premium is actually kind of mind blowing, in my opinion, personally, its just very, very uh, commendable the super engineers to be able to maximize this, but i mean this so this corner, just Like keeps going and going and going – and it just even with this damp road, its just ripping so well and uh yeah this this its putting a smile on my face.
This thing is fantastic, say what you want about the styling of the new decor x, but whoa rod quarters this thing. Uh definitely makes me giddy. It is fantastic im having a blast here. Also the vdc system here for the wrx now has a new track mode. So previously there was just on and off and thankfully the off setting actually does turn everything off completely if you want, but now you have a track mode which will give you a little bit more leeway and uh, so thats, just nice. If you do really want to push it, but like there was a really tight little uh hairpin there that i really tried to push the all wheel, drive system and the light lit up for a split second im, still just in the normal mode. But it still felt very neutral now i didnt you know want to do any kind of over steering or anything like that, but they did say that this vehicle will rotate a little bit better because of some of the suspension improvements that they made but yeah this Im also impressed, though, like this road right now is really bumpy and it still isnt upsetting the chassis im still having you know, just a really composed controlled ride here and um its not upsetting the vehicle. You know im still able to have the same, confident handling. So the dampers now have a rebound spring in addition to the extra suspension travel you actually get here with new wrx as well, and so those two things really help you on a road, especially like this one.
Where imperfect pavement a bunch of divots and stuff doesnt upset it as much as you would get you know with the previous generation, where itd probably be a little bit more upset and uh. So its really just feeling like itll just tackle anything i throw at it. One last thing i have to mention about the handling is that they actually increase ground clearance by half an inch as well with the new denver x. You know so, even with extra ground clearance. You still have this fantastic handling improvement im, just very impressed with again all the efforts theyve made here with the new devrex, but i just turned onto the straight road here and lets see how the devrx accelerates. Here we go all right, so he gets up and goes pretty well. I mean the gearing is nice and short that im. You know already halfway through third gear here, just to get up to 60 miles per hour, but uh yeah its a good amount of punch. They havent quoted a zero to 60 times, so i cant say how this compares, but they did say again you that broader uh torque curve than what you had previously so hopefully itll be a little bit quicker. It feels a good bit punchy. I mean, i think you know again, based on a few years back driving a tab. Your x, i mean it id say this feels roughly the same from a seat of the pants type of impression and its quick, but its not quite as exciting, with his power delivery as something like the hyundai launcher and, for example, that obviously big front wheel drive Its gon na have more drama with the wheel spin, but just the way that motor builds power, its a lot more exciting.
You also have a higher red line in those the red line here, and this is like 6000 rpms, which is like almost like diesel low. Its not quite that bad, but i mean i really wish because they actually lower the red line compared to last years engine, and i wish that theres a little more room there to rev it out a little bit, but it feels it feels good um. You know. I just yeah. I wish there was a little more step, but i also wish there was more exhaust noise theres very little. I mean you get a little bit of the box of rumble there uh. But honestly, this engine is the loudest. Whenever you start it up and youre just sitting here, idling its like really droney at idle, its almost like aftermarket exhaust loud drone when you first start it up on the inside here, at least with that. But then, once it settles down to a normal idle level, then its a good bit quieter but um. You know so thats just another thing that again some of the competitors. Now the gti and golf r and stuff arent going to be super loud either, but and thats. Just one area, if you dont, have to have all wheel drive, i think the elantra and with the crackles and the pops and all the drama plus its front wheel, drive drama and stuff that just made me giggle a lot more. Its a lot more exciting than this is, but you know the all wheel, drive traction, and the certainty of this is certainly going to be really really nice to have im excited for the sti im, hoping that they kind of upped the ante a little bit more.
With the power – because i would have liked to see more horsepower here and this for this new version – hopefully the sti is the one that really does a nice big leap in power and its also worth noting that, yes, they didnt increase the power uh. You know by very much, but they already were starting from a position of strength and outside of the elantra, and all the other challengers are way less powerful. You have the gti, which is like 241 horsepower or something way less than this. I mean that has a good bit of torque, but still you know if this is still starting out way higher than all the others, and you look at civic, sis and stuff like that, which will probably come in a little bit cheaper than this, but only by A couple grand and with those you know, youre still sitting at 200 horsepower, so i cant really complain too much about 271 horsepower in something that will most likely be around the 30 000 mark, and that is one thing to mention. Is we dont have any pricing? Unfortunately, yet here for the wrx theyre, not actually gon na be going on sale until like early spring of next year, i think uh production starts in january sometime and then you know, theyll start showing up a little bit after that. But so i cant say exactly how this is going to fit in pricing wise um, but super did mention.
You know that they dont usually do large price hikes, so you shouldnt expect any kind of insane price change compared to last year, which means – hopefully this will start either just at or maybe even slightly under 30 000, or at least be in that neighborhood, which then Would also undercut in a launcher and for example, you get a little bit less toys in this than you do in that theres, a lot of cool features and modes and stuff that that has this doesnt but um, you know if they actually do that, then this Is a really good value proposition and regardless anywhere in the 30 thousand dollar range youre still gon na come in uh, you know 10 grand less than a golf r, which is the only other all wheel drive option in this kind of segment. You know everyone else is to kind of abandon the all wheel drive thing. So if you must have all wheel drive these days its this or golf r thats it. So you know they almost have a monopoly. On 30 000 all wheel, drive performance cars here. Well see what happens next year with the gr corolla thats coming and stuff like that. But in the meantime i mean supers kind of got this whole segment to themselves in a way and so im just glad that they made as many improvements as they did because they honestly didnt need to. And they even said that, just even last year, debra x, sales were still increasing for the end of its generation with the previous generation, which is the exact opposite of what you usually get, and some of that might be pandemic related and stuff.
But even still, you know, i think that the wrx continues to really resonate with people, its still very desirable. I do have to say one last complaint, though, that i really wish those adaptive dampers were available in a manual transmission wrx its an all year, all around car for any kind of situation, honestly, and so to not have that comfort aspect that is available thats on The park shelf now and not have it offered its just a little bit unfortunate because im assuming itll be really nice to have that extra comfort. The last little thing to mention is the fuel economy here in the wrx, so uh, predictably, because this engine is a little bit larger. Now, fuel economy has dropped by one mpg compared to the old two liter, and basically all the metrics, so theyll do 19 mpg. In the city 26 on the highway and 22 combined and so uh, you know i still think for an all wheel – drive vehicle its as powerful as this is thats fine. I dont think debbie erics owners really care too much about fuel economy. So im not going to harp on it one other little thing i briefly want to mention, which i know a lot of diverse owners probably do not care about. Is safety tech so its just worth noting that im in this limited trim – and you get blasphemous monitoring in that, but any other trim thats lower, does not get blind spot monitoring so um.
That is one nice feature, and i kind of wish that was brought down to at least the premium, but its only here on the limited. You also get no adaptive cruise control thats only in the automatic versions that get that advanced eyesight system. This just has automatic emergency braking and thats about it. So you know a little bit less safety tech. But again this is the drivers car. I dont think anyones gon na really complain. We just wanted to mention that, but yeah overall, the airbrush is still fantastic, even if i wish it was a little bit louder and a little more character filled with the engine. Those are really my only nitpicks, because otherwise this thing is so much fun to drive. So rewarding on a back road having that all weather traction is so awesome and uh its just. I just think its a really great package and i can im sure the value is going to be super super good, like it always has been as well and so yeah thats going all of my thoughts here on the wx. But let me know your thoughts on in the comments below a huge thanks to subaru for this opportunity to review the wrx yeah. Thank you guys very much for watching ill, see you on the next one.