2022 Subaru WRX manual review

Cars are getting very expensive, but this spicy new car is a breath of fresh air whose price has hardly changed in 25 years.

Subaru The WRX has been a hit in Australia for decades and now a new version is on our roads.

Here are five things you need to know about it.

Bang for your dollars

it fifth generation WRX. The original, released in Australia in 1994, was hailed as a bargain at $39,990, so the new model’s $44,990 starting price for a manual sedan tested here is still great value for money given the 28 -year gap.

This is despite a $4,000 price increase over the 2021 equivalent. What’s truly odd, however, is that a base 2021 manual-transmission WRX sedan that cost $40,990 new is now worth $49,800 in good used condition, according to Redbook — almost $5,000 more than brand new. 2022 model.

Why is it so?

Subaru WRX fans are pretty fickle, and while the 2022 WRX is new from the wheels, including a much stronger, lighter body and a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine, Subaru has received a lot of criticism for sacrificing the company’s noisy, raucous car. , mobile character in the name of more space, sophistication, comfort and safety.

If you don’t like doof-duff, you don’t wear a sweatshirt in January, and you’ve outgrown robberies for fun, you’ll find the new WRX much more appealing than everyday driving. The police may even leave you alone.

boxing included

The new 2.4 still uses Subaru’s four-cylinder horizontally-opposed layout, paired in variants with a six-speed manual transmission with a viscous limited-slip center differential that distributes engine torque between axles according to traction. A continuously variable automatic transmission with eight “gear ratios” selectable via paddles, selectable drive modes and electronically controlled torque distribution adds $4,000.

The 2.4-liter turbo engine delivers 202 kW at 5600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 2000-5200 rpm, compared to the previous 2.0-liter turbo engine with 197 kW at 5600 rpm and 350 Nm at 2400–5200 rpm. Thus, despite the additional 20% performance increase, the results remained virtually unchanged, as did the speedup.

Both models accelerate to 100 km/h in a claimed 6.0 seconds.

Return

If you’re unimpressed by 21st century digitally controlled PHD cars (click here dummy) that now use technology to take on roles once reserved for the driver, you’ll love the WRX manual that feels like yesterday but in good sense.

There’s no lane-keep assist or adaptive cruise, no program-controlled variable driving modes, an old-fashioned handbrake lever, analog gauges, and of course that knob between the seats, plus a third pedal that you manipulate to change gears. This car requires your full attention and some skill. In other words, it doesn’t drive you, you have to drive it.

Daily Driver

The 2.4-liter might lack the sonic vaudeville of its predecessors, but it’s easier to live with, especially in highway cruising mode, where it’s smooth and quiet. However, it’s also rather sluggish below 3000rpm, with pronounced turbo lag in the mid-to-high gears. The CVT variant effectively overcomes this. The stroke is softer than before, but still firm; payback excellent processing. The previous WRX felt like a hero in corners until it pushed hard and then turned into a mess. This is not true. It’s much better balanced, with less understeer. The steering is precise and tactile. The test car’s brakes were fried by another journalist, so I can’t tell exactly how it stops.

Overall, however, the WRX has grown up now, after its 28-year teenage years. If you thought it was just for kids, take another look.

Originally published as 2022 Subaru WRX manual review