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2022 Subaru WRX

Change year or car

$29,605

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

Sedan

Body style

22

Combined MPG

5

Seating capacity

183.8” x 57.8”

Dimensions

All-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • More accessible power
  • Easier to drive
  • Well-done manual transmission
  • Large-ish Apple CarPlay screen view
  • Still affordable
  • Improved ride quality

The bad:

  • Grip with non-standard all-season tires
  • 11.6-inch screen usability
  • Less headroom than Impreza sedan
  • Steering feedback
  • Lacks distinctive engine noise
  • EyeSight safety system not available with manual transmission

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2022 Subaru WRX trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

Notable features

  • Redesigned for 2022
  • Larger-displacement turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Four-door sedan is only body style
  • New platform
  • Summer tires standard

2022 Subaru WRX review: Our expert's take

By Joe Bruzek

The verdict: Starting around $30,000, the manual 2022 Subaru WRX is an inherently fun and unique all-wheel-drive performance car.

Versus the competition: Where the WRX lacks some sharpness compared with the competition, it makes up for it with standard all-wheel drive for all-season duty.

The previous-generation Subaru WRX was great: a four-door sedan with plentiful grip and an eager driving feel. But it was also an absolute brute of a car, with raw, unpolished driving characteristics that didn’t offer much in the way of everyday comfort. For 2022, the WRX receives a complete overhaul, now riding on Subaru’s Global Platform, which is claimed to improve dynamics and reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Given NVH is the three-letter acronym most synonymous with Subaru’s sport compact sedan (after WRX, that is), I was eager to drive the latest version to see if it offers a more polished experience.

Related: 2022 Subaru WRX: Unfrozen Caveman Sports Car

New Engine You Gotta Feel

A new 271-horsepower, turbocharged 2.4-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine replaces the previous 268-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Looking at their peak numbers, you wouldn’t expect a significantly different driving experience between the engines, but that’s not the experience behind the wheel. The previous engine suffered from acceleration and turbo lag, requiring a good winding out to access its power. Now, thanks in part to more displacement and an electronically controlled wastegate, Subaru says the engine is more responsive and has a broader torque curve. The result is more linear power delivery that doesn’t take as much work to access — or leave you waiting for something to happen at lower engine speeds.

subaru wrx 2022 39 engine exterior orange sedan scaled jpg 2022 Subaru WRX | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Perhaps thanks to that torque accessibility, as well as some other changes, the 2022 WRX with a six-speed manual transmission is significantly easier to drive than the 2021 version. Simply having a manual transmission isn’t good enough these days, but the new WRX’s manual is a good one. The old WRX was difficult to launch quickly; its clutch takeup was right off the floor, and engagement happened within an inch of clutch-pedal travel. Getting off the line quickly required high engine speeds of 4,000-plus rpm; too much throttle and the clutch would burn, but not enough throttle and the car would bog.

Subaru slightly tweaked the six-speed manual’s gear ratios and improved its shift qualities, and the new WRX’s clutch action is considerably more forgiving, making the car easy to drive and accelerate quickly from a stop. Like the old car, the manual is easy to shift quickly, and the brake and accelerator pedals are in good positions to execute heel-and-toe shifting — a good thing given there’s no auto rev-match feature for smoothing downshifts, as some competitors offer.

subaru wrx 2022 60 interior pedals sedan scaled jpg 2022 Subaru WRX | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Full-on acceleration tested the traction limits of my test car’s all-season tires (Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4s), which spun at the front before the rears joined the party. (The WRX comes standard with summer performance tires, but Subaru fitted all-seasons to this particular car because we drove it during a cold season in Chicago.) I also observed traction control or engine management pulling power after aggressive shifting — even with traction control disabled — with acceleration waning after a shift before the engine wanted to get moving again.

The WRX’s engine and exhaust don’t make many distinctive noises audible from the driver’s seat, though there are pops and spits when shifting at the engine’s top end. This is a common downside of modern turbocharged performance cars, where the turbocharger in the exhaust stream acts like a muffler and good NVH characteristics mean engine and exhaust noises are less likely to enter the cabin. Many automakers attempt to enhance the audible experience via electronic augmentation using the car’s interior speakers, but few do it successfully. Others, such as Hyundai N cars, have variable exhaust systems that provide multiple volume options. The WRX is a staple of aftermarket customization, though, so perhaps Subaru is letting owners figure it out for themselves; the 2022 WRX will likely be no stranger to aftermarket exhaust systems.

Ride and Handling

The redesigned WRX’s ride and handling is perhaps the most interesting change from the previous generation. With a new platform, Subaru says it’s increased chassis stiffness across the vehicle, providing more responsive steering and handling as well as a quieter ride. I can confirm that the WRX’s ride quality has improved, though that was with the previously mentioned Michelin all-season tires. All-season tires often have more pliability than summer tires, which tends to improve ride quality, so we don’t know yet how the new WRX rides with its standard tires.

Ride quality as equipped was excellent, with the standard fixed-firmness shock absorbers versus the WRX GT trim’s exclusive adaptive-firmness shock absorbers; the suspension prevents impacts from disturbing the cabin. The suspension is still firm, but there aren’t big hits that upset the car, and it’s quite nice to drive. There’s also more sophistication in how the car manages broken pavement and bumpy roads, while also being quieter than before — again, perhaps a product of the all-season tires. I recall a loud whirring at highway speeds in a previous-generation WRX with summer tires.

subaru wrx 2022 17 exterior front angle orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 24 exterior orange profile sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 20 exterior headlights orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 26 door exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 18 badge exterior grille headlights orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 25 exterior orange rear angle sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 23 exterior hood scoop orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 21 badge exterior headlights orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 22 detail exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 35 detail exterior orange sedan wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 19 badge exterior grille orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 37 dynamic exterior orange rear angle sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 36 dynamic exterior front angle orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 31 detail exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 29 badge exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 34 badge exterior orange sedan wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 33 badge exterior orange sedan wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 32 detail exterior orange sedan tailpipes scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 30 detail exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 46 interior controls sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 38 badge dynamic exterior orange sedan taillights scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 45 interior badge controls sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 28 badge exterior orange sedan taillights scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 47 interior badge sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 42 interior front row infotainment system sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 43 interior dashboard front row sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 40 detail exterior sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 39 engine exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 44 drivers seat exterior front passenger seat front row orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 41 interior front row infotainment system sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 50 interior instrument panel sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 57 interior sedan usb charging port scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 49 interior instrument panel sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 55 interior infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 52 interior gear shift sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 51 interior cup holders gear shift sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 56 interior camera infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 54 interior infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 48 interior controls sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 53 interior apple carplay infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 60 interior pedals sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 61 interior dashboard sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 67 back row exterior folding seats orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 58 interior detail drivers seat sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 63 interior controls door sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 65 interior back row sedan usb charging port scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 68 interior sedan trunk scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 62 interior controls door sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 66 interior back row cup holders sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 59 interior controls sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 64 back row exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 17 exterior front angle orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 24 exterior orange profile sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 20 exterior headlights orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 26 door exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 18 badge exterior grille headlights orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 25 exterior orange rear angle sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 23 exterior hood scoop orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 21 badge exterior headlights orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 22 detail exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 35 detail exterior orange sedan wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 19 badge exterior grille orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 37 dynamic exterior orange rear angle sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 36 dynamic exterior front angle orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 31 detail exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 29 badge exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 34 badge exterior orange sedan wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 33 badge exterior orange sedan wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 32 detail exterior orange sedan tailpipes scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 30 detail exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 46 interior controls sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 38 badge dynamic exterior orange sedan taillights scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 45 interior badge controls sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 28 badge exterior orange sedan taillights scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 47 interior badge sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 42 interior front row infotainment system sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 43 interior dashboard front row sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 40 detail exterior sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 39 engine exterior orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 44 drivers seat exterior front passenger seat front row orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 41 interior front row infotainment system sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 50 interior instrument panel sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 57 interior sedan usb charging port scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 49 interior instrument panel sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 55 interior infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 52 interior gear shift sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 51 interior cup holders gear shift sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 56 interior camera infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 54 interior infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 48 interior controls sedan steering wheel scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 53 interior apple carplay infotainment system sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 60 interior pedals sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 61 interior dashboard sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 67 back row exterior folding seats orange sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 58 interior detail drivers seat sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 63 interior controls door sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 65 interior back row sedan usb charging port scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 68 interior sedan trunk scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 62 interior controls door sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 66 interior back row cup holders sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 59 interior controls sedan scaled jpg subaru wrx 2022 64 back row exterior orange sedan scaled jpg

As you’d expect from less aggressive tires, handling at the limit seemed to take a hit. There was an unsettledness in fast sweeping onramps, and the car doesn’t drive with the immediate confidence of the new Civic Si on its all-season tires. At corner turn-in, the Civic Si tells you exactly what’s happening through steering-wheel feedback; there’s vagueness in the WRX’s steering, which uses a new dual-pinion power-steering system. The steering is quicker, though, with a 13.5:1 ratio versus the outgoing 14.3:1 ratio, resulting in fewer turns lock-to-lock: 2.5 versus 2.8 or 2.7 (depending on trim level).

Interior and New 11.6-Inch Touchscreen

On the inside, the WRX’s styling is unique versus the Subaru Impreza sedan on which it’s based, with a different appearance but very similar materials quality. There’s less rear-seat headroom versus an Impreza, however: 36.7 inches versus 37.2 inches in the Impreza.

subaru wrx 2022 53 interior apple carplay infotainment system sedan scaled jpg 2022 Subaru WRX | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

The biggest difference inside the WRX is a new 11.6-inch touchscreen. It does some good things, like allowing Apple CarPlay to use a large part of the screen — rare in portrait-style systems — but it also does some strange things. You’d think the seat-heater button on the touchscreen would turn on the heated seats, but it doesn’t; it only accesses the heated seat menu from which you turn on the heated seats. Also, Android Auto smartphone connectivity doesn’t get the big screen view like CarPlay does, so Android users are stuck with a smaller interface. Subaru addressed these issues on its more recent 11.6-inch system, called Starlink Media Plus, which debuts on the updated 2023 Outback.

What About That Cladding?

Whether the WRX’s plastic cladding adds to or subtracts from the car’s appearance is up to you, but I suggest seeing it in person before making your decision; it appeared cheap to me in pictures, but it’s less offensive in person. The WRX has aggressive styling overall that’s pleasing to my eye, with broader fenders that look mighty aggressive in the flesh. What I think the cladding does well is give the wheel openings extra height, so they look better in proportion to the body. I always thought the ratio of the old WRX looked dinky, with wheel openings that seemed too small in relation to the body. The new cladding solves that by visually enlarging the wheel openings.

subaru wrx 2022 24 exterior orange profile sedan scaled jpg 2022 Subaru WRX | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Is the 2022 WRX Worth It?

The WRX remains the only sport compact with AWD, which is a big advantage among its peers for all-season driving in wintry climates. The WRX also has a good mix of power and handling — the Civic Si very much has only handling nailed down — and the new Subaru is also a much better daily driver than it was before.

As equipped, however, the new WRX felt a little soft compared with the previous generation. Considering the previous car’s jarring ride, I didn’t find this completely offensive, but Subaru might have gone a little too far in making the WRX more daily-drivable, especially considering there’s no longer a WRX STI (it’s been discontinued) for those who want higher performance capabilities.

My final judgment is yet to come because I’d like to see how this car drives with its summer tires. I suspect it won’t change the overall demeanor, but a little extra grip and steering crispness would likely help it feel less tepid.

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Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with Cars.com for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-bruzek-2699b41b/ Email Joe Bruzek

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.7
  • Interior 3.7
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value 4.2
  • Exterior 3.7
  • Reliability 4.1
Write a review

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

2023 WRX 6 spd - Excellent!!!

Just bought a 2023 WRX base 6 speed manual. Excellent car and best fun you could have at around $30k. Pros: good power, good handling, good price, fast and fun to drive, stiff suspension, sporty exhaust. Cons: black side moldings and the huge rear black bumper, speakers suck, brakes are weak (installed performance pads, problem solved)

1.0

Don’t buy this car

I don’t recommend car 2022 WRX GThigh tech screens really sucks and because I had issues with CVT already transfer case split was at the dealership for 29 days waiting on parts was in back order.

3.0

Cars are expensive, wanted to share knowledge

Used as a daily work commuter, fun little car to drive with the turbo but that was about it. Ride was rough for a supposed rally style car being driven on pavement. Did not feel any real relief in the shocks - were they installed? Infotainment system will be main factor for trading vehicle later this year. Its garbage. Hard to function while driving, slow to respond, more bugs than the F35. Horrible with Android devices. Does not support Android Wireless despite being 2022 (have to be plugged into usb). Radio buttons functionality is clearly an overseas programmer, hard dials would seem futuristic to using this everyday (Scan, Seek, programmed). Interior cabin Temperature sensor seems misplaced, maybe in the windshield. Never seems to know the actual temperature in the cabin. They also are not lying when they say it has the bells and whistles, this car will yell at you for breathing wrong. There is always something beeping. Don't start the car without a seatbelt! You cannot shut it off either using old school tricks, you must now remove dashboard, good luck! Interior Layout has no room or consideration for cellphone and minimum room for anything else you may be carrying in your pockets. Trip reset controls is next to the engine start button??? *smiling* wait till you hit that by mistake reaching for the trip button leaving a gas station.

See all 9 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Subaru
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 years/80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Coverage available for purchase
Powertrain
7 years/100,000
Dealer certification required
152-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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