The 2022 Subaru WRX arrives at U.S. retailers now with two new upgrades that most everyone missed. What difference will a half-inch make on the next-generation performance sedan? It's hard to tell, but the next-generation WRX has more ground clearance, 5.4-inches versus 4.9-inches with the outgoing model.
Subaru Corporation wanted to combine sports car and off-road characteristics into the all-new WRX. Performance fans didn't like the plastic fender flares, but the new wheel arch coverings combined with the half-inch higher ride height will benefit drivers who take the new WRX off-pavement and into the dirt.
photo credit: Subaru of America
The WRX will have fewer rock chips not just from driving in the dirt, but since the all-wheel-drive sports car is driven in the winter, there will be fewer dings in the paint from sand left on the road from the snowplows.
Another upgrade most people missed
Another change Subaru made to the all-new 2022 WRX 2.4-liter turbocharged engine is it does not require 91 octane premium unleaded fuel. Subaru says 91 octane premium fuel is recommended but not required. According to AAA, premium fuel prices averaging $4.79 will save WRX owners hundreds per year in fuel savings by using 89 octane gasoline.
A report from Subaru's Drive magazine says, "Every Subaru vehicle built in the past 30 years has relied on an increasingly sophisticated engine management system that constantly monitors the state of combustion inside the cylinders. Knock sensors relay information to the engine management system, and that powerful computer can automatically adjust the ignition timing to make the best use of the fuel in the tank."
In the report, John Gray, Field Quality Assurance Manager with Subaru of America's Service and Quality Department, says performance vehicles like the WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ are designed to run correctly even when the optimal grade of fuel isn't available.
The Owner's Manual states for WRX and BRZ models: "The engine is designed to operate using unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher." However, fuel with an octane rating of 87 or higher can be used in either model with no detriment to engine durability.
What is the 2022 WRX fuel mileage?
The EPA tested the 2022 WRX using premium gasoline and says it gets 19/26 city/highway and 22 combined mpg with the 6-speed manual gearbox. The 2022 WRX with the CVT automatic gets 19/25 city/highway and 21 combined mpg.
Why you don't want the WRX CVT
The 2022 WRX with the 6-speed manual is 130 lbs lighter than CVT-equipped models. Because of the weight difference, the 6-speed manual trim levels will be quicker and faster and still get better fuel mileage than CVT models.
Subaru failed to mention two upgrades; the 2022 WRX comes with a half-inch higher ride height, and owners are not required to run 91 octane premium unleaded fuel. Both have significant benefits.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: main image Subaru of Wakefield