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5 More Reasons Why You Don’t Want The New Subaru WRX With A CVT

The 2022 Subaru WRX arrives next year with a 6-speed manual gearbox and a new Subaru Performance automatic Transmission (CVT). There are more reasons why you don't want the CVT.

If there are questions if you should buy the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX with a 6-speed manual gearbox or the new Subaru Performance Transmission (CVT) automatic, keep reading. There are five reasons you don't want the WRX with a CVT. Thanks to Engineering Explained for some of the information in this report. Check out the new video here.

1. Better fuel mileage

The 2021 Subaru WRX 6-speed manual gets a two mpg increase in the city and a three mpg improvement highway over the CVT. We expect the same for the next-generation 2022 WRX 6-speed manual and the new Subaru Performance Transmission (CVT).

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX specs, features, fuel mileage, price

What is the fuel mileage of the 2022 WRX?

The EPA and Subaru have not released the U.S.-spec 2022 WRX fuel mileage. Subaru Corporation says the new 2022 WRX S4 2.4-liter turbocharged engine gets an estimated 18/30 mpg city/highway and 27 mpg combined mpg. The estimates come from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.

The mileage increase is an improvement from the 2021 WRX 2.0-liter engine that gets an EPA estimated 20/27 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg with the 6-speed manual.

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX specs, features, fuel mileage, price

2. Lighter

The 2022 WRX with the 6-speed manual will be 130 lbs lighter than CVT-equipped models.

3. Quicker

Because of the weight difference, the 6-speed manual trim levels will be quicker and faster than CVT models.

4. Cheaper

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX specs, features, fuel mileage, price

What is the price of the 2022 WRX?

Subaru of America has not announced pricing on the new fifth-generation WRX.

The next-generation WRX will likely get a significant bump in price. The current price of the 2021 WRX is $28,420 with the 6-speed manual, including the destination fee. The Lineartronic CVT costs an extra $1,900. The base model will still be less than $30,000, making it a good performance value. The 2022 Subaru WRX GT with the Performance Transmission (CVT) will cost around $2,000 more than 6-speed manual models.

5. The CVT will be rear-biased

The 2022 Subaru WRX 6-speed manual models have a viscous coupling center differential with a nominal 50/50 torque split between the front and rear wheels. The CVT automatic models have a planetary style center differential and a 45/55 front/rear torque split. The WRX with the CVT will have a rear-biased feel, and the rear wheels will have slightly less grip on loose surfaces.

Did Subaru make any changes to the WRX 6-speed manual?

The 2022 Subaru WRX 6-speed manual gearbox receives new upgrades over the outgoing model. Subaru gave the third, fourth, and fifth gears more aggressive and shorter gearing. Thie result will be quicker shifts and faster responses.

How many WRX CVT models does Subaru sell?

If you don't like the Subaru CVT, you are not alone. Subaru says a whopping 85 percent of WRX sales are 6-speed manual transmission models, and only fifteen percent are for the CVT automatic. We expect the results to be the same for the 2022 WRX GT trim with the new Subaru Performance Transmission (CVT).

When will the new WRX arrive in the U.S.?

The 2022 Subaru WRX should arrive on the first of the year. There could be delays with production because of the ongoing global microchip shortage. Stay tuned.

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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: Subaru USA


Ken (not verified)    December 31, 2021 - 9:59AM

I owned a 2011 and 2017 wrx. Because of using a clutch for almost 40 years, I can’t drive a car w a clutch, so now I own an outback. All of the reasons you lost are sort of meaningless. Here are the real reasons.

1. Number 1 reason: eyesight which would be terrible on a wrx. I can’t stress enough how terrible this would be the first time you need the power and the car locks up the brakes. Probably a deal breaker

2. No hand brake. Who wants the best car in the snow ever without a hand brake. It is essential to have fun in the snow.

3. Not sure on this one, but I bet you can’t turn off traction control. Another dealer breaker for those that live where it snows

Amir_Pomen68 (not verified)    January 24, 2022 - 11:06PM

In reply to by Ken (not verified)

Definately no cvt please...

Cvt gearbox will have their best efficiency when it was let loose and rubberbandy working nature... Thats just cvt nature...

Once engineer put kore sensors and control valve/solenoid and tinkering with ratio programming to mimic manual box direct shift...

Thats where it started to be worse than standard manual box...

Heck.. even zf 8speed torque converter automatics will be much better than any of the subaru cvt gearbox...

And thats not even taking dsg/dual clutch gearbox into play...

I think subaru japan engineers have been taking too much laughing gas in their lab

Glenn (not verified)    January 2, 2022 - 7:22PM

To be honest:

1. Automatic are great fuel economy. Manual used to be back in the days when I owned an impreza wrx which has a manual. I would say cvt would be a great choice if you are living in a busy city just like where inlive in Los Angeles city.
2. I agree, on this topic
3. It’s quick since manuals are being controlled by the driver. It really depends on how the way the driver wanted the car to do. You can drive faster or slower. Manuals are good when you want to feel the thrill since the car knows what to do rather than cvt but don’t judge CVT transmissions either one of my friends owns a Jaguar F-type and the technology of the newer cvt’s are as well. Who knows what a new technology can do now these days but you won’t feel the motion and thrill like the manual.
4. Of course, it’ll be cheaper since it’s manual. CVT is expensive because of the technology that they used that is in CVT transmission.
5. Lastly, all I can say not all Subaru Drivers are manul drivers and not all Subaru Drivers are cvt drivers. Everyone has their own preference besides Subaru community always respect whatever transmission you drive. Not like the toyota and honda community they trash talk each other within they’re community and how other drivers are not part of car enthusiast since they have a cvt. I drive two subarus. I have 2010 subaru impreza wrx (manual) & 2017 subaru wrx (cvt) I love both. Everytime i go to car meet ups with my buddies they respect other subie drivers that owns cvt there’s nothing to be embarrased they said.

Ray Horner (not verified)    April 23, 2022 - 6:47PM

I own a 2020 WRX with CVT because I love Subaru and I wanted my wife and daughter to be able to drive it. I owned a 2015 STI that was phenomenal but after several attempts the girls just didn't like driving a stick, so I bought a 2018 WRX with CVT. I tracked it once at Thunderhill and it was a miserable experience. The transmission overheated in the first session and after waiting for it to cool back down, I made the 3 hour drive back home. From that experience you shouldn't push a CVT that hard. I was t-boned in the 2018 and I walked away from that crash so I went out and bought another one. My daughter drives an Outback and loves it too. The CVT is a great alternative if you want a WRX but not a stick, BUT don't think you can take it to the track. If anyone knows differently please let me know because I would love to learn if there are mods to make this tranny stay cool under extreme pressure!