2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX
Denis Flierl's picture

Fans Say Pump The Brakes There’s A Lot They Don’t Like About The New Subaru WRX

The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX arrives with mixed reactions from performance fans. Check out why many fans say there's a lot not to like about the next-generation WRX.
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The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX was one of the most anticipated new car launches of 2021. Performance fans had to wait a long time, and when the all-new WRX was revealed, many fans were disappointed in the sport-tuned WRX. We polled hundreds of fans on social media and found common thoughts and opinions about the new sports sedan. Here are the results.

The number one complaint about the 2022 Subaru WRX was the exterior styling. Subaru's WRX styling language has been a complaint that began with the 2015 model change. It continues to be a disappointment with the next-generation 2022 models.

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX

What fans dislike the most is the plastic wheel arch cladding. They say it looks like a Crosstrek small SUV and call the new exterior look the "WRX Trek." Most fans think the new fenders make the wheels look tiny and out of proportion.

The number two complaint among fans is the rear tail lights. Many said they look like the Honda Civic Si and also the new second-generation 2022 Subaru BRZ. Fans wanted a unique look and also stated the rear bumper sticks out too far.

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX

The 2.4-liter Boxer engine is a good upgrade, but performance fans want to know why the new FA24 only got a three-horsepower increase and no additional torque? Reports said the WRX would have a bump in power close to 300 horsepower. Fans are disappointed it only comes with 271 horsepower and the same 258 lb-ft of torque.

A big disappointment is fans still want a WRX hatchback, and the next-generation WRX only comes in sedan body style. Fans have been asking Subaru Corporation to bring back the WRX and STI hatch since the automaker dropped it in the fourth-generation 2015 models.

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX

What fans do like about the new 2022 Subaru WRX

Performance fans like the new orange exterior color and the new FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine. Of course, we won't know how much the new engine and Global Platform will improve performance, driving dynamics, and ride until it arrives next year.

Fans are unsure of the new 2022 WRX GT trim level with the new "Subaru performance automatic transmission." The jury is still out until the new automatic gearbox is tested.

Overall, the fan's biggest disappointment in the all-new fifth-generation 2022 Subaru WRX is its exterior styling. Subaru Corporation will never please everyone with its design language, but they seem to have missed big with fans. Let us know what you think about the new 2022 WRX in the comment section below.

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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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Comments

What will it take for Subaru to pay attention to the buyer segment for the WRX/STi. We don't give a sh#t about the Crosstrek or the outback looks, those already have legions of their own respective fans. No WRX fan wants a turbo Crosstrek pretending to be an off-roader. This styling is our puke. And the CVT is a complete POS for a car that many will want to tune. 2.0 to 2.4 is 20% more displacement for only 3 more meager HP. PATHETIC. Bigger block more weight, more understeer, poorer MPG and for what? 3 hp. Who the FU&k gave to the OK to this. I am on my 4th Subaru (wife #1) and presently on my 2nd STi Hatch (2014). HERE THIS SOA: I WILL NEVER BUY A CVT WRX OR STI. Fortunately, I am able to afford luxury brands, and this design direction is making me look at the Audi Allroad, the Audi RS Wagon, the Mercedes E Wagon and AMG Wagon, all of which have VASTLY superior automatics. The CVT is where performance cars go to die a long slow and painful death. For GOD's sake give us a real automatic. And this new WRX design is a TURD warmed up and dressed for the opera only this will only take you to a dive bar, as no one will want to be seen in it.
I agree. I often wonder what kind of people design these cars and lead this company. Don't they ever look around and see what auto makers like Hyundai are doing? Subaru had an opportunity here to reset their design direction but instead ploughed ahead, unseeing and seemingly deaf to the preferences of their loyal customers. I own a 2002 WRX STi and a 2007 Legacy GT. Both have common defects. Over 5 years, Subaru did not bother to fix these. Many of which are relatively minor and, in my view, easy to rectify. The fact that model after model, year after year continue to show up with the same issues points to the type of arrogance that breeds what has showed up as the new 2022 WRX. I am not interested.
I feel compelled - somewhat reluctantly - to "fight back" against these old, old, old complaints. Remember when everyone thought Japanese cars were "ricegrinders", even when Z cars were kicking arse. Give me V8 or give me death! TIMES CHANGE. Listen? I'm old enough to have waited for nearly a decade for the WRX and Evo to arrive, and when they did? Disappointed. Evo 5 was peak. GC8 was peak. Like all cars, they got bigger and bigger, heavier, and all the "fans" became a group Subaru couldn't please. But guess what? The "fans" - like Marvel comic fans - make a small portion of sales. We've owned many Subarus since the 90's and right now an immaculate tuned, slightly lowered 2006 Outback, a 550hp 2011 STI (selling), and wife drives a 2017 Crosstrek I've done tasteful mods to. Every damn one of these cars in there own way didn't please "fans"...immaculate Subaru NUT and I love them to death. The CVT in particular...give it a rest! Subaru "fans" hated the 4EAT, then hated the 5EAT I have. "Sportshift sucks!". No, it doesn't if you own it a while and learn to compensate for the delay. But most "fans"? They didn't own one. Probably never drove one. Went by articles by wishy-washy guys in the magazines who loved the 2002 and bitches about every version since. Back to the CVT. Um, ever heard about "progress"? There have been test drives...look around. People say it's a stellar leap forward. Manual? Sure, OK, you get your man card for proclaiming your love. But if you drive anywhere with traffic congestion, your man card will be taken away the moment you complain. And you will complain. Shit, I have a slight inclined driveway & the concrete is uneven entering the garage. The stage 2 clutch is heavy and to squeeze the car in, I annoy my neighbors gently (but revving and managing the clutch engagement.) Me? DSG! They are the best, but the CVT coming is an inexpensive alternative. Oh, anyone have a wife that cannot drive manual? Yes, you do. A teenager? Yes. This means the STI can never be driven by the two other drivers in my household. The styling? Again NO Impreza has pleased fans...bugeyes gross, blob eyes gross, hawkers withe the Tribeca grill gross. 2008? Hatch only? Where's my wing?? Sedan? That wing is ridiculous...I'm a grown up (but no fan - it's pays homage to the rally days. But no, "fans" worry the WRC legit, functional spoiler looks like a vaping teen owns it. (I heard this from my wife, when I went from a 2001 Audi S4 "grown-up car" to the STI she's embarrassed to be seen in. Ok, I'm not a fan of the Outback wheel arches. But you can do this thing...it's called painting. I'm lucky with my all-black Outback. Dropped, it looks widebody. A two-tone looks like shit dropped. The aftermarket, I hear, supports these cars. Mod things, paint things, learn how to paint, learn how to vinyl wrap. I bet a company will bring rounded wheel arches, even. My Crosstrek and Outback have removable arches. Last thing. "Fans" griped about JDM STI's getting Recaros. Now you can get a mere WRX with Recaros, but apparently "fans" didn't notice. Subaru heard "fans" but "fans" just find something else to whine about. I wanted Recaros in my STI, and got Evo SE seats (rare, expensive so I lucked out) and put the STI seats in my "Legacy/Outback", and sold the OEM Outback seats which covered 50% of the Evo Recaros. Win, win, win! Seriously, stop complaing. Be glad Subaru isn't going the way Mitsubishi went...holy hell. Or "Only trucks" Ford, save the Mustang. Killed ST hatches, RS Focus. I respect opinioa, but poorly stated opinions based on almost nil evidence or perspective is highly annoying. I'm not sure how old all the "fans" are but I'm no teen or millennial. I dropped my Mustang obsession in 1992 when I saw the Ford Escort Cosworth. I knew about Skylines, Evo's and STi's before Grand Turismo. I'm a super-fan with a load of experience, history and appreciation for what Subaru gives us even when it might not be everything I wanted, either.
I'm on my 3rd WRX/STI and have had multiple Subarus in our garage, even at once but that representation has shrunk in recent years. I currently drive a 2018 STI and have a 2008 hatch track car. I had previously also had a Liberty GT and Forester GT but they are no longer offered and I've switched to Euros to fill the gap. This new WRX is a disappointment in every rational sense. Design is subjective but the reality is this is a bigger, heavier car with no more power or torque. The rev limiter is almost 500rpm lower and that's a problem with a boxer as they will rev very quick in first and second and Subaru uses a hard fuel cut at redline. Overall, the WRX has been left behind by the GTI, the I30N, the Civic Type R, Focus ST and plenty more in terms of power, performance and dynamics. The majority of WRX sales were manual, yet the top trim is only offered in CVT, which is just madness. The CVT transmission is incapable of tuning for any kind of hard driving or track work, which rules it out to anyone interested in that. As a fan I think it would have been better to kill off the WRX in 2021 that to turn it into a soccer mom car, which is what we have here. As a new car buyer this offers little of value to me. It's too weak in performance terms to drive stock and would need too much work to modify. I had been holding off a new purchase in lieu of this release as I really wanted this to excite me but my money will be going to a new Golf R wagon instead.
The top trim of the wrx is and always has been the WRX STI, which Subaru has already said will be available next year, probably with the same or similar adjustable suspension that the GT has and the more traditional bodywork if I had to guess. The fact that the top level of the regular wrx is cvt only is a good sign that the sti will retain its manual transmission only. Which will solve pretty much all your complaints. Keep in mind half the cars you listed are no longer available in the US, which is Subarus primary market. That’s manufacturers way of saying they don’t believe in the future of these cars, one way or another, whether is they emission compliance, safety, or lack of market demand. Yet Subaru keeps building them, they still make the BRZ, despite it being an insanely niche car. There is 0 reason for that car to still exist after an average of less than 5000 a year. We should be happy they are putting something in metal at all. Yet instead we are sitting here complaining about something that Subaru has already said is coming but isn’t ready yet. You drive an STI, you didn’t buy that last wrx for a reason and it’ll probably be the same reason you don’t buy this one. And when the STI comes out next year, hopefully you’ll buy one, cause I’m sure Subaru will listen to criticism on the WRX and do the proper thing. And for the record, I know there is a ton of people who have been asking for a turbo crosstrek, Subaru can’t provide that but hopefully this will be close enough.
I agree.... give people all the stuff they ask for and they will complain its too expensive! I've owned Porsche, Mercede, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Honda, Chevy, Saab, VW.....on and on, but I'm on my 9th Subaru and I love everyone. This is bound to Piss a bunch of so called "fans" off, but day one I'm ordering WRT GT W/CVT because I driving in crappy Denver traffic and I want Eyesite! On other of my Subies Eyesite has saved me in a few hender benders, maybe even my life too, but it always mades traffic a breeze everyday and that's AOK for me. One last thing....to all the haters out there.....stay frustrated and hate on me!
Yes, this one pretty much sucks. I bought a new 2004 STI and it was such a blast to drive; I have been waiting years to buy another STI, holding off till they made a reliable one, and now we get this ugly beast that will need plenty of premium gas and deliver too little in the looks and performance to justify. Too, the color is a total miss to say nothing of the styling. Come on Subaru, get your mojo back. The 2004 was light years ahead of anything in it's class, both in styling and performance. I have a Audi A4 (2015) and yearn for the STI of yesteryear. Looks like the A4 RS for me next. Signed, Again/Still Disapointed.
"Fortunately, I am able to afford luxury brands, and this design direction is making me look at the Audi Allroad, the Audi RS Wagon, the Mercedes E Wagon and AMG Wagon, all of which have VASTLY superior automatics." Your ego aside, somewhere above Colin McRae is laughing at you. Subaru cannot sell you a freaking IMPREZA for AMG money. You high when you wrote this? Oh, and Subaru? Yeah, sorta been doing CVT's longer than anyone. You driven the new one? Will you? Or will you be sipping champaign taking out your wallet paying cash for your AMG...or McLaren? Perspective.
Lol, go buy your mercedes and leave them alone. Guy who demands a better automatic trans can stay out of the performance discussion. Subaru has been under engineering cars for years. Its time to look elsewhere.
Subaru needs to offer a rally-capable hatch. I like my Crosstrek, but the acceleration is glacial, and the CVT (that is tolerable for me) is hated by many people. A 2.4T/6spd Crosstrek (WRX, or even STI) with the roofrails and a hidden 2" hitch would check all the boxes for me. Install some aluminum skids, a rear lunchbox locker, and adjustable coilovers. Then lower it to rally...or...Lift it, install mudders, and disco the anti-swaybars to offroad. Uncover the hitch to tow the quads, waverunners, snowmobiles, small boat, dirtbikes, etc...or insert a multi-mount winch to do recovery. (The 1st-gen Crosstrek could have handled all this with just a better powertrain.) Commute to work at 30MPG+ during the week. Subaru can either offer a turbo hatch or I can buy a Wrangler 4xE or a crewcab pickup that gets 30MPG+. The Ridgeline and Maverick are versatile almost like that. Where's the ballsy turbo Crosstrek, or updated turbo Baja?
I would much prefer a WRX hatchback to a Crosstrek (and no, I'm not just a FAN of hatchbacks (or manuals)- I've owned an Accord hatchback (manual), Camry wagon, Subaru DL wagon (manual), Outback (crap CVT), GTI (manual) and currently a Forester XT (manual)). But, while I am looking for a hatchback STi or WRX, I don't see why there's not room in the market for a hatch WRX and a Crosstrek XT. They serve different markets. I've had a Crosstrek loaner from the dealership for over a month while they've bungled repairs on my Forester, and while I certainly miss my turbo manual, the CVT in the Crosstrek definitely sucks less than the one in our 2014 Outback did. That car very quickly became ridiculous and even with a newly replaced transmission right before we bought it, it was not long for this world when we traded it just in the nick of time. Even with its larger engine option now, the Crosstrek is underpowered. And the new WRX seems to be as well, and it certainly shouldn't look like the Crosstrek. Make a turbo, manual Crosstrek. Make a WRX manual. And hatchback. Without having to paint the crap plastic fender arches the Pontiac got crucified for in the 90's and 00's. Even though the GTI is down power wise, the build quality and materials make the WRX feel rather attached to its Impreza roots. The Veloster N is incredibly impressive (based on my test drive) and while the Si is way down on power they've traditionally been incredibly well balanced and had very accessible performance (and an excellent manual). I'm all for a turbo, manual Crosstrek. But not if it means giving up a WRX with its much more sporting intentions. Heck, for that matter, bring back the Forester XT with a manual. One that's faster each model year instead of slower each model before killing it off. I ended up in the Forester XT instead of a WRX because I was buying used and something was off about the WRX I drove. I'm happy with my 06 XT- it is incredibly practical and still a hoot to drive, and, according to car and driver, as quick as my '17 GTI was (and faster because the GTI is governed). But as much as I enjoy my Forester, I want an STi hatchback, for the extra performance while still being more utilitarian in capability. The new WRX is the least exciting new one I've seen, so I'll have to ride out what is hopefully a temporary spike in insanity of used car prices and look for my dream STi manual hatch in WRC blue with gold wheels. The fact that there's still a WRX and there's still a manual is good news. I just wish it looked like better news. It wouldn't be so hard to swallow not getting the hatchback if we didn't know other countries get the option.
Very disappointed in the new 2022 WRX. The exterior design continues to get worse, the base model infotainment system belongs in the early '90s and has only 271 horsepower. Most of all, the apparent push for CVT in the top trim was a huge mistake. I was looking forward to getting my hands on the new WRX but unfortunately, I will have to settle with a different brand entirely. Subaru has lost its way.
Paint the wheel arches body color.
I'm very disappointed with all the black plastics everywhere, wheel arches, rear bumpers looks awful on a sports sedan. There is way too much space between the tire and the wheel arch. Looks ok on a SUV not a WRX. Only 5kw and no extra Nm from 2.4l engine, really!!! I believe the WRX is heading the same way as EVO. Very sad, RIP I'm replacing my 2017 WRX with a Hyundai i30N DCT or Golf R.
Really disappointed with the styling and very minor increase in engine output. Also, I’m sure the rumors of 400hp for the STI are as far fetched as the 300hp WRX rumors. Most likely will leave Subaru for a different brand until they give us another aggressive WRX.
The '22 WRX is a complete disappointment. It is so totally disappointing that I just ordered a '21 WRX to replace my '17. What I'd really like to have is a Levorg. Subaru squandered an opportunity with the fifth generation WRX.
You guys complain too much. Just move on to a different brand. They stopped making the hatch and the Fxt, only two vehicle I will buy. I've had a Forester (oil consumption), WRX hatch (oil & block issues), Legacy(oil consumption) and current Forester XT to replace the WRX cause I think i'm all grown up now (cvt issues, cause Subaru decided that a CVT would be fine). I've moved and moving on with other brands that are more reliable, powerful, and just as good AWD with hybrid. 4Runner to replace WRX. Now I'm just looking for the Rav4 Prime to replace my FXT.
Since 2004 I have owned three WRXs and one STi. The STi was bought in 2004 and by 2014 had 240000 mules with the original engine, clutch and transmission. Since 2001 my wife has had four Foresters. This means eight Subaru's in twenty year period. This means I have obviously been VERY pleased with Subaru cars and my local dealership. I anticipated a significant improvement in the 2022 WRX. I was initially confused and concerned when the new engine has a 20% increase in displacement but only a 1.7% increase in horsepower and no change in torque. There may be a significant improvement in handling related to the switch to the Global Platform and the increased rigidity of the car's body. Only time will tell when the cars are available to be tested. I read somewhere that the slight increase in horsepower and no change in torque was related to the CVT transmission's inability to hand more torque. That sums like a plausible reason but if it is true it also means that more importance is being placed on CVT buyers than manual transmission buyers. I agree that the plastic wheel arch trim makes the tires look small but I also that the sleekness of the prior WRXs has disappeared. It is also not clear what color options are available. What to do is the question! Perhaps I and I believe many others will try and buy a 2021 WRX or STi.
I've owned 4 STIs (99, 05, 12, 16) literally every generation and a Legacy B4 and I lost interest with the latest generation. I owned my 2016 for a year before I sold it. It just wasn't that good compared to my other STIs. I left the fold after my last STI and was hoping to come back for the new STI. Buuuuut Subaru doubled down on what made the last generation a disappointment to me. It wasn't very powerful and the handling was pretty Garbage especially when compared to the Veloster N I bought in 2020 (now sold). I have little hope for the STI based on what we got with the new WRX. It's obvious they are trying to pull a Mazda and force the enthusiasts out of the brand so they can go up market. They don't want to cater to the enthusiasts which is a real shame considering it's an enthusiast car. That's fine I guess seeing as enthusiasts don't make up volume sales but Hyundai managed to launch an entire enthusiast brand at an affordable price and as a former owner of an N... They... Are... Excellent! I have owned something like 20 different sports cars from various brands and my N was at the very top in sheer driver enjoyment. The next on my list was my GC8 STI type R. So while it saddens me that Subaru decided to pull a Mazda I am perfectly fine taking my money elsewhere. I plan on getting the new Z as it stands right now. Maybe the Ranger Raptor if it makes it here to the US where I currently live. Anyway fk Subaru for trying to sell a CUV sedan. The deserve all the backlash they are getting and so does Mazda. What Subaru forgot is that it's the enthusiast that helped make the brand what it is today and the abandoned them as soon as they could. My vindictive nature hopes they pay dearly for their sins against the people who made the brand what it is today. Without the enthusiast Subaru would still be a car for hippies and tree huggers and would have little mass appeal. Also fk them for trying to force a CVT on people. Every other brand has nearly abandoned them because even non car enthusiasts hate them. I owned one car with a CVT as my city run about and it failed at 50k miles. So with all that said... Fk em. Other brands have figured out how to keep the enthusiast happy so it's not impossible. In fact this is all Subaru had to do to get a meh... Drop the CVT and add enough horsepower to be competitive with competition. Least we forget an Veloster N is SIGNIFICANTLY faster than an STI around a track for the price of a WRX.
See the comment I posted today. It addresses someone such as yourself pretty well. The FWD affordable cool cars are S**T all weather cars, and last I checked, none of these "affirdable" cars won't have you reaching deep into you checkbook. A GC8 WRX? With all due respect A) how old are you, B) in the 90's did you have hands on experience with Impreza's, and C) could you have afforded or paid around $40k in 1995 for an econobox with 276 hp? Can't stop you from claiming yes. But maybe 1,000 Americans would. Ask owners today about their pristine 90's WRX or Evo, and they'll tell you they love them, but it takes a special person to love an absolute rattle can cost big money and that had what everyone else thought was a ridiculous wing and goofy fog lamps. Perspective.
Who said I was American? Rather ethnocentric to think I'd have to be an American.
Overreact much? Should I ask what country everyone is from, then tailor my comments accordingly? Get over yourself.
This is why the rest of the world hates Americans. They can't imagine a world outside of the US because they have never been anywhere else. Dude obviously lived overseas if he owned a 99 GC8 STI and probably couldn't ship it back to the states cuz of the 25 year rule. My guess a military guy. In Japan these "legendary" cars are a dime a dozen. When I was stationed in Japan I bought a skyline GTS-T for three grand. Junkyards are full of these legends cuz well the are just normal cars in Japan. I suggest you travel to other countries to gain some um "perspective".
What does any of this even mean? I understand NTSA import laws dating to the freaking 60's, when my father (yeah - USAF!) was able to bring his Mini Cooper back, before grey market laws went into effect. Further, I chatted with Motorex back in 1999-2000 re their Slyline import operations and asked about any other plans they has. I've been around this entire matter a long time...not just since playing Gran Turismo in 8th grade. And being around the world has jack to do with anything I said. If it did, try being specific instead of antagonistic.
I re-read the comments here, including my own, and stand by my points. First, it's actually a good thing if you aren't American, because then you should appreciate my point that street rally cars of the 90's were $40k entry-level commuters that happened to go like a bat out of hell. Speaking for Americans, these never would have sold well. So the US missed out on the best years. (I had a 2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX, which was as close as my heart could get to an Evo.) Additionally, I assume you all have watched Top Gear from the start (2002). Well, they LOVED those econobox rally cars. They loved the "rawness" of a fast econobox, which was set apart from the "hot hatch" craze. But by around 2004-2005, Subaru and Mitsubishi were trying to refine Lancers & Imprezas for the masses. But somehow the love for "raw" disappeared, as they turned into snobs bemoaning the refinement wasn't enough. Suddenly "cheap plastic" was a deal breaker. Here in the US, fans began a long slow snobbish trend that was kick-started in 2006 with the STI Limited. Why? That car had leather, which got fans expecting leather. It also came without the big boot spoiler, so it became common to ditch spoilers. All I saw was a rapid movement away from what made these cars great. No matter what kind of leap forward this 22 is, I'll predict right now that the first Reviews will bitch about the plastic interior not being refined enough. "Audi is much better"...ugh!!!! Power? People gotta get a grip on this, however hard it may be, but here's the deal. I assume everyone knows the laws of exponential increases in costs as power rises, and the loss of value which coincides with it. So Subaru doesn't go that route. But why?! WHY??!!! Because there's this little secret...I'm going to whisper it...everyone modifies the F out of these cars and beats the S out of them. We all do know this, right? Subaru does. They know it through their service networks, where my dealer service tech reports 90% or more WRX/STI's are moderately to heavily modified. So yes, it's tough if you're one of the tiny fractions of buyers that wants all the power from the factory because you don't plan on any mods. Finally, it wouldn't make any difference if they were giving us 350 hp. Being involved in the tuner world a long time, I know people merely consider bigger factory numbers to be better "starting points." Otherwise, you wouldn't see Hellcats being modified. I'm not backing away from my call for perspective, because it's sorely lacking regarding this car more than any I've ever seen. These harsh judgments when no one has seen it in person much less been in one and driven it. And being a real-deal Subaru lover I'm going to be part of the minority that speaks up. I planned to sell my STI this fall, my Outback XT next spring, and get a used Tesla Model 3 Performance or an Ioniq 5, but I'm excited about the GT. I'm retiring from manuals. It will be nice for my wife to be able to drive the other car.. And if you get an EV, you don't have a choice at all.
You people do all realize that the reasons our "dream cars" are either unavailable to us or disappear is reflected in your comments? In the 1990's, when cars like this were pure joy on wheels, they were ugly econoboxes used in WRC, and homologation rules made them available. But in the US, we were (and continue to be) in love with SUV's, we watch NASCAR, not WRC, and in Japan they were still very much aware of the American attitude about "rice grinders". So guys like me - likely considerably older than you - missed out on the EVO 5 (my dream car) and GC8 coupes (that ruled WRC). By the time things began changing in the US enough to warrant federalizing their engines & meeting NTSA crash standards, they'd done so with redesigns. You all act like the 2001-2004 period of US WRX, STi, Evo were the first...the best...the "coolest." Jesus. No, amazingly mega-fan bases were born despite the fact Japan (and much of the world) got a pile of tech in these cars. But despite this, the fans and owners get older, their spouse's car feels more comfy & quiet, better amenities (hint: in 2004, the STi = no radio...and fans didn't give a S! You people would have bitched.) So like ALL companies, with all cars, more has to be done to bring in new buyers and keep current owners happy. This is HARD. Companies like Toyota, Honda, VW have it easy...they bring owners in when they can afford a Civic or Corolla and keep them happy as the years pass with nicer sedans and SUV's, and years later they're buying Lexus, Acura, Audi The problem Subaru has with the WRX crowd is pleasing everyone with one car that meets all the dreams and desires of people cross-shopping freaking Kia's and Audi's, cars, Jeeps, SUV's and trucks. Just how the hell do they do this AND, AND sell it to you at a price that doesn't have you bitching about the price online? I'll end by going back to where I began...the 90's. How many of you actually experienced, hands-on, a 90's vanilla Mitsubishi Mirage or Subaru Impreza? I'm betting VERY few of you. Now imagine those cars best you can, rattling off the dealer lot, hard plastic, terrible audio, uncomfortable if your over 5' 10", etc. Not fun. But hey, entry level car. Never going to win Motor Trend Car of the Year, but that's fine. NOW...imagine those companies freaking racing these cars (whaaa?) and offering you a 225-276 hp AWD version, with advanced traction and stability systems, big brakes, Recaro seats...but now even noisier, cheapo audio, still creaking and rattling, but a joy holding your Momo wheel. BUT hang on...it's 1995...and they want the same $$$ as Subaru is asking for this 2022 WRX. YUP. You guys wouldn't touch it. You guys are the types these companies knew would never drop the money on those dream cars, because for that money you'd want all the good stuff, but underneath an Audi or Lexus. You think you're all die hard fans. Hate to break it to you, you're not. Your spoiled and should be thanking God there even is a WRX anymore. If Subaru brought all of you into a focus group on the next WRX, they'd take notes, return to Japan and kill the car.
I gotta say, I disagree with a lot of what you've said here. Subaru has had a huge gradient in WRX variants over the years, especially in Markets like Japan, Australia and New Zealand. s20X versions of the STI we significantly more expensive / specialised and catered to the deeper pockets of dedicated fans. Hell, the 22B cost $125,000 Australian dollars brand new in 1998 (thats equivalent to A$215,000 today or USD 160,000). I stand here now with 2 WRX cars still called mine, one track car and a 2018 STI for the road. This new model is a big disappointment. With money ready to go I have no interest in a top spec GT or WRX wagon because it comes with a pathetically fragile CVT only. The manual version comes with none of the spec I need. I grew up with the WRX. I owned a GF8, a G3, a Spec R. I'm grown now and would love to keep a late model WRX in my garage but Subaru appears to have little interest in keeping something as fundamental to its character as the manual transmission available across the range. When you consider the segment competition that the WRX has you can see Subaru is lagging, the i30N, GTI, Focus ST, etc. have stepped up the game and enhanced the driver experience, often delivering more dynamic and faster cars with the disadvantage of FWD. Even the Yaris GR was available here for less than the price of the WRX (and sold out in hours). Bottom line is Subaru is lost in the woods with this new WRX. Only time will tell whether they fix this mess like they did with the dud 2007-2008 WRX.
Not a good car, unless you are about the fancy technology. Sti looks like a Toyota camry. Sti 2004-2007 are better models but not compare to the 1990s models. What is subaru trying to go for a pansy fancy looking car or a sports driven drifting car?
I cannot fathom owning the new WRX, it just doesn't make any sense - I feel that anyone who does buy one is just shooting themselves in the foot. I feel for those who have been waiting - and got this p.o.s. I had an '05 STi I wished I never sold. Currently driving a '14 Forester XT since new. yea it's got the CVT, and it's honestly not half bad @ over 170k miles trying to make 200k, no issues so far. HOWEVER, that's a Forester and I don't drive it like I stole it nor do I do performance anything with it. It's got decent power and is fun enough as a family/grocery hauler. Nothing more. The '05 STI blew the doors off almost everything back in it's day at a great price point - I'd rather have that back. The new WRX seems can barely keep up with the competition in terms of styling AND performance. Just get a Tesla Model 3, or whatever else. I don't see an updated WRX, I see something thrown together with a larger displacement but only +3hp? Just laughable. Subaru is gonna have to make some serious changes to get sales back because this WRX isn't gonna cut it.
Im so glad I didnt wait for this redesign and bought a better brand. Subaru drove its performance segment off a cliff years ago and never looked back. Exploding STIs and BRZs with a garbage engine that eats itself. All they needed to do to the BRZ was fix the mill, but noooo... they let that poor thing limp around for almost a decade loosing to Honda Odysseys off the line. If you want a drivers car, you're looking at the wrong company.

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