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Life After The STI - The Next-Gen Subaru WRX Gets A Failing Grade

The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX was showing signs of life after the STI. New WRX sales were up two months in a row, but now see how far it's dropped.


How is the next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX doing after the first nine months in 2022? After two months of sales increases in July and August, the next-generation Subaru WRX showed signs of life after the STI. But Subaru of America (SOA) reports sales have significantly dropped in September.

The Camden, N.J. automaker reports the next-generation WRX saw a decline in sales, dropping 31.6 percent in September. SOA says they delivered 1,676 new WRX performance sedans to U.S. customers compared with 2,449 in September 2021, a drop of 31.6 percent.

2022 Subaru WRX

How is the WRX doing through the first nine months of 2022? Subaru of America has sold 12,722 WRX sports cars in 2022, down 40.0 percent from the 21,220 sold through the first nine months of 2021. Without the performance-tuned STI to prop up sales, the WRX gets a failing grade on its own.

Was it a mistake for Subaru to drop the STI?

Performance enthusiasts are buying the next-generation WRX, but the sport-tuned sports car's sales have dropped significantly without the STI. Subaru dropped the STI too soon and should have kept the high-performance STI in the lineup.

2022 Subaru WRX

How does WRX compare with the competition?

Honda and Volkswagen do not release Civic Type R, Civic Si, or Golf R sales, so we can't compare the WRX sales with its closest competitors.

What is the price of the 2022 Subaru WRX?

The 2022 WRX is still a good value. The 6-speed manual trim level starts at $30,600. The WRX with Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) is $32,450, WRX Premium 6-speed manual is $33,100, WRX Premium SPT is $35,150, WRX Limited 6-speed manual is $37,490, WRX Limited SPT is $39,740, and WRX GT is $43,390. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($995).

Should buyers wait for the 2023 WRX?

The 2023 WRX is the last model in the lineup to be announced. There are no advantages to waiting for the 2023 WRX. Subaru Corporation will make minor changes to the 2023 WRX, and there will be a price increase for the 2023 model. The 2023 WRX won't arrive until this winter.

The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX sales are down 40.0 percent year-to-date, tied for the most significant drop of any Subaru model through the first nine months of 2022. Subaru misses the STI and should have kept the performance sedan in the lineup. Subaru gets a failing grade for dropping the STI.

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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


Jason (not verified)    October 7, 2022 - 12:59PM

There's no way I'd trade my 2015 STI for a new WRX, but I would've definitely considered a new generation STI, if it existed. And I bet I'm not the only one who feels that way. So I obviously think it was a mistake to kill it off.

John (not verified)    October 7, 2022 - 8:29PM

I traded my 2020 sti in for a 2022 wrx and I'm glad I did. Way better platform. 2.4 L engine with upgraded rods more comfort seats. Way more usable power, just nice. Jb4 tune, it makes much more smoother power , and smokes the sti and you don't have to spend 20k on the new wrx to make it a beast like you would with the STI.

Randy (not verified)    October 17, 2022 - 4:34AM

In reply to by John (not verified)

No offense but you sound dumb running the jb4 on a brand new platform that very little is known about especially from tuners. I've seen a few new 22 wrx with rod knock already from running that jb4. And yes it takes more money to build an STI up but the STI transmission will last when you build it the 22 wrx uses the same transmission as the VA wrx and it's pretty weak in comparison. Watching people blow up their 22 wrx because they believe the jb4 is safe or running an intake with no tune is hilarious considering most people who have previously owned subaru know better.

NMK (not verified)    October 9, 2022 - 6:24PM

Can you even call it a performance sedan? Its slow. Its too tall. It doesnt sound good. The ancient manual transmission feel like garbage. The other option is an even worse CVT. Where exactly does the performance come in? The legacy XT uses the same engine with a "lower performance" cvt yet it is faster AND gets better MPG. Subaru has ruined an icon.

Kushest (not verified)    October 12, 2022 - 9:56AM

People talking trash on the new Rex obviously haven't taken the time to learn about it and haven't seen the dyno results showing the flat line of power vs a huge curve from any previous model.
I had a heavily modded 04 for years until I totalled it and after the Hawkeye model I thought they ruined the design but I feel that the 2022 look really brings it back to the rally concept.
The 2022 is probably the best wrx to date in my opinion. I could go without all the audio shit and the big screen though of course but the rest of the car is on point along with stronger engine internals. I never ever use the radio in a wrx because I'd rather hear the car. I would be very happy with the base model if it had the push start and automatic keyless entry but I'm going to be getting a premium just for the keys and sunroof.
I almost bought it last week but I think I'm waiting for the 2023 to see the price difference because that will buy me another year of resale value even though no big changes are being made.

Randy (not verified)    October 17, 2022 - 4:37AM

In reply to by Kushest (not verified)

Engine is better but transmission is the same and still sucks. Doesn't matter how much better the engine is if the transmission can't keep up which it can't.