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The Next-Gen Subaru WRX Is Dying Fast - Here's What Will Quickly Bring It Back

The 2022 Subaru WRX is all-new, and sales should be up over last year. But sales have dropped significantly. A WRX hatch would fix that problem.


When Subaru announced the next-generation 2022 WRX performance sedan, it was met with mixed reactions of some excitement and even more disappointment. The SUV-like fender flares, only a three-horsepower gain, and no hatchback body style were just a few of the criticisms.

Sales of the all-new 2022 WRX have been down since its U.S. launch, when sales should be up. When any new model makes its dealer debut, sales usually go up with the new model. Subaru of America reports in June, the next-generation WRX saw another significant drop in sales, down 37.8 percent. Subaru reports that 1,465 2022 WRX models were delivered to customers last month compared with 2,354 in June 2021.

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX specs, features

Subaru of America has only sold 6,212 WRX sports cars through the first six months of 2022, down from the 14,272 sold through six months of 2021. That's a drop of 56.5 percent.

Bring back the WRX hatchback

Subaru needs a WRX hot hatch to generate new interest in the next-generation WRX. Get rid of the fender flares, give it more horsepower, and add a hatchback trim level to the WRX lineup. Subaru would be wise to return the WRX hatch since the Japanese automaker killed the performance-tuned STI model.

2022 Subaru WRX, next-generation WRX specs, features

Subaru needs to keep interest in the WRX high after they ripped out the heart of performance enthusiasts by dropping the performance-tuned WRX STI. A new 2023 Subaru WRX with a hatchback body style would generate further excitement for the sport-tuned sports car.

Why did Subaru drop the popular hatchback WRX/STI in 2015? If you ask Subaru, it was because of slow sales. Mamoru Ishii, the head of Subaru's design department, told Digital Trends at the Geneva Motor Show, "We don't have plans to bring back a WRX hatch to the market."

According to Subaru's sales numbers, sixty percent of WRX and STI sales were hatchback models before they dropped the model.

Subaru of America will likely not bring the 2022 WRX hatch to the U.S., recently launched in Japan and Australia. It's the Levorg with a WRX badge and only comes with a CVT automatic transmission. The 6-speed manual gearbox is a must for the WRX in North America.

A hatch has an important place in the performance car lineup and offers improved utility and cargo-carrying ability. Over the CVT automatic, 90 percent of WRX buyers opt for the 6-speed manual transmission. It's no surprise because Subaru uses a Continuously Variable automatic transmission (CVT) which is not a popular choice with performance enthusiasts.

The next-generation 2022 WRX would benefit from a hatch body style with dropping sales. We think Subaru should bring it back, or at least offer the Levorg WRX hatch in the U.S. In the comments below, let Subaru know if you want them to bring back the WRX hatch in 2023. We will pass on your comments to Subaru of America.

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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 Budds Subaru


Scott (not verified)    July 11, 2022 - 9:40PM

I guess I’m one of those weird people that actually LIKE the black cladding on the new WRX lower body (that includes the wheel well arch trim). I had a Saab 9-3x wagon with over 100K miles that cosmetically looked almost new which I partly attribute to the cladding. Since a car is lower to the ground than an SUV, it is much more prone to stone damage to the lower painted areas. Yet most cars DON’T have cladding. For the new WRX I see this as a huge benefit in keeping this car looking new for much longer. The cladding is molded-in-color (unpainted), so no stone chips and tar doesn’t show. A little tire shine and it stays looking new! Plus the cladding protects the rest of the painted car body from said stone chips. Given that this is modeled as a rally car, this totally makes sense …and I happen to think it looks bad-ass! There… my rationale for an apparently unpopular opinion. Oh, and yes bring the Levorg wagon (I mean hatch-back) to North America for sure! While we’re at it, give us a GT trim with a manual and put memory on the power seat (my wife is a driver too!). Do that and I’m all in!

Frank A Martin (not verified)    July 12, 2022 - 1:00AM

In a market where sedans are dying, Subaru offers three performance sedans: the Legacy XT, the BRZ, and the WRX. What ever makes you think a hot hatch is a bad idea?

Gary D. (not verified)    July 12, 2022 - 6:41PM

I would like to offer a slightly different take on why sales are down more than 50%. I can only assume that part of the blame comes from the supply chain issues. As styling is always subjective, I actually like the look of the new Rex. The big factor for me is the price creep. The new WRX is not quite the value it once was. I have to pay how much just to get heated seats and a nicer display? Subaru will hopefully correct the value issue with the new 2024 Impreza. I for one would love to see a $30,000.00 fully loaded Impreza GT with the NA BRZ motor...For the 90% of us who use our cars for commuting, that would be the proverbial sweet spot!

Common Sense Jeff (not verified)    July 12, 2022 - 9:19PM

Hey dumbfucks, limited sales due to limited supplies of parts. I know it's hard to link together the effects of low car supplies with lower car sales. Maybe someday you will become journalist and figure out how to do research. Look forward to your next take... nobody wants baby formula anymore....