The 2022 Subaru WRX arrived last month, and we can begin to see if the all-new performance sedan is a hit or a miss. Subaru Corporation didn't hit it out of the park with the fifth-generation sport-tuned 2022 WRX, and sales in May indicate how the new performance model will do in the future.
In April, the WRX saw a significant drop in sales, down 52.0 percent, and it was because Subaru stopped production of the 2021 models, and the 2022 WRX had not arrived. Subaru of America reported WRX sales in May, and in the sports car's first full month, sales dropped 15.6 percent compared with May 2021.
Subaru of America delivered 2,674 performance sedans last month compared with 3,169 in May 2021. Typically when a new model is released, especially the WRX, the model is a hit, and sales spike to record levels when the next-generation model hits the market.
The microchip shortages, supply chain issues, and the recent Subaru plant shutdowns are some of the reasons for slow sales, but it's only part of the problem. Performance fans can order a new 2022 WRX from retailers to their specs and have it shipped from the factory. But it's not happening in any significant way.
What's wrong with the 2022 WRX?
When Subaru of America released the first images and a video of the next-generation WRX, fans immediately had mixed reactions. There were 5.7K thumbs up "I like this," and 5.1K thumbs down "I dislike this" on the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX YouTube video.
A report from The Drive said Subaru of America removed the 2022 WRX official video from its YouTube channel because of all the thumbs down "I dislike this" on the page. Subaru public relations specialist Jessica Tullman quickly refuted the rumors, stating that removing the video was "an oversight."
The fan's biggest disappointment in the all-new fifth-generation 2022 Subaru WRX is its exterior styling and SUV-type wheel arch cladding, making it look like the Crosstrek subcompact SUV. Some fans called it the "WRX Trek."
Fans liked the new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine but thought the horsepower increase wasn't enough. The outgoing FA20 2.0-liter engine produced 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The all-new 2.4-liter DIT 2022 WRX turbocharged flat-four Boxer only had a small bump in power and has 271 horsepower and the same 258 lb-ft of torque.
The next-generation WRX had a significant price bump over the outgoing model. The base WRX jumped $2,180, WRX Premium +$2,130, and the WRX Limited +$4,470. The top GT trim is new for 2022 and is priced at over $43,000.
The 2022 WRX 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 deliver fees ($995).
Will Subaru make changes to the 2023 WRX?
Subaru Corporation will make minor changes to the 2023 WRX, and there's no reason to wait. The 2023 WRX won't arrive until the fall or winter of 2022, and it will likely get a slight price increase.
The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX sales are down 60.2 percent year-to-date, the most of any Subaru model through the first five months of 2022. Subaru Corporation will never please everyone, but it appears the Japanese automaker missed big with performance enthusiasts.
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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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