More Grown Up. The rally-inspired and immensely enjoyable Subaru WRX is back for 2022 as a fully redesigned model. The 2022 WRX doesn’t look radically different from the previous sedan, besides its controversial body cladding, but it’s a far more refined vehicle than before. The new WRX offers better ride quality than before, a quieter cabin, and more high-tech features. Despite being more refined than the outgoing model, the WRX is still enjoyable to drive and highly capable on the track.

Enjoyable, Approachable Performance. In a segment that continues to shrink, the WRX stands out for coming with standard all-wheel drive. Every model, even those equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission route power to all four wheels. In addition to being able to tackle inclement weather and gravel roads, the WRX is a skilled backroad carver and capable track machine.

Under the hood, the 2022 WRX features a new turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four engine that makes 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. While a 3 hp bump in power isn’t a huge difference, Subaru has fitted the WRX with a new wastegate and new turbocharger air bypass valves for a better torque curve and improved responsiveness. The engine delivers a strong punch and consumers that opt for the available continuously variable automatic transmission should notice quicker shifts.

The WRX has a stiffer structure for 2022 with 28% more torsional stiffness. What this means in the real world is that the WRX continues to be a sporty sedan with serious moves. The sedan responds quickly to steering inputs, corners sharply, and has little lean. The WRX’s ride straddles the fine line of being comfortable while translating road conditions back to the driver. The range-topping GT trim, which is only available with a CVT, is offered with adaptive suspension for a smoother ride.

Highly Practical. The WRX may not offer the same level of versatility as a few of the hatchbacks that it competes against, but it’s still a sedan that’s capable of being a comfortable car for four adults or two adults and three kids. In the back, the 2022 WRX has roughly an extra inch of legroom, making it more comfortable than before for passengers. The trunk, while smaller than the average for the class with 12.5 cubic feet of cargo space, is still large enough for the majority of people in need of a daily driver. The trunk can be accessed from the cabin through the 60/40 split-folding rear seat for long items.

The standard seats in the sedan are highly supportive and the rest of the cabin features sporty touches like a D-shaped steering wheel and alloy pedals. The GT trim is the only WRX in the lineup to come with heavily bolstered Recaro seats that not only look great but are meant to hold the driver and passenger in place during hard cornering. Unfortunately, with the WRX putting performance above other attributes, the cabin comes with a lot of plastic pieces. They feel durable and look good, but they’re hard to miss.

Skip The Base Trim. While we enjoy a sporty vehicle with an affordable price tag, the base WRX misses out on a lot of high-tech features. The standard WRX comes with two seven-inch touchscreens in the center console that are split by an unsightly trim piece. In addition to looking ungainly, the touchscreens have Subaru’s old infotainment system that looks outdated.

We highly recommend starting off with the Premium trim that comes with Subaru’s new 11.6-inch touchscreen that’s oriented vertically. It also receives dual-zone automatic climate control, dual rear USB ports, keyless entry, push-button start, 18-inch wheels, and larger tires.

If you want features like adaptive cruise control, Recaro seats, a drive mode selector, matte gray 18-inch wheels, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, you have to move up to the range-topping GT trim. With a starting price tag of $42,855 (with destination), the 2022 WRX GT trim is $4,685 more than last year’s WRX STI. The fact that the new GT trim is only available with a CVT diminishes its appeal.

Safety Reserved For CVT. Subaru offers the 2022 WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced safety features, as long as you get a model with the CVT. Without the CVT, automatic high-beam assist is the only noteworthy feature that comes as standard. The Limited and GT gain blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist as standard. Models equipped with a CVT add adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

We’re not sure why Subaru decided to only offer the CVT with these features, but it’s a huge bummer for consumers that were looking to get the sedan with a manual transmission. With the CVT costing an additional $1,850, we think it’s worth the extra cost to get the long list of safety features.

Final Thoughts. The 2022 Subaru WRX may be a fully redesigned vehicle, but it still retains all of the same strengths as the WRX models that came before it. Fun to drive, grippy in poor weather conditions, comfortable as a daily driver, and well equipped (depending on trim level), the WRX is an entertaining compact sedan that now has a refined side.

The Hyundai Elantra N has 286 hp, a snappy eight-speed automatic transmission, a glorious sound, and sharp handling. The Elantra N’s design is far more controversial than the WRX’s and the sedan isn’t available with AWD.

Since Subaru won’t be coming out with an STI-badged WRX for this generation, the Volkswagen Golf R is the obvious choice for consumers that want more power. Has 315 hp, standard AWD, a zero-to-60 mph time of roughly four seconds, is brimming with tech features, and a practical hatchback body.

Check prices for the 2022 Subaru WRX »