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2022 Subaru WRX: New vs old


2022 Subaru WRX has killer looks, more power and a WRX Sportswagon returns

These are the main differences between the last generation and the 2022 Subaru WRX.

New for 2022: 2022 WRX Sportswagon

The 2022 Subaru WRX versus the outgoing model

2022 Subaru WRX2021 Subaru WRX
Sportswagon body style
  • Sportswagon body style returns. Back for 2022 is a Sportswagon WRX. As Subaru points out, this WRX perfectly mashes exciting performance with practicality and logic. It also happens to be our favourite WRX model ever, especially with the "bug eye" headlamps. We last saw the Sportswagon body style way back in the 2000s, with the second-generation Impreza. Subaru is promising the Sportswagon will be a model in its own right – as evidenced by the sedan and wagon variants having specs tweaked to better suit their buyers.
  • 2021 model: No Sportswagon available.
Power & torque
  • More power. This will please Subaru fans everywhere. The WRX is getting a booster shot of performance. 2022 models (in North American spec) have 271HP (202kW) and 258Lb-ft (350Nm).
  • 2021 Subaru WRX models (with a 2.0-litre turbo) have 197kW and 350Nm. Okay, 5kW isn't huge – but it's an improvement nonetheless.
  • Aggressive styling. The 2022 WRX, with its wide hexagon grille surround and matching grill pattern, crisp splitter and long streaking headlights, looks less complicated. The angular wheel arch surrounds and the defined side spoilers look epic. Add to that the contrasting black plastic trim pieces and we definitely prefer the next-gen WRX's styling.
  • 2021 WRX: Kind of looks a bit outdated now compared to the latest model.
Transmission & drivetrain
  • Manual and automatic options. Buyers have the choice of a 6-speed manual box or an 8-speed automatic Subaru Performance Transmission. For manual models, the AWD has a centre differential and viscous coupling, while the automatic has a "Variable Torque Distribution" (VTD) AWD system. Plus, there's a Drive Mode Select function too (on autos). Autos have sports shift control – which apparently adapts to your throttle inputs and braking. Subaru's press release also indicated the automatic is capable of "faster shifting".
  • 2021 WRX: This model sold with either a 6-speed manual or a CVT transmission. The AWD system either had a centre diff with a viscous limited slip diff (for the manual) or a Variable Torque Distribution configuration on the automatic.
Chassis & platform
  • Chassis improvements. The WRX now uses Subaru's Global Platform. Subaru states it is more rigid, which improves handling and provides a smoother ride thanks to a reduction in vibrations.
  • Suspension. Engineers also adjusted the chassis dimensions for smoother suspension movement. The suspension also has a longer stroke than previously, increasing the stability of the WRX, while also improving passenger comfort. Models with Drive Mode Select have electric dampers to improve the ride on different surfaces.
  • Steering. Steering is now handled by an electric dual-pinion power steering system. Subaru lists the benefits as a sporty and reactive steering response.
  • 2021 WRX: The last-generation WRX had an older-style hydraulic power steering set-up. It also had Intelligent Driving Dynamics like Subaru Intelligent Driver (SI-Drive) across the range.
  • Interior dimensions. Subaru has improved the shoulder room for all passengers, while a lengthened wheelbase means there's more legroom for those in the back.
  • Boot space. Apparently, the sedan has largely comparable cargo space as the previous WRX. Doubtless, the Sportswagon will have more room.
  • 11.6-inch infotainment display. A much wider touchscreen display is installed in the 2022 WRX.
  • New Recaro seats. Next-gen WRX models are available with redesigned RECARO seats.
  • 2021 WRX: It seems the older WRX had less shoulder room and less legroom for rear seat occupants. The infotainment display measured 6.5-inches.
  • Upgrades for EyeSight driver assistance. Subaru has given the EyeSight system an update. Standard across all models with the Performance Transmission, the system has an enlarged viewing angle. There's now an electric brake booster function and collision avoidance at junctions has been added.
  • 2021 WRX: Previous models had EyeSight, but the 2022 Subaru WRX has a stereo camera.

2022 Subaru WRX interior

When will the Subaru WRX and WRX Sportswagon arrive in Australia?

The press release indicates a Q2 2022 launch in Australia for the Sportswagon (it also infers the sedan is coming at a similar time).

How much will the WRX cost?

We don't have those figures yet. Stay tuned, we'll update this once Subaru confirms the pricing closer to the launch date. You can register your interest right now with Subaru Australia.

Don't forget to check our Subaru car reviews. While you're here, it's a great use of your time to compare car loans and car insurance, doing so could save you money!

Picture: Supplied

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