For decades, the Subaru WRX has been the go-to car for boisterous but controlled handling in a well-rounded sport compact. The latest version, introduced in 2022, retains the world rally-inspired DNA and continues to be a driver’s car. There is no STI version for 2023 and really no performance-enhancing updates for a car that has matured well in its marketplace segment. It is also a segment where the competition has caught up to the Subaru’s benchmark for AWD-inspired handling. The WRX is assembled at Subaru’s main plant in Gunma, Japan, and the engine is assembled at the Oizumi plant, also in Gunma.
The WRX continues to offer terrific handling, with amazing agility around corners. The upgraded suede-enhanced Recaro seats offer welcome and comfortable support in a well-designed cabin. A flat-bottomed steering wheel faces the driver, as well as round analog gages. The optional 11.6-inch infotainment screen is mounted vertically but does not rise above the dashboard, as in other makes, and allows for a clean windshield sightline.
The WRX still offers some of the best handling in the business. After decades of world rally involvement, Subaru has learned and developed many refinements in its competition cars and this bloodline is in the street version of the WRX. Lots of torque in the flat-four engine. The car provides a workable and user-friendly driving environment. Sight lines are good and the body is smooth, clean, and void of any superfluous trim or styling cues. Lots of connectivity with Subaru’s STARLINK, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and Subaru’s EyeSight stereoscopic camera system.
Obviously, with a taut suspension, the WRX does not offer a boulevard ride, but it is meant for cornering performance, not highway cruising. Overall styling has changed little over the years, but for this generation, the wheel well cladding looks awkward and does not match the circular wheel openings themselves.
Even with all the electronic and safety upgrades now available and present on the tested WRX, the bones and essence of the brand remain. There is no hardcore STI version, which leads to speculation if the WRX’s days are numbered, or if Subaru is working on an electric-powered version of its iconic enthusiast’s car.
Subaru WRX four-door, five passenger sedan
Price: Standard base price $32,495, As tested $40,795
Engine: 2.4-liter “Boxer” flat-four, turbocharged
Power/Torque: – 271 HP/258 lb-ft
Fuel mileage – City, 12.3 L/100 kms, highway, 9.0 L/100 kms
Drivetrain: Six-speed manual, automatic available, AWD, Final drive ratio, 4.11:1, McPherson strut with coil front suspension, double wishbone with coil rear suspension, ventilated dual piston front brakes rotors, ventilated single piston rear brakes, steering turns lock-to-lock 2.5, tire size P245/40R18
Wheelbase: 2670 mm (105 inches)
Weight: 1624 kg (3580 pounds)
Fuel tank capacity: 63 L (13.85 gallons)
Ground clearance (minimum): 135 mm (5.3 inches)
Passenger volume: 2671 L (94.32 cubic feet)
Cargo volume: 354 L (12.5 cubic feet)
Trailer towing: N/A
- By Tim Miller