The Subaru WRX is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine. In standard WRX guise, it produces 268 horsepower, which is fed to all four wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. The WRX STi is powered by a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 305 horsepower. The STi features the same all-wheel-drive system and 6-speed manual combination that is so potent in the standard WRX. The Sport Lineartronic continuously variable automatic transmission is available on the WRX but not on the STi.
The WRX comes in three trims: Standard, Premium and Limited. Standard WRX models come with 17-inch wheels and a 6.2-inch Starlink multimedia touchscreen infotainment system, which features HD Radio, smartphone integration, a CD player, USB and iPod inputs, six speakers and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and audio streaming. Automatic climate control, rear backup camera, tilt/telescopic steering, full power accessories and cloth sport seats with driver's 6-way manual adjustability round out the base features.
The WRX Premium comes equipped with 18-inch wheels, heated front seats and mirrors, a power glass moonroof, fog lamps and an aero package that includes a rear spoiler.
Limited trim includes everything from the Premium trim as well as a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, leather-trimmed upholstery, and LED headlights. Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology is available on the WRX Limited and includes active safety features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane departure warning.
Beyond the bigger engine, the STi differentiates itself from the WRX with a more aggressive exterior, featuring a unique hood and more pronounced fender flares. The bumpers are also more aerodynamic, giving the STi the impression of a high-performance vehicle. Underneath, the STi backs up this impression with lower, stiffer springs, bigger brakes and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The STi comes loaded with features and is available in standard and Limited trims. Standard features include a 60/40 split folding rear seat, a leather wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, a 3.5-inch LCD screen mounted in the instrument cluster and a dual-zone climate control system.
Optional across the WRX range is a navigation and Harman/Kardon audio package. A Performance Package deletes the sunroof but adds Recaro front seats, painted brake calipers and better brake pads.
Safety features include big anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control, a host of airbags, and the confidence of Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
The Subaru WRX has long been the car for drivers who want some turbocharged fun but still need a commuter that's reliable in all four seasons. For 2022, the WRX enters its fifth generation with a complete redesign, but that same rally-for-the-road ethos is very much alive and well.
The 2022 WRX is about 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than its predecessor, and while it's based on the standard Impreza, no body panels are shared between the two cars. The sedan's rear end looks great with some sleek -ish taillights, and I dig the larger grille up front. Also of note: Every scoop and vent you see on the WRX is functional for either aerodynamics or cooling.
My only real gripe is with the WRX's fenders. I'm not complaining about the cladding -- after all, the plastic stuff will definitely protect the WRX against gravel and mud. But the texture on these add-ons is just icky, and I don't like how the arches are asymmetrical. Looks are subjective, sure, but plain black cladding on a curved surface would look much better here.
The 260-horsepower turbo engine is more widely available, too.
We're glad to see the turbocharged engine available in more trims now, too.
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