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The new 2022 Subaru WRX dropped last week, and it was a long time coming for Subaru. However, fans of the vehicle are not thrilled. Which pieces of the 2022 WRX disappointed the general public the most? All of it, except that it will get a manual transmission option.

Where is the horsepower hiding on the 2022 Subaru WRX?

People hate the 2022 Subaru WRX
2022 Subaru WRX | Subaru

Subaru announced the new WRX on social media last week. After much fanfare, the reception from the public was lackluster at best. The 2022 Subaru WRX offers 271 hp from the turbo boxer engine. Unfortunately, that’s only three extra horsepower over the latest version. Though Subaru never explicitly said there would be more horsepower, a three-horsepower increase is relatively small.

Such a slight horsepower increase means aftermarket changes are going to be a massive deal for the WRX. Most fans of the car were probably going to go that route anyway, but it would have been nice not to need it so much.

The plastic cladding is offensive on the 2022 Subaru WRX

There appears to be quite a bit of plastic on the new WRX. It distracts from the vehicle’s design and makes it look ready to plow snow from the streets. The plastic probably serves a purpose, but whatever purpose that is, it’s not worth it. Some were calling the WRX a Pontiac Aztek or a Nissan Pathfinder due to the amount of plastic. Perhaps an extra 30 hp would have given the automaker a bit more wiggle room for plastic, but that didn’t happen. The Solar Orange Pearl paint combined with the cladding makes it look like a pumpkin on wheels.

The Subaru Performance Transmission or continuously variable transmission (CVT)

The new 2022 Subaru WRX
The new 2022 Subaru WRX | Subaru

For whatever reason, the non-manual WRX got all of the cool features. This seems to be the biggest gripe people have with the new car. Subaru calls the Subaru Performance Transmission, but it is basically a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Subaru says the new Subaru Performance Transmission has quick up and downshifts and makes the driving experience superior. It offers Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings, but thus far, it has not impressed.

The manual option won’t get the Recaro seats, better suspension, or all-wheel drive. It forces people to pick between the manual transmission with nothing and a CVT with many upgraded features. Why can’t the manual transmission get cool upgrades? Subaru has said that most buyers want a manual transmission, but it is catering to the other side.

The WRX is still a good vehicle


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After all of the buildup, the 2022 Subaru WRX was a bit of a letdown. The car is fine for those just looking to drive in a Subaru but isn’t good enough for enthusiasts. However, the new WRX will probably sell just fine. It isn’t the most exciting vehicle hitting the market in 2022, but it certainly isn’t the worst option either. Subaru makes a reliable vehicle, and the 2022 WRX will likely fill that need.