Nobody’s Buying the 2022 Subaru WRX

What’s happened to the 2022 Subaru WRX? While most of the car manufacturers’ numbers are down due to supply chain woes, Subaru saw some models do well, while others are tanking. Specifically, the once-beloved WRX. In June, Subaru sales actually increased by 0.7 percent over the same time last year. But not for the WRX.

How bad are the 2022 Subaru WRX numbers so far?

The front 3/4 view of an orange 2022 Subaru WRX Premium in the Road America parking lot
2022 Subaru WRX Premium front 3/4 | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

It saw sales plummet with less than 1,500 sold in June. Keep in mind that the WRX is all-new for 2022. Last year, selling the older version, Subaru saw sales of 2,354 for both the WRX and STI models. This means sales have sunk by 38 percent according to GoodCarBadCar

If you look at year-over-year Rex sales, Subaru sold 14,272 of them for the first six months. This year for the same six months, only 6,212 models have sold, a drop of over 56 percent. So, what could be the problem with Subaru’s sport sedan which is causing it to sell poorly? Fanboy sites hint at some WRX problems

Fanboy sites hint at some WRX problems

The rear 3/4 view of an orange 2022 Subaru WRX Premium in the Road America parking lot
2022 Subaru WRX Premium rear 3/4 | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

Some have related that the black plastic rockers and wheel openings look cheap. Others have complained about its increase in size. All dimensions have increased for 2022. It’s almost three inches longer and 1.2-inches wider than the previous model. Even the wheelbase has increased by 0.9 inches. Interestingly, the top is slightly lower at 0.3 inches.

There have also been negative comments on fanboy sites about the power. The 2022 WRX has a brand-new 2.4-liter flat-four engine design. Yet it has the same torque as the previous engine and only four more horsepower. The expectation was that the new engine would be a substantial increase in all number ranges. 

Related to the engine, poor gas mileage has been another complaint. City MPG is 19 and Highway is 26 MPG. For comparison, the 2022 Honda Civic Si comes in at 27 MPG in city driving, and 37 MPG on Highway. That’s a big difference when comparison shopping.

And yet another complaint from testing is that in spite of having virtually the same engine numbers as last year, it seems more sluggish off boost. There seems to be more turbo lag, which could be some of the problems. Coming into corners, you need to keep the revs up to enjoy that extra turbo grunt you want going out of the corners. But the boxer engine will remain basically the same in the future.

What about the 2022 improvements?

The black-with-red-stitching front seats and black dashboard of a 2022 Subaru WRX Premium
2022 Subaru WRX Premium front interior | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

There are some good points, however. The Rex’s chassis is stiffer, and a new suspension underpins everything. It also is more comfortable, with less harshness in the ride and driving dynamics. And there is a choice between a CVT automatic transmission and a six-speed manual trans. 

WRX fans are howling over the CVT, and we can’t blame them. While family sedans and minivans do well with CVT, it is a shame it must be offered in the Rex. A dual-clutch automatic would be more in keeping with the performance bent of the WRX. However, don’t expect it to become available in the WRX. In fact, there could be much less availability of dual-clutch transmissions, in general, moving forward. 

As for the rest of the Subaru lineup, the Crosstrek continues to improve its production numbers, while the best-selling Outback sales are flat, but not receding. The Ascent and Forester have seen modest gains. 

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