Prior to driving the new 2022 Subaru WRX, I thought back to when I bought a black 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX wagon on October 30, 2001. I remember the date so well because I got laid off from my dotcom job the next day. Although the WRX had been on sale in Japan and other markets since 1992, the 2002 model year marked the first time us Yanks could own our own. Four years later, I bought a World Rally Blue 2006 WRX wagon.
I mention all this for two reasons: The first is to let you know I’m a fan and former owner of the brand’s previous efforts in this space. The second is to point out that Subaru has sold its scrappy, rally-bred, hard charger to Americans for more than two decades now; since 2001, we’ve purchased more than 400,000 WRXs. That’s more than 20,000 units a year, which isn’t bad for a sporty car. In hopes of continuing, if not improving upon, these sales numbers, Subaru turned us loose in its all-new sixth generation WRX (nerd chassis code: VB) on some fabulous roads. And, as fate would have it, I’m in the market for a new car, as the engine in the machine I replaced my last WRX with—a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST—just blew up. Am I buying a 2022 Subaru WRX? Keep reading.
For the first time in its history, the WRX shares no body panels with the Impreza, and all the sheetmetal is unique. The grille is wider, as is the signature hood scoop, and the headlights are miniaturized and pushed out to the corners. The fenders are flared more than ever and covered in black cladding, the latter responsible for 100 percent of the internet hates. Haters on Instagram also strongly feel the new Rex looks like a lowered Crosstrek. I don’t see it, beyond a generic family resemblance. Also, if you take a close look at the cladding, you’ll see it’s coated in tiny textured hexagons. Subaru claims this rough skin smooths air as it comes off the fenders, making the WRX more aerodynamic. Subaru also points out all the vents are functional, especially the ones coming off the front fenders.