3 Reasons Why The New Subaru WRX Doesn’t Impress MotorTrend And Its COTY Pick

No, the 2022 Subaru WRX will not be winning Motor Trend's Car of the Year (COTY) award because M/T judges were unimpressed with it during the 2023 COTY competition.


Which car did Motor Trend pick?

At the Los Angeles International Auto Show, MotorTrend announced that the 2023 Genesis G90 is its 2023 Car of the Year. This luxury car outperformed the new WRX in a variety of ways.

Although the new WRX is longer, lower, wider, and stiffer than its predecessor, the M/T judges didn't think it was an upgrade. The 2.4-liter turbocharged engine isn't much of a step up from the 2.0-liter turbo Boxer it replaced in their eyes.

Among the slowest WRX models ever

In practice, however, M/T says that things are more complicated. "The new engine is bigger than the replaced 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four; despite this fact, it only creates three more horsepower and is less efficient with the manual transmission in comparison to before. To make matters worse, this makes the new WRX one of the slowest models we've ever tested - including 2002's original plucky model."

The WRX power band is too narrow

The new WRX's FA24 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine's power band is too narrow, according to M/T says, and "its engine is laggy and peaky." They appreciate the 6-speed manual gearbox but have issues with it too. "It's also rewarding to row through the mostly positive-feeling shifter, even if it's slightly clunky at times."

The SPT CVT automatic option isn't fun

The new WRX Subaru Performance Transmission CVT automatic isn't their favorite. "The CVT version feels like a slightly edgier Legacy sedan," deputy editor Alexander Stoklosa said. And, worse still, it failed to meet the intended function criterion. Numerous editors said the CVT-backed WRX wasn't fun to drive. "It's a fine car, but not a good WRX."

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