It was early 2001 when Subaru originally brought the WRX to the U.S., after it had been on sale in Asia and Europe for years. More than two decades after that original North American debut, an all-new WRX is arriving for a new era.
The new fifth-generation WRX is larger and roomier than the 2002 version, and of course heavier. To pull the extra size and weight, the turbo engine is also larger, with much more power and torque. The earlier WRX was considered very powerful with 227 horsepower, and the newest version offers 271. The inside features safety and convenience technology not even dreamed of in the years when that earlier generation came out.
But on the road, the feel of the original version is still here in the 2022 WRX. Back when the 2002 came out, its combination of turbocharged power and all-wheel drive were considered exotic in a moderately-priced car. Now, many vehicles use that combination.
Audi must be given a lot of the credit for fast, turbo cars with all-wheel drive going back to the 1980s.
New for 2022, a redesigned A3 sedan has debuted, along with its more menacing sibling, the S3 model.
In the latter, the mighty 2-liter engine packs over 300 horsepower, and Audi's quattro all-wheel drive produces sure-footed performance. The MSRP of $45,000-plus also produces a bit of a gulp if you are pricing compact sedans. The less powerful A3 starts at about $35,000.
But for Subaru purists, no other car will do, performance credentials of others notwithstanding. The WRX will be priced around $30,000 for the base model and has a driving quality you must experience to appreciate - just as it was back then.