Behind the Wheel

2024 Subaru WRX — Sporty Performance for the Young at Heart

2024 Subaru WRXModel tested: 2024 Subaru WRX TR

Engine: 2.4-liter Boxer-4 cylinder, intercooled/turbocharged

Transmission: 6-speed manual, all-wheel drive

Horsepower: 271

Torque: 258 lb.-ft.

EPA ratings: 19/city, 26/highway, 22/combined MPG

Base price: $41,655

As tested: $42,775

Overview: The 2024 Subaru WRX is a high-performance throwback since it’s compact, agile, quick and a thrill ride on twisty backroads. It is affordably priced and great fun to drive with its excellent six-speed manual transmission and standard all-wheel drive. The WRX TR adds valuable performance (brake, suspension, steering, wheels) and interior upgrades (Recaro performance seats). The TR is only available with the manual transmission, which we greatly prefer over the CVT automatic.

Walkaround: The 2024 Subaru WRX TR has an excellent blend of semi-aggressive styling cues and obvious performance parts without unnecessary wings or exaggerated splitters that shout, “I’ve been speeding, so pull me over.” Our tester was cloaked in Subaru’s handsome sapphire blue, with a modest rear spoiler, handsome lower rocker panels, a reasonable hood scoop and sharp 19-inch alloy wheels that showcased the red caliper Brembo brakes.

2024 Subaru WRXInterior: Driver and front passenger space and comfort are more than ample. I had to move the outstanding Recaro front seats up in order to fully depress the clutch. The Subaru has “hill hold” for easy hill starts with the manual transmission. The performance steering wheel was thick and contoured with a flat bottom and lots of good auxiliary controls. Back seat room and comfort were very good for the outboard passengers, but a tall floor hump and low ceiling made the center position undesirable. Interior materials were high quality although the trunk carpet was thin. Split folding rear seats increased cargo flexibility.

Behind the wheel: The Subaru WRX TR isn’t as raucous as the “go-cart with license plates” WRX STI, but that’s fine as this WRX is a much more enjoyable daily driver. It still has plenty of fun and excitement on tap for weekend blasts down scenic backroads. Braking and suspension tuning are excellent. Acceleration is brisk and the six-speed is great. Subaru safety features are excellent.

Bottom line: The 2024 Subaru WRX TR sport sedan is great fun and an attractive value. It offers far more performance and style than comparably sized “transportation modules” without being so harsh as to compromise daily commuting. The excellent six-speed manual transmission is a big fun factor that makes good use of the power and torque supplied by the athletic, turbocharged Boxer four-cylinder engine. Subaru’s legendary all-wheel drive is ideal for the varying road and climate conditions of the Pacific Northwest and a big reason that Subarus are so popular here.