The 2022 Subaru WRX MPG is worse than my 18 year old BMW M3

  • The 2022 Subaru WRX gets 22 MPG overall
  • My 2004 BMW M3 manages 22.1mpg overall, but the WRX competition does even better
  • Subaru says its EPA fuel economy ratings are due to full-time all-wheel drive and selectable driving modes

Now let’s get that out of the way. Nobody who wants to buy a sports car worries about fuel consumption. But Subaru has shifted the focus of the 2022 Subaru WRX to an older, more mature audience. Evidence of this is a higher quality interior and the more comfortable WRX GT trim level. This audience could only give a crap about Subaru’s MPG ratings, which is why the new WRX’s EPA fuel economy ratings are a little concerning.

Subaru’s new WRX | Subaru

RELATED: Which 2022 Subaru WRX Trim Level is the Best?

The 2022 Subaru WRX gets 22 MPG combined

The EPA has released their fuel economy ratings for the latest Subie road rally car. The 2022 Subaru WRX gets 22 MPG combined, 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. Oddly enough, that’s better than the 21/19/25 numbers for the automatic 2022 WRX. But every little bit counts, especially with high gas prices now. Unfortunately, the bad news continues. I saw the EPA ratings and decided to see what my 2004 BMW M3 could do after a day of driving.

My route was about 13 miles (to the mechanic, of course), followed by about a 25-mile round trip that shot up the highway and into town. I’m not an EPA but I believe the route followed a good mix of roads. I drive freeways, stop-go traffic, and empty side streets while running errands. The result? My E46 BMW M3, an 18 year old sports car, has better fuel economy than a brand new 2022 Subaru WRX. I got 22.1 MPG according to my trip computer.

A black 2004 BMW M3 taken in profile at dusk

My BMW M3 | Chase Bierenkove, Motor Biscuit

Why is the MPG of the WRX worse than my E46 BMW M3?

The instrument cluster of an E46 BMW M3 with 22.1 MPG

I returned 22.1 MPG on a 13 mile trip | Chase Bierenkoven, Motor Biscuit

There are a number of explanations for this, one of which is that my car has two less powered wheels as it is RWD. The other comes straight from Subaru through Jalopnik. In short, Subaru says their full-time AWD system contributes to the number, and says the new ‘Rex”s selectable drive modes can produce more desirable results since the car tests in “Sport” by default. Obviously, the fact remains that the EPA has worse gas mileage than even the previous Subaru WRX. As Jalopnik’s Tom McParland pointed out, the new WRX should improve on the old one in every aspect, “and not take a step backwards”.

But let’s give Subaru some credit, and as a worst-case scenario, the EPA’s numbers for my BMW M3 are more accurate (below), and I get worse fuel economy than my car says. Obviously that’s very possible given his age and mileage (124,000). Subaru WRX 2022 fuel economy problem persists even though my car fuel economy gets worse. The ‘Rex’s two biggest competitors: the Volkswagen GTI and the Golf R both manage better combined, city and highway MPG ratings.

A screenshot of the EPA fuel economy figures for an E46 BMW M3, a new WRX and the new Golf GTI and R

My trip computer might be optimistic | Screenshot: EPA

How much does the 2022 Subaru WRX cost?

A 3/4 angle of a blue 2022 Subaru WRX on a rainy highway

The Subaru WRX 2022 | Subaru

Again, to be fair to Subaru, fuel economy isn’t a huge concern for much of the WRX’s target audience. But it should be worse than the old one and still perform the same? Tom is right when he says that the latest version of a car that enthusiasts love so much should be better in every way. Right now, the WRX is worse in at least one.

RELATED: Buyers’ Guide: BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006)

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