You buy a Subaru WRX for its performance, or its handling, or maybe both, but not because you can travel so far between gas stops that you need a stint on a dialysis machine at the end of every journey after holding in your pee so long.
But in this day and age you’d hope that a relatively ordinary-sized 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor in a simple four-door sedan would be capable of some reasonably strong mileage numbers. What you wouldn’t expect is for the Ford F-150 towering over you at the stoplight to be capable of eking as many miles from a gallon in the city, and almost as many on the highway.
But as Motor Trend points out, the EPA’s 19/25/21 mpg rating for the new 2022 WRX equipped with the CVT transmission is separated from the 19/24/21 achieved by the F-150 equipped with the 2.7 EcoBoost V6 by one solitary freeway mpg. And even sticking with the stick-shift transmission instead of opting for the CVT, the Subaru’s mileage improves only marginally to 19/26/22 mpg.
In mitigation, Subaru told Motor Trend that the EPA tested the WRX with its Sport mode engaged, which almost certainly doesn’t show the 271-hp boxer four off in its most economical light. But there’s no getting away from the fact that the also-all-wheel drive VW Golf R manages to offer 44 hp more, and yet comfortably beats the WRX in everything but strict city driving when it comes to fuel economy with a 20/28/23 mpg rating.
And while the front-wheel drive Honda Civic Type R is now out of production, we’d be surprised if the next one currently undergoing testing doesn’t improve on, or at least match, the 22/28/25 mpg of its predecessor.
Would the WRX’s less than impressive EPA showing put you off buying Subaru’s hot sedan and send you across the street to a rival brand’s dealership? Leave a comment and let us know.