For Boomers and Zoomers, the Subaru WRX is a Multi-Generational Must-Have

The Subaru WRX doesn't look like a car for everyone. And it's not. It's just for people of all ages who want to have a good time driving.

Sara And The Subaru Wrx. Photo: Sara Lacey
Sara and the Subaru WRX. Photo: Sara Lacey

Who Doesn’t Love a Fun Car?

The Subaru WRX wasn’t born at the same time I was. Technically, the Subaru WRX is a Millennial, born in 1993 as the Subaru Impreza WRX, a more powerful version of the sedan designed for “World Rally Experimental,” intended to race across trails and tracks. It was designed to thrill. Regardless of its year of birth, the pure joy I got from driving a WRX has me convinced that every one of needs to own one.

My test Subaru WRX was a retina-burning orange (which is just the way I like it). It had a manual transmission and other goodies that made my rebellious Gen X self ready to race and drift and take pink slips. Or just run to the store on my lunch hour with a little more pep in my step than I’d had without the WRX.

It’s sporty inside and out and runs a cool $32,735 to start. The WRX Limited I test drove rings up at $39,015 before destination fees. I also think it’s important for all my Gen X friends to know that the WRX comes with a CD player kit that adds $375 to the price tag, but immeasurable value to your life. If you still have your CD’s, that is.

But honestly, the more I drove the WRX, the more I realized it’s got not just something for everyone but lots of things for everyone of every generation of driving age.

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The View From The Drivers Seat Of The Subaru Wrx
The view from the drivers seat of the Subaru WRX. Photo: Sara Lacey

The Subaru WRX is for People Who Like to Race, Right?

Just looking at the WRX lets you know it’s made for more than an errand runner. It’s got a scoop on the hood that is so cool (and functional). The fenders and wheel wells don’t just look like nifty angular chunky cutouts; they actually have air vents in them to help the air move along the car. The rear of the car has a spoiler on the trunk, black gloss details and black cladding surrounding the tailpipes. It all looks very intentional, very cohesive, and if you pay attention to Subaru WRXs at all, very WRX.

The WRX comes with some standard mechanical features that encourage that ear-to-ear smile. To begin with, Subaru gives the WRX a 271-horsepower turbocharged engine. The vehicle dynamics system has track mode, and the steering is just right. I loved cornering and how the steering wheel made me feel like I was participating in the turn, not just managing it. The WRX had enough body roll to give me a thrill but not make me feel as though I was out of control. I just wanted to drive everywhere. Kind of like when I got my license and was willing to run any errand for my mom or dad just to get out and drive.

So, there are a ton of reasons a WRX is a great car for everyone, racers and non-racers alike.

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Rear Angle Of The Subaru Wrx
Rear angle of the Subaru WRX. Photo: Sara Lacey

A Reminder to Millennials To … Go Out And Have Fun?

Millennials are the most likely age group to work from home. What a perfect environment to own a WRX, as it is most at home with no other cars in front of it. A daily commute may only serve to remind you that other people exist and they are in your way. Even if you’re not going fast, the WRX sounds fast, and that will make you smile ear to ear.

Then, the 2022 Subaru WRX Limited has a great manual transmission. The shifting is quick and easy; it would be a cinch to learn how to drive a stick shift in a WRX. The clutch isn’t too stiff, and I found each gear effortlessly. Driving during non-peak hours will reap its rewards, and you may find yourself running various errands throughout the day just to get behind the wheel for a few minutes. If you never learned how to drive a manual, the WRX would be a great car to learn with.

Related: Mastering the Manual Transmission: Conquering Fears and Shifting Gears in the Ford Bronco

Subaru Wrx Center Console
Subaru WRX center console, anchored by the gear shifter. Photo: Sara Lacey

Why Generation Z Will Love a Subaru WRX

As drivers with less experience, Zoomers will appreciate that the WRX is all-wheel drive, so it has more capability in rough weather and traction on curvy roads. They’ll like that the WRX comes with EyeSight, Subaru’s suite of safety systems that includes blind-spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. Some trims have expanded pedestrian and cyclist detection, too. I found the adaptive cruise control easy to use; the controls were on the steering wheel and were a cinch to remember. And yes, this can be used with a manual transmission!

Let’s not forget, Gen Z are digital natives and would definitely embrace not just the drive the WRX provides but the interior, too. They’ll find the 11.6” multimedia screen in the WRX easy to use (because I did, too) and be right at home with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. They’ll love the dual USB chargers in the front and in the rear.

They’ll appreciate the tactile details of the WRX, like the ultrasuede seats with the red stitching (swoon) and the aluminum pedals. After all, these are the people who are buying up all the Baby Boomer’s and Gen X’s old vinyl. They would love that Subaru lists “physical knobs for volume control and tune; physical buttons for temperature control.” The actual gauges on the driver display will be loved and appreciated, too, even though there is also a screen in there showing gas mileage, trip distances, and more.

Rear Corner Angle Of The Wrx
Rear corner angle of the WRX. Photo: Sara Lacey

Boomers Might Love the Subaru WRX the Most

Baby Boomers will love those throwback touches, too. Many might love the thrill of a car with a manual transmission, as well as knobs and buttons on the stereo and climate controls instead of touch screens and swipe bars. And, of course, you know they’ll love the safety features. They’ll love distinctive looks of the WRX, an unexpected delight. But most, I bet they’d love teaching their grandkids how to drive in one.

Boomers will also love that despite how sporty the WRX is, it’s still comfortable. Yes, you’re going to feel the road a bit, and that’s okay…it’s preferred, actually. But there is ample head and leg room in the front seat. The rear seat also has great leg and headroom. The seats are soft enough to be in for an extended period of time, and I loved the bolstered support. There is seating for three in the back seat, and there are technically three sets of lower tether anchors for child safety seats, but only available for two at a time. So, picking up the grandkids from school will work for many Boomer WRX owners.

The Rear Seat Of The Subaru Wrx Is Sparse But Comfortable
The rear seat of the Subaru WRX is sparse but comfortable. Photo: Sara Lacey

WRX is a Subie for Everyone Who Loves a Fun Car

All generations may find the Subaru WRX’s fuel economy a little underwhelming at an estimated 19 in the city, 26 on the highway, and 22 combined. But this is a car built for speed and fun, so it’s understandable that will impact how often you visit the pump – something no generation loves.

But, it’s worth the price. While most us aren’t going to take this car to a track to make the most of the features of the Subaru WRX, the beauty of it is that you don’t have to. Many will be content with highway on-ramps and the right turn on a green light. The WRX will thrill you whether you’re new to driving, only driving when you have the road to yourself, enjoying the throwback touches or remembering why you loved the chance to go to the dry cleaners for your mom when you were 16.

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Sara has written about cars since 2005. She used to beat them up with her kids and write about... More about Sara Lacey