The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX is comes to us with a muscular and athletic makeover that presents more aggressive, more power and a refinement level that is notably elevated from its previous generation. There’s the spoiler.

With a 1-inch longer wheelbase and an overall length that grows 3-inches, the 2022 WRX is slightly larger and significantly wider with its unique bulges of fender and rear quarter. Track is wider too and stance planted with 18×8.5 wheels and 245/R40 rubber all around.

Tasteful and right up to the point where a be-winged STI would take the reigns, the styling makes its point without being over the top. A subtle rear deck lip spoiler and lower front fascia splitter give the cues alone with vented wheel arch openings up front. A dual quad exhaust is the loudest of the sights.

Our tester was a Limited trim grade with a 6-speed manual which pleased us because the alternative is a highly software infused CVT Subaru calls a Performance Transmission. Avoiding it gives you the purest driving experience free of all the electronic nanny goo.

In such the cabin featured a healthy set of sport chairs lined with synthetic suede and vinyl along with red accent stitching. While the next trim up GT offers Recaro seating, these are very well sorted with both comfort and hold on to you grip.

Dash and door panels are trimmed nicely with soft touch stitched panels and tastefully executed carbon fiber look and metal finishes flow throughout. Material quality, fit and finish and switch gear are all pleasing to the eye and touch.

The star of the show is the new 11.6-inch portrait style touchscreen center screen infotainment system. Here you will find hard controls on both sides of the touchscreen with excellent graphics and menus. Sound from the Harman-Kardon 11 speaker back-end is fabulous. Feature content and usability are top of class here.

Powering the WRX is a new 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four “Boxer” engine for 2022. Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission it offers up a slight increase to 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque over last year.

Its power curve leans to the upper RPM range leaving you in the need to keep it cooking if you are in a fast moving mood. Unfortunately the 5,600 RPM power peak is so close to its 6,000 RPM redline meaning you are always up against it if you are running hot. It’s a lot of fun none the less with improved refinement and NVH characteristics across the rev range.

The chassis is where we found most improvement with a higher level of refinement than before. Struts up front and double wishbones have new sub-frames and bushing profiles that help a lot. The suspension is firm, an adjustable damper setup is available on the top-end GT trim.

The overall package of our Limited tester impressed us with its purity in form. No CVT automatic transmission, no auto-start-stop system, no EyeSight ninny nannies henpecking us as we drive. It’s a last bastion of an unfettered high-performance drive.

Yes, it makes it to our Id Buy It list.