Motor Trend Gives the WRX TR a Big Thumbs Up

February 6th, 2024 by

2024 Subaru WRX Front Side View

Subaru’s compact platform is amazingly versatile. In base form as the Impreza, it is a comfortable and practical compact hatchback with all-wheel drive. Raise the ground clearance, add sophisticated off-road componentry, and pretty soon, you have the Crosstrek, one of the most capable compact SUVs on the market. Double that statement for the Crosstrek Wilderness. The sedan form is the WRX, a shockingly capable rally-inspired sports sedan. What the Wilderness is to the Crosstrek, the TR is to the WRX line. MotorTrend drove the new WRX in Sicily, sampling portions of the Targa Florio Rally racecourse, and Ewing Subaru of Plano recounts what they thought of it.

2024 Subaru WRX Front Dash View

The WRX TR is not a new label for the sports sedan, and while MotorTrend opined that TR stood for “Tuner Ready” in the old model, they have updated that to “Track Ready” for the new TR. The TR is based on the range-topping WRX GT, sharing that model’s turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer-4 producing the same 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. However, in the TR, the GT’s automatic transmission is replaced by a six-speed transmission. A track-focused conventional suspension replaces the Electronic Adjustable Ride Control suspension of the GT with stiffer spring rates and damping. The money saved from the more track-focused suspension goes to Brembo brakes, which are added to 19-inch rims shod in summer tires. The GT’s Recaro front seats are retained, but the power sunroof is gone either for weight reasons, to provide room for a helmet or both.

2024 Subaru WRX Front Seat Detail

Conditions were not ideal for MotorTrend’s TR drive. The famous road’s condition has deteriorated a bit. Weather ranged from mist to rain, the 50-degree temperature was on the lower edge of the summer tires’ range for ideal adhesion, and this was not a police-free zone.

2024 Subaru WRX Engine Detail

MotorTrend offered up this for their driving impression: “The WRX TR’s steering telegraphed the lowered limits of adhesion better than many other cars of its ilk, and on the few stretches where we dared build up a serious head of steam, the brake pedal felt reassuringly firm. When braking hard into tight bends, the stopping power of the inch-larger front/rear rotors (12.8/12.4 versus 11.6/11.4)—chomped by monoblock calipers at all four corners—was confidence inspiring. And seats this supportive better connect the driver to the car for added confidence. 

2024 Subaru WRX Wheel Detail

As is the case with the BRZ, Subaru’s EyeSight safety and driver assistance system is standard even in the presence of a manual transmission – a previous stumbling block. They warn, however, that because the shifting is up to you, the Adaptive Cruise control can slow the car to a stall if you are not paying attention. 

They point out that other hot hatch competitors have more power but conclude that “The spirit of the Targa Florio Rally is still very much alive in the WRX TR, something you can’t really say about any of its competitors.”

2024 Subaru WRX Rear View

There is about a $6,000 difference between the WRX Limited and the GT. The TR is priced to sit right between them. If it sounds like this car needs to be driven to be fully appreciated, we agree and invite you to do just that at Ewing Subaru of Plano.