Subaru WRX GT Automatic (SPT) Review / Facing the Music

The All-new WRX has a CVT with an identity crisis. Today, I am going to try to address all of the concerns and see if it is worth your attention. A tall task considering this is priced into the territory of the Civic Type R, Corolla GR, Audi A3, Golf Type R and BMW 228i.

The wrx gt has quite a bit to prove at 43 000 thankfully subaru has made quite a few changes for the controversial top spec but they’ve also made some head-scratching decisions that make for a sort of harsh conclusion if you enjoy fun detailed car content without fluff consider subscribing and hitting the bell for notifications i’m gonna try to be as objective and

Open-minded as i can be here so please hear me out first off with this price this sits exactly where the previous wrx sti sat and for that money there’s not really a whole lot of exterior differences outside of these matte gray wheels which pair up with the gray grille kind of nicely but this isn’t a full review and i don’t like to talk too much about aesthetics

To begin with so let me know what your thoughts are in the comments section personally i think i would get this in black or gray as it would blend in better with the body cladding that still hasn’t grown on me one thing that is exclusive to gt unlimited buyers is steering responsive headlights although we’ll get leds but not all will be able to pick one of these

Up for msrp which is why i appreciate royal on the east side in bloomington indiana the friendly knowledgeable dealer that let me test drive this wrx and where you can pick up any new subaru vw or audi without paying over sticker under the hood we’ll have a 2.4 liter twin scroll turbocharged boxer 4. it makes 271 horsepower 258 pound-feet of torque and it runs on a

Premium tune and i had some people like say that they were putting regular in it and it rode just fine these are designed to run on regular if they need to but i personally wouldn’t advise doing that on a regular basis your money though your call now all cars except for the base there will have proximity key unlock and lock and an exterior trunk release along with

A tiny spoiler but all cars do get these neat tail lights and quad exit exhaust anyway this will either come hooked up to a six-speed manual or in my case ac you can get a cvt a cvt super has gone through great lengths to brand this as the subaru performance transmission to which i understand why but i also could not care less let’s see how it performs and try out

A quick 0-60 ac off traction control off sport sharp or sport plus up here it feels like an outback cvt at the low end but picks up nicely i was honestly expecting it to launch off harder i think it realized what i was doing and so it didn’t do any fake shifting there that’s a good idea on subaru’s part 0 to 60 in 5.9 seconds despite the aggressive 4.441 final

Drive ratio and that ability to hold rpms in the power band the drivetrain loss and weak cvt launches will make this wrx gt much slower than the slightly more expensive golf r dual clutch that’s because the r has proper launch control and can take off with supercar rivaling gusto 315 horsepower doesn’t hurt either although with the extreme scarcity of golf r’s the

Wrecks has a leg up unless you have catholic patience but there are also many others to consider in this price bracket from mazda to bmw the biggest bonehead move that subaru made for the gt trim was not offering it with the stick as it is the only trim with key performance focused features the manual rex will also beat this to 60 if you’re willing to smack it in

The face with a 5 000 rpm takeoff with a relatively gentle launch i was still able to get 6.1 seconds from a three pedal model and that also costs a couple grand less than the auto the advantage to the spt that subaru has here is it mimics shifts and it does a pretty good job of impersonating them because it one it’s designed to shift very fast so they say that it

Is like 30 faster up shifts 50 percent faster downshifts they said they were trying to benchmark the dsg and i guess maybe in technical terms it does shift as quick as them but the thing that you know i’m sure subaru knows is that this doesn’t need to shift you’re saying it has 50 quicker shift time and that’s great but every time it shifts it’s making it slower

Because you’re taking the car out of its peak horsepower which is also why subaru has tuned it to not fake shift if you nail the throttle from a standstill it’s quicker without the pseudo shifts it’s also why in comfort in normal mode it won’t fake shift under lighter acceleration because it’s more efficient without it they’re only doing it because the powertrain

In its natural state behaves like an outback which would spit in a fanboy’s breakfast so this is the most effective way for subaru to give you a transmission that feels like an eight-speed auto without them actually having to make one standard mode here yeah i mean it responds nicely definitely more eager than other subaru’s i’ve tried out with this powertrain

The fa-24 still has some lag to it but it feels more lively when out of peak boost than the old engine from a roll this thing is actually pretty fun as it gets spooled up and pulls hard with the transmission stepping through its eight pre-selected ratios very quickly it picks the right rpms for most scenarios and avoids lugging the engine it’s tuned very well at

60 miles per hour it will hover at about 2000 rpms this road noise was pronounced to an acceptable degree for 31 grand but it’s disappointing at this price on the inside of the wrx gt you do see some nicer appointments here to try to justify the cost of the top trim like stitched suede here on the dashboard and of course these gt exclusive recaro seats they’re

Ultra suede they are eight way power adjustable but they don’t have lumbar adjustment i think i might prefer the ultra suede seats on the limited trim and because those do have lumbar adjustment and they still have a fair amount of bolstering yeah these are a little bit better for like performance driving but honestly i’m not really too crazy about them this also

Does have better rest points i mean one especially for the center console here over the base i drove then you do actually have more padding for where your inboard knee will rest so that makes for just a more plush experience overall and i’m going to try to stick to more of the highlights here this isn’t my full review if you want to see that i’ll link it below

When it comes to tech in the wrx on every car except for the base you’ll have an 11.6 inch touchscreen with a few physical buttons on the side for your climate control to at least give you the ability to make some quick adjustments the system itself feels dated the resolution’s okay response time is okay you won’t have any sort of virtual gauge cluster but there’s

An appeal to that in this sort of performance vehicle that’s really marketed as a raw punch you in the mouth kind of car but despite its hard personality if you go with an automatic transmission you’ll have a electric parking brake versus the hand brake and the stick shifts your top two specs will have a harman kardon sound system with 11 speakers it does have a

Subwoofer it has enough power it’s not super crisp or anything but if you’re an audiophile this is a definite improvement over the base setup and the gt and the limited will have a sunroof as standard but honestly when it comes to features this is just disappointing for the price it is performance focused i’m not expecting this to be a luxury car but when you’re

Asking this much money and you’re trying to poise this as more of a gt car than things like a heads up display wireless charger ventilated seats heated steering wheel i would like to at least see those and none of them are offered for me if i’m looking at this or a couple grand more and i’m getting a golf r the last l of the interior is that it’s not a hatchback

But the trunk is at least quite wide and the rear seats do fold but it won’t best a jetta gli and like most others this has no spare tire oddly enough passenger space of the wrx back seat is smaller than that of the impreza a car that this only shares its platform with at this point yet at six foot three i could scrape by if front seat me had a sliver of sympathy

Usb ports will come on the premium spec and up but no rear vents so the interior is still not a big selling point to the wrx but what about the handling of the gt we do have adaptive suspension now so the idea is that you can have the best of both worlds stiffer suspension and a softer suspension than the stan standard car why is someone on a bird scooter on a 55

Mile per hour one thing i will say i like the steering that was one thing that they’ve tweaked here so part of these like new five driving modes for the wrx gt is that it will give you adaptive steering and it does make for a nicer steering experience i think it now feels a little bit more predictable and natural feeling than the standard wrx it still does feel

Numb to me i’m not getting a whole lot of communication but i do think the weighting is a little nicer and the build up is better it’s just still not as playful as something like these brz or gr86 and still seems shy of the engaging gti what the wrx does best is confidence and that’s abundant here it’s flat through the corners maybe a little bit more so as you pick

Up speed than the standard wrx which also didn’t really have any body roll issues they all have a very low center of gravity from that boxer engine so handling was a strong suit to begin with when i drive it on a tighter imperfect back road this still has the you know charismatic wrx nature which is this tough car that’s not really phased by anything you know you

Can take it around corners imperfections it doesn’t care and yeah the suspension still feels as stout as ever but in all drive settings this still has the composure you would expect from the nameplate and then if i put it into comfort mode everything kind of dials down including transmission response it still does try to mimic an 8-speed automatic but now i can

Kind of notice more of its cvt characteristics at times i thought that the base wrx i drove not too long ago had a great balance between comfort and sport and i don’t think it really gets that much firmer and sport sharp but it is more comfortable it takes on a dare i say supple attribute when in comfort mode now we’re really on to comfortable daily levels here

And the steering honestly still feels quick and that’s another advantage to it especially when we get onto tighter corners this just feels so capable and i was driving in pouring rain earlier and the all-wheel drive system in here didn’t let i mean it almost let too little of drama this actually does have a 45 55 torque split until it decides that it needs to

Send more power either way you barely even know if it’s slight rear bias there because it stays glued the brakes also bring the car to a halt quickly and are easy to modulate but the gt does not see a size increase over the others i’d like to mention that another pro to the last gen wrx was its overall reliability with its biggest issues deriving from the clutch

And ac early on i hope this gen proves itself and the 2.4 turbo and high torque linear tronic cvt have been good so far outside of a recall in 2020 that was caused by a powertrain computer now another advantage to the cvt models is that you will have eyesight which is something that i know a lot of wrx buyers don’t care about but this is also supposed to be a

Family vehicle and you know having at least the availability of autonomous braking adaptive cruise control lane centering and departure prevention is something i could see as valuable and this car is going to have that standard the gt unlimited also get blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert the enhancements for the wrx gt allow you to tune the car to

Your preference and to a more noticeable degree than i was expecting it allows the car to be a little more comfortable and just as competent if not a tad more on a back road but more than just capability you want fun and with the steering just not being super wrong communicative you have the transmission to rely on in the other wrx that i drove you know it’s a fun

Notchy gearbox it feels like a little rally car you can see that they’re trying to emulate that here giving you paddle shifters and it just doesn’t do the same thing and when you have it in sport sharp yeah it does kind of buck a little bit when you shift but it’s just like eight tenths nine tenths the way to the visceral feeling that you get with a dual clutch

Out of a vw gti i guess it’s sounding like i’m just complaining about this and truly i think if you get out and actually drive one you will be way more impressed with this one than the previous car let it do its thing and you don’t think about it this is a decent setup feels like a standard automatic most of the time i wouldn’t be able to know the difference which

Is why i now understand their desire to rebrand it as the spt outside of its embarrassing launching abilities i’m surprised to say it feels better for backroad blasts than mazda’s six-speed auto in the mazda 3 turbo sport sedans like the wrx are not big money makers hyundai and vw group didn’t build their dcts because their sport compacts needed a good automatic

They use it across their lineup honda and toyota don’t even offer an auto in the gr corolla civic si or type r because it would probably cost them too much to do it right and since i’m assuming that subi couldn’t unga bunga the 6-speed auto from the brz to work here it makes sense that they would do this if you’re sold on the all-weather all-road conquering wrx

But are unable to buy a manual for whatever reason this is much better than it was before the subaru performance transmission provides a natural linear feeling better than any cvt i have ever driven still the key aspect to the sales pitch of the wrx automatic is that you don’t want a stick and you’ve already convinced yourself that you want a wrx this could be

Because you don’t trust vw or you like the personality or you really prioritize all-wheel drive but what bothers me is how poorly this compares to other automatic sport sedans and the price you pay for it both initially and at the pump 21 combined on premium is hilarious for a cvt here’s a seemingly incoherent analogy to wrap this up last year i went to a super

Fancy steakhouse with an old friend and got a rib eye steak with hollandaise sauce on it that was fantastic however if a good chef got a hold of a walmart piece of sirloin cooked seasoned and dressed it well with the right sauce they could call it whatever they wanted and i’d have been satisfied enough but the experience wouldn’t have been as phenomenal and i’d

Still be out 75 dollars you can tune and tweak a transmission to the best of your abilities even yielding an impressive result while you’re at it but you’re still competing against a dual clutch with a cvt there’s a reason why no other sports car even attempts that this setup will substitute just fine but it’s still a couple steps behind authenticity and a name

Change can’t fix that thanks for watching if you enjoyed the video leave a like to help me commandeer the youtube algorithm if you want to see more subscribe and hit the bell and thank you to my very loyal patrons i’ll catch you in the next one

Transcribed from video
Subaru WRX GT Automatic (SPT) Review / Facing the Music By Realistick