2024 Subaru WRX TR: Same power, more kit


The TR designating the second-highest trim level of Subaru’s WRX used to mean “tuner ready.” For the 2024 version, “track ready” might be more appropriate, says the company. If the location of the press junket location was to be taken literally, TR could also mean Targa Ready: The drive was held on a 91-mile historic racecourse around the Italian island of Sicily, the site of the famous Targa Florio race, held from 1906 to 1977.

Still driven by a 2.4-liter DOHC turbocharged engine, the WRX TR doesn’t get power upgrades. That four-banger limits drivers to 271 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers don’t disappoint, however, especially around twisty roads where straight-line speed doesn’t matter. Torque feels plentiful as it comes on full at 2000 through 5000 rpm. This tried and true mill pulls the WRX TR’s 3430 pounds nicely and the standard AWD keeps the car plenty balanced and stable.

In 2008, TR meant the base model WRX, stripped and available on the cheap so customers could tune, modify, tweak, customize, hot rod, or whatever else they wanted to do to their vehicle. For 2024, the TR is closer to the top of the model lineup, with performance enhancements already built in.

This TR comes equipped with upgraded Brembo brakes including 13.4-inch cross-drilled rotors and six-piston monoblock red calipers up front and 12.8-inch drilled rotors with two-piston monoblock calipers in the rear. There’s also a larger master cylinder controlling all that formidable stopping power, which is highly necessary around the twisting roads in Sicily, from the original Floriopoli pit garages up to Caltavuturo, which sits 2000 feet above sea level, and back down to the Mediterranean. Those brakes were at the ready when an unexpected pothole—or, worse, a crevice—appeared out of nowhere, demanding the full attention of the driver.

The Sicilian roads have seen better days; half of them seem to have fallen away, with cones and extreme caution signs in their place. There, the suspension upgrades were welcome. The weather swirling around Mount Etna, the volcano that is the island, cares not that drivers prefer smooth, unbuckled pavement and has left the roads an undulating mess.

2024 Subaru WRX TR driving front three quarter

Up front the WRX TR gets slightly stiffer springs and the dampers, . As a driver, I’d have preferred to push the car a bit harder, but conditions forbade it. That being said, with Subaru’s full-time AWD, controlled by a viscous coupling differential that splits torque from right to left 50/50, the WRX felt balanced. The torque vectoring system is brake-based and effective. Torque steer feels well-managed and minimal. In extreme conditions, the suspension felt jouncy and unpleasantly talkative. I had an opportunity to test the BRZ tS which has been upgraded with a different set-up and the two-door felt more composed under the same circumstances.

Specs: 2024 Subaru WRX TR

Price: $33,855 (base), $42,775 (as-tested)
Powertrain: 2.4-liter DOHC four-cylinder turbocharged boxer engine, six-speed manual transmission
Horsepower: 271 @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 2000-5200 rpm
Layout: AWD, four-door, five-passenger sedan
Weight: 3430 pounds
EPA-rated fuel economy: TBD
Competitors: Honda Civic Si, Toyota GR Corolla, Hyundai Elantra N

The 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, finished in satin gray, look great on the TR. Subaru retuned the steering for a bit more feedback, and Bridgestone Potenza S007 performance tires that come standard point exactly where the driver wants them to go.

At this price point, the WRX feels like a well-put-together car. And buyers are agreeing: According to Subaru, sales of the 2023 WRX will post as the second-best ever for this generation, and 79.3 percent of second-gen customers have chosen the manual transmission. A continuously variable-type transmission comes optional on the WRX TR and can be operated in a manual mode with paddle shifters. Even though few customers will experience it, Subaru’s engineering efforts here have paid off; the CVT is not a bad option.

Recaro Ultrasuede seats secure you in the cockpit, which offers drivers a litany of standard amenities and creature comforts, including an 11.6-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Graphics are clear and the processor works quickly, and there are also enough buttons and knobs to prevent drivers from looking away from the road when trying to perform basic functions such as temperature and volume control.

When you must look away, EyeSight—Subaru’s suite of safety features that includes advanced tech like adaptive cruise control, lane centering assistance, and lane departure prevention—helps keep you in line with pavement markings. On the TR the moonroof has been deleted to subtract weight and add head room in the event you’re wearing a helmet and tracking your car.

Fuel economy numbers for the TR haven’t been published yet, however, the 2023 WRX model wasn’t the most efficient car on the road, posting a 22 combined city/highway number with the manual and a 21 combined for the automatic. It’s likely the 2024 numbers will look similar, though the TR might take a small hit with its added weight.

The base model WRX starts at $32,735 minus Subaru’s $1120 destination and delivery charge. The WRX TR starts at a moderate-by-today’s standards $41,655. The top-of-the-line WRX GT asks that buyers part with $44,215. Unlike other brands with enthusiast cars, Subaru has strongly encouraged its dealer network to not add on a steep markup. Maybe that’s why it is so beloved. Take note, sellers of the Toyota GR Corolla.

While the Targa Florio road race concluded its impressive 71-year run in 1977, the name lived was adopted for an off-road rally race on the European Rally Championship circuit from 1978 until 2019, and yes, there Subaru took the top step on the podium in both 1995 and 1999. While driving in Sicily might have been a bit of a stretch for the Japanese brand, there’s still some Italian in Subaru’s bloodline.

2024 Subaru WRX TR

Highs: Improved, sportier suspension. Brembo brakes add to driver confidence. The torque vectoring and AWD systems give the WRX solid handling and performance credentials. Manual transmission standard.

Lows: Dampers display a good deal of jounce on uneven pavement under severe load. Some feel the new exterior design pales to that of the previous generation. No additional power for the TR or “track ready” model.

Verdict: The WRX TR nicely plusses a solid daily driver, though it lacks some refinement at speed on imperfect roads.




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    That gigantic ipad-ish thing in the dash and the black outer body cladding turn me off. The WRX does not seem to have advanced much since I owned one 15+ years ago.

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