Auto Tech

2023 Subaru WRX Long-Term Update: Some thoughts on ride quality

2023 Subaru Wrx Long Term Update Some Thoughts On Ride Quality

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I only drove our long-term WRX for a day when it still had winter tires on it, but I saw what all the rest of the staff was talking about. As Byron noted in his long-term review of the Blizzaks, on dry pavement, “they’re far too squirmy and uncommunicative for my comfort.” Then he got snow, which changed his tune. I didn’t have such luck. There was also talk about the WRX’s stiff ride, but my brief stint in it didn’t leave me complaining. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment.

After getting its summer tires back on before the WRX arrived to me, there was chatter around the virtual office about how much better of a fit its factory tires are. The shoes in question are a set of 245/40 Y-rated Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 600 A tires on 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Fast forward to last week, and I found my way back into our long-term WRX. My stint in our Limited comes after a few free-range days and a subsequent comparison test (coming soon) with the WRX TR.

Subaru bills the WRX’s standard suspension as “track-tuned,” also noting its chassis-mounted rear anti-roll bar and “high-performance summer tires.” Subaru’s intended result is a car with grip, stability and minimal body roll. And, boy howdy, the WRX delivers. Carrying speed through corners is a blast, and it feels well-controlled and communicative.

But its ride, as I’d find out after driving the TR, could be a lot better. Relative (key word, here) to that “Tuner Ready” trim with its upgraded suspension, the Limited feels like riding a wooden roller coaster. Generally, I’d expect the TR to be the choppy one with its sportier suspension and bigger wheels, but it only served to contradict that assumption, making little fuss on our local, less-than-ideal (to put it nicely) roads. We’ll get more into the differences in the drive experience in the upcoming comparo, but it behooves me to note that while the TR handled cracked pavement and highway frost heaves with little discomfort, our Limited long-termer was brutish by comparison.

A week later, though, and I no longer notice the beatings I’m taking in the WRX. Unless I consciously look for it, I won’t notice the thumps, bumps and subsequent extra noise. In a vacuum, it feels like a great, almost ideal setup for a lot of spirited driving with a good amount of daily-driving practicality sprinkled in. For now, I’m no longer complaining, but, rather, having a blast whenever I get in the WRX, even if it’s just for a short drive across town. We’ll see what happens, however, the next time I get in another equally well-balanced, supremely entertaining car with a smoother ride.

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