Subaru WRX TR Is No Match For The Toyota GR Corolla Unless You Want A Comfortable Daily Driver

Screenshot: Savagegeese
Screenshot: Savagegeese

After years of selling the WRX and STI as hatchbacks, Subaru decided to only offer the WRX as a sedan. It also has yet to bring back the STI, and power on the WRX has stayed about the same since the third-generation Impreza WRX got an update some 15 years ago. So when Toyota introduced the 300-horsepower, all-wheel-drive GR Corolla, it almost felt like Toyota had built the WRX hatch that Subaru refused to sell us.

Don’t necessarily assume Subaru is down for the count, though. It recently introduced the track-focused WRX TR. You don’t get more power compared to a regular WRX, but it’s stiffer and comes with upgraded brakes that should make it a much better performer when you’re really pushing it. Think of it like the STI we didn’t get, only with WRX power. At least on paper, that’s not a bad deal.

The question is, though, how does the Subaru WRX TR compare to the Toyota GR Corolla? Recently, our friends, the most savage of geese, took both cars to their home track to answer exactly that question, and, uh, spoiler alert: The GR Corolla is still the faster car. In the hands of TCR champ Britt Casey Jr., the WRX TR was more than three seconds slower than the GR Corolla. That’s a lot of time to make up on any track, but it’s especially significant when we’re talking about lap times in the 1:30 range.


So case closed, spend your money on the GR Corolla, and you win, right? Not necessarily. If you’re going to use one of these cars as a daily driver, you probably want to pass on the Corolla in favor of the WRX TR simply because of how much better the suspension handles broken pavement. Not everyone’s going to mind the GR Corolla’s rough ride, but a lot of people will. Then again, if Toyota ever upgrades the dampers on the GR Corolla, maybe it actually will be over for the WRX.

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