Back in the day, we used to run “How Would You Configure” articles for new cars. As soon as a build-and-price tool was posted, we’d put together the perfect, erudite spec for the vehicle in question. But when I ventured to Subaru’s website this morning to try the shiny new configurator for the 2022 WRX, I noticed something odd: Across every trim level of the car, there’s only one (1) option package available.
The 2022 WRX comes in four different trim levels, from the base (devoid of any trim name) up to the much-discussed automatic-only GT. Any of them can be had in your choice of color or (GT excepted) transmission, and the usual suite of branded accessories like floor mats and cargo nets are still present. But real options are limited to one trim level and one package: A bundle that adds the Harman Kardon stereo and power moonroof to the Premium WRX.
One option, improbably, puts the WRX above the bottom of the options list for Subaru. The new BRZ doesn’t offer a single option on either of its trim levels, and the GR86 has the lack of choices to match. The Impreza gets a few across its seven trim levels, but pickings are still slim.
Options, as a whole, have begun to disappear for budget-minded vehicles in the last few years. The Corolla offers a scant few only on its highest trim, the Civic only offers minor accessories (save for the summer tire package on the Si) and the $16,000 Hyundai Accent offers a whole lot of nothing.
The culprit is likely economies of scale, with items purchased in smaller amounts costing the automaker comparatively more, but options have always been an upcharge anyway. Bring back options, automakers. We miss messing around with your build-and-price tools.