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2024 Subaru WRX Ditches Nonsensical BMW-Style Turn Signal Stalks

Subaru seems to have learned what BMW did the hard way about 15 years ago.

When Subaru introduced the current-gen WRX for the 2022 model year, it gave the sport sedan a turn signal stalk that immediately flicked back to center, like the much-maligned ones found in BMWs from the mid-aughts and early 2010s. Now, the WRX is getting a minor refresh for 2024, and as part of it, Subaru has quietly ditched that design for the more conventional kind, as one Redditor has confirmed.

As you can see in this video from Tyson the Subaru Specialist, the 2022 WRX’s turn signal quickly reverts after you indicate in either direction. Then to cancel the signal, you have to either turn the steering wheel enough for it to self-cancel, tap the stalk in the same direction again, or gently tap it in the other direction. The latter can be frustrating, because it’s easy to accidentally push it too far the other way and signal the opposite turn. But in the 2024 WRX, the stalk stays in position until you either push it back or complete your steering, like in most cars. A diagram in the new WRX’s owner’s manual shared by Redditor Dazzling-Rooster even makes note of it.

2024 WRX Turn Signal
byu/tardisode inwrx_vb

Subaru and BMW aren’t the only automakers to have incorporated stalks that behave this way. Toyota and Lexus have as well, and even Tesla used them on the Model 3 before ditching them in favor of way more annoying steering wheel buttons.

All the while, customers have almost unanimously complained about such signals on forums and Reddit, as they’re more frustrating to use without any noticeable benefit. Some BMW owners have theorized that the stalk’s intended purpose was to allow drivers to keep their hands closer to 9 and 3 o’clock on the wheel while indicating. But that’s a pretty thin rationale to complicate something as simple and generally understood as a turn signal stalk.

It’s unclear why Subaru switched to this pesky design in the first place, considering BMW nixed it years before. Did customers complain enough that Subaru decided to change? Did the automaker start working with a different supplier, or switch stalks to cut costs? Whatever the reason, it seems that WRX fans are pleased to have the old ones back. The Drive has reached out to Subaru to inquire about why the change was made and what other models it might impact.

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