The 2016 Subaru WRX is, in simple terms, an adult level version (with a performance edge) of the value priced Subaru Impreza family centric daily driver. The WRX provides a very satisfactory option with extras for drivers not wanting go to the high performance and higher priced WRX STI with, what some say, is its over-the-top racing wing. We like performance with extras, but can do without the wing. For us, we choose the WRX.
The three model lineup for the 2016 Subaru WRX – with standard All-Wheel Symmetrical Drive – starts with the 6-speed manual transmission WRX at $26,595, goes to the Premium at $28,895 with the Limited topping out at $30,395. The 2.0L Boxer turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, producing 268 horsepower with 258 lb.-ft. of torque, comes standard on all WRX models. If the stick shift is not your thing, the Premium and Limited are available with the optional Sport Lineartronic 8-speed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) for $1,200 more.
Subaru recently sent us a 2016 Subaru WRX Limited for a week-long ride and drive test around Central Texas.
Our test WRX Limited, in Lapis Blue Pearl, came equipped with the Lineartronic CVT with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) that allows a driver to select from three drive modes – Intelligent, Sport or Sport Sharp. Ready to drive, our test WRX Limited had a base price of $31,595.
It came very well-equipped starting with features like the stiffened chassis with inverted front struts and a Sport-Tuned Suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels with 245/40 R18 summer performance tires, fog lights, power moonroof, heated exterior mirrors and the signature aluminum hood with cool-air scoop on the exterior.
Inside, we found wider doors with lower sills, more cabin length and leg room, new soft -touch materials on the dash and doors, performance-design heated front seating, flat bottom steering wheel with controls, 60/40 fold down rear seat, automatic climate control with filtration, incline start assist, aluminum alloy pedal covers and driver information multi-display, to list just a few. As the Limited is the top of the trim line for WRX it also added leather trimmed seating, 8-way power driver seat, low beam LED headlights and welcome lighting.
A single package option for $4,095 had all that was needed to complete our WRX Limited. The package started with Navigation added to the Subaru Starlink Multimedia System that featured an upgraded and very crisp 7-inch color high resolution touch screen display that also responds to gestures or near-touch. The voice activated info and audio system included all of the usual features including SiriusXM and HD radio, Sirius NavWeather, Sirius NavTraffic, Bluetooth connectivity – all supported by a seriously awesome Harman/Kardon 440-watt Amplifier with nine speakers including subwoofer. Also in the package were Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and the Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection system with Blind Spot Detection, Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
The final element of the package was the EyeSight Driver Assist System which uses stereo camera technology to integrate Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking, Pre-Collison Throttle Management, Lane Departure and Lane Sway Warning. A new feature in EyeSight is Steering Responsive Fog lights that activate independently – already pre-aimed for maximum corner coverage – to add to illumination when turning.
Adding in a couple more optional accessories like a Center Armrest with Electronic Parking Brake and Auto-Dimming Mirror with Compass plus delivery, our 2016 Subaru WRX Limited priced out at $36,858.
Following a week on country roads, city streets and state highways we came away very impressed with the WRX Limited. Lots of stuff for well under $40,000 – all well engineered and packaged with plenty of room for five adults and their toys plus darn good fun to drive (without that big rear wing).
The Subaru WRX was originally just a trim level within the Subaru Impreza lineup. Today they offer three distinct variants under the Impreza line, performance WRX line and high performance WRX STI line, all with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
If you want to dial down the performance and price a bit from the WRX, you can select the Impreza four or five door (MSRP $18,795 – $23,595) that is powered by a 2.0L Boxer engine that delivers 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft.of torque and mated to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed CVT transmission with standard 16-inch alloy wheels and 17-inch available. Without the signature hood scoop, but with most all of the features and options of the WRX standard or available, it is a good value-priced daily driver option to WRX.
Of course you can amp it up (including price) by going to the WRX STI (four-door only) which includes the signature hood scoop and adds either a subtle low profile trunk spoiler or the STI signature large wing. The 2.5L turbocharged and intercooled 2.5L Boxer engine is all about performance kicking out 305 horsepower with 290 lb.-ft. of torque. WRX STI comes only with a 6-speed manual transmission that features the SI-Drive system to enhance performance through the engine control module and electronic throttle control system. The high performance ride is delivered by the STI-Tuned Suspension, Active Torque Vectoring, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Brembo Performance Brake System and 18-inch wheels mounted with 245/40R18 97W summer performance tires. As you would expect, WRX STI costs a little more with a MSRP $34,695 – $39,995.
Lastly, we note that the Subaru WRX (equipped with the optional EyeSight Driver Assist Technology), once again, has received the highest rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) being awarded their TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation for the 2016 model.
For us, the 2016 Subaru WRX Limited equipped with a Sport Lineartronic CVT and SI-Drive, plus Eyesight Driver Assist Technology, does it just right.