- Fully redesigned last year
- Adds new technology for 2016
- Performance bargain with all-wheel drive and 268-hp
The 2016 Subaru WRX follows up its full redesign last year with a few technology additions that make the rally-inspired sedan even safer.
The WRX shares a wheelbase with the Impreza compact sedan/hatchback even though it dropped that portion of the name during the redesign which makes sense. The two cars have very different missions, with the Impreza focusing on efficiency and easy road manners, while the WRX has more jubilant aims. Sculpted body work hints at the WRX’s rally origins, with a hood scoop, bulging fenders, and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also has sharper headlight clusters, with projector headlights standard and full LED headlights on higher trim levels.
Under the hood, the WRX gets a new engine, a 268-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder that also produces 258 pounds-feet of torque. There are two transmission options, a six-speed manual or a CVT. Subaru also debuts an Active Torque Vectoring system with the WRX’s symmetrical all-wheel drive, which reduces understeer and enhances steering response during sharp turning maneuvers. Fuel economy figures have improved as well, thanks to a smaller displacement engine and the new transmissions. Manual-equipped models return 21/28 mpg city/highway, while CVT models get 19/25 mpg, both beating last year’s model.
There are three trim levels to choose from: Base, Premium, and Limited. Inside, the WRX’s new interior in pretty minimalist in form and function, with several sporty touches like a flat bottomed steering wheels and seats with plenty of bolstering to keep everyone in their place during more aggressive driving. For the new model year, the WRX adds Subaru’s STARLINK multimedia system that comes with a 6.2-inch touchscreen standard. Upgrading to the optional navigation system adds a 7-inch screen and an extra USB port. Standard features on all trims include a leather wrapped steering wheel, aluminum pedals, automatic climate control, HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/auxiliary audio ports, and satellite radio. Leather upholstery and a Harmon/Kardon stereo system are optional.
The WRX also adds new safety technology for 2016 and now offers Subaru’s EyeSight system which is available on CVT equipped models. It offers advance safety features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision breaking, lane departure warnings, and new for 2016 in the system, lane keep assist. Blind spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alerts are also available. Standard safety features include seven airbags, all-disc antilock brakes, electronic stability system, traction control, a rearview camera, and active front head restraints.