2016 Subaru WRX Review
Pros & Cons
- Both the WRX and STI offer impressively quick acceleration
- superb handling abilities and steering responses when going around turns
- enhanced traction provided by standard all-wheel drive
- many premium safety equipment options available.
- Above average amounts of wind and road noise
- aggressive suspension tune in the STI makes for a rough ride.
List Price Range
$19,995 - $34,750
Used WRX for SaleSee all for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I've owned this car for a few weeks now and Now onto the pros. The first thing would be the engine, it's amazing! You have plenty of power down low in the rev band so getting the car up to speed is very easy. Also, there is plenty of torque so if you want to pass someone on the highway in 6th gear you can easily once boost kicks in. 0-60 times very close to the STi because you can get the 60 mph in 2nd gear. If you're into modifying your car, the FA20DIT engine takes mods on very well. If you look online you can see people with Stage 2 WRX's making very similar power to Stage 2 STi's. ETS has over a 400 whp WRX with a stock block, fuel pump, and injectors (try that with the EJ257). The next pro is the AWD system which is amazing for all four seasons. You get the excellent traction you would expect out of a Subaru during the winter months but also get the excellent traction on the dry pavement as well. Once you know how to launch an AWD car properly, this thing takes off like a rocket ship with barely any wheel spin like a FWD/RWD car would have. The MPG is very good if you stay out of the turbo, you can easily get 30mpg+ just cruising on the highway. Subaru also definitely stepped up their game in terms of interior material quality. The interior has much more soft touch points than in previous iterations of the WRX. The Premium model comes with nice features such as fog lights, cold weather package (heated seats, side mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), and sunroof. Now onto the cons. I am not a huge fan of the stock 6-speed transmission. I didn't get the STi short throw shifter so I can't speak on that but the stock shifter has pretty long throws and it's very notchy. I've also sometimes had difficulty going from 2nd to 3rd gear when driving the car quickly. I've grinded the gear before as well as sometimes accidentally go into 5th gear. Subaru has never been known for having great transmissions, but I wished they made this one a bit better. Another con is the stock sound system which is absolute garbage! I didn't get the H/K upgrade or the Kicker upgrade so I can't speak on those, but the stock speakers are just horrible. Very quiet with no bass. Definitely something I plan on upgrading as soon as possible. Another thing I don't like is that stock center armrest, I wish it was a bit higher. There is an extension you can get as well as a JDM center armest option you can buy online, but I wish they made it a bit taller from the factory. If you can deal with these cons which aren't a huge deal, then this is the perfect daily driver for someone who likes to have a bit of fun on their commute to work and back. The car is quick, practical, safe and reliable which will be tough to beat. If you want to leave it stock, you'll have fun. If you want to modify it, you'll have even more fun! I look forward going to work each day because I know I get to drive this car.
Pearl White WRX,08/01/2015
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I went from a 2007 stage 2 STI to a bone stock 2016 WRX. During the 1st 1,000 miles it was hard to tell just how fast the WRX would end up being after break-in. The turbo spools so much faster than the STI but then I was shifting around 3k RPM. Luckily I had read many reviews about the touchy throttle, quick spool and then running out of steam around 5k RPM so I knew what to expect once I did get past the break-in. If you're looking for a dragster this is not the car for you, especially in stock form. The turbo spools very quickly and very suddenly, at 5,000-5,750 RPM there is a very noticeable dip in power and then it starts picking up again and then you have to shift. The stock tune is really my main complaint, but I understand Subaru intentionally tuned it very conservatively for longevity. It handles better than the 2007 STI without a doubt. The STI had very stiff suspension but noticeably more body roll and under steer. Where the STI could really stretch it's legs on a racetrack, the WRX really shines blasting through the canyons. With it's short gear ratios and instantaneous spool, the windier the road the better. My other critiques would be the gear shifter feel, the STI was not a smooth shifter either but the WRX is very notchy. The stock speakers and Bluetooth are not great, sometimes the stereo will refuse to connect to Pandora. The all black interior shows off every speck of dust no matter how often you clean it. The initial bite of the break peddle is not as good as the STI (but most cars aren't). The dreaded Rev hang is definitely noticeable but actually doesn't bother me at all, but it was weird at first. I know I'm way in the minority on this issue, but I think the stock exhaust is a little loud and boomy (my stage 2 STI was catted, resonated and I had the stock mufflers on it. I know, weak!) And seriously this is just nitpicking. 99% of WRX owners will replace the stock tune, shifter and bushings, add louder exhaust and upgrade the stereo. So basically all my "complaints" are extremely fixable. Now what I love about the WRX. The looks, I absolutely love this body style! The lip spoiler, the 17 inch dark grey stock rims. The interior is very well laid out and the steering wheel is awesome! It handles amazing, unbelievable for a $27k car! The fuel economy is great. The gauges and touch screen interface with the backup camera are really nice. The seats and the driving position are perfect in my opinion. The extra 2 inches of legroom in the backseat go a long way, 6+ feet tall passengers can comfortably fit back there now. The truck space and folding rear seat backs make it very practical. The outward visibility with the little split windows up front are great. Overall there is very little to dislike about the 2016 WRX base model. For a $27,000 non front wheel drive, 4 door, 6 speed manual sporty car, I couldn't find anything else I would rather have.
STI 4dr Sedan AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
This is one perfect car, grateful to Subaru for making it. The only negative is the fuel economy, which is acceptable to me given how good everything else is. Drives fantastically well! Every single drive in this car feels great and a lot of fun even without pushing it. The transmission, the steering, the engine's power and torque curves, the sound, the brakes, the control, the road-holding ability, the predictability of the outcome of any decision you make while driving, even if it is a quick or panicky decision, the visibility, add all this driving fun to the fact that it has 4 doors, seats 5 people with ample legroom in rear, good trunk comparable to other equally priced sedans, an amazing full time all-wheel drive for all season driving, scorching sun or freezing blizzard, with manually-adjustable front to rear wheels torque split, driving modes for throttle response that actually change the throttle response, not just a gimmick, like Intelligent for comfortably smooth throttle response in traffic jams, while Sports and Sports Sharp modes for quicker throttle response for more fun driving. The only gripe is that some times on long drives, the front seats hurt the back, both driver and passenger. Does not always happen, so not a consistent problem, but when it does it's not pleasant.
4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I'm loving this car, I had a 2009 WRX and this car is completely different, interior, engine and suspension wise. This car turns flat there is no roll, the suspension is stiff, you feel like you are really driving a sports car. Tire and wind noise can be improved. Interior is a big improvement over old WRX's, now it is a nice place to be. Materials and design are much better and the sound system even though is not the best is much better than the one that I had before. ( Hate that sound system ). I got the short shifter and is also way better than the long throws of the old 5 speed WRX's. The engine delivers very good torque starting from 2300 RPM's. When driving on the highway on 6th gear you don't need to downshift to get the car going, with the old engine you had to wait until 4000RPM for it to really start moving. As one reviewer said on this new engine, it feels like in Research and Development stage. When you press the gas pedal halfway (maybe much less) from 2300RPM you feel like a nice surge of power that decreases around 4300RPM's it feels very nice and fast without using the whole tachometer. Now if you press the gas pedal all the way down there is no linearity in the power delivery, is like you can feel the turbo easing up then spooling up a couple of times before reaching redline. It is part of its personality. The sense of solidity and good grip give you a nice secure feeling. The WRX that i had got flooded 5 years ago with 7k and truth is I didn't like that car. After reading the reviews of the 2015 model year I decided to give it a shot , test drove it, like it, and now after 2k I want to go to work, and after work home just to drive it. It is not perfect but you learn to appreciate how good it is!!