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.
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.
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!!
Great control, great ride, and great style. This is the best car I have ever owned and it just keeps getting better every time I drive it. The limited edition has sooo many features that I wonder how it feel without them. The performance is so great I honestly don't know the difference between the STI and the Limited edition. Either way this is a great car and if you haven't test driven it yet, you need to. O and before I forget, I am a family man and this car has plenty of space for two baby car seats, which means if you're single you'll have plenty of space for those party weekends.
Sure, there are a few minor ways this car could be improved. But first the good stuff (and there's a lot of good stuff). Here is what I love about my 2016 WRX Limited (manual).
CORNERING: You haven't lived till you've taken this perfectly balanced, sport-suspension-having all-wheel-drive monster on a windy mountain road. The WRX grips the road astonishingly well in sharp turns, and handles gracefully ... and it really rockets out of the curves if you hit the accelerator in those moments ..... You will have immediate confidence in this car on twisty asphalt, and it will always put a grin on your face.... This is a 268-horsepower smile machine.
ACCELERATION: While first gear has plenty of turbo-charged thrust and really catapults you off the line (especially if you drop the clutch in at high revs), doing that regularly feels a bit excessive .... and first gear kind of "ends" a tad shorter than I want it to, if you know what I mean. The sweetest gears on this six-speed are second and third. Wow! You will NEVER tire of the smooth acceleration you get in second from about 3K to 6K rpm. It will make you want to weave through traffic.
RIDE: Personally, I LIKE the sometimes "rough" ride the WRX's stiff chassis and tight shocks give you on a less-than-smooth road. Driving a 'Rex,you are really in touch with the topography, so to speak. The car communicates road info to you. However, I will say that driving four adults in this car on rough pavement is NOT fun. You will feel emotional pain for your WRX if you hit a pothole when it's loaded down in this manner (but it will probably come through it okay)..... The stiff suspension means cracks or holes in the pavement are to be avoided at all costs.
LOOKS: From many angles, I find the car to be great looking, with sharp, smart-looking "eyes" (especially if you get the LED headlights that are currently only available in the top trim). But occasionally, from some angles, the WRX kind of looks to me like an odd-looking Impreza; a sedan with hopped-up Impreza body. I think there's a room for improvement on the sheet metal on this WRX. (The 2015 concept was spectacular from every angle?hopefully Subaru can give us something similarly special in the next iteration.)
C-LIGHTS: These lights look great in shape?aesthetically very pleasing to the eye?but they are significantly "dimmer" than those on Audi or or Dodge sedans, or mustangs, or even even some economy cars. Why are they dimmer than all other cars that have similar lights??! And they don't really run by themselves in the daytime, as they do on competing cars. Why not?! The WRX daytime C-lights should have the same magical brightness as all those other modes. I feel the WRX lags behind the competition in the "C-Lights department."
COMMUNITY: This is a true perk of owning this car?if you have this car, you are in an exclusive club; you understand the WRX's rally-care heritage, and you, like all other 'Rex owners, are in love with it's on-road superpowers, which means you will have an immediate bond with any other WRX driver you meet. Other WRX drivers will usually give you a nice nod or thumbs-up when they see you on the road.... They'll probably be happy to "talk WRX" with you at a stoplight, etc.
AWD: The all-wheel-drive on this car is not subtle; you will love how it grips the road, and you will, in some situations, really "feel" each wheel gripping. One thing though: Sometimes, when I'm pulling into a rather steep curb cut (i.e. driveway) from an angle very slowly (so as to avoid scraping the low-hanging air foil in front), a weird phenomenon happens with the WRX's all wheel drive, where there's this unpleasant sound and sensation of one of the wheels grinding or skipping. I imagine it's something to do with the inside wheel not being able to go slow enough as I turn sharply into the angled driveway.
TECHNOLOGY: The Harmon/Kardon stereo upgrade sounds great (ten times better than the stock stereo)..... Backup camera is great; cross-traffic warning beep helpful?even reacts to pedestrians, skateboarders, dogs. COOL. Voice command may be functional, but, honestly, it's very slow and feels like it has very small vocabulary of words and phrase it understands, so I haven't been using it at all. Blind spot detection is excellent, but I still have a hard time putting all my faith in these little reactor lights in the side mirrors. I'm probably too old-school. I still "look over my shoulder" when changing lanes.
POWER SEATS: Love the Driver's power seat...... Wish one was available for the passenger, too. I am 6'1', and lowering it half an inch or so is great. Tall/normal sized adult passengers riding shotgun can't really do that, though, and when I fly over a little dip in the road at a quick speed, my passengers sometimes will hit their heads a tiny bit on the ceiling..... No biggie, but I wish Passengers could could lower their seats on the limited, too....