• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Review: 2016 Subaru WRX Premium


    • The four-season sport sedan

    All-wheel drive in the sport compact/hot hatch marketplace seems to only be reserved for the upper echelon; the upcoming Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R, and the outgoing Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Step down one rung and most sport compacts send power to the front wheels. Ask why most automakers don’t add AWD and you might get an answer of it would ruin the balance of the vehicle or it would be too expensive. But one automaker does have AWD in their sport compact and that would be Subaru. Ok, Subaru has AWD in most of their vehicles, so adding AWD to their WRX sedan isn’t a problem. But it does give the WRX a big selling point in a growing class.

     

    The WRX is based on the Impreza, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the exterior. Subaru has made a number of changes to the exterior to make the WRX seem like its own model. The front end gets a new rectangular grille and a large hood scoop. Around the side are seventeen-inch wheels finished in gray and WRX nameplates on the front fenders. A rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips and a lip spoiler complete the rear. Sadly, the WRX and WRX STI don’t come in a five-door like the last-generation.

     

    2016 Subaru WRX Premium 10


    Move inside and you can tell this is an Impreza. Subaru has tried to dress up the WRX with a flat-bottom steering wheel, sport seats, improved interior materials, and faux carbon fiber trim. But for the $32,855 as-tested price, it looks and feels very spartan. Many fans of the WRX and STI will argue that you don’t buy these cars for the interior, you buy them for the performance. While I can see some validity in that argument, the fact that for the same amount of money as this WRX, you can get into a fully loaded Ford Focus ST or a nicely equipped Volkswagen GTI with much nicer interiors.

     

    There are some positive points to the WRX’s interior. The sport seats have the right amount of bolstering to hold you in place when your playing around and don’t make you feel uncomfortable on long-distance trips. The rear seat provides a decent amount of headroom, but legroom is tight for taller passengers. Subaru has also gotten rid their aftermarket-looking infotainment system for a system that looks more appropriate. The seven-inch touchscreen features Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system that boasts features such as Pandora integration and hands-free text messaging. The combination of quick performance and large touchpoints makes the system one of the easiest in the industry.

     


    2016 Subaru WRX Premium 9



    Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0L boxer-four with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with Subaru’s well-renown all-wheel drive system and either a six-speed manual (what I had) or Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT. Power comes on a very smooth and linear fashion throughout the rpm band. This is due to the turbo building boost at a quick rate and the wide spread of torque from 2,000 to 5,200 rpm. Also, I like that you can hear the woosh of the turbocharger working.

     

    The six-speed manual is somewhat clunky to use as the shift action feels somewhat limp and you have to make sure you have the lever fully in the position of the gear, otherwise you are not moving. At least, the transmission has a defined pattern so you know where you are in the gear pattern.

     

    In terms of fuel economy, the 2016 WRX with the manual is rated by the EPA at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week in the WRX landed around 21.6 MPG. Not great, but I’ll admit I was driving this a little bit hard just to hear the turbo working.

     


    2016 Subaru WRX Premium 5



    Despite not participating in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), the WRX retains a lot of that pedigree. Point the WRX down your favorite road and it transforms into a rally car. Body lean has gone away and the all-wheel drive system provides tenacious grip. I pushed the WRX around some tight corners and the car never showed any signs of struggle. More impressive is how the all-wheel drive system keeps the WRX planted on gravel roads. Yes, you can turn the traction and stability control off if you want to live out your fantasy of being a rally driver. Steering is very responsive and provides good feedback of the road.

     

    As for the daily grind, the WRX’s suspension is on the firm side. But it is a small price to pay for the performance you get. Some will complain there is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming into the cabin.

     

    One other item that should be mentioned; Subaru’s EyeSight system which uses stereo cameras to scan the road and feed the data to the adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, and lane-departure warning system is only available on the top Limited trim equipped with the CVT. If you opt for the manual, you don’t have that option. I have reached out to Subaru to find out the reason for this and will update when I get a response.

     

    The 2016 Subaru WRX is an interesting option in the sport compact class. At the moment, it is the only model in the lower echelon of sport compacts that come with all-wheel drive. For some, this is what they want in a sport compact. But the high price tag and spartan interior may have you running towards the Ford Focus ST which offers the same performance level and a nicer interior.

     

    It really comes down to what you are looking for in a sport compact. Personally, I really liked my time in the WRX. But I would likely go for either the base WRX or a lightly optioned Premium to make me feel at ease with the purchasing decision.

     

    Cheers:
    All-Wheel Drive Traction
    Looks that standout
    Turbocharged engine

     

    Jeers:
    Interior still lags behind the competition
    Manual transmission needs to go to finishing school
    High price tag

     

     

    Disclaimer: Subaru Provided the WRX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

    Year: 2016
    Make: Subaru
    Model: WRX
    Trim: Premium
    Engine: 2.0L Twin-Scroll Turbocharged DI Boxer Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 268 @ 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 2,500 - 5,200
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
    Curb Weight: 3,386 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Kanto, Japan
    Base Price: $28,895
    As Tested Price: $32,855 (Includes $795.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Navigation + harman/kardon Audio System - $2,100

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    I haven't driven the new WRX, but a stint in the new STI not to long ago left me rather disappointed. The car felt and drove decidedly old-school, and I don't mean that in a good way. No way could I justify the cost of one. I'd like to try the regular WRX out and see if that FA20 improves the feel of the car. The STI felt fine, if it were a 10 year old car.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Would it fit a 6'6" tall guy at 300lbs? Probably not.

     

    I have heard from my sons best friend that he was disappointed in the latest round of Subaru's. He is married now with a wife and their first son and he traded in his 6 year old Subaru, I think it was an STI, but his newest car while his wife is happy with the Subaru, he feels it does not have the soul of the older models.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    after the arms race between subie and mitsu ended, i all but lost interest. the wrx just isnt the pocket rocket of yesteryear. while still commanding a premium for nice examples, id just rather have an 00-06 model subie. heck i even love the wrx transplants they do with the forresters. 

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. MisterMe
      MisterMe
      (64 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      It is no secret that Subaru is wanting to get back in the three-row crossover fight after the failure of the Tribeca. We got our first preview last year at the LA Auto Show with the Viziv-7 Concept and now we're getting some idea of what the production version will look like thanks to some spy shots.
      From all angles, the production version (possibly named Ascent) is heavily toned down from the Viziv-7 concept. The front end is reminiscent to the Outback with the large grille and smaller headlights. Around back, the Ascent loses the aggressive bumper design found on the concept but it looks like the design of the tailgate remains.
      It is expected that Subaru's upcoming crossover will use the new modular platform that underpins the Impreza. We still don't have any idea on what will power it, but it would be safe to assume a CVT and all-wheel drive will come standard.
      Subaru will reveal the Ascent sometime next year.
      Source: Left Lane News, Motor1

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It is no secret that Subaru is wanting to get back in the three-row crossover fight after the failure of the Tribeca. We got our first preview last year at the LA Auto Show with the Viziv-7 Concept and now we're getting some idea of what the production version will look like thanks to some spy shots.
      From all angles, the production version (possibly named Ascent) is heavily toned down from the Viziv-7 concept. The front end is reminiscent to the Outback with the large grille and smaller headlights. Around back, the Ascent loses the aggressive bumper design found on the concept but it looks like the design of the tailgate remains.
      It is expected that Subaru's upcoming crossover will use the new modular platform that underpins the Impreza. We still don't have any idea on what will power it, but it would be safe to assume a CVT and all-wheel drive will come standard.
      Subaru will reveal the Ascent sometime next year.
      Source: Left Lane News, Motor1
    • By William Maley
      In a not surprising move, President Donald Trump announced today that his administration will reopen a review into the 2025 fuel economy standards set by the EPA before the end of President Barack Obama's term. 
      “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again. There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car,” said Trump at an event in the former Willow Run bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan - soon to become a testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
      "These standards are costly for automakers and the American people. We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic. This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
      In the closing days of President Obama's second term, the EPA announced that it would keep the strict standards that will require automakers to raise their fleetwide fuel economy average to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Automakers cried foul, saying the upcoming standards are costly and out of touch with the current market (i.e. low gas prices and people gobbling up crossovers, pickups, and SUVs). 
      It is expected that the 54.5 mpg average will drop, but no one is sure how much it would drop.
      Reaction to this announcement has been mixed. Automakers and lobby groups approve of this move as it allows them to focus on building vehicles people want, instead of being pushed into building vehicles that will not sell.
      "The Trump Administration has created an opportunity for decision-makers to reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data," said Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the AutoAlliance, an industry lobby group that represents a number of automakers including Ford and GM.
      Other groups are not so pleased with this move.
      "Today's announcement of backtracking on vehicle standards for model years 2022-2025 puts at risk tens of billions of dollars of fuel savings for consumers and big reductions in tailpipe emissions," said Therese Langer, transportation program director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, in a statement.
      "Any delay in settling efficiency standards introduces uncertainty that will disrupt manufacturers' product planning. What is certain is that technological stagnation is not a recipe for continuing the remarkable success our domestic manufacturers have achieved in recent years."
      Democratic U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts tells Reuters this move could actually hurt consumers.
      "Filling up their cars and trucks is the energy bill Americans pay most often, but President Trump's roll-back of fuel economy emissions standards means families will end up paying more at the pump," said Markey
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters, Roadshow

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      In a not surprising move, President Donald Trump announced today that his administration will reopen a review into the 2025 fuel economy standards set by the EPA before the end of President Barack Obama's term. 
      “We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again. There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car,” said Trump at an event in the former Willow Run bomber factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan - soon to become a testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
      "These standards are costly for automakers and the American people. We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic. This thorough review will help ensure that this national program is good for consumers and good for the environment," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
      In the closing days of President Obama's second term, the EPA announced that it would keep the strict standards that will require automakers to raise their fleetwide fuel economy average to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Automakers cried foul, saying the upcoming standards are costly and out of touch with the current market (i.e. low gas prices and people gobbling up crossovers, pickups, and SUVs). 
      It is expected that the 54.5 mpg average will drop, but no one is sure how much it would drop.
      Reaction to this announcement has been mixed. Automakers and lobby groups approve of this move as it allows them to focus on building vehicles people want, instead of being pushed into building vehicles that will not sell.
      "The Trump Administration has created an opportunity for decision-makers to reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data," said Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the AutoAlliance, an industry lobby group that represents a number of automakers including Ford and GM.
      Other groups are not so pleased with this move.
      "Today's announcement of backtracking on vehicle standards for model years 2022-2025 puts at risk tens of billions of dollars of fuel savings for consumers and big reductions in tailpipe emissions," said Therese Langer, transportation program director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, in a statement.
      "Any delay in settling efficiency standards introduces uncertainty that will disrupt manufacturers' product planning. What is certain is that technological stagnation is not a recipe for continuing the remarkable success our domestic manufacturers have achieved in recent years."
      Democratic U.S. Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts tells Reuters this move could actually hurt consumers.
      "Filling up their cars and trucks is the energy bill Americans pay most often, but President Trump's roll-back of fuel economy emissions standards means families will end up paying more at the pump," said Markey
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters, Roadshow
    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)