Subaru WRX — The aggressive Subaru

By David Finkelstein

Subaru Motors introduced the newest generation of its WRX and WRX STI models in 2015. The sedan was featured with a newer styled body design including a significantly reworked underside chassis. This helped to set the stage in order to reach out to a broader customer base that welcomes a performance four door automobile.

Clearly, WRX is a renowned player in the sports-compact automotive specialty segment. While enjoying an up-tick with new model sales overall, Subaru has posted record sales stateside for a number of months in a row now.

Now for 2016, the Subaru WRX continues to be sold in their Standard grade plus Premium and Limited versions. The 2016 WRX STI (of which is designated with exclusive performance components) is offered in Standard and Limited trim levels as well.

Some of the headline news for '16 is the fact that the WRX andWRX STI models are now featured with new/available factory installed safety technologies including Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross TrafficAlert system. In addition, the STARLINK touch screen infotainment systems offer a significantly enhanced user experience with all models.

Subaru's reliable 2.0-liter direct injection turbo"BOXER" style engine is rated at 268-horsepower. Its matted with their standard Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive powertrain set-up. Furthermore, WRX comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and as expected, an optional performance automatic CVT transmission is on the option list. Subaru referees to it as their Sport Lineartronic with a manual shift mode override system, if in fact the driver so desires to use it as a manual gearbox.

The newer generation of the WRX has a stiffer body structure engineered to greatly enhance handling and agility. In part, road dynamics is also improved with upgraded and stylish 18 x 8.5-inch alloy wheels, fitted with 245/40 R18 performance summer tires. The tire/wheel setup is found on the Premium and Limited trims of WRX.

Under the important heading of automotive safety, the 2016 WRX joins other Subaru models in offering the company’s EyeSight system. Its rated one of the highest-rated front crash prevention systems by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. With the help of the in car mounted stereo camera technology, EyeSight is integrated with their electronic Adaptive Cruise Control plus Pre-Collision Braking and Lane Departure warning systems.

Also, now included is the Lane Keep Assist safety system. It's linked with the vehicle’s electric power steering in order to help the driver keep the vehicle within its intended driving lane, when operating the car on the interstate highways.

EyeSight is available for the WRX Limited (with automatic transmission) in a package that also includes Navigation and Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This comprehensive technology upgrade package also includes a Harman/Kardon amplifier 9-speaker premium sound system plus Keyless Access and Push-Button Start with Pin Code Access.

Models equipped with EyeSight also come with Steering Responsive Fog lights. This unique feature activates the left or right fog light independently, depending on the vehicle speed and steering angle, to provide enhanced illumination in the direction of the turn.

The fog lights are pre-aimed for maximum coverage in corners. Also new for 2016, there are notable upgrades under the heading of infotainment plus a rear view camera system is standard on all versions. WRX receives a new Subaru STARLINK 6.2-inch Multimedia system featuring today’s "most in-demand" user technologies with a multi-function touch screen display.

It also hasAM/FM stereo, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, HD Radio, RadioData Broadcast System, single-disc CD player, Subaru STARLINK connectivity with Aha and Pandora smartphone integration, iHeart Radio,Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, iPod control capability and a USB port and auxiliary input jack. That's a lot to digest but in the simplest terms, it just about covers all of your in-car entertainment needs.  An up-gradable 7.0-inch Multimedia Navigation system is also offered.

The top-of-line Limited and Premium versions have leather-trimmed upholstery, an 8-way power driver’s seat and enhanced lighting. If extra performance is on your “bucket list” the WRX STI package is powered by a 305-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged/intercooled "BOXER" engine. The STI is exclusively performance-engineered and has other racing inspired factory goodies including a functional hood scoop, adding to the cars demeanor.

Overall, WRX has an aggressive body stance but with a bold front design and narrow headlamps. The front grille has a hexagonal look to it as the cars body in general has a wide posture. With all versions being all-wheel-drive, the base car has an MSRP of $27,390 and the high-end performance model has a price of $40,790. This includes $795 destination and delivery charges.