Late last year when I was looking for a new car I had just came out of a Passat TDi130 Highline wagon. I was initially looking at an Outback but decided we didn’t really need two large cars (we had a territory as well which we have just traded on a new GXL Prado).
When I was at the dealership I decided to test drive the newly released MY16 WRX. Initially I was very skeptical about the CVT transmission but when my wife said “don’t worry, I will learn to drive a manual in the WRX” I thought the CVT would be the best way to go considering she drives it about 60% of the time.
I have now done ~7000km in the car and it has been great, the CVT had been a real surprise and when changing into sport sharp mode the car really tightens up and comes alive, the CVT even gives you 8 close ratio “gears” in sport sharp mode and the paddles behind the steering wheel are great. I prefer this gearbox over the VW DSG which I found very jerky.The new 2.0 turbo is also brilliant which comes on strong from 2000rpm and spins freely to nearly 7000rpm.
The only thing is I wish Subaru had incorporated some sort of launch control when in sports sharp so the revs can built up to 3000rpm or so before launching. Fuel economy has been reasonably good considering I drive it quite hard when I am behind the wheel. I haven’t managed to match the claimed 8.6/100km but my long term average is currently 10.0/100.
We live around a lot of back roads which is where the WRX is really at home. It corners effortlessly and you have to be incredibly aggressive to push the car into under steer. This will never keep up with a current generation SS or XR6 Turbo but around the back roads it leaves them for dead (it will out gun them in the wet in a straight line of course).
Overall interior fit and finish has come a long way and overall most things do have a nice feel and look to them. Saying that there are still a few nasty plastics and blank buttons which seems out of place considering this is the premium model.
A few strange omissions. The premium STI comes with heated seats and dual zone climate control (even the base STI has dual zone climate) but the premium wrx comes with single zone climate and misses out on the headed seats with tacky blanks covering the buttons when the controls should be. Also it doesn’t come with front or rear parking sensors, the car is small so there is no issue but at this price point it should be standard. The 9-speaker Harmon Kardon system is OK but it’s far from premium, I was expecting better sound quality, I find the generic 9-speaker system in our Prado better.
What you do get is a cracking gearbox and motor combination, awesome handling, comfortable interior with plenty of features such as push button start with passive entry, power folding door mirrors, leather interior with electric drivers seat, auto LED headlights with auto dipping, auto wipers, auto dipping rear vision mirror, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, bluetooth, satnav, touchscreen infotainment system, 2 x USB port and 12V sockets, AUX jack cruise control and 5 star safety
Overall the new WRX premium is a cracking package and well worth a look if your looking for something around the $45k mark