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Why 2016 Subaru WRX earns an A for performance and beats its rivals

Edmunds rates the 2016 Subaru WRX and it gets high marks for performance, interior and driving dynamics. Where did they rate WRX low?

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The 2016 Subaru WRX is selling at a fast clip and remains a popular choice with performance enthusiasts in North America. rated the performance sedan and gave it an A for performance, interior and fun to drive ratings. These ratings are no surprise since the WRX gets a bump in horsepower, and new 6-speed manual gearbox and the handling is superb in the curves.

Subaru dropped the hatchback model for 2015 which upset many loyal fans, but the interior still offers a usable space and cargo carrying ability and the sedan body style has excellent outward visibility. The WRX ramps up the fun-to-drive meter with the new 2.0-liter turbo boxer engine mated to the 6-speed manual and the suspension gets new upgrades making it even quicker in the corners.

Where does WRX get low marks?

According to Edmunds, the 2016 WRX gets a C in the comfort category because of its firm ride and noise level in the cabin. They think the WRX’s ride is too “hoppy” over the bumps and the suspension lacks compliance. Those who buy the compact sedan are looking for performance and driving dynamics over ride comfort. We would definitely agree that WRX is noisy inside and needs some extra sound-deadening materials to keep the tire and wind noise suppressed.

Edmunds also gives WRX a lower grade of C in the areas of MPG and Ownership. The WRX gets an EPA estimated 20/27 city/highway and 23 combined mpg and is below chief rivals Ford Focus ST and VW GTI. The WRX comes with all-wheel-drive which lowers mpg, where it's rivals don't offer AWD. The Subaru performance sedan also gets low marks for ownership with its 3 years/36,000 mile roadside assistance compared to the Ford ST’s 5 years/60,000 miles. Volkswagen has a 1-year/10,000-mile free maintenance program, Subaru and Ford have none.

Edmunds doesn’t mention safety

Overall, Edmunds is impressed with the WRX and gives it an overall grade of A but fails to talk about its safety performance. The 2016 Subaru WRX excels in this area and has just earned the IIHS 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK+ (TSP+) along with the highest possible rating of “Superior”. The U.S. spec WRX achieves Superior for front crash prevention when equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology. Read more about WRX safety performance here.

Edmunds does mention that the 2016 Subaru WRX has all-wheel-drive, but this is a big advantage over rivals Volkswagen GTI and Ford Focus ST that only offer front-drive configuration. Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive offers superior road handling on wet, snowy and icy roads and will get you home when others are stuck on the side of the road.

Media source: Edmunds

Image source: Subaru by way of Yichao Xue

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