2016 Subaru WRX STi Review
Subaru Impreza WRX STi’s have a long history of being a poster car for children all over the world. Now it’s back, known solely as the WRX STi, and its iconic looks have been given a modern design overhaul. Best of all, it still maintains everything you expect from the rally-derived car – 2.5L turbocharged boxer engine, 4wd, massive rear wing and superb grip.
The WRX STi looks like an absolute beast but it’s not overly done. Everything about it serves a purpose, for example, the massive wing and rear diffuser help plant the car on the road. Its big scoop no longer sits on top of the bonnet like in earlier models, it now sits in a dip with just a slight raise, looking much more tasteful. The body is wider, longer and lower than previous generations giving it an impressive stance. This car is good looking from every angle and you’d be hard pressed to find a fault with it. The classic Subaru blue paint and pink STi badge complete the looks and reference the car’s rally heritage.
Inside, the bucket seats are comfortable and firm with good bolsters. They’re a mix of leather and Alcantara with red leather accents, complementing the overall trim. Different trim levels adorn the pleasant interior with metallic looking plastic, soft velvet and carbon fibre and red highlights. Media controls sit at thumb level on the small sports steering wheel, that has a flat Formula 1 end. In the back, there’s plenty of room for two adults to sit comfortably, even on long journeys. The drivers’ seating position makes for great visibility, even with the massive rear spoiler, as it’s raised in the middle to give you maximum window real estate. As expected in a Subaru, there is plenty of boot space, with 460L of storage.
This is not a car that will let you off lightly, it’s a driver’s car and it makes sure you work to drive it. However, this is exactly the reason you’d be buying the WRX STi, it’s quick and sticks to the road, making sure you feel everything. Subaru’s rally history really shines through here, leading to a phenomenal thrill every time you switch it up. A 300bhp, 2.5L turbocharged boxer engine powers the WRX STi making it surprisingly quick, perhaps quicker than people would expect. Additionally, there is some turbo lag and power doesn’t really kick in until you get above 2,500rpm, at which point it shoots up to 6,500rpm. Braking leaves something to be desired as the pedal feels quite stiff and unresponsive, adding to the work you need to put in. Steering is tight and precise, making the car’s handling superb.
Entertainment is kept to a minimum, this car is all about the driving. As standard, you get a 4.3inch Alpine media system equipped with six speakers, 2 USB inputs, Bluetooth, hands-free and auxiliary input. This can all be controlled from thumb level controls on the steering wheel, reducing distractions while driving. Subaru’s SI-DRIVE, engine management system, features three driver-selectable settings that are tailored to different driving conditions. Intelligent Mode, maximises fuel economy and continuously optimises the engine which is perfect for urban driving. Sport Mode, offers a more direct response and is best for all round driving. Finally, Sport Sharp Mode, unlocks the WRX STi’s maximum potential and is ideal for motorway driving and tackling twisty roads.
In the first 10 minutes, the WRX STi is one of the most exciting cars to drive and it’s most people’s dream car for that very feeling. However, this isn’t an everyday car and the experience is mood dependent. Comfort and performance are all you want from a car and this provides that but having to put so much work into driving it will put many off. For most people, the WRX STi will remain just a dream but for the lucky few who can afford it, it will be worth every penny.