The WRX has become a bit of a motoring legend over the years and when you add the letters STI after it that legend grows better.
Now while there’s doubt how good the STI’s track credentials are just looking at the specs are enough to convince you how good it would be on a race track.
On the outside the STi doesn’t just say it’s fast it screams it from the highest point from its big bonnet scoop, pumped guards, bright yellow brembo front and rear calliper’s surrounded by 19inch alloys wrapped in sticky rubber, rear diffuser with twin exhaust to the massive rear wing, the STi means business from any angle and its business is going fast.
While it would very easy to write a review of the STI concentrating on all of its performance aspects, you really need a race track or close off dirt road to really do it justice. Now while the big reviewers can afford to hire out tracks to do that sort of thing. I’m not rich nor do I make any money from my reviews to able to afford to do that.
I decided to take a different tack with the STi, they are lots of cars on the market and that’s see if you can actually have your cake and eat it too, can the STI double up as a daily driver as well as the fantastic track weapon for weekend fun.
The interior is well set out the leather
Slip behind the leather clad flat bottomed steering and push the starter button and you are greeted with a deep rorty exhaust noise you get expect from a Subaru boxer engine.
The clutch has light smooth action and the gear shift is not only short but very precise and slick.
With 221kW under the bonnet from the 2.5L turbo boxer engine the STi has no issue at all keeping up with traffic the only problem is that 1st gear is rather short so quickly grabbing 2nd gear which does become rather tedious especially in Sydney peak hour traffic.
The more rev’s you get on board the more the STi comes to life and the ton comes up rather quickly when entering the freeway.
Fuel economy is not going to be absolutely stellar but I’d see it in the high 11’s low 12’s when I was trying to be good but really it’s hard to resist to urge to give it a bit of right foot every now and again.
The 6 speed manual gearbox is an absolute dream to use the shifts were short and precise thanks to the STi short shifter and the clutch was light and easy to find the take up point on.
On the road as you would expect the STi is sprung on the firm side of things so while it doesn’t ride like your run of the mill Impreza it’s certainly not massively uncomfortable and the sports suspension does a great job of soaking up most of the bumps. I could certainly live with the ride for a daily drive especially when the payoff is the wonderful handling it has you want to explore the further reaches of performance.
As I mentioned before to fully use the STi to its full extent you would need a race track, something this little blog just doesn’t unfortunately have access too. However I did get to drive the STi down some challenging twisty roads and the STi was pretty damn good indeed.
The steering is sharp and perfectly waited giving a certain confidence that you know the cars is going to go where you point it every time.
Safety wise the STi has received a 5 Star NCAP rating and coming standard with the following.
Vehicle Dynamics Control system (VDC) featuring: Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Traction Control System (TCS), Active Torque Vectoring system.
Rear view reverse camera, Vision Assist featuring: Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Front View Monitor (FVM), High Beam Assist (HBA), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic alert (RCTA), Side View Monitor (SVM), SRS airbags dual front, dual front side and curtain.
After a week I came away really impressed with the STi whether it would make a great daily as well as a great weekend toy I would say that it would come down to personal preference.
While I didn’t find anything exceptionally wrong with using it as a daily driver the manual Trans and short first gear did become rather tiresome in bumper to bumper traffic. While some purists would be up in arms about an auto STi I think the addition of either a proper auto (Not a CVT) or dual clutch transmission (DCT) would be a welcome addition to the STi and actually open it up to more sales as well.
The firm ride might be a little annoying for some people after a while as well but if you can live with the manual transmission and a firm ride then you would love it.
With a combination of power, great handling, sharp steering and AWD grip you can’t knock performance of the STi.
My best advice would be to head down to your Subaru dealer and check one out in person and see if you can get an extended test drive. For more info on the Impreza STi check their website www.subaru.com.au
Subaru WRX STI Premium
Engine: 2.5L turbocharged 4 cylinder Boxer engine, 221kW@6000rpm, Maximum torque: 407Nm@4000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Dual zone climate control air conditioning, 8-way power seat with dual memory, driver Electric lumbar support, Sports bucket seats with red stitching and embossed STI logo, Leather seat trim, Heated seats, Leather steering wheel and gear shift.
Electronic Throttle Control system (ETC), Cruise Control , Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive): Intelligent (I) mode , Sport (S) mode, Sport Sharp (S#) mode, Multi-mode Driver’s Control Centre Differential (DCCD).
Smart key with push button start, Auto-dimming rear view mirror, 19″ alloy wheels, Door mirrors with indicators, heated and power folding mirrors.
Rear spoiler (optional), Brembo brakes yellow calliper’s with STI logo, STI sports mesh grille, Tail pipe covers.
Self levelling LED headlights with auto off (dusk-sensing), Rear fog light, Rain sensing front wipers, Front wipers with de-icer, Electric sunroof.
Multi-Function Display unit (MFD), Integrated infotainment system with 7″ touchscreen, Satellite navigation, 8 Harman kardon®2 speakers, subwoofer and amplifier, Bluetooth ®3 wireless technology.
Rear view reverse camera, Auxiliary jack, USB connections (x2), Voice command recognition, Vision Assist featuring: Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Front View Monitor (FVM), High Beam Assist (HBA), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Side View Monitor (SVM).