Apr 15, 2016
Reviewed By Chad Tyson
Price as Tested $39,790: 2.5-liter 305-hp DOHC turbocharged flat four, 6-sp manual transmission, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Vehicle Dynamics Control
Likes

Sublime handling. Steering is tight and direct. Subaru’s 2.5-liter boxer is as good as ever. Clutch catches near the floor enabling quick take offs. Of course the all-wheel drive helps with the (potentially violent and) sudden launches. Audio system is sufficient to drown out road noise, with minimal eardrum rupturing.

Dislikes

HyperBlue is easy enough to confuse with the middle-aged man’s favorite little blue pill — give me the WR Blue Pearl any day. Combine that with the boy-racer spoiler and there’s no subtlety left with this car. First gear ratio reminds me of the granny gears in old pickups. That sublime handling is due to stiff springs, which make the ride akin to sitting in a bucket of bolts rattling around down the highway.

Verdict

A car for year-round enjoyment. There is no weather to fear in the WRX STI — aside from perhaps snowdrifts. There are a number of cars that compete on the all-wheel-drive, turbo level: VW’s Golf R, Ford’s Focus RS, and for the last time, Mitsubishi’s Evo MR. Each has their merit, but the STI has dominated the hearts, minds and sales of that segment for a long time. It’ll be a bit before the direct competitors can break through Subaru’s reputation and are considered on par. This is the car, depending on color, which can either blend in or stand out, with as much performance as one needs.

Fun to Drive
4.5 rating
Fun to Look at
4.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.5 rating
Stats
Horsepower 305
EPA Mileage 17/23

For more about this car, please visit the manufacturer's website.