2015 Subaru WRX STI: First drive review
This track-ready performance wizard has learned a few new tricks.
Sharper than ever, a new iteration of the vaunted Subaru WRX STI launches this spring in the wake of the restyled and re-engineered 2015 WRX. The STI jumps out of its stablemate's slipstream with a full array of systems, technologies and refinements that raise its handling prowess and proficiency to new heights. This new WRX STI achieves the singular feat of combining the incomparable feel, razor's edge handling and fiery urge of the original STI with unprecedented comfort, refinement and even practicality. It is arguably the most capable and versatile performance car you can find — and it's sturdy and reliable to boot.
The key to this transformation, as always, is a solid foundation. Made with about a third more hardened steel, the new body shell is stronger by about 40 percent in torsion and by 30 percent in bending than its predecessor. It is also only 21 pounds heavier, in spite of added equipment, thanks in part to a new aluminum hood. Other aspects of the STI's transformation include improved visibility brought by stronger, narrower front roof pillars, a lower dashboard and a more sloping windshield with its base moved forward by eight inches. Overall length is up by only 0.6 inch, but the wheelbase has grown a full inch and rear legroom has gained almost two inches. The trunk is now a full 12 cubic feet in volume, with 60-40 split-folding rear seat backs for expansion. And the big rear spoiler? It's functional and perched so high that it doesn't impede visibility through the rear mirror.
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As with the new WRX, Subaru decided to concentrate all resources on designing the new STI as a sedan only — the favorite choice for the previous generation — leaving out the hatchback. Subaru's "performance flagship" starts out better equipped than ever with all handling and performance elements standard, plus the expected array of comfort, infotainment and safety accessories and amenities, including a rearview camera. The optional Navigation package combines a 6.1-inch touch screen and voice-activated controls, a Harman Kardon premium audio system, Bluetooth phone and audio integration, satellite radio and most digital connectors.
Limited versions get 18-inch BBS alloy wheels, leather seats with power adjustments for the driver, a power moonroof and so-called welcome lighting. The Harman Kardon audio system is standard and navigation is still optional, along with keyless entry and start. Only a thousand units of a special Launch Edition of the STI will be offered, all painted in Subaru's traditional World Rally Blue Pearl and equipped with gold-painted BBS wheels that will remain exclusive.
Under the hood
Back for a return engagement is the STI's proven 2.5-liter turbocharged horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine that can dish out 305 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. It has a nice, round burble at idle and makes music as the revs climb, some of it channeled into the cabin by a "sound creator" for sheer aural pleasure.
The STI's boxer engine is mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission. There is no optional continuously variable transmission for this top dog, unlike for the WRX. The revised manual gearbox also stays true to a parallel-shift linkage instead of the cables used on the WRX. Shifts are neat and positive, with a solid-feeling lever. Launch Edition variants are equipped with a shorter-throw shifter that is otherwise optional.
Changes made in the engine control unit to sharpen response are immediately obvious. The STI feels much livelier, even at the SI-Drive controller's mildest setting, dubbed "Intelligent." Twist the console-mounted knob to the left and you get quicker reactions to throttle input in Sport mode. I found no need to select Sport Sharp, even in brisk driving on a tight, twisty road. That mode is for track sessions, for which the STI has been specifically designed and developed.
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I have a subaru legacy station wagon 1990 111,000 miles and still gping strong.
If I buy a new car, it will be Subaru.
Thanks Subaru Company for making such a good car.
Well all I can say is don't knock it till you drive it, I'm far from a Subaru guy but have worked at multiple car dealerships and have driven a wide range of cars and trucks. Compairing this car to a Corvette is kinda of a big stretch 40k car to a 70-100k car , but lauching both the cars side by side may catch alot of people of guard the little subara will launch and take off and would surprise ya, the all wheel drive set up works well and if you ever seen the under side of one the size of the transmission is bigger then some truck transmissions and built to handle that kind of abuse.
2015 is not bad looking but I thing it looks to much like a EVO on the side.
With that being said would I own one probably not, take one for a couple days of playing around and give it back HELL YES.
A lot of hate for this car on these comment boards. While I own an Evo and not an STI, I still find them very comparable in terms of features. STI has a few more creature comforts, while the Evo has more track performance. The price tag alone of $35k MSRP is steep, but what you get is a tuner car on the cheap. I put $2k (filter, turbo-back exhaust, inlet valve, 3 port bcs, and uicp) on top of the $30,500 price tag of my brand new 2012 Evo and what I got was a 440 hp (350whp)/390wtq beast. While this may seem close to a Mustang GT, which is the only other car with a lot of hp for it's price, I love how the Evo/STI handle in all weather conditions. For $35k, you really can't find 440hp with an amazing AWD system and a bunch of other electronic and suspension goodies.
All cars have their calling to each person.
Like the looks of it but ditch the spoiler that does not help the overall look of the car.