Subaru WRX STI -

Used Car Review

Subaru WRX STI Final Edition front action
Subaru WRX STI Final Edition head on action
Subaru WRX STI Final Edition front static
Subaru WRX STI Final Edition rear action
Subaru WRX STI Final Edition cockpit

THE car most people would love to own from the Subaru range is the turbocharged WRX STI.

This brilliant rally car for the road is not for the faint hearted, but few others can cover the miles on twisting B roads with such ease.

Other versions of the car with less powerful engines were still called Impreza, but the company decided that the top barnstormer would have the name that evoked so much of the car's history in world rallying.

A note of caution however. If you decide on one of these, check you can insure it first - and remember that it may well have been pushed very hard by previous owners, with consequent effect on the engine and everything else.

The earlier WRX Imprezas were performance cars of the first water, with engines and chassis honed on rally special stages in the hands of famous names like Colin McCrae and Richard Burns.

So this one had a hard act to follow but it does so in spades. Spectacular performance puts it up there with the likes of the Golf R and M135i BMW, and standard four wheel drive helps towards almost unbelievable traction and roadholding.

Let's get to the figures. There's just one engine available - a 2.5-litre in Subaru's usual ‘flat four' configuration for low centre of gravity to give better handling, driving through a slick and quick six speed manual gearbox but with a fairly hefty clutch.

With 296bhp on tap it reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in just five seconds, and on the Autobahn in Germany, can power on to a maximum speed of 159 miles an hour.

Obviously, economy is not the main point of such a car, but it's rated at 27 miles per gallon at very best, insurance is group 40 and road tax £615 a year. If you're worried about emissions, you're not going to buy it.

The other performance cars I mentioned above are pretty good all-rounders to live with every day.

But the WRX is less comfortable and less forgiving, and it doesn't come with top end interior spec.

Instead, it's a focussed and dedicated sports saloon with huge urge from any speed that has to be experienced to be believed.

The car's handling can be altered to suit different drivers from the driver's seat. Using the four wheel drive system, the amount of power going to the front and rear wheels can be changed and the steering sharpened from something that is already a live thing in your hands!

The accelerator response can also be individualized using the company's S Mode system. In standard mode the car maximises economy and smooth response, and in Sport or S, engine response is improved.

Finally comes S# - or Sport Sharp for the musicians out there. This gives the best and most immediate accelerator control, but it necessitates complete concentration from the driver.

Inside, everything is pretty up-market, with good quality fit and finish, soft touch plastics and racing seats - which are not always easy to get in and out of.

Standard kit includes all the electronics already mentioned plus alarm, cruise control, headlight washers, part leather trim, audio remote, heated mirrors and of course, big alloy wheels.

Pay £15,550 for a '16 16-reg WRX STI or £19,600 for one on an '18 67-reg plate.


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