STI for Everyday
August 2, 2018
You either hate the way this car looks or you love it. I've had two, so you know which category I fall in. The AWD is great, the engine is punchy, without much lag from the turbocharger, and it's actually not a bad people hauler. Subaru hasn't done any real overhauls to this engine since the STI was first released state-side in 2004. It's still a good engine, but doesn't benefit from technological improvements that have been introduced such as variable scroll turbochargers or direct injection. Both of these would increase power and fuel economy. While the car does have 3 driving modes, the Intelligent (fuel efficient) mode has never returned me more that 22MPG, which is terrible for a 4 cylinder. The car is powerless and a complete bummer to drive in that mode. Stick with Sport or Sport Sharp, and sacrifice the 2 MPG you lose. The STI is really brought to life by piggyback systems like the Cobb Accessport. It's money well spent adding something like this to the car. Power increases and is more consistent throughout the entire rev range.
I came out of a BMW and into this car because I needed a 4-door, so I might be a little biased, but like I said this is the 2nd STI I have owned (previous was 2004). The seats are not that great. My butt usually goes number after 30 minutes of driving, and they are not that adjustable. The manual transmission is typical Subaru, notchy. There is no super fast shifting because of this. Another problem with the transmission is the gearing. 1st gear might as well be useless, and 2nd gear tops out at about 55 MPH, so the gearing is really close. Highway cruising at 70 let's you enjoy the drone of the engine at 3000 RPM for miles. The ride is stiff and you feel EVERY bump in the road. The interior might as well be out of a Corolla, because it looks cheap and plastic.
But you're not going to buy this car because of all that. You buy this car because it looks like a space ship. You launch a 300+ HP car with a sophisticated AWD system from stoplight to stoplight for pleasure. You buy it because the fenders flare out, the hood scoop sucks air into a top-mounted intercooler and the rear wing doubles as a picnic table. People everywhere will look, they will asks questions, yell out their windows, give thumbs up and stalk you at the gas stations. Do I love this car? Yes. Does it have its quirks? Of course, but they just make you love the car even more.