Road Report
STI look-a-like

Robert Barry has a blast in the new wide body Impreza WRX and wonders why anybody would buy the STI version?

Why, oh, why would you want an Impreza STI?

The new wide body Impreza WRX may not have the ferocious power of the Impreza STI but as an overall (and cheaper) package, I think it’s a lot nice and easier to live with on a day to day basis.

For the 2011 model year Impreza, Subaru very sensibly saw the error of its way and it has differentiated the WRX variant from its lesser 2.0 litre non-turbocharged siblings by wrapping the Rex in the same wide body clothing as the STI, and adjusting the suspension to a firmer state of tune. Not quite as rattle-your-fillings as the STI, but enough to make the WRX feel a great deal sportier without being too firm.

Admittedly I have only spent a few hours in an STI and a week in a WRX, but the vivid memories of the STI automatic and manual variants from the launch day drive were enough to convince me that this would not be my choice of daily driver. Call me a softie but the ride is just too firm and when would you use all the 221kW of power?   

The model year changes have rightly given the WRX its street credibility back, although it’s still only available as a 5-speed manual model. The more powerful STI gets a six-speed manual gear box or a five-speed automatic that is derived from the Legacy 3.6R. There’s no comment from Subaru on whether or not we will ever see a two-pedal alternative for the WRX.

Some Subaru characteristics never change however, the notch-y feeling five-speed gear lever in the WRX needs a firm and positive hand when changing up and down, and the faint transmission and differential whine still permeates the cabin particularly when the car is being driven to its fullest potential. 

But this is a sports sedan and demands to be driven like one – which also sees fuel consumption on the wrong side of the 10L/100km equation.

We weren’t overly fussed on the bucket front seats either with no lumbar support available for the driver and the seats could have done with more bolstering and padding. This became all too readily apparent when exploring the cars cornering ability, it will cling on the corner as you try to stay put in the seat.

All in all, the new WRX will appeal to died-in-the-wool Subaru fans and especially those who enjoy the unique throb-by beat of the horizontally opposed and turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine and the way it delivers power through the symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.


Body type Five-door sedan   
Drive All-wheel-drive 
Engine Type Boxer four-cylinder  
Engine Capacity 2457cc
Max power 195kW @ 6000 rpm
Max torque 343Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Consumption 10.4l/100km
C02 emission 247g/km
0 to 100kph N/a
Front suspension McPherson Strut
Rear suspension Independent double wishbone
Roof Rack N/a
ABS Brakes Yes
Air Bags 6
Air Conditioning Climate
Lap/diagonal belts 5
Satellite Navigation N/a
Electric seats N/a
Burglar Alarm Yes 
Panic Button No
Boot release Yes
Cargo Cover Yes
Boot Capacity 301/1101l
Wheel type 17-inch alloy
Spare Tyre Space saver


Through Life Cost Report
36 Months 60000km
Price   $45,990
WOF    $150.00
Registration      $1293.54
Servicing to 60k:     $2659.02
Total Tyre cost:   $2106.00
Residual (37%) $15176.70 
Indicative final figure $37021.86

The Through Life Cost Model is used for illustrative and indicative purposes only. StratCon Partnership Limited and Adrenalin Publishing Limited accept no responsibility or liability should any costs indicated in the Through Life Cost Model change from those published. All residual values are based on an average of values achieved through Turners Auctions Limited sales for the previous 3 months from issue date.




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