The new-generation Subaru Impreza is one of the best small cars on the market, the vehicle only really let down by its CVT (constantly variable transmission).
Here, in the manual version of the Subaru WRX, there is no such issue and the car is then able to be judged in a different light.
Yes, I know the WRX, especially the STI version, is a completely different kettle of fish to your standard Impreza, however you get to enjoy all the good bits of the car, without feeling disappointed by dull performance.
It’s also not a bad looker, with or without the enhancements that come bolted on to the WRX STI.
The body-kit and bright yellow brembo brake calipers make sure the car never goes unnoticed.
Some of the things that make the new Impreza/WRX a winner include the roomy interior, excellent visibility, attractive interior layout/feel, good cabin storage, and generous boot.
Top marks also to Subaru for the clever placement of USB inputs in the forward console storage bin.
And I felt the speedometer was also a bit cluttered and took more than a quick glance to make out the speed we were traveling at.
It isn’t the most comfortable car getting around – the sports seats have big/very firm side bolsters on the base and unless you’re about 70kgs you may feel a bit cramped.
There’s also no real centre console arm rest and thus, unless you’re constantly driving with hands on wheel/gear shift, you don’t really have a place to rest your arm (noticeable on long highway drives).
There’s also no digital radio and that’s a letdown when spending this kind of money.
Drive and Engine
The performance model, even above the standard WRX, doesn’t really disappoint.
There’s better than adequate performance, fantastic road-holding and handling, nice (albeit quite heavy) steering, beefy brakes, and the car gets more than enough attention on the roads.
Firstly, the ride is completely tuned to sporty driving, don’t expect a soft and supple ride.
Turning circle – it is what you would call acceptable, but certainly larger than a standard Impreza.
While be prepared to have to feed your WRX only the more expensive 98 octane fuel.
The Subaru WRX STI comes with a full five star ANCAP safety rating.
- Good looking design
- Awesome road holding and handling
- Nice heavy steering
- Great visibility
- Roomy interior
- Big boot
Not So Good
- No digital radio
- Seat bolsters not so comfortable for larger people
Facts and Figures: 2018 Subaru WRX STI
- Engine: 2.5 litre turbo-petrol 221kW and 407Nm
- Transmission: Six-speed manual
- Warranty: Three years
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $50,040