2018 Subaru WRX STI: Rally car for the road

Posted by Wheels On Edge about 2 years ago
Ever wanted to awaken your inner rally god? The Subaru WRX STI lets you do that. Or at least it makes you feel like you did. A host of improvements for 2018 make the new STI an even better package than it already was.

From the outside, there’s no mistaking the WRX STI with any other Subaru – even a ‘base’ WRX. New for 2018 are a set of fantastic lime green Brembo brakes (6-piston front, 2-piston rear) that barely hide behind 18-inch gunmetal Enkei alloys (19-inch optional). Sure it’s not the iconic World Rally Blue with gold wheels, but it still works nicely. The STI’s iconic massive wing and quad exhaust tips remain but for anyone seeking a little more subtlety, a low-profile trunk spoiler is also available. Subaru also tweaked the STI’s aerodynamics, reshaping the front lower and upper grilles to improve air intake and air flow. 

Under the hood, the turbocharged 2.5L 4-cylinder boxer engine, good for 305 horsepower, remains unchanged. Those power figures may not look impressive on paper, but behind the wheel, the car feels like it has an engine twice its size with all the power to match. Stomp the throttle and the STI punches you in the back of the head and pins you to its supportive Recaro seats. At around 4,000 RPM, the turbo kicks in – hard. Its power delivery is nothing short of savage. The transmission, perhaps a little too notchy, requires some finessing. It’s not as forgiving as, say, the Honda Civic Type-R’s. But once you get a feel for it, seamless shifting and a well-timed heel-toe downshift make the STI an absolute blast to drive – especially with its burbling exhaust. 
Many vehicles have switched to an electronically controlled steering system, but Subaru kept the STI a little more old school with a hydraulic system – and it works very well. The steering is sharp and responsive. Stiff suspension can be forgiving on rough city streets, but the feedback given to the driver keeps you feeling in control. The STI’s all-wheel drive certainly helps too. Push it and it’ll allow a little bit of slip, but not enough to put you in danger. New for 2018 is an electronically controlled centre differential, doing away with the mechanical version from last year’s. Subaru say it reacts faster and keeps the ride smooth and controlled. You can tweak it to be more rear biased, front biased or even fully locked. 
The STI suffers where a lot of Subarus do – the interior. It’s not exactly the lap of luxury. While it doesn’t match the level of refinement you’ll find in competitors like the Volkswagen Golf R, Subaru has made efforts to improve. You’ll still find hard plastic surfaces but visually at least, things are a little more exciting. Red seatbelts, soft touch materials, contrast red stitching and some very nice Recaro seats do take away from what is otherwise a bit of a Spartan cabin. It would be nice to see some more refinement inside. Even Subaru’s own Impreza has a nicer cabin than the STI. But on the positive side, the inside of the WRX/STI is incredibly roomy, even in the back. The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split, opening up to the equally roomy trunk.

Canadians and Subaru go hand in hand. The brand consistently reaches high sales figures in our country. Standard all-wheel-drive on all models (except BRZ) suit our climate nicely, and coupled with reliable Japanese engineering, 98% of Subarus sold in the last decade are still on the road, according to the company. The new 2018 WRX STI is a relative performance, starting at just under $40,000 in Canada. The changes Subaru made for the new model year improve on what was already an excellent package.

Written by Shane Kalicharan

Tags:
2018 Subaru WRX STI, Rally, Impreza, off-road

Latest Articles

See All
  • From Zero To Hundred (Dollars): Making Money With Your Vehicle
    From Zero To Hundred (Dollars): Making Money With ...

    February 17, 2020 - With rising costs in fuel, we can grow frustrated at having this chunk of steel in our driveway potentially wasting money. But instead, if you can start to consider using your car as a wise investment by harnessing its potential to make extra money i

  • 3 Tips for Planning Ahead for a Great Solo Road Trip
    3 Tips for Planning Ahead for a Great Solo Road Tr...

    February 15, 2020 - Road trips are some of the most fun, exciting, and adventurous ways of spending a chunk of free time that you could possibly hope for.

  • Why You Should Consider Pay-Per-Mile Insurance
    Why You Should Consider Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

    February 11, 2020 - In this way, drivers who do not drive very often, or who drive short distances, are considered to be low-risk. Of course, your insurance provider will also consider other influencing factors, such as your age, your driving history, and the car you dr

  • Top Load Versus Bottom Load: Which Auto Transport Option is Right for You?
    Top Load Versus Bottom Load: Which Auto Transport ...

    February 7, 2020 - The most important thing to think about, though, is that if you drive your car instead of shipping it you will be at a MUCH higher risk for these sorts of things damaging your vehicle.

  • Struggling To Afford A Vehicle?
    Struggling To Afford A Vehicle?

    February 7, 2020 - However, no matter what kind of a position you might be in, you should bear in mind that it is always actually perfectly possible to afford a vehicle without too much trouble, as long as you are aware of your options. In this article, we will take a

  • Cutting the Cost of Car Ownership in 2020
    Cutting the Cost of Car Ownership in 2020

    February 5, 2020 - Car ownership can be a costly business, but it doesn’t have to be. With these savvy money-saving tips, you can cut the cost of owning a car and still drive the vehicle of your dreams

  • Handy Hints For a Successful New York to Boston Trip
    Handy Hints For a Successful New York to Boston Tr...

    February 5, 2020 - A road trip from New York to Boston is definitely doable; you just need to get organized with your planning. Here are a handful of hints that might just help you during your big roadtrip.

  • DIY Car Repair on the Rise: How, Why and Where?
    DIY Car Repair on the Rise: How, Why and Where?

    February 3, 2020 - Car repairs can quickly exhaust your pocket. However, you can do a wide range of repairs yourself, regardless of your technical skills.

  • Defeating Your Nerves Before a Driving Test
    Defeating Your Nerves Before a Driving Test

    February 3, 2020 - Many of us spend weeks, not to mention our hard-earned money, learning to drive with a professional instructor, learning the rules of the road, how the car handles and practicing our skills.

  • Essential Car Checks Before a Big Trip
    Essential Car Checks Before a Big Trip

    January 27, 2020 - A long road trip helps you to see more of the world and gives you a chance to bond with your travel companions. Driving long distances can also improve your driving skills and knowledge of the road, as well as increasing your confidence.

Share This!

or