2018 Subaru WRX STI: Rally car for the road

Posted by Wheels On Edge about 11 months 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
  • We're Making Driving More Expensive For Ourselves!
    We're Making Driving More Expensive For Ourselves!

    September 20, 2018 - Well, pretty much your whole life is going to revolve around driving now, so, have a read on, and let us show you a few ways that you’re probably making driving more expensive for yourself.

  • Things Every New Motorcyclist Should Know
    Things Every New Motorcyclist Should Know

    September 19, 2018 - There are many things new motorcyclists should be aware of if they want to stay safe and enjoy their riding. Motorcycle riding can give a feeling of freedom and excitement, but you do not want to put yourself in any danger.

  • Top Tips To Avoid Road Accidents
    Top Tips To Avoid Road Accidents

    September 19, 2018 - Car accidents are a horrid part of motoring life. No one thinks it will happen to them, but you're unlikely to go many years without some form of mishap occurring - whether you're to blame or not. Of course, you can never make yourself immune, but it

  • Why Do So Many Drivers Give Up?
    Why Do So Many Drivers Give Up?

    September 14, 2018 - You might think this is strange as driving is so essential to some people, but there are actually quite a few really good reasons why some car owners might simply never get behind the wheel again. Read on to find out more!

  • No License, No Problem: Off-Road adventure at the Calabogie Boogie
    No License, No Problem: Off-Road adventure at the ...

    September 13, 2018 - Off-road riding is an interesting area of motorcycling, as, in many cases, you don’t actually need a license to do it. You’ll certainly find your share of licensed riders – both new and seasoned – partaking. But you’ll also find riders of all skill l

  • 4 Essential Things To Do After Buying A Used Car
    4 Essential Things To Do After Buying A Used Car

    September 10, 2018 - There’s nothing wrong with dipping into the used car market. In fact, you will often find some absolute bargains when you purchase a second-hand car. Regardless of whether you’ve bought a vintage vehicle or a modern machine that’s only a year old; he

  • Titanium Gleams in the Automobile Industry
    Titanium Gleams in the Automobile Industry

    September 10, 2018 - Titanium’s strength, light weight, and high survival rate is making it a top choice for cutting edge cars and in this post, we will highlight just a few of its most cutting edge uses.

  • Off-Roading: How To Choose The Perfect Vehicle
    Off-Roading: How To Choose The Perfect Vehicle

    September 3, 2018 - If you’ve given off-roading a try and have decided that you really enjoy getting out and about and cruising across country instead of on the roads, then you might be thinking about treating yourself to your own off-road vehicle

  • 2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Putting the Fun in Funky
    2019 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: Putting the Fun in Fu...

    September 3, 2018 - Two doors or four doors? When you’re buying a sporty car, it’s a choice many buyers are faced with. But Hyundai did things a little differently, giving you a sweet spot in the middle with three doors in the Veloster. When it first launched in 2011,

  • What Should You Do After a Minor Car Collision?
    What Should You Do After a Minor Car Collision?

    August 30, 2018 - It’s worth knowing what you should do and how you should conduct yourself if you’re ever in this situation yourself. So you should read on now and learn more about what you should do after a minor car collision.

Share This!

or