In a day and age where computers dictate performance, and electronic nannies squash fun, it’s great to see that Subaru still laughs at conventionalism with the 2016 WRX STi. This is a rally car for the street and one of the most communicative sport sedans I’ve driven in quite some time. The last STi I drove was a 2008 model and I thought it was a riot back then. It’s good to see that manufacturers are still up for a bit of fun when the mood strikes them.
For the full 2016 Subaru WRX STi review, specs, pricing and data, read on…
2016 Subaru WRX STi Exterior:
This is a car that’s always been about bravado. It’s Subaru’s performance flagship and over the years the STi has morphed into an icon that’s simply known to devour pavement and gravel roads alike. With flared fenders front and rear, a functional hood scoop and a quad-tip dual exhaust system that’s housed in a satin black rear diffusor, the 2016 STi is anything but subtle. Large 18×8.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels wearing 245/40-series summer performance rubber keep you planted on the tarmac while a front fascia with its blacked out grill and LED flanked projector beam headlamps lets onlookers know this isn’t a standard WRX.
2016 Subaru WRX STi Interior:
Crafting a cabin befitting the carnival ride exterior was no easy task for Subaru stylists. Yet by incorporating elements such as carbon fiber accents, leather and suede seating surfaces along with some slick LCD readout screens, they’ve managed to do it with flying colors. An analog gauge cluster with a 3.5-inch LCD information screen and large red dials is easy to view behind the thick rimmed, flat-bottomed steering wheel. Highly bolstered heated sport seats offer great lateral and lumbar support. A multi-functional display with climate control, boost gauge and mileage readouts sits atop the center dash.
The focal point of the cabin is no doubt the red-topped six-speed shifter that lives in the carbon fiber paneled center console. A driver controlled center locking differential switch resides at the base of the console as well. Rear seat room is adequate for adults and offers 60/40-split fold-down seat backs. Trunk space is a usable 12.0 cubic feet. Overall fit and finish was quite good with the materials used being of high quality. Thanks to the large windows and high roofline, outward visibility was also top notch with no blind spots detected. Some may consider the STi’s interior to be a bit sparse. Personally, and as a performance car enthusiast, I think it’s just about perfect.
2016 Subaru WRX STi Performance:
The heart of the 2016 WRX STi is its 2.5L turbocharged and intercooled flat-4 that utilizes an aluminum block and heads along with port fuel injection. Output is rated at 305-hp and 290-lb-ft of torque. Combine this with all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission and an adjustable center differential, and the STi will hit 60-mph in about 5-seconds flat. Top speed is just shy of 160 mph – nice.
Power output aside, the STi is one of the most communicative cars currently on the market. Steering inputs are crisp and information is relayed back to the driver in a way that many other performance cars have lost. Under the 18-inch alloys are Brembo brakes on 12.8-inch rotors that help bring the STi to a halt rather firmly. Basic on road performance is just fine with a ride that lends itself to the firm side. The manual transmission is crisp with a clutch engagement that’s a breeze to live with on a daily basis.
Open the hood and you’ll notice that the engine is quite attractive to look at with its big intercooler and red crinkle-covered plumbing. Twisty roads are where the STi wants to be and as such it’s a riot to drive enthusiastically. It handles great, there’s little in the way of body roll and it truly does make you feel like a rally driver with that distinct flat-four sound. Sure there are cars that make more power, but remember that this is a road car in which you can use 100% of the power and giggle the entire time you’re doing it. Mileage on the 2016 WRX STi is EPA rated at 17-mpg city, 23-highway and 19-mpg in combined driving.**
2016 Subaru WRX STi Safety:
Safety is paramount in a sport sedan and to that end Subaru does not disappoint. Some of the safety features include Subaru Symmetrical All-wheel Drive, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Advanced Frontal Airbag System, Side Seat and Side Curtin Airbags, Anti-lock Brakes, Traction Control, a Rear Vision Camera and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to name a few.
2016 Subaru WRX STi Overall:
There is a reason the Subaru WRX STi has been around for over 15 years – it’s wicked good fun. With an MSRP of $34,695.00 and an “as tested” price of $35,490.00* you get a 305-horsepower all-wheel drive imported hot-rod that’s not only a hoot to drive, but is just at home on your favorite gravel road as it is on the racetrack. That’s something not too many cars can lay claim to.
Drop by your local AutoNation Subaru dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $34,695.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.