2021 Subaru WRX STI: Cost, facts and figures (2023)

Subaru is known for a few things. On the one hand, practical everyday vehicles that, thanks to the AWD system, offer a whole host of adventure-worthy features, on the other hand, brutal rally performance. The WRX STI is the icon of the latter category and remains Subaru's most legendary performance car since it became an ultra-rare Japan exclusive.Debut model from 1994. Marking a long list of WRC victories, the WRX STI was born out of one goal: to transform the Impreza into a winning rally beast.

That goal was achieved, and the rally-ready Impreza remains a practical everyday driver with insane speed and AWD handling. The Generation VA WRX STI has its downsides, and while it's aging alongside its almost 17-year-old engine, Subaru's Rally Champion is still an exciting and competitive race for 2021.

An aged but loved heart

2021 Subaru WRX STI: Cost, facts and figures (1)

Like every WRX STI before it, the 2021 model is based on the regular Impreza sedan - sadly, the super-practical hatchback hasn't carried over to the WRX or WRX STI for a while. Apart from the shortcomings of the hatchback, a big change has taken place with the introduction of the VA generation in 2015. The WRX and STI no longer used a slightly modified Impreza body, instead a unique design was created for it. Still with the hood and massive wing, the 2021 WRX STI looks great with an understated but aggressive design that seems serious.

Those looks aren't for show either, because under the hood of the 2021 WRX STI is the venerable 2.5-litre EJ257 turbocharged flat-four that produces a healthy 310 horsepower along with the iconic rumbling exhaust note. While the WRX dropped the EJ series for the new FA in 2015, the EJ257 that remains in the WRX STI has been used on the model since 2004, making it a 17-year-old project today - albeit with somemade small changes along the way.Subaru's iconic full-time symmetrical AWD system that puts out this power is mated to just one transmission - aEnthusiast Charming 6 speed manual gearbox.

Rally-built performance is standard

2021 Subaru WRX STI: Cost, facts and figures (2)

Positioned at the pinnacle of Subaru's performance fleet, the WRX STI has always had a focus on precise handling and high speed, and 2021 is no exception to that tradition. That doesn't come without flaws, especially for an engine whose design is a year away from being a legal adult. Whether you love the old-school turbo styling or not, that can be a good thing or a bad thing, but the EJ257 does have a bit of lag, which makes driving dynamics difficult at low revs with the 6-speed manual gearbox doing the day-to-day Driving can be a breeze, little work compared to the standard WRX. Once the turbo kicks in, the WRX STI lets you forget all those troubles with a smile-making wall of acceleration.

Related:These are the perfect cars for city dwellers in 2021

Featuring a 6-speed manual transmission, proven AWD grip, front and rear locking differentials, aDriver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD)that torque vectoring and some stiff sport suspension to complement the turbo power, the WRX STI explodes on back roads and offers a pure and exhilarating driving experience even on dirt roads -It's a legendary rally carfinally for a reason.

Of course, a clean, sporty driving experience has its downsides in everyday driving, and when it comes to overall comfort, the WRX is a better choice if that's your priority. But if your top priority is an exciting and legendary driving experience, the WRX STI is even more appealing with large Brembo 6-piston front and 2-piston rear brakes that add great stopping power to the dynamics and a 5-star NHTSA rating and the IIHS superior safety selection give you even more confidence in the car.

2021 Subaru WRX STI: Cost, facts and figures (3)

a practical artist

Speed, power and handling are all very good, but as a regular 11 car, the WRX STI also brings its Impreza-based practicality into the mix, allowing for real everyday handling. Offering 12 cubic feet of trunk space, the WRX STI's rear seats can fold flat to accommodate even more cargo, or split 60/40 so one can lie upright while the others fold down. Compared toHonda Civic Typ R, the WRX STI can't beat the Civic hatchback's 25.7-cubic-foot trunk, but it's not the biggest deal in this market -- though with its lack of a hatchback option, it's lagged behind in terms of internal cargo space for years.

The optional Thule crossbars make boot space a moot point, and fit into a roof rack, further expanding cargo capacity - and also a roof rack looks (subjectively) pretty cool on a luxury sedan, although it hurts fuel economy a little. Speaking of fuel economy, that's far from a strong point of the WRX STI, but most buyers won't prioritize that. At 22mpg highway and 16mpg city, the WRX STI is only marginally better thanum Ford Mustang GT 2021- although "smiles per gallon" tends to be more important on high performance cars.

2021 Subaru WRX STI: Cost, facts and figures (4)

A comfortable and sporty interior

All this practicality, drivable everyday performance and legendary handling is complemented by a somewhat basic but comfortable and enjoyable cockpit. As standard, the WRX STI comes with Ultrasuede and leather upholstery all round, along with sport seats that hug you well and optional heated seats with the All Weather package. The optional Recaro seats, which make the WRX STI an even sportier experience, are even more comfortable for driving on race tracks or back roads.

Standard equipment continues, including a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, dual USB ports, dual-zone climate control, a backup camera and keyless entry. In terms of screen, the WRX STI isn't great in today's market, but it's still pretty good, with a 5.9-inch screen at the top of the dash showing information like performance metrics and a 7-inch touchscreen center with STARLINK multimedia as well as Apple Car Play and Android Auto functionality and Bluetooth phone connectivity. Plus, the WRX STI's sound system sounds as good as its legendary exhaust note with a standard 6-speaker sound system or a 9-speaker Harmon Kardon system with a 440-watt amplifier.

One area where the WRX STI is obviously lacking compared to the market is driver support. While Subaru's excellent EyeSight driver assistance suite is available as an option on the WRX, it's simply not available on the WRX STI.

2021 Subaru WRX STI: Cost, facts and figures (5)

Equipment variants and prices

When it comes to trim levels, the WRX STI is a no-nonsense car. Optional extras like a short-travel shifter (an excellent option for 6-speeds), an STI-branded gear knob, an Ultrasuede steering wheel and a Thule roof rack are available, but the choice isn't huge. You can also get just one power and one drivetrain, so both trim levels work essentially the same, but you have 2 to choose from:

WRXSTI: US$ 37.245.

The entry-level model (although the STI is still the top-end WRX), the standard WRX STI gets most of the features available, but lacks a few nicer bits offered in the limited trim level.

WRX STI Limited: US$ 41.945.

In terms of features over the entry-level WRX STI, the Limited doesn't have a great list, but it does include Recaro seats, a power moonroof, a 7-inch touchscreen with STARLINK, and GPS navigation (base doesn't include GPS) as standard. ), the Harmon Kardon Sound System and blind spot detection with lane change assistant and parking assistant.

Whichever trim you choose, you also get a 3-year 36,000 mile warranty and a 5-year 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

Fonts: Subaru.com, Car and Driver

NEXT:Is the STI much better than the Subaru WRX?

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