Flash Drive

2016 Subaru WRX STI

Model Tested: 2016 Subaru WRX STI

The Subaru WRX STI was born for twisty country roads. High speed handling is its forte.

Engine: 2.5-liter flat-4 turbocharged, 305 horsepower 290 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed manual, all-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway/19 mpg combined

Base Price: $38,995

As Tested: $39,790


An all-wheel-drive rocket

Crazy acceleration and handling

Super quick and nimble

Slick 6-speed and clutch

Adjustable drive modes for sport and sport sharp

Adjustable center differential

Full complement of spoilers and scoops

Don’t try this type of aggressive dirt road driving in your average compact sedan.

Powerful, but livable exhaust note

Quite firm ride—expansion joints easily felt


Great, supportive suede seats

Deep side bolsters for aggressive cornering

Seat height pump

No lumbar or power seat adjustments

Stretch-out front legroom

Two temperature heated front seats

Superb, thick, highly contoured leather steering wheel

Flat bottomed steering wheel

The WRX STI leather steering wheel is one of the best around.

Very good auxiliary controls

Spacious rear seat; ample knee and headroom

Good shoe room under front seats

Tall floor hump

Good sound and navigation systems


Roomy trunk with a flat floor

Split rear seats fold flat

Wide pass-through

Only bottle notches for rear doors, no bins

One seatback storage pouch

Small console and front door bins

Big sun visors

Medium locking glovebox

Performance modes and differential controls are located on the center console.

OK rear visibility even with wing

Perforated metal pedal covers

WOW Factors:

A street legal go-kart

Grin inducing acceleration

Wild, aggressive styling

Great front seats and legroom

Super steering wheel


Rear wing can draw unwanted attention

The WRX STI rear wing is part of the wild styling package.

Cheap headliner and trunk carpet for a 40K car

No rear seat center armrest

Limited interior storage

Bottom Line:

Performance handily beats comfort in the Subaru WRX STI. There is ample interior room and the front seats are great, but the suspension is firm. The WRX STI is incredibly fun on twisty backroads, but kind of overkill in congested traffic. Darting through tight traffic and blasting up freeway onramps only makes you wish for open roads.