I’ve had an insatiable urge to get completely sideways while driving a Subaru STI since watching Ken Block’s Gymkhana Practice video on YouTube. Five long years have passed, Subaru launched a new model and I even met Mr. Block – who now drives a Ford of course – in person before that would happen. But it did happen, and it felt good. Real good. So good in fact that I have this burning desire to go and do it again.
The WRX STI punches well above its price, and there are few cars that can do the things it can for under 40 grand. Its turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-litre Boxer four transmits 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque to the road via Subaru’s symmetrical full-time AWD system.
That AWD system does come at the expense of some weight, but the car’s low centre of gravity keeps it planted on any surface that isn’t loose or wet. A high-performance suspension, sticky Dunlop summer tires, 18-inch Enkei wheels and Brembo brakes only further the argument that you don’t need to spend 100 grand to get world class performance.
Driving that point home are Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (a.k.a SI-Drive) and Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD) systems. The latter allows the driver to set an initial LSD torque to match the road surface conditions, driving conditions and driving style. I’ll get to both momentarily.
This is a 2013 model year STI, though it is practically identical to the 2014 models. (There is a new trim called Tsurugi that is available exclusively in Canada.) In either case, the STI is a driver’s car! It’s not offered with an automatic or CVT and there are no paddle shifters. It comes with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission thank you very much, and hopefully that will always be the case.
Visit the IGNITION MAGAZINE website to read my full review of the 2013 Subaru WRX STI!
Watch the companion video of the 2013 WRX STI below.
And don’t forget to check out my review of the 2015 Subaru WRX STI if you’re shopping for a used, but still awesome car. You can get it in a hatchback too!