– By Rod Fuller –
The WRX STi, born and bred from Subaru’s rallying success in the WRC, steeped in history it truly is an icon and the epitome of all that is Subaru. Long renowned as a take no prisoners ‘boy racer’ type vehicle the WRX STi has in the 2018 model grown up a bit. There are exterior styling tweaks upgraded interior refinements and extra tech features, but make no mistake the WRX STi when driven properly is still an absolute monster!
Owning a WRX STi is a bold statement. From the “look at me” rear wing, the 19 inch black wheels and dayglow yellow brake callipers, the too many to count STi badges (I lost count after 22) and overall aggressive styling, the WRX STi does the talking for you. Its road presence is intimidating even menacing and every time you look at it, it will make you smile. Does that make sense? Probably not. But while the WRX STi is a practical 4 door small sedan with a decent sized boot, it isn’t about that either. It is about a car that when you drive it, is awesome in every performance respect, that will make you laugh, scream, hoot and holler giving you an absolutely exhilarating drive experience. And will scare the living you know what out of you at the same time.
Mind blowing performance and control is the hallmark of the WRX STi and the 2018 model certainly lives up to the mark. The 2.5 litre turbocharged boxer engine pumps out 221kW and 407Nm and distributes that power though a six speed manual transmission driving all four wheels. The STi also has a driver controlled centre differential or DCCD which allows the driver to bias the power delivery to the front or rear of the car as you desire, but unless you a WRC driver, probably better to leave it in the auto setting. Subaru’s three mode Intelligent Drive technology also features on STi. Intelligent (i) mode for everyday driving, Sport (S) for extra sporty performance and Sport Sharp (S#) mode for a real life experience of Forza horizon!! (legally of course).
The WRX STi Premium has leather seats (heated in the front and eight way power adjustable for the driver), power sunroof, eight speaker stereo, bluetooth and voice command recognition, sat nav and seven inch touchscreen multi-function display for the infotainment system and reverse camera display. Sadly though, Apple Car Play / Android Auto are not offered. Driver assist aids such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and side view monitors and lane change assist feature on the STi Premium, as does the High Beam Assist which mostly just annoyed me.
The 245/35R19 Yokohama tyres grip the road well, but I did find them a touch noisy (not that you notice too much over the magnificent exhaust note) and only a temporary spare is provided. Data dots and a three year unlimited km warranty plus three year 75K capped price service program and 12 month roadside assistance are offered on all WRX STi’s. Also the STi does require 98 premium unleaded and six month/12,500 km service intervals which will be a cost consideration when planning a novated lease package.
Priced in the $55K – $60K range the WRX STi Premium certainly offers great “bang for your buck” and certainly stands up to its competitors in this price brand. As for the V8 old school brigade, they may still be a ‘smidge’ quicker than the WRX STi at the drag strip, but the moment you add a corner or a bit of the wet stuff, they will have no idea which way the WRX STi went.
If the WRX STi is the car that you desire, the 2018 model will not disappoint. But remember this car does require a substantive degree of self-control and restraint, for if you inappropriately submit to its temptations too often, it might just shred your driver’s licence.
The 2018 WRX STi is an iconic vehicle that serves its legend well. Everything about it is awesome. It is a car that will laugh at most drivers saying “is that all you’ve got” and scare them silly with its performance potential. Its street cred is undeniable and I feel it embodies an old Teddy Roosevelt quote to “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.
What does it look like as a Novated Lease?
|RRP (including GST)||$50,980|
|Annual Savings with a Novated Lease||$3,212|
This data is from the 2018 Novated Leasing Guide produced by Fleet Auto News.