2012 Subaru Impreza WRX

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2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi — Flash Drive

This 2011 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

I caused major rubber-necking delays while driving this refreshed Subaru WRX STi around my neighborhood. The updated body is wider than before, thanks to the flared wheel wells, and it looks cool, even if you aren't a rally racer. The famous STi wing is a not-so-subtle reminder about the heritage of the car. I think it is too "boy racer," but it definitely completes the image of the STi. You don't buy the WRX STi for the interior accoutrements. While the interior is decent, with quality leather and plastic accents, it is not even close to an Audi interior. However, when you let go of the clutch in first gear, you can't help but smile. This STi is quick. And with all that speed, I was still able to hit 17 mpg in town. Not bad. –Joe Chulick

I find the Subaru WRX STi astonishing. I've never felt such high levels of cornering grip on normal street tires. I may have cornered as fast before, but the all-wheel-drive system in the STi shuffles power around so efficiently that it feels at once connected to the road and to you; you can feel the grip and judge your speed better than in any other car, regardless of the price. I loved the seats, too. The surface is grippy and slightly luxurious. I don't know what material is covering the seats, but I like it a lot. The only slight disappointment in the STi was the engine. This Subaru doesn't feel turbocharged because there's no big rush of power, but it does feel a little less responsive than I would like. It's as if it needs to "come on cam," as we used to say, before the air/fuel mix is exactly what the engine needs. I'm sure it's just a peculiarity of the turbocharger. –Paul Hagger

Sports-car enthusiasts rejoiced when Subaru finally brought the legendary STi to America in 2004, and the car just keeps getting better every time the company tweaks it. The new STi sedan begs for attention with its large rear spoiler, and while some find that cool, it seems a little embarrassing to me, as well as a bit distracting in the rearview mirror. But the big exhaust pipes can stay — they do look good and sound sweet. Inside, there's impressive headroom, and while the seats are tight, they're comfortable and supportive. As expected, handling is excellent, with good grip and tight steering. There's plenty of power; however, it can be a little difficult to bring on smoothly — something that I'm sure could be learned after extended time behind the wheel. But when you're not driving it like a race car, the STi is easy to drive, feeling like a regular Impreza with a bit stiffer ride. An all-weather car with reasonable fuel economy and enormous amounts of fun on tap — for that I can forgive the big, silly spoiler. –Perry Stern

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BB06 - 7/11/2014 7:25:47 PM