Mike West Road Test: 2016 Subaru WRX STI

I spent a fantastic week in an equally fantastic car from Subaru. The WRX-STI is a little screamer of a ride packed with some new tech that drivers of this type of vehicle may or may not want like a standard backup camera and a 6.2-inch STARLINK display. For a couple grand more you can opt for a proximity key with push-button starting, navigation.

But that’s not why you buy a car like the WRX-STI. It’s all about that twin scroll turbocharged 305-horsepower engine, Brembo performance brakes, 18 inch alloys and a slick six-speed manual.

This car is an absolute blast to drive and boy does it get looks from young and old alike.

Let me clarify the fun to drive comment. Yes, it’s fast. Yes, it handles like a go-cart, yes it stops on a dime. But as you can imagine, the STI is a rough stiff ride. I don’t know if I could put up with feeling every bump in the road long term. And here in Seattle, where we are cursed with the fourth worst traffic in America, driving a clutch in stop and go traffic takes a toll on the old calf muscles.

Subaru is offering niceties like a safety package called EyeSight that gives you pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep and lane-departure warning not to mention NAV, lane-change assist blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. Not your normal rally car type features.

My Hyper Blue tester came with a giant rear wing. I’m sure it really works, but it’s also really distracting when looking in the rear view mirror. I mistook it for another vehicle more than a few times.

If you are reading this, you already know what a competent car Subaru cranks out. You can tweak the ride to your hearts desire using the three-mode system and pick between Intelligent, Sport, and my favorite, Sport Sharp. With the turn of a knob you can chose from track racing, aggressive driving or back-roads cruising. You get a lot of driving dynamic choices by turning that darn knob.

The four-door WRX-STI isn’t everyones cup of tea, but theres really nothing else like it on the road. And the price for everything included comes in at just under $38,000.

Mileage is rated at 17-city and 23-highway. Your mileage will definitely vary, especially with all of those horses egging you on.

 

Mike West CBS

 

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