I have never gotten so many thumbs up while driving a brand new car.
For those who know, the 2011 Subaru WRX STI sedan is a rock star of a automobile, especially if you happen to be driving the all new sedan with the over-sized rear wing in bright “in your face” red as I was all week.
It’s funny how a slight tweak here and a slight tuck there, and of course the addition of trunk (instead of a hatchback fifth door) turns an ugly ducking into a double take hottie to some.
And of course by “some” I mean about every young man between the ages of 13 and 29. On the other hand my wife (half seriously) asked me if I could not park the STI in the driveway because it turned our house into the local party chapter of a CU frat.
And that’s really the soul of the STI…a car guys love and most women love to hate.
Let’s start why we males love this car.
and it’s furious.
What that means in real world terms is that when the STI’s turbo is at full boil, and your flying around your favorite corner with all four wheels clawing at the tarmac in an unholy, and uncompromising four wheel drive drift…there are precious few cars in the world that can even begin to think about keeping up with you.
You can’t help but growl in a primordial statement of fact, “I am the king of the road,” as you work the massive STI brakes and thrash the living daylights out of the turbo breathin’ boxer 4 banger from the comfort of the body hugging driver’s seat.
And of course you are the king of the road, and best of all nobody who really knows cars will deny this simple fact.
But the problem with driving a race bread Japanese Rally car on public roads is that sooner than later you’ll end up behind your grandma in her 2001 re-branded Toyota Lexus on her way to her eye doctor driving 20 mph below the speed limit, and worst of all…she doesn’t know… and certainly doesn’t care that you are in the automotive world cheapest alpha dog.
And neither does the school bus driver next to her, or the soccer mom in her 3-year-old Sienna, or the dozens of other commuters on their way home from work who you can’t even begin to pass because of the heavy traffic.
It’s at moments like that you’ll soon realize that your STI has a few rather irritating compromises like:
– It rides like an empty cement truck constantly crossing the railroad tracks.
– You can brush your teeth, eat a poppyseed bagel, brush and floss again before the turbo spools up to anything resembling Sébastien Loeb like performance.
– The STI’s navigation and radio controls were deigned by a committee of blind, death and drunk fundamentalist cavemen who don’t believe in technology.
– That same committee decided that the best place to ergonomically locate the heated seats controls was tucked away under your tight elbow making all but impossible to operate the rotary dial unless you happened to have been born with an elbow that bends both ways.
I’m not joking. I picked up the car on a warm fall day and completely grilled myself to a fine well done steak before I a) found the heating controls and b) was able to actually rotate the dial to turn them off.
I would strongly suggest that you invest in an optional passenger with at least one functional hand if you ever plan to use the STI’s heated seats.
But of course all of this doesn’t matter when road is wide open and the sun is shining, or not, and you’ve got yourself belted in tightly, and and the turbo in set to full boil. Best of all it certainly doesn’t matter to anyone in the know, or not, who happens to be in your cross-hairs.
Just pull the trigger and smile because they’ll soon be sucking fumes of your massive quad exhausts as you leave four very wide tire scorching marks in your wake.
On the TFLcar recommendation scale of:
– Buy it
– Lease it
– Rent it or
– Forget it
I give the Subaru WRX STI a:
Roman Mica is a columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars for the active set, you can find him training for triathlons and writing about endurance sports for, EverymanTri.com. Mica is also the Endurance Sports Examiner.