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2015 Subaru STI still turns heads

2015 Subaru STI
2015 Subaru STI

2015 Subaru STI


The rally-racer-inspired WRX STI continues to be the bad-boy of the Subaru lineup. Subaru sales are strongest in the Northeast and Northwest to remarkably loyal owners, but STI’s very existence contradicts the notion that that Subaru is conservative
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is an important member of the automaker’s performance lineup that includes the lower-rank WRX and the BRZ sport coupe. All three have found a place in most dealer showrooms alongside more mainstream Legacys, Outbacks and Imprezas.
Styling has never been a strong suit at Subaru, and few would say their products sre pretty, but things have changed. Completely redesigned for 2015, the new sedan is more stylish, with a new grille, a hood with functional scoop and flared fenders that integrate more smoothly with the rest of the body. It shares with the Impreza only two body panels—the rear deck and the roof—with all other panels seemingly flared or bulged to fit in. The WRX STI and its WRX sibling are no longer offered as hatchbacks.
The STI still has that attention-getting rear wing that doesn’t serve any real purpose in everyday driving, but it’s an iconic badge of honor for Subie enthusiasts and actually provides a bit of downforce for owners who occasionally show off their skills on the racetrack. For them, the STI simply wouldn’t be an STI without it. Proof of that came during our test drive of a rather meekly colored STI. It still frequently turned heads
The new model is slightly longer and wider than the previous version and adds 1.2 inches between the front and rear wheels and two more inches of rear-seat legroom. . The STI's nose blends in well, thanks to a more aggressive lower front fascia treatment, and its 245/40R18 Dunlop Sport Maxx summer tires. At a glance, the STI looks downright mean.
Subaru offers the STI in three trims : base, Launch Edition and Limited. The top of the line Limited comes with rich-feeling black leather seating trimmed in red, a premium Harman/Kardon audio system, a power driver's seat, and a moonroof. It's a very different place from the cheap cockpit of a 2014 STI. All of the controls and instruments are well laid out and easy to use, but the dash and instrument panel have an ordinary appearance. That said, the STI's aluminum-faced pedals and footrest are perfect for the STI.
The STI has new front seats that are nicely sculpted, with adjustable head restraints to better protect occupants against whiplash. With center cushions draped with Alcantara and leather-wrapped side bolsters, they provide an excellent blend of comfort, support and ease of access. Only when going flat-out at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in The seats are comfortable and supportive, a necessary feature considering the extremely harsh ride.
Back for another run is the STI's proven 2.5-liter turbocharged horizontally opposed 4-cylinder engine that can pump out 305 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. A twist of the key is accompanied by an enticing burble at idle and a lot more musical enjoyment as the revs climb, some of it channeled into the cabin by a "sound creator" for sheer aural pleasure.
The STI's boxer engine is mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission. There’s no wimpy continuously variable transmission here like that of the WRX. Using solid links instead of cables makes running through the gears a real pleasure. Shifts are neat and positive, with a solid-feeling
You can choose from three modes of driving characteristics with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) technology. The driver-controlled center differential (DCCD) works with the close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, so you can adjust the amount of lock between the front and rear wheels, letting you match your vehicle's handling attitude to your own.
It’s hard to believe the STI has any springs at all. The suspension is so stiff it makes the ride harsh enough to give you a headache on all but the smoothest pavement. Hey, anyone can design a great handling car if you don’t have to deal with springs. Great as they are, the new seats don’t filter out even mild road irregularities.
The STI is mostly a great car, but you can have more driving fun in a WRX for less money. The sticker price on our STI test car was $38,495.