WRX family continues to be the best bang-for-your-buck
Sorry, Subie fans – despite the recent debut of the 2017 Impreza hatch, there is no WRX/STI 5-door quite yet. If you can make do with the sedan body style, both the WRX and the STI went under the knife for a minor refresh, available for the 2018 model year.
Neither car gets any boost in power, remaining the same 268-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four in the WRX and the same 305-hp 2.5-liter turbo flat-four in the STI. Both cars receive a suspension overhaul, with modified “tuning” to improve handling and increase ride comfort. They both have a new schnoz as well, wearing updated front fascias for 2018, offering dynamic headlights for buyers who spring for upgraded equipment packages.
For the WRX, Subaru modified the shifter, clutch actuation, and electric power steering for better feel and smoother engagement, along with integrating components of the EPS to reduce weight. If you want more capability from the WRX, but don’t have the desire or the cash to hop up to the STI, a new Performance pack will help owners meet somewhere in the middle. Check that box on the order form , and the WRX arrives with upgraded brake pads, moonroof delete for weight, red painted brake calipers, Recaro seats, and a new wheel design.
The STI receives a sizable update to its driveline, now doing away with the previous mechanical-electric differential system in favor of an entirely electric one. New 19-inch wheels wrapped with wider tires hide an upgraded Brembo brake system, now using a six-piston caliper in the front and two-piston caliper in the rear. New cross-drilled rotors are grabbed by updated brake pads as well, providing better stopping power and heat dissipation.
Inside, each WRX/STI is quieter, thanks to an increase in sound deadening and thicker glass. Softer materials are used throughout the cabin, and each car comes with larger infotainment screens, on both the standard system and the premium Starlink unit.
Finally, if you’re unfortunate enough to get into a fender-bender, the 2018 WRX/STI features upgraded front crash structures for increased safety.
No word on price increases or availability, but we’d imagine the new WRX/STI will arrive toward the spring of this year.