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2008/09 Subaru Impreza STI



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not me. Think of it like the BMW and their M-badged cars. For example:

    WRX = 3-Series or 5-Series

    STI = M3 or M5

    The M-cars are all hyper-performance—but luxurious as well. They're not track cars out of the box.


    You hit the nail on the head Bob. That's my feeling as well.

    Actually being on the track and involved in racing here in the US, the Spec C while a good track car, IMO isn't going to be worth the $ here in the US because it's neither here nor there. What I mean is that it's not a factory race car, you can't slap on numbers and race it in any road race class, so modifications would be necessary. Anyone who's tracking their car non-competatively would be fine with the stock STi with some minor mods to it. It's a tough call but not sure a Spec C would be worth the money it would cost for SOA to sell it here.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Well, I kinda agree, I see it more as (poor man's) versions of :

    WRX = S4

    STi = RS4

    The comparison referenced only had a few cars, that in my mind, were marketed purely to "track set". The cars that the WRX and STi usually are pitted against are not that much different from a marketing standpoint. I think Subaru can improve the performance, while still maintaining the superior reliability and practicality. The most recent R&T comparison with the latest '09 WRX seems to bear this out.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Unfortunately if you start to make it too stiff for handling, your ride will suffer, unless you go with very expensive variable setups :(

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Ah, that all elusive balance. That's the challenge. Personally, I think anyone seeking a car with performance aspirations, would be willing to sacrifice a bit of ride comfort. I agree that a variable setup would probably add weight, complexity and the inherent reliability issues that usually brings, and as you correctly point out, costs that would undermine the inherent value of these vehicles. Maybe, in the future those issues will be negated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I suspect Subaru is missing the mark. CR raved about just that kind of vehicle when talking about the BMW 1 Series, they weren't as kind to the STi

    That's a bit misleading - the STI scored extremely well and creamed the EVO.

    STI also get the coveted check mark with a circle - I don't think the 1 series has earned that yet, since it's a new model and they don't have a reliability history. So technically CR recommends the STI and not (yet, at least) the 1 series.

    I've said this before - when it comes to Subaru you seem to see the glass as half full.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,880
    Prepare for shock, Juice - I'm with you on this one. CR have always liked Subaru. They had them on or near top of their list in both reliability and actual tests - except perhaps Legacy/Outback, which they always complained about price, sluggish acceleration (2.5i), fuel consumption and lack of certain features that are expected at that class. They still recommended them regardless, even at middle of the pack.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    * GASP * whoaaaaa ACK, HuH?!


    CR has been in love with the Forester from the get-go. When it came out, in 1998, it went straight to #1, and only lost that top spot to the RAV4 for 2 years, then gained it back again for 2009 with this new one.

    Any how, CR recommends every Subaru, I believe. Not so for BMW.

    The Forester beats the X3 even in overall score.
  • True, I said "they weren't as kind to the STi", not that they were unkind. Cr did go out their way to say that the STi was indeed a very good vehicle, but they also said that they were a bit disappointed , and had higher expectations based upon Subaru's previous offerings.
  • This particular CR comparison was limited to "sporty vehicles". In a separate review CR positively gushed over the Forester.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When they tested the new Infiniti EX and re-tested BMW's X3, they did include the Forester XT in that sporty group. It did more than hold its own.
  • I just drove the first '09 STI in my area.
    The salesman said there have been no changes from '08.
    But i thoought i read somewhere that Subaru was going to tighten up the suspension and possibly increase hp because of criticism in comparison tests.
    So has Subaru upgraded the STI for '09?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The only change is a pearl white is now used instead of the white used last year.

    In terms of criticism, I think you may be referring to the WRX, not the STI. The '08 WRX was heavily criticized, and has been significantly upgraded for for '09.

  • To the best of knowledge any STi changes have been inconsequential. I suspect that with Subaru's own improved WRX challenging it at substantially less money, that a healthy improvement will be seen in about 6 months or so. I am expecting at least 20 or more HP.
  • Thanks for the info.
    The current Car & Driver has an article comparing on the track, many high performance cars in a wide range of prices.
    The article points out that the STI was a disappointment.
    We all know that there can be a big difference between a car that performs well on the track and one that is a better daily driver. And sometimes you have to make a choice.
    It's just surprising that Subaru decided to keep the STI less perfrormance capable than it's competition.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It wasn't in a scenario where AWD would help. They drove on a perfectly dry, smooth track.

    Run them all through a rally cross, or at least wet/bumpy pavement, and see who would win.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    chirp chirp

    Wow these boards have gotten cold. It is interesting that I am seeing people seeing 2009 sti's at dealers, but there website still lists 2008's.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I've recently driven two '09 WRXs. WOW! What an improvement!

    One was a 5-door, and the other was a 4-door with the optional SPT cat-back exhaust. That one, with the cat-back exhaust is pure jail-bate. :) Boy does that sound neat, especially when winding through the gears! Having said that, I think the louder exhaust will soon wear on you, in terms of comfort (especially on trips), but boy was it fun! Also, my wife would just hate it.

    According to the most recent issue of DRIVE magazine, Subaru has added a rear fender liner to cut down on road noise on the '09 Imprezas, and it seems to be working, as they were pretty quiet in that respect. I was even able to notice that on the louder SPT exhaust-equipped model.

    I think this new WRX—because it's so good, could really hurt STI sales. Yeah, the STI may ultimately be faster, but for the money, the '09 WRX is soooo much more appealing than the '08 model; plus with the '09 STI you still can't get a moonroof or the AWP.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Bob, with the increase in HP, has Subaru done anything to improve the brakes? Or did they only address the power and handling issues with the '08?

    Having tracked my nearly stock 05 LGT with only the Stg 1 AP (280hp/320lbs) I was burning the brakes up at the track. We are actually working on an upgraded 4-pot kit for the Imprezas/Legacies that use the stock LGT Rotors for around $700-800.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Bob, with the increase in HP, has Subaru done anything to improve the brakes?

    I'm not sure Mike. My guess is they are the same as what the '08 WRXl has. I think the brake size is the same; don't know if they upgraded the pads or not.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Gotcha, I'm sure that will be the next gripe on the 09s is that they have power but not enough brakes :( Always something, haaaaa.

    Then again, I'm a late braker and have always burned em up quickly.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I tried another automatic car wash yesterday. Another scrape on the rims. Then when I was drying it off, I was able to see where the neighbors kid hit it with their metal leaf rake. It is 3 very slight scratches, but when clean are visible.

    I did get a good 6 hours yesterday driving through long winding country roads, 55 mph 2 lane blacktop. As I was ripping over some rough roads, hitting potholes around corners, etc I was thankful for the softer suspension. It was very comfortable driving around. I could have done all day, except I only got a 6 hour pass.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I should test drive one.

    Then again, maybe I shouldn't! :D

    Need to replace the Miata with another city car, eventually.
  • Frankly I'd shell out the extra green for the STi, with all the better hardware. Hated the feel of the Rex five-speed shifter. The STi six-speed with the short throw shifter alone nearly justifies the price diff.

    Also prefer the exterior of the STi but then neither car is likely to be purchased for its strikingly good looks. It's remarkable that the STi has the most recent fashion conceit, tail light LEDS, yet manages to make them look like retro parts bin leftovers from the days of disco. Hey, but this is a Subie!

    Anyhow, the STi I drove had five miles on it and since it was a "green" engine (and city traffic), I didn't really get it on. But with only about 20 minutes of seat time in either car I couldn't make up my mind about how life would be six months down the road with either of them.

    Anyone here have some feed back about what life's like living with an STi after the honey moon? Does the sucky gas mileage make for regrets?
  • I learned how to drive stick on my 2008 STI. No regrets except for leaving the dealership wondering WTF did I just do in rush hour traffic. The poor car . . . It makes driving a pleasure and road trips along windy roads an excuse to party.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I am still in the honeymoon phase with my '08 STI, 2500 miles, 2.5 months. However I can tell you it is an absolute dream to drive. It is smooth over bumpy roads, a good daily driver, plenty of room and it can go like anything. It isn't the scalpel that reviews call the mitsu...around town, it can drive nice and smooth and in my opinion have a very good ride, it can also hold hard corners and handle the broken surfaces of real roads. I am still in the honeymoon phase though. The really cheap plastic interior has me concerned. I am waiting to pull one of the door handles off while I climb in. I figure that subaru as a good track record and it will probably last. I hope that I will appreciate its cheapness long term as it may handle abuse better.

    The mileage doesn't bother me. I am getting about 17 mpg around town. If you are concerned about cost, if you live anywhere that has winter, you will need new tires. I wasn't quite sure until driving today in sub-50 degree weather. I was able to get the car to get loose. It wasn't anything terrible and the car handled great through it, but it was a curvy road that I have gone faster on with no slippage.

    I am planning on getting either the bridgestone potenza's or one of the michelin pilot series. I will probably have to spilt the cost of tires and rims up...get new tires, put them on the stock rims now, then get rims in the spring and put these summer tires on them. About the same $$$ but at least it is broken up.
  • About those tires... I live in NE Ohio and it's a given that ya gotta have two sets of wheels. While I would be fine with just one set running UHP all-seasons, I would still have to pay for the rubber swap so it just seems better in the big picture to go with eight wheels.

    My sister has an old Subie Forester and the interior seems to have held up as good as one would expect. It seems that the tactile feel or look of the interior materials doesn't necessarily imply poor durability.

    Anyhow, thanks guys for the feedback. I did email a local dealer saying that I would go for a dark grey STi at a previously agreed upon price & trade. I'll be waiting to see if he throws me a fish :P
  • Now that the WRX seems to have been suitably improved to the point where it's actually competing with the STi, it seems inevitable that the the STi will soon be getting improvements too. What will they be?
    320+ HP?
    Paddle shifters?
    Direct injection?
    Active all-wheel drive?
    Ceramic brakes?
  • I'd bet on direct injection.. if Subaru can get it finished in time for the 2010 new model season. That would likely help achieve your hp guess and improve the STi's rotten gas mileage. The only other item that seems better than 50/50 is a sunroof.

    My local dealer can't find a dark grey '09 STi, which is pretty much what I intend to hold out for.

    Interestingly, as I was talking with the sales guy, my radio was on. And it was an interview with the former head of the CIA, James Woolsey. He's an unrepentant neocon. He drives a Prius and he was discussing all the ramifications of our heavy oil dependence. If you agree with his point of view on energy, which I do, it tends to result in a degree of internal conflict as the STi isn't exactly the most earth-friendly choice :P But that's another subject, eh?
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,880
    Subaru is running huge volume-based cash bonus for '08 STIs AND 0% financing. Firt time ever. So I decided for about $5.5K off the sticker and no interest, I will look at it. We had a little back and forth about my '03 WRX, but came to an agreement. So I have a new red STI sitting in my garage today :D . The car - wow... Still learning it. It's practially sick - but the civilized factor is also good for me. Suspension slighlty firmer than my old WRX, but not terribly stiff - you still can take 500 mile trip and walk straigh line after that.

    Never thought I would buy one. I was getting ready to jump the ship and go to Germans (mostly for refinement - I really was not craving for that power). But, hey - for 15 grand difference I can change my mind...

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • That's a great deal and I certainly understand why you jumped on that. I've checked out NE Ohio and apparently there aren't any high-volume dealers around here so there aren't any of those super deals on '08's.

    That suckth mightily since there are a bunch of '08's hanging around on dealer lots. But, so it seems, there's a negligible price diff between an '08 and '09.

    Good luck with your new STi and watch your 'six' :)
This discussion has been closed.