AutoTest File - 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Imprezive: Subaru one-ups its WRX

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    Seems like only yesterday (actually it was July 16, 2001) we first extolled the virtues of the Subaru WRX. What could be better than a WRX, we asked rhetorically? It had power, handling and a relatively cheap sticker at less than $25,000.

    Well, we found something better: the Subaru WRX STi. The STi is the next step above the WRX. You could go another step up, but you’d have to be a really good rally driver, do pendulum turns in your sleep, and be named Tommi Makinen.

    The STi offers more of everything for a sticker that starts and finishes at just $31,545. There are no factory options, and when you look at price per horsepower per pound, per seating for five with a trunk, per all that kind of thing, only the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution comes close.

    To make an STi out of a WRX, Subaru did the following:

    Added a half liter of displacement to the WRX’s intercooled, turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-four, which increased hp from 227 to 300 and torque from 217 lb-ft to 300.

    Replaced the five-speed manual from the WRX with a six-speed manual.

    Added a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) that allows manual adjustment of front/rear torque bias.

    Firmed up the suspension mightily but not harshly.

    Thus, the STi blows the windshield wipers off the WRX at the track. With 5000-rpm launches it just spins all four tires and goes. With the DCCD set on automatic, letting it choose whether to send the torque to the front or the back, we got a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.78 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 13.40 at 98.2 mph. Dialing the torque all the way back to the rear, which sends 65 percent of it to the back tires, resulted in a 0-to-60 time of 4.79 seconds and a quarter-mile of 13.36 seconds at 100.2. So it doesn’t seem to matter what you do with that little DCCD thumb wheel on the center console, at least not on the drag strip. That DCCD would likely be helpful driving over the varying surfaces of a rally stage, but unless you’re rallying, you probably don’t need the fancy differential. That 0-to-60 time is a full second better than the WRX we tested two years ago. It’s also three-tenths of a second better than the BMW M3 and four-tenths better than the Mercedes AMG C32, both of which we tested last year.

    Just as the DCCD didn’t seem to make a difference in acceleration times, neither did the intercooler’s water sprayer. Spray or not, we got almost identical results. But nice gimmick. The kids will like it.

    The car was remarkably stable through the slalom, recording 47 mph, almost the best speed we’ve seen (the Evo VIII is our slalom champ). It was dead reliable doing it, too. With rearward torque bias, the tail came out a bit more, but not so much that it got wildly out of line. Driving it full-tilt through California Speedway’s infield road course, which has several double-lane-change-like turns, the STi remained stable as a 50-year marriage.

    And while it has world-beater performance and handling, it’s also quite livable as a daily driver. You could seat your whole family in it and not hear anyone complain about abusive ride and crummy NVH. They could complain about the fact that it doesn’t have a radio, probably the only vehicle for sale in America outside of a farm tractor to be so offered. Subaru pleads weight reduction. We say, brain reduction at Subaru corporate headquarters. Floor mats were deleted to save weight, too. Who are they fooling? It was to save money. We say, save the money by replacing the overly fancy DCCD with a conventional center differential and slap a radio in this howler; we need music to match our driving mood.

    Otherwise, all is well in the STi. Indeed, if your spouse/significant other/whatever doesn’t know that STi stands for Subaru Tecnica International, Subaru’s motorsports division, you could probably sell this one to her/him/it on safety alone. Ha ha, we won’t tell. Good luck.

    LIKES
    300 hp, 300 lb-ft
    Fail-safe suspension
    Beats the Evo in a straight line

    DISLIKES
    Gimmicks boost price
    No radio
    Loses to the Evo in the turns

    OTHERS CONSIDERED
    Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
    Dodge SRT-4
    Nissan 350Z

    [​IMG]

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    OWNERS SAY...

    I’m 45 with two kids, this is my daily driver, and it’s outrageous. I’ve owned two Porsche 911s but this takes the cake for value and performance. It may not have valet cachet, but that doesn’t matter because I drive the heck out of it. I considered the Mitsubishi Evo, but felt the STi had better build quality and was more forgiving. The gearbox, however, is a tad vague and a stereo should be standard. Otherwise no complaints. -Mark Robinson, Orinda, Calif.

    I traded my Corvette Z06 for this and am extremely happy with my decision. I will miss the acceleration and handling of the Z06, but the STi is more satisfying. It has a high-quality feel, the seats are great, brakes are phenomenal and unlike the Z06 you don’t have to go fast to have fun. I’d lose the wing and hood scoop as they attract too much attention. Sometimes the trunk won’t open right—and give me a break about not having a stereo in the name of performance! -Vince Ferguson, Fort White, Fla.

    I’ve owned 33 cars and this one is my favorite. As a powertrain engineer I’ve driven numerous specialty cars like the Cobra R, M3, etc., but I’d still choose this over any of them. The STi just never gets upset whether I’m braking hard, flogging it around corners or launching from stoplights. I love the headlights but would lose the wing. Also the Brembos have me washing the rims every three days. And no floor mats! I don’t want my blue carpet getting dirty. -Rodger Olson, Garden City, Mich.

    There are many things I love about the STi, like the awesome motor, rally-car handling and a ride that is more comfortable than I expected. The interior is nice without being overdone, build quality is excellent and materials don’t feel overly cheap. Many people appreciate its aggressive looks and wing (myself included). I considered the Infiniti G35 coupe but it was too pricey and slow. I used to buy mainly Hondas/Acuras and adored the Integra Type-R. But this is my new favorite car. -Troy Dube, Eau Claire, Wis.

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    STICKER
    As tested: $31,545
    Owners paid; average: $29,900 to $32,995; $31,523

    CHASSIS
    Unibody four-door sedan

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase (in): 100
    Track (in): 58.7 front, 58.5 rear
    Length/width/height (in): 173.8/68.5/56.3
    Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 3263/4145

    CAPACITIES
    Fuel (gal): 15.9
    Cargo (cu ft): 11.0

    ENGINE
    Front-horizontally opposed
    2.5-liter/150-cid dohc turbocharged H4
    Horsepower: 300 @ 6000 rpm
    Torque (lb-ft): 300 @ 4000 rpm

    Compression ratio: 8.2:1
    Fuel requirement: 91 octane

    DRIVETRAIN
    All-wheel drive
    Transmission: Six-speed manual
    Final drive ratio: 3.90:1

    SUSPENSION
    Front: MacPherson struts with
    lower L-arms, coil springs, antiroll bar
    Rear: MacPherson struts with coil springs,
    trailing arms, twin parallel links, antiroll bar

    BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES
    Discs front and rear, ABS
    Aluminum 225/45R-17
    Bridgestone Potenza RE070

    STANDING-START ACCELERATION
    0-60 mph: 4.78 sec
    0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 5.04 sec
    0-quarter-mile: 13.36 sec @ 100.2 mph

    ROLLING ACCELERATION
    20-40 mph (second gear): 2.0 sec
    40-60 mph (third gear): 2.3 sec
    60-80 mph (fourth gear): 3.1 sec

    BRAKING
    60 mph-0: 114 ft

    HANDLING
    490-foot slalom: 47.0 mph
    Lateral acceleration (200-foot skidpad): 0.88 g


    INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
    Idle: 46
    Full throttle: 80
    Steady 60 mph: 71

    FUEL MILEAGE
    EPA combined: 20.32 mpg
    AW overall: 15.97 mpg

    RUNNING COSTS COMPARISON*
    Segment: $152.29
    Subaru Impreza WRX STi: $177.92

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  2. Mobile

    Mobile Guest

    magazine times, ya
     
  3. PPen131

    PPen131 Hook 'em! OT Supporter

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    great car, but it's so ugly...and yeah, that wing has gotta go
     
  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    16MPG overall?

    :sad2:
     
  5. Mobile

    Mobile Guest

    :ugh: :ugh: :ugh:
     
  6. M5_Elite

    M5_Elite New Member

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    People have done low 13s to high 12s in the STi. under 5 sec to 60 is not very nice.


    :fawk: this make me want the EVO
     
  7. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

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    25k sticker? where :rofl:
     
  8. Mobile

    Mobile Guest

    i wouldn't buy one for economy. i got my scho
     
  9. Mobile

    Mobile Guest

    i wouldn't buy one for economy. i got my echo
     
  10. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

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    I like it. :)

    But I just want a wrx imprezza.
     
  11. bioyuki

    bioyuki Ich habe Angst

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    Wow, I never realized the STi's CR was so low.
     
  12. Mobile

    Mobile Guest

    25K = wrx

    not STI
     
  13. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    buying one as soon sa the 05 model comes out
     
  14. duerr

    duerr Guest

    no radio ?

    how truly fucking gay.
     
  15. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

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    me too...350hp :cool:
     
  16. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    you can get it as a dealer installed option, honestly id rather buy my own stuff :cool:
     
  17. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    where did you hear that :eek3:
     
  18. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

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    read it in Popular Mechanics I think...the Forrester is getting like 300hp or 280
     
  19. duerr

    duerr Guest

    you're already dishing out 31k for a car, and then they ask you to pay extra for a fucking radio ?

    fuck that.

    do you have to pay extra for power steering, too ?
     
  20. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

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    Shit Id rather buy a car without a radio and put my own in myself.
     
  21. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

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    where did you hear that?


    :wtc: doesn't matter though. I don't have that kind of jing. I'm going to struggle to afford the 227 hp wrx.
     
  22. ChosenGSR

    ChosenGSR Mama always said you'd be the chosen one

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    31k for that car is a steal. :cool:
     
  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It's quite a gas hog for a small, light, four cylinder car, 300HP or not.
     
  24. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

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    since when has a facotry deck been worth more than lint in your pocket.

    "dealer" radio options are usually $300 for am fm and cassette.
    I'd rather drop $300 on something quality.




    edit: spelling > me tonight. I have a fever.
     
  25. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

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    kaldurak, you home yet?
     

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