The 2018 Subaru WRX STI Is, Thankfully, More Of The Same

Why was the Subaru WRX STI given a makeover if it’s the only game left in town?

With the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution now really dead, the WRX and WRX STI are it, if you’re looking for a small Japanese performance sedan that’s all-wheel drive, turbocharged and rectangular. Fortunately for fans of this niche, Subaru hasn’t changed the recipe with this update.

In fact, it’s hard to grasp what they actually changed. The revised front still looks like a WRX front, there’s still a big scoop in the hood that looks like parcels go in and there’s still a big wing on the back of the STI. And the earth still revolves around the sun.

Interior changes as reported by Subaru consisted of newly available Recaro front seats, available power adjustments for those seats, driver assistance technologies, some squishier plastics and glossy black trim. The result is a WRX STI that feels like a WRX STI inside. So while it doesn’t feel like a Mitsubishi from 2008, it also feels a lot like a Subaru from 2017.

Not that this car’s fans minded it before. It’s going to take a drive to determine whether the 2018 WRXs handle or stop any better because of the Brembo brakes or suspension tweaks, or whether it’s actually any quieter inside. But already, the signs are good for WRX STI fans who don’t like change.

Photo Gallery

  • Zandit75

    Does no one consider the Focus RS to be a competitor to this? Sure it’s not a sedan, which I think is a major oversight for Ford since the sedan looks better visually, but surely these are comparable.

    • Mr E Fella

      there are many cars in this category (sort of), but they were talking about the japanese variants. focus, golf, the new megane e.t.c are good examples of other options, but none of these have ever been considered real contenders to the sti and evo, its a different following and a different breed of driver.

  • smartacus

    while everyone else is getting lighter,
    they found a way to be 50 lbs heavier

    • Bash

      right, so thats how they are probably charging more for basically the same last year car, isn’t it?

  • SteersUright

    No deal until they update the one majorly outdated issue the STi has, its carryover engine from the older generation. Its performance isn’t impressive anymore for a $40k+ sports car/sedan given what else is out there. Always loved these car but think they dropped the ball by not at least increasing power levels to 350hp+.

  • Garrett Cooper

    Thankfully? I’ll pass on this one. Was hoping for a hatch and a new STi engine. Maybe I’ll replace my legacy in a few more years.

    • Brendan M Mullen

      Agreed on the hatchback! I have a 2008 wrx 5 door and have been wanting to replace it for the past couple years, but Subaru still hasn’t added the hatch to the current model. With sales numbers lagging and the positive reaction they got the previous time around after reintroducing the hatch, it’s kind of a head scratcher. I guess the numbers don’t work out, but I think they are losing more customers than they realize.

    • Brownsville#72

      Agree. I have a 2008 outback.

  • Brownsville#72

    Please subie bring the wrx sti hatchback or wagon and I will sell water to a whale and wolf tickets. Lol.