If you drive a high-performance sports car, there aren’t many that make good winter vehicles you can drive daily. You have to leave it sitting in the garage when the snow flies and it sits. All you can do is warm it up, and pull it out on nice days. But this is not the case with the 2020 Subaru WRX STI performance-tuned sedan.
The STI’s main completion now comes from the 2020 Honda Civic Type R hatchback. It’s a great vehicle, but it only comes in front-driver configuration and it’s not the best in winter conditions. You can put a set of Blizzak winter treads on it, but you’ll have a tough time in deep snow and ice.
2020 Subaru WRX and WRX STI come out to play in the snow
4 Reasons You Should Buy The New Subaru WRX STI Vs Honda Civic Type R
The four reasons are simple. The STI’s 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine sends power to four wheels, not two. The WRX STI comes standard with Subaru’s excellent rally-bred Symmetrical all-wheel-drive hardware. When you put a set of Blizzak winter tires on the STI, you can go anywhere as long as you have the clearance underneath. This is what sets the car apart from the Civic Type R.
We aren’t bashing the Civic Type R. It wouldn’t make sense for Honda to change the Type R to all-wheel-drive when the entire lineup rides on a different platform. “Civic traditionally has always been the front-wheel-drive and this platform is a front-wheel drive,” said Civic senior product planner Rob Keough. “And Type R is about what’s the maximum that we can achieve out of that platform.”
2020 Honda Civic Type R is faster around the "Ring"
Are there disadvantages to having an all-wheel-drive sports car?
The disadvantage of having an all-wheel-drive performance car is the added weight. Adding the extra WRX STI AWD hardware does add weight (3,386 lb.), where the Civic Type R comes in considerably less at 3,117 lb. total curb weight. There’s also the inevitable drivetrain power loss resulting from powering all four wheels as opposed to just two.
“All-wheel drive would’ve added weight to the car, it would’ve changed the character of the car,” Keough said. “Honda’s racing philosophy has always been lightness and balanced performance, and the team felt like (it) could get the most performance out of this car without adding the weight and the cost of all-wheel drive.”
Even though the Honda Civic Type R is faster around the “Ring” in Germany, We would still choose the 2020 Subaru WRX STI for its daily ability to get you home safely in all-weather conditions and its recreation-purposed platform. Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system is what puts the STI clearly ahead of the Honda Civic Type R for winter warriors.
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Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates!
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Photo credit: Subaru of New England, Subaru USA, Honda USA