2015 Subaru WRX STI
Denis Flierl's picture

Five reasons you don’t want to buy the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI

We test the all-new 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition. Who should and shouldn’t buy the newest STI performance car?

This week we got our hands on the all-newly designed 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition. It’s a performance car that isn’t for everyone. Who should buy it and who should walk away? We will attempt to answer those questions for you. We’ll take a look at what’s new for the new-generation sports car from Subaru and see what many people won’t like about it. Let’s be honest, the STI is for true performance fans and it won’t appeal to everyone. There’s five reasons you might want to walk away. But first we’ll look at what’s been upgraded on the new-generation STI.

What’s new for 2015 Subaru WRX STI?

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI gets completely redesigned inside and out. To the dismay of many fans, STI stays with the 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque 2.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder boxer engine. But the new WRX STI four-door sedan gets a longer platform, more interior room and new standard features. But it only comes in a sedan body style, so gone for now is the five-door hatch. But don’t worry, Subaru will likely bring it back in 2017.

Subaru brought the first STI to the U.S. market in 2004 and the 2015 model is light years better than the first-generation performance car. Subaru also just launched the 2015 WRX and it sets itself apart from WRX in dramatic ways. STI gets a stiffer chassis, firmer springs and quicker steering (13.0:1 ratio). The steering is still controlled hydraulically, unlike many competitors that now use electromechanical systems.

2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition

This week we drove the 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition, and had it eight enjoyable days because of the holiday. Launch Edition gets the iconic WR Blue Pearl paint and gold-painted 18-inch BBS alloy wheels. It also gets a special interior featuring blue highlights and comes standard with the STI Short-Throw Shifter for the 6-speed manual gearbox. Other extras include a Keyless Access & Start system, offered as an option on WRX STI Premium and Limited models. STI Launch Edition is priced at $37,395 plus $795 destination.

New interior upgrades in 2015 Subaru WRX STI

Climbing aboard, we noticed the new thicker flat-bottomed steering wheel with integrated audio and Bluetooth, standard leather and Alcantara upholstery and new multi-information central display with 4.3-in. LCD screen. The cabin does feel roomier and the extra inch added to the wheelbase gives the driver and rear passengers more legroom. We also noticed more soft-touch materials on the dash and door trim. Upgrades over the outgoing model include standard dual-zone climate control, heated seats, satellite radio capability, rearview camera and LED headlights.

The performance-design front seats are a strong point in the STI. Normally this driver gets cramps in my right leg after driving for awhile. Probably because I have my foot buried in the gas pedal. But these STI seats are the most comfortable seats of any car I’ve driven. We spent hours in this car and my leg never cramped up once. And they kept us firmly planted in the seats during spirited driving this week.

Subaru WRX STI on the road

Ok, here is where it gets fun. We drove the new 2015 Launch Edition STI in a multitude of conditions and roads to test out the performance car. We have the privilege of living near Denver Colorado where we can test the sports car in a number of mountain and varying terrain situations. We didn’t drive the STI on the track, which would have been the ultimate test. But the Colorado terrain with its curvy mountain roads is the next best thing.

Five reasons to look elsewhere

The first reason not to buy the STI is because it comes with an extra firm suspension that was developed by STI for Rally racing. If you don’t like a stiffer ride, you might want to look at a Lexus F-Sport. STI is designed for performance fans who will likely take it to the track. It’s really the only way to experience all the potential this car offers. But with the stiffer suspension, STI also comes with incredible cornering ability. We had three opportunities to test it out.

Another reason to walk away from the STI is the rear wing. Most people think it looks gaudy, but the big wing on the back actually serves a very specific purpose. It keeps the rear wheels firmly planted on the ground at high speeds. The faster the car goes, the more downforce it provides in the rear. As we were driving the car down I-70, I noticed a Ford Mustang GT in my rearview mirror. He passed me and looked over and laughed as he flew by me. It was a curvy stretch of highway and I sped up and passed him on a twisty section and looked down as I hit 100 mph. He caught up with me after the road straightened out and gave me a thumbs up. I just smiled as I exited the Interstate.

On another section of road getting off Hampden onto C470, the off ramp has a sketchy design flaw with two tight curves and needs to be taken at 40 mph max. If you don’t, your car will end up in the ditch. As I approached the off ramp, I slowed from 70 to 65 and took the two corners at highway speeds without slowing down. The STI carved through the corners like they were nothing. This is why performance fans buy the STI. On another mountain road, we took the multiple tight corners over a three mile stretch at high speeds and the STI felt like it was on rails. It hugs the road like nothing else out there. With it’s all-wheel drive system, it’s hard to break the 245/40R18 summer performance tires free.

The third reason not to buy the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is because you will be a target for the local law enforcement. As I drove the car during the week. I noticed I was attracting the attention of the Colorado State Patrol. It seemed like there were extra speed traps that I normally don’t see during the week. It’s hard to hide the WR Blue Pearl paint, gold BBS wheels and large STI wing and we stuck out among the other cars. If you don’t like driving with a rubber neck, look else where for a performance sedan.

Reason four to stay away from the 2015 STI. It only comes with a 6-speed standard gearbox. If you are looking for an automatic, you won’t want the STI. This performance car comes with a performance clutch that’s a bit stiffer and if you don’t like to shift often, you’ll get tired quickly. If you commute to work and drive in stop and go traffic, you’ll likely get annoyed. But if you like to drive, the close ratio 6-speed gearbox is a real treat, and the STI Short-Throw Shifter in the Launch Edition is worth every penny.

Reason five? STI is a performance car and the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine isn’t designed for putting around town. You will be disappointed if you are looking for a family cruiser that momma needs to drive. She won’t like the fact that the engine responds most after you get the rpm’s up. This car isn’t designed to just be driven to the grocery store. WRX STI features a rally-bred drivetrain that has deep roots in Rally racing. It’s excellent all-wheel drive handling is better suited for the track than it is getting you home in a snowstorm, although it will get you home safely. This sports car needs to be exercised regularly in order to stay happy. The worst thing that could happen, would be to get your new STI and then have to sell it because momma doesn’t like the extreme performance characteristics this car offers. It just begs to be driven fast.

Conclusion on 2015 Subaru WRX STI:

If any of these reasons hit home, you may want to look elsewhere. The 2015 Subaru WRX is a good solution for those not wanting a full-blown STI. It’s a milder version, but with all the fun of a great performance car. And it comes with a new CVT automatic for momma. You can read the full 2015 WRX review here.

But the 2015 Subaru WRX STI is a great choice for those wanting extreme performance and driving characteristics. There’s really nothing else like it except for the Lancer Evolution, and it’s going away soon. STI starts at $34,495 plus $795 destination. It’s available now in Subaru showrooms.

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Comments

Nice article, except maybe next time make it a little less sexiest. There are plenty of "momma's" out there that can drive a manual, and maybe Dad can go to the grocery store. Geez. This car has excellent safety ratings and trunk space. I don't think any Momma would be disappointed cruising around in this.
Jeeze is right! My wife drives last years one with a car seat in the back, and I have an '09 with a trailer hitch, racks, car seats, etc. Perfect family car. I hopefully will be trading mine in in a few years if they decide to bring the Levorg to the USA!
I agree with the sexist ordeal. I have an 11' sti sedan and every now and then my girlfriend will take it to yoga or the store. Also they cops dont bother me ever and my car is black with 15% tint and black wheels. Another point i would like to make is i specifically bought this car because it is a performance car that can get me home safely in a North Dakota snowstorm. These cars are beasts in deep snow!
I'll make sure and forward this article to my mom.
So don't drive Subaru's flagship Sport/Rally car if you don't want sport suspension, don't want to be known for driving a sport car, don't want to drive stick, and if you really want a minivan. Terrible article.
I'm sorry, but all of these reasons are completely irrelevant to people interested in the sti, all of the reasons that you gave, save the one about not being able to have a hatchback are reasons to buy an sti, I guess that's what happens when you let an old man write an opinionated article on a young man's car.
The people who buy this car are the ones who know what they want. I rarely eee people buy an sti because "I just need a new family car".
Funny tongue-in-cheek article! The summary is basically: not your suburban minivan, nor an awfully handling SUV. If you want a Chevy Suburban, this is not a car for you.
Terrible article. The new STi doesn't even have a 2.5. Subaru dropped it down to a 2.0. This article doesn't even make sense.
Umm the wrx is a 2.0 the STi is the same pride and true ring busting design for the last 20+ yrs an ej motor not the FA like the wrx/FXT or the NA brz/frs in Japan and other markets it has been the 2.0 for awhile if not forever I'm not sure. But here in the good old US of A since 04 it's ben the ej 2.5
Troy......FAIL! The STi does have a 2.5....only the wrx dropped to a 2.0....Come on man!
this is wrong!! 2015 sti comes with 2.5 engine and the 2015 wrx comes with 2.0 liter engine. get your facts correct.
you're mistaken. google the 2015 STI. don't talk trash unless your'e not wrong.
Really? Its a 2.5L for this sti. Wrx gets a new 2.0L.
The 2015 STI has a direct injected 2.0 liter turbocharged and intercooled flat four. Get it right.
Terrible article. ^ Sorry Troy but the sti still runs the 2.5.
Hard to agree with any of these five points comments. This is the STI your talking about... if you want a softer and more family oriented version get the base Impreza wagon, the WRX, an Outback or a Legacy. The STI was clearly not built for this purpose, so why compare it to a comfortable "grocery-getter"? As I'm looking for my next track toy, this car looks like it's going to be a blast after I retire my A4 later this year. Heck, even the promo pictures on the Subi website have pictures of the car next to racing gear and a helmet, who do you think they are targeting with this car?
As someone who test drove the launch addition with full intention of buying it, I ended up getting the WRX limited. I like fast cars, and love autocross, but I, personally, could not get the STI as a daily driver. Not that it wasn't fun as hell (IT WAS AMAZING) , but for reasons 1 through 4 in this article. Mostly, I don't like looking over my shoulder when I drive. Also, you can add one more to the list: When I drove the STI, the looking over my shoulder thing is compounded by the fact that out of the corner of my eye, the spoiler looked like a car riding my ass the entire time I was in the drivers seat. If I could afford it as a track car, I would have both the limited and the STI. TL;DR Personally, I would date the STI, but marry the WRX.
You know you can get the STi without the wing right?
Actually, according to the dealer, if I wanted an STI without the huge spoiler; the only option would have been to have it removed after it was shipped and received (maybe he just didn't look far enough into it, dunno). If I did that, it would cause a bunch of other weird issues to deal with, and I would feel like I gelded a thoroughbred in its prime if I whacked off its wing. Besides, I'm really happy with the WRX LTD. It's pretty goddamned awesome, IMO.
I did the same thing. Went in for the STI Launch and left ordering a WRX Limited with a handful of upgrades. The gas mileage is one thing that kept me away. That and replacement parts. on the 2014 STI, one rotor was over $350, pads for the front are $200. So before labor and etc stuff, you are out $900 alone for parts (and that is a discounted price). The WRX is a great daily driver and actually feels faster than the STI out of the hole thanks to the twin scroll turbo and lesser displacement.
I had a 2004 WRX STI I can say that the thing sucked money out of my bank account faster than a drug addicted gambling pig. when I blew the engine at about a hundred and thirty thousand miles I actually had the damn thing replaced and it cost me $13,000. then I got the same back with the check engine light on which was a year ordeal and then oil leaks after that which could not be found and finally after some special testing they found the leak. my car ran like it had never before and at that point I decided I needed to let it go to the next victim. I actually sold the thing for $20,000 in 2012. while this appears to be a great resale value it actually was negated by all the money I sank into it with maintenance and repairs etc. I don't think most people think about the high cost of maintenance with these cars. I think they should come with a warning label: if u want to play, you gotta pay.
I had a 2004 WRX STI I can say that the thing sucked money out of my bank account faster than a drug addicted gambling pig. when I blew the engine at about a hundred and thirty thousand miles I actually had the damn thing replaced and it cost me $13,000. then I got the same back with the check engine light on which was a year ordeal and then oil leaks after that which could not be found and finally after some special testing they found the leak. my car ran like it had never before and at that point I decided I needed to let it go to the next victim. I actually sold the thing for $20,000 in 2012. while this appears to be a great resale value it actually was negated by all the money I sank into it with maintenance and repairs etc. I don't think most people think about the high cost of maintenance with these cars. I think they should come with a warning label: if u want to play, you gotta pay.
Not a bad article, but I can't agree with some points. 1) It makes sense if you want some soft suspensions and a smooth ride. But in this case, the STi is DEFINITIVELY not for you. 2) Completely wrong as the STi can be bought without the rear wing... 3) Yes and no. Ok maybe they'll look closer at you. But if you drive safely, they won't stop you, and if you drive like crazy, they'll stop you whatever is your car... 4) Well, you're right on this one. It doesn't come with an optional automatic gearbox. So if you don't like manual, just walk away. 5) Then don't buy a 300 HP car ! I personally don't care as I like the sedan better, but the fact that you can't get it as a hatchback can be the major reason to walk away...
I have a 11' and 15' STi. To remove the wing you must also change the springs that force the trunk upward otherwise it will slingshot the trunk.
Thanks Eric that's helpful info. The point of this article's title was to make STI enthusiasts/owners read the article. I don't agree with the point about attention from cops. I have had my white 2015 STI for a month and have not been pulled over or followed. I try to keep it under 10 over most of the time but I don't resist the urge to accelerate and corner. They don't really notice this car as much as you'd think.
If u are not someone who plans on tracking the car don't get it. I bought a 2015wrx and absolutely love it. The engine in the wrx has at twin scroll turbo and direct injection which means you get 31mpg when cruising at 75mph and torque at 2000rpm. The real diff between these cars is that the sti is for modding and track use vs the Rex is a daily driver.
Lousy article! "The first reason not to buy the STI is because it comes with an extra firm suspension that was developed by STI for Rally racing" Are you kidding me? And do you ride in a booster seat? you should only write about them - booster seats!
Reason #6: No hatchback = fail. I would buy an STI for the do-it-all versatility of having AWD for all conditions, for hauling stuff, and also being able to go fast in a straight line and around corners. The lack of a hatchback option severely limits the cargo capacity of this car. Also, the giant wing is juvenile and quite ridiculous. Reason #7: The ringland-busting EJ257 was carried over, this is the single biggest reason why you should not buy an STI. If you don't know or don't care, then by all means go and waste your cash on a ticking timebomb.
I put a hitch on mine :) I also have a rack with all the accessories. That said, they don't need a hatchback as much as they need to bring over the new Levorg STi. You should get updated on the newer engines. Unless you mod the thing to death and don't maintain it properly, don't follow break in instructions, let it sit for months at a time unrun, think you can put aftermarket fluids in it, etc. you will not have any more issues with rings or the head gasket. That was fixed years ago.

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