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RPM Says The Subaru WRX STI Is Still The Best New Compact Sports Car

Is the 2021 Subaru WRX STI the best new compact sports car? See why the STI beats the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf GTI.


What are the best sports compact sports cars of 2021, the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster N, Subaru WRX STI, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, or Volkswagen Golf GTI? According to a new report from RPM, the 2021 Subaru WRX STI is the best based on reliability, quality, performance, and value.

RPM ranks the Volkswagen Golf GTI/Golf R number three, Honda Civic Type R number two, and the 2021 Subaru WRX STI number one. They say the WRX and STI offer the best performance for the price.

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI
photo credit: Competition Subaru

They give the nod to the WRX and WRX STI for their turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engines. The WRX is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 268 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque. The STI is powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer producing 310 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque.

RPM also gives the WRX and STI the best ranking for their "highly efficient all-wheel drive," which is standard equipment on both performance cars.

They say the WRX's "268 horsepower engine gives it a high degree of performance, but its greatest quality is that it remains pleasant on a daily basis and efficient in all conditions."

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI
photo credit: Atlantic Subaru

"The Subaru WRX STI takes the dynamic qualities of the WRX up a notch, with peak power reaching 310 horsepower. If the first generation of the STI quickly became unlivable daily, especially because of an ultra-rigid suspension, it has since calmed down with a more moderate behavior. Nevertheless, it shines with its balance, good reliability, and, above all, it retains good resale value," says RPM.

What is the price of the 2021 Subaru WRX and WRX STI?

The 2021 WRX comes in base 6-speed manual priced at $28,420, Premium 6MT ($30,970), Premium CVT ($32,870), Limited 6MT ($33,020), and Limited CVT ($34,920). Pricing includes destination and delivery ($925).

The 2021 WRX STI comes in base trim starting at $38,170, and WRX STI Limited with Wing or low profile trunk spoiler is priced from $42,870. Pricing includes destination and delivery ($925).
The 2021 Subaru WRX and WRX STI get few changes. The 2021 WRX Premium trim gets keyless access with push-button start as standard. The 2021 WRX STI remains unchanged.

What's next for the 2022 Subaru WRX?

The 2022 WRX and STI are expected to get a new 2.4-liter FA24 turbocharged Boxer engine upgrade with additional power. Look for the WRX close to 300 horsepower, and the STI could approach 400 horsepower with the new engine.

When can I buy the 2022 Subaru WRX STI?

Subaru should begin producing the all-new 2022 WRX during the fall of 2021, but fans will have to wait for the next-generation 2022 WRX STI to roll out a year later. Torque News will bring the latest next-generation WRX and STI news.

Before the next-generation WRX and STI arrive, RPM says the 2021 Subaru WRX and WRX STI are the best performance car value.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image Atlantic Subaru