Subaru WRX STI Is Defeated By VW And Honda Hot Hatches; It’s Not About Performance
What are the best buys in compact sports cars? The Car Guide team of journalists established its Best Buys in the sport compact cars category that two hot hatches are the best. The Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance sedans take third. Can Subaru continue to compete with a sedan-only body style?
The Volkswagen Golf GTI and hotter Golf R hatches take the title for Best Buys in the compact sports car category. The Honda Civic Si and mighty Civic Type R hot hatchbacks take second place, and the sport-tuned 2019 Subaru WRX and performance-tuned WRX STI sedans come in third.
It’s not about performance
The showdown between the VW Golf R and Honda Type R is not so much about performance, but more about design. Sedans are losing their appeal and the aging STI could use a 5-Door Hatch WRX/STI body style. Subaru performance fans have been asking for its return since the Japanese automaker ditched the model in 2015. The WRX/STI is getting long in the tooth and the next-generation model isn’t expected to make it’s reveal until sometime next year.
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A year ago, Torque News reported Mamoru Ishii, the head of Subaru’s design department, in an interview at the Geneva Motor Show said, “We don’t have plans to bring back a WRX hatch to the market.” We think this would be a big mistake.
Performance enthusiasts want Subaru Corp to bring back the 5-Door hatch for its greater utility and cargo-carrying ability. It does have its place in the WRX STI lineup and gives fans another option as sedans become less popular with a new generation of buyers.
Subaru also needs to catch up with the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R in terms of materials and design inside and needs improvements to the WRX/STI interior. A new-generation 5-Door hatch STI could compete with the VW and Honda hot hatches in the compact sports car segment but will need significant upgrades outside and inside to do it.
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Photo credit: Subaru