2011 Subaru Impreza WRX - STI

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Impreza WRX - STI MSRP: $ 25495.00
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  • All-wheel drive stability provides excellent handling
  • Powerful turbo "boxer" engines
  • Strong safety ratings
  • STI model is not cheap
  • Low-rent interior materials
  • Turbo engine drinks more than Dean Martin at an open bar
Bottom line: the Impreza WRX and WRX STI are fun, reliable, and fast cars. Plus, they are practical for small families and carrying small loads .

The 2011 Subaru WRX and WRX STI represent Subaru's high performance all-wheel drive offerings. 2009 model year had major chassis changes and engine performance upgrades. The 2011 models build upon the improvements made in 2009.

The Subaru WRX is equipped with a 265 hp turbocharged 2.5 liter Boxer engine that has a maximum torque of 244 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. Fitted exclusively with WRX suspension tuning and a 5-speed manual transmission, EPA fuel economy estimates are defined at 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

The Subaru WRX has a functional hood scoop which supplies air to the intercooler. With continuous AWD, Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system splits the power 50:50 front to rear and can transfer power to wheels with the best traction.

For 2011, Subaru fitted the WRX with the widebody pieces from the STI model. Now the WRX and WRX STI share the same widebody design, including the newly developed 4-door model. Front and rear track was widened approximately 1.5 inches and stiffer rear subframe bushings were installed. Wider wheels and tires are now standard equipment on the 2011 WRX. Wheels are now 17 x 8 inches vs. 17 x 7-inches. Correspondingly, the tires are now 235/45R17 vs. 225/45R17 compared to before. The wider track dimensions, wider wheels and tires, and firmer subframe bushing are designed to work together helping reduce body roll and improve cornering stability.

The audio system was revised with integrated Bluetooth and iPod control capability.

Separating the two models is the massive rear wing on the STI and 40 extra horsepower. Both models are offered as a 5-door hatchback or 4-door sedan model for the first time.

New for 2011, the Subaru WRX STI also receives a major chassis upgrade with retuned suspension featuring higher spring rates, thick anti-sway bars, and new bushings. The rear spoiler on the 4-door maximizes the aerodynamic configuration and the new 18 inch BBS forged-alloy wheels are lighter with a coat of high luster paint.

Under the hood, the 2.5 liter turbocharged engine produces 305 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 290 lb.-ft. peak torque @ 4,000 rpm. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard.

Key standard equipment related to performance includes Brembo Performance Brake System, double-wishbone rear suspension, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with driver controlled center differential (DCCD)

CarReview's opinion of the 2011 Subaru WRX

  • Accelerates crazy fast
  • Very comfortable seats
  • Excellent handling ability
  • Back seats accommodate passengers easily (not cramped seating)
  • Really, really, really FUN to drive
  • Bumpy ride could require a dose of Dramamine for passengers before riding on winding, bumpy roads
  • Release handle for gas door quirky and frustrating
  • Plastic interior dash and door panels feel like they came from a 1992 Corolla
Verdict: If you're a family of one or two, love to go do fun things, need to transport a bike or two, The WRX can easily be your primary (and only) vehicle. It's way more practical than a 2-seater sports car, and with the AWD (and some willingness to step off the gas) your travel options aren't as limited as with some cars.

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