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Based on 9 reviews
2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi ReviewThe Good
With its 300-horsepower turbocharged engine, advanced all-wheel drive, and sport-tuned suspension, you could drive a 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi straight from a showroom to a rally course, and you could take a few friends and their gear along for the ride.The Bad
The 2010 Impreza WRX STi's price is awfully close to luxury sedan territory, its fuel economy isn’t great, and its interior is a bit lacking for the cost.
The CarGurus View
The 2010 Subaru WRX STi is a fantastic option for performance fanatics who also need their vehicle to handle loads of cargo, passengers, and inclement road conditions. Its price may be high, but Subaru loaded this four-door hatchback with enough mechanical technology to make it worth the money.
At a Glance
A racing legacy is not just a historical footnote when it comes to the 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STi. This four-door hatchback packs enough power, performance, and high-tech mechanics to please even the most ardent driving enthusiasts, both on the street and off it.
The entire Impreza lineup got a major performance overhaul last year after some loud complaints from the above-mentioned driving enthusiasts, and those performance upgrades remain for 2010. There are minor changes this year for the WRX STi, including new designs for the grille and side sills and extra optional features.
The WRX STi does have loads of cargo room, can seat five, is safe in nearly all road conditions, and gets decent enough gas mileage that you might consider it for a family car. But this hatchback and its $35,000 pricetag are really meant for drivers who like to push limits behind the wheel every chance they get. And with its massive hood scoop, generously flared arches, rear wing, and muscular lines, the WRX STi looks the part of a rally car.
The WRX STi is powered by a 2.5-liter, 16-cylinder, horizontally opposed, turbocharged and intercooled “flat” four cylinder engine that produces 305 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, and requires premium-grade gas. It’s paired with a fully synchronized, close-ratio six-speed manual transmission, gets 17 city/23 highway/19 combined mpg, and can go from 0-60 in a startling 4.5 seconds.
The WRX STi shows noticeable turbo lag below 3,500 rpm, but once you push beyond that, this hatchback absolutely flies. As opposed to the four-speed automatic that comes standard in most others in the Impreza model line, critics love the six-speed transmission in the WRX STi, praising its smooth shifter and clutch.
Ride & Handling
Performance is what the WRX STi is all about. This four-door hatchback delivers an athletic, precise, and spine-tingling ride with the help of some serious mechanical technology.
The WRX STi gets an exclusive all-wheel-drive system with a Driver Controlled Center Differential. This system uses a multi-plate transfer clutch and a mechanical limited-slip differential in conjunction with a planetary-gear-type center differential to manage power distribution between the front and rear wheels. This system has three automatic modes and a manual mode, measures wheel slippage, throttle position, steering angle, and braking to gauge torque distribution for optimum traction, and features a limited-slip helical front and Torsen rear differential.
The WRX STi also comes with Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE), which allows for three different driving modes by managing the engine control unit and the electronically controlled throttle. The vehicle’s stability and traction are enhanced with Vehicle Dynamics Control and Traction Control, both of which automatically adjust brake force and torque to provide you with optimal grip and control.
The sport-tuned, four-wheel independent suspension enables sports-car driving using an inverted-strut-type construction with an aluminum-alloy lower L-arm in the front, a double-wishbone in the rear, and stabilizer bars in both the front and rear. Yes, this high-performance suspension may make for a jarring ride when it comes to rough surfaces, but it’s better than many sport-tuned suspensions. And critics love the Brembo performance braking system with its four-channel, four-sensor Super Sport Antilock Brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and Brake Assist.
All this technology rides on 18-inch, five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels with 245/40 R18 93W ultra-high-performance tires. And the overall result is a vehicle that blazes on straights, rips through corners with confidence, and tackles rain, snow, and mud with ease.
Cabin & Comfort
The swooping curves, two-tone color pattern, bright-red numbering and overlapping layout for the speedometer and tachometer, the tri-spoke steering wheel, aluminum-alloy pedal covers and sport bucket seats all imbue the WRX STi’s interior with a unique sense of sporty style. The build quality and layout are all first class, but the materials, most of which are plastic, may feel a bit on the economy side considering the price.
The climate and audio controls are easy to reach and use, as is the available navigation system. The front seats offer good headroom and legroom, but the lack of lumbar support make them a touch uncomfortable for extra long road trips. The rear seats are also comfortable and roomy enough for three average-size adults. Cargo volume is excellent, with 19 cubic feet behind the second row and 44.4 cubic feet available with the rear seat lowered.
Standard features include electronic cruise control, black Alcantara leather upholstery, power accessories, a rear wiper, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, center console with LED illumination and a 12-volt outlet, 60/40-split rear seat, grocery bag and tiedown hooks, and a 10-speaker stereo with 6-CD in-dash changer and MP3/WMA playback capability. The optional BBS package (about $2,000) adds 18-spoke BBS aluminum-alloy wheels and foglights. The BBS and Navigation package ($3,800) adds the BBS features plus a touch-screen GPS navigation system, Bluetooth, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and a trip computer.
The WRX STi receives five stars for frontal crash protection, five stars for front occupants in side crashes, and four stars for rear occupant protection in side crashes. Standard safety features include dual-stage deployment frontal air bags, front-seat side air bags, side curtain airbags, an energy-absorbing collapsible steering column, AWD, four-wheel antilock brakes, Vehicle Dynamics Control, Traction Control, Brake Assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, and daytime running lights.
What Owners Think
It seems clear that WRX STi owners knew exactly what they were getting into when they purchased this vehicle, so its reviews are predictably glowing. Owners love the car’s acceleration and top-end power, they love its handling at high and low speeds and on road and off, they love the sound of the engine and the steering feel, and they love that all that performance comes with a serious amount of cargo room.
One common complaint concerns the sound system, which no one praised and more than a few complained about. Some also felt that there should be more standard comfort features (Bluetooth, for example) given the WRX STi's price.