Difference between Subaru WRX and STI: Why WRX is better?

The Subaru WRX and WRX STI are the bad boys of Subaru with turbocharged engines and sports-grade suspensions with an all-wheel-drive performance. Both the models offer two different levels of performance. While the Subaru WRX proves to be a great daily driving family-friendly sedan, the STI offers a stellar performance closer to a real race car that comes right from the factory to your hands.

You will only find a handful of rivals offering the same features as WRX and STI in North America, including the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic Type R. However, both of these rival models lack all-wheel drive. You can also consider the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 a worthy opponent, but its price is relatively higher. 

If you are looking for a sports sedan under 50k, the WRX and the STI would be your best bet. Now the question is which one to choose? Should it be the WRX or the STI?

Subaru WRX: An Overview

While the craze for rally-inspired sedans is getting lower, the 2022 Subaru WRX is here to reignite your passion for having a powerful vehicle for your day-to-day commute. The latest generation of WRX comes with all-wheel-drive support boasting distinctive bodywork and a more extensive & powerful turbocharged 2.4ltr flat-four engine.

The new Subura WRX features are ready to rule the streets with its new architecture with superior driving dynamics. With its 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a contemporary interior design, WRX is set to give tough competition to its newer rivals, including the VW Golf GTI, Jetta GLI and Hyundai Elantra N.

Subaru WRX STI: An Overview

The 2021 Subaru WRX STI is inspired by Subaru’s factory-backed FIA World Championship Rally Series race cars. With a superfast turbocharged flat-four cylinder engine and firm suspension, the STI offers a performance that can startle the heart of ardent driving enthusiasts.

The most notable features of the sedan remain its all-wheel-drive system and manual-only transmission. The base model of the STI now comes with a push-button start and a passive hands-free entry.

Difference between Subaru WRX and STI:

FactorsSubaru WRXSubaru WRX STI
EngineThe standard WRX comes with a 2.4ltr direct injected turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The motor is capable up to 268 hp to 250 lb-ft of torque.The STI contains a 2.5ltr turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder motor offering a whopping 310 hp and upto 290 lb-ft of torque.
TransmissionThe WRX provides a TY75 six-speed manual transmission or a simulated 7-speed CVT gearbox with all-wheel drive feature.The STI comes with a TY85 close-ratio Six-speed transmission. It features limited-slip differentials on front and rear, allowing wheels to receive power on both sides.
PerformanceThe WRX goes 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds, reaching a top speed of 145 mph.The WRX STI goes 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
FeaturesThe 2022 model features an 11.6 inch portrait-oriented touchscreen and Harman Kardon audio system compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.The STI comes with a 7.o inch touchscreen with Harman Kardon Audio System containing nine speakers and a 440 watt amplifier, along with Subaru STARLINK® smartphone integration, Aha radio®, and Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto functionality
BrakesIt comes with regular solid disc brakes.It boasts of a giant set of Brembo brakes with ventilated discs, 6 piston calipers in the front and 2 piston calipers in the back.
Standard EquipmentThe 2022 model includes heated front seats, power-tilt/sliding moon roof, a rear vision camera, keyless entry, and electronic cruise control.The standard STI comes with an SRH system, heated front seats, keyless access, dual-zone climate control system, Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls, Side Impact Beams  and a leather-trimmed upholstery, etc.
SuspensionIt features a sport-tuned 4-wheel independent suspension designed to take a fair amount of abuse offering a comfortable and bump-less drive.The STI features a high-performance sports-tuned4-wheel independent suspension that can take more abuse with excellent cornering effect. It means, you will be stiffer and may be uncomfortable to drive longer distance on a daily basis.
CostThe base price of WRX starts at $31,605, while the limited 2022 Subaru WRX costs around $36k (manual) and 38k (automatic).The least expensive version of the WRX STI starts from $37,245 while the limited version can goes for $41,945.

Why WRX is better?

Although Subaru STI is a clear winner in terms of performance, it comes with a price of around 7k more than the WRX base model. Meanwhile, the WRX is not bad at all if you compare the price with the features and performances.

The WRX comes with a rating of 20 mpg in the city environment and 27 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the STI gets 16 mpg city and 22 highway. The WRX provides better fuel economy than STI due to its technologically advanced FA20 motor, smaller turbo size, and automatically limited power progression and boost.

The WRX is a family-friendly car that also combines the performance of a rally car. However, the ultimate decision for most people comes lies in the performance. If you prefer performance over price and fuel economy, STI won’t let you down.

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