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2018 Subaru WRX STI

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Make
Subaru
Model
WRX STI
Year
2018
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Subaru WRX STI OEM Exterior Primary Photo
OEM Interior Primary
OEM Exterior
OEM Exterior
OEM Interior
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Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
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2018 Base 4dr All-Wheel Drive Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $36,095
2018 Limited w/Lip 4dr All-Wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $40,895
2018 Limited w/Wing 4dr All-Wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $40,895

Overview

The Subaru WRX STI is the rally-bred, performance-oriented star of the Subaru lineup. Although once a “hot hatch,” its current sedan-only availability hasn’t slowed its step.

What's New for 2018

Like the 2018 WRX, the STI model is new for 2018 and receives a new front fascia design, optimized suspension tuning, and updated interior materials and features. New performance enhancements specific to the WRX STI include upgraded brakes and a revised all-wheel-drive system. Nineteen-inch wheels are available for the first time and standard on all WRX STI models as well.

Subaru WRX STI

Choosing Your Subaru WRX STI

The WRX STI is powered by a turbocharged engine like its WRX sibling, but the 2.5-liter flat-four is larger, producing and more powerful, producing 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is the only available transmission.

All Subaru vehicles are equipped with standard all-wheel-drive, however, the WRX STI comes with a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) system. This allows the driver to switch between manual and automated center differential locking, which directly impacts the car's handling character. For 2018, the DCCD system will only use electronic control, for a smoother, quicker response, in place of the combination of mechanical and electronic limited slip differential control used in older models.

Upgraded Brembo brakes are designated by yellow-painted front and rear calipers, and new brake pads offer improved braking feel and fade resistance. Also standard is Subaru Intelligent Drive, which enables three different performance modes by controlling the engine control unit and fine-tuning the throttle. It's broadly similar to every other driving mode setup on the market, offering normal, Eco, Sport, and Sport Sharp settings to adjust the STI's behavior.

All WRX STI models receive new interior materials, rear seat armrest cup holders, redesigned door grips, and a faster remote trunk opening. Other new highlights include auto low- and high-beam height adjustment controls, Recaro performance front seats, an STI Sport Design instrument cluster, adaptive headlights, auto on/off windshield wipers, welcome lighting, and roof rack mounting brackets.

Although the suspension is tighter and the engine is a carryover, fuel economy drops one mile per gallon on the highway. EPA estimates for the 2018 model are 17 mpg city, 22 highway, and 19 combined.

The 2018 WRX STI is available in two trim levels:

Subaru WRX STI

Base

Starting at $36,955 (including $860 destination), the base WRX STI offers all the basic performance features listed above.

All STI models are equipped with a quad exhaust, front and rear underspoilers, and a rear bumper with an integrated diffuser. The WRX STI further distinguishes itself with an STI-design trunk spoiler and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fitted with summer performance tires.

Other standard exterior features include heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, a windshield wiper de-icer, and auto on/off adaptive LED headlights.

Interior amenities include ultrasuede/leather upholstery, heated front seats with a 6-way manual driver’s seat, a 60/40-split rear seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped shifter, dual USB ports, a seven-inch infotainment system, and a six-speaker audio system. STI-branded features include leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed tilt/telescopic steering wheels with function controls and electroluminescent sport gauges with a 3.5-inch LCD info screen.

The base WRX STI is somewhat light on standard safety equipment – there's a rearview camera and Subaru's Starlink Safety and Security system, which includes passive features such as automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery, and added services regarding roadside assistance, diagnostics, and security.

A nameless $2,500 option package adds Recaro seats in a black-and-red color scheme, eight-way power adjustability on the driver’s seat, and push-button start

Subaru WRX STI

Limited

For $41,755, the Limited model adds the Recaro sport seats, push-button start, a power sunroof, a seven-inch touchscreen navigation/infotainment system, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert.

There are no packages for the WRX STI Limited but, for no additional cost, owners can replace the STI's huge standard spoiler with a low-profile unit (it's a cleaner look, but much less fun).

CarsDirect Tip

Unless in-dash navigation and additional safety features are must-haves (remember this is a compact car without many blind spots), the base model is the best WRX STI to purchase. Even when adding the Recaro seats and push-button start, the MRSP price will be less than $40,000. And from a performance standpoint, features like the Limited's sunroof only add unnecessary weight.

Get your price on a Subaru WRX STI »

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Expert Review

Expert Rating
Unavailable

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Automotive Editor

Most people think of sports cars as gorgeous, low-slung, impractical two-seaters, but go back to the original definition of the term – "sports car" as a car that takes part in competition, or is closely related to same. The Subaru WRX STI, with its identity and attitude directly rooted in Subaru's championship rally teams, does more to fulfill that idea than many upscale performance machines. If the four-door basis somehow requires more proof of association than a sultry coupe, the speed and handling capabilities contained within the 2018 STI's amped-up styling leave no doubt that Subaru produces a thoroughly great – if unorthodox – sports car.

Best Value

The WRX models, including the STI, are based on the previous-generation Impreza sedan. Power for the STI comes from a turbocharged 2.5-liter version of Subaru's trademark flat-four. A six-speed manual transmission is mandatory, as is all-wheel drive with an adjustable Torsen limited-slip rear differential. The steering rack uses traditional hydraulic assist instead of the standard WRX's electric boost, which provides better feel at the expense of a bit of engine efficiency – one among the many factors contributing to the STI's unimpressive EPA-estimated mileage ratings of 17 miles per gallon city and 22 mpg highway.

The STI is currently available in base and Limited trim levels. The standard STI includes Brembo brakes, dual-zone climate control, and an app-heavy infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen. The Limited adds a sunroof, navigation, an upgraded stereo, keyless ignition, and Recaro seats with eight-way power adjustment. The Type RA, an even more tightly wound STI with a number of performance tweaks and an MSRP crowding $50,000, was announced back in November; individual examples of the 500-unit production run may still be available at dealers.

The Limited may bring more features and the Type RA an extra dose of high-street-cred speed parts, but the base STI contains all the important attributes even in its most stripped-down form, making it our clear value pick:

  • Model: 2018 Subaru WRX STI
  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 305 hp / 290 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 17 City / 22 Hwy
  • Options: n/a
  • Base Price: $36,995 (including an $860 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $36,995

Performance

Subaru WRX STI

The WRX STI doesn't just look like a rally car, it fully behaves like one with plenty of turbocharged thrust and a suspension set up for maximum agility. An unusual part of the handling formula is the adjustable differential, which changes the driveline balance to the driver's preference. Steering is accurate and very quick (maybe too much so), and the big Brembo brakes are wonderfully strong and fade-free if slightly grabby.

The compromises inherent in all that taut tuning and boosted power are clearly on display, and arguably make up a meaningful part of the car's abundant character. This isn't an effortless Grand Tourer; the clutch and steering are heavy, the ride is stiff, the edgy and sensitive controls can verge on irritating when the driver simply wants to lay back and cruise for a while.

Style

With its huge rear wing, bulging fender flares, and high-volume hood scoop, the STI adds plenty of visual excitement to its compact sedan roots. (The rear wing can be deleted if you insist, but if you're looking for restraint, you may want to shop elsewhere in the first place.) Nobody will ever call an STI beautiful, but its overachiever looks are an appropriate match for its rowdy driving feel.

Inside, the cabin's atmosphere is slightly more subdued if no less purposeful. There's a smattering of red trim – including the seat belts – to complement the intense overall flavor, but nothing hides the standard-Subaru basis. Even if the interior may not be much of a design statement, the function-first mentality of the STI's makers is a definite plus in daily use.

The Best and Worst Things

The STI makes a compelling case for the benefits of building a speedster from a common sedan instead of a specialized platform. It's a Subaru during the workweek, with good safety scores, a functional design, and all the pragmatism and convenience that goes with a compact four-door sedan, but give it an open two-lane (and give the local cops a coffee break) and the STI absolutely rips. The all-wheel-drive system bridges the gap between the two roles: secure on slippery roads, but also designed to put all that power and torque to the pavement as effectively as possible.

That focused attitude and maximum-performance tuning inevitably takes a toll on the STI's sense of livability. While still very functional and usable, a prospective buyer must face up to the reality of living with the harsh ride and heavy, edgy controls on a constant basis. Some people will accept it as part of the STI's essence; others may find the thrill-ride attitude wearing thin over time.

Right For? Wrong For?

Subaru WRX STI

Do you want ambitious speed and agility in a compact upright package with four doors? Can you manage a good bit of attitude in your everyday driving? Do you know who Colin McRae was? The WRX STI delivers on its promise of providing plenty of racing-influenced thrills in a rather practical frame.

Do you expect a high-performance car to be a study in refinement and balance? The STI's handling is impressively dialed in, but the intents and results are more maximum impact than serene harmony. Do you grade your cars on looks as much as speed? The STI's various body enhancements are a successful truth-in-advertising statement, but the overall effect is still tuner special instead of complete aesthetic statement.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Subaru WRX STI may not be the most graceful creation tearing up a back road at any one time, but it'll definitely be one of the faster and more intensely fun cars on that run. If actual street performance backed by years of rallying credibility matters more than a sensual fantasyland image to you, the STI's ability to turn your daily commute into a tarmac stage may be just what you want and need.

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Specs & Features

Highlights
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
Standard: 2.5L H-4 / 305 HP / 290 ft.lbs.
Available: 2.5L H-4 / 310 HP / 290 ft.lbs.
Transmission
6-spd man w/OD
Drive Type
Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
16 / 22 / 19 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
5
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
Standard: 2.5L H-4 / 305 HP / 290 ft.lbs.
Available: 2.5L H-4 / 310 HP / 290 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
16 / 22 / 19 Mpg
Brakes
Brembo 4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Strut
Rear Suspension
Independent Double Wishbone
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
15.9 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
$61
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
12.0 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
97 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
180.9 "
Exterior Width
70.7 "
Exterior Height
58.1 "
Front Headroom
39.8 "
Rear Headroom
37.1 "
Front Legroom
43.3 "
Rear Legroom
35.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
55.6 "
Rear Shoulder Room
54.2 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,391 Lbs.
Wheel Base
104 "
Turning Radius
18.0 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
Wheels
19.0 " Painted Aluminum / 19.0 " Painted Bbs Forged Aluminum
Paint
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Bumpers
Front Body-colored With Black Insert
Grille Moldings
Black
Rear Spoiler
Wing
Exhaust
Stainless Steel With Polished Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Seating
Passenger Capacity
5
Seat Trim
Alcantara Simulated Suede/leather
Front Seat Type
Sport Bucket
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
6-way / (8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
4-way
Front Armrests
6-way / (8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Center
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Radio
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
Speakers
6 / 6 Kicker / 7 / 6 Performance
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt Style
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver
Tinted Windows
Light
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
2
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Immobilizer
Warranty
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

Used 2018 Subaru WRX STI for Sale

1 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
Subaru
Color: Crystal White Pearl
Price

$25,295

Mileage

73,420 mi

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Redondo Mitsubishi (4 mi)

Other Subaru WRX STI Listings

We have expanded the search to include other Subaru WRX STI years that you might be interested in.

Subaru
Base 4dr All-Wheel Drive Sedan
Color: Silver
Price

$31,997

Mileage

49,577 mi

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STG Auto Group of Bellflower (15 mi)

Phone: (562) 302-4744
Subaru
Limited
Color: Silver
Price

$29,988

Mileage

43,671 mi

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Pacific West Imports (16 mi)

Phone: (562) 281-9753
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