Grip, chassis precision, ground-covering ability, hardcore nature
Hard ride, turbo's thirst and lag, poor quality cabin, running costs
What is it?
Don’t tell me you don’t recognize it? Fifteen years ago the cult of the 4wd rally refugee was one of the biggest trends to happen to the British car market in years. Trouble was it was largely limited to just two cars, the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Lancer, and despite their popularity for a few years, they were like fireworks, exploding briefly across the automotive landscape and then flickering out as the recession bit and tastes changed.
But now Subaru has bounced back – but not with an Impreza. At least not by name. This one is known solely as the WRX STi, but everything else is present and correct. 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer four, six-speed manual, 4wd, massive rear wing, unholy grip levels. Even the relative-bargain list price has made a comeback.