Sometimes the life of an automotive journalist can feel a bit like the Goldilocks fable: for every car that’s too soft, there’s always another that’s too hard. As someone who appreciates performance – and who is willing to make sacrifices in order to get it – I occasionally find myself in the rare position of complaining about a car that seems to go just a little to far in delivering visceral thrills.
In this case, it’s the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STI that bears the brunt of my words. Before you send a horde of angry emails, or accuse me of going soft myself, I should qualify the first paragraph’s setup. The Subaru Impreza WRX STi is one of the best high performance deals on the market, a rocket-propelled arrow that shoots straight through the same bull’s-eye aimed at by much pricier vehicles like the BMW M3. On the street, however, the WRX STI’s relentless pursuit of a fast lap is often at odds with its mission of getting you from point A to point B without breaking the carton of eggs you just picked up at the supermarket.
Compounding things is the fact that the Subaru Impreza WRX – the less brash base model that provides the genetic underpinnings for the STi – delivers an exceptional driving experience all its own, one that doesn’t call for a sanity check after a full day behind the wheel. In many ways, the WRX STI is a victim of its own success, a top-tier sport sedan bogey that’s honed its track skills to the point where it simply can’t integrate into civilian life in quite the same way as its less-focused brother.