2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan

MSRP $36,995

Ranked #15 in Sedan

7.1

Overall Rating

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2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: November 11, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Subaru is a household name in the world of rallying and the brand made its mark in the WRC back in the ‘90s. Unfortunately, Subaru pulled out of the competition in 1994 just after the WRX STI was introduced, and never returned. Fortunately, the car is still one of the most iconic and capable rally cars around the dirt tracks and is used in several events in the US. The Japanese automaker decided to introduce this brilliant piece of machinery to the general public and has been offering it as a standalone model since 2014.

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Pros

Spacious and comfortable cabin

Outstanding handling and responsive powertrain

Standard full-time AWD layout offers immense practicality

Impressive safety techs onboard

Cons

Stiff ride quality

Poor NVH levels inside the cabin

Unrefined interior

What's New?

Redesigned front bumper

Push-button start and keyless entry now standard


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$36995

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

150 cu.in.

horsepower

310 hp @ 6000 rpm

torque

290 ft-lb. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

12.4/11.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

104.3 in.

length

180.9 in.

width

70.7 in.

height

58.1 in.

curb weight

3450 lbs.

ground clearance

4.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

96.6 cu ft.

cargo volume

12 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

payload capacity

959 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.6 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

13.2 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

156 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

16/18/22 mpg

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36,000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$36,995 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan in Ice Silver Metallic color
Ice Silver Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.0

Engine and Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

4.5

Interior

8.5

Exterior

6.5

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.1

Overall Rating


For the 2020 MY, the WRX STI will receive some design and feature updates but will remain the same mechanically. The iconic turbocharged H-4 engine will return along with the brilliant transmission and the intelligent AWD layout. The price of the car starts at $36,995. In the segment, the WRX STI will go against the Hyundai Veloster N, Volkswagen Golf GTi, and the Honda Civic Type-R.


6.0/10
Features

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

4.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.5/10
Interior

6.5/10
Exterior


2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Features

6.0/10

The Subaru WRX STI is available in two well-equipped trim levels that build on the lower WRX model. The main difference lies in the powertrain and extensive performance-oriented tuning. The price of the STI base is set at $36,995 while the top-end Limited costs $41,695. Coming to the features, the interior of the base trim gets similar features to the WRX Premium trim which includes a sunroof, heated front seats, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display. The top-end Limited trim gets black leather upholstery, Recaro sports seats with electronic adjustments, a premium Harman Kardon audio system, and an integrated navigation system. The only optional feature offered with the Limited is a low-profile trunk-mounted lip spoiler.

Trims

WRX STI (Base)

Limited

MSRP (AWD)

$36,995

$41,695

Key Features

6-way manually adjustable driver seat with heating function

Adds/Upgrades to STI

 

6-speaker audio system

Electronically adjustable Recaro sports seats

 

Standard Subaru Symmetrical AWD system

Premium Harman Kardon audio system

 

Cloth upholstery

Leather upholstery

 

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Sunroof

 

60/40 split-folding rear seats

Integrated navigation system

Which trim should you buy?

If you wish to experience only performance, the base trim would suffice. However, if you desire to have more comfort and convenience at your fingertips, the Limited trim will meet most of your expectations.

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Engine and Performance

9.0/10

Subaru is renowned for its extensive application of Boxer engines in a majority of its vehicles and it helps the brand to stand out in the crowd. The WRX STI gets a 2.5-liter EJ257 H-4 turbocharged motor that generates an overwhelming 310 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of maximum torque. The motor showcases its flat-four nature and sportiness right from the ignition and settles onto a smooth idle with a deep exhaust note. The motor is paired to a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission along with Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system. There are different drive modes with a dedicated intelligent SI drive mode that offers the most relaxing driving experience. The powertrain also offers a dedicated locking central differential with a step-by-step set of the diff-lock mechanism. Slotting to the sports mode unlocks the full potential of the car with sharp throttle response, aggressive gear shifts, and a sporty steering setup. The motor propels the car to 60mph from a standstill under 4.6 seconds and completes the quarter-mile run within 13.2 seconds. Both the times are quite respectable for the segment yet it’s quite normal for the car since it is essentially a rally car underneath.

Models

Subaru WRX STI

Hyundai Veloster N Performance Pack

Honda Civic Type R

Volkswagen Golf GTI

MSRP

$36,995

$30,695

$36,995

$30,720

Engine

2.5L Boxer-4

2.0L Inline-4 Turbocharged

2.0L Inline-4 Turbocharged

2.0L, Turbocharged Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Manual 

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

6-Speed Manual

Power

310hp@6,000rpm

275hp@6,000rpm

306hp@6,500rpm

228hp@4,700rpm

Torque

290lb-ft@4,000rpm

260lb-ft@4,700rpm

295lb-ft@2,500rpm

258lb-ft@1,500rpm

0-60 MPH

4.6 sec

5.5 sec

5 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec 

14.1 sec 

13.7 sec

14.2 sec

Top Speed

150 MPH

155 MPH

165 MPH

155 MPH

The Hyundai Veloster N is a brilliant hot-hatch that rivals the WRX STI but comes with a standard FWD layout. It also offers commendable performance at a cheaper price point than the WRX STI and poses as a sensible alternative to those who wish to save some money. The Honda Civic Type-R needs no introduction and it offers some serious power and torque figures of 306hp and 295lb.-ft. Even though it carries a similar price tag to the WRX STI it falls short in terms of power output and acceleration times. The Volkswagen Golf GTi is another iconic offering in the segment and trails the WRX STI closely while going neck-to-neck with the Veloster N, with both options taking over 5.5 seconds to reach the 60mph mark. 

How well does the Subaru WRX STI handle?

Handling is something that the Subaru WRX STI is designed to nail every time it hits the road. The STI gets a stiffer suspension setup than the “normal” WRX and handles like a dream around the corners. Owing to the stiffer springs, the ride quality does take a toll and the on-road comfort is on the lower side. 

The car rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped in performance tires hence the overall gripe levels are excellent. The steering is almost perfectly balanced and makes for easy driving at lower speeds. At higher speeds, the steering tightens up nicely and there is a good amount of feedback as well.

Braking performance

The Subaru WRX STI gets upgraded Brembo brakes over the regular WRX for enhanced braking performance. The rotors are of decent size measuring at 13.3-inches and 12.2-inches for the front and rear. Along with a sharp braking response, the braking system is powerful enough to tame the car properly but the sharpness can be uncomfortable while driving at lower speeds. The heavier than usual curb weight of the car results in a longer stopping distance as compared to the rivals.

Model

Subaru WRX STI

Hyundai Veloster N Performance Pack

Honda Civic Type R

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Brake Rotors Front

13.3"

13.6"

13.8"

13.4"

Brake Rotors Rear

12.2"

12.2"

12"

12.2"

Curb Weight

3391 lbs

3047 lbs

3117 lbs

3062 lbs

70-0 MPH

156 ft

135 ft

142 ft

176 ft

The Hyundai Veloster N gets a decent set of brakes like the WRX STI. Yet, it is the lightest one among the rivals here hence it takes an impressive stopping distance of 135 ft to halt from 70mph. The Honda Civic Type-R has the biggest front brake rotors here although by a slight margin. It has a lower curb weight than the WRX STI yet it’s higher than the Veloster, making its stopping distance take the middle ground. The Volkswagen Golf GTi posts a rather disappointing braking prowess as compared to the rivals here. Even though it gets brake rotors of identical size to the WRX STI, it covers an unexpectedly long distance of 176ft before coming to a halt from 70mph.

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Fuel Economy

4.5/10

Since the Subaru WRX STI is more focused on delivering the best possible performance it is expected not to return impressive fuel efficiency ratings but the car drops even lower than what its rivals offer. Within the city, it returns an average of 17mpg while out on the highways the number rises to 22mpg. The combined mileage rating stands at 19mpg. The sub-par fuel economy ratings are solely due to the sportier setting of the car and the H-4 motor under its hood. With a sizable gas tank of 15.9-gallon, the STI offers some decent driving range figures.

Model

Subaru WRX STI

Veloster N Performance Pack

Honda Civic Type R

Volkswagen Golf GTI

MPG (City)

17

22

22

24

MPG (Highway)

22

28

28

32

MPG (Combined)

19

25

25

27

Fuel Capacity

15.9 gallons

13.2 gallons

12.4 gallons

13.2 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

254/350/302 miles

290/383/330 miles

273/347/310 miles

317/422/356 miles

The Hyundai Veloster N offers significantly better fuel economy figures than the WRX STI and its light curb weight also helps it to achieve the numbers. Sadly though, the car gets a smaller 13.2-gallon fuel tank yet its driving range figures are way better than the STI’s. The Honda Civic Type-R offers identical fuel efficiency ratings to the Veloster N which is truly impressive since its power and performance levels almost match that of the WRX STI’s. Unfortunately, it gets the smallest gas tank here and offers slightly better driving range figures than the STI. The Volkswagen Golf GTI is the most fuel-efficient performance vehicle here with over 30mpg of highway mileage and an impressive city driving range of 317 miles.

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Interior

8.5/10

The 2020 Subaru WRX STI interior might not be quite appealing or feel premium unlike most of its rivals since it is based on the Impreza but there is no dearth of space within. The dated design and some of the cheap interior panels are uplifted by the sporty Recaro seats at the front aided by the leather upholstery and microsuede inserts. The dashboard gets no soft-touch or leather treatment though and a majority of the door panels are exposed, being made with hard plastics. The dashboard design has a unique appeal to it owing to the dual displays and the center console is dominated by the gear lever. The front armrest might look small but has a unique step-up feature for better support and houses a small storage compartment with USB ports and chargers under it. The drive mode selector and the diff-lock control sit in-between the gear lever and the armrest. The front seats are quite comfortable with aggressive bolstering and excellent support. The rear seats are decently comfortable too with a similar design and materials used as the front seats. The rear seats can be folded in a 60/40 ratio to free up more space for increased practicality.

Model

Subaru WRX STI

Veloster N Performance Pack

Honda Civic Type R

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Seating Capacity

5

4

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.8/55.6/43.3

38.1/56.0/42.6

39.3/56.9/42.3

38.0/56.0/41.2

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.1/54.2/35.4

35.9/54.3/34.1

37.4/55.0/35.9

38.0/54.0/35.6

Cargo Capacity

12 cu-ft.

19.9 cu-ft.

25.7 cu-ft.

22.8 cu-ft.

The Hyundai Veloster N gets a much better interior than the WRX STI in terms of design along with fit and finish levels but disappoints with extensive hard plastic surfaces and the least amount of soft treatment inside. The rear seats of the car lack space owing to the slanting roof and are best suited for keeping luggage items or seating small kids. The Honda Civic Type-R has one of the best interiors in the segment. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, the cabin is immensely practical too like the regular Civic. It also has one of the best trunk spaces in the segment of 25.7 cu-.ft. The Volkswagen Golf GTI has a classy and robust interior that lacks the stylish appeal of the Type-R and the Veloster N. Also, it offers the best seating space at the rear for adults with adequate headroom and legroom.

Some standout interior features are:

  • Recaro seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heather front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2020 Subaru WRX STI gets a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display along with an integrated navigation system. The base trim comes with a Magellan Navigation unit while the Limited offers an upgraded TomTom unit. The user interface is simple and user-friendly yet it still has some irritating jitters and choppy transition effects. There is also a secondary 3.5-inch display at the top of the dashboard that serves as a secondary instrument cluster display and shows the information about the car and other controls such as boost status, real-time mpg figures, and some performance data as well. The audio experience is handled by a 6-speaker unit in the base trim while the Limited gets a 9-speaker Harman Kardon setup.

Some infotainment features are:

  • 7-inch and 3.5-inch dual infotainment displays
  • Dual USB ports
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Integrated navigation system
  • Voice-activated navigation controls
  • Pandora and Aha App integration
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Exterior

6.5/10

Despite all the facelifts and design upgrades, the basic design theme of the WRX STI has remained the same over the years. The 2020 model will get a redesigned front bumper that will make the front fascia look sportier than before. The sleek front grille and headlamps along with the wide and blacked-out air-dams make for a subtle yet mildly aggressive appeal and the sizable hood scoop is quite prominent and is fully functional. It feeds air to the massive air-intakes placed over the motor that cools the core of the powertrain. The side profile remains simple and clutter-free while the rear end looks unique with that huge wing spoiler slapped on the trunk lid.

Model

Subaru WRX STI

Veloster N Performance Pack

Honda Civic Type R

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Curb Weight

3391 lbs

3047 lbs

3117 lbs

3062 lbs

Length

180.9"

167.9"

179.4"

168.0"

Width

70.7"

71.3"

73.9"

70.8"

Height

58.1"

55.1"

56.5"

57.8"

Ground Clearance

4.9"

4.9"

5.1"

5.1"

Wheelbase

104.3"

104.3"

106.3"

103.6"

The Honda Civic Type-R wears the most sporty and aggressive design here and those Acura-style headlamp units truly stand out from the crowd. It might appear like a low-slung car yet it boasts a better ground clearance than the WRX STI. The Hyundai Veloster N has a compact footprint and looks like a sporty hatch right from its front end. The slanting roofline at the back gives it a coupe-like appearance at the cost of rear headroom. The Volkswagen GTI has a sleeker profile than the rivals here and gets some noticeable design cues such as bigger wheels and blacked-out exterior trims.

Some standout exterior features are:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • STI trunk spoiler
  • Power tilt/sliding glass moonroof
  • Heated body-colored side mirrors with integrated indicators
  • Stainless steel quad exhaust tips

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Safety

As mentioned before, the Subaru WRX STI is a full-blown rally car under its skin hence it boasts superior construction and its chassis gets extra reinforcements over the regular WRX. Apart from that, the car comes with almost all the basic safety techs but misses out on Subaru’s iconic Eyesight driver assistance system since it is offered with the CVT transmission but the STI comes only with a manual transmission. Some of the standard features include an anti-lock braking system, multi-mode vehicle dynamic control, and a Subaru Rear/Side Vehicle Detection System.

Some important safety features of the NISMO are:

  • Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Rear-view Camera with Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control with Active Torque Vectoring
  • Traction Control System
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution 

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Competition

Subaru WRX STI vs Hyundai Veloster N

The Hyundai Veloster N is a potent yet cheaper rival to the WRX STI in the segment. It offers a compact design, great performance, modern interiors, and way better fuel efficiency than the WRX STI. Yet, the STI triumphs over the Veloster with its performance and practicality.

Subaru WRX STI vs Honda Civic Type-R

The Honda Civic Type-R is a well-accepted vehicle in the segment and is a more sensible option than the WRX STI owing to its immense practicality and impressive fuel economy. Despite offering an outstanding fuel economy, the Type-R offers about 95% of the performance of the STI but costs the same as the latter. The Type-R offers a well-rounded package while the STI is mainly focused on performance and handling.

Subaru WRX STI vs Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Golf GTI is the only German rival here and it fails to match up to the STI in almost every aspect. Yet, it betters the STI in terms of fuel economy and is one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the segment as well. Practicality-wise, the Golf is almost as good as the STI even better at accommodating adults at the rear while going in style.

2020 Subaru WRX STI Sedan Final Verdict

The Subaru WRX STI is only meant for those who seek non-stop thrills on the roads as well as around the dirt tracks as well. The most highlighted point of the car is its symmetrical AWD layout with a diff-lock that increases its mobility in challenging situations such as snow or slush. On the inside, the car offers a decent package but there is still a lot of room for improvements. The only area it excels at is the sheer performance and handling. Overall, if you wish to sign-up for a thrilling drive at a flick of a switch, the WRX STI is the one to go for.

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