2019 Subaru WRX STI

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2019 Subaru WRX STI Review

We live in an age where front-wheel drive hot hatches can lap the Nurburgring in almost seven and a half minutes. Renault reclaimed the record from the Civic Type R with its new top performing hatchback, the Megane RS Trophy-R running a time of 7:40.1 around the Nordschleife. To put that into perspective, a 2010 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG runs similar times. Not only are the new generation of compact sports cars insanely fast, but they are starting to match premium cars in terms of interior luxury and features. The 2019 Subaru WRX STI can therefore be considered the odd one out. It doesn't have the same refinement or build quality as its competitors and it uses a flat-four engine, but Subaru's recipe for a fast compact has become quite endearing. The big question is can the legend of the STI keep up with the new kids on the block?

Read in this review:

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2019 Subaru WRX STI Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 WRX STI?

For 2019 Subaru has kept the recipe more or less the same, albeit with revisions to the turbocharged flat-four engine knowing that any engine updates will prick the ears of performance orientated buyers. As with its sub-compact sibling the Crosstrek, customers will be given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the limited Gray.Series, which doesn't add any performance, but paints the car in a Cool Gray Khaki color scheme, some exclusive badging, folding mirrors, black 19-inch wheels, and silver painted brake calipers amongst others. An updated infotainment system can be found lurking inside the STI.

Pros and Cons

  • Legendary Subaru AWD grip
  • Powerful engine
  • It looks the part
  • Feels more race car than the competitors
  • Stiff ride
  • Excessive turbo lag
  • The cheaper WRX is almost just as good
  • It's pricey
  • Gas mileage could be better in manual spec

What's the Price of the 2019 Subaru WRX STI?

You can have your Subaru in two flavors. The standard WRX STI starts at an MSRP of $36,595 before tax, registration, licensing, and a $885 destination charge. The Limited trim STI with extra safety and tech features starts at an MSRP of $41,395 and if you manage to snap up a Series.Gray, it will cost you $$40,580. As always, dealerships are responsible for their own pricing, so look hard and you might pick one up for less.

Best Deals on 2019 Subaru WRX STI

2019 Subaru WRX STI Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
STI Series.Gray
2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
STI Limited
2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Subaru WRX STI Trims and Specs

2019 WRX STI Exterior

2019 Subaru WRX STI Front Angle View Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Side View Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Side View 1 Subaru
See All 2019 Subaru WRX STI Exterior Photos


  • Length 180.9 in
  • Wheelbase 104.3 in
  • Height 58.1 in
  • Max Width 70.7 in
  • Front Width 60.2 in
  • Rear Width 60.6 in
  • Curb Weight 3,391.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • WR Blue Pearl
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Dark Gray Metallic
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Lapis Blue Pearl
  • Pure Red
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Cool Gray Khaki

2019 WRX STI Performance

2019 Subaru WRX STI Front View Driving Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Rear Angle View Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Dashboard Subaru

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

This is where the 2019 WRX STI truly shines. Gone are the days of excessive understeer when under throttle. Instead, the 2019 STI will go where you point it, and boy how so! The chassis shines through as one of the car's best elements and coupled to a firm suspension set up, excessive body movement is kept to a minimum. This, however, comes at the cost of ride comfort, and rougher road surfaces will feel jarring, to say the least. This shouldn't deter the enthusiast most likely to buy this car. Subaru has done an amazing job with the STI's steering. The electrically assisted setup reacts well to quick steering inputs and feels direct. Electrically assisted steering can sometimes feel overly light or artificially heavy, but in the STI, you'll find a beautifully balanced steering feel that chooses moderation over the extremes. The STI's secret trick is its electronically managed limited-slip differential in conjunction with a planetary-gear-type center differential. This fancy diff allows the STI to shift its power between the front and rear wheels.

The clever electronics behind this system monitors parameters such as wheel slippage, steering angle, throttle position and braking to help determine ideal torque distribution and direct it to the wheels with optimum traction. What does all this mean? The WRX STI handles hard cornering and slippery road surfaces better than ever. Pedal spacing for the 6-speed manual is good and allows for comfortable heel-toe shifting. The WRX STI's Brembo branded ventilated and cross-drilled 4-wheel discs bite down hard: 6-piston front and dual-piston rear calipers with 4-channel, 4-sensor Super Sport ABS and electronic brake-force distribution gives good feedback when driving hard.

2019 WRX STI Interior

2019 Subaru WRX STI Infotainment System Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Driver Seat Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Central Console Applications Subaru
See All 2019 Subaru WRX STI Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 43.3 in
  • Front Head Room 39.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.1 in

2019 WRX STI Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Subaru WRX STI Driver And Passengers Seats Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Rear View In Motion Subaru
2019 Subaru WRX STI Top View Subaru
  • Trunk Volume
    12 ft³

2019 WRX STI Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Subaru WRX STI A Good car?

The Subaru WRX STI is a wild one. It laughs in the face of its more refined competitors such as the Golf R or Civic Type R and packs a bite that's as potent as its flat-four bark. Make no mistake, the STI isn't the fastest or the most refined compact sports car, it doesn't come packed with the best features, and it doesn't have a modern double-clutch gearbox. It's a loud and brash six-speed brawler that looks and sounds the part and will offer up more performance than the ordinary driver would ever be capable of exploiting on the street. It's also not the most fuel efficient of performance cars, but again, those who love the STI brand will turn a blind eye. Yes it has grown up, and for the better; it's better in the bends, easier to live with and safer than it's ever been. A rally car for the road it remains.

What Subaru WRX STI Model Should I Buy?

Subaru has made it relatively easy for you to make a decision. If you're only interested in the WRX STI's driving capabilities and nothing else, then the base model will be the obvious choice. If you're looking for more everyday practicality and some added safety, then cough up the extra bucks for the Limited.

Check out other Subaru WRX Styles

2019 Subaru WRX STI Comparisons

Volkswagen Golf R Volkswagen
Honda Civic Type R Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Subaru WRX STI310 hp16/22 mpg$37,245
Volkswagen Golf R 315 hp20/28 mpg$44,740
Honda Civic Type R 315 hp22/28 mpg$43,795

2019 Subaru WRX STI vs Volkswagen Golf R

The Golf R is a relative newcomer to the all-wheel-drive compact scene, but that doesn't matter one bit when you actually get in and drive the thing. It's an absolute blast. It's more refined, better equipped and more comfortable than the STI and delivers better gas mileage. Interior space is comparable, but the Golf's hatchback design makes it easier to live with, and interior materials and fitment is noticeably better than that of the Subaru's. The Golf is slightly less powerful, but delivers its power in a more convincing manner, and will reward the less skilled driver more, thanks to that amazing DSG gearbox. Volkswagen offers a better warranty (a full 6-year/72,000-mile basic warranty as opposed to the WRX's 3-year/36,000-mile basic). The Golf R comes at a price, however, and a no-frills version will set you back at least $40,395.

See Volkswagen Golf R Review

2019 Subaru WRX STI vs Honda Civic Type R

The most obvious difference here is the fact that the Civic only drives the front wheels while the Subaru turns all four. Do not let that fool you; the Honda Civic Type R accelerates and handles better than cars way above its price range, and its lap time around the Nurburgring is a testament to that. The Civic is the better driving car, on and off the road, but both can be jarring on rougher city roads. The Civic and Subaru have comparable legroom and headroom space, but the Civic's hatchback once again makes it easier to load and unload cargo. The Civic's V-tec turbo engine blows the Subaru's 2.5 flat-four out of the water, though it might not have as much character. Honda's reliability should trump the Subaru's, but the STI will retain its value better. The Civic Type R starts at an MSRP of $35,700, a smidge pricier than the Subaru ($36,595).

See Honda Civic Type R Review
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