2020 Subaru WRX STI

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2020 Subaru WRX STI Review: Delivers A Knockout Punch

Rather than try to be all things to all people, the Subaru WRX - and especially the STI - offers driving thrills in a package that's a lot more practical than the average sports coupe. All-wheel-drive and over 300 horsepower are also impressive in this class. If you want your performance to be combined with a quiet cabin, posh materials, and a smooth ride, it's best you look elsewhere because the no-compromise STI is all about an unfiltered driving experience. The flat-four engine burbles along noisily and the ride can be punishing, and not much has changed in 2020 besides a few added features and a redesigned front bumper. Competitors include the equally angry, front-wheel-drive Honda Civic and the much more polished, outgoing Volkswagen Golf R - while an almost-new 2019 Golf R will bring its price more in line with the STI while offering far better refinement. But if what you want is a frill-free compact sedan with tons of performance, the old-school WRX STI remains one of the most entertaining drives.

Read in this review:

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2020 Subaru WRX STI Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 WRX STI?

Subaru hasn't made too many changes for 2020, but there are a few enhancements for the WRX STI, which now gets push-button start, a new design for the engine bay cooling ducts in the front bumper, and 19-inch alloy wheels in a new dark gray finish. Last year's limited-edition Series.Gray also gets replaced this year by the Series.White - it features Recaro seats, a Bilstein high-performance suspension, and unique alloy wheels. This model is limited to just 500 units.

Pros and Cons

  • Acceleration beats most in the segment
  • Distinctive flat-four engine
  • Incredible AWD traction
  • Responsive steering makes for an engaging drive
  • Nothing boring about the way it looks
  • Harsh ride quality
  • Plenty of road and wind noise
  • Fuel efficiency isn't great
  • Cheaper WRX is much more comfortable

What's the Price of the 2020 Subaru WRX STI?

The range starts with the WRX STI at an MSRP of $36,995, a price that excludes tax, licensing, registration, and the brand's destination/delivery charge of $900. At $41,695, you can get the STI Limited with its added safety and luxury features. If you're lucky enough to get hold of the limited-run WRX STI Series.White (only 500 are to be produced), it will cost you $42,695.

Best Deals on 2020 Subaru WRX STI

2020 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.White
2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
STI Limited
2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Subaru WRX STI Trims and Specs

2020 WRX STI Exterior

2020 Subaru WRX STI Front Angle View Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Rear View In Motion Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Side View Subaru
See All 2020 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 3,450.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • WR Blue Pearl
  • Crystal Black Silica
  • Ice Silver Metallic
  • Lapis Blue Pearl
  • Magnetite Gray Metallic
  • Pure Red
  • Crystal White Pearl
  • Ceramic White

2020 WRX STI Performance

2020 Subaru WRX STI Front View Driving Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Rear Angle View Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Rim Subaru

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    2.5L Turbo Flat 4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, Other

Handling and Driving Impressions

If it were to be judged solely by its ability to go around corners, the WRX STI would rate as one of the best sedans on the market. There's a lot of technology built into the suspension package, with the multi-mode vehicle dynamics control system making it possible to choose the amount of traction control intervention, along with standard active torque vectoring. The adjustable central differential allows you to vary the front/rear torque split. Combined with a direct electrically-assisted steering system that offers some welcome feedback, the firmly-sprung STI can be hustled at high speeds with exemplary body control. Excessive understeer, the bane of older fast Subarus, has been appreciably eradicated when planting the throttle. Choose Sport Sharp for the quickest reactions and, on smooth roads, the STI is a joy to drive fast. On wet or slippery surfaces, the STI also exhibits a high level of control.

The price to pay for these excellent responses is a ride that is a lot less comfortable and forgiving than in the regular WRX. The STI simply feels too firm too much of the time and many bumps will find their way into the cabin. Refinement isn't a high point either, with lots of noise, so driving the STI is a rather taxing experience when you aren't in the mood to wring its neck. On a more positive note, the Brembo performance brakes with six-piston front calipers and dual-piston rear calipers not only provide good feedback but strong stopping power. Well-spaced pedals are essential for a manual car and the STI impresses in this aspect as well.

2020 WRX STI Interior

2020 Subaru WRX STI Infotainment System Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Central Console Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Driver Seat Subaru
See All 2020 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

2020 WRX STI Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Subaru WRX STI Driver And Passengers Seats Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Top View Subaru
2020 Subaru WRX STI Side View 1 Subaru
  • Trunk Volume
    12 ft³

2020 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 2020 Subaru WRX STI A Good car?

There aren't many other compact sedans that provide the WRX STI's hyper-focused driving experience and all-wheel-drive handling capabilities. Along with its brazen styling features, manual-only transmission, and distinctive flat-four engine, there's no doubt that the STI will appeal to the true enthusiast. But for everything this car does well, there's something else it doesn't. The great handling is let down by a ride that's simply too stiff. The driver-focused cabin lacks the luxurious and classy details of some competitors. And while space for occupants is good, the trunk's size isn't. That's a lot of compromise for a sporty compact sedan that isn't exactly cheap. The Volkswagen Golf R is an immensely appealing second-hand buy, and you can get a nearly new one that comprehensively outguns the STI for comfort and quality, while still offering top-notch performance. There's also Honda's brilliant Civic Type-R. Still, it's hard to find a direct competitor to the WRX STI's performance, rally-car persona, and sedan body, and it's this uniqueness that continues to set it apart.

What Subaru WRX STI Model Should I Buy?

If you can get your hands on the STI Series-White before they're all sold out, this model is the one to get as it has exclusivity on its side. Otherwise, there's no significant difference between each version. The WRX STI will save you some cash, but the STI Limited will get you more driver aids and a couple of other desirable extras if you're willing to pay extra to get them.

Check out other Subaru WRX Styles

2020 Subaru WRX STI Comparisons

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

2020 Subaru WRX STI vs Honda Civic Type R

The fundamental difference between these two cars is that the Honda sends its considerable power to the front wheels only. Yet, the Civic is far from outclassed dynamically and is one of the most electrifying drives in the segment. With over 300 horsepower, it will also outperform the WRX STI, the Type-R completing the 0-60 mph run in just five seconds. Both look properly mean with their outlandish bodywork, but where the Subaru feels a bit old-fashioned inside, the Civic has a thoroughly modern cabin built with smart materials. Space utilization is similar despite the different body styles, but the Civic has a much bigger trunk. You'd have to be a pretty hardcore Subaru fanatic to consider the WRX STI over the Type-R, which is truly one of the finest hot hatchbacks on the market.

See Honda Civic Type R Review

2020 Subaru WRX STI vs Volkswagen Golf R

Until the arrival of the all-new Golf R, the 2019 model represents the final iteration of the most powerful Golf 7. Even pricier than the standard WRX STI, should you consider an almost-new Golf R over a brand new STI? Yes, you should. The Golf 7 was such a brilliantly capable hatchback that even right at the end of its life, it remains competitive thanks to a classy and sophisticated cabin, a fine blend of performance and comfort, and good passenger space. The Golf R delivers 288 horsepower and, like the WRX STI, is all-wheel-drive. It comprehensively out-accelerates the STI, though, blasting to 60 mph in under five seconds. While the STI has the edge for thrilling dynamics, the Golf R is a far more comfortable and refined car to live with, while still being great to drive. The VW's cabin is also in an entirely different league, with premium materials and more standard features than the Subaru. If you can find one with just a few miles on the clock, it's a much more polished product than the WRX STI.

See Volkswagen Golf R Review
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