1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured, History, Poll

POLL: Subaru Impreza WRX STI Generations? Which Car is Your Favorite?

The Subaru Impreza is a compact automobile that has been manufactured since 1992 by Subaru, introduced as a replacement for the Leone, with the predecessor’s EA series engines replaced by the new EJ series.

Now in its fifth generation, Subaru has offered four-door sedan and five-door body variants since 1992; the firm also offered a coupe from 1995 until 2000, and a wagon from the Impreza’s introduction until 2007, when a five-door hatchback replaced it. Mainstream versions have received naturally aspirated “boxer” flat-four engines ranging from 1.5- to 2.5-liters, with the performance-oriented Impreza WRX and WRX STI models uprated with the addition of turbochargers. Since the third generation series, some markets have adopted the abbreviated Subaru WRX name for these high-performance variants. The first three generations of Impreza in North America were also available with an off-road appearance package called the Outback Sport. For the fourth generation, this appearance package was renamed the XV (Crosstrek in North America), and, unlike the Outback Sport (which was exclusive to the North American market), is sold internationally.

Subaru has offered both front- and all-wheel drive layouts for the Impreza. Since the late-1990s, some markets have restricted sales to the all-wheel drive model—therefore granting the Impreza a unique selling proposition in the global compact class characterized by front-wheel drive. However, Japanese models remain available in either configuration.

Which Car is Your Favorite? Here are this round’s options:



Featured, Poll

Poll: Subaru BRZ Premium or Ford Mustang Fastback V6?

The Subaru BRZ and Ford Mustang are both stylish and sporty coupes but is one of these models a better choice for enthusiasts than the other? You decide!

Both of these cars feature sporty rear-wheel-drive architectures, offer manual transmissions and are available with just two doors, similarities that make them logical rivals, though there are plenty of differences between them.

Starting with the BRZ, it features a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine that’s good for up to 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of twist (when equipped with a six-speed stick, that is), and that’s it. Only one propulsion unit is offered in this car.

Fortunately, thanks to the engine’s horizontally opposed configuration this Subaru has a very low center of gravity and overall weight, tipping the scales at less than 2,800 pounds, making it minuscule by 21stcentury standards. Really, the BRZ is more precision instrument than jackhammer, especially when equipped with the new Performance Package, which adds Brembo brakes and Sachs shock absorbers.

Focusing on the Ford, it’s quite different from the Subaru. For starters, it offers a multitude of engines, from an EcoBoost four-cylinder to a duet of high-strung V8s to a base V6. And that latter option is what we’re focusing on here, the most cost-effective offering (read: cheapest).

Aside from being a larger car, the Mustang is also heavier, tipping the scales at around 3,526 pounds with a V6 and manual transmission, some 741 more than the BRZ. But partially offsetting this mass disadvantage is more power. This car is endowed with 300 horses and 280 lb-ft of twist from a 3.7-liter engine. A manual or automatic transmission are offered, both with six forward speeds.

As for pricing, out the door this Ford starts at a few bucks less than $25,600. On the other hand, Subaru’s offering kicks off at around $26,200, including destination fees.

Which of these cars do YOU prefer? Compare them directly right here and please, make sure to vote in our poll!


Featured, Poll

POLL: How Much Did Your Last New Subaru Car Cost?

In case you haven’t noticed, new cars have gotten expensive—as in, the most expensive they’ve ever been.

As of January 2017, the average transaction price for new cars was $33,845, according to Kelley Blue Book, up 3.5% year-over-year. Part of that increase is the result of the industry’s slow but steady recovery after the Great Recession.

But the increasing number of techno bells and whistles—like rear parking assistance and speech recognition capabilities (Hi, Siri!)—have also added to your bill. Automakers’ tech and premium package bundles can run up to $4,000 in some luxury models.

Given the rising price of the average new car, we wondered: How much did you spend on your latest set of wheels?


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Poll: Subaru WRX STI or Chevrolet Camaro SS?

Today, we focus on two high-performance cars, models that are each swift, though in completely different ways.

The Subaru WRX STI is a rally-bred, all-wheel-drive beast with a turbocharged flat-four and exuberant styling. In comparison, the Chevy Camaro is an all-American icon with classic proportions and a brawny V8. Which is better? That’s your job to figure out!

Subie’s offering is motivated by a 2.5-liter boxer-four. With a turbocharger and 14.7 PSI of boost it cranks out 305 horses and 290 lb-ft of torque. The only gearbox offered is a proper six-ratio manual.

Helping the STI grip like an alley cat climbing a tree is a performance-tuned version of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. With a driver-controllable center differential and a Torsen limited-slip unit at the rear, it provides a nominal front-to-rear torque split of 41-to-59.

In comparison, the Camaro features a 6.2-liter small-block V8. With direct fuel injection and other high-tech goodies, it delivers an impressive 455 horses and an equal measure of torque. Drivers can choose between either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-ratio automatic.

Niceties that increase the Camaro’s appeal include standard 20-inch wheels, high-intensity discharge headlamps, burly Brembo brakes and even an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Curiously, when it comes to fuel economy these cars are all over each other like two teens at the back of a darkened movie theater. The WRX STI averages 19 miles per gallon, as does the Camaro. The Subaru bests the Carmaro by one MPG in city driving, returning an unimpressive 17. However, the Chevy is more economical, returning a claimed 25 on highway runs, two better than its Japanese rival.

The Camaro may have advantages in horsepower, torque and fuel economy, but the Subie’s got one major trump card. That all-wheel-drive system makes the STI a four-seasons vehicle, one that laughs at blizzards and eats icy asphalt like candy; even with snow tires the Chevy is at best iffy in winter weather.

Which of these cars would YOU rather own, the Subaru WRX STI or Chevrolet Camaro SS? For more information, compare them here, and don’t forget to vote!


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Poll: Subaru WRX STI or Ford Focus RS?

Which scalding-hot compact performance car do YOU prefer, the long-time-favorite Subaru WRX STI or the sexy new Ford Focus RS? Vote in our poll!

Yes, we’re pitting the latest from Dearborn against an established player, but this blue-oval brawler is more than equipped to hold its own. The Focus RS features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-banger that’s squeezed to within an inch of its life to deliver 350 horses and an equal measure of torque.

As God intended, a six-speed manual transmission is the only gearbox offered in this hatchback. Likewise, a performance all-wheel-drive system ensure the RS never loses its footing. This technology can route up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to either axle and all of that to just one rear wheel if necessary.

Aggressive styling, Recaro bucket seats and unique gauges underscore this car’s race-bred lineage.

Focusing on the Subaru, it almost seems tame in comparison to the Ford. Underhood it features a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder engine. With a turbocharger and plenty of other go-fast tech it delivers a solid 305 horspower and 290 lb-ft of torque.

Like practically every other Subaru, all-wheel drive is standard. Keeping enthusiasts (like us) happy is a six-ratio manual gearbox for maximum driver involvement.

Not that fuel economy is a top concern in these vehicles, but surprisingly the Ford holds an edge here as well. Despite providing more horsepower and torque it stickers at 19 miles per gallon city, 25 on the highway and 22 MPG combined. The best Subaru can muster is 17 city, 23 highway, 19 combined; a Prius-beater the STI is not.

Despite falling to the Ford in several areas the WRX does have a slight pricing advantage. You can get an entry-level model for right around $36,000; a base Focus RS is about a grand more expensive.

So, which of these pocket rockets do YOU prefer? Please, compare them right here and make sure to vote in our latest poll!