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2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Review

I was anxiously looking forward to test-driving the new Subaru Impreza WRX STI. This high-performance model is a complete success: deliciously beautiful, more civilized and comfortable than ever and yet every bit as fun to drive. For 2008, the STI is only available as a 5-door hatchback.

This car is the very definition of sportiness.

Styling
When I first got a glimpse of the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, I fell in admiration. This car is the very definition of sportiness. The previous generation looked more macho and the various accessories did not seem perfectly integrated.

With the new STI, however, designers managed to soften the lines while creating a leaping tiger look. The bulging fenders explicitly show how the beast flexes its muscles. And the monstrous rear wing has been replaced by a subtle spoiler integrated to the roofline. The car not only looks better but also more aerodynamic.

Of course, in classic STI fashion, the prominent hood scoop remains. My Obsidian Black Pearl tester with gold BBS wheels easily caught the attention of connoisseurs while not offending other drivers -- or so it seemed.

Ergonomic cockpit
The Subaru WRX STI is clearly driver-oriented. Access to the controls, the seat bolsters, the steering wheel adjustments and the comprehensive instrument panel meet the expectations of sporty drivers. The colors and materials (leather and alcantara) are nice and of high quality.

Still, some elements ought to be revised. A digital odometer would be easier to read than the current indicator. Also, the redline warning alarm of the tachometer should be easier to program. I like the idea, but the alarm becomes irritating as it rings a first time at 2,000 rpm -- I don't know why. Personally, I would only keep the alarm as you approach the redline. Plus, the intensity of the red flash somewhat disrupts the driver's focus at night.

Access to the controls and the comprehensive instrument panel meet the expectations of sporty drivers.