The non ending war, JDM vs American Muscle. 4 Cylinder Turbos vs V8s. AWD vs RWD. Rice vs Can't Turn. You name it. Having read since my teenage years all the hype about the WRX STI, how it is a rally car for the road, I decided to go for the dealership and ask for a test drive. That to see how it compared to my car, a 2013 Mustang GT 6 speed.
Disclaimer: The Subaru salesman wanted me to drive the WRX STI so bad that he said yes when I asked him if the STI was available for a test drive.
One of the most criticized aspects of the new STI is the exterior design. Jalopnik commenters have named it a "Toyota Corolla with a wing". I myself find it good looking, with the exception of the ridiculous spoiler on the rear. If you get the blue one and buy the gold wheels I'm pretty sure no one will confuse your car for a riced out Corolla.
With the launch of the 2015 Mustang, the S197 is starting to look more rustic. And that is a good thing, as it looks like a Mustang. Quad headlights and GT500 inspired grill. Looks better than the 2015 Ford Fusion Coupe.
Well, one is a turned up economy sedan, and the other one is a cheap sports car. But the Mustang has that badass American Muscle look and will date better than the STI.
Now this car is very easy to drive at its limit, thanks to the AWD. Throw it into a corner and it sticks to the road. It makes you feel like you are a Pro driver. Steering is quick and communicate. You can also change the handling with the trick differential the car has. You can configure the car to send more power to the rear or to the front, changing the character of the car.
Ford has done a very good job with the suspension of the 2011+ Mustangs. The car handles very good, that is until you go over some imperfection on the road. That upsets the live axle and makes it loose traction and/or make it hop. Difficult to drive at all times. You gotta watch your right foot, specially in 1st and 2nd gear.
I drove both cars on a familiar mountain pass. When I was driving the STI, I noticed that I was going through the corners much quicker, and without having to correct any oversteer. And that was the first time I ever drove that car. But I felt it was way too easy. It was not as fun as driving the Mustang on the Touge.
Engine and Acceleration:
Similar to the Mustangs 10 year old chassis, with the STI you get a ≈10 year old engine. The 2.5 liter flat-four turbocharged engine produces 305 hp @ 6,000 RPM and 290 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM. You can achieve 0-60 in 4.6 seconds by destroying your clutch with a launch. As with any old school turbocharged engine, you get lame acceleration until you hit high revs.
17 MPG City
23 MPG Highway
With the Mustang you get a relatively new 5.0 V8 that develops 420 hp @ 6,500 RPM and 390 lb-ft @4,250 RPM. 0-60 is achieved in 4.3 seconds. You'll become addicted with the sound of the V8, and how it revs so easily to its 7k redline. Acceleration is impressive in every gear.
15 MPG City
26 MPG Highway
There's no replacement for displacement, herp derp.
The new STI's interior is a BIG update from the previous one. I remember hearing from some dude that his GF said his STI's interior looked like that of a Nissan Sentra. You get a thick steering wheel, some very orange gauges, and a digital boost gauge. Seats have good support.
The 2011+ Mustang interior is a big upgrade from previous years. You get a thick steering wheel and aluminum shifter. Design is true to the first Mustangs. You can customise the color of interior lighting and gauges.
Driving pleasure and fun:
Unless you are driving every day on a mountain pass or live where it snows, the Subaru is boring to DD. It is not easy to achieve oversteer or have fun without having to rev the engine a lot. Also, there is not much involvement in driving. The car sorts it out for you.
Oversteer. Everyone likes oversteer, and that is what you get all the time with the Mustang. The true sports car layout: FR.
You'll be surrounded by backward wearing hat Monster bros. Ken Block, brah.
You'll be surrounded by douches and posers.
You can go to the track with your family.
You can go with one person to the track.
Suspension is harsh.
Suspension is soft.
True Jalops need no toys.
WINNER: MUSTANG GT
So there you have it. If you are in the market for a sports sedan, buy an old Mustang GT.