Subaru STI: A Fun and Practical Daily Driver?

If you are looking for a car that can handle daily commutes while also providing an exhilarating driving experience, the Subaru STI may be worth considering. With its impressive performance capabilities and all-wheel drive (AWD) system, the STI is a popular choice among car enthusiasts. However, is it suitable as a daily driver? Let’s find out.


One of the most enticing aspects of the STI is its performance. Equipped with a 2.5L turbocharged engine, the STI can produce up to 310 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. Its AWD system allows for excellent traction and stability, making it a blast to take out on winding roads or snow-covered streets. The STI can also go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds, giving you a thrill while zipping down the highway.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. The STI’s impressive acceleration and handling may be too much to handle for novice drivers. It also has a stiff suspension that may not be the most comfortable for long commutes.


Subaru is known for its reliability, and the STI is no exception. With proper maintenance, the STI can easily exceed 100,000 miles without major mechanical issues. Its AWD system allows for better traction on slippery roads, which is essential for drivers living in areas with harsh winter climates. However, the STI does require regular maintenance and may have higher repair costs than other cars in its class.

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Driving the STI can be both exciting and comfortable, thanks to its sporty seats and spacious cabin. The seats are well bolstered and provide enough support for spirited driving. The cabin has ample head and legroom, making it suitable for tall drivers. However, as mentioned earlier, the stiff suspension can make for a less comfortable ride on bumpy roads.

Fuel Efficiency

Since the STI is a performance-oriented car, it’s not the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class. According to the EPA, the 2021 model gets an estimated 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. However, these figures may vary depending on driving habits and conditions.

Unique Features

Some standout features of the STI include its AWD system, which provides excellent handling and stability, and its Driver-Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), which allows drivers to adjust the front-to-rear torque split for more dynamic handling. The STI also has a signature Boxer engine, which provides a lower center of gravity for improved handling.

Pros and Cons

So, is the STI a good daily driver? It depends on what you are looking for. Some of the pros of using an STI as a daily driver include its performance capabilities, reliability, and spacious cabin. However, some cons include its stiff suspension and lower fuel efficiency.


Is the Subaru STI expensive to maintain?

Compared to other cars in its class, the STI may have higher maintenance costs due to its performance-oriented components. However, with proper maintenance, the STI can last for many years without major issues.

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How does the STI compare to other cars in its class?

The STI is often compared to the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS. While the Golf R is more comfortable and fuel-efficient, the STI has better handling and is more reliable. The Focus RS has similar performance capabilities to the STI but has been discontinued, making the STI the only AWD option in this class.

Can the STI be used as a family car?

While the STI has a spacious cabin and can fit up to five passengers, its stiff suspension and lower fuel efficiency may not be the most practical for families. Additionally, the back seat may be a bit cramped for taller passengers.


Overall, the Subaru STI is a solid choice for those seeking a practical and fun daily driver. Its performance capabilities, reliability, and spacious cabin make it a desirable car for car enthusiasts and commuters alike. However, its stiff suspension may not be the most comfortable for long commutes, and its lower fuel efficiency may not be suitable for those looking to save on gas.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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