German compacts are pretty expensive, but Subaru’s WRX and STI have steadily become less affordable with each model year. For the 2018th one, the base model starts at $27,855 including the $860 destination charge. Meanwhile, the STI’s new sticker is $36,955.
The minimum price bump is $340, even though Subaru will say that it’s less. That’s because the destination and handling are up by 40 bucks.
The WRX Limited starts at $32,455 with a manual or $33,655 as a CVT automatic. This represents a $640 increase over the 2017 model year because of the standard LED headlights with steering input response. Still, that’s the one we’d get because of the sunroof.
The WRX Limited models now feature 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment. Optionally, you could spend another $2,100 for the navigation package including Harman/Kardon audio, Blind Spot Detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, but only if you have the manual model.
Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is available on WRX Limited with CVT. In this case, you spend $3,300 extra (optionally) and get EyeSight alerts on the windshield plus everything we mentioned above.
The standard STI is $36,955, which is $940 more than the 2018 model year. It’s got the trick headlights, a new AWD system that’s entirely electronically controlled, new 19-inch wheels and Brembo 6-piston performance brakes with neon yellow painted brake calipers (replace 4-piston parts).
The $41,755 (yes, that includes destination) 2018 STI Limited also comes with Recaro bucket seats. There’s also an option to have a low-profile rear spoiler instead of the big wing for no extra money.
While both models carry the same engines as they did in 2017, Subaru says it’s tuned the suspension for a bit more comfort. The designers gave both models some new bumpers that admittedly boast fake-looking side scoops. The interiors use much better materials than you’re used to, but by making the WRX and STI more premium-feeling and technologically advanced, they are destroying the affordability.