The most direct rival for the STI—and really the only formidable rival—is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Both vehicles have comparable power figures and specs, but the Evolution stands out as edgier, with a sharper tuner feel.
The Evolution's Twin Clutch automated manual gearbox is also a standout in this class, with quick, expert shifts that, combined with the all-wheel-drive system, can make you feel like a better driver than you are.
However, on normal roads, the STI's extra bit of refinement is welcome; it's not nearly as ragged and harsh.
Versus the WRX, the Ralliart is its rival; however, the Ralliart doesn't quite have the power to keep up with the Subaru, and its interior feels cheap and plasticky in comparison.
The MazdaSpeed3 was completely redesigned for 2010, with new styling and an improved interior, but it only has front-wheel drive; combined with a peaky turbocharged engine, it can be a handful to drive fast, but it's fun and an easy car to drive less aggressively on the commute.
If you want something a little more refined, the Volkswagen GTI might be a better choice.
Like the MazdaSpeed3, the GTI is only offered as a hatchback, but it's quiet and smoother-riding, while still fast and enjoyable.
Both of these coupes have somewhat peaky non-turbo motors, reasonably good handling, and better fuel economy than the Subaru WRX or STI.
|2011 Subaru WRX||2011 Mitsubishi LancerBrowse Used Listings||2011 Volkswagen GTIBrowse Used Listings|
|17 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy|
|N/A||Gas I4||Gas Turbocharged I4|
|N/A||4dr Sedan Man DE FWD||2dr HB Man|
|N/A||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|N/A||4 Door Sedan||2 Door HB|