Interior features were never the focus of the last-generation WRX or STI, but the new 2008 Subaru WRX makes tremendous gains, both in terms of cargo and storage versatility and in offering several high-tech features for the first time, such as an in-dash navigation system.
“If you’re looking for cargo space, the hatchback is the better choice, as you might have guessed," reports Cars.com. “Volume behind its backseat is 27.9 cu. ft., more than double the sedan’s 11-cu.-ft. trunk.” The reviewer says that the backseats on the sedan and hatch in the 2008 Subaru WRX fold forward for expanded cargo space.
CNET, testing a WRX equipped with the optional navigation system, notes the stylish integration of the screen-based nav system in the Subaru. “We've seen few navigation screens that looked this good, from the high-resolution maps to the 3D route guidance graphics,” they say. CNET also likes the interface and extensive points-of-interest database, but comments “it doesn’t show enough street names, making navigating by the map difficult."
Autoblog compliments the stereo, but warns that “you won’t want to turn it on, it covers up the engine noise.”
CNET did turn the premium audio system on, noting it permits a degree of equalization not usually permitted in car systems. According to CNET, it also has a single-disc slot that “handles MP3, WMA, and RedBook CDs, as well as DVDs.” The reviewer continues, “Yes, when the car is parked, you can actually watch DVDs on this LCD.”
Several reviewers take stock of the additional equipment that comes in the WRX. “Aside from the added performance, what this gets you is automatic climate control, leather on the steering wheel and shifter, a backseat armrest, 17-inch-alloy wheels (instead of 16-inch-steel wheels), rear discs in place of drum brakes, and sport seats, to name the biggies,” says Cars.com.
To several of the reviewers, the STI doesn’t make complete sense on a features-for-money basis alone. “At $39,440 with BBS wheels and sat/nav, the STI isn’t the performance bargain it once was,” says Autoblog.
TheCarConnection.com’s editors have had substantial driving time with both the WRX and STI models, and yet they haven’t stopped rowing the gearshift and mashing the accelerator long enough to fiddle with the finer features inside. Take that as you may.