Date Driven: 7/16/2010 (2011 WRX STI sedan)
The 2011 STI is quick, but lacks the acceleration of previous models. In fact, it's not as fast in the quarter-mile as the 2011 WRX.
Updates to the 2011 STI's suspension including lower ride height, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, and a rubber-isolated joint on the front lower-control arms don't make much difference, so only serious STI devotees will notice.
Although the ride is stiff-legged compared to most cars, the 2011 STI isn't as harsh as we'd expect given its suspension tuning. And the chassis maintains enough compliance to charge over uneven terrain without damaging itself.
At idle the 2011 STI produces an exhaust resonance that will be disagreeable for some drivers. But even cruising at a 70 mph, it's far quieter than the average when it comes to noise in the cockpit.
The STI's interior control layout may look a bit austere, but the simple and straightforward control layout actually works in its favor, because the controls are easy to find, understand and use.
Bi-xenon headlamps add intensity to the illuminated area and overall visibility from the STI has no major faults. Except for the impact of the rear wing, there's adequate visibility in all directions.
Seat Access & Space
As sedans in this segment go, the STI is on par. There's ample legroom for taller drivers, although the backseat will be a bit cramped for large passengers. Overall, however, this is still average on the grand scale.
Cargo & Storage
At 11.3 cubic feet, the STI's trunk is on the small side. But it's probably adequate for the STI demographic, and the rear seat do indeed have 60/40 split-fold capability when more space is needed.
The STI lacks the luxury of higher-end cars like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series with which it competes in performance, but it's suited to its spot in the segment. We witnessed no build quality problems. Materials and assembly are adequate.