From £31,5507

The STi is fast, grippy and offers immense value, maintaining an image Subaru has cultivated through years of rally pedigree

There was a time when the smart money thought the Subaru Impreza was in the vanguard of a new breed of affordable performance cars that would in time take over the world.

The hot hatch had had its day, and now it was time for the Playstation generation to have its say. Technology had never been more affordable: when the Impreza Turbo was introduced it cost just £17,999 despite its forced induction and all-wheel drive hardwear, which was almost £20,000 less than the Porsche 968.

A multi-link rear axle is key to the WRX's dynamics

But you could fit all your family in the Impreza, their luggage in the boot and still dust the Porker away from the lights.

But all that was a very long time ago – 1994 to be precise - and while Subaru have thrown at least 15 different variations on the original theme at the market since then and despite the collusion of Mitsubishi and its largely epic Evolution models, the invasion never came. To this day the Impreza, renamed the WRX STi since 2010 is what it always was: a niche player. Question is, is it still any good?

The WRX STI is available for £28k. If more power is required, the STi can be turned into the 335bhp 340R model for just £1699. 

Subaru WRX STi 2007-2013 First drives

Subaru WRX STi 2007-2013 news

30 years of Prodrive - picture special
The Subaru Legacy, with Colin McRae at the wheel set the groundwork for iconic rally success for the Impreza
30 years of Prodrive - picture special
Subaru WRX STI gets Detroit premiere
The new WRX STI has been confirmed for the UK market – this is the Launch Edition version
New Subaru WRX STI to be sold in UK
LA motor show 2013: Subaru WRX
The new model features torque vectoring
LA motor show 2013: Subaru WRX
LA motor show 2013: Subaru WRX previewed
The Subaru WRX will have a muscular appearance, similar to that of the WRX Concept
LA motor show 2013: Subaru WRX previewed