Some of the old magic remains. Drive the STi with a little commitment and you’ll discover it’s faithful, accurate and as a result easy to place on the road.

The steering has near perfect weighting and gearing and comes with the kind of feel that’s increasingly hard to find in these days where electric power steering systems proliferate. The feedback through the thick, firm rim seems authentic, not synthesised.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The standard Subaru Impreza chassis is fundamentally very good

Throw the STi around and you’ll discover its composure is retained right up to and then over the technical limit of adhesion. It’ll understeer a touch on the way into the corner just as you’d wish and if you completely deactivate the two stage stability control and reapply the power hard the apex, it can be expected to flow into gentle, progressive oversteer.

It’ll do the full Colin McRae too, but it needs to be substantially provoked in a way we’d not recommend you try out on the public road. But, yes, if you lob it at an over-optimistic speed on a trailing throttle and mash your foot into the floor once an appropriately big yaw angle has developed, it will still make even a mildly talented driver look like a superhero.

What it won’t do is hard-wire itself into your senses any more. The original Impreza Turbo weighed just 1118kg, less than a McLaren F1, but now it has over 1500kg to carry the result is inevitably softer and slower to react.

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Then again, if Subaru stiffened it up, the already uncompromising ride would likely soon become intolerable. In fact it’s sufficiently comfortable at speed for the noise from the engine and tyres to be at least as wearing as the occasional jolt let through by the suspension, but around town you do find yourself actively seeking out and then avoiding the worst holes and humps the city streets can throw at you.

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