An unusual mix of changes have filtered into this STI’s cabin. An extra 25mm of wheelbase has created useful additional kneeroom in the back, while pushing the side sills down and outwards has delivered extra width.
Occupant space is as good as you’ll find in most full-size hot hatchbacks, while boot space is competitive at 460 litres and split-folding back seats are standard.
In the front, Subaru has made limited efforts to add richness to the STI’s cabin by fitting soft-touch mouldings on the tops of the door cards and on parts of the dashboard. The new Alcantara steering wheel is handsome and tactile enough, and the bolstered sports seats are nice and comfortable.
The 4.3in colour multi-function display might have made a useful addition to the dashboard, feeding information back about turbo boost and drivetrain operation, but it looks like an afterthought, placed high on the dash in the centre of the cabin and controlled by a dedicated toggle button shoehorned between the central air vents. In our experience, these systems are next to useless when placed so far from your eyeline.
This is a driving environment in dire need of a rationalising redesign. Mixed material quality is something you might be inclined to forgive the WRX STI, given its new price and performance level. But it’s harder to overlook such poor systems usability and such a dire ergonomic layout.
Thankfully, Subaru has replaced the STI’s archaic-looking ‘double-DIN’ audio system, with its latest generation of its Starlink infotainment system complete with a 7.0in touchscreen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, voice recognition, but crucially no sat nav. The system as a whole is fairly intuitive and simple to use, but it lacks the finesse that some others in this segment have, namely from BMW and the Volkswagen Group.
As for the rest of the standard equipment, the WRX STI is fairly well equipped, with LED head and tail lights, electrically folding wing mirrors, 18in alloy wheels, a Brembo braking system, tinted rear windows and a dual-exhaust system fitted on the exterior. Inside there is sports seats, a leather and Alcantara upholstery, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and a security tracker.