I was more intrigued than most to try the STI 330S that was in for last month’s Car of the Year epic. The ‘S’ promises to put some of the old fire back in the STI’s belly, lifting peak power from 296 to 325bhp, and torque from 300 to 347lb ft, and restoring a little of the old trademark exhaust burble. It also adds shiny 18in five-spoke alloys, satnav, Recaros and ‘keyless go’. But then it costs an extra £4400 over the £26,595 STI. So the big question is, is it worth it?
I liked the grippier seats and the satnav; wasn’t so keen on the five-spoke alloys (our STI’s multi-spoke Prodrivers in anthracite grey look way cooler), and keyless go I could happily live without. It was quicker, for sure – particularly at the top end, where our regular STI starts to run out of puff – but not that much quicker. And it sounded throatier, but not that much throatier. Despite being fitted with different springs, the chassis felt unchanged, and critically the steering – particularly in the crucial fractions of a second when you turn into a corner – was as disconcertingly light and devoid of feel as that of any other current Impreza.
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So I couldn’t really recommend the ‘S’ over the regular STI, which gives you virtually the same bang for considerably less buck. And Scooby fans everywhere are still waiting for the Impreza to rediscover the magic we all know lurks somewhere within.
|Date acquired||May 2008|
|Mileage this month||1542|
|MPG this month||24.9|