The Subaru brand has been know for their four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive cars for decades. In fact, they are the only car company in the world to only sell vehicles that put power to all four wheels. Some of the early Subaru cars were a true four-wheel drive, but most today use the advanced all-wheel drive system that has propelled Subaru into the rally and road-racing spotlight. There is no doubt that the 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI is an amazing machine—with the exception of the extraordinary long name.

Subaru WRX STI R205

Subaru WRX STI R205

The Subaru STI sits at the top of the WRX model line-up and brings a lot of power to the road through the all-wheel drive setup. The STI boosts the power of the standard WRX from 265 horsepower to 305 horsepower. It uses the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder “boxer” engine that is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. It also comes equipped with a multi-mode differential that can be set for snow and gravel, which just adds to its abilities in foul weather. The one quirk about the STI that upset some enthusiasts was the switch to a hatchback only body, but Subaru has listened and is supposed to add a sedan version back to the line-up in 2011.

The real fun comes when you get behind the wheel of the STI and if you can get one on the track like I did with the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience that is like heaven. On the track the Subaru exhibits good control and quick acceleration, however the boost is noticeable. The other thing that is different from other cars I have recently driven with a turbo, like the 2010 BMW 335i, is that the power band seems very narrow. The STI has a bright red shift light built into the tachometer that seems come on well before the redline. Once you get used to where the power is the STI is fun to drive.

We should mention that for everyday driving the STI is a little sparse on the creature comforts and has a good bit of noise in the cabin. On the gas mileage front it has a bit of a drinking problem for a car of its size with city mileage coming in at 17 mpg and highway mileage of 23 mpg. Considering the power and the capabilities this might be a small price to pay, but should be considered when looking at living with a car in an everyday environment. At an MSRP of $34,995 the fun might be worth the sacrifices in comfort and MPG. To make up for it, you can bicycle to work a couple days a month and lower your carbon footprint.

Check out the full review of the STI here.