Tag Archives: Lieberman

Motor Trend – Quick 2015 STI Review

So Motor Trend got ahold of a 2015 STI and had just enough time to test the car’s sprinting capabilities.  The results?

13.1 @ 104.4 MPH in the 1/4th mile & 0-60 in 4.6 sec

Uhm.  That is damned quick (and fast, regarding the 1/4th mile trap speed).  That is really quick and fast for 305 HP.

Regarding the article itself, it sucked.  The article writer, Jonny Lieberman, promotes himself as a WRX guru but I really don’t think he knows all that much.  His reviews are never really technical and is almost always subjective (as well as WRX-biased).  He always compares the STI with the WRX (or the WRX with the STI).  The WRX is not an STI competitor, so I don’t know what his beef is with the fact that the STI is more expensive.  It should be more expensive…it is clearly the tool to have when it comes to a track-focused car.  Sorry, but the WRX is not going to cut it on the track (it never has)…not without major upgrades, at least.  But if you’re settling for a WRX and it’s good for you, then that’s good, but it is not the end-all-be-all of the Subaru line-up, no matter how you hash it.  I think most people try to justify their cheaper purchase by saying things like, “well, an STI is $8K more than an WRX…an STI has things I won’t need or use daily”.  They typically don’t understand that the $8K is giving you a whole different experience.

Jonny kept harping on the fact that the STI needed 50 HP more.  Really?  Why?  Because that’s what BMW and Ford does when developing new models?  It doesn’t *NEED* an extra 50 HP.  Subaru make a stock STI run 13.1 at 104 MPH without extra power….that’s a good thing.  Just because Mercedes makes a 350 HP turbocharged 4-cylinder vehicle doesn’t mean that Subaru should.  Mercedes is the ONLY car maker that’s generating 350 HP out of a blown 4-banger, and that car is very close to $50K.  Making such HP from such a small engine is NOT cheap and it’s not cheap to ensure the engine doesn’t grenade (the CLA45 AMG runs an insane amount of boost to make that power, too).  The 50-HP argument is ridiculous.

In fact, Jonny talked about the STI itself or even it’s competition, which isn’t a WRX or CLA45 AMG.  The article was highly subjective.  Why the hell do I want to hear his thoughts on the car if they’re jaded…I’d rather hear about the car itself, which I can form my own opinions about.  I don’t think that Jonny even drove the car.  I think he wrote about someone else’s experience but filled in the gaps with his “50 more HP” and “the WRX does the same thing but at a cheaper price point” rants.  It’s obvious he didn’t drive the car (not for review purposes, at least).

This isn’t the first article where Jonny was too subjective. There’s nothing worse than a writer who can’t stay subjective if his life depended on it.  I’m soooo glad I let my Motor Trend subscription lapse, because it only takes one writer to ruin the whole bunch of writing that MT does (IMO).

I think the 2015 STI offers extreme potential for it’s price range.  A 2015 Golf R is NOT going to be able to offer that level of performance…the new Golf R is a great step forward but I highly doubt it’s going to run a 13.1 quarter-mile or 4.6 0-60…they didn’t come close to that in the debut review estimates, either.  There is no other car out there (besides the 2014 Evolution) that will match the STI when it comes to price-to-performance, because the STI offers a LOT of performance for what’s pretty much chump-change.  They’ve also improved on every single STI owner’s complaint.  None of that can really be argued with, even if the engine is the same unit that has been used the last 9 years.

I think MT needs to let Jonny find a different job, because he’s not good at creating a good read.  He whines too much.   There was hardly anything he said that was good about the car.  Usually when I evaluate something, I try to think of three good and bad things about the product.  Jonny did none of this and went on an immediate “WRX is better” bend.  That is sad.   I might just skip over MT’s full review of the 2015 STI if I find that Jonny wrote it.