The Subaru WRX STI Type RA...wow, tongue twister... is not cheap. It's almost $13,000 more expensive than the next least expensive WRX, which is the STI. That's enough to buy a Nissan Versa. You could have a WRX STI in your garage and a Versa to drive to work! But, you'd be wishing you had the Type RA, wouldn't you? We would.
Here's the thing. The RA isn't overpriced. It's got loads of upgrades. You get a carbon fiber wing, carbon fiber roof, spare tire delete setup, exclusive 19" wheels, shorter throw on the transmission, better gear ratios, suspension upgrade with Bilstein dampers, modified VDC, silver-finished brake calipers, 5 extra horsepower (310 total), Recaro seats, ultrasuede steering wheel, red accents, RA badges, front underspoiler, exclusive paint options, a plaque to show your vehicle's manufacture number and a few additional extras.
The WRX STI RA is not just a sportier looking STI. It's an improved, engineered STI, but the STI is a great car without these improvements. Among competitors like the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS, the STI (non-RA) has advantages. It has AWD, whereas the Civic R doesn't. It has quadruple exhaust and hydraulically assisted steering, which the others do not have. It's also a Subaru, which is a highly reliable brand. The RA is a little on the heavy side but it can keep up with all its competitors.
All things considered, we think you should buy a WRX STI RA if you have the money to do it and you're sure you won't regret forgoing a Porsche Boxster, Lexus GS or something else that would cost around the same price, $49,000. If you can't decide, you should get quotes from competing local dealers. The RA isn't a mainstream vehicle, which means it may not sell extremely well, which is why dealers might give you a discount to take one. Get a feel for the market in your area and then decide what to do.
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It’s autumn and that means trick or treating, bonfires and new seasons of TV shows. To our excitement, we’ve learned that season 2 of The Grand Tour will be released on Amazon sometime soon. It’s not clear exactly when that will be but it probably means November 2017. Richard Hammond announced, in a tweet, that the show will be online for streaming on November 19th before deleting the tweet. Maybe that was a prank. Whenever it’s coming, we can’t wait.