Value You Get
Subaru STI is fitted with dual-zone air conditioning, heated sports seats trimmed in Alcantara with partial leather, reversing camera, Bluetooth with voice control and SMS read functionality, satellite-navigation and an 8-speaker stereo with a 6.1-inch colour touch screen. Performance fitment includes unique 18-inch alloy wheels and the racy body kit; however, the STI lacks on adjustable suspension, parking sensors and xenon lights but it costs lesser by $5000 than the auto Golf, so certainly Subaru STI is more affordable.
Volkswagen Golf R, the top model in the Golf means it’s loaded with ample gear and as the standard fitments comes the dual-zone air conditioning, cloth sports seats and Alcantara, a reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights, front & rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, satellite-navigation and a 5.8-inch colour infotainment touch screen. Golf R is equipped with standard VW’s Adaptive Chassis Control that facilitates you to alter the shock absorbers, making them stronger or gentler depending on your inclination, and it cruises on 19-inch alloy wheels.
Close Look at the Interior
Subaru’s STI feels sportier, but lacks quality polish compared to Golf R. There is ample of leather and Alcantara in the STI featuring faux carbon fibre trim compared to the shiny black finishes in the Golf R. Evidently, some cheaper materials used in Subaru STI doesn’t give you that awesome feeling which you get in the Golf R.
Nevertheless, Golf R is based on a relatively humble Golf, but its interior looks pretty classy and gives you a lavish feel. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is thick and covered with leather, the sports seats hold you tight, and the blue needles on the dials unite to lift it over the rest of Golf’s array.
How about the Engine
Subaru STI’s engine is certainly more powerful compared to Golf’s, however you’ll need to rev it hard enough but it produces a real exhaust note. There’s less flexibility to its power delivery, partially because its maximum torque of 407Nm doesn’t come until 4000rpm, and at under 2500rpm there can be a delay to its response. Subaru STI doesn’t feel as polished or sound as good as the VW. On the top of it, WRX STI needs premium unleaded fuel (similar to the Golf it needs the most expensive 98 octane fuel) and also there is no option for the automatic transmission.
Golf R generates lesser power and torque compared STI; however, due to the flexibility of its engine and the smooth gear shifts from the dual-cultch DSG automatic transmission, it doesn’t feel slow. There’s good amount of punch from the Golf R in the lower rev range because its 380Nm maximum torque is generated between 1800-5100rpm. Volkswagen claims it can launch from 0-100km/h speed in just 5.0 seconds though it is actually fast, the engine sound isn’t real as VW pump an artificial soundtrack into the cabin, which might fail to appeal different type of customers.
The major difference between both cars is that the STI’s all-wheel-drive system is lasting, with an adjustable centre differential that can throw more power to the front or rear axles depending on your inclination. Nevertheless, the STI misses out on the adjustable suspension so you’re fixed with its firmer ride all the time. The steering is brilliant as well, offering sufficient meaningful feedback. In general, the STI isn’t as polished as the Golf R but feels harder edged, but it will suit those who want nothing but pure performance.
You get exceptional levels of traction for the Golf R due to its Electronic Differential Lock (XDL) or the Haldex all-wheel-drive system. On a slippery plane or out of a tighter curve, it swiftly allocates drive to the wheels that need it. For instance, the XDL brakes the inside wheels, effectively transferring more drive to those on the outside and making the most of their added grip. That grip is supported by the 19-inch tyres. One of the key driving experience is the adjustable suspension which offers the Golf R multiple personalities – Set it on comfort and the ride softens for a trip within the city, but dial up race mode and the stiffer ride makes the Golf R stronger and more energetic.
Subaru doesn’t provide capped price servicing for WRX STI, yet it does provide suggestive costs for the first 5 years/ 125,000km. Nonetheless, the big major difference is in its service intervals that fall every 6 months for the STI, so you will need to spend around $4555 to maintain it during the first five years.
On the other hand, Volkswagen offers Golf R with 6 years/ 90,000km capped price servicing program. The service intervals fall every 1 year (12 months), so during the period of the first 6 years, you will need to spend $3748 to maintain.
Subaru’s WRX STI is more of a tough-edged boy racer than the Golf R, so it’s not that simple to live with it, even if its debatably a sharper tool when assessed just on performance.
The Golf R clearly wins the contest as it accomplishes the twin tasks of the routine driving and performance oriented car. Undoubtedly, its far more comfortable car in city traffic and its much simpler to extort (its significant) performance.
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