2015 Subaru WRX STI

2015 Subaru WRX STI

Episode 3336 , Episode 3349
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The all-new Subaru WRX just rode home with our 2014 Drivers’ Choice Award for best sport sedan. It simply delivered lots of serious thrills for the money. But we knew that the WRX was just a tease until the next WRX STI arrived. Well, it’s here! So, with our hopes flying sky-high, let’s strap in, and see if the next hot Subaru can make our smiles even wider.

Going down the spec sheet, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI checks all the right boxes for purists: rally grade suspension…a six speed manual transmission…over 300 horsepower…check, check, AND check. Yet for a vehicle of the STI’s heritage, predicated on back-to-basics, old school fun, this latest model does benefit from some new-age technologies, despite changing little else from previous generations…

Returning is the BOXER horizontally opposed turbo flat 4; 2.5 liters worth, and rated at 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. Indeed it is the same engine, and the same output, that the STI faithful already know. And it’s mated to the very same six speed manual transmission, as well. Slight improvements for 20-15 reduce vibrations, and make shifts smoother between low gears.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is naturally standard, as is the Driver Control Center Differential, which allows for mechanical and electronic control of the center diff through various settings. All this, combined with the helical limited–slip front diff, and the TORSEN limited-slip rear diff, basically translates to: GRIP. And lots of it.

New this year is Active Torque Vectoring, which works with the stability and traction control systems to apply a bit of braking while cornering. So what better place to experience all this, than at our test track?

Off the line power was easy to find, with a more manageable clutch than in our 2011 test. We just hooked up and flew to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Seven tenths quicker than the WRX. Then our STI punched through the full ¼ mile in 13.2 seconds at 104 miles per hour.

Where Subaru says they improved the STI the most is in handling. And indeed, through the cones it really comes alive. The added rigidly and a thoroughly retuned suspension, while a little more solid than before during commutes, really takes to tight switchbacks. The quickened steering ratio, now 13.0:1, adds precision and great feedback.

Getting to high speeds is easy in the STI, and luckily, so is slowing it down; taking a scant 108 feet from 60.        

As with the standard WRX, the STI distances itself from the Impreza sedan on which it is still technically based. Wheelbase is also stretched one inch over the last STI, to 104.3 inches, and the A pillars and windshield are significantly more raked, offering both a more swept look and better visibility.

But what’s an STI without the wing?! It’s here, in full force, to augment the WRX’s hood scoop up front, and quad exhaust in the back. Our Limited tester’s 18 inch BBS forged alloy wheels came wrapped in 245/40 summer performance tires. But our inner “Mr. T” wishes we could have the Launch Edition’s gold wheels, and its WR Blue Pearl paint, and we pity the fool who doesn’t grab one of the only 1,000 in production. But we digress…

Hop inside, and you’ll find things are also very similar to the standard WRX including racer red gauge accents, a 4.3 inch dash top screen, faux carbon fiber trim, and flat-bottom steering wheel that feels great. One plus, the improved “STI” embroidered seats do offer better grip, and we loved the STI-exclusive short throw shifter.

Government Fuel Economy ratings, are 17 City, 23 Highway, and 19 Combined. Even driving like we think owners will, our test loop of 23.4 on premium was better than expected.

Even better news is that STI base pricing starts at a reasonable $35,290. Limited trim goes for $39,290, with our test car adding a $1,500 NAV and Keyless Access option. It’s a little more “buck” over the WRX, but you do get a lot more “bang” for it.

Now it may seem to casual observers that the STI got left behind, as Subaru has been doling out the major overhauls everywhere else in their lineup. But while we always love something that’s “all-new”, there’s a certain charm to holding on to some of the “tried-and-true”. The STI has always been a showcase of exceptional performance with an accessible price; which is exactly why we love the 2015 Subaru WRX STI even more.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.5 liters
  • Horsepower: 305
  • Torque: 290 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 13.2 seconds @ 104 mph
  • EPA: 17 mpg city/ 23 mpg highway
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!

While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.

It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.

This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge

It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.

That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.

It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.

With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.

We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.

Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.

The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine

We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.

Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.

Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.

For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.

Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.5-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 670
  • 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
  • EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph
2024 Subaru Outback 1

2024 Subaru Outback

The Outback Continues To Deliver

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

In a world that’s SUV crazy, it’s easy to forget that the Subaru Outback has been delivering capable and comfortable all-weather and all-road capabilities to adventure-loving Americans for years. In fact, it’s now well into its 6th generation. So, it’s time for us to check in with the latest Outback and find out what’s new.

Almost 50-years ago, long before all-wheel-drive became an option for just about every car on the road, Subaru released the first four-wheel-drive passenger car in the U.S. Immediately, they knew they had a good thing going with that wagon, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that the marketing folks got on board and helped launch the Subaru Outback Sport Utility Wagon.

While the 2024 Outback is approaching the end of its 6th generation, its not slowing down when it comes to delivering tons of value to adventure-minded families.

The Outback is the sole remaining wagon available here in the U.S. from a mainstream brand, though even Subaru doesn’t use the “W” word anymore.

2024 Subaru Outback Front
2024 Subaru Outback Profile
2024 Subaru Outback Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front
2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Outback Wheel
2024 Subaru Outback Front2024 Subaru Outback Profile2024 Subaru Outback Rear2024 Subaru Outback Dead Front2024 Subaru Outback Dead Rear2024 Subaru Outback Wheel

Now strictly referred to as a mid-size SUV, when it comes to selling any vehicle, attractiveness is always a bonus, and the Outback’s unique blend of rugged and refined has set the tone for many followers over the years. The exterior was recently updated, and while it looks big and more like a true SUV than ever, it’s only about 5-inches longer than the 1990’s original.

Some trims do get additional standard content for ’24, but our top Touring XT showcases everything Subaru has to offer, with an 11.6-inch Starlink infotainment screen that controls more features than ever, includes navigation, and pumps tunes out with Harmon Kardon sound. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology remains an Outback standard.

Cargo capacity is a great 32.6 cubic-ft., 75.6 with rear seatbacks folded, and despite the high ground clearance, the floor is lower than SUV typical, which makes for easier loading.

Outback seat comfort has improved greatly over the years, and despite the increased reliance on the touchscreen, everything about the cabin is simple to operate and logically placed.

The XT part of our Touring XT means there’s extra power under the hood with a 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo engine which rates 260-horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. It’s a big upgrade over the standard 182-horsepower naturally aspirated 2.5-liter.

Both engines are unchanged and work with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT; all-wheel-drive is of course another Outback standard.

2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard
2024 Subaru Outback Center Display
2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Outback Trunk
2024 Subaru Outback Engine
2024 Subaru Outback Dashboard2024 Subaru Outback Center Display2024 Subaru Outback Front Seat2024 Subaru Outback Rear Seat2024 Subaru Outback Trunk2024 Subaru Outback Engine

At Mason-Dixon Dragway, our XT had plenty of grip off the line, hitting 60 in 6.0-seconds flat. That’s a couple of tenths quicker than our last time out with this turbo-4. We’ll chalk that up to better weather this time around.

Like many Subarus, it doesn’t feel overly fast but it’s snappy off the line, and perfectly adequate from there.

Power delivery stayed very consistent down the track; the CVT definitely keeps engine revs maxed out the whole time, but noise is far from annoying. Our best ¼-mile time was 14.6-seconds at 97 miles-per-hour.

The Outback boasts 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which is more than many mid-size SUVs; and while it felt plenty competent through our slalom course, there was noticeable body roll and understeer to deal with. Yet steering was light and predictable, plus Active Torque Vectoring and Vehicle Dynamics Control are hard at work to keep you stable and safe no matter what.

In panic braking, there were only moderate amounts of nosedive, and mild ABS pulsing. Stops averaged a fine 115-feet from 60 miles-per-hour.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 29-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a great 27.9 miles-per-gallon of Regular; a feat most SUVs can only dream of.

That’s an average Energy Impact Score; with use of 11.9-barrels of oil yearly, with 5.9-tons of CO2 emissions.

Base Outbacks have plenty of standard content, and remain a real bargain, starting at just $30,240, top trims, including Wilderness, take you into the low 40s.

Decades of loyal Outback owners have helped Subaru grow the 2024 Subaru Outback into what it is today; a highly capable and comfortable, thoughtfully designed, adventure-ready family truckster that’s as adept at backwoods exploring as it is soldiering through the daily grind. Your family activities may not take you far off the beaten path, but life itself is an adventure, and the Subaru Outback is outfitted for your adventure better than ever.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4-liter flat-4 turbo
  • Horsepower: 260
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking (avg): 115 feet
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.9 MPG (Regular)
  • Transmission: CVT
  • Torque: 277 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.6-seconds at 97 mph
  • EPA: 22 City | 29 Highway | 25 Combined