If you’re into the high-performance Japanese car scene even in the slightest, you probably already know the Subaru WRX STI holds its value well. Really well. Famously well. So well that it’s one of those cars where people angrily email me and ask WHY SHOULD I EVEN BOTHER BUYING A USED ONE?
I’ve always heard of this, but I don’t think I really realized how well these STIs hold their value until I went and looked them up on Autotrader. So here’s the average asking price, by year, of used Subaru STI models currently listed for sale on the site:
For those of you who are wondering, the STI currently starts at $37,100. So this means if you’re looking at a 4-year-old STI model, which is already out of its comprehensive warranty, you really only have to fork over an extra seven grand to get a brand-new one that’s never been modified, or raced, or weaved down the highway by someone who told his passengers to "watch this."
That’s crazy. And it’s not just crazy how little the car depreciates initially, but how little it depreciates over time. Yes, a 2004 model has depreciated to "just" $17,245, but here’s something to keep in mind: The 2004 STI started at just $32,000! So that car hasn’t even lost half its value even though it’s already more than a decade old!!!! By comparison, my Range Rover, which is a 2006 model, is currently worth something like $11,000 — or approximately 13 percent of its original price.
The reasons the STI keeps its value so well are twofold. One is, of course, the car’s limited production: Even if it makes sense to you to go into your local Subaru dealership and buy one of these things, you may not be able to get one right away — and when new models come out, you’ll likely have trouble getting one without a dealer markup.
The other reason that the STI holds its value so well is its durability and performance potential. Automotive tuners are well aware that they can highly modify an STI without risking severe engine damage or other major problems — something that can’t be said of most cars. That makes the STI desirable in the tuning world — and the car’s tunability also has the effect of diminishing the number of clean, stock STI examples, which only drives up prices further.
And so, ladies and gentlemen of Oversteer, I think we can all now agree that the Subaru WRX STI is a sound financial investment. I strongly suggest that you all go out and purchase one, though this will only drive up prices even further. You’d better move fast. Find a Subaru WRX for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.