2011 Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
vs. 2012 Ford
Mustang GT

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited

9.5

starting from

$38,070

Reasons to buy the Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited

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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Better suspension
Independent
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OK cornering
0.9 g
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Leather
Standard
2012 Ford Mustang GT

9.2

Runner-up

Ford Mustang GT

starting from

$30,105
"A street-legal racer that’s just looking for some action."
mustangs.about.com | talking about the Mustang's engine
"I can’t stop thinking about how much power the new Shelby offered."
mustangs.about.com | talking about the Mustang's performance

Reasons to buy the Ford Mustang GT

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Good braking distance from 60mph
104 ft
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Zippy 1/4 mile time
12.7 s s @ 111.3 mph mph
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Quite powerful
412 HP @ 6,500 RPM
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Fast 0-60 time
4.4 seconds
Luxury Features 7.0 vs 10.0
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Winner: Impreza WRX STI Limited
[details]
  • Almost the same
  • Almost the same
Road Tests 10.0 vs 8.8
2012 Ford Mustang GT Winner: Mustang GT
[details]
  • The Mustang GT needs around 20% less space to stop from 60mph, 104 ft vs 125 ft
  • Around 10% faster in the 1/4 mile, 12.7 s s @ 111.3 mph mph vs 13.9 s s @ 99.0 mph mph
  • The Mustang GT hits 60mph around 20% faster, 4.4 seconds vs 5.3 seconds
Performance 10.0 vs 9.3
2012 Ford Mustang GT Winner: Mustang GT
[details]
  • The Mustang GT needs around 10% less space to turn, 33.4 ft vs 36.1 ft
  • Around 40% more powerful, 412 HP @ 6,500 RPM vs 305 HP @ 6,000 RPM
  • The Mustang GT's power-to-weight ratio is more than 20% better, providing a sportier ride, 8.7 lb/hp vs 11.2 lb/hp
Cost 10.0 vs 9.8
2012 Ford Mustang GT Winner: Mustang GT
[details]
  • The best price we've seen is $7,965 cheaper (more than 20% less), $30,105 vs $38,070
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Entertainment System - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Safety Features 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality 10.0 vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
  • Both have power outlets
Overall 9.2 vs 9.5

Luxury Features

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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moon roof Not Available vs Standard Enjoy additional natural light with the Impreza WRX STI Limited's standard sun roof
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power seats Not Available vs Not Available Neither has a power seat option
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Not Available vs Standard Leather comes standard on the Impreza WRX STI Limited; the Mustang GT only offers cloth seats

Road Tests

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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0-60 mph 4.4 seconds vs 5.3 seconds The Mustang GT has a good 0-60 time, but the Impreza WRX STI Limited is just average
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Braking distance at 60mph 104 ft vs 125 ft The Mustang GT has above average braking ability, but the Impreza WRX STI Limited is quite bad
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1/4 mile 12.7 s s @ 111.3 mph mph vs 13.9 s s @ 99.0 mph mph The Mustang GT's 1/4 mile time is zippy, but the Impreza WRX STI Limited's is just OK
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Lateral acceleration 0.88 g vs 0.9 g The Impreza WRX STI Limited has OK cornering abilities compared to the below average Mustang GT
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Top speed 155 mph vs 150 mph Both vehicles' top speed is just average

Performance

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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Horsepower 412 HP @ 6,500 RPM vs 305 HP @ 6,000 RPM The Mustang GT is fairly powerful, but the Impreza WRX STI Limited is not far behind
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Number of gears 6 vs 6 Average number of gears
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Transmission Manual transmission vs Manual transmission Both offer a manual transmission, unlike most in this class
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paddle shifters Not Available vs Not Available Neither offers paddle shifters
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Air compressor None vs Turbocharger The Impreza WRX STI Limited's Turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 8.7 lb/hp vs 11.2 lb/hp The Mustang GT is a sporty car, while the Impreza WRX STI Limited is just average
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Drivetrain type rear-wheel drive vs all-wheel drive The Impreza WRX STI Limited has a good drivetrain for driving off-road or in poor weather
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 33.4 ft vs 36.1 ft The Mustang GT can make tight turns, and the Impreza WRX STI Limited is comparable to most other vehicles

Cost

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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MSRP $30,105 vs $38,070 The Mustang GT has a great price and the Impreza WRX STI Limited is pretty reasonable
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In-city gas mileage 17 mpg vs 17 mpg Both get OK mileage in the city
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basic warranty miles 36,000 mile vs 36,000 mile Shorter basic warranty
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basic warranty years 3 year vs 3 year Shorter-lasting basic warranty

Crash Test Ratings

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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Rollover resistance Unknown vs 4 stars
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Entertainment System

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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Number of speakers Unknown vs Unknown
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Has speed sensitive volume No vs Unknown
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Standard vs Not Available Have your pick of music from around the world with the Mustang GT's satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Unknown
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Has subwoofer No vs Unknown
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entertainment system Not Available vs Optional It'll cost you to get an entertainment system on the Impreza WRX STI Limited; but it's not available at all on the Mustang GT

Safety Features

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Unknown
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Airbags 3 vs 5 The Impreza WRX STI Limited has a good number of airbags, but the Mustang GT does not (missing Head / Curtain, Rear Curtain)
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Not Available vs Standard Keep kids safe in the rear seat with standard child door locks on the Impreza WRX STI Limited; optional upgrade on the Mustang GT
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Roadside assistance system None vs None

Practicality

Ford
Mustang GT
2012 Ford Mustang GT
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited Subaru
Impreza WRX STI Limited
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Passengers 4 vs 5 The Impreza WRX STI Limited has lots of passenger seats and the Mustang GT is OK, too
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Highway driving range 416 miles vs 389 miles The Mustang GT has OK highway range, but the Impreza WRX STI Limited is very limited
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Cargo space 13.4 ft3 vs 11.3 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 52.2 ft3 vs 54.2 ft3 The Impreza WRX STI Limited has roomy front seats and the Mustang GT is OK
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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roof rails Not Available vs Unknown
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navigation system Not Available vs Optional The Impreza WRX STI Limited offers an optional navigation system; not available on the Mustang GT
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Cupholders 2 vs Unknown
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 Nissan 370Z Touring Impreza WRX STI vs 370Z Touring
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 BMW M3 Impreza WRX STI vs M3
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 MINI Cooper Impreza WRX STI vs Cooper
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX 2012 Honda Civic Si Impreza WRX vs Civic Si
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Impreza WRX STI vs Camaro SS
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T Mustang GT vs Challenger R/T
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Dodge Charger R/T Mustang GT vs Charger R/T
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Mustang GT vs Camaro SS
2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 2012 Nissan GT-R Black Edition Mustang Shelby GT500 vs GT-R Black Edition
2012 Ford Mustang GT 2011 Nissan 370Z Mustang GT vs 370Z

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

Showing 18 comments

Avatar for Don Don (5:40 AM, June 11, 2014)
Completely flawed. They are talking about Subaru WRX specs here, not STI. WRX has a 150mph top speed, STI is at 162mph stock with limited to 155mph. Parts on STi over WRX are worth $25k alone.From brakes, to axles, to engine, everything on that device is built using expensive German parts. Heavy duty stuff/
 
sam (1:54 AM, January 15, 2013)
mustangs are known to have way more body roll... cant do shit it snow or gravel or dirt or jumps... and the base of a boss is 43.. and the base of a reg sti is 34.. ten k diff. mine as well get a sti stock and put 10 k in it and do laps around a boss with. on the 302 if you want the better package that has all of the racing stuff in it you have to put another 7 k on it bringing it to almost 50k....and if you want it black they force you to get that package...(wtf?) but say you didnt want the package and you got a diff colur.. to even get the special rear end you have to blow 3k on that..... so dont feed the machine of lies here.. if you dont have facts dont talk.. all my facts are from me righht at this very moment building the boss on there page....
 
sam (1:43 AM, January 15, 2013)
so what your saying its cheaper and fits more people and can jump? sounds like your all for the sti. bet if the sti has just as much money into his as you do into your mustang the sti will win :)
 
sam (1:41 AM, January 15, 2013)
actually id prefer if they used the normal sti... its only 34 beating the mustangs price with all of the stuff they forgot to list on the mustang added on to the price. and all thats missing out is leather a sun roof (like the mustang) and rally wheels..... the fact of the matter is.. mustangs are nice!!!( on the road).. sti is for off road... its a four wheel drive car that would destroy a mustang on everything else other then a road. which face the fact makes it a multi purpose car one being a daily driver and the other an offroad rally king, when the winter comes around it will be pulling mustangs out and when the rain comes in the summer it will again be pulling mustangs out of mud.... so more practical of a car. plus to add more hp and whip a mustang on the track will cost a hell of alot less for an sti compared to a mustang.
 
sam (1:34 AM, January 15, 2013)
its not 75 % if you add in all of the stuff your talking shit about.. add it all in and then there almost the same.. plus if you get the sti normal its prices 34 k.. only difference is it doesnt have leather or rally rims or a sunroof (like yours) bringing the sti to a lower price then yours with all of that stuff on there
 
sam (1:30 AM, January 15, 2013)
sti limited has heated and lether power seat to man... and 17 is not hwy mph.. go straight to theere homepage and motortrent.. sti has the 17 city 23 hwy.. making sti better in city but worse on hwy due to high reving needed at high speeds.... 2006 sti i almost a completely diffirent car to the new one..
 
Jesse (6:10 PM, October 26, 2012)
also no mention of the SI drive system that lets you control the differential, traction and stability control.
 
Jesse (6:08 PM, October 26, 2012)
That is the correct STI photo showing the Limited BBS rims and the STI wing. The Sti also has big brembo brakes that provide excellent braking. The top speed is higher than listed, closer to 160. The STI is designed for handling, it is what it does best. Every stat posted for the STI is horribly wrong. The only thing the mustang should win in is the quarter mile. Everything else the mustang should lose hands down or be tied with the STI.
 
GT guy (3:43 PM, October 19, 2012)
Yeah, this comparison is flawed in too many ways to count. I am not totally familiar with the STI specs, but those numbers seem off. As for the Mustang, they are talking about the Base model as if the Premium was not an option. The features they list as "not available" ARE available. My GT at 35K has all those luxury features they claim are missing. My GTpremium has 8 way adjustable power leather seats (with heated available as a factory option), touchscreen nav, voice activated everything, a huge panoramic glass roof, HID lights, rear view camera, back up radar, etc etc. Non touchscreen voice navigation is STANDARD on GT premiums, with my touchscreen Sirius travellink as a factory option. The front seats are also quite roomy. I'm 6'2", 225lbs and quite comfy in mine.

Mustang handling "just ok"? What are they smoking? (The same goes for whoever is making outdated, uninformed cliche claims that the Stang is only good in a straight line.) News flash. The 2011+ GTs are still live rear axle, but its been lauded as one of the most well designed and controllable LRA set ups ever put out. In track testing the stock 2011+ GT was less than a second behind times set with a BMW M3. That's BEFORE we even talk about factory options like the track package BTW.

As long as we are talking Live rear axles, if they are quoting the STI at 38K, well a small jump to 40K will get you a Mustang Boss 302, which still runs LRA and will eat BOTH that STI and the M3 for lunch around a track.
 
jim (7:04 PM, August 28, 2012)
Wow someone should be fired for this terrible comparison listing all the available features of the mustang as not available and then putting the sti as the winner because of a sunroof which is not as good as a glass roof
 
momo (6:02 PM, August 15, 2012)
you mean 4.7
 
Rkn62686 (1:07 AM, May 11, 2012)
This is the most opinionated, biased garbage I have ever seen in a road test. The WRX STI is a light weight puddle jumper for a poor man with a family. I will take on an STI any day, pink slip for pink slip  with my Bullitt, stock for stock...
 
BucBearPig (9:27 PM, April 17, 2012)
2 completely different cars but this guy got a lot wrong (probably about both).  STi has a lower 0-60 time and 1/4 mile time than what's listed here (stock WRX also has lower times - WRX = 4.7 0-60 & 13.5 1/4 and has done as low as 13.1 stock with a skilled driver).  If you live where it snows or on gravel/crap roads, get the WRX/STi, if you don't, get the Mustang.  They are both nice cars - but I'd personally go with a base WRX for $24K and spend $1,000 to move it to stage 2.  A $25K car that has better reliability than stock, is as fast as the 5.0 in the 1/4 and can handle all weather conditions.  Just my $.02
 
Avatar for Turbo Turbo (2:36 AM, March 09, 2012)
They have the numbers wrong for the STi. Car and Driver has it at 4.5 seconds to 60 and the quarter mile at 13.1 seconds. The numbers they show are for a standard WRX. Also, the photos above are of a standard WRX, not an STi which has the bigger rear wing.
 
Leader of a Herd (4:18 AM, January 29, 2012)
This "comparison" is a joke.  The only category the Subaru supposedly beats the Mustang in is "luxury", and whoops, the Mustang is totally misrepresented.  No, they don't come with sunroofs, but they can be had with glass tops.  As noted, leather, power seats, etc., are all available (well, at least the '12 in my driveway (wife's car, mine's an '11 Shelby w/ SVTPP) came with them. ) The nav pack is phenomenal, and yes, it has a hard drive for MP3's, integrates nicely with an iPod, and it will play a dvd ("entertainment" system) while you're parked (it is disabled while driving because it is illegal for it to play while the vehicle is in motion.) 
At 75% of the price of the Subaru, they give the base Mustang an 8.3, but an 8.0 for the Subaru?  Huh?  As Rush said, add a premium package to the Mustang, and its still cheaper than the Subaru, yet gets all those "not available" features.
As far as trail braking, how many people out there even know what trail braking is, let alone have the skill to pull it off?  If you need to trail brake a car on the street hard enough to get the ABS to kick in on the rear brakes, something isn't right.  What mode were you in when you experienced it?  Have you tried it on the Subaru?  I'd be surpised if you didn't experience brake chatter on that car as well, given that you're braking equally as hard, as the whole point of trail braking is to transfer the car's weight to the front tires, meaning the traction at the rear is reduced.  You should be able to kick in ABS on the rears by trail braking on just about any car if you hit the brakes hard enough, unless the brake bias is weighted way heavy to the front at the outset, meaning you're wasting braking capabilities.  The Subaru takes 21 more feet to stop 60-0?  Wonder why.  With the Brembo pack on the Mustang, I have no doubt it would be even worse.
Need an IRS?  Have you actually driven one?  I've done IRS Mustangs (2001 Cobra), and while I'll agree that Pennsylvania potholes are  more agreeable with the IRS, the '12 suspension live axle handles as well as or better than the IRS in the twisties.  Yeah, if you're off-road racing, an IRS would probably handle the ruts, washouts and such better, but how many STOCK Subaru drivers are doing that?  I tend to like my cars too much to subject them to that.
Can't put power to the ground until the car is straight?  Well, I'll give you that the Mustang is traction limited, at least in base form (simply the fact of a LOT of horsepower, without the benefit of all wheel drive, and bumping it to 550 HP only makes it worse).  Add the Brembo pack, and a lot of the traction deficit goes away.  Have you tried one with the traction control?  The stability control can be properly set for "sportier" driving, taking sideways out of the equation. 
Yeah, the Subaru has all wheel drive, which helps on the practicality side in winters, but saying that the Subaru is a better car because it comes with a sun-roof standard, at $8000 more pricewise, is pretty weak.  Stressing a 4 cylinder with high boost to get the power (which is still less than the Mustang has) not only requires you to work the engine harder in everyday driving, it creates more engine endurance and reliability issues (start out with higher blow-by past the rings, meaning a much higher oil contamination rate, andgo from there.)  My brother-in-laws Subie has not been kind to its engines.  Yeah, boost helps in a displacement limited race series, but that's not what most buyers are buying these cars for.  100 less horsepower, yet it still gets worse gas mileage (17/23 for the Subie, 19/29 for the GT), goes slower, brakes longer, and costs more.  Sorry, I don't come to the same conclusion.
 
Avatar for Alberto Knox Alberto Knox (6:18 AM, January 26, 2012)
In a straight line.  Trail braking a Mustang into a turn will set the antilock chattering, and god help you if you put power to that solid rear axle before you are straight again...

One day Ford will bring the 'Stang into independent rear suspension glory.  Then I'll own one again.
 
B85Grandprix (1:49 AM, January 16, 2012)
Totally agree about the base going up agaist the "luxury" also say's that the GT Mustang does not offer navigation which is a LIE. go to FORD.COM and is shows its a option. Also the GT preimium come's with LEATHER also STANDERD.If your going to use the top line subaru than you should use top line of the GT. Love how people can't just face the fact that the Mustang is one of the best sport's car's on the road.
 
Rush (8:58 PM, November 05, 2011)
I want to know why you pitted the "luxury" model sti against a base model gt? Shouldn't you have compared base for base or sti limited vs mustang gt premium? Shame on you for the biased and unbalanced comparison. And who in hell came up with the scoring system? Where did you get your info? Pricing out a mustang gt premium with glass roof, shaker 1000 sound system, brembo package, and 3.73 differential comes up to 38,562... 500 dollars more than your grossly underpriced sti limited. Subwoofers come standard with the shaker 1000 system, glass roof way outdoes a convertible and subarus notchy sunroof, the leather seats are made of durable leather, are heated, and guess what? They are powered! And as for the child locks an option on the mustang???? Um, why would you have an option on a 2-door sportscar to have childlocks? Again, mpg in city is off for your sti... 17 is its highway... navigation and entertainment are options in the mustang gt.. its called the electronics package... I love the pictures of the V-6 mustang in premium that you have up (with leather seats). This is just a horrible comparison, no insight or research. This comparison and retort brought to you by a 2011 mustang gt owner and former 2006 sti owner.