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Old 11-12-2009, 02:04 PM   #1
SentientByDesign
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Default Looking to Purchase a 06 WRX Need some Info on SoCal Fuel Economy and What to look 4

I currently drive a 2005 G35 Coupe, but my drive is about 100-110 miles per day until I change jobs. I also have a 7 month old son and it's a royal pain trying to get him into his carseat and having absolutely NO cargo space (have you seen our trunks?).

Anyways, did some research and I'd like to have a car that's still fun to drive, but has 4 doors, more trunk space, is safe, and gets better fuel economy than my G35.

I've googled quite a bit to find out some info on the fuel economy, but I'd REALLY like to hear info from people with the same MY (or same generation) and who live in SoCal as we seem to have some of the most watered down gas in the nation.

So if you wouldn't mind telling me what your fuel economy is. City, Highway, and Mixed. I usually cruise at 75-80 on the freeway. I'm currently maxing out at around 22 MPG with 95% highway...

Also, what common issues should I be aware of with a 06 WRX?

For instance, if you came onto the NICO forums and asked me about G35s common issues, this is what I'd tell you:

Tire wear-The front tires commonly have inner feathering, maxing out the toe-in will help, but not prevent it. It's just how the suspension was designed. Expect to get around 12K miles out of the 19" on the coupe because they wheels are staggered and can't be rotated.

05+ 6 speed manuals have higher peak HP motors, but also have oil consumption issues which Nissan hasn't been able to figure out- Get an Oil Consumption test and be willing to carry a qt of oil around with you at all times.

Compression rods had poorly designed bushings which have a tendency to crack prematurely. Keep an eye on them, and know that they have been redesigned.

Window regulator/motors have short life spans and are usually replaced at least once before the warranty is up.

The OEM flywheel is a dual mass, non-machineable design and must be replaced with the clutch disc. Normal price for OEM replacement is $2300-$2600 and most G35/350Z drivers go through these before 40k miles. If you go aftermarket, you can cut that figure in half, but you deal with chattering as all aftermarket flywheels are single mass and gear lash makes the car sound like a turbo diesel big rig.

03-04 Coupes and Sedans and 03-05 AWD Sedans have anemic brakes with heavy dust problems. 05+ Coupes and Sedans (excluding AWD) have larger front brakes to combat this issues. Aftermarket pads can help tremendously.

03 Sedans have mechanical cooling fans which suck up torque. Don't buy one...

03-07 Coupes and 03-06 Sedans had poorly designed intake plenums which starved the front two cylinders due to a sloping plenum design. There are aftermarket fixes, or get an 08 with the redesigned dual intake plenum.



I could go on and on, but you get the point. Thank you to anyone willing to help.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:09 PM   #2
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You won't be seeing much better economy. Maybe a couple MPG. I see 24 in my 02 STG 2. MPG actually went UP going to STG 2.

But the WRX will fix your baby/trunk space issues. But seriously now the Gs trunk is HUGE, you can fit TWO golf bags in there!
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1679821

Actual MPG is on google as to what other people see, that info won't help you as they numbers go from 1 MPG to 100 MPG depending on the user.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agkelos View Post
You won't be seeing much better economy. Maybe a couple MPG. I see 24 in my 02 STG 2. MPG actually went UP going to STG 2.

But the WRX will fix your baby/trunk space issues. But seriously now the Gs trunk is HUGE, you can fit TWO golf bags in there!
That sucks...I wasn't looking for huge fuel economy improvements, but 15% would have been nice.

Eventually my wife will take the WRX and I'll figure out what I want. She wanted and EVO and after doing some research and driving one, I said NO! Quite comfy to ride in though lol.

I can fit 1 stroller, and an emergency kit in the trunk of my G. I blame the morons at Nissan who thought it necessary to use that HUGE "casket" muffler. The sedan has a larger mid-pipe and smaller muffler and has a normal trunk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unabomber
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1679821

Actual MPG is on google as to what other people see, that info won't help you as they numbers go from 1 MPG to 100 MPG depending on the user.
Problem in addition to the spotty numbers is that I need SoCal figures. I commonly see mid to high 20s in the fuel economy threads, but that includes people from all over the US including those who have greater than 91 octane (which may or may not improve fuel economy). If I could get non-corn-infused gas, I'd probably see a 10% MPG gain

Also, thanks for the link, but that's mostly generic information (except the early model head gasket and the 02 fuel rail). I just want to know what I'm getting myself into before buying one so you don't see me in 2 month whining like a little baby about replacing 4 $250/piece tires...etc.

Anybody else have any input on this?
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:34 PM   #5
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insurance will be expensive...
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
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If you are looking for fuel ecomomy you are looking in the wrong place.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
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All he was looking for is 15% over his current 22. Easily achievable on a WRX.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by subiedudebroslice View Post
insurance will be expensive...
On my list of things to check. I can't see an AWD sedan with 4-5 star crash tests being higher to insure than a 2 door luxury sports coupe. But who knows?


Quote:
Originally Posted by fatso View Post

If you are looking for fuel ecomomy you are looking in the wrong place.
Glad to see this canned response isn't unique to the Nissan/Infiniti forums

I'm not trying to squeeze out Turbo Diesel numbers, just mid to high 20s would be ideal. Hell consistent 25 MPG on the highway doing 80 would save me $57/month. I'm not even going to try to calculate the difference in tire cost. Let's just put it this way. The least expensive quality tires for my car are $250-$270 a piece. I can get about 12k-15k out of them. Oh and there are only 5 tires out there that meet OEM sizes. I have to go fatter or different models front to back in order get more options.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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It's all demographic....a lot of wrecks occur in the WRX and the population generally owning them are on the younger side of the spectrum 30- so that's why the insurance might be higher than your G35.

With the G costing 40k+, the demographic is generally going to be older, more experienced and mature drivers. It's also probably falls into the category where someone wants a sporty, luxury car and then they get it and baby it and put 3k miles on it a year. Anyway, so the statistics allow for a lower premium. Of course there will be outliers, so don't take offense if you don't fit this bill.

Don't expect to get a lot of life out of tires on an AWD car either. At the rate I'm going, I'll get less than 10k out of my tires but they are low wear rated and I'm autocrossing on them. Even without track time, there is greater wear occurring on all 4 tires during acceleration rather than just two on RWD or FWD. You'll still see that your front wear a nudge faster but that's due to braking and steering.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:46 PM   #10
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09rexwagon,

Thanks for the info. I wouldn't have thought that the AWD acceleration would make a difference as each tire "sees" half as much torque as a comparably powered FWD/RWD car, but I'll take your word on it.


Any SoCal rex owners want to chirp in on their fuel economy?
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #11
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I am in SoCal and have a WRX wagon with "stage 2" and I average 20mpg. The only time I can get better gas milage is to stay out of boost (which I can't), and drive all highway at 70mph. My best so far is 24~25mpg, worse is 9mpg.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentientByDesign View Post
09rexwagon,

Thanks for the info. I wouldn't have thought that the AWD acceleration would make a difference as each tire "sees" half as much torque as a comparably powered FWD/RWD car, but I'll take your word on it.


Any SoCal rex owners want to chirp in on their fuel economy?
My guess is that tire wear is not linear with torque application....but I'd have to look into the specifics.

And my 09 averages 21mpg for my commute: 5 miles each way...35 mph stop and go (not sitting in traffic, but I'll go 1 mile hit a light, another mile hit a light etc). On the interstate, I've seen close to 30 mpg averaging 72 mph with cruise on.

It's not an 06 but it's a 2.5L and the vehicle is comparable in weight and mine has a bit more power than the 06.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentientByDesign View Post
I currently drive a 2005 G35 Coupe, but my drive is about 100-110 miles per day until I change jobs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SentientByDesign View Post
I'm not trying to squeeze out Turbo Diesel numbers, just mid to high 20s would be ideal. Hell consistent 25 MPG on the highway doing 80 would save me $57/month. I'm not even going to try to calculate the difference in tire cost. Let's just put it this way. The least expensive quality tires for my car are $250-$270 a piece. I can get about 12k-15k out of them. Oh and there are only 5 tires out there that meet OEM sizes. I have to go fatter or different models front to back in order get more options.
It sounds like you need a beater for your daily commute.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:31 PM   #14
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I drive a lot of freeways for the most part of my driving. My average total MPG is around 27 with a high of 30.1 but that only happened one time When I drove down from Big Bear (7000ft+) to lake Havasu. this is with a catless down pipe and a stage 2 tune. Stock, my best MPG was around 25. I got my tune at 6000 miles and now have 26,000 miles.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentientByDesign View Post
I'm not trying to squeeze out Turbo Diesel numbers, just mid to high 20s would be ideal. Hell consistent 25 MPG on the highway doing 80 would save me $57/month.
Drive 70 and you'll get your fuel economy.

Seriously, the main factor in fuel economy at 80 MPH is air resistance, and Imprezas aren't the most aerodynamic. Cars that get good mileage at 80 either have a smaller frontal area and better coefficient of drag numbers (like Corvettes).

There isn't a lot of headroom to "squeeze out" of an engine cruising on closed loop fueling without changing gearing, frontal area or coefficient of drag. Physics is a bitch. Just slow down and you'll get your 15%.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattymx View Post
I drive a lot of freeways for the most part of my driving. My average total MPG is around 27 with a high of 30.1 but that only happened one time When I drove down from Big Bear (7000ft+) to lake Havasu. this is with a catless down pipe and a stage 2 tune. Stock, my best MPG was around 25. I got my tune at 6000 miles and now have 26,000 miles.
What's your usual crusing speed?
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentientByDesign View Post
What's your usual crusing speed?

I'm usually around 70 or just below. A lot of it is my driving style. I can milk max MPG out of anything I drive. I try to stay off boost until its time to hit my mountain road.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattymx View Post
I'm usually around 70 or just below. A lot of it is my driving style. I can milk max MPG out of anything I drive. I try to stay off boost until its time to hit my mountain road.
That makes more sense. I was hoping that I could cruise at 80 and still get mid to high 20s

Such is life. I'll make a decision once I get a bite on the G.

Thanks guys.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SentientByDesign View Post

Also, what common issues should I be aware of with a 06 WRX?

None of the issues you mention with the G35.

Tire wear is largely dependent on your driving style and camber on alignment. Stock camber is slightly negative, and if you drive 95% highway, you'll likely get some inside wear. Tell the alignment guy to go 0.2 degrees more positive and you'll get better wear for highway usage (but performance during fun-time will suffer), as the car will understeer more. Wear is largely determined by alignment, it may take a set or two to dial in your best tire wear alignment.

I get 30+k out of my 17" tires and they're like $500-600 to replace if I get reasonably priced tires (full cost mounted and balanced for something like a Kumho SPT).

Brakes are not the high point of the WRX, but they aren't bad either. They have a solid feel and are adequate for street and sport use, inadequate for a track day. Lots of pad options for the Subaru 4-pot as it shares with the old 300Z pad shape. ABS is a bit touchy on the 2002-03, not sure about 06+.

Clutch is reasonably priced. Amazon sells the Exedy kit identical to OEM for $<200, and labor for machining the fly + install is around $500ish on the high end. My stock clutch has over 125k miles on it with light mods and 50+% freeway driving (I had a replacement around 20k under warrantee for an issue with first shipment clutches). People have reported needing clutches at 30-40k replacements living in San Francisco (lots of hills), potentially these are people who don't know how to drive a stick as well. Take clutch longevity complaints on an enthusiast site where the demographic is typically very young with a grain of salt.

Some oil consumption is normal on a turbo car, but it's usually at high boost. If I just plain commute, the dipstick stays at full. If I drive spirited, I lose some, but not enough for the stick to get to E before it's time to change the oil (on a car with 147k miles)

The Subaru 5-speed tranny is a bit touchy, to the point where people have explored the oils available to find the right "cocktail" mixture of gear oils. The tranny does not like to shift into first while moving without double-clutching and 3rd gear synchro is a little prone to issues. The tranny will break if you abuse it. This is probably the lowest point of the WRX.

The 6 disc changer is reasonably prone to issues, but there are enough people who upgrade decks that you can find factory replacements for $50-100 here on the classifieds if yours has a problem.

There were some oil pickup issues, but I believe that is isolated to track usage.

The engine is a stong point, with many people pushing +30-50% HP for 100k+ miles. The pistons in the 2.5 are the weakest link, but I wouldn't call them particularly weak, as people are likely pushing 400 crank HP or more before ringlands are breaking. Head gaskets are also sometimes an issue, you need to be doubly concerned about overheating. 2.5 engines go due to pistons and head gaskets. 2.0 engines go due to just about nothing aside from the stuff that will kill any engine like over-revving on a missed downshift, knock, or 100k+ miles.

Not thinking of anything else off the top of my head.

Last edited by Concillian; 11-14-2009 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:36 PM   #20
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I live in socal just in the southbay area and i drive a stock (hopefully soon to be stage II ) 07 WRX wagon. Got it used and have had no problems with it. I typically drive the speed limit on surface and fwy, but every while i like to get a bit enthusiastic. I check my milage every time im at the gas station and i've never been below 20 mpg even after my most enthusiastic week. I'd say average is about 23 mpg and i usually try to get about 300 miles per tank. Hope this helps, good luck!
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:39 PM   #21
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Concillian,

Thanks for the detailed reply. Just out of curiousity, what adjustability does the stock suspension have for alignments? For instance, my wife's toyota has 4 wheel camber and toe. My G on the other hand only has 4 wheel toe (STUPID Infiniti! STUPID!!!).

Hopefully I can find a brake upgrade that's a decent price, but performs better than the 08 sedan I drove a few months back. Those brakes felt anemic compared to my G's. Lines may have needed to be bled.

It will be nice to have a cheaper clutch. My wife's Celica requires 8 hours of labor to remove the engine to access the clutch. Not sure why the tranny couldn't be dropped, but that's what Toyota calls for. Labor alone was $400 at the least expensive shop I could take it to.

Tranny abuse shouldn't be a problem as I have no reason to track or launch the car. Hopefully the previous owner also kept those same views. My understanding is that most manuals don't have a 2-1 syncro. Something to do with the high torque multiplication or something like that.


What is the typical non-abused life expectancy on a WRX (2.5 engine)? Or a better question. What is the typical high mileage being reported by 2.5 WRX owners right now?
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:47 PM   #22
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My MPG fluctuates greatly depending upon how I'm driving, where I'm driving etc. I can get it as low as 14 (if I'm WOT'ing a lot ) and I've seen it as high as 26, but that was stretching it (doing 80-90 from LA to Santa Barbara with little traffic).

And again on tires, I have around 18300 miles never tracked, never autocrossed etc. on my 09 and I need a new set already.


Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:10 PM   #23
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city = 22mpg
highway at 75-80mph = 27-28 mpg



and this is with GC motor oil which is a bit thicker than 5w30. and this is while going into boost occasionally, but hardly ever passing 4k rpm.


subarus can last quite a while if you keep up with maintenance and dont mod it or drive crazy with it day in and day out. i would not worry about long term reliability with any subaru that does not have any defects.


also, 2006 WRX is the best WRX overall from 02-08. If it had more power, it would have been better to get than the 09 WRX as well. Too lazy to go into details about this, you can search it up, or you can PM me if you seriously want to know.

Last edited by vinxH; 11-17-2009 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:27 PM   #24
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I've been running stage 2 for a while now and couldn't be happier with my fuel economy. I live in Denver(mile high elevation) and drive up to the mountains multiple times a week. When driving conservatively I average about 27mpg and when I pic it up I average around 24. I also commute to Houston twice a year(about 1100 miles each way) and have averaged 30+mpg per tank multiple times on these commutes. It all really depends on your driving style and whether or not the miles are city or highway. With an unmodified or stage 2 2.5 you should be able to return somewhere in the neighborhood of 30mpg.

However if you enjoy a good spirited drive in the city and you drive this way consistently don't expect much more than 22-24mpg. I definitely try to conserve gas but I can't help averaging around 20-24 in the city from time to time. Our cars beg to be pushed and from time to time you won't be able to help oblige.

You should be able to return better fuel economy in a wrx than a g35 90% of the time though. If you can stay out of boost, our cars will return close to what any 4 cylinder awd car would.

I would say go for the 06. The sedan is far more utilitarian than a g35(the wagon even more so without sacrificing very much), at stage 2 you'll trap around the same speed, and the wrx is a more driver oriented car where as the g35 is more luxury oriented. Also the wrx will be far cheaper/easier to modify reliably.

06 WRX wagon for the most fun family car you could hope to buy.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:30 PM   #25
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SBD....are you looking to buy new or used?

For getting kids in/out, consider a Legacy GT instead. They come with SI Drive, which changes some engine mapping and reduces power in economy mode. I drive a ton for work (about to hit 50k miles in my 08) and average between 27 and 28mpg in combined driving. The Legacy is bigger inside. Insurance will be cheaper and cops won't bother you. Most performance upgrades from an Impreza based car are bolt on for a LGT.

I'm not in the Republik of California, but the People's Republic of Massachusetts requires the same emissions that you have to meet. We get winter gas and snow, which would tend to make my mileage worse than yours. 27 is my winter mpg running 4 snow tires.
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