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Old 02-28-2016, 09:02 PM   #1
Skibum91
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Default Time to switch to a WRX or STI?

Hi everyone! Long time reader, first time poster here. I'm a 24 year old public accountant and as the title says, I've been a VW guy for about 9 years now and am thinking about switching car brands. I'm currently driving a 2015 VW GLI SEL that has APR Stage 2, Unitronic turboback exhaust, carbonio intake and lowered on Koni sports/H&R springs. I thought this was going to be my car for 4-5 years, but I've had a lot of issues with rattles, things breaking and other mechanical issues so I want to get rid of it. My choice of a good new car for after-college life was definitely a bad one...

I was thinking about getting a CPO BMW 335i xDrive but it's almost impossible to find one with a manual. I've always been a fan of Subarus so naturally that was my next choice since I will not buy another VW. The main things that I want are AWD, manual transmission, ~300hp and decent interior. I'm a very finicky person so I'm a little curious if any of you have experienced many issues with rattles or anything that would bother a picky person? Any other recommendations or input on making the switch from VW to Subaru? Would you recommend an STI or WRX for someone who likes to mod, drive hard, but never tracks? My main draw to the STI is the big spoiler lol.

I don't have much experience with Subaru but have driven a 2004 STI a few years ago. From what I remember I liked it, but it wasn't as luxurious as my VWs. My local dealership has a few WRXs and an STI but won't let me drive them 😿

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:10 PM   #2
spritefiend
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Get what you want, if you want an STi, get one!

Why won't dealerships let you test drive them??
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:51 PM   #3
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Get what you want, if you want an STi, get one!

Why won't dealerships let you test drive them??
The don't allow people to test drive them Unless they have money down. If I were to get one I'd order a black one vs the grey they have but I'm not ordering a car before driving one
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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The don't allow people to test drive them Unless they have money down. If I were to get one I'd order a black one vs the grey they have but I'm not ordering a car before driving one
Interesting. I never had that issue. Did you try another dealership?

You could try a CarMax if you have one near you and test drive a similar year.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:26 PM   #5
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Interesting. I never had that issue. Did you try another dealership?

You could try a CarMax if you have one near you and test drive a similar year.
I live in a pretty small city so there's only 1 Subaru dealer around and no CarMax. Generally speaking is there much room for negotiation on STIs?
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Skibum91 View Post
Hi everyone! Long time reader, first time poster here. I'm a 24 year old public accountant and as the title says, I've been a VW guy for about 9 years now and am thinking about switching car brands. I'm currently driving a 2015 VW GLI SEL that has APR Stage 2, Unitronic turboback exhaust, carbonio intake and lowered on Koni sports/H&R springs. I thought this was going to be my car for 4-5 years, but I've had a lot of issues with rattles, things breaking and other mechanical issues so I want to get rid of it. My choice of a good new car for after-college life was definitely a bad one...

I was thinking about getting a CPO BMW 335i xDrive but it's almost impossible to find one with a manual. I've always been a fan of Subarus so naturally that was my next choice since I will not buy another VW. The main things that I want are AWD, manual transmission, ~300hp and decent interior. I'm a very finicky person so I'm a little curious if any of you have experienced many issues with rattles or anything that would bother a picky person? Any other recommendations or input on making the switch from VW to Subaru? Would you recommend an STI or WRX for someone who likes to mod, drive hard, but never tracks? My main draw to the STI is the big spoiler lol.

I don't have much experience with Subaru but have driven a 2004 STI a few years ago. From what I remember I liked it, but it wasn't as luxurious as my VWs. My local dealership has a few WRXs and an STI but won't let me drive them 😿

Any help would be much appreciated!
As someone who started with Subaru, went to german cars and then came back, I can tell you that there are a few things that Subaru has that the German cars don't and vis versa.

For starters, no matter what car you get, the interior in a Subaru, while nice, is not luxury whatsoever. If you really need a nice cabin, you will most likely want to go with the BMW. Also, the interior noise on a Subaru is loud. I just dynomatted my entire STi swapped Forester over the last few weeks and that helps, but it is a big project and you will always have some road noise... They are not quiet cars, especially when you start modding them.

I had a 535i, Mercedes E63 AMG, BMW e92 M3, 2004 WRX and a 2004 STi at various points. My wife also has a new VW GTi. The best part about the Subaru in my opinion is going to be the reliability of the car if you build it right. The German cars are awesome, but even with a warranty, they end up in the shop a whole lot and while you will love it while you drive it, you most likely will be annoyed with how the BMW ages... I have driven the 335xi in a manual (good luck finding one that has been well cared for and is CPO), and the transmission is nice. You will find the throws are easy and the clutch is light. I think it leans a little on the boring side when it comes to driving, but it is a great car.

As far as getting rid of the VW for rattling issues, I think this is going to be your biggest issue. Subarus in my experience tend to start rattling after 30-40k miles. It is pretty much a constant battle trying to get rid of them. I have used dynamat on every single panel and on all floors of my car and have mostly eliminated rattles... But you will always have some minor rattle that you try to hunt down.

I am young as well, but my opinion is that you have the rest of your life to drive a BMW if you want, but while you are young, get a Subaru and have fun customizing it to your liking. If you plan on keeping the car a long time, I would seriously lean towards Subaru as well as you will need to allocate 3-4k in maintenance and repairs on that BMW a year once it is out of warranty. Big issues out of warranty can mean big bucks. Parts, labor, maintenance, etc. is all much cheaper and a well built Subaru will give you as much, if not more, driving fun.

As far as the difference between the STi and the WRX, I would say first of all, if you think you would want your WRX at the end of the day to be like an STi, just go ahead and get the STi. A lot of folks though can build the WRX out and be super happy with the results. Just don't get a WRX with the intention of being an STi one day, because it is just way cheaper to grab the STi to begin with. If you are looking at a new one, do some research on the new engines on the WRX. I think a lot of people really like them. I have driven a 2015 WRX, and it is night and day different from my old WRX and STi.

So WRX if you want reliable, fun and you are going to get a 15 MY or newer. STi if you plan to heavily mod and want to go back a couple of MYs. There are tons of comparisons of the cars. Really just goes back to what you really want to do with the car.

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:09 AM   #7
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On any previous Subaru I've owned, I'd definitely agree with you on the noise, vibration and harshness aspects, as well as the interior quality.

However with my 2016 WRX, I couldn't disagree more. It's incredibly quiet bone stock, and it has a very nice interior; but that's compared to other Subaru's and not a more luxurious car.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:41 AM   #8
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OP, you can get an STI without the spoiler. I'm not sure if its only optional with the Limited model or not, but its an option nonetheless.
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:05 AM   #9
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Also have the 16 WRX, the interior noise is a lot better even from the 15 wrx which my friend has. Don't get me wrong it's still there but definitely bearable
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:57 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies! I guess since I was 15-16 I've wanted one but never thought I'd be able to afford one this early in my life. I actually love the wing haha.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:39 AM   #11
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only rattles I have in my STI is the overhead dome light when I play music with a lot of bass
but I have the sub in the back, if it weren't for that I doubt it would rattle at all
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by spritefiend View Post
Interesting. I never had that issue. Did you try another dealership?

You could try a CarMax if you have one near you and test drive a similar year.
It's an issue in certain regions (my brother and I both had to wait until the day of pickup to actually test drive in 2011 and 2015) and that was different dealers. Maybe they don't sell as many in southern California so the dealers are more willing to entice buyers?
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:11 AM   #13
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Our 2015 STI is night and day quieter than the 2011 WRX. And the 2011 WRX was night and day quieter than 2002 WRX. That doesn't mean that it's going to compare to a new BMW or AUDI.

I would get a new WRX, better gas mileage, now has a 6spd also, 10,000 dollars cheaper! The STI really only has the center diff and the better brakes and suspension over the WRX. With a COBB tune and no parts a WRX beats the STI.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:18 AM   #14
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If buyers weren't so picky about miles on a car they are buying i'm sure more dealers would allow test drives. What you need to understand is kids and adults stop in to dealerships all the time just to test drive and abuse these cars that are on the lot and they don't plan purchasing that day. I can't count how many test drives I've been on where customers get upset because i won't allow them to go WOT on a brand new car that has not been broken in. On the other hand the dealers that don't allow test drives are shooting themselves in the leg.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:25 AM   #15
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wrxlaunch, I think way too many people do that with no intention of buying. I've never test driven new cars for joy rides. I wouldn't let a 20 something that pulled up in a POS test drive a WRX and STI, unless they showed me their W-2 from last year, or have been preapproved for a 30-40k auto loan. Sorry
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by spritefiend View Post
On any previous Subaru I've owned, I'd definitely agree with you on the noise, vibration and harshness aspects, as well as the interior quality.

However with my 2016 WRX, I couldn't disagree more. It's incredibly quiet bone stock, and it has a very nice interior; but that's compared to other Subaru's and not a more luxurious car.
Correct. It may be the quietest and the nicest interior a WRX has ever had, but it is a giant step down from the higher end BMW/Mercedes of the world (One of which he is looking at as an alternative). But they are in two completely different categories which is what makes them hard to compare.

If you were to hop from a 14,15 WRX into a 16 it may get way better, but he is coming from VW, which depending on the model, have fairly nice interiors. The golf R interior vs. the STi interior is a good example.

But to that point, if you care most about the inside of the cabin, that is not who Subaru is aiming for anyway. The driving is what gets you there, reliability keeps you there. Subaru is just learning they need to keep working on the interior so they can keep people like us who have driven Subarus a long time but are going to be in their 30-40s soon still in the game.

Bottom line, they won't let you go test drive an STi, so go and drive the new WRX and see what you think. I am pretty sure you will like the way it drives. If you don't like it for some reason, then start looking elsewhere. WRX is the logical test drive starting point.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:37 AM   #17
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If if get a WRX limited will the seats be the same as an STI limited? Any other options I'd be missing?
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by wrxlaunch View Post
If buyers weren't so picky about miles on a car they are buying i'm sure more dealers would allow test drives. What you need to understand is kids and adults stop in to dealerships all the time just to test drive and abuse these cars that are on the lot and they don't plan purchasing that day. I can't count how many test drives I've been on where customers get upset because i won't allow them to go WOT on a brand new car that has not been broken in. On the other hand the dealers that don't allow test drives are shooting themselves in the leg.

I like the idea some other brands have of putting test drive models into the loaner pool. That way they could let customers test drive and then use it as a loaner (which I think should be a no-brainer for any dealer to use their own brand for loaners). Why should I have to drive a crappy Sonata when I leave my Subaru for service?
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:06 PM   #19
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Most dealerships do allow you to loan out their cars. But certainly not the sport models.

If you are worried about rattles don't buy a Subaru. Modding is going to depend on what power you want, but "stage 2" (exhaust, tune) is as far as you want to go for reliability. You can certainly add other bolt ons on, but swapping turbo and built engines are extremely expensive and not reliable.

So, if you are comfortable with 300whp or less on pump gas, buy a Subaru. If you want to run E85 that'll up the power, but could also cause issues with quality of the fuel differing from station to station. I think the biggest issue is really whether you want power, luxury, or reliability. Personally, I don't feel Subaru offers any of those, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skibum91 View Post
The don't allow people to test drive them Unless they have money down. If I were to get one I'd order a black one vs the grey they have but I'm not ordering a car before driving one
Then find another dealership that's asnine.

Also get a WRX over the STi if you plan to modify since the 2.5 is not a very good engine.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:45 PM   #21
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Subaru's are notorious for squeak's and rattles, see THIS THREAD and as a picky person myself, a little rattle here and there doesn't bother me at all.

Our interiors are also not something to necessarily write home about...but thats not why I bought a WRX.

Living in New England, the WRX hatch was the most practical option. Form and function - this car wins in every category for me. I don't have much experience with mods but I can tell you that even a completely stock WRX still has me smiling every time I drive it.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:54 PM   #22
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subaru!
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:50 PM   #23
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I just drove the 2016 STI in my city with 17 miles on it and all I can say is "OMG" 🙀...it seemed more solid than my GLI and absolutely crazy fun to drive. Keeping it under 80 is hard lol. They are getting in two more WRXs and will let me drive them when they come in. The trick was taking my mom with me hahaha. Any ideas when I could get a 2017?!
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skibum91 View Post
I just drove the 2016 STI in my city with 17 miles on it and all I can say is "OMG" 🙀...it seemed more solid than my GLI and absolutely crazy fun to drive. Keeping it under 80 is hard lol. They are getting in two more WRXs and will let me drive them when they come in. The trick was taking my mom with me hahaha. Any ideas when I could get a 2017?!
Man I know it feels awesome it's a great car, but the engine is really flawed, and I say that having owned one. Just get the WRX the 2.0 direct injected engine should be much better overall. Yes the STi is fun with the 2.5 but long term it may bite you in the ass.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:11 PM   #25
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Man I know it feels awesome it's a great car, but the engine is really flawed, and I say that having owned one. Just get the WRX the 2.0 direct injected engine should be much better overall. Yes the STi is fun with the 2.5 but long term it may bite you in the ass.
Why do you think it will bite me in the ass?
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