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Old 10-06-2010, 04:12 PM   #1
tehFish
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Default Legacy to GT or not GT

Hey all, so I'm going to pull the trigger on pre-owned Legacy soon. My only issue is that I'm torn between a really low mileage great condition 2.5i (a bit cheaper than any GT I could find) or a decent 2.5GT.

The price difference I'm noticing between them is about 4-6k on average more than the 2.5i. So what really I'm having a tough time figuring out is whether that price difference is worth the performance increase? Or would that cash difference be better spent on upgrades to the 2.5i?

(and by upgrades I'm talking bolt-on wheels/suspension, exhaust, roof racks etc..)

I do take several snowboard/ski trips a year.. so I'm assuming the turbo would be handy at high altitudes.

Anyways.. what are you guys' thoughts on this??

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:02 PM   #2
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Get the GT. That way you'll never have to worry about whether or not you made the wrong purchase. Also, you'll enjoy just having the faster car stock rather than having to upgrade.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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I respectfully disagree with Frogs that Moo. A Legacy GT Turbo has likely been driven fairly hard, where as a base Legacy 2.5i has been used most likely as only basic transportation, and is therefore far more likely to provide longer and more reliable service.

On a Legacy GT you should be worried about transmission synchros, wheel bearings, the Turbo and the clutch amoungst other things likely to require replacement in the near future. Although it is entirely "possible" that such a car was only driven "normally" and wont require any unusual repairs, you really don't expect it, as the people likely to own such cars typically drive them fairly hard.

If you are willing to live with a base 2.5i and its reliable but modest performance motor, you can spend much of the extra four grand on lots of basic brake/suspension/wheel upgrades and still have money left to burn.

In addition you will save on insurance and fuel.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
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If you like performance and being able to get up to speed quickly, get the GT. If that doesn't matter to you, the 2.5i is a great choice. You will spend more than 4 grand to get a 2.5i to the performance level of a GT though, when talking about horsepower and handling combined. The i is a good car though if you really don't need a turbo.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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The only real reason for me to even consider the 2.5i was the super low mileage on an '07 vs. the 50k+ I've been seeing on other Legacy GT's. That and the fact the 2.5i was still under warranty. Insurance and fuel are least of my worries also, I commute on my motorcycle 80% of the time anyways, and my insurance quoted me a policy that wouldn't be much more on top of my current policy for either car.

But on the other hand..I want to have fun, and I'm prepared to pay the price that comes along with that. I think I've made my mind up to get the GT I'm going to be modding and voiding warranties left and right anyways so the hell with warranties I say.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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If speed is important to you at all, get the GT.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
I respectfully disagree with Frogs that Moo. A Legacy GT Turbo has likely been driven fairly hard, where as a base Legacy 2.5i has been used most likely as only basic transportation, and is therefore far more likely to provide longer and more reliable service.
...
Although it is entirely "possible" that such a car was only driven "normally" and wont require any unusual repairs, you really don't expect it, as the people likely to own such cars typically drive them fairly hard.
I respectfully disagree with your respectful disagreement. While it may not be true of the 2.5GT drivers on NASIOC (who represent a small fraction of Subaru owners), the people I see driving 2.5GTs in the real world look just like those driving 2.5is or Outbacks - 40- or 50-somethings who don't know the meaning of WOT. They bought the turbo car because it was the high end model and had leather seats, not because they were going to flog it on the back roads every chance they got.

In other words, unless the 2.5GT is already modified, I wouldn't worry in the slightest about whether it's been abused, because it almost certainly has not been abused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
On a Legacy GT you should be worried about transmission synchros, wheel bearings, the Turbo and the clutch amoungst other things likely to require replacement in the near future.
The only reason transmission syncros and the clutch should be a concern is if the previous owner doesn't know how to drive a stick worth a damn. That's just as true whether the car is a 2.5i or a 2.5GT. Wheel bearings on a 2.5i are just as likely to be worn out, as it's a somewhat common issue on Subarus, turbo or not. I suppose the turbo on a 2.5GT is more likely to be an issue than on a 2.5i, so I'll grant you that one.

And "amoungst" is not a word, even in England.

Pat Olsen

Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 10-07-2010 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:24 PM   #8
tehFish
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Thanks Patrick and everyone else. I do get the logic of a "faster/sportier" car would have been driven harder just because, but I totally get your point that it's not always the case...and we here @ NASIOC only do reresent a small portion of subaru owners.

Though, that's not even going to be the deciding factor in my purchase. I guess it only comes down to how much fun I want to have with my car.

And I want to have fun!
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:30 PM   #9
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A Legacy will always be more fun to drive than a 4cyl Camry or Accord, especially if it's a 5 speed. I had the GT for a year and loved it. That thing was quick! Then I went to stage 2 and that thing was fast! Only advice I can give is get the 5mt and if you can't, then make sure you take a look at the fluid and make sure it was changed often. Mine never had its tranny fluid changed and eventually blew on me, so I got it fixed, drove the car for the summer and had trust issues with it, so I returned it to stock and brought it back to the dealer after falling in love with my rex
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehFish View Post
But on the other hand..I want to have fun, and I'm prepared to pay the price that comes along with that. I think I've made my mind up to get the GT I'm going to be modding and voiding warranties left and right anyways so the hell with warranties I say.
I approve.

You'd have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get the 2.5i to match the power of a stock LGT. Off-the-shelf mods won't get you there. And then it would take another ridiculous amount to get it to match an LGT with $750 of upgrades. There isn't much aftermarket for the NA cars, and even if there was, the bang-for-the-buck with NA cars is nothing like turbo cars. Come to think of it... I haven't even seen anyone try.
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Old 10-08-2010, 12:30 PM   #11
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both cars have the same types of performance modifications, but you will get better bang-for-$ with each engin part you put on it. i have a N/A 2000 legacy and only gained 25HP with an intake and full exhaust. on a GT, with those mods and a tune, u could easily be near 400HP.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:31 PM   #12
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get the GT
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA-Outback2000 View Post
both cars have the same types of performance modifications, but you will get better bang-for-$ with each engin part you put on it. i have a N/A 2000 legacy and only gained 25HP with an intake and full exhaust. on a GT, with those mods and a tune, u could easily be near 400HP.
Well 400 hp seems a bit ambitious.. I'd be happy with 350ish, I'm guessing the Gt is probably the best place to start then.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
I respectfully disagree with your respectful disagreement. While it may not be true of the 2.5GT drivers on NASIOC (who represent a small fraction of Subaru owners), the people I see driving 2.5GTs in the real world look just like those driving 2.5is or Outbacks - 40- or 50-somethings who don't know the meaning of WOT. They bought the turbo car because it was the high end model and had leather seats, not because they were going to flog it on the back roads every chance they got.

In other words, unless the 2.5GT is already modified, I wouldn't worry in the slightest about whether it's been abused, because it almost certainly has not been abused.

The only reason transmission syncros and the clutch should be a concern is if the previous owner doesn't know how to drive a stick worth a damn. That's just as true whether the car is a 2.5i or a 2.5GT. Wheel bearings on a 2.5i are just as likely to be worn out, as it's a somewhat common issue on Subarus, turbo or not. I suppose the turbo on a 2.5GT is more likely to be an issue than on a 2.5i, so I'll grant you that one.
While I certainly agree that the second and third generation Legacy GTs (1996-2004) are frequently owned by the sort of people who clearly have no interest in performance driving, the addition of the turbocharger to the 2005+ Legacy GTs has brought forth a great deal of enthusiastic, performance oriented drivers to the Legacy fold and only a rather small percentage of these performance oriented enthusiastic motorists have discovered the North American Subaru Impreza Owner's Club, LegacyGT.com, I-Club.com or SLi.com web sites. Yeah, there are still a few elderly drivers who for what ever reasons did indeed choose to purchase a Legacy GT, but more so now than in the past the word is certainly out and the Legacy GT is selling primarily to the younger more performance oriented motorists.

Yes, I agree that clutch and transmission failures do tend to result from those who are not familiar with the proper operation of these components. These failures are also rather common with folks who choose to drag race or to street race and are more likely to intentionally abuse their automobiles then elderly drivers who are typically only interested in getting from point A to point B.

I also feel that those who drive long distances and those who frequently approach their cars maximum cornering potential are more likely to experience wheel bearing failures than those who drive gently and drive mostly shorter distances. These "non-enthusiast" sorts of people are far more likely to choose a base 2.5i than a GT.

From what "theFish" has posted, I think that he is going to be much better off and happier with a Legacy GT than a more pedestrian 2.5i. You could spend 4-6 grand on performance modifications to a 2.5i and never reach anything like the performance of a stock Legacy GT.
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:22 PM   #15
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I'd be a whole lot less worried about buying a turbo Legacy than a turbo Impreza. The majority of the LGT owners I've met are a different breed than the WRX and STI owners. Years older (30s, not 20s), laid back, nothing to prove. Yes a lot of us drive enthusiastically, but other than a couple of folks, its' nothing like the turbo Impreza crowd.

400hp takes a lot more than basic mods though, even if you mean crank hp. You can probably hit 300chp with intake, exhaust, and tuning, but you won't get much higher without a bigger turbo. (Maybe with race gas or E85, I guess.)
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
I respectfully disagree with Frogs that Moo. A Legacy GT Turbo has likely been driven fairly hard, where as a base Legacy 2.5i has been used most likely as only basic transportation, and is therefore far more likely to provide longer and more reliable service.
That is a POOR assumption. Not every turbo owner rags on their cars and there a plenty of people who drive "regular" cars that are horrible drivers and maintainers.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:01 AM   #17
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forgot.. my number was with a gt30r turbo. 350HP is more accurate.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:06 PM   #18
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So I'm having a very difficult time finding a Legacy out here in LA, yesterday I went to South Coast and they have a nice Legacy 3.0R ... it's really nice and fully loaded.. BUT it's automatic and has fake wood.. i really hate fake wood.

Thus being the 3.0 n/a i could forget about any engine/turbo mods I could think of..maybe some suspension upgrades but that'd be it. You guy's thoughts on the 3.0?
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #19
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3.0s are hard to find performance products for. You could fabricate something up for it if that's what you are good at. There might be a supercharger kit, but most people on the 3.0 echo the same complaints of the 2.5i when it comes to aftermarket support. Theoretically you can get much better performance with forced induction on the 3.0, due to the larger displacement, but finding parts for that will be quite complicated. The GT is pretty easy to find mods for since a lot of the engine components can be swapped with STI parts.
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:00 PM   #20
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they have the same exhausts as the 2.5's, but not the header or cat sections to my knowledge. u can put on a turbo and run low boost or check with perrin to c what they did to their H6. there may be some JDM partd since the spec. b or B4 over there is now the H6, i think.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:41 PM   #21
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OP: if you are spirited driver at all then go for the LGT.

Couple of suggestions: make sure you have a thorough inspection of whatever car you are looking at, especially the GT.

A local subie tuner has the ability to simply plug in the the GT and know if the current tune matches the set-up of the car and how healthy it is running.

Currently in Utah there are many used vehicles for sale where mods have been taken off the car before trade-in and then the vehicle runs poorly because the tune hasn't been updated. One can typically expect greater fuel economy and a much smoother car if tuned properly.

A qualified subie guy will know whether you are looking at a clean GT or somebody's trouble they've traded in.

Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:11 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
While it may not be true of the 2.5GT drivers on NASIOC (who represent a small fraction of Subaru owners), the people I see driving 2.5GTs in the real world look just like those driving 2.5is or Outbacks - 40- or 50-somethings who don't know the meaning of WOT. They bought the turbo car because it was the high end model and had leather seats, not because they were going to flog it on the back roads every chance they got.
I would disagree with that, respectfully. 4th gen LGTs are "rare." In my experience, probably half of every LGT I've seen on the road has been modded. And if you see a stock LGT, it doesn't mean the owner doesn't know the meaning of WOT, it just means the car is still under warranty I was stock until about 55k miles... now... I'm not. But my driving habits haven't changed

If you want the LGT, then get it. Just realize that you will have maintenance items on a higher mileage car. If you can afford the GT, then you can't afford to not get one. There are tons of high mileage GTs out there with many miles left on them. I have ~72k on mine right now and I drive it like I stole it EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. No serious problems. Don't let yourself regret not buying a turbo. The 2.5i has virtually no modification potential what-so-ever.
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:20 AM   #23
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Always go for the older higher end model. This is a rule!

Say you have $xxxx, and that can buy, say, a 95 STi, or a 99 WRX. You'd be a fool for getting the WRX. Same applies to 2.5GT's and 2.5i's
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:08 PM   #24
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get a LGT.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:56 AM   #25
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how much money would it actually cost me to drop in a turbo and run all the new stuff needed on an 05 legacy NON-GT and turn it into a GT...perhaps a little faster...and the parts would most likely be cheap because i work for subaru and i know this look bad because i work for them but i do sales and im not to familiar with the engine and whether or not the engine has to be taken out of the car for pieces to be welded onto it or what needs to be done someone please help me out here thanks
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