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Old 07-05-2002, 12:43 AM   #1
SeanLiew
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Default Used Impreza or new Spec-V

Hey guys

i've been on here lurking a lot cuz

a) I drive my parents outback, my friend has an MY01RS whch i love.

b) I always wanted an impreza

A few months back, I was shopping for a used (impreza was still out of my price range). After many disappointments, I learned the MSRP of a Spec-V was only 21500. i always liked the car, but didn't know it was so cheap. Anyways, right now I have a (refundable) deposit on a 2003 Spec-V, to be delivered late october early november.

Now, my sales guy at Centaur Subaru (calgary) just called and told me he has a Silver 5-Speed RS. I didn't ask what year because I told him I already had another car ordered and wasn't interested anymore.

Now I am going to see the car tomorrow just to find out the price/year/condition.

Now, say I get a good deal on the impreza (hoping for around 20k), which would you rather have and why? The used impreza 2.5RS or the Nissan Sentra Spec-V?

Both have 2.5L engines, with almost the same power (Nissan has 175HP, 180TQ). Spec-V has a differential, which the impreza may or may not have. But my Spec-V won't have ABS or sunroof.

The car will just be my daily driver as I go through school, not any serious mods, perhaps some autocrossing I hope to get into.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 07-05-2002, 12:45 AM   #2
SeanLiew
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Oh yea, and the obvious AWD vs FWD.

Just for the record, my deal on the Spec-V didn't seem that great to me, but the Spec-V guys thought it was decent.

I'm getting MSRP with free tint and a set of 15'' steeles (Spec-V comes with 17's and summer tires)

Also, the pricing isn't out on the 2003's yet, the price is expected to go up 2-3%.
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Old 07-05-2002, 12:52 AM   #3
markus
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That's such a personal question as everyone has different opinions.

I've always leaned towards new car purchases as it provides such peace of mind that you are not potentially buying someone elses problems. That also being said, with a new car you will take a *****-kicking on depreciation, so if you go new, keep it for a long time. With a used car of 2-3 years, you will still probably get a portion of the warranty remaining and a lot of the depreciation will have already taken place.

However, a couple things of note.

1.) FWD vs AWD is no comparison, especially when you consider that we have snow and/or poor driving conditions for a minimum of 5-months of the year.
2.) ABS vs No-ABS is also no comparison for the exact same reasons mentioned above.

Good luck and I'm sure whatever you decide. you will be happy with your decision.

Cheers,
MB
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Old 07-05-2002, 01:11 AM   #4
SeanLiew
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Thanks for the response

Gonna throw in another question you brought up...
What do you guys think about ABS/no-ABS with our winters?

I am a pretty new driver (2 years).
1st year - mazda 323, didn't even know what ABS was...no problems (except that the mazda's tranny died).

2nd year - Subaru outback, found out what ABS did, thought I was invincible and almost smacked into another car. (yea yea, then I started reading these forums and smartened up a lot!) After that incident, I learned not to rely on ABS and try to avoid braking that would make the ABS come on. But in a few cases, it did work as intended.
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Old 07-05-2002, 01:32 AM   #5
markus
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No offense intended, but ABS will not save you from excessive speed.

The road, weather, and the condition of your tires will deem what that "excessive speed" is. Obviously with studded winter tires vs summer tires in the snow will give you two different levels of grip on both an ABS and non-ABS car. What ABS allows you to do is make minute (i.e very small changes to the direction of your car to avoid a collosion AND shorten the stopping distance over a locked wheel(s).
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Old 07-05-2002, 01:45 AM   #6
SeanLiew
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Yep I knew that, but I thought the stopping distance and control was a lot more than it actually was. Anyways I understand that now.
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Old 07-05-2002, 04:42 AM   #7
Keiho
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Agree with Markus, with a new car you will be getting everything "right".

With a used car there might be problems.

With that said, personally, I'd probably go for the Impreza since it's AWD and you guys have real winters over there. If it was say...here in Vancouver I'd probably lean towards the new car.
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Old 07-05-2002, 09:29 AM   #8
grandmasterchan
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I think you're going to see a little bias here as this is an impreza board, but check out www.freshalloy.com

My friend had purchased a SpecV brand new. Although he loved it, he felt it wasn't practical enough for winters. (This is b/c he had the 17's on.) However the price on the Spec V for what you get is excellent.

Now usually with most city winters all you need is FWD and a good set of snow tires. Saying that, the awd is so much better in the winter. Driving in Calgary , I highly reccomend awd. It's just soo darn hilly there.

Good luck, just do your research.
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Old 07-05-2002, 10:09 AM   #9
insurgent
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im in almost the same situation as you. spec v which is $21,900 or impreza TS which is $21,900. went to my local dealers in mississauga (largest automotive complex in canada) and all spec v's including the 10 on the lot were sold out, and no deals on the 2003's in september because the cars are selling so well. So we looked at the impreza and after tax, freight, pdi and everything it comes to $28,000 plus a 4 grand down payment, and they wont budge on the financing which is rediculously high. so either way i have no outstanding incentives to buy each car, its just whether i want a really quick, but bad winter car, or a moderatly quick, good winter , practical car. which do i choose.....
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Old 07-05-2002, 10:12 AM   #10
insurgent
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oh and btw the 2003 spec v prices according to the manager at the nissan dealer is $24,300
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:29 AM   #11
rhung
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Quote:
A few months back, I was shopping for a used (impreza was still out of my price range). After many disappointments, I learned the MSRP of a Spec-V was only 21500.
Quote:
Just for the record, my deal on the Spec-V didn't seem that great to me, but the Spec-V guys thought it was decent.

I'm getting MSRP with free tint and a set of 15'' steeles (Spec-V comes with 17's and summer tires)
Considering the popularity of the SE-R and its youth in the car market, I don't see much chance of getting a price much below that of MSRP. Getting free tint and steelies is better than nothing. Would you also get winter tires with the steelies? That would be a better bargain. In all fairness, the Spec-V guys are right in that the deal is decent, at this time. Additionally, I wouldn't believe the proposed price increase if that is what the salesman told you. The SE-R is way too new for salesmen to know what the prices are going to be for next year.

Quote:
Now, my sales guy at Centaur Subaru (calgary) just called and told me he has a Silver 5-Speed RS....<snip> Now, say I get a good deal on the impreza (hoping for around 20k),
Possible to get one at that price. Few months back, there were a few RS floating around the 20-21k mark.

Quote:
which would you rather have and why? The used impreza 2.5RS or the Nissan Sentra Spec-V? Both have 2.5L engines, with almost the same power (Nissan has 175HP, 180TQ). Spec-V has a differential, which the impreza may or may not have. But my Spec-V won't have ABS or sunroof. The car will just be my daily driver as I go through school, not any serious mods, perhaps some autocrossing I hope to get into.
Tough call. I'm no fan of the rear suspension that the Spec V uses but the engine looks to be bottled up and appears to have good potential from standard bolt ons. Additionally, you would get (hopefully) a full set of winter tires and steelies to go along with the OEM summer tires. The RS, on the other hand, has AWD of course plus a rear LSD if you get the 99-01 variants. There is something of a aftermarket available for the RS but I think the SE-R aftermarket will grow quickly. But the pricing of the RS is a bonus. You should be able to get a much better deal with the RS than you can with the SE-R. Styling is a subjective thing, including the interior styling... The fit and finish of the Impreza is average. Squeaks and rattles are common with it.

Still, I think I would pull for the RS if I were to make a decision now reason being, I don't like purchasing 1st year production cars. But either car you go with, can't do you wrong.

Ray
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Old 07-05-2002, 02:49 PM   #12
inpreza kid
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IMO subaru ABS is hardly useful. stopping the car on harsh road conditions is up to the driver.

Spec-v VS 2.5RS

Spec-v
Brand new
FWD
front LSD
little bit more power

2.5RS
used
AWD
ABS
might get rear LSD depending on year
will probably cost just as much as a new spec-v

for 2.5's stay away from 98's, they have crappy engines. 99's are ok but doesn't have rear LSD and tend to blow maf's if you install a intake. 00/01 would be the best to get, comes with rear LSD's.

the RS has been out for a few year so most of the problems have been solved. spec-v is new so no one knows of any problems it might have.

EDIT: forgot to add something. Get insurance quotes on both cars before you make your decision. i have to buy my own insurance plan later on this month and i got quotes from $5000-$8000 . no tickets or accidents..... this is for a 2000 2.5RS.

Last edited by inpreza kid; 07-05-2002 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 07-05-2002, 07:43 PM   #13
markus
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Inpreza:

You're paying the YDC Insurance factor, that's why it's so high.
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Old 07-05-2002, 08:17 PM   #14
inpreza kid
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hey markus. what is the "YDC Insurance factor"? is there any way i can lower my insurance premium? i'm taking some stupid drivers training course over the next few weeks in edmonton. from what i hear it doesn't help much.
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:33 PM   #15
markus
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Sorry inpreza, just messin' with ya'

YDC stand for Young, Dumb and full of Come <=== told to me by a client one time to describe what we do when we're younger

No offense meant.
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Old 07-06-2002, 02:52 AM   #16
inpreza kid
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thats sooo..... true haha. oh well. i guess we all gotta start somewhere.

EDIT: yeah, thinking about it some more. young and stupid does go together well. my latest mod proves that right

Last edited by inpreza kid; 07-06-2002 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 07-06-2002, 03:31 PM   #17
damianq
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Hands down get teh Spec-V for several reasons:
1. Cheaper to insure. 4 door, N/A, compact class is the cheapest CAR to insure.
2. FWD is good for winter as long as care is taken. AWD is not beneficial as a daily driver for the majority of the year.
3. AWD costs more to maintain and repair.
4. Should anything happen, FWD Nissans are more inexpensive to repair than AWD Subarus. I did not say cheaper, just less expensive.
5. The silver RS that they have is a good car (i've taken a look at it) although the warranty is almost up. If something goes wrong w/in 3 years, the new car warranty of the Spec-V can save you ALOT of money down the road.
6. CDN Nissan dealerships have a good reputation w/ thier new car buyers. Alot of Subaru owners complain of poor dealer service. This is not a local phenomenom, it's a problem both in Canada & the US.
7. The Nissan does not have as much drivetrain loss as the Subaru's so they FEEL faster esp. w/ the LSD. They handle better as well although they don't have the level of grip at the edge as the Subies.
8. Cheaper on fuel.
9. Nissans overall lend themselves to tuning much more than do the Subarus

I have a Suby a wouldn't trade it on anything, but if I were a young buck looking at these two cars, I'd go for the Spec-V. You can't beat the feeling of driving your own brand new car. It lasts until you get the first door ding.
Just my 0.02
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Old 07-06-2002, 04:35 PM   #18
Robin2
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I was going to reply but waited for more comments..... so here's mine....

For the issue new vs used..... I'm always a big proponent of buying new in the first place.... I'm sure the RS will need brakes to be replaced very soon.... if it hasn't already been changed..... I'm at 72k and my fronts are almost done but mind you I do solo2, road track events etc..... I'm surprised they've lasted this long.... Other in the Ottawa club use the car (point a to b) and have already changed their brakes at 60kms....

On a used car, you have to expect to start replacing parts..... it's a must.... and then you have 96kms service.... this could be pretty expensive.... If you don't do your own maintenance (have the dealer do it) then a used car is going to be lots more $$.

My friend has an 02 SER spec V (no moonroof, he regrets in not getting it though)...... and he let me drive it on a few occasions.....

The last few times, I drove it pretty hard and I was impressed in its handling abilities.... but it didn't give me that full scence of security that the AWD does... The SER chassis is pretty stiff and I managed to lift the inside rear tire on a few occasions.... The stock 17" tires are pretty cheap.... Continentals... but on most cars, the stock tires usually suck....

The 6spd is very nice..... very surprising.... the car feels a bit faster than my 99RS (engine is stock).... but handling doesn't compare....

Overall, if you need a car that's reliable and to have some fun with.... buy the SER spec V over the used subaru RS and in 3-4 years trade up for WRX......

Robin
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Old 07-10-2002, 05:20 PM   #19
Automaton
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My wife and I are in exactly the same situation except we can buy practically any car we want but, because we are not fools with money and we want a smallish car cause we live and drive in a big city, and we have to get one with a slushbox because my wife doesn't do standard, we narrowed down our choice to a new, 2003, Impreza TS or RS or a Nissan SE-R. I have thoroughly searched around for info and read a lot on the Sentra and Subaru focused bulletin boards but we are no closer to deciding which one to get. Each has pros and cons so we may just have to flip a coin.
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Old 07-11-2002, 12:04 AM   #20
codger
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I considered the Spec-V also, but got the OBS instead for several reasons:

AWD - it is really nice on our Volvo in a foot of snow with good winter tires (Gislaveds, unstudded). Our FWD 87 Accord with studded tires is adequate, but on icy roads the Volvo beats it in accelerating and stopping. The Subie with the stock all season tires also beats the FWD in accelating only. The studs on the Honda really bite on cornering, so I will be putting a set on the OBS this winter. It was useful to already own the AWD and studded FWD cars to help decide this factor for the Spec V vs the OBS.

Wagon - I know you're looking at the RS sedan vs the Spec V, but the wagon was a big factor for me. So don't let my requirements and decision influence you here if you don't need the utility of a wagon.

Image/looks Spec V too much of a boy racer car for a codger like me, what with those orange seats.

Place of manufacture - Japan for the Subaru, Mexico for the Spec V

Good luck you can't go too wrong with either.

Jim
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Old 07-11-2002, 12:57 AM   #21
Automaton
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Here is the 2003 Sentra model line-up. This might help.

http://www.b15sentra.net/forums/show...threadid=30075
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Old 07-11-2002, 12:36 PM   #22
inpreza kid
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just cause it says "made in japan" on impreza's doesn't mean they are really made there.... haha. i don't know. i find it hard to believe sometimes.
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:17 PM   #23
99TS
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I could be wrong, but if the VIN # starts with a "J", it is made in Japan.
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:25 PM   #24
Robin2
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Subarus are made in Japan except for the Legacy and Outback. They're made at the Indiana Plant..... I know the wiring harnesses are now from Mexico (all subarus)..... that's the service manager was telling a year ago.....

not as good as they used to be in the mid to early 90's......

I didn't know that the Sentra was made in Mexico.....

Robin
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Old 07-12-2002, 01:14 AM   #25
damianq
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The 1st letter/number of a VIN designates the country of origin. It' a matter of international law. It just so happens that Mexico has come to an agreement w/ Nissan, the plant facility is an "off-shore" property & is therefore taxed as such. Honda & Toyota have the same agreement w/ the US gov't for their Accord & Camry plants respectively. In Canada, such tax sheltering is illegal.
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