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Old 03-04-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
01tj
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Default Thinking about getting a Subaru to replace 2 of ours

I drive an 02 BMW 330i and an 01 Jeep Wrangler but I've been thinking about getting one vehicle that does most of what my currant vehicles are best at.

My Jeep is modified with lockers, lower gears and other off road stuff. The problem with it is I don't go off road any more. It is pretty much unstoppable when the weather gets bad. It always pulls forward and its great to just put it in 4wd and 1st or even low range and 2nd and creep down a snowy hill without hitting the brakes.

My BMW handles great, gets good miles, makes good noise and its pretty fun when I hit the gas. I also like having heated seats and a nice stereo for long trips.

I've been looking for a vehicle that kind of fits in between and I've always wanted a turbo Subaru. I've looked into forester and outback XT's, WRX's and of course WRX STI's.

My questions

How common is the ringland issue? Is is more or less common in any of the vehicles I listed? I know I didn't list a year but I'll probably be looking to spend around 20k. One of the things I really like about Subaru is that they are said to be reliable but this issue kind of scares me.

Are there some model years that are best to avoid? I know 08 WRX's had less power than 09's but are there any other differences that I should know about?

Anyone come to Subaru from an E46?

I'll probably add more questions later but this thread is already long enough

Thanks for any help you can give
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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I'm sure your jeep is fabulous off-road. Fun stuff!

I drove my STi through multiple Chicago winters before moving to FL. I can say that with snow tires, it was unstoppable on the streets. I would drive around all those heavy SUVs and other all-season vehicles like they were standing still. Driving sideways though intersections was a daily pleasure. I miss the white stuff!
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:30 AM   #3
01tj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-WRX View Post
I'm sure your jeep is fabulous off-road. Fun stuff!

I drove my STi through multiple Chicago winters before moving to FL. I can say that with snow tires, it was unstoppable on the streets. I would drive around all those heavy SUVs and other all-season vehicles like they were standing still. Driving sideways though intersections was a daily pleasure. I miss the white stuff!

My wife has an AWD Flex and I can tell you heavy does make a big difference. That thing moves and slides around on bad roads like nothing even with snow tires. It goes fine but it's just not as confidence inspiring as my Jeep.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
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I think the ring land issue is more of a miss use thing. I've heard that it's in the tune etc.. Bit in reality i think the pistons are just the weak spot when pushed.. Lots of luck with a stage 1 or 2. Locally on the newer ones though...
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #5
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Getting rid of two cars for one will always be a compromise, but the subie should do well. It will not be as luxury as the BMW, but it is a fun car to drive. The newer cars have better interiors and are less raw. My 04 with all the mods is a raw car and not really a touring comfortable car for long trips. As far as off-road or SUV type, the wagon or hatch can hold their own, although they are a little smaller. My wagon halls all sorts of stuff, including kayaks and a 12ft john boat on top of the rack, with no issues. You will save money as well on insurance. They are great in the rain and snow as well.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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I think most stis and wrxs have heated seats now too.

how about a 2013 Legacy 3.6r comes with awd 256hp leather and a 440-watt Harman Kardon audio system

IMHO its kinda the spot between the wrx and the bmw.

n+ are dam sexy with the right: wheels, tires, coilovers.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
01tj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiGGypiGGy View Post
I think most stis and wrxs have heated seats now too.

how about a 2013 Legacy 3.6r comes with awd 256hp leather and a 440-watt Harman Kardon audio system

IMHO its kinda the spot between the wrx and the bmw.

n+ are dam sexy with the right: wheels, tires, coilovers.

It's got to be a stick, can you get the 3.6 with a standard?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:30 PM   #8
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Your best bet is definitely a last gen Legacy GT, and a Spec.B if you can find one. Power and buildability of a WRX with luxury much closer to your BMW than any Impreza based car.
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bad72amx View Post
Your best bet is definitely a last gen Legacy GT, and a Spec.B if you can find one. Power and buildability of a WRX with luxury much closer to your BMW than any Impreza based car.

Is it any less likely to have ringland issues? I do like the Spec B's and the seats look like a great place to spend some time
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Old 03-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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Are you familiar with the models of subaru available? Sounds like you want a WRX
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:24 PM   #11
01tj
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Quote:
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Are you familiar with the models of subaru available? Sounds like you want a WRX

Yeah, I've considered looking into an 09 WRX, they seem to be in my price range. I like the package you get with the spec B, leather, 6-speed, sport mode but a newer car may be more reliable.

Last edited by 01tj; 03-10-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:53 PM   #12
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Check out Legacy GT. compare that to WRX. They are both turbo'd and manual.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #13
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Either way, a Sube will be much much much more reliable than any E46 BMW. And much cheaper to fix too.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:26 AM   #14
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Luxury and handling from the BMW 3 series in 2002 and the all weather-mobility of a Jeep Wrangler. I'd have to suggest the last model year of the USDM Legacy GT. The most recent generation came only in manuals and the Legacy and Outback have always been the more "luxurious" models from Subaru.

Of course no amount of AWD and proper winter tires can beat ground clearance which the Legacy doesn't have standard in the same regard as the WRX and STI. Your Wrangler has that in spades though.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:43 AM   #15
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Also, where are you located? Anywhere higher altitude, out west, and a turbo is a must.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimJim8804 View Post
Either way, a Sube will be much much much more reliable than any E46 BMW. And much cheaper to fix too.
So far (knock on wood) my E46 has been extremely reliable. I've always heard that Subi's are reliable its just this ringland issue that scares me. Most of the time if an E46 goes bad its a quick and easy fix that I can do over the weekend. If I have a vehicle that needs the engine pulled that's a different story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A W View Post
Luxury and handling from the BMW 3 series in 2002 and the all weather-mobility of a Jeep Wrangler. I'd have to suggest the last model year of the USDM Legacy GT. The most recent generation came only in manuals and the Legacy and Outback have always been the more "luxurious" models from Subaru.

Of course no amount of AWD and proper winter tires can beat ground clearance which the Legacy doesn't have standard in the same regard as the WRX and STI. Your Wrangler has that in spades though.
I have thought about the currant LGT. I'm not sure I like the looks but the drive is more important to me anyway. What ever I get I'll have a good set of summers and a good set of winters on separate wheels so I can dress it up for summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by point78 View Post
Also, where are you located? Anywhere higher altitude, out west, and a turbo is a must.
Good'ol WV


Will a compression check just identify a currant problem or can it tell you if there is a problem coming?
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:46 PM   #17
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Allow me to stomp this, since you've stated concerns with ringlands repeatedly. Facts:

Ringlands are still failing.

It is more prevelant on the STI, statistically.

The stock maps are garbage. They are notoriously lean and the likely culprit.

Ringlands have failed in modified cars, too, but it seems to almost always come down to improper maintenance or just sheer stupidity in driving technique.

The actual statistical data of ringland failures is MARGINAL when compared to the reality of ownership. For every failure you hear about, there are HUNDREDS, IF NOT THOUSANDS, of owners without an issue.

So, let's put the ringland issue to rest. Could it happen? Yes. Is it likely to happen to you? With the proper tune and maintenance of your vehicle, not likely.

Now, the other issues. If you're after comfort and an upscale feel, the Impreza line isn't for you. There is nothing luxurious about my Limited WRX. It has heated leather seats and a sunroof. The leather is not soft. The car rattles. There are fixes if you don't mind ripping your interior apart to pad the numerous problem areas. The stereo and speakers are laughable, at best...and that's being generous. Let's face it, though. The WRX and STI didn't have it's R&D budget broken on creature comforts. It is a beast on the street. It is a blast to drive, but it is raw by my standards (okay...not as raw as my Evo VIII). If you want the balance of comfort and speed, the Legacy GT is probably the better balance. Subaru's AWD system is everything it's cracked up to be. I'd look at the LGT unless you don't mind the huuuuge step down in interior quality.
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:51 PM   #18
01tj
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Thanks, that's a helpful post. I'm not expecting the comfort of my BMW, we also have a comfy Flex for really long trips. I just want something with a few luxuries that is fun to drive.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:57 PM   #19
Decipher
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The WRX may fit the bill. Take some time and visit a Subaru dealer. Check out the WRX and LGT. Take your time with both. The Flex is ballin, BTW! One of the craziest comfy cars on the road. No joke.
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:56 PM   #20
01tj
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Quote:
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The WRX may fit the bill. Take some time and visit a Subaru dealer. Check out the WRX and LGT. Take your time with both. The Flex is ballin, BTW! One of the craziest comfy cars on the road. No joke.

When work slows down I'm going to have to take a few days and go test drive some vehicles. I agree on the Flex, everyone who rides in it complements the ride and comfort. After I decide what I'm doing with my vehicles we will probably start looking at ecoboosted Flexes
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:09 PM   #21
Decipher
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I just wish they got better mileage! I don't need my Flex to hit 0-60 times faster than most cars on the road. I do need it to do better than 23 highway!

Anyways, let us know how the car buying goes.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:25 PM   #22
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I recently picked up an '09 SpecB and I was coming from an '05 WRX (Saabaru). My GF has an '05 Outback XT and i love her car and that generation Legacy/Outback and wanted one myself, so picked up the SpecB. All 3 are great cars, but I definitely like the SpecB and OBXT over the Saabaru. I like the interiors better, seats are more comfy on long drives, and unless you're an Audiophile, the HK stereo is a huge improvement. They just feel a bit more grown up to me. Performance wise, i feel the SpecB wins. The handling is great and I love the feel of the steering. The WRX does feel lighter and quicker. For off road the Outback wins of course, but handling suffers on pavement, body roll and sway.

I don't like the look and interiors of the latest generation Outbacks and Legacys. Haven't driven a newer WRX to compare. I'm sure some improvements have been made since '05. Unless your hard on your vehicle I wouldn't worry about ringland. As some else said, you don't hear about majority of Subies that don't have problem. Our OBXT and Saabaru both have over 110K with no problems.
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