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Old 04-15-2014, 01:08 PM   #1
northernhustle
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Default 2014 Subaru WRX STI or Nissan GT-R: What should I buy?

Hello gentlemen,

Just a quick disclaimer before I get into it; I understand that I am asking a question regarding a Nissan car on a Subaru forum, and I understand that there may be an inherent bias, but I intend to ask this question on the GT-R forum as well.

So anyway, I just registered on NASIOC today. I am a long time lurker. As a long time car enthusiast, I am looking to ditch my old clunker (2006 civic si) and purchase a new sports car. I have narrowed down my choice to two, as you can see the Nissan GT-R and the Subaru STI. I am currently thinking of the 2014 STI and I understand that the next gen 2015 model is coming out literally within the next month and that there have been some changes to the chassis, suspension, ECU, styling, etc. I can be talked into going for the 2015, but I really don't see too much of a difference between the 2014 and 2015 (though I personally like the styling of the 2011+ more than the 2015). I intend to go new if I buy a STI (2014 or 2015) and I intend to go used if I go with the GT-R (2011+).

I have narrowed it down to these 2 cars for many reasons, but one of the most salient is based on the location that I live: Toronto, Canada. Here we get a fair amount of snow in the winter and I intend to drive this car all year long and anything that isn't AWD isn't gonna cut it. I intend to get a set of snow tires as well.

basically what I'm looking for is as follows:

1. High performance
2. Winter driving control and performance (with snow tires)
3. Comfortable at highway speed
4. A good sound system
5. Good resale value
6. I do not plan to mod the car (except perhaps some bolt-ons)
7. The ride can be firm, I don't care.
8. It's gotta be Japanese
9. It's gotta be cool as ****


1. High Performance

In this department, the GT-R takes the cake. This car performs crazy well on the track and is often compared to 911s, M3, etc. I get it. But when it comes down to it, it is not THAT much more significant in every day driving. While I do intend to take the car to the track in the summer once in a while, I don't really need crazy performance, and the STI is no slouch in this department either.

Basically, despite the greater performance found in the GT-R, both cars perform well enough for me.

2. Winter driving performance.

I have not driven either in the snow, so I can only gauge this one based on hearsay. I would think that both would perform quite well in this department. The GT-R is 600 lbs heavier so this puts more weight down on the wheels equating to more traction, but a lot of that comes from the V6 on the front wheels. The Subaru can be switched to put 50/50 torque split to the front/rear while the GT-R does this automatically (though this may be the case in the Subaru as well with the active torque-vectoring). The GT-R's ride height is ridiculously low, but I am not sure if plowing some snow will necessarily make the car handle worse or affect its ability to unstuck itself.

In this department, I thin that both cars are sufficient for my winter driving needs, but I have a slight bias toward the Subaru given its rally car heritage and also winter driving in a Subaru just sounds right, while I feel like the GT-R would be out of its element in the snow.

3. Comfortable at highway speeds

This one I do not have sufficient information on. Comfort at highway speeds means minimal noise, decent-ish ride (but I'm not to picky on that) and comfortable seats.
I understand that the STI has a short-ish sixth gear and has a slight drone on the highway with minimal sound dampening materials built into the car. I would imagine that the turbo is NOT spooling when going 120 km/h on the highway, but correct me if that is not the case. The GT-R has sound-cancelling technology which works with the sound system, but I also do not have sufficient information on how affective this is.

With respect to seats, they are both comfortable (leather and sport seats are comfortable enough for me). The GT-R seats definitely swallow you up more and feel like they have more lateral support, but for highway driving, both seats are fine.

So on this one I'm not so sure.

4. A good sound system

Subarus are notoriously known for a ****ty sound system even with the upgraded factors system. I was hoping that you could bring some insight to this prejudice. The GT-R is known for a top quality sound system.

GT-R (appears) to take this one clean.

5. Good Resale value

Both hold their value extremely well. The GT-R is a more expensive car and since I would buy it used, a lot of the new-car premium would be absorbed by the first buyer. I'm not too concerned about this, to be honest. I plan to keep the car and budget isn't a huge deal, I'm young.

6. Modding

Like I said I don't really plan to mod. Perhaps an ECU reflash (for the Subie) or bolt ons. Don't know why this is as a criteria. Just keep in mind that I am not trying to make a GT-R killer out of my Subaru. I just want a dope as **** Japanese performance machine.

7. Ride can be firm

Both ride firmly, apparently the 2015 is even more firm than the 2014. That's awesome. Performance > comfort.

8. Gotta be Japanese

A lot of car enthusiast friends have Audis and BMWs (lots of BMWs in Toronto), and I want to stand out a little. I like Japanese cars, I always have. Both the GT-R and the Subaru are Japanese.

9. It's gotta be cool as ****

There is definitely some extra awe factor with the GT-R. It is the Ferrari/911 killer for half the price. This being said, I would argue that the WRX STI might be more car per dollar.

Regardless, both cars do it for me.

Thanks guys, advice would be appreciated.
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:33 PM   #2
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gt-r dude, why you even gotta ask?
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:48 PM   #3
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90k vs 40k... lol and lol again
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:27 PM   #4
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Congrats that you can afford a GT-R, but with regards to the STi - I would most definitely get the '15 over the '14. Yes, engine is the same, but there are enough improvements in the suspension and handling that would warrant getting it.

Best thing you could do is test drive both and see what you want more.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:50 PM   #5
northernhustle
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I understand that there is a price gap between these two vehicles, though a 2015 Subaru WRX STI costs 53k brank new (sport tech) with tax in Ontario (my home province) - so the price gap is not as significant as ardevas wrote.

I am leaning slightly (very slightly) toward the GT-R, but to be honest there is something comforting about having a car like a Subaru which is not meant to be babied or kept spotless. I don't necessarily want to worry about where I park my car or fret about salt/slush coating the rims for 4 months per year. For these reasons, I am keeping my options open to the Subaru. I have always liked them, and there is something compelling about buying a car new as well (I would NOT pay for a brand new GT-R, way too expensive).

I do want to know about the STIs highway comfort, the sound system, its capabilities in snow, etc.

I also should point out that I prefer to change gears manually like in my civic, and the GT-R does not offer a manual tranny.

Thanks guys.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:01 PM   #6
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Take into account the first production year of either vehicle and expect more problems.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardevas09 View Post
90k vs 40k... lol and lol again
regardless if your comparing new Subie, to used GT-R, there is still a huge price delta there.

Next question...considering that the used GT-R might be outta warranty, or if you drive it as you propose...outta warranty very soon. Can you afford to fix the car WHEN it breaks?

Some cars are just fun to drive fast, others can be fun just to drive slow. I have driven neither of your choices, but fully expect the Nissan to be very sterile...juts too many electronic nannies doing what drivers used to have to do.

Also you didn't mention your preference...hatch or sedan. Good luck finding any 14 hatch, WRX or STI in stock...any on the ground are gone, and only 15 sedans incoming. Ask me how I know.

Good luck
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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There's not a single aspect I can see the STI winning out aside from the rear doors and price.
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:22 AM   #9
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I'm the biggest Nissan fanboy and I'd say get the Scoob.

Comfort? GTR. I've sat in one and The sti is alright but I couldn't imagine even sitting in my seats for over 5 hours before my ass starts to bleed. (Which I have done multiple times) I have an aftermarket system in my subi. Didn't cost much and it completely trumps stock by a landslide. Easy and fun upgrade.

Cars in the winter heavily rely on the driver. But last I checked Subarus rally and are all season/off-road built cars. GTR is just built for track.

Personally why would you get an R35? It's basically automagic with dual clutch. I'd purchase an R34 ANY ****ing day over an R35. Especially since you're in canada there are so much more options.

You're not smart to DD a car that expensive and use it in the winter IMO. Do you understand the expenses you're going to face if and when something happens? More mods available at lower prices on subis and NOTHING will beat a brand new warranty and 1 owner car (you being the 1 owner)

Just my 2 cents
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
northernhustle
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Thanks everyone, good points. I should have pointed out that I only want a sedan, hot a hatch. I am leaning more toward th 2015 STI as of now.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:41 PM   #11
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The GT-R by a landslide if you can afford the maintenance/repairs. You can't go wrong either way.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northernhustle View Post
Thanks everyone, good points. I should have pointed out that I only want a sedan, hot a hatch. I am leaning more toward th 2015 STI as of now.
Let us know your choice man!
I love GTRs but the R35 just doesn't do it like the R34 does to me personally.
And even still I'd cringe at the thought of daily driving such a nice car through winter and the elements, especially if I plan on considering resale value.

Plus with your range you have a lot of options, I'd even consider EVO X or the STi still and buy a winter beater if you didn't want to abuse it too much, with the GTR you really don't have many other options.

If I lived in Canada I'd buy an R34 and mod it, so jealous. What do you do to afford such a car? Lol. I need that job.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:38 PM   #13
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Just my 2 cents... A gtr will spin heads but it's not that practical in the winter. There's a couple around my area in New England but none go out when there's snow also the fact a maintenance on a gtr can be a money pit if something goes terribly wrong
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #14
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If you could consider expanding your choices a bit, you might be more satisfied with the Germans.
In that price range you could get a spec'd out A7 S - Line or a 335i X drive with an M package.
Reliability between any of the higher performance cars will range on abysmal in the long run, but both Audi and BMW pay for your first 3-5 years.
Mind you, I loathe German cars, so take that into consideration that I am suggesting either.

The GT-R will get more heads turning, but good god I would never want to own anything that temperamental, rare, and expensive to fix / maintain.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:19 AM   #15
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Its all about what you needs/want to be in on a daily basis...Personally Id get the STi and throw the 60k you saved... to buy an extra Turbo/suspension and 16 " brakes ! hahha all the mods you need to spank the stock GT-R! lol
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:12 PM   #16
northernhustle
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Thank you for the responses, there has been some great advice. I am leaning closer to the Subaru more and more now. The GT-R is a super car and would be expensive to service, tune, repair, etc. It comes down to whether or not the cost of ownership is worth it or not. Since the added cost of owning a GT-R is so much more than a 2015 STI, the question is whether or not the added cost is worth the added benefit. I can honestly say that right now it is hard to justify it.

Even if I put cost aside for a moment, I still feel like I'm leaving something behind if I don't go for the STI. Perhaps this is a consequence of making as big a choice as buying a car. I am not saying that a GT-R leaves something to be desired (aside from rear doors as scooby pointed out), but just that there is something special about the STI sedan with its rear-wing, 6-speed manual, super stiff no ****s given ride.

Brysimpreza:
I have thought of both the S4 and the 335xi (the E92 NOT the E90, because it is ugly as sin), and I while those cars boast excellent performance, they appear to me as specimens of functional German luxury cars before sports cars.

astroknight:
I checked out the Evo, wasn't impressed at all. I've been a subaru fan for a long time. I wouldn't go for the Evo, and now that 2014 is the last year (or 2015?), it's certainly out of the picture. Also, the R34 beautiful machine, I'm looking for a newer car and they hard to find stock. Also, I'm a lawyer.

scoobaru:
Like I said in my original post, I'm not looking to make the Subaru a GT-R killer. That's not to say that some bolt-ons are out of the question.

Thanks again, gentlemen.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:26 PM   #17
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Glad we could help. Now I'm going to law school and moving to Canada.

Also there is a more business(y) version of the STi with more luxury but no wing (you NEED the wing imo or it's just not an sti) I can't remember the name off the top of my head if you're interested in that.

Too bad we didn't live in UK for the Cosworth.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:43 PM   #18
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Normally I would agree with the German luxo mobile comment, but after going for a ride in my coworkers 2011 335i with a subtle exhaust, intake and a Vishnu flash, I would consider them an assassin in a nice suit.

We walked my buddies 2013 C6 Gran Sport, (up to reasonable road speeds) it was impressive.

But in stock form, I agree.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:08 PM   #19
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Have you driven either car yet?

The GTR gets real old, real quick. The suspension on "soft" is spine jarring, forget race mode for anything outside of a race track. Outside of the harsh ride it feels like you are driving an Altima. Yes, it is that boring (really, it is) As for turning heads, yep, you certainly turn the head of every male under the age of 30. The car is invisible to women of all ages.

If you have (or will be having) children the GTR is completely useless. It is a 2 seater with a cushy parcel tray
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:11 AM   #20
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Have you driven either car yet?

The GTR gets real old, real quick. The suspension on "soft" is spine jarring, forget race mode for anything outside of a race track. Outside of the harsh ride it feels like you are driving an Altima. Yes, it is that boring (really, it is) As for turning heads, yep, you certainly turn the head of every male under the age of 30. The car is invisible to women of all ages.

If you have (or will be having) children the GTR is completely useless. It is a 2 seater with a cushy parcel tray
I could not disagree more with this post, except for the back seats being useless.

I put about 17k miles on a 2012 GTR and now have about 10k on my 2013 STI sedan.

I loved the GTR but sold it to save some cash for two kids being in college at the same time.

Both cars are suitable for winter driving with appropriate tires. I've driven the GTR many times in snow/ice conditions with Pirelli Sotozero tires (OEM Porsche 911 Turbo tires in the Northern European countries). It does amazingly well for a supercar. However, you are limited by the front splitter lip height when dealing with unplowed roads. The STI by comparison is much more forgiving of deeper snow and bunched up snow from plow tailings.

Both cars are fantastic performers. The GTR is brutally fast in all situations. It NEVER feels like you are driving an Altima. And you have essentially the fastest stock streetcar in North America south of 140k. It launches with a gutwrenching lunge that doesn't let up until you lift or get north of a 100. Its easy to drive as a daily, with reasonable comfort (my commute with about 20 miles of a country mountain highway, and 20 miles of interstate). The ride in soft mode is comparable to the STI (and in fact some say the car launches harder with soft mode). The sequential dual clutch tranny takes some getting used to. Slow speed around the parking lot confuses it a bit, and if left in auto mode it has to kick down each gear to get to the desired gear for passing). I usually just ran manual mode on the tranny and had no issues. I'd look for a '12 or newer GTR for several reasons.

As for wow factor, I'd say I get about equal attention from the "masses" in both cars. But substantially more attention with the GTR from enthusiasts. Cars and Coffee is a bit underwhelming with the STI compared with the GTR.

Resale value is remarkable for the GTR when you consider that the price has increased every single year it was made. And some '09's are bring near their sticker price 5 years later. It all depends on miles and condition and mods.

With the GTR, simply bolt on a catless midpipe (takes out 2 of the 4 cats, and 2 silencers), and you are good to go. Nice hp bump (even with stock tune) and great sound.

The STI is a different kind of fun driving around town in a sporty fashion. There are plenty of sleeper cars out there that outgun you. But it is fun nonetheless. I do enjoy shifting a manual car more than an auto, or a sequential dual clutch auto. The STI clutch was a little fussy for the first few thousand miles and getting a spirited launch was hard without clutch smell. But it has settled in nicely. I think I will be much more satisfied with stage 2 mods and tune soon.

The paint quality on both cars is equally dismal. The interior quality is somewhat better in the GTR. My STI is pretty squeaky and rattly inside.

The back seats in the STI are 2x bigger than the GTR, and my 6'3" kid can actually ride in the back.

Factor in some maintenance costs into your yearly ownership costs. Fluid changes in the GTR are pricey. You can source all the fluids online for 50% savings and take them with you to the dealership. Same for brake replacement. Dealer charges an arm and a leg, but you can buy better aftermarket and do it yourself for 50% of the cost.

Overall I'd say, if I didn't have the upcoming expenses, I'd go back to the GTR. But the STI is a nice economical compromise until such time as the kids are outta college.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:08 PM   #21
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Coming from someone who has never driven either car, I would say go big or go home and get the GTR if you've got the coin. I say that mostly because owning a GTR is a pipe dream for me and I would be giddy to be able to own one. Also, not to bash the STI, but in my eyes it's more of a suped-up econo box compared to the GTR. Anyway, I'm sure my opinion really doesn't matter because I have no experience whatsoever with either vehicle, but let us know which one you decide to buy.
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Old 04-26-2014, 07:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jr0bb5 View Post
Coming from someone who has never driven either car, I would say go big or go home and get the GTR if you've got the coin. I say that mostly because owning a GTR is a pipe dream for me and I would be giddy to be able to own one. Also, not to bash the STI, but in my eyes it's more of a suped-up econo box compared to the GTR. Anyway, I'm sure my opinion really doesn't matter because I have no experience whatsoever with either vehicle, but let us know which one you decide to buy.
+1 I pretty much cream my shorts just standing next to a gtr (regardless of the year). I could only imagine what it must feel like to own one. Come 2018 I will most definitely be buying an STI (or a brz if subaru ever decides to turbocharge it) because it is a realistic and attainable dream for me.. But if I had the money for a gtr (and insurance), I would do it in a heartbeat. Such a mad car on so many levels. Dooooo ittt!
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