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Old 07-17-2003, 02:49 AM   #1
infin|ty
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Default STi or regular WRX?

I'm in the market for an AWD car soon. I currently drive a 2001 V6 auto Mustang. It's a decent car, not very fast, and very boring to drive, being auto. I got it when I was 18, and I had no idea how to drive a stick. Well I had never driven a RWD car in the snow before, let alone a RWD Mustang, big mistake. I live in Rochester, NY, we get alot of snow here. I will never drive that car in the winter again, nightmare. I couldn't get in/out of our PLOWED driveway.

Okay so here we are. I'm going to college this fall, and I need a good AWD car. I test drove the BMW 325xi, not bad, somewhat slow, and more luxury than I really wanted/needed. Plus pricey, around $34,000 w/ very few options, not even leather seating, leatherette. I had always thought WRXs were cool, but passed them off as econo boxes. Although after test driving an 04 WRX, I was very impressed. I started frequenting clubwrx.net and here, learning about the STi, etc etc. The STi is very appealing to me, not only is the power awesome, but I do indeed like the looks (The wing is a big gaudy, but I can deal).

I realize the STi is primarily a road machine, but I'm going to need it to be a daily driver, year round, through college and beyond. Snow (sometimes alot, 6-12" possibly, atleast in my driveway), rain, everything. I know I'll need snow tires, and have read some things about it being difficult due to the huge rotors.

What is everyone's oppinion? I want a car that handles, and I want to take it to the track, and maybe autoX, but it also has to be reliable, and get the job done WELL in the snow. In the Mustang 1" of snow or even a light layer of ice/slush would spell disaster. I want some serious traction here and the ability to get out of a non plowed driveway.

If you can't tell I'm leaning towards STi, but I don't know how practical a vehicle it is. The regular WRX is probably a bit better suited for winter driving, but in the summer/dry weather the performance must be awesome.

Comments? Opinions? Tell me I'm insane? Proceed
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:21 AM   #2
WRX Power
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You're insane.


Buy an AWD beater. Play smart with your money
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:32 AM   #3
ANZAC_1915
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Buy a 2003 2.5 RS. They'll be clearing them out cheap, with full warranty.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:32 AM   #4
Janq
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My father in law asked me the exact same questions today which you are debating. He's in Western MA. where they get snow _every year_ and 6+" is not big deal to them.
He wanted an STi like me but it would be his only car, while the STi my third of three AWD vehilces behind an SUV and my beater Legacy AWD. I can afford to leave my STi parked for months through a hard winter.

Unless you can do the same, I'd say forget about it as an option just as I told my father in law. Yes, you would have to get new rims & tires at 17" minimum but for the cost who wouldn't go 18". But then there is the problem of width. The STi tires & rims are wide. For snow you need/want narrow as possible with a tall section for cushioning.

My suggestion for him, either a used AWD WRX or the new for '04 Forester 2.5 XT Turbo. The Forester 2.5 XT Turbo is the best all around & livable value Subaru has in its current lineup.

- Janq
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:59 AM   #5
infin|ty
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I appreciate the advice however, I'm not looking for a beater, a family car, or a 2.5RS. I'm looking for a WRX. So the STi is a poor winter vehicle even w/ snows?
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:20 AM   #6
HFTuRbo
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Quote:
I'm leaning towards STi, but I don't know how practical a vehicle it is. The regular WRX is probably a bit better suited for winter driving, but in the summer/dry weather the performance must be awesome.
Since you're asking... Make a decision & choose either. Both are going to be AWD. One is going to be a little lower and have a stiffer ride and will continously cost you more over time to own (STi), the other costs less off the bat, will be somewhat easier to deal with in the snow than the STi due to more wheel tire choices. But overall all things considered the STi will need less modifications for auto-x. The WRX was a fine daily driver for over 2 years. The ride is more loose and forgiving. It does suffer from turbo lag and is difficult to launch properly without some clutch modulation. The STi ride is tight and stiff. No turbo lag and takes-off without any hesitation.
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:42 AM   #7
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I drove a 300HP Stage 4 WRX on winter tires (Dunlop Wintersport M2's) last winter with no issues.
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:46 AM   #8
Neek
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Quote:
Originally posted by infin|ty
I appreciate the advice however, I'm not looking for a beater, a family car, or a 2.5RS. I'm looking for a WRX. So the STi is a poor winter vehicle even w/ snows?
You have to understand...the car has been out 2 months.

2 months.

It's July.

Nobody on this board has any idea how this car is in the snow. The car has never seen snow. It might be fantastic in the snow. It might be horrendous in the snow. Nobody with a U.S. STi has ever seen snow.

That said, the WRX is certainly quick enough to do all the things you ask as is great in the snow. I would stay stick with the winner.
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:56 AM   #9
darthdiggler
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You said the bad word : "college". This makes you come out as young. And there is a conspiracy from older Sti owners to keep STi for older guys.

Buy the STi, its the greatest car you'll ever buy. And as with any other car... be carefull.

I use mine as a daily driver and live in Montreal so I will also get to deal with an Sti in Winter.

I love cars but I don't worship them to the point of buying wheels for the track, wheels for the week and wheels for winter... mine will simply have the best winter tires I can find ... on the stock rims.

As for not being a good winter car... well from comments I read from a Subaru rep... it`s not tuned for winter. But IMHO it will probably behave better than most RWD or FWD (with snow tires obviously).

And HFturbo is right. It's a stiff ride and changing some of the parts will cost a lot of money. Every mechanical part of this car is top notch... so you will pay accordingly to fix them. Insurance is also very expensive for young dudes (even in the WRX)

My last car was a 03 WRX sedan. Second best car I ever owned ... but in a diffrent category.

If you think you will have enough money to maintain it ... go Sti man !
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:28 AM   #10
pleasenoSTIckershock
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If you are careful, you should have no issues with STi in the snow. 2 cars ago, I had an Eclipse GSX that put out 297hp to the wheels, and had 18" OZ F1 cup 2 piece wheels with Yokohama Parada tires (def not designed for snow). I used this car in the snow for several winters in PA with no issues. Granted, it would have been even better with snow tires, but as long as you don't drive stupid you should be fine in the STi.
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:45 AM   #11
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Default Winter Wheels

Quote:
Originally posted by darthdiggler
I love cars but I don't worship them to the point of buying wheels for the track, wheels for the week and wheels for winter... mine will simply have the best winter tires I can find ... on the stock rims.
I prefer and recommend to my friends who ask me a second set of winter rims to go along with those tires.

Have you ever watched them unmount a tire from a wheel? See how the tire usually buckles down the center? On my Michelin's I swear I feel a vibration for a while afterwards.

Using the same set of rims does get your tires balanced twice per year, but there's also a risk of some weenie scratching your rims while removing the tires.

Unless you have a buddy in a tire shop who does your changeovers/balancing for free, I'd go with the second set of rims.
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:03 AM   #12
wrx what
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neek


Nobody with a U.S. STi has ever seen snow.
I have seen snow the last 28 years of my life. Now my experience with driving the STi in the snow is ZIP!
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:25 AM   #13
darthdiggler
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Default Re: Winter Wheels

Quote:
Originally posted by ScoobyAficionado

I prefer and recommend to my friends who ask me a second set of winter rims to go along with those tires.

Have you ever watched them unmount a tire from a wheel? See how the tire usually buckles down the center? On my Michelin's I swear I feel a vibration for a while afterwards.

Using the same set of rims does get your tires balanced twice per year, but there's also a risk of some weenie scratching your rims while removing the tires.

Unless you have a buddy in a tire shop who does your changeovers/balancing for free, I'd go with the second set of rims.
I understand your point. But I whatever I do the car will end up with scratches, dents, and eventually rust... so I tend not to think about these nicks and nacks and drive the car for a couple of years... sell it and buy a brand new one without scratches, dents or rust.

My personal past experiences with putting winter tires on stock mags have all been good... I do understand that some people might have had different experiences.
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:27 AM   #14
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I wish I was going off to college with an STI next year...
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:40 AM   #15
Neek
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Quote:
Originally posted by wrx what


I have seen snow the last 28 years of my life. Now my experience with driving the STi in the snow is ZIP!
GRRRRRRRRRRRRR! You won't like me when I'm angry!!!!!!!
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Old 07-17-2003, 11:24 AM   #16
wrx what
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Quote:
Originally posted by Neek


GRRRRRRRRRRRRR! You won't like me when I'm angry!!!!!!!
Probably not. But I probably would like you when you get your dance on.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:34 PM   #17
MTMS4
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If you buy the STi you will DEFINITELY need a different set of tires for the winter (either all seasons or preferably dedicated snow tires).....the high-performance SUMMER tires will be lethal with even a powdering of snow. The WRX is equipped with all-season tires which can obviously be used all year round.

I live in Rochester too and thought I could get away with the Bridestone summer tires on my S4 and I nearly paid dearly for it (nearly didn't stop at the first intersection I came to and was only travelling about 20 mph).

My S4 is slightly lowered and I've had no problems getting around Rochester for the past three winters equipeed with 18" wheels and 225/40/18 Dunlop SP Winter Sport M2s.

The salt will kill you in the end though............
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:39 PM   #18
ANZAC_1915
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Quote:
Nobody on this board has any idea how this car is in the snow. The car has never seen snow. It might be fantastic in the snow. It might be horrendous in the snow. Nobody with a U.S. STi has ever seen snow.
Not true.

And apparently it likes the snow just fine. In fact it is a little better than the WRX because the DCCD-Auto reacts faster than the VC of the manual WRX.

Glenn
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:53 PM   #19
SkirtBoy
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Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Wallace


Not true.

And apparently it likes the snow just fine whan equipped with appropriate tires.

Glenn
Posted by -

Glenn's lawyer.
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:37 PM   #20
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Heh, you always need the appropriate tires for the weather.

I have so many different sets of wheels and tires for my cars I have lost count.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:22 PM   #21
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So Glenn, you or somebody else has experience with the U.S. STi in the snow?
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:08 PM   #22
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Keep in mind, not only is the STi selling price more expensive, but so is the insurance and the maintenance.

I track my WRX, so you think an upgrade to the STi would be very appealing to me (it is). But even I'm seriously doubting the practicality of an STi. I'm trying to convince myself I don't need to go any faster (I don't).

The WRX is a damn fast car, incredible to drive and a bargain at that. The STi is insane. Even if you don't go all the way for an STi, you'll still love the WRX. But if you must have the best... STi all the way.

-BrianK
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:12 PM   #23
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Both cars should be good in the snow. The STI should have a better AWD system then the WRX. The STI should sense torque, the 5mt WRX only senses wheel slip.

At least on my WRX, the 5mt does not handle cold well. If find it to be very irritating to drive until the gearbox warms up.

If I could live with a sedan (I can't) and were in the market for a car, I would buy the STI over the WRX because of the improved AWD and the tranny. In your case, if you decide on the sti I would suggest waiting 3 or so weeks to see what happens on the det front.
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:14 PM   #24
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You don't need a beater, but it sounds like you need a good car that will be able to handle all around circumstances. While you can use the STi as a daily driver, i think it'd be a bit of a shame. Personally, if i was in your situation, i would go for the WRX and keep the STi for a time when I can afford to keep it and keep better care of it.
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Old 07-17-2003, 05:25 PM   #25
Janq
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Quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Wallace


Not true.

And apparently it likes the snow just fine. In fact it is a little better than the WRX because the DCCD-Auto reacts faster than the VC of the manual WRX.

Glenn
Glenn,

I don't doubt a word what you're saying.
But, there are two critical things folks are forgetting about when it comes to a car (not truck) being passable in the snow, ground clearance & tire patch.

Specifically ground clearance of the car needs to be relatively high and unobstructed from below. The WRX has it, the Legacy has it, the Forester has lots of it as do the Outback too, but the STi...

The other issue is tire patch and absorption.
Yes any car can bet setup with snow tires of some sort or another assuming the owner is willing to pay the cost. I was just talking with my salesperson today about the STi as she just returned from a 2 day SoA ride & drive in PA toward the STi. She too being from the snow-belt (Upstate NY) we talked about the STi in snow and she agrees with me in that this car will not be the best choice for snow activity. She went on to say that the reps stated Nokia is working on a snow & ice tire to fit the STi in specific and that it will run about $800/tire (!). Thats a lot of samolians, just to go out and tear up my front fascia & lip. No thanks.
Any snow tire on this car will be low profile (45 series or less) and even though it might have a snow tread pattern (lugged blocks) it still will not provide the best bite & flotation which is required to succesfully roll through snow and packed 'snowice'. Also know that a narrow tire is best for a snow tire, not the big meats we get standard.

Yes, we have DCCD-A along with f&r locking diffs, which is great, but I'll put money down anyday that my 130HP '93 Legacy AWD 4EAT in its 70 series Blizzak M&S will take anyones STi any day in snow & ice conditions.

Now the Sti will do great/best on a plowed primary roads with light patches of snow/ice. But for secondary roads & neighborhood streets like mine where you can wait 3 days before the snow plow comes...forget about it. Accumaulated snow & ice and slush will negate the power of DCCD-A slowing it to a virtual crawl.

But time will teall the tale...I can't wait for winter.

Oh, and those with WRX's that do fine in snow with winter wheels & tires. Thats great and all but remember your WRX winter rims & tires won't fit the STi.

- Janq
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