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Old 12-18-2003, 09:44 PM   #1
02_Forester
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Default Test drove Baja-T and WRX wagon

Baja Turbo: Nice clutch engagement, smooth and much easier than the S60R and similar to the Cooper S but the Cooper was a little easier to shift. The shifter is a little notchy but easy to use and little effort required to find a gear. Engine noise is typical Subaru, so if you are not use to it, it will be loud compared to other makes. I didn't hear any turbo noise per se. Power delivery is strong above 3500rpm and it slaps around to 6500+rpm very very fast if you are not paying attention. Power below 3000 is ok, a little turbo lag but nothing like the WRX wagon.

Overall: This would make a great "i don't care what happens with the weather, road surface or cargo daily driver. The radio and controls are nice. The seats could be better, there is a fair amount of lower lumbar support but the side bolsters definately need to be a little larger for my tastes but then again, this is an idea car for country back roads, trails, snow, sand or the occasional trip to the track if the suspension is improved. I came away impressed and if the looks of the Baja were the new bodystyle it would be a no brainer.

WRX wagon: I must say this was the biggest dissappointment I have experienced on a test drive. Maybe its been all the hype over the years. In no way did the performance of this car come close to that of my S4 Avant or even my Volvo V70R. The magazines must beat the crap out of the car to get good performance numbers. I did not take the car out and abuse it and maybe that was the wrong way to drive this car.

There is NO, and I mean NO power below 3000 rpm. I tried multiple times in 3rd gear at 2000rpm with my foot to the floor and it several long seconds before the tach inched above 4000rpm, severe turbo lag. Maybe I just had a lemon but this thing couldn't get out of its own way until 5000rpm.

The improved seats for 2004 are nice and supportive. The clutch engagement was not as nice as the Baja-T and the shifter was more notchy and more difficult to move. Throttle response was much less than the Baja-T. If what read on here to be accurate, the 2.5L turbo in the Baja and Forester are definately underratted and it feels like it. The 2.0L turbo in the WRX just does not seem like a good setup for below 4000rpm driving.

I hope to return tomorrow to test drive the STI and Forester Turbo.

Of the cars test driven this week:
Cooper S the funest drive, smooth gearbox
S60R, the best package but that comes with the price tag, plenty of power
Baja-T - total sleeper, comfy ride, definately not a sports car but it has the straight line pull to keep you looking to the side to wave and smile.
WRX wagon - must have had a boat anchor in the rear

I think my decision will come down to the Cooper or the Baja-T...but the FXT might be more enjoyable, I am eager to test drive it.

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:04 PM   #2
BrysImpreza
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I think you'll like the FXT the best, I was going to wait and test the Baja, but after 1 test drive I handed them a check for $500 and told them I want a silver 5 speed with an aftermarket roof installed by next Friday.

There's no anchors in the back of the FXT, just a ridiculous amount of power in front of you.

Bry.
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:12 PM   #3
Chris N
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Cool Bry!
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:31 PM   #4
Mopho
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That is funny, other than being a really nice car, I found the S4 (Twin Turbo v6 version, never drove the V8 version, but then it would not be fair to compare) I drove to feel slow compared to my WRX wagon did not hit nearly as hard, it was a major let down actually.
To each their own I guess, I am enjoying my WRX Wagon a lot! yeah there is a lot of lag but you learn quickly to drive around it and a grand in mods will make a big improvent

I had a Forester turbo for a couple of days and while fast and more flexible, it was no where near as fun as the WRX. That said, a friend of mine has an FXT with full STI suspension and 18" wheels and it is amazing (but one would have to spend $3-4k to make it that way)

Just sticking up for the wagons!
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:04 PM   #5
02_Forester
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I think the WRX wagon I drove had some issues. It just didn't want to go like the Baja-T. I probably don't have an accurate feel for how the WRX drives, everyone I've know who owns one are really happy.

I've have some friends who've said the same thing about S4 bi-turbos, a bit of a let down but different when modified.

Its all good, maybe I'll see if I can get another wagon to try out. I'm thinking the STI is going to put a grin on my face.
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:09 PM   #6
Mopho
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I bet it will


I must say, to some degree having the lag has been good for me, as it is a bit of a Jeckle and Hyde helps keep me out of trouble

have fun!
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:18 PM   #7
dave_t
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just curious but are you shopping for these cars or just trying them out for fun... i havent been in a BAJA-T yet and probably wont get to be in one... STi= but i think your wrong about the BAJA being the best sleeper in that lot.. i'd have to go with the S60R, who expects a volvo to have a 300Hp twin trubo and a 6-spd? the 17's and the big brembo's give it away a little but not enough to click in the street racers minds that in a few seconds a volvo sedan is going to kick their ass to the next street light anyways that just my opinion
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Old 12-19-2003, 11:13 AM   #8
02_Forester
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I am actually in the market and shopping. The S60R is a bit more than I want to spend. My current deal is down to about $35.5k from $41k and its about $10k more than the majority.

STI is +/- $30k. I'm not a fan of the STI's landing carrier wing and would prefer something subtle like an M3/M5 flush style wing. I still get a kick out of some of the boy racer stuff, I just don't need the attention.
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Old 12-27-2003, 04:21 PM   #9
PA-Brat
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this is funny - turning into more of a thread for the impreza forum!
the extra $7k you spend on an sti can put a world of mods on a wrx. a local dealer here in monroeville, pa turned an '02 wrx into a monster with somewhere in the neighborhood of 380-400 hp - just a thought! there's postings here from langstonsubaru (he has some caps in there) - he's the parts guy and i think he did most of the building of it - it's beautiful - looks almost stock.
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Old 12-28-2003, 07:49 AM   #10
balyndraks
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Quote:
Originally posted by 02_Forester
I am actually in the market and shopping. The S60R is a bit more than I want to spend.
It seems to me that you already have a pretty nice car, one that you shouldn't mind driving for a few more months.

Why do I say this? The new Legacy GT Turbo should fit the bill nicely. It will have a version of the 2.5T in a state of tune somewhere between that of the F-XT and Baja T and the STi. I've heard everything between 240-280 hp, but the tuning potential is certainly there to get quite a bit more.

It is supposed to be unveiled in about a week, so it might be worth the wait.

EDIT: check this out www.need-desire.com

The unveiling is 1/5/04. Maybe that site will have specifics then. It does allow you to enter your email for updates, though.
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