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Old 09-15-2004, 12:07 PM   #1
plunk10
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Question Possibly buying a 2005 Subaru. Help me to decide which model

Okay, after much debate, I've decided that I will probably be purchasing a new Subaru. The reasoning behind this is due to many factors.

Subaru's Guaranteed Trade in program - promises to give me a value that is thousands over book value for my trade (even with 45,000 miles). With this in mind, I would have plenty of positive equity to use as a down payment.

Insurance- One reason I bought my WRX sedan was for the low insurance rates at the time (January 03). Since then, my rates have skyrocketed because the WRX is now considered a sports car. My record is clean.

Low financing rate- Subaru is offering either 1.9% or 2.9% in my area depending on the car I choose, which lowers the monthly payment quite a bit.

I'll start from cheapest to most expensive. If I trade up, the vehicle must have a Sunroof, Turbo, and 5 speed.

1. 2005 Subaru Baja Turbo. First off, my monthly output on this would be considerably less per month due to the low price, low insurance, and low financing (coupled with low demand that makes the price so low). I like the versatility and the "what the heck is that " head turning quotient. I have yet to drive one to consider the performance differences from the WRX. I'm not crazy about the interior, though at least the stereo looks easily upgradable. Considering the rarity, combined with the car/truck configuration, I'm assuming this car won't depreciate nearly as fast as the impreza, unless they make an unlikely redesign. Does this use the same 5 speed as the WRX? same as the forester? How is straight line performance, as well as handling?

2. 2005 Subaru Forester XT Premium. I hadn't considered this one until very recently. I'm not sure how I'd feel behind the wheel of a station wagon. I love the huge sunroof that it comes with though. Price is certainly higher than the baja, but running some numbers with dealer internet prices, the total output including insurance would still be less than what I am paying now for my 03 WRX. Although this wouldn't be quite as practical as the baja, there's plenty more room than in my impreza. I like the fact that there is a tuner market for this car as well, unlike the baja. If any Forester owners would like to chime in on this in regards to practicality, performance, and handling, please do

3. 2005 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT Limited Sedan. I test drove one of these last weekend, and it was quite a blast to drive. My jaw was dropping to the level of performance this thing could offer, and the gearbox is much sweeter. It has every interior bell and whistle that I've ever wanted. Only complaint inside is that the stereo does not look upgradable since the radio and digital climate controls appear to be the same unit (like the new Honda Accords). I would like to know if the back seats fold down or not (forgot to check). So far this looks like the most impractical of my choices, though much more comfortable and more beautiful than my current vehicle. I wonder how the 17" wheels handle the snow? Although the my insurance company rated it to be about the same price as a baja, they were basing their quote on the 2004 model, since they didn't have info for the redesign yet. Still, its a boatload cheaper insurance. The actual price of the car is pretty high though in comparison, so my total monthly output would probably run a few bucks more than I'm currently paying.


Any and all thoughts, ideas, flames, etc are welcome

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:16 PM   #2
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Keep in mind that the Forester is an SUV (off-road vehicle, not talking about gravel roads here but offfff-road). The wagon aspect as well as the higher ride height raises the center of gravity quite a bit. Due to the boxer engine and other subaru stuff I don't think it would be as prone to roll-over as the average SUV, but it's still a possibility. Fast on the straights but be careful everywhere else.

I think you shouldn't compare these three different vehicles so much. Instead, make a list of things you realistically will need/want from the vehicle. Rate how important different aspects are. Then compare with the vehicles, and you'll walk out with the BEST buy that fits you the best.

Far too many people think that say, image (the hidden signals that the vehicle might send out and interpreted by others who subscribe to that sort of thing) are 40%+ of the buy.. ew. And then they come to ask for basically image advice..ha ha ha..
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:19 PM   #3
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I guess it really is up to you with respect to what you want.

Baja & Forester you're pretty much getting subaru power with a little bit more usefulness with the extra cargo space and what not

However, with the legacy you get power + classiness. I'm quite sure someone will find a way so that you can put your own HU in there, just have to wait a bit for that particular feature to come out.

I would pick the Legacy if I had as much cash to spend as you have. But that's just my $.02
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
classiness
- Hahaha, that is just what I was talking about. Using it as a social tool instead of a vehicle.

And there is no way the other two would best the Legacy in terms of driving fun. SUV type cars, due to their weight and high riding height, generally have very nasty poor steering feel, for starters. I consider that to be very important to have confidence when cornering hard.

I don't know what your needs are but if I had to choose, I'd probably get the Legacy. It's the only passenger car out of the three. Presuming that I have passenger car needs (seating five, reasonable boot, freeway driving, etc).
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:41 PM   #5
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social tool indeed!
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko
And there is no way the other two would best the Legacy in terms of driving fun. SUV type cars, due to their weight and high riding height, generally have very nasty poor steering feel, for starters. I consider that to be very important to have confidence when cornering hard.
Have you ever driven a Forester? It's an Impreza with a little longer strut body. They don't feel, even remotely, like SUVs.
-------

If you need some cargo volume, go with the Forester and keep your eye open for STi struts in the 'for sale' forum. Then just budget in some wheels and tires.

Or look into the Legacy Wagon. I know it wasn't one of your choices, but the seats don't fold on the Sedan.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:56 PM   #7
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There must be some other reason your insurance rates have gone up. The insurance industry didn't suddenly realize the wrx is a "sports car". A car's insurance rates are based mainly on price, accident statistics, and claim results. Since the wrx power hasn't changed, I can't imagine the insurance industry changing the rating. Also, I would think there would be a large epidemic of all wrx owners complaining about their rates also rising. Mine have actually gone down slightly in 6 months.
Quote:
Drivers may be surprised to find their Honda Civic in the top 10, but Hondas such as the Civic and the Accord are repeatedly high on the theft list, since parts are so valuable on the street, thus pushing premiums up.
Also, the cars you are buying have more power and cost more. Your insurance rates for those are going to be higher than or at least as much asyour wrx. Perhaps look into something used, that would lower your payments and your insurance.

Quote:
BMWs make the list because they are initially expensive to buy and just as expensive to repair. "People who buy cars like this don't buy them to drive them 55 miles per hour," says Donald Griffin of the National Association of Independent Insurers. "So when they have accidents, the repairs are usually much more extensive and costly."
You dont have positive equity in a car, you may owe less than the car is worth which is good. If you factor in your down payment plus all of the payments you've made and divide that by the number of months you've owned the car, you'll have the amount per month you've paid for your car. I'm pretty sure you'll be amazed and possibly floored and not want to trade your car in for more payments. Trading in a car every couple of years is about THE most expensive way to go about owning cars. Coupled with the incredibly high insurance rates you'll have on your new car plus the new down payment you'll have to come up with, its staggering.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/articles...asics/9409.asp

According to MSN moneycentral these are the 10 cheapest cars to insure.
Buick LeSabre
Oldsmobile Silhouette
Honda Odyssey
Buick Park Avenue
Pontiac Montana
Mercury Grand Marquis
Buick Century
Chevrolet Venture
GMC Safari
Oldsmobile Bravada


Here are the 10 most expensive cars to insure:
Mitsubishi Montero Sport
Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Lexus GS 430
Cadillac Escalade
BMW 7 Series
Honda Civic Coupe
Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
Mitsubishi Mirage Coupe
Toyota 4 Runner
BMW 5 Series
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humara
You dont have positive equity in a car, you may owe less than the car is worth which is good. If you factor in your down payment plus all of the payments you've made and divide that by the number of months you've owned the car, you'll have the amount per month you've paid for your car. I'm pretty sure you'll be amazed and possibly floored and not want to trade your car in for more payments. Trading in a car every couple of years is about THE most expensive way to go about owning cars. Coupled with the incredibly high insurance rates you'll have on your new car plus the new down payment you'll have to come up with, its staggering.
^^Exactly^^. You might get a better deal on resale/trade-in with Subaru's program (I'm not familiar with it) but you're not gonna make out by any means. "Trading up" for a newer/better car every couple years is always going to be a loser financially.

That said, if you still gotta to it... I can highly recommend the Forester XT. I've had my '04 with Premium Package for about 3.5 months, and the car kicks a**. It handles nothing like your typical SUV. It's no STi certainly, but it can fly through the twisties. I won my first rally in it couple weeks ago, up against a pack of WRX's and STi's. We were whipping through some of the twistiest roads in SoCal, and I never once had a worry about rollover. There is some lean, and the stock tires tended to break loose pretty easy, but that is all fixable with minor upgrades. Check out www.subaruforester.com to get a better idea what people have done with their XT's. It's a truly impressive car, I think there is no better all-around package out there - performance, practicality, safety, reliability, price. You can't go wrong. I got mine, loaded, for $25,400 - about $4K under MSRP. This was at the end of the model year, June 1. If you can still find an '04, you could probably do even better, or wait a few months and get a decent deal on '05.

I also seriously considered Baja Turbo, for some of the reasons you said. Very practical, and it does have that quirky thing going for it. However, be aware, that "quirky" could work against you. IMO, Subaru has never quite gotten the styling of the Baja right (the two-tone cladding is just fugly), sales have been dismal, and I have heard rumors that Subaru will likely be killing it off in a year or two. Yes, it will be rare, but that doesn't necessarily mean high resale value. Sometimes a car is rare because it just never resonates with customers, people don't like it. Think of the Aztec - that thing was bought by a lot of people for it's "quirkiness" but 4 years later, most people still think it is hideous.

The Legacy certainly is an awesome car, too, but to me it seems a different genre than Forester and Baja. It's a little "classier", more luxury, all the bells and whistles. But I like the more rugged appeal of Forester and Baja.

They're all great cars; just really depends on you and your lifestyle and what feels best to you.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humara
There must be some other reason your insurance rates have gone up. The insurance industry didn't suddenly realize the wrx is a "sports car". A car's insurance rates are based mainly on price, accident statistics, and claim results. Since the wrx power hasn't changed, I can't imagine the insurance industry changing the rating. Also, I would think there would be a large epidemic of all wrx owners complaining about their rates also rising. Mine have actually gone down slightly in 6 months.
IIRC, a few months ago there was a thread going around about an increase in WRX rates for no apparent reason. I don't know if this was an industry wide trend, but I know that mine went up ~15% on the WRX and remained the same for my other two vehicles.

Mike
02 WRX Wagon
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Old 09-15-2004, 02:03 PM   #10
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^^ the insurance increase thread was in the Mid-Atlantic forums. Mine did go up over 30%. Since it went up so much, I think my insurance was required to send me a letter to tell me why. It mentioned high repair claims, and a change to "performance type" vehicle.

Anywho, for insurance comparison, I did check the Baja Turbo, and Legacy Turbo with VIN numbers. Compared to my $1251 per year rate currently on my WRX, the baja came in at $885, while the Legacy was quoted $908 per year. Only problem with the legacy quote is that they were quoting last year's model since they don't have a "symbol " for the new model, but they said it would be close to the $908 quote.

I'll need to quote the Forester too
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Old 09-15-2004, 03:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadswrx
I don't know if this was an industry wide trend, but I know that mine went up ~15% on the WRX and remained the same for my other two vehicles.

Mike
02 WRX Wagon

I'd call and get insurance quotes, elsewhere. Sounds like they're gold digging if they've jacked up you WRX rates only (if your record is clean). The insurance on my STi and a Civic went down slightly(~1500/yr) so it sounds fishy they've boosted your WRX rates.
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Old 09-15-2004, 12:42 PM   #12
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Legacy GT would be my choice, but again those are 3 very different vehicles you are looking at. You need to ask yourself what exactly it is you want here.

Also, how is the WRX considered a "sports car"? I giggled when I quoted for insurance on my STi and it ended up being only a few more dollars a year than my VW Jetta. All my ins. co. sees is a 4-cylinder engine, 4-door sedan w/ dual + side airbags and a good safety record. Even when I quoted an EVO, it was around the same price (though a little more expensive than the STi... even with less power. I can only guess that this is due to a larger accident rate on the EVO's.)
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Old 09-19-2004, 12:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_wheel
Legacy GT would be my choice, but again those are 3 very different vehicles you are looking at. You need to ask yourself what exactly it is you want here.

Also, how is the WRX considered a "sports car"? I giggled when I quoted for insurance on my STi and it ended up being only a few more dollars a year than my VW Jetta. All my ins. co. sees is a 4-cylinder engine, 4-door sedan w/ dual + side airbags and a good safety record. Even when I quoted an EVO, it was around the same price (though a little more expensive than the STi... even with less power. I can only guess that this is due to a larger accident rate on the EVO's.)
Which insurance company do you go through if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:18 AM   #14
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update: After much debate, I purchased a 2005 Legacy GT Limited 5sp.
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:00 AM   #15
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Good choice.. i have the same... checkout LegacyGt.com. Great forum with good info on it.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:08 PM   #16
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The stereo appears to be integrated and there is currently no upgrade path. This is possibly my biggest gripe about the car. I'm pretty sure that the sedan rear seats do not fold down, but I think there is a pass through.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Have you ever driven a Forester? It's an Impreza with a little longer strut body. They don't feel, even remotely, like SUVs.
- Never driven one. Yes, the platform is the Impreza, but it has a far higher roof (9 inches), higher ride height, is longer, and weighs about 150lbs more (not much). I'm sure it handles far better than most SUV's, but what kind of benchmark are SUV's? Not one for spirited driving for sure. Granted though, when looking it up and comparing the two, they were far more similar than I first thought. Thanks for pointing it out (but stillll! )


Quote:
Or look into the Legacy Wagon.
- I agree with that. As long as off-roading isn't part of the intended usage, there's plenty of fun (as well as other things such as safety) to be found in having a normal or even lower than normal ride height. Passenger cars for passenger car duties.


Quote:
how is the WRX considered a "sports car"?
- Heh heh. Just look at real word performance. That insurance company you talked about seemed to be a bit.. out of it, not being aware of 1970's technology like the turbo, and that two extra doors don't really make the car go that much slower.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko
Heh heh. Just look at real word performance. That insurance company you talked about seemed to be a bit.. out of it, not being aware of 1970's technology like the turbo, and that two extra doors don't really make the car go that much slower.
Umm, I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. No insurance company that I'm aware sees the WRX as a high-risk vehicle. No insurance company rates cars based on whether or not they have a turbo installed... heh.

Trust me when I say this:

-Coupes are generally more expensive to insure than 4-door sedans.
-Large displacement, higher cylinder engines are generally more expensive to insure.
-Cars with poor track records (high accident + high repair rates) are generally more expensive to insure.

So, in response, no my insurance company is not "out of it". I'd say you were, though.
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_wheel
Umm, I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. No insurance company that I'm aware sees the WRX as a high-risk vehicle. No insurance company rates cars based on whether or not they have a turbo installed... heh.

Trust me when I say this:

-Coupes are generally more expensive to insure than 4-door sedans.
-Large displacement, higher cylinder engines are generally more expensive to insure.
-Cars with poor track records (high accident + high repair rates) are generally more expensive to insure.

So, in response, no my insurance company is not "out of it". I'd say you were, though.
Hmm, I just got a quote from my insurance company for a 2.5 RS, and a WRX. They were $650 apart. When the insurance company sees,"turbo" they go "fast" and jack up the rates.

It's also very likely that his insurance company did just catch on to the fact that it's a sporty car. I did a few companies online quotes that came back as "4-door 2.0 sedan" and nothing more.
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Old 09-15-2004, 03:22 PM   #20
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I did the math with my ins. co. ahead of time and like I said, it wouldn't have cost me squat to drop my Jetta and add my STi as my insured vehicle... it was something ridiculously low like another $80/yr. So instead I opted to just keep the Jetta, drop the comprehensive coverage and just keep liability (because if I wreck the Jetta, who cares?), and add the STi onto my existing policy... the total difference was another $400 a year.

$400 a year for adding an STi. Go figure. Maybe it's an age + performance factor as well. I'm 28 y/o. Rates for adult men start dropping significantly around age 25.
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Old 09-16-2004, 12:54 AM   #21
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The Leather in the Forester XT is too Slippery, but in Black Cloth it is great.
The tonnue cover in the Forester rattles so backseat passengers will not want you to use it while driving.

The Legacy GT is wonderful, But not as good off road.

The Baja is a great idea but too expensive for what you get.

Get a PP1 Premium Package 1 (cloth) Forester XT with a 5MT. With the 4EAT it just isn't that good.

Maybe you should look at the Outback XT.
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Old 09-16-2004, 10:16 AM   #22
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I test drove a forester XT last night. The low end grunt blew my mind. It made my wrx feel slow . But the twisties is where I noticed that the WRX and Legacy own. A bit nervous going around the corners. Panoramic sunroof is really awesome, and the factory subwoofer in the rear side panel is a nice extra touch

I almost prefer cloth over leather, but I really want a sunroof which only seems to come with leather. Oh and it must be a manual
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