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Old 09-11-2019, 09:38 PM   #1
AnalogMan
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Default Anyone own both a WRX and BRZ?

I've been shopping for a BRZ since the beginning of the year. Along the way, She Who Must Always Be Obeyed In All Things (Mrs. AnalogMan) decreed that before I could buy another mostly impractical sports car, I had to get something that would be 'practical' year-round transportation, particularly usable in the winter in our new home in snowy New England.

So, much to my surprise, earlier this year I test drove, and bought, a new WRX Limited (6 speed of course). I never paid much attention to them before, both because we don't need another 4-door car (wife has a Crosstrek), and because of youthful stereotype of the WRX (being in my 60's, I don't quite fit that demographic). But it was so much fun to drive, great visibility, roomy enough for our needs, that I couldn't resist. The stiff and jittery ride might get old after a while, but that's a decision for the future.

There's one space left for a car in our lives, and I can buy anything within our budget (as long as it's not a Corvette, Mrs. AnalogMan refuses to get into one). For the past few months, I've been debating with myself about buying a BRZ. I like the car very much. It's the kind of old-school analog-feeling elemental sports car I grew up with and always loved. But, I question if it's silly to have 3 Subarus in the family? (My other car is a 2015 Mustang GT, bought as a retirement present for myself, to commemorate my first car being a rusty clapped out old Mustang when I was 16).

Along the way I also seriously considered the Nissan 370Z, love the engine, came close, but in the end couldn't deal with the abysmal visibility and cramped interior. Also test drive the Miata RF, which is still a candidate, but neither my wife nor I are especially into convertibles anymore. I thought about a used Cayman, but just can't bring myself to own a car with a virtually sealed engine compartment and no oil dip stick, and rip-off maintenance and repair costs (I also think a path to a happier life is to not buy cars that are a complete PITA to own, which is why I avoid German cars).

Does anyone else have both a BRZ and a WRX? Is it silly to have both?

Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:09 PM   #2
jasonwrx86
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If you have a Mustang GT, it's pretty pointless.
I would spend a couple $k to modify the Mustang instead of buying a BRZ.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:10 PM   #3
carsebuco
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Had a BRZ, gf has WRX, and I an STI. Nothing beats the stock driveavility of the BRZ. It's crazy how it takes corners, but if you're not going to auto-x, you'll never utilize it to its full potential.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:13 PM   #4
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I don’t have a wrx and brz. However we have a new Lexus , wrx , sti , and I sold my forester xt about a month ago. I will replace it with a 5 speed Impreza for a winter beater and to teach my teenage daughter how to drive a stick. You can’t have to many Subaru’s!
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:57 PM   #5
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I don't own both but I stayed at a Holiday inn Express once.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:35 PM   #6
Norm Peterson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
But it was so much fun to drive, great visibility, roomy enough for our needs, that I couldn't resist. The stiff and jittery ride might get old after a while, but that's a decision for the future.
You may notice that ride quality softens up a bit as initial seal friction/stiction in the shocks & struts drops off in service.


Quote:
(My other car is a 2015 Mustang GT, bought as a retirement present for myself, to commemorate my first car being a rusty clapped out old Mustang when I was 16).
It's not like the last couple generations of Mustangs make for poor track day cars, though due to their greater size and weight their behavior is more deliberate (and you do have to be able to budget more for consumables). I occasionally track an '08 GT myself.


Norm
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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I have both a WRX (2003) and a BRZ. Both are modified, the WRX quite a lot, but they are totally different driving experiences. The BRZ is my daily that turned into STX auto-x car while the WRX was down for a motor rebuild. I love driving both, and each takes a different approach to drive quickly, which can either be thrilling or challenging depending on your take.
No one can ever have too many Subarus in my opinion, I have 2 more and am looking for a nice Baja project as well.
If you are looking for a great 2 door sports car to drive on back roads and enjoy the act of driving, the BRX fits the bill perfectly.
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Old 09-12-2019, 05:14 PM   #8
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My wife had a BRZ (traded it for her Forester XT a couple years ago). Great car. A lot of fun to drive. My wife likes a little more power so I put a Edelbrock super charger kit on it. Wow! It really woke that car up. It could give my stock STi a real run for the money.

-Craig
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:11 AM   #9
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Dumb question i know you said your shopping for a brz but how much have you driven a brz? I haven't had both the wrx and brz at the same time. To give you an idea I had an 02 wrx with a bunch of bolt on parts and traded it for a 2007 s2k. I loved the s2k but needed something that could handle snow so came back to subaru and picked up 2012 sti hatch and enjoyed it. I ended up picking up a brz a couple years later thinking it would be similar to the s2k but with a back seat and fixed roof. While it was a beautiful car with great handling the performance was rather lackluster. The cost to modify it to similar performance to any of my previous cars made it a rather poor choice. I did an open flash tune along with intake and exhaust and decided it still wasn't all that great. I debated supercharging it but to me hp per $ and reliability wise it wasn't worth it. I ended up getting rid of the brz after a year. I think you may find the brz to be rather lethargic and underwhelming. I would modify the mustang.
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:52 PM   #10
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I've driven a BRZ only twice, both test drives from a dealer. I used to own a S2000 for about 10 years. In a weak moment, committed one of the biggest (automotive) mistakes of my life and sold it (we were living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, which has about 3 days a year when you can put the top down in a convertible).

I'm looking for something like the S2000 but a hardtop (not really into convertibles anymore). The real answer would have been to put a hardtop on the S2000, but I couldn't find a factory hardtop anywhere close to me. I agree with all the comments about loving the looks and handling of the BRZ, but wonder if the relatively pedestrian engine will satisfy in the long run.

I plan to drive the car strictly on the street. I've already slightly modified the Mustang GT (as much as I'm willing to to). It also has the Performance Package, so it's at the point of diminishing returns for street driving with further modifications. I like the Mustang, except for the relatively poor build quality (it's a Ford...). It also feels and drives like a much larger car than it is. I'd like to get something small and limber.

Thank you very much everyone for your thoughts and experiences. You've given me a lot to think about.
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Old 09-21-2019, 07:59 AM   #11
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I have both. They are both great. Got BRZ for long commutes because of better mpg. BRZ is a go kart. Only notice lack of torque after driving the WRX. Even with header and tune. But itís great to drive FI and then NA.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
I've driven a BRZ only twice, both test drives from a dealer. I used to own a S2000 for about 10 years. In a weak moment, committed one of the biggest (automotive) mistakes of my life and sold it (we were living in the Pacific Northwest at the time, which has about 3 days a year when you can put the top down in a convertible).

I'm looking for something like the S2000 but a hardtop (not really into convertibles anymore). The real answer would have been to put a hardtop on the S2000, but I couldn't find a factory hardtop anywhere close to me. I agree with all the comments about loving the looks and handling of the BRZ, but wonder if the relatively pedestrian engine will satisfy in the long run.

I plan to drive the car strictly on the street. I've already slightly modified the Mustang GT (as much as I'm willing to to). It also has the Performance Package, so it's at the point of diminishing returns for street driving with further modifications. I like the Mustang, except for the relatively poor build quality (it's a Ford...). It also feels and drives like a much larger car than it is. I'd like to get something small and limber.

Thank you very much everyone for your thoughts and experiences. You've given me a lot to think about.
I personally think the ND2 (2019+) MX-5 (Miata) RF is a great option. Having owned an S2000 and spent quite a bit of time driving a BRZ, I think you'll find the new Miata more comparable to the S2000. The RF gives you a hard top and still allows you to put the top down if you want.

I like the BRZ, but if that's the route that you want to go then I suggest waiting until the next generation is released to see if it has the larger displacement FA24 as the rumors suggest. Hopefully they'll be able to tune out the torque dip.

Having owned a S2000 and a couple RX-7s, I'd have a 2019 Miata Club (or preferably a 30th Anniversary edition) in my garage instead of the '19 STI if I didn't have the need for a "practical" 4 door car at this point in life. My '16 WRX was fast, but just not an engaging enough driver's car.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXnick16 View Post
I personally think the ND2 (2019+) MX-5 (Miata) RF is a great option. Having owned an S2000 and spent quite a bit of time driving a BRZ, I think you'll find the new Miata more comparable to the S2000. The RF gives you a hard top and still allows you to put the top down if you want.

I like the BRZ, but if that's the route that you want to go then I suggest waiting until the next generation is released to see if it has the larger displacement FA24 as the rumors suggest. Hopefully they'll be able to tune out the torque dip.

Having owned a S2000 and a couple RX-7s, I'd have a 2019 Miata Club (or preferably a 30th Anniversary edition) in my garage instead of the '19 STI if I didn't have the need for a "practical" 4 door car at this point in life. My '16 WRX was fast, but just not an engaging enough driver's car.
Good advice except instead of buying the new one, pick up a used one for cheap when all the fanboys trade in for 20hp. I bet they drop in price pretty good. Does not bother me because I will be taking my 16 to 250k or more, letís see.

I agree about the newer cars and engagement. Get yourself an 04-05 STI. Best engagement.
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:09 PM   #14
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Good advice except instead of buying the new one, pick up a used one for cheap when all the fanboys trade in for 20hp. I bet they drop in price pretty good. Does not bother me because I will be taking my 16 to 250k or more, let’s see.

I agree about the newer cars and engagement. Get yourself an 04-05 STI. Best engagement.
That's a very good point. Depreciation hits the BRZ very hard if that's of concern.

They make K20/K24 swaps for NA Miatas now. Budget S2000
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
I have both. They are both great. Got BRZ for long commutes because of better mpg. BRZ is a go kart. Only notice lack of torque after driving the WRX. Even with header and tune. But itís great to drive FI and then NA.
Thank you Ernest! If I buy a BRZ, I was planning to get a header and tune to try to eliminate the infamous torque dip. You've done those mods - does it not accomplish that? Is it worth doing the header and tune? I'm not looking to 'track' the car or to shave hundredths of a second off some arbitrary time, but for improved 'seat of pants' feel.

WRXnick16, I've looked at the ND Miata, and it's on the list. It's fun to drive, but, truth be told, it's really a tiny car. I'm 'not small' (6', 200 lbs) and I just fit. With two people in it, it seems pretty tight for anything more than a half-hour joy ride.

If I didn't feel so foolish buying the same car I sold a couple of years ago but for more money, I'd probably buy a S2000 with a hardtop.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:45 PM   #16
Wayne Suhrbier
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The nice thing about owning too many Subarus is that you only have to learn how to work on one car. Well if they all have ej engines.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:31 PM   #17
Ernest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
Thank you Ernest! If I buy a BRZ, I was planning to get a header and tune to try to eliminate the infamous torque dip. You've done those mods - does it not accomplish that? Is it worth doing the header and tune? I'm not looking to 'track' the car or to shave hundredths of a second off some arbitrary time, but for improved 'seat of pants' feel.

WRXnick16, I've looked at the ND Miata, and it's on the list. It's fun to drive, but, truth be told, it's really a tiny car. I'm 'not small' (6', 200 lbs) and I just fit. With two people in it, it seems pretty tight for anything more than a half-hour joy ride.

If I didn't feel so foolish buying the same car I sold a couple of years ago but for more money, I'd probably buy a S2000 with a hardtop.
The header and tune help a lot. The car is fun. But if you are used to that torque of the WRX itís not the same. Basically you need to get the revs up and then the car really goes.
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Old 09-25-2019, 09:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest View Post
The header and tune help a lot. The car is fun. But if you are used to that torque of the WRX itís not the same. Basically you need to get the revs up and then the car really goes.
Thanks again Ernest!

Out of curiosity, did you ever consider a Nissan 370Z instead of a BRZ?
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Old 09-28-2019, 06:58 PM   #19
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Thanks again Ernest!

Out of curiosity, did you ever consider a Nissan 370Z instead of a BRZ?
All the reviews say it really does not handle as well. But it does have more power. I always liked them though. Being a Subaru fan I got the BRZ.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:08 PM   #20
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As someone who owned a BRZ and now owns an STi. The BRZ does not offer anywhere near the same fun factor that an STi does and feels much more cheaply made. A Mustang GT is a much more fun car for the money than the BRZ/FRS is.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:46 AM   #21
Norm Peterson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imfazwe View Post
As someone who owned a BRZ and now owns an STi. The BRZ does not offer anywhere near the same fun factor that an STi does and feels much more cheaply made. A Mustang GT is a much more fun car for the money than the BRZ/FRS is.
Finding fun in driving a "momentum car" takes a much different mindset from driving a car whose primary attribute is big power, and that's not a common attitude among folks who are relatively new to driving (when you've been driving for as long as I have, even 20 years of driving experience qualifies a person as "relatively new" to the activity).

I'm not picking on you over your age, just commenting that straight line acceleration and where stomping on the gas pedal throws you back in the seat is the side of car performance that people understand first, other facets coming in later (for some folks, never). This "point and shoot" approach to driving is mostly about the car, momentum driving is so much more about the driver.


Norm
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:47 PM   #22
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As someone who owned a BRZ and now owns an STi. The BRZ does not offer anywhere near the same fun factor that an STi does and feels much more cheaply made. A Mustang GT is a much more fun car for the money than the BRZ/FRS is.
If fun = massive torque for straight-line acceleration, then yes.

If fun = too much power to go WOT on the streets before entering very illegal speeds, then yes.

If fun = high 11 sec 1/4 mile times from the factory with the 10 speed auto, then yes.

Torque is addicting. Especially for a daily driver that mostly sees city or highway commuting.

Learning how to push a light weight, momentum car to its limits to better yourself as a driver = priceless.

This something that you'll grow to appreciate as you get older and have had fast, high horsepower cars. Why do you think Miatas are so popular at autocross/track days? You really need to have access to winding backroads or regularly attend track days to appreciate cars like the BRZ and Miata.

Given the right environment, a stock BRZ can be a lot more fun to drive than my STI or even a Mustang GT.

Last edited by WRXnick16; 09-30-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:45 AM   #23
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Definitely not silly to have both a BRZ and a WRX (IMHO). Daily drive the BRZ for a blast to/from work and weekend warrior the WRX (personally thinking mountains, lakes, camping trips, etc).
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:56 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imfazwe View Post
As someone who owned a BRZ and now owns an STi. The BRZ does not offer anywhere near the same fun factor that an STi does and feels much more cheaply made. A Mustang GT is a much more fun car for the money than the BRZ/FRS is.
I have both an '18 WRX and a boosted BRZ which are both making 400whp. Just in comparison, the BRZ feels like a go-kart and makes the WRX feel like a corolla. Even before it got turbocharged It was more fun in almost every situation besides comfort and going fast in a straight line. Sometimes I even wish I kept it NA so I could drive it at 10/10ths.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:35 AM   #25
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Thanks Cv9 and NoRotor85! Sometimes, a guy just needs a little sanity check for a bit of reassurance than I'm not doing something totally insane (partially insane is OK, but I try to avoid the completely crazy things in life).

NoRotor85, does your screen name mean you're not a fan of rotary engines? I used to own a Mazda RX8 and absolutely loved it. One of the other big (automotive) mistakes of my life was selling it, in a weak moment when I was fed up with all the usual rotary maintenance headaches. I've been looking for a similar driving experience (but hopefully more reliable) since then, and hope the BRZ will be it.
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