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Old 08-21-2019, 11:14 AM   #1
ACrAPPYRS
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Default Considering an STi - Plz HALP! Coming from an M3..

Hello All!

Let me start by saying I've always had a special place in my heart for Subies. My first car was a 05 Impreza RS - I loved that thing like it was a part of me. I used to be active in the Subaru community (here and the old RS25.com), but then I went to college and had to sell my Subie. Since then I've owned a few BMWs, including an e46 and e92 m3.

Due to where I currently live (NYC) the higher cost of living, long commute through bad roads, and rising maintenance costs on the M are making my current 2 car setup (M3 and Jeep Compass) seem like a huge financial waste (I'm currently spending WELL over $1100 a month on car expenses...).

I'm strongly considering trading both in and getting an STi to serve all driving purposes. No more garage queen/DD setup. I've done some searching and discovered that there are other people on this forum who have made similar moves. Any advice from those people? Are you pleased with the decision?

If I do go STi, which one should I get? I probably would aim for 15-17 as I don't believe in buying a new car and eating that depreciation the first few years. Are the older ones worth it? Are the new ones worth it? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks All!!! I look forward to getting back into the community!!
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:24 AM   #2
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An STi isn't going to give you any advantage over the M3. I don't see why you'd make that change. The Compass alone with somewhat larger tires for the bad roads could be a good choice. Then save up and now and then go rent a Ferrari to take upstate.

If you're set on selling both, boy....I'd be looking for something more rugged than both. On the lines of a Wrangler/Tacoma/Colorado/Grand Cherokee.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #3
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I understand you not wanting to eat the cost of a new car, but you do realize the majority of STI owners don't buy them for peak MPG's, right? I'm on my 7th Subaru (2nd STI, lease), and I prefer the peace of mind being the 1st and only owner. You can get these pretty close to invoice if you dig hard enough, plus you'll get a nice break in your insurance payment each month.

Hope that helps.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:39 AM   #4
ACrAPPYRS
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An STi isn't going to give you any advantage over the M3. I don't see why you'd make that change. The Compass alone with somewhat larger tires for the bad roads could be a good choice. Then save up and now and then go rent a Ferrari to take upstate.

If you're set on selling both, boy....I'd be looking for something more rugged than both. On the lines of a Wrangler/Tacoma/Colorado/Grand Cherokee.
Yeah, I figured it would be a drop in performance between the 2. If i'm being honest, I don't drive my M enough to justify me owning it, and when I do drive it I'm so scared of it breaking/me crashing it that I never really get its full performance potential out of it.

I'm hoping that if I make this move i'll be left with overall car expenses roughly 1/2 of what I pay now, while still having a fun, relatively fast car that can handle winter and potholes.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:46 AM   #5
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I understand you not wanting to eat the cost of a new car, but you do realize the majority of STI owners don't buy them for peak MPG's, right? I'm on my 7th Subaru (2nd STI, lease), and I prefer the peace of mind being the 1st and only owner. You can get these pretty close to invoice if you dig hard enough, plus you'll get a nice break in your insurance payment each month.

Hope that helps.
I personally do not think a lease would work for me as I drive a lot, and would probably like to end up doing some light, tasteful mods at some point. And I know i'll face depreciation with any car purchase, I'm not "scraping pennies" here, but I bought my M at "nearly new" (same MY, but technically "used") and got DESTROYED by depreciation over the next few years...so I told myself I'm never buying a new sports car ever again. So I like to aim for cars in that 2-5 year sweet spot.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:53 AM   #6
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Yeah, I figured it would be a drop in performance between the 2. If i'm being honest, I don't drive my M enough to justify me owning it, and when I do drive it I'm so scared of it breaking/me crashing it that I never really get its full performance potential out of it.

I'm hoping that if I make this move i'll be left with overall car expenses roughly 1/2 of what I pay now, while still having a fun, relatively fast car that can handle winter and potholes.
These current gen STIs can't really handle pot holes, imo. The suspension is the firmest its ever been stock, and the ride height is pretty low already and suspension travel isn't fantastic either. I've hit bump stop more times than I'd like and the shock valving isn't quite right for 4-season battered roads. It can handle snow really well though.

I feel like the wrx/sti is now more geared toward smooth paved roads -- suspension-wise. The AWD handles crappy weather just right for a non-4x4 vehicle.

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Old 08-21-2019, 12:02 PM   #7
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These current gen STIs can't really handle pot holes, imo. The suspension is the firmest its ever been stock, and the ride height is pretty low already and suspension travel isn't fantastic either. I've hit bump stop more times than I'd like and the shock valving isn't quite right for 4-season battered roads. It can handle snow really well though.

I feel like the wrx/sti is now more geared toward smooth paved roads -- suspension-wise. The AWD handles crappy weather just right for a non-4x4 vehicle.
Thanks, this is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. What about previous generations? Are they similar in terms of "durability"? I do my best to avoid these situations and be easy on the car, but stuff happens lol
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by littledrummerboy View Post
These current gen STIs can't really handle pot holes, imo. The suspension is the firmest its ever been stock, and the ride height is pretty low already and suspension travel isn't fantastic either. I've hit bump stop more times than I'd like and the shock valving isn't quite right for 4-season battered roads. It can handle snow really well though.

I feel like the wrx/sti is now more geared toward smooth paved roads -- suspension-wise. The AWD handles crappy weather just right for a non-4x4 vehicle.
I disagree. The AWD system hasn't gotten worse over the years. I live in PA with the most horrendous roads, and coming from older WRX/STI's, I don't see a difference. Maybe just keep an eye out for them more often rather than rolling the dice and hitting them? lol.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:09 PM   #9
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I personally do not think a lease would work for me as I drive a lot, and would probably like to end up doing some light, tasteful mods at some point. And I know i'll face depreciation with any car purchase, I'm not "scraping pennies" here, but I bought my M at "nearly new" (same MY, but technically "used") and got DESTROYED by depreciation over the next few years...so I told myself I'm never buying a new sports car ever again. So I like to aim for cars in that 2-5 year sweet spot.
I wasn't telling you to do a lease, just what i am currently doing. If you're going to get into a used STI, maybe opt for an off-lease CPO that has low miles. You should do some digging on gripes about this body style on here. There's a few threads about common "issues" or "annoyances" that may deter you from this avenue.

Also, if you hate interior rattles, then this might not be the road to endure.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:14 PM   #10
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I disagree. The AWD system hasn't gotten worse over the years. I live in PA with the most horrendous roads, and coming from older WRX/STI's, I don't see a difference. Maybe just keep an eye out for them more often rather than rolling the dice and hitting them? lol.
I didn't say the AWD is worse. I said it handles crappy weather and snow well... its the suspension that can't handle battered roads as well anymore -- it has become more smooth-road biased in the valving, shock travel, and ride height.

I don't aim for pot holes either btw lol. There are times where they're unavoidable on roads where whole sections are crappy and have no choice other than pothole on the left or pothole on the right. Or if they're snow covered and you can't see it. Or if the whole road is just really badly maintained.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sleepyGV7 View Post
I wasn't telling you to do a lease, just what i am currently doing. If you're going to get into a used STI, maybe opt for an off-lease CPO that has low miles. You should do some digging on gripes about this body style on here. There's a few threads about common "issues" or "annoyances" that may deter you from this avenue.

Also, if you hate interior rattles, then this might not be the road to endure.
Ok, got ya. Yeah I think the little insider gripes and issues from owners is the best way to accurately judge what I would be getting myself into. I'm still doing research here on the forums trying to catch myself up on the last decade of STi's

Any specific threads I should look at?
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:38 PM   #12
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I think you should go for a 19. Between the improvements to the motor and trans that is probably your best bet. You don't want to buy someone elses abused toy when you can get one of these pretty close to if not at invoice.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:48 PM   #13
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I think you should go for a 19. Between the improvements to the motor and trans that is probably your best bet. You don't want to buy someone elses abused toy when you can get one of these pretty close to if not at invoice.
Agreed, I got my '19 for below invoice. I wouldn't want a 2nd hand sports car that may have been abused and/or modified by the previous owner. I actually got my '19 STI for cheaper than a used '18 that they had on the lot.

STIs and Subarus in general hold their value pretty well. I think you'll face much less depreciation with the STI than the M3.

With that said, don't buy the STI if you care about fuel economy. You would be better off looking elsewhere (Golf R or WRX) or waiting to see what Subaru does with the 2021 STI.
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Old 08-21-2019, 12:54 PM   #14
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Off topic but.. can you give me a link to your M3 listing if it’s up already? Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:11 PM   #15
ACrAPPYRS
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Off topic but.. can you give me a link to your M3 listing if it’s up already? Thanks!
haha it's not up yet. I haven't put anything in motion yet, still trying to figure everything out. I can definitely keep you in the loop if you're interested. Quick stats are: 2012, base (non-Competition ), DCT, sedan, white on cinnamon, 69k miles. I am looking to get $25 ish for it

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Old 08-21-2019, 01:14 PM   #16
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Agreed, I got my '19 for below invoice. I wouldn't want a 2nd hand sports car that may have been abused and/or modified by the previous owner. I actually got my '19 STI for cheaper than a used '18 that they had on the lot.

STIs and Subarus in general hold their value pretty well. I think you'll face much less depreciation with the STI than the M3.

With that said, don't buy the STI if you care about fuel economy. You would be better off looking elsewhere (Golf R or WRX) or waiting to see what Subaru does with the 2021 STI.
MPG is not a huge concern. Ehh, I don't think a WRX would do it for me, and I've never liked VW's. Its strange, the only things I like are BMWs and Subies lol
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:52 PM   #17
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MPG is not a huge concern. Ehh, I don't think a WRX would do it for me, and I've never liked VW's. Its strange, the only things I like are BMWs and Subies lol
I was in the same boat. I upgraded from a '16 WRX to '19 STI. The WRX was faster (flex fuel tune), but it just didn't have the driving experience that the STI offers.

I'm not a fan of VW, but the Golf R is good car for daily driving, especially given that it's an AWD hatchback. It gets decent fuel economy and responds very well to mods. The problem for me was that I would have wanted the DSG, but I'm not ready to give up the manual transmission yet. I also couldn't find any Golf R's under MSRP and the overall driving experience is more dull than the STI.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:10 PM   #18
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I was in the same boat. I upgraded from a '16 WRX to '19 STI. The WRX was faster (flex fuel tune), but it just didn't have the driving experience that the STI offers.

I'm not a fan of VW, but the Golf R is good car for daily driving, especially given that it's an AWD hatchback. It gets decent fuel economy and responds very well to mods. The problem for me was that I would have wanted the DSG, but I'm not ready to give up the manual transmission yet. I also couldn't find any Golf R's under MSRP and the overall driving experience is more dull than the STI.
Wait, the WRX is faster?? Is that just because of your tune?
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:32 PM   #19
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Hello All!

Let me start by saying I've always had a special place in my heart for Subies. My first car was a 05 Impreza RS - I loved that thing like it was a part of me. I used to be active in the Subaru community (here and the old RS25.com), but then I went to college and had to sell my Subie. Since then I've owned a few BMWs, including an e46 and e92 m3.

Due to where I currently live (NYC) the higher cost of living, long commute through bad roads, and rising maintenance costs on the M are making my current 2 car setup (M3 and Jeep Compass) seem like a huge financial waste (I'm currently spending WELL over $1100 a month on car expenses...).

I'm strongly considering trading both in and getting an STi to serve all driving purposes. No more garage queen/DD setup. I've done some searching and discovered that there are other people on this forum who have made similar moves. Any advice from those people? Are you pleased with the decision?

If I do go STi, which one should I get? I probably would aim for 15-17 as I don't believe in buying a new car and eating that depreciation the first few years. Are the older ones worth it? Are the new ones worth it? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks All!!! I look forward to getting back into the community!!
Subaru WRXs (and especially STI) are not a bad option at all to buy new. They take very little depreciation, especially if you keep them stock or at least not significantly modified.

STI will be waaaaaay off the M3 in terms of performance. But yes, it makes for a great all season, all purpose fun car. That's what I use it for. I had a BMW 330, then got a new WRX, then a new STI.

I lost a LOT of $ to depreciation on the BMW, plus maintenance and repairs were very expensive... it was also terrible and downright sketchy in winter (I also do a lot of snow trips in winter with the family as well). The WRX was not a better car; but it was great for all I do, while getting better fuel mileage and much lower maintenance and basic upkeep costs. The STI is pretty much the same in the sense of how practical it is; except if feels a lot sturdier, incredibly more fun and can be a mild weekend track fun car; but gets TERRIBLE fuel mileage.

So... recommendations...

1) unless you use Jeep for real off road and serious camping/snow stuff; the STI will not substitute it. But, if you just want a basic winter and generally pratical car... then the WRX and STI definitely are.

2) for sportiness.... it's not even near an M3. But... much more practical and significantly cheaper. Both in direct cost and cost of depreciation.

3) Buy new. You can find decent used and non-abused ones in Canada, but in US and A... yikes.

Last edited by F1EA; 08-21-2019 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:38 PM   #20
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Wait, the WRX is faster?? Is that just because of your tune?
It was because of my tune. The FA20 in the WRX responds much better to bolt-ons and ethanol (E85). With a Cobb AcessPort, Flex Fuel kit & tune, the WRX can reach ~320whp with all other mechanical parts left alone. The same parts on the STI's EJ257 would cost more and not yield as good of results.

With that said, there's a reason that I traded up to the '19 STI. It feels a lot more mechanical in nature. The hydraulic PS, Brembo brakes (now offered on the 2020 WRX w/ performance package), rod-shifted transmission, heavier clutch, LSD, DCCD/SI drive, sportier suspension, "boxer rumble" from the UEL header, etc. all contribute to a more connected driving experience that the WRX can't match.

The WRX is also a lighter car. It gets better gas mileage and the gearing is longer which can help with straight line acceleration (less time shifting). It just has more modern technology. With the higher compression, direct injection, twin scroll turbo, etc., it just feels like a faster car for daily driving. The STI's short gearing and larger displacement engine does help offset some of its turbo lag in daily driving.

If you haven't already, I recommend driving both to see how you like them. They both have their Pros & Cons. I think the 2020 WRX with the performance package will be a great option now that it includes the Recaro seats and Brembo brakes. Most people consider a tune as a must have for the WRX to eliminate the rev hang and make the throttle response more linear.

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Old 08-21-2019, 02:50 PM   #21
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Build your own! Just not a fan of the new gen (2002+).
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:54 PM   #22
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It was because of my tune. The FA20 in the WRX responds much better to bolt-ons and ethanol (E85). With a Cobb AcessPort, Flex Fuel kit & tune, the WRX can reach ~320whp with all other mechanical parts left alone. The same parts on the STI's EJ257 would cost more and not yield as good of results.

With that said, there's a reason that I traded up to the '19 STI. It feels a lot more mechanical in nature. The hydraulic PS, Brembo brakes (now offered on the 2020 WRX w/ performance package), rod-shifted transmission, heavier clutch, LSD, DCCD/SI drive, sportier suspension, "boxer rumble" from the UEL header, etc. all contribute to a more connected driving experience that the WRX can't match.

The WRX is also a lighter car. It gets better gas mileage and the gearing is longer which can help with straight line acceleration (less time shifting). It just has more modern technology.

If you haven't already, I recommend driving both to see how you like them. They both have their Pros & Cons. I think the 2020 WRX with the performance package will be a great option now that it includes the Recaro seats and Brembo brakes. Most people consider a tune as a must have for the WRX to eliminate the rev hang and make the throttle response more linear.
Yes to that ^

My lightly modified 16 WRX was a bit faster than the stock 19 STI. With Flex Fuel and some very minor parts, the WRX can be really fast for very little $. I don't care... I still prefer the STI by far. I wasn't getting great mileage on the WRX, but it was way better than what I'm getting with the STI.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:19 PM   #23
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a) a forced induction car uses as much fuel as you make it use. I got legit 28 mpg in my STI on a 200 mile round trip because I was in NO hurry and went 65 at MOST and never passed. Typically I get 21 because I want to. So like any car, drive it for whatever economy you want.

b) with snow tires this car slays snow, period. I've driven in snow Grand cherokees, xterra's, F350's, etc, and other than being so deep the car starts getting hung up the STI will drive through any snow just as well, again, physical depth being the limiting factor.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:29 PM   #24
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b) with snow tires this car slays snow, period. I've driven in snow Grand cherokees, xterra's, F350's, etc, and other than being so deep the car starts getting hung up the STI will drive through any snow just as well, again, physical depth being the limiting factor.
Agreed. I haven't driven my STI in the snow yet, but did have my WRX and Wrangler JKUR in the snow. I had just as much confidence in the WRX. The depth of the snow is the limiting factor. Obviously the extra ground clearance in the Wrangler allows for it to drive in much deeper snow. Snow rated tires are the key regardless of what you're driving.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:51 PM   #25
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I disagree. The AWD system hasn't gotten worse over the years. I live in PA with the most horrendous roads, and coming from older WRX/STI's, I don't see a difference. Maybe just keep an eye out for them more often rather than rolling the dice and hitting them? lol.
He's in NYC. Driving on exactly the same type road in NYC is a different world from driving anywhere in PA. (been there, done that) In NYC, you can't anticipate the humungous pot hole because you're trying to stay in the lane and not lose your place as the merge before the tunnel comes with 500 other aggressive drivers. If there's a pothole, you have to survive it. You literally will not see it. My Wrangler on 295-70 Dick Cepeks would be great in NYC. Not because it handles awesome (I'm not sure a worse handling vehicle exists) but because I can go through a foot deep pothole and laugh about it while intimidating the mini van next to me with the steel front bumper with it's D rings. You can laugh at that description but NYC drivers would love to have this kind of advantage.

There are exotic car rental places in and near NYC. Some of the mainstream agencies have near-exotics even. I'm serious when I say to buy the Urban Assault Vehicle for normal driving and rent a serious sports car now and then. I mean a used H2 Hummer with some murdering out, Fuel wheels and bigger tires would be very fun and intimidating. Don't forget the sticker in the rear window.
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