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Old 07-14-2003, 12:19 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 39810
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Default And they say you can't go home again... need some help deciding.

So... the time has come... and I have decided that my next car will be a Subaru. I actually owned a Legacy many years ago, and it was very near and dear to my heart, but when the lease was up I no longer needed a vehicle (had moved back home to NYC) so I gave it up. When it was time to get a set of wheels again, I went with a VW GTI because I wanted a sporty hatchback and the WRX was not available at thet time. Now, it seems like there are too many options in the Subaru world.

I test drove an '04 WRX, an '04 Forester XT, and a Baja today and was happy with each of them (though, obviously, the WRX and Forester are more fun than the Baja). Let me tell you my situation, and then perhaps you can send some advice my way.

Aside from the sporty driving element (which they all have... I would wait for the Baja Turbo if that's what I really wanted), what I need is a backpack on wheels... something that I can take hiking/camping, biking, sailing, rockclimbing, skiing, and all the many other outdoor activities I enjoy. I know that each of these vehicles fit this bill in their own way... just as my Legacy did... but does one outshine another when taking in the big picture. I hear the Forester XT, due to it's 2.5 engine, has better power at high altitudes vs. the WRX. Is this noticibly true? The Forester also has a higher ground clearance... but the Baja Turbo is supposed to have the highest of all three when it comes out. Which of the vehicles, if any, has the more rugged suspension for when I tackle old logging roads and other unpaved/precarious routes? Aside from a sportier look, what does the WRX have over the Forester in the way of advantages? In spite of its marketing, does the Baja really offer enhanced versatility vs. the other two? Or, rather, does it limit what you can take with you because of the narrow hole in the switchback pass-through and the lack of cargo security. Basically, I'm looking for the Subaru for all seasons, for all reasons (at the risk of sounding corny... too late). Which would you choose?

I'm hoping to get advice from people who have lived with their vehicles for a little while and have gotten over the honeymoon... though advice from all is more than welcome.

Also... I prefer the '03 look of the WRX. Are there any major advantages that really mean anything (i.e. brakes, suspension, stabilizer bars, etc.) that the '04 has vs. the '03? I know there was a link somewhere that listed all of the features that were new on the '04... but I couldn't seem to find it with the search function. (yes, apparently I'm that stupid). If someone could direct me to that link, that would be a great help.

I know this is a pretty basic and possibly silly post... but it never hurts to ask... and perhaps someone who has lived with their vehicle can pass on some wisdom that can only be gained over time.

Thank you, in advance, for all of your help and advice. I'll take it upon myself to welcome myself back to the Subaru family... and I happy to be home again.


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Old 07-14-2003, 12:55 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 20267
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: IL
|'02 GGA WRB|
|'03 BH6 PSM |

Default nice,,,,,,,,,

Hey man!

Nice hearing you out
There aren't any differences between the 03 and 04v WRX, except for the new look of the exterrior, and few minor things inside.

As for the Forester XT and BAJA Turbo, both are going to be nice in comparison. Personally I would with the XT since I do not need the "backpack" behind me. But if you need the back space, then fo for the BAJA.

The other option is to wait for '05 Legacy and Outback which will come in the spring of '04, hopefully. These two cars are gonna be a blast, seriously. Better engine options than the Forester and BAJA. Well, if you have the tome.

I don't know if my thoughts are that good right now, it's been a long day
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Old 07-14-2003, 09:21 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 38692
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Outside of Philly
2003 Baja Sport


Well, if you liked the Baja, you could always get the ARE cap and put it on when you needed it. That might be too much of a pain though. The Baja is a great vehicle, but if you're going to put a lot of stuff on the roof, you might want to go with the XT for the ability to support the stuff on the roof easier. You'll have more limitations about what you can put inside, since you'll be constrained to the sides and top of the vehicle whereas with the Baja, you can stick all sorts of crap all around anywhere you want. The BajaT should have the highest clearance like you said, but I don't know how it compares to the others, since I haven't driven another Subaru (ever). Others here have had their Baja for many more miles than I (I just did my 1k oil change yesterday), so they might have a bit more insight.
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Old 07-14-2003, 12:32 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Kirkland, WA
2014 Outback SAP
leggtnut on lgt.com


There is another comparison that might help. For myself, I was looking at the same thing when I get my next car. I want something for doing everything I enjoy outdoors and to have a enjoyable ride at the same time.
For myself, I like a more spacous intorior and more of the bling bling. So that means that I was looking for a vechiel built on the legacy frame. It is a wider frame than the impreza frame is and typically has more of the luguraous options in it. The legacy frame also speaks to my style. The Forester is built on the Impreza frame so it is not as wide and for myself, I find it not as confortable. I love my wife's forester and it is a great car that we are currently using for our outdoor get around and it does ausome off the beaten path.

Well that is just my 2 cents worth and that is why I am looking at the turbo baja when it comes out.

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