WRX v GTI v SI v MS3
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This is a discussion on WRX v GTI v SI v MS3 within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I'm in the market for a new daily driver, done a ton of research and formed a list of 4 ...

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    WRX v GTI v SI v MS3

    I'm in the market for a new daily driver, done a ton of research and formed a list of 4 rides with pros and cons for each.. but there are some reviewers out there that seem to be biased. Pretty much exhausted "expert" reviews, so I'm looking at various forums to see what real owners feel. I hope this goes better than the civic si forum thing did.

    Looking at 2012/11 models. SI, MS3, GTI, WRX. The list of things I'm looking for are (in no particular order) safety, performance, reliability, MPG. Currently in a 00 civic, mpg and reliability are off the charts, but the drive is boring. I want more speed and handling, a reason to have fun in my car.

    I'm a big fan of the look of the new WRX, the pure performance aspect, and the AWD. (live in WI, winter etc) Not so big of a fan of the MPG, or the price.. but at least with the WRX I feel like you're getting value. All in all I really like it, currently 1st on my list.

    MS3 performance wise is awesome, and the price is right but the exterior is a mess, the mesh black/red seats are a disaster.. I really don't know if I could bring myself to drive it. Oh, no sunroof option either.. straw, meet camel etc.

    The si is 4 stars as far as reliability/mpg/safety/price, but the exterior is bland, the interior is.. odd.. and performance wise it really doesn't bring much to the table. Plus when I made a post on an si forum similar to this one, I was instantly attacked by a few people for saying that things like mpg and reliability are as important as 0-60 times.. if that's the "normal" si owner I'm not sure I want to be one.

    GTI has a fantastic interior/mpg, but from reviews and videos and such it isn't as quick as the MP3/WRX. Cost is high here too. Everyone says the shifter is amazing and it handles like a dream, but if I'm dropping 26-30 grand I don't want to feel like my car is underpowered.


    So anyone own or driven these vehicles? Different opinions from what I've listed? How's the reliability on your WRX? Handling/interior quality on the WRX v GTI? (those 2 are at the top of my list, followed by the si then the MS3) How is the
    distance driving on the WRX? I make a 5 hour trip 2-3 times a year, comfort would be a plus.

    thanks!

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    Registered User anxiouz's Avatar
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    Si - Fun, decent mpg, but bland and boring. Great resale but nothing you would be excited to drive. If you just want a commuter with a lil pep in it's step, this would be excellent. If you want to mod or feel power then it's not so great.

    GTI - Nice little cars but everyone I know who's had one has constantly complained about stuff breaking, roof lining sinking, etc...minor nusances. And given their cost I don't care for them.

    MS3 - Very nice. FWD is good for snowy weather and they have tons of pep and are fun. Personally I can't stand their new (literally) facelift. But they're great cars as long as FWD is ok with you.

    WRX - My MPGs are 21.x really no matter how I drive and I'm stage 2. To me that's pretty dang good. AWD is awesome for weather, the interior is sparse but decent. Comfort is just fine since the suspension is so soft. If you want "sporty" handling stock...the WRX isn't it. But with some sway bars or springs you'll be much better off.

    So I would say WRX if you want usable power (the usable torque on these are fantastic) and any-condition drivability. If you want a nicer ride and interior then go MS3. But to me those cars are now so freaking ugly I can't even look at them without laughing. So I would go WRX > SI > MS3 > GTI. The cost of the GTI is completely unjustified given the quality and power of the car.
    Steve // 2010 Cadillac CTS-V // 2011 WRX hatchback (SOLD)

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    Owned a 2010 mazdaspeed3 and traded it for a 2011 sti sedan.

    The ms3 was awesome bang for the buck and felt as fast as my sti did stock on the highway (speed3 had intake and exhaust) ms3 got 25mpg and my sti stage one gets 20. I drive in 75% stop and go traffic.

    However... I was never in love with the look of the ms3 and rarely got comments on it etc. The Subaru gets people making u-turns to compliment it.

    Speed3 was terrible in the snow you should get winter tires if you get it. I drove in some terrible storms with the sti and it did amazing even with summer tires.

    I'm absolutely in love with the wide look of the WRX/STi and I would have gotten the wrx and then just modded it, but I have a kid and am super busy so I chose to just pay more monthly.

    Go drive a new GTi and that will rule it out immediately (same with civics), especially if you drive a WRX or MS3 first

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aetherfury View Post
    Owned a 2010 mazdaspeed3 and traded it for a 2011 sti sedan.

    The ms3 was awesome bang for the buck and felt as fast as my sti did stock on the highway (speed3 had intake and exhaust) ms3 got 25mpg and my sti stage one gets 20. I drive in 75% stop and go traffic.

    However... I was never in love with the look of the ms3 and rarely got comments on it etc. The Subaru gets people making u-turns to compliment it.

    Speed3 was terrible in the snow you should get winter tires if you get it. I drove in some terrible storms with the sti and it did amazing even with summer tires.

    I'm absolutely in love with the wide look of the WRX/STi and I would have gotten the wrx and then just modded it, but I have a kid and am super busy so I chose to just pay more monthly.

    Go drive a new GTi and that will rule it out immediately (same with civics), especially if you drive a WRX or MS3 first


    I'm pretty close to going for some test drives, getting credit score checked and financing prepared etc. WRX and GTI are definitely getting tested, depending on how those go I'll check out the Si (can't ignore the price) and then the MS3. If the MS3 didn't have such a butt ugly exterior and seat design (the mesh red/black is hideous) I would check it out.. but right now it'll only get tested if the first three disapoint.

    So how is the WRX as far as comfort? Have you guys had any major mechanical repairs? All the reliability scores I've seen are vague.

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    Registered User Willard's Avatar
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    Early build numbers of the 09 WRXs and 08 STis had engine problems. All as since been resolved. My throwout bearing was going out with 24k on the odo, it was serviced under warranty. No other issues.
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    Other than comfort on long drives, I did think of one other thing..

    For those that have bought new, what's the demand like? (WRX, not STI) I don't want to walk in and have to fight for a car, I'm hoping that they're happy to get rid of what I'm looking for.

    Not a big fan of paying sticker, or not having any leverage on the dealer.

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    Wants to Sell His Honyota Civilander..Any Takers? BigDaddyRex's Avatar
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    As for demand - it depends where you are shopping. In some areas there are none on the lots and everyone is ordering them, but in other areas they can be found. There is significant demand, and Subaru does not seem to be able to quickly meet it (impacted by the earthquakes, etc.?).

    Haven't driven the others, but I recently went through the same basic checklist when I was shopping (except for the SI - just too boring a car to me). The MS3 is a great performer - especially once you are into 3rd gear when the boost is not restricted to limit torque steer, but I have dealt with torque steer before and never want to go back. The VDub is a great looking car and has some areas it definitely outshines the WRX in, but comes up short in other areas. I went Subaru because it was the total package - great performance (I think the out-of-the-box handling is actually pretty strong considering it is based on an economy platform - for street use it handles about 98% of what you might ask. If you plan to track it then you would go with some pretty affordable upgrades.), nice looks that get plenty of positive attention from people who know cars, a solid and unpretentious interior that has all the basics covered, AWD and all its advantages, and pretty good mileage numbers for the performance you get (I'm averaging around 23 mpg and have heard it may go up a bit when I move to Stage I shortly.

    Haven't regretted the purchase for a minute. Good luck with your decision!
    - Chris
    2011 WRX DGM (The Fastest Color) 5DR
    Cobb AP Stage 2 93, Cobb DP, RAs, STS (the dream comes true ...)

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    I bought my WRX Limited about 2 months ago, the supply is tight in my area. I have contacted 5 or 6 dealers and most of them only have 1 or 2 WRX/Sti in stock. One of the salesman told me the supply is really limited b/c the earthquake. He said there will be no more 2011 model from Japan, the next shipment will be in Aug for 2012 model. I was lucky to found a dealer give me a deal only $200 more than the invoice price.

    For driving impression, I really love my WRX. I traded in my Celica GTS and nothing it could compare with the WRX. It is so much fun to drive even though I haven't finished my break in period. My only complaint is the interior is kind of plastic feels, other than that....I love the car. Hope this would help for your decision.

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    I've owned 2 VWs and they're awesome to drive. My STI is the first car I've ever bought twice other than a 911 (I had a 2001 C4 before my Turbo) because the bang for your buck performance is the best out there. If you really want performance, then the debate is over, the Subaru all the way. But if you want an awesome interior VW makes the best in the industry.

    The Si isn't in the equation because the performance doesn't match up to anything else you asked about. The MS3 is just kind of blah.
    Scott
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    Registered User revhq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anxiouz View Post
    Si - Fun, decent mpg, but bland and boring. Great resale but nothing you would be excited to drive. If you just want a commuter with a lil pep in it's step, this would be excellent. If you want to mod or feel power then it's not so great.

    GTI - Nice little cars but everyone I know who's had one has constantly complained about stuff breaking, roof lining sinking, etc...minor nusances. And given their cost I don't care for them.

    MS3 - Very nice. FWD is good for snowy weather and they have tons of pep and are fun. Personally I can't stand their new (literally) facelift. But they're great cars as long as FWD is ok with you.

    WRX - My MPGs are 21.x really no matter how I drive and I'm stage 2. To me that's pretty dang good. AWD is awesome for weather, the interior is sparse but decent. Comfort is just fine since the suspension is so soft. If you want "sporty" handling stock...the WRX isn't it. But with some sway bars or springs you'll be much better off.

    So I would say WRX if you want usable power (the usable torque on these are fantastic) and any-condition drivability. If you want a nicer ride and interior then go MS3. But to me those cars are now so freaking ugly I can't even look at them without laughing. So I would go WRX > SI > MS3 > GTI. The cost of the GTI is completely unjustified given the quality and power of the car.
    +1 to this.

    Drove my ex's GTI pretty extensively for a couple years, and while I would add it is a very fun car to drive, it loses points against the WRX for the aforementioned reasons. She had all sorts of problems with reliability, weird electronic issues under 50k just seems stupid when you look at the cost of those cars. The transmission however is very forgiving when compared with that of the WRX.

    MS3 is fun to drive but like the Honda, it's bland and it seems like every other person has one on the road.

    You came to a Subi board to ask us about our opinions, so you're definitely going to get a little bias. For my money, I have been absolutely thrilled with my purchase. Over 70% of my driving is in the city. Honestly this car makes driving anywhere more fun. The AWD destroys in the winter for trips up to the mountain. While the Premium gas and only average MPG kind of suck, it more than makes up for it with the performance and value. Plus the resale on these is very good, and something you should consider in your decision.

    Just my two cents..hope that helps.
    2011 SWP WRX Premium 5-door!

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    As two of you said, coming to a subaru forum to get wrx info is like asking a fat guy if the buffet has good food.

    Like I said previously tho, I've gone to other forums and asked questions there too.. kinda like the reviews for a movie says it's one thing, but your friends all say it's another.. who ya gonna trust? This has honestly been the best reception I've had, and I appreciate the time you all took to reply. The Si forum was a joke, I made the same basic post and was attacked because I mentioned performance, reliability, resale value, and mpg in the same breath.

    The Si was in the running until I "talked" to those guys, if that's the average Si owner I don't want to be a part of that group. (Plus that thing is a slug compared to the WRX lol)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ironbutt View Post
    One of the salesman told me the supply is really limited b/c the earthquake. He said there will be no more 2011 model from Japan, the next shipment will be in Aug for 2012 model.

    what? seriously? I've googled about 10,000 webpages about the 11 WRX, this is the first I've heard of that. (no more 2011s I mean, not the earthquake.)

    So I guess it's on to the 2012? Are there any changes or is it the same in and out?

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    Wants to Sell His Honyota Civilander..Any Takers? BigDaddyRex's Avatar
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    2012s will be the same as the 2011s. 2012 Subaru debuts the new Impreza - but not the WRX/STI variants. Maybe 2013 for those. Will be interesting to see what improvements they make - as of now I'm not thrilled with the body style for the base 2012 Impreza. It's competitive vs the competition in the economy jungle, but not that sporty looking IMO.
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