Hey everyone! I'm new to the forums and hopefully will soon be a new Subaru owner and have narrowed my choices down to either a 2011-2014 WRX or 2008-STI STI. The reason between these years is down to price. I'm still having difficulty deciding on which one to pick up as I still am not sure which one would be more appropriate to me so hopefully you guys can steer me in the right direction.
Background story: So just recently my 2005 Honda Accord coupe's transmission decided to give up on me on the way to work. I got some estimates for the repair and with the year and mileage I have on my Accord, it's probably not worth it to repair the transmission. My dad and brother both have Subaru's (BRZ & Outback) so they got me interested in picking one up as well.
What I need: The hatchback is a must as a hobby of mine I am a musician, so I need to pack up drum, guitar, or sound equipment from time to time. The AWD will be great because I commute to Philadelphia from South Jersey for work. Having that traction during the snow storms is a big plus. I want it to be comfortable enough for my wife and we'll be planning for kids in near future so for them as well.
So to compare the WRX and STI in the real world. Since the STI is tuned more for performance, how much harsher is it on the road in comparison to the WRX? I'm talking about road, engine, & exhaust noise and also how much harder the suspension is on the roads? For AWD Snow traction, does the differential in the STI provide any benefit in real world driving vs performance driving? How does the cost of ownership compare (insurance, gas, maintenance, etc..)? I might be covered in the fun to drive/performance department as I own an S2000, but that's only for part of the year. I fear I may regret not purchasing the STI, but I may not want the extra performance if the STI is a lot more uncomfortable than the WRX.
Thoughts and opinions anyone? Thanks in advance!