2011-2014 WRX vs 2008-2010 STI
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This is a discussion on 2011-2014 WRX vs 2008-2010 STI within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey everyone! I'm new to the forums and hopefully will soon be a new Subaru owner and have narrowed my ...

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    2011-2014 WRX vs 2008-2010 STI

    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!

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Wrx in my opinion. Especially the years you mentioned. Older cars have their issues...spun bearings, broken clutch welds. Then factor in price on maintenence the sti is more expensive, more expensive insurance
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    Registered User Mitch08WRX's Avatar
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    On the 2008-2010 STi models they don't have the 2011-2014 front bumper, which I personally prefer. I would buy a 2011+ STi, if I were to buy one. I know many people (one being my brother) who own an STi and I don't think the ride, in general, is much different for commuting. The handling/braking is a different story although. I wouldn't say the maintenance cost is a reason not to buy one, my brothers has held up fine and has 60,000 miles. Only interval maintenance done, in which the WRX will also need, but yes it will be somewhat more expensive. That being said, I would buy a 2011-2014 WRX before I bought the 08-10 STi (you might want to stay away from the 08). The STi has it's reasons to buy one, but for a commuter I would buy a WRX. I guess it would depend on how good of a deal I found too, if I were to buy an STi. You can buy a brand new WRX for under $30k, or you can have a potential problem car on your hands buying a used STi. Thats my 2 cents worth, good luck!

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    Village Idiot McBill's Avatar
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    Maintenance between a WRX and an STI should not be noticeably different, more involved, or more expensive at all.
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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    I wasn't referring to regular maintenance. That will be very small in differences. When parts start going bad that's the difference but otherwise braking is really the part that's going to set them apart
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    The Guy On The Couch TownLine500's Avatar
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    Welcome!
    I have a 2013 WRX, and it's a great car.
    There are a few mods I have done to it (check my build thread)
    If I knew how much I was going to put into it mod wise, I would have bought an STI.
    So it really depends on your goals for your car, and your personal preference.
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    Village Idiot McBill's Avatar
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    I've also known people to have no difference in insurance coverage cost between a WRX and STI, and then I have know people to have a huge difference between the two. In terms of insurance, it's so hard to speculate as it's not just the car. It's even more so dependent on the driver, his/her age, race, sex, and driving history. so in that respect, you might want to call your insurance company and see what they say. I do that with bikes all the time. I'll call my agent to see how much a couple different bikes I'm interested in would cost me to insure. They would be able to give you a number that will be pretty darn close to the actual amount it would cost.
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    Registered User Mitch08WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McBill View Post
    I've also known people to have no difference in insurance coverage cost between a WRX and STI, and then I have know people to have a huge difference between the two. In terms of insurance, it's so hard to speculate as it's not just the car. It's even more so dependent on the driver, his/her age, race, sex, and driving history. so in that respect, you might want to call your insurance company and see what they say. I do that with bikes all the time. I'll call my agent to see how much a couple different bikes I'm interested in would cost me to insure. They would be able to give you a number that will be pretty darn close to the actual amount it would cost.
    Well put, I would do the same. I am 21 years old and own a 14' WRX. I have absolutely no tickets and the cost of insurance is nearly $1200 under my name for every 6 months as opposed to $600 under my father's name. For an STi, it went up to nearly $1500 under my name and $625 under my fathers. It all depends on your insurance and age like you said. I could not EASILY afford the full insurance cost of my WRX yet alone an STi, something the OP might want to look into.
    Last edited by Mitch08WRX; 10-21-2014 at 12:52 PM.

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    Registered User DiRty Impreza's Avatar
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    People who own WRX's are going to tell you to buy WRX's. People who own STi's are going to tell you to buy the STi. In the end its up to you. Go drive them both, see if the extra horse power, better braking, 6 speed tranny, better suspension, DCCD, and upgraded interior of the sti is worth it to you. Like they said it all depends on your plans for the car. Not a lot of people need the extra performance, but it is worth it for the price. But is that a price you would want to spend? Insurance is the same, I've had both. I came from an 02 wrx, 09 wrx, 06 sti, 15 brz, 99 rs, back into an 09 STi. So i prefer the extra performance of the STi, because i've already had it. It would be to hard to go backwards, and would cost more then i would want to spend to make a wrx an sti. A wrx should be enough for you coming from a honda though, it is more practical for daily driving. End of rant, goodluck and welcome.
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    Registered User DiRty Impreza's Avatar
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    Also all model year GR's are prone to the firewall cracking. 08-14 They are all the same body style. Only the late 08 and early 09 wrx's were prone to main bearing failure's. Just because the front bumper is slightly different from and 08-10 sti than an 11-14 should not change your decision. It all depends on whats a better deal. Dealerships act like theses things don't lose their value.
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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRty Impreza View Post
    People who own WRX's are going to tell you to buy WRX's. People who own STi's are going to tell you to buy the STi. In the end its up to you. Go drive them both, see if the extra horse power, better braking, 6 speed tranny, better suspension, DCCD, and upgraded interior of the sti is worth it to you. Like they said it all depends on your plans for the car. Not a lot of people need the extra performance, but it is worth it for the price. But is that a price you would want to spend? Insurance is the same, I've had both. I came from an 02 wrx, 09 wrx, 06 sti, 15 brz, 99 rs, back into an 09 STi. So i prefer the extra performance of the STi, because i've already had it. It would be to hard to go backwards, and would cost more then i would want to spend to make a wrx an sti. A wrx should be enough for you coming from a honda though, it is more practical for daily driving. End of rant, goodluck and welcome.
    Based on his original post I think he should buy a WRX (and the newest one he can afford). I own an STi

    Quote Originally Posted by DiRty Impreza View Post
    Also all model year GR's are prone to the firewall cracking. 08-14 They are all the same body style. Only the late 08 and early 09 wrx's were prone to main bearing failure's. Just because the front bumper is slightly different from and 08-10 sti than an 11-14 should not change your decision. It all depends on whats a better deal. Dealerships act like theses things don't lose their value.
    I think the fact that the suspension was significantly upgraded in 2011 should have more of an impact on the decision. I concur that the bumper should be of little relevance.

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    Registered User Mitch08WRX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRty Impreza View Post
    Also all model year GR's are prone to the firewall cracking. 08-14 They are all the same body style. Only the late 08 and early 09 wrx's were prone to main bearing failure's. Just because the front bumper is slightly different from and 08-10 sti than an 11-14 should not change your decision. It all depends on whats a better deal. Dealerships act like theses things don't lose their value.
    Isn't this forum about giving people advice? No need to counterdict others buddy, not everybody knows everything and is in your situation hard ass. Anyways, I didn't buy an STi because it did not suit my needs. Im not telling him to get a WRX, he is simply asking for an opinion in which I gave. Off topic, but that's all

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    Thanks for the advice and opinions so far everyone!

    The reason why I'm choosing between 2011-2014 WRX & 2008-2010 STI is simply down to price. Through my research so far, they are priced around the same, but of course the STI having more miles.

    I do not have any plans for modifications for either model, so my main concern is real world driving. I think it's going to come down to comfort vs performance, so again thank you everyone so far for your input!

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    Registered User DiRty Impreza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch08WRX View Post
    Isn't this forum about giving people advice? No need to counterdict others buddy, not everybody knows everything and is in your situation hard ass. Anyways, I didn't buy an STi because it did not suit my needs. Im not telling him to get a WRX, he is simply asking for an opinion in which I gave. Off topic, but that's all
    I wasn't contradicting anybody, just giving my ADVICE. Sorry if you took offense, I might just have a different opionion. Like you said, isn't that what this forums about? I also agreed he would be better suited in a wrx.
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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsibanez View Post
    Wrx in my opinion. Especially the years you mentioned. Older cars have their issues...spun bearings, broken clutch welds. Then factor in price on maintenence the sti is more expensive, more expensive insurance
    I don't really see any difference in terms of the issues you listed. All of the mentioned cars are on the same 'chasis'. Spun bearings really haven't been an issue since the 2.0L engine - and was normally due to people putting a lot of power through them.

    My 2011 STi insurance was cheaper than if I had insured a 2011 WRX. No idea why. None of us are insurance appraisers, so I would say we leave that up in the air.

    Maintenance wise, they are quite similar. The brakes on an STi are slightly more to replace, but the differences are going to be nominal compared to your choice in parts for either model.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch08WRX View Post
    On the 2008-2010 STi models they don't have the 2011-2014 front bumper, which I personally prefer. I would buy a 2011+ STi, if I were to buy one.
    It's still the same body overall. STI's have been widebody since 08. You can always change them if it's that big of a deal. I never knew people really cared that much. I definitely wouldn't pick a newer model just for one different body panel.

    I know many people (one being my brother) who own an STi and I don't think the ride, in general, is much different for commuting. The handling/braking is a different story although. I wouldn't say the maintenance cost is a reason not to buy one, my brothers has held up fine and has 60,000 miles. Only interval maintenance done, in which the WRX will also need, but yes it will be somewhat more expensive. That being said, I would buy a 2011-2014 WRX before I bought the 08-10 STi (you might want to stay away from the 08). The STi has it's reasons to buy one, but for a commuter I would buy a WRX. I guess it would depend on how good of a deal I found too, if I were to buy an STi. You can buy a brand new WRX for under $30k, or you can have a potential problem car on your hands buying a used STi. Thats my 2 cents worth, good luck!
    Agreed. I wouldn't expect a huge difference. Buy a few aftermarket parts to address any complaints you have regarding either model.


    Quote Originally Posted by McBill View Post
    Maintenance between a WRX and an STI should not be noticeably different, more involved, or more expensive at all.
    You know that 2.5L engine in the STi requires unicorn blood in it's oil as opposed to the (very similar) 2.5L in the WRX, right?




    I think everybody has missed the main point here. Step back and look at your finances. While you are considering an older model of an STi to even out the price difference, finances still factor into the decision - you'll be picking up cars that depreciate at slightly different rates over the next several years.

    Anyhow, I'll sum up some thinking points for you:
    -Do you want to do the maintenance/work on it? If you are handy, I would be more prone to recommending an older/used car.
    -Do you care about having a newer car in general? Interiors fall apart. Door dings happen. Stuff breaks.
    -Do you plan on building the car up in the future? While being a bit biased, the STi is the better model to build up. Just look at how many threads have poppped up recently regarding transplanting six speed transmissions into a WRX.
    -Do you plan on tracking the car? Neither of the models are great track cars if you are frequenting the track - unless you are a millionaire and have a spare car sitting around. It is a lot of fun, though, if you don't mind the expenses. The STi brakes will get you buy on some road courses provided that you swap in some track pads. The STi transmission is less likely to break. The STi intercooler is slightly better (but still sucks on a track). Most importantly, the drive line in the STi will run circles around the WRX drive line on the track - limited slip differentials and active center diffs are pricey for a reason.
    -Look at the prices for used WRXs and STis over the past several years. Get a feel for the depreciation rate. They are strange cars.
    -Are you going to be annoyed that you didn't get the STi, if you get the WRX? (I probably would have been)
    -Out of your concerns listed, all of them can be changed very easily with a few aftermarket parts (which a used car may already have) for better or worse. You should do some reading and familiarize yourself with those options and their degree of difficulty and their complexity.

    Either way, they are good cars. You'll just have to give it some thought and figure out what you want.
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