So I've been a member of this site for quite a while and recently I made the decision to move from a WRX to an STi. It took me a while to make the decision, partly because none of the posts I read gave me all the answers I was looking for. That's why I'm writing this.
I had an OBP 05 WRX for a little over 2 years. It was the car I'd wanted since they released the WRX over here and I was psyched to finally own one. After 2 years I still loved it but I wanted more. Some of the soft edges were showing. Body roll, understeer, turbo lag. I meant to get stage 2 but after test driving a couple of STi's...my heart had made it's mind up. I debated because I had a perfectly good car and 2 years of the loan paid off. It was a great daily driver, good looking, quick. I tried to be faithful, but I was, as they say, tempted by the fuit of another.
So a couple of weeks ago, after about 4 or 5 months of searching, I sold my car and bought a WRB 05 STi. It took about 5 minutes before my fears were put to rest and I knew I'd made the right decision. The drive home in my new car was over 500 miles and I've put about another 700 on since. I figured that was good enough for a side to side.
-Engine: Read: Power. Of course this one is obvious but this is what it's all about. It's a huge step up from the 2.0l in the WRX. It revs faster, smoother and the torque is fantastic. The powerband is wider than Oprah at her fattest and gives it a ton of flexibility.
-Handling: Probably a bigger step up than the power was. I love doubling the speeds posted on signs for sharp corners. Came with Falken Azenis RT615 and they grip and grip and grip. Less body roll (which I always hated in the WRX) and much improved turn in. I fairly regularly surpassed the limits of my WRX on the road. The powerslides were a lot of fun but not efficient. It'll take one hell of a crazy drive to surpass the STi's limits on a public road, if it ever happens at all.
-Fuel Mileage: I'm pleasantly surprised here. I managed over 28 mpg on the highway on the way home and in my regular driving I'm getting the same as I did with my WRX. Unexpected but very welcome.
-Daily Drivability: This is where I knew I'd be making some sacrifices. But thankfully they haven't been as big as I'd anticipated. Yeah, it rides quite a bit stiffer than the WRX. But maybe I've only owned crappy vehicles because I always thought the WRX's ride was pretty damn plush. The increased transfer of bumps into the cabin is more than worth the increased handling for me. It's noisier than the WRX by quite a bit too. But most of it's good noise. I can't believe how much louder the turbo spool and BPV sound in this car. Mmmm, boost. It's great, makes me rev the car until the Rev limiter flashes (another badass feature I'm in love with) time and time again just to hear it. Yeah road noise is increased too but if that really bugs me I just play my music louder. I do, however, miss the hell out of my moonroof (my 05 had the premium package).
-Sexiness: Not even a comparison. People say the STi overstates it's purpose and I say God love it for that. Walking away from the car after a drive or to it when I'm about to get in, I can't help but think to myself, "You lucky bastard, you have an STi. 3 years ago this was a pipe dream/poster in your garage, now you're driving it home." Not to mention the blue and gold combo I have is far more attractive than the stealthy black of my WRX. Black looks nice, but after a couple of years it really tells to many stories about mistreatment and New England winters. It'll be a long time before I decide to invest in a black car again, knowing the maintenance it entails.
Overall, I'm psyched about my choice. My smiles per mile quotient is way up and I think it's gonna stay that way for a long time. My WRX was a fantastic car, I don't want that to be misunderstood. I loved it and always will and I hope the next owner feels the same. But the STi is everything I loved about that car jacked up about 5 notches. She isn't the quietest or smoothest or easiest to get along with all the time. But neither was the homecoming queen and we all still wanted a piece of that. The STi isn't much different. It's raw, powerful and everything I had originally thought my WRX would prove to be. Long live uncivility.