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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, the local Merc dealership just got a 2011 WRX hatchback in stock from a trade. Of course, they don't know a thing about it. It's 27000 dollars with about 8k miles on it, and it's the limited trim. Anyway, I took it for a spin (finally, got in a current-gen hatchback!) and it was pretty nice. Since I can do a U-turn on the highway in WV, I can tell you that it will actually do 0-60 in about 5 seconds - so can the car salesman :D

OK, that said, the guy was really eager to show me what a 'grown up car' was like. They had a 2009 C300 sedan with an automatic that was comparatively priced, so I thought I would post up what I thought of both cars. You know, to give people a little perspective.

Exterior:

The WRX in bright red looks like a boy-racer mobile by comparison. The Mercedes... If you don't look at the badge on the back you'd have no idea what model it is, and to look at it you DEFINITELY can't tell it's a $40k car. Or $30. That said, you can tell the paint on the subaru costs about 12 dollars - it already had chips with only 7000 miles. The Mercedes had no chips that I saw, so that's nice at least. Your bland car can look precisely bland FOREVER.


Interior:

The Mercedes wins... but not by as much as you might think. I thought the infotainment system was fiddly and stupid, and to be honest I think it would be a huge distraction. Plus the ergonomics seemed pretty weak - the armrest was a lot lower than anyone my height would expect it to be. Also, the window controls were vertical... What? Odd car, overall. The factory stereo was in every way superior to that of the WRX, but again, lets try not to be too surprised. And to be honest, the seats really weren't that comfortable! I would call it even.

Driving impressions:

The WRX is faster (yeah, no crap! I was shocked too. lulz. ) Of course it was somewhat loud over the freeway, and the ride was a little firm. However, compared to the light pickup I'm used to driving it was absolutely angelic. The steering weight is nice and the engine note is a blast. I can honestly say that the shifter in my 2006 Tacoma is actually more accurate and involving than that in the WRX. The WRX conveys power from something way more interesting, though.

The Mercedes steering was overboosted and vauge, to be honest. I hate to say it but was pretty weak. The acceleration wasn't particularly breathtaking, and considering that the car comes with a V6 and gets gas mileage on par with the STI, I wasn't impressed. Road noise wise, it was NO BETTER IN ANY WAY THAN THE WRX, nor was the ride comfort. The automatic plain sucks. In sport mode, with the setting on to choose your own shifts, it reacts about as fast as sending a text to the person next to you that they should shift. Also it's completely disobedient, shifting up when I was like 3000 rpm from the redline. If I'm not in 'DANGER TO MANIFOLD' territory, leave me alone about protecting the engine! Stupid car.

The moral of the story is, the WRX is as refined as a Mercedes. Get one today.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Nope, got cold feet about the way the car might have been treated.

edit: car didn't need new tires. My bad.
 

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I have the '02 WRX and '08 OBXT, and my wife has the '08 C300. I agree with just about everything you said about the Merc. She had a 2001 Audi A6 before, and it was much nicer than the newer Merc. Audi's interiors are wonderful. Now to be fair, the Merc in 2008 had a base price of $29,900, or about the same as a well appointed Honda Accord. So it is not remotely comparable to an E or S Class.

The Outback is a far better road car than the Merc, and as you noted, quieter on the road. One thing I noticed, is that it is the only car I've ever driven that is slower than it feels! You know when you're just driving down the road and feel like you're going about 60 and look down and you're going 80. Well her car is the opposite. We can be driving along at what feels like 65 and I'll really be going 50-55! It's weird!

Service can be expensive. We purchased the maintenance plan, but scheduled service varies between $300 and $600. Do it yourself or know that going in. With the Audi it was included, and after that I did the maintenance.

Lastly, resale drops a lot on luxury brands. In 2008 her $40k '01 A6 and my $20k '02 WRX were worth almost exactly the same on Edmunds and KBB.

Steve
 

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Interesting write-up, thanks for the thoughts!
 

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If I've learned anything from Band of Brothers and The Pacific, it's that the Japanese or on par with the Germans. The C300 is the last Merc I would buy but that's coming from a current WRX owner. Just maybe slightly biased.
 

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The Mercedes steering was overboosted and vauge, to be honest. I hate to say it but was pretty weak. The acceleration wasn't particularly breathtaking, and considering that the car comes with a V6 and gets gas mileage on par with the STI, I wasn't impressed. Road noise wise, it was NO BETTER IN ANY WAY THAN THE WRX, nor was the ride comfort. The automatic plain sucks. In sport mode, with the setting on to choose your own shifts, it reacts about as fast as sending a text to the person next to you that they should shift. Also it's completely disobedient, shifting up when I was like 3000 rpm from the redline. If I'm not in 'DANGER TO MANIFOLD' territory, leave me alone about protecting the engine! Stupid car.

The moral of the story is, the WRX is as refined as a Mercedes. Get one today.
Probably one of the better metaphors I've seen in a comparison. Well done Jeremy Clarkson.

Good write up.

So how bad were those tires???
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They were meh. The traction control light blinked when I got on it, and again on a 1-2 shift, but I was going pretty quickly.

For the metaphor - Thanks! if I could get his job I would.
 

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Very nice write up man! Honestly, that car was at a pretty good price. I may have played the number game with them...if they were willing to replace the tires, if they really did need to be replaced.

Edit: tires may have not been bad man, it's not too hard to get that t/c light to blink. Did the tires look bad, and like they needed to be replaced?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nah the tires looked great - i was thinking the stockers were bridgestones, but I looked it up and I think those are the original tires. I still hate to spend $27k though. It's a 2011 with 7000 miles - but that price is only about 2k under original sticker.
 

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oh, in the op you wrote that it was a '12...so I thought it wasn't bad for a '12, even though 8k mi is a lot for less than a year old.
 

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I wouldn't buy that wrx you know the salesman is dropping that clutch with every person he shows the car to that clutch is done for. I don't think i would ever buy a used WRX.
 

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I bought my STI used...and it's fine.
 

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Same with me, bought mine used. However, it had a new Clutch, turbo, belts, etc etc etc. Carfax = clean, and the interior is in great shape, couple dings here and there (for a 2004, it's not bad at all though). In other words, exterior is MUCH better than i expected. I got lucky.
 
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