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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the interest of public service...

Many young people come to this forum looking for validation of their quest for a cool, rally-worthy vehicle like the WRX. Many times they are disappointed by the response from more mature members.

Therefore, I would like to offer a couple of thoughts given my 40+ years of driving.

It takes years to learn how to drive well and how to appreciate the qualities that make a car good or bad. I was very lucky with my first cars, as they were safe (for the time anyway), reliable and fun to drive. But not with a lot of horsepower.

I feel I am still learning how to drive! It took me 6 months to find the sweet spot with my shifts and acceleration and clutching and braking with my current WRX--driving a MT is a highly complex task--being a couple milleseconds off with the clutch or timing the acceleration wrong can really crimp your driving style. (My other comment is that people who think this car isn't fast or fun don't know how to drive it, but that's a topic for another time.)

Anyway, I think it's a given that young drivers even up to age 25 or so need a safe, reliable car that won't break down, handle poorly or fail to protect them in the event of a crash. All Subarus fit that bill IMO, also Hondas and Toyotas. Preferably with a low cost of ownership, including insurance.

The important point from my perspective is that for younger drivers it's not the speed or HP you should be focusing on, it's the transmission and the handling. Therefore you need a MT to really learn to appreciate driving. (That's my bias, and I'm sticking with it.)

I learned to shift on an old Datsun 500--what was it, 50 HP? But I found out how NOT to grind the gears or stall out. My first car was actually a Celica with an automatic trannie, though I wanted a MT. (I really wanted a '68 Camaro but my dad talked me out of it. Thanks, Dad--if I had that car now it'd be worth like 30-40 grand...) The rack-and-pinion handling was great, HP not so great, but you know what? I didn't care. It was a pleasant drive that got me where I needed to go.

My friends who were driving 70's-era Camaros and Firebirds could go faster in a straight line but frequently got tickets and not infrequently ended up in accidents--too much HP with too poor handling and too little experience.

My second car, the first I bought myself, was a Saab 900--2L, producing 158 HP--fine enough on flat ground, but take it from me horrible when driving at altitude in Colorado. Nevertheless, I loved that car--again the handling and finely tuned manual transmission made up for the lack of 0-60. And the awesome Blaupunkt stereo.

My own kids started driving with a Honda CRV (AT) and a Honda Accord coupe (MT 4-cylinder). The Accord in particular was a great driving car. TBH I didn't even know it wasn't a V6 until it came time to sell it...

So kids, my advice, for what it's worth...get safe and reliable until you are financially secure in your work. Focus on the details of driving a well-built car, preferably a manual transmission. If you have the mod itch and want to dress it up, start with exterior mods and the stereo. Believe me, your friends or that really cool person of the opposite sex you want to impress will appreciate a clean car with a nice stereo more than 0-60 in under 6 seconds.

If I were starting out driving again, I would look for a Subaru Impreza or a Honda Accord coupe with a manual transmission, though I would be open to other opinions.

If you are 17 and really, really want a WRX for whatever reason, maybe because it's featured in the new Baby Driver movie, well, I probably can't talk you out of it. Just realize the pros and cons of ownership and drive like a reasonable person, maybe a 50-something old guy ;-) so you won't give the rest of us a bad name.
 
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Also, nice cars don't attract mates and friends. Personality does. So if you are struggling with either take a good look in the mirror and focus on improving what you see.

19 years ago I was a young kid with a fast car. By today's standards this thing was a slug. However it was enough to propel myself, my brother, and my best friend to speeds exceeding 120mph easily. I swore I was a responsible driver and my record to date proves that is reasonably accurate. However at that age heart cooks brain. I was lucky to have the car totaled quickly in an accident where nobody was hurt. I'm convinced that likely kept me from being hurt.

Civics, accords, Corollas, Camrys, and like vehicles are all recommended because they are great driving vehicles, reliable, easy and cheap to work on, reasonable to insure, and in general look great. For a young driver needing to learn the basics of driving, this is absolutely where you want to start. Starting with something harder to drive only steepens the learning curve and promotes stupid driving.

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It's all pointless.

Yesterday I saw a thread by someone stating they are a mature 17 year old.

I left the thread open.

I should have deleted the thread, banned the user, banned myself, and jumped into the nearest lake.

I used to be so much more than I've become.
 

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It's all pointless.

Yesterday I saw a thread by someone stating they are a mature 17 year old.

I left the thread open.



I should have deleted the thread, banned the user, banned myself, and jumped into the nearest lake.

I used to be so much more than I've become.


LMAO!
Yeah, a mature 17 year old just doesn't exist. That's not how it works, and unfortunately 17 year olds will never understand that until years down the road.


Great read OP! Kinda think this should become a sticky so we can TRY to reduce those amount of threads that get started. Same with insurance quotes.

My first car was a 2000 Malibu LS given to me for free in a will. I loved that car...wasn't anything special either, but it was completely reliable...and free. Next was the first car I ever bought, and brand new, a 2010 Lancer ES...then my 09 wrx, then the Tc, A4, and finally now my 06 wrx wagon, and I have 10 years of driving experience now...as you get older, you tend to cool down a bit and drive less erratic....and that's just the way it works. You stop being so stupid
 

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The parts of the brain that control behaviour and rational decisions have not yet fully developed at 17. There is no point in trying to explain this to a 17-year-old, because the parts of the brain that control behaviour and rational decisions have not yet fully developed at 17.

Maybe the next teenager that asks for a car suggestions and says they're mature will have the misfortune of catching me on a bad day. Monday through Sunday are usually the worst.
 

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Well put! I've had 5 MTX SHO's since the mid 90's and I'm still learning the gear ratios of a 4 cylinder turbo car right now. It is a real fun car to drive. I chuckle out of every hard corner while hitting the gas. My kids who grew up in the back seat of the SHO are also enjoying the ride and can't wait to learn to drive. Maybe I should've kept 1.....

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I try not to knock any young person for wanting something cool and sleek. What did I want when I was a kid? NOT anything my Dad would want to drive...

We weren't so focused on horsepower back in the day. At least, I wasn't. I won't deny the appeal of the Camaros and Firebirds, mainly thanks to Smoky and the Bandit. Mostly you were lucky if your parents let you borrow the car on the weekend or let you drive Grandma's old car.

My parents helped me get my first car because I went to school 10 miles away, and it was killing them to drive me back and forth day after day. Safety and fuel economy trumped performance. I drove the Celica for 9 years, including many, many trips from Atlanta to Chattanooga when in college, so definitely a good investment and a good first car.
 

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Great read, my first car i saved up $900+3months insurance washing dishes for 6months, catching a bus to work and bought up front cash a 1984 Honda Accord LX! manual transmission this was in 1997 so about a decade old at the time with 150,000 miles already.
I will add i was in no way mature at the time, i was being taught some life long lessons

Now looking at today you can get a nice 10 year old car to learn how to drive that is plenty reliable, honda/toyota will get you 200,000 no problem and then you dont have a car payment when making a decision about going to college, getting girls prego early on and etc.... :woocow:
 

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Well I try not to knock any young person for wanting something cool and sleek. What did I want when I was a kid? NOT anything my Dad would want to drive...

We weren't so focused on horsepower back in the day. At least, I wasn't. I won't deny the appeal of the Camaros and Firebirds, mainly thanks to Smoky and the Bandit. Mostly you were lucky if your parents let you borrow the car on the weekend or let you drive Grandma's old car.

My parents helped me get my first car because I went to school 10 miles away, and it was killing them to drive me back and forth day after day. Safety and fuel economy trumped performance. I drove the Celica for 9 years, including many, many trips from Atlanta to Chattanooga when in college, so definitely a good investment and a good first car.
I wanted a cargo van with a camper so I could go out and get anihilated crash in the van and be comfortable. It's also easier to do the deed when your not cramped into a little seat.

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Well I try not to knock any young person for wanting something cool and sleek.
I have no such reservations. I've about had it.

When I was in my late teens I wanted the following:

Citroën DS
Citroën 2CV
Lancia 037
Lancia 038
Ferrari 408
Porsche 959

The 2CV and DS are cars that changed history and I cannot imagine two vehicles from the same marque that are more significant. I'd gladly drive them today. The 037 and 038 were impractical, outright dangerous, and ludicrous choices for anyone, let alone a child. The Ferrari 408 was the first AWD Ferrari and I always thought AWD was the only sensible solution for a 4-wheeled vehicle (consider the profundity of that statement: it was so inherently obvious and so simply correct that even a child could see it, yet there are clueless Luddites that would somehow argue even today; go figure). Ditto the 959 -- perhaps my favourite of the Group B cars despite not actually having done anything remarkable (the Le Mans finish of the 961 variant was an exception, and perhaps a blasphemous one at that since the car burned to the ground; the Paris-Dakar wins were great too, but a raid and a rally are different things -- go win the Acropolis and then we'll talk).

I was clueless because I was a child. My brain had not yet developed fully. My opinions and wishes were ephemeral and utterly meaningless.

I wanted a cargo van with a camper so I could go out and get anihilated crash in the van and be comfortable. It's also easier to do the deed when your not cramped into a little seat.

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That's why the song goes,

Never again in an Autobianchi...
 

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I say urge them all to buy new WRXs. Helps my stock value, the cars are safe (as any), the cars hold value well, if they can't afford it this is the best way to learn early, if they can afford it good for them.
 

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I say urge them all to buy new WRXs. Helps my stock value, the cars are safe (as any), the cars hold value well, if they can't afford it this is the best way to learn early, if they can afford it good for them.
The more children who buy them, flood the market, and destroy them, the lower the value gets.

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It's all pointless.

Yesterday I saw a thread by someone stating they are a mature 17 year old.

I left the thread open.

I should have deleted the thread, banned the user, banned myself, and jumped into the nearest lake.

I used to be so much more than I've become.
LOL that is the best post ive ever read, thank you.

View attachment 291369 i just pulled a pic off of google for a 1994 chevy blazer in white, and all terrain tires since i dont have any pictures of the actual truck i had. but that is pretty much what it looked like(i think mine may have had a lift kit, my memory is hazy), different wheels and more chrome tho. it is what i learned to drive in, only dallied it for about 4 months before i got my 2004 civic si tho(fast and furious was a very big motivation here).

my cousin just got his license and guess what he got as his first car? a 2008 mustang gt with all season tires!!! in NJ, he must be quite a mature 18 year old cuz hes been driving it for a year now and hasn't crashed yet. tho it didn't snow much this past winter.
 

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Good write up DJ . . .

I also saw the post the other day from a "mature 17 year old" . . . and was about to post something about it, but then realized that a) what they were asking actually wasn't way out there since they were not asking about having Dad and Mom buy them a WRX and how would they mod it to have 600 hp and b) when I was that age I was mature for my age (as I am sure many of them are when they post here) . . . but I had no clue that while I was mature for the age, I was far, far from being mature . . . or more importantly . . . experienced when it came to driving.
 
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