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Hi, my name is Brian and I am considering buying a new Subaru WRX 5 speed probably within the next six months. I have been to the dealer and looked it over and sat in one. Did not want a test drive yet because I would probably want to take it home right then and there. The sales person did talk me out of a STI. The first thing he asked me was if I was going to use this as a daily driver and how many miles I put on a car in a year. He said the STI’s tries do not last long at all and the brakes are an arm and a leg to replace. Then the gas mileage was worst that the WRX. The WRX was much better in the deep snow than the STI. I live on a private road that dose not get plowed in the winter. He seamed pretty knowledgeable. I asked if it was a zero clearence motor and he answerd “no” right away. I was very impersed with the fact he was talking me into the cheaper car even though I told him right off the bat I was going to order one. I told him I was looking into the six monthes from now window to purchas. Not once did he put any pressure on me to come “inside” and look at numbers. But I now have a few questions for WRX owners.

What would you say is the weak point of the WRX, Motor, trans, CV joints ext.?

Has anyone bought the performance gauge pack, the three that mount in the dash, worth the money?

Is the oil filter a pain to get to? Oil changes messy?

In cooler weather do any of you run lower octane fuel?

How well dose these car handle icy snowy roads?

What options would you consider “Must haves”?

My fun car is getting real tired. A 1986 Z24 with over 200K. This car was fun to drive, was quick out of the hole, not to good from a role though, decent gas mileage 24mpg, and great in the snow and ice. The motor and Trans have not had any problems at all. But I am oil changing freak. All in all it was not the best “Sports Car” but a great all around car. I will miss it. I bought it used back in 1988.

I am also considering the new Chevy Cobalt with the supercharged 205hp motor. It should be out in the fall with all the other 2005’s. Going to wait for a 2005. But I will have to admit the AWD is going to be VERY hard to beat.

Thanks for any of your inputs.
 

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1. Weak point is often stated as the tranny...I had a small issue, but I know it was my fault...I have 76k on my '02 and its the only problem I've had. Other than that I had my clutch replaced under a service bulletin and a front sway bar mount fall off...but I think it was because it was serviced and not put back on right. So I can't say there's a weak point yet...haven't had anything go without reason.

2. Don't have a performance gauge pack...for the same money or maybe a little more you can get an aftermarket one that'll also tell you Exhaust gas temps, which might be more useful for modding...but then you have to install it.

3. I usually use ramps to change my oil...but its pretty easy overall. I usually get some oil on my hands, but I use a big pan to put all the stuff on, so I never get more than a tiny drop on the ground. I guess its not excessively messy.

4. Nope.

5. Icy snow roads? No problems here...I drive up to go skiing almost every weekend (NH/VT) and this winter I put on dedicated snow tires (Dunlop Wintersport M3s) Never slid at all when I didn't want to. drove through some pretty deep (well over a foot) unplowed roads in Burlington one morning.

6. I really didn't get any options. I got the roof racks, but I bought a Thule instead.

With a mix of aggressive/highway driving I usually get around 24 mpg...a little more w/ my Accessport Economy mode...little less w/ Accessport Stage 1 93 octane.
 

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Skip the gauge pack, you can do better for less.

For the love of god, don't get the premium sound package. The "amplifier/subwoofer" is a joke. As above, you can do better for less.

I haven't had mine long enough to hit bad weather or an oil change :)

I'm commuting in mine, and I average ~28 MPG. I'm considerably less agressive during the commute than I am on the weekends, though ;)

It's a fun, fun car. Good call about the test-drive, though. I bought mine within 24 hours of that first drive... too much fun.
 

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houdini said:
For the love of god, don't get the premium sound package. The "amplifier/subwoofer" is a joke. As above, you can do better for less.
I totally agree, my used WRX came with it and it sucks! The speakers are pretty nice but that sub is total garbage. I had a $20 sub and cheap amp in my old car and it was 99.9% better.

-Joe
 

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For the 2004 WRX, I felt:

1) Brakes were a bit weak. After I upgraded to braided lines, I was satisfied.

2) Gearing/ECU is off. 1st gear arguably slightly too short, 2nd gear decidedly too tall. Cobb Accessport helps.

3) Transmission syncros aren't too great -- especially in 1st gear. Folks tend to try various transmission fluids to alliviate the problem. The syncros have changed in 2005, hopefully for the better.

4) Upgraded stereo good till mid-volume, after which the lack of power is heard. Upgraded speakers are good (and saves time and effort over aftermarket, but might not be worth it financially), upgraded sub not worth it. At a minimal an amp or powered HU is needed at higher volumes. I believe the 2005 WRX has a new system, so this may not be an issue anymore.

5) Suspension too soft. Probably the STI suspension would have been optimal.
 

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umm...

Underscore002 said:
I totally agree, my used WRX came with it and it sucks! The speakers are pretty nice but that sub is total garbage. I had a $20 sub and cheap amp in my old car and it was 99.9% better.

-Joe

granted wrx sound systems do suck, but if you think the subwoofer sucks, you should hear the standard system. *CRINGE!*
 
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