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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title says I’m interested in buying a WRX. First some background. I’m currently driving a 2015 Mustang GT auto. I’m looking to to change because I want AWD and a usable back seat. Has anyone her went from a Mustang to WRX? Pros & cons? I test drive one yesterday, at a dealer 90 minutes from where I live, only because I was visiting my brother. So impressed with the test drive that if it was the color I want would’ve negotiated price and trade. Looking for WR blue. My other question is, I’ve never driven a car with summer tires, and liked the way the car stuck to the ground like it was glued. The weather was about 50 degrees. Is that due more from the summer tires or the car. Since I live in South Jersey and don’t get a ton of snow, I’ve always driven all season tires. I’ve read that some WRX owners switch between summer and winter tires. If just got a set of good UHP all season tires, would they be close to the stickyness of the summer tires. Not interested in changing tires twice a year. I’ve read you’re giving up some performance, but I’m not looking to take hairpin turns at 80 MPH. It’s goimg to be my only car, and I have a 20 minute commute each way, and some casual weekend driving. I’m not much of a car enthusiast, for me it’s more about the show then go, but I do like some go.

I’m still on the fence, but probably will pull the trigger by next weekend. TIA for all replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I would also like to add that I’ve been driving Mustangs since 2005, and until March 7th never got stuck in the snow. Main reason is I don’t drive in the snow unless I have to and have a short commute. That’s why I’m asking about the all season tires. If I have to give up a small amount of performance to have all seasons I’m ok with that. Like I said earlier I’m not looking to drive it like I stole it.
 

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Uhp all season tires are better than all season in the summer but way behind summer rubber. They are also substantially behind all season and winter tires in winter situations.

It's worth your time and money to have a summer and winter set.
 

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Since I live in South Jersey and don’t get a ton of snow, I’ve always driven all season tires.
The temperature plays a bigger factor than precipitation.

I’ve read that some WRX owners switch between summer and winter tires.
Most, I would hazard.

If just got a set of good UHP all season tires, would they be close to the stickyness of the summer tires.
Not even remotely close.
 

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BlueBel,
You are right in that you absolutely don't want to drive summer tires in the winter in NJ and need to get something else. What you go with is totally up to you. There's lots of debate on this forum about all-season vs dedicated summer/winter tires. It's America...you decide. IMO, If you've driven on all-season tires your whole life and you don't plan on taking hairpin turns at 80 mph, you'll be happy switching to all-season tires. I went with all-season tires and I live in Southern Ohio. (p.s. I also lived in Alaska for 7 years .... and used mostly all-season tires except for 1 year I had winter tires on a car before I sold it).

You will love the extra space and ability to haul 4 people comfortably in the car!
 

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well i just got my 18 wrx last october. it was also the first car i ever drove with summer tires, and after 2 months it became the first car i ever drove with winter tires when i switched over. im pretty much sold on the whole having 2 sets of tires thing, i don't think ill ever go back. i do like the performance of the summer tires but it was the winter tires that really blew my mind. i never knew that level of performance was possible on snow.

i have had a few terrifying experiences driving in snow on all seasons. i was lucky that none of them resulted in any damage of any kind, but looking back i am certain that none of them would have even happened if i was on winter tires.

so zax said temperature plays a bigger factor than precipitation. EE just did a video a few months ago testing summer vs winter tire stopping distance below freezing on dry pavement and the summer tires were still way better than the winter tires. i believe it was around 26F, maybe the results would be different at 5F not that it is likely to get that cold in NJ. and who knows what the difference would be if the road was wet with brine. maybe the tires can still warm up enough through friction on dry pavement to function but not if its wet, i dont know, the video does still leave much to consider but it is still a counter intuitive result.

a few points to consider
-you need to do tire rotations on an awd car so your taking the wheels off a couple times a year anyway.
-any kind of all season tire is a compromise. if tire manufacturers had the technology to make a perfect tire in every situation they would, and that tire would quickly become law that you must have it because it would likely increase the safety of cars nearly as much as the seat belt did. but they don't, and so summer/winter/all season tires still exist.
-you said you like show more than go? what better way for some show than a set of wheels?
 

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I have two sets of tires/wheels for my 2017 WRX. Ditto what has been posted above, that running the OEM summer HP tires when the temp’s get below 40 is not a good idea, in fact a bad idea living in NJ during your winters.

A great option for your consideration, involving one set of tires and OEM wheels, is the Michelin A/S 3+’s. While people scoff at all season tires for a performance car, and as long as we are excluding track/autocorss, they have obviously not driven that particular tire. Coupling it with our WRX’s AWD, you have what you will need year round (except not a 10”+ blizzard).

Note: Major difference between the old Michelin A/S 3’s and the newer A/S 3+.
 

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Ok, so i have a 2016 WRX LTD., with the cvt transmission, and Navigation package which came with the I-Sight Package.....I have not enjoyed a car this much in a very long time , that my wife has the Forrester and my daughter the Crostreck sort of makes my family a Subaru driving bunch i guess so ....all are incredibly sturdy and the WRX goes much faster than you will ever want to go until you actually own one then .....Ok this car even the 2016 will out handle and out perform anything in its class ...tuners argue the EVO has more guts thats for the tuners to decide ...the CVT has three very distinct modes si, s, and s#....the si sport intellegent mode delivers 32mpg on the highway 26-27mpg highway and 18mpg in city only ...engaging the sport mode resets all the shift points and power curves and takes this very well mannered all wheel drive sedan to the next level, a real touring sedan with room for the kids or another couple in the back....sport sharp well this is another story all together the six speeds in the first two ranges go to a very throaty sounding eight speed with a completely re configured computer set up to equal any touring sedan very fast , very fast , you can opt to shift the car in any of the three ranges but you will never shift the car and reach the maxium potential that the car can do on its own ...it is still fun to try ... Ok so what did i find could have used improvement ? Seats the lumbar support , no arm rest in the back seat , no arm rest adjust on the front console....kinda bumpy ride , noisy here and there ...all addressed in 2017 and further improved on in 2018....I love the eye sight package with all the warning devices , the nav package with the intellegent cruse controll....mine is the silver with the black leather , when i am stopped for gas , people come up to me and ask me about the car its fun , Oh two important mods to the car....i changed out the dunlop uhp summer tires for the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ uHP All Season,best overall rating for performance and all weather events...changed out the fog lights as well for some yellow high intensity ones ...thats it ....oh change the oil every 3000 miles not 5000 , and just drive it ... my wife says i have the biggest grin on my face when i drive that car ...enjoy.....you only go around once ..there is no comparison to the Mustang in this price range this wrx loves the road plain and simple...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I only had a 15 minute test drive, but I’ve never driven a car that sticks to the road like this one. I was wondering if it’s the car or the summer tires. When you switched to the all season Michelin’s, did it still have that same stick to the road feel? I may have mentioned this earlier, I’ve never driven a car with summer tires, that’s why I ask. My plan is since warm weather is right around the corner, leave the OEM summer tires on till November then get a set of the Michelin’s since I’ve read great things about them. I also see some arguments about getting dedicated winter tires. But the winters in NJ are not extreme.
 

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id think its the tires? i drove a 2004 civic si for 11 years witch i believe had normal Michelin all season tires, i dont think it had any kind of special uhp tires. that civic weighed in 600 lbs less than the wrx and im pretty sure the wrx handles better. the wrx also has wider tires but its a substantial weight difference to overcome with a couple cm more tire...

to me it really boils down to this. do you want your car to perform its best at all times? you said you are not much of a car guy in your original post. ive seen plenty of people claim they love their uhp all seasons, but as others have said it will never be as good as dedicated tires. so if you really dont want to spend some money on a 2nd set of wheels id honestly say maybe you should just get all seasons. but with 2 sets of tires, your tires will last twice as long, so other than the initial investment it isn't any more expensive than all seasons.
 

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90+% of WRX drivers chicken out going around corners — afraid to push their cars that last 10% of the car’s capabilities. Unless you are track skilled, you will be just as happy, just as safe on the Michelin A/S 3+ tires. In fact a friend of mine who works for TireRack for decades, considered one of their best test drivers, was bragging about how great the Michelin A/S 3+ performed on some track laps he took. And that was not in an AWD car.

And when the temps drop below 40 degrees, you will be many times safer on those tires than an UHP tire. Think of a UHP’s traction around freezing temps, like a hockey puck skipping across an ice rink — for UHP get their great grip due to warm/hot temps, and give up safety/security the lower the temps get below 40 degree F.
 

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90+% of WRX drivers chicken out going around corners — afraid to push their cars that last 10% of the car’s capabilities. Unless you are track skilled, you will be just as happy, just as safe on the Michelin A/S 3+ tires. In fact a friend of mine who works for TireRack for decades, considered one of their best test drivers, was bragging about how great the Michelin A/S 3+ performed on some track laps he took. And that was not in an AWD car.

And when the temps drop below 40 degrees, you will be many times safer on those tires than an UHP tire. Think of a UHP’s traction around freezing temps, like a hockey puck skipping across an ice rink — for UHP get their great grip due to warm/hot temps, and give up safety/security the lower the temps get below 40 degree F.
that is exactly why i will do 1 or 2 auto x events this year, i am a big chicken. i really have no idea what the limits of this car are and absolutely dont want to find that out on the road :)
 

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Just keep in mind when u are test driving the wrx that 30% pedal equals damn near 100% acceleration. If you are happy with the power you felt then no worries. There is no difference in acceleration from the pedal being halfway to the floor and the pedal being pinned
 

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BlueBel said:
I only had a 15 minute test drive, but I’ve never driven a car that sticks to the road like this one. I was wondering if it’s the car or the summer tires. When you switched to the all season Michelin’s, did it still have that same stick to the road feel? I may have mentioned this earlier, I’ve never driven a car with summer tires, that’s why I ask. My plan is since warm weather is right around the corner, leave the OEM summer tires on till November then get a set of the Michelin’s since I’ve read great things about them. I also see some arguments about getting dedicated winter tires. But the winters in NJ are not extreme.
Tires are the only part of the vehicle that is in contact with the road. They are the determining factor in cornering grip and stopping distance. Once you slam on your brakes, you're relying on your tires grip to stop your vehicle. 1' of stopping distance can be the difference between a butt-pucker moment and automotive buttsex. Aftermarket suspension mods can help (firmer / lower springs help reduce weight distribution in corners), but the limit to traction lies on the tires. Aftermarket brakes can help (better pads / fluid can reduce brake fade), but once the brakes lock-up, the only thing that's stopping the vehicle is the tire compound.

There are different levels of winter tires:
1) Performance winter tires are built with a compound designed for dry tarmac traction in colder temperatures at the expense of snow/ice traction vs studless snow tires.
2) Studless winter tires will give up some dry tarmac traction for increased snow / ice traction vs performance winters
3) Studded winter tires will give up some dry tarmac traction for increased snow / ice traction vs studless winter tires

A performance winter tire will have superior dry / snow / ice traction vs a performance all-season tire.

A studless winter tire might give up some slight dry traction vs a performance all-season, but will have significantly better snow / ice traction. Compared to a regular A/S tire, I would give the dry traction grip to the snow tire, assuming you bought a good one.

A studded winter tire will certainly give up dry traction vs a performance all-season, but will have night / day better traction in snow / ice conditions.

As far as summer tire vs performance all-season, I can tell differences in summer tires with cornering grip. I can take a familiar highway sweeping offramp (30MPH rec speed) at the limit 2-3MPH faster with my Michelin Pilot Super Sports than I could with the previous Cooper RS3-Ss (both "Max Performance Summer" tires, same size, same modifications, same alignment, etc.). The only difference to my vehicle is the tire compound and tread. This isn't an issue with familiarity with the corner or my vehicle (same exit for 15 years, same car for 11 years). I would expect a performance all-season tire to be in the 4-5MPH slower range vs my MPSSs.

The only time the A/S tire may be better is when your temperatures fluctuates around 40°; the winter compound gets a bit greasy and the summer compound gets a bit "hockey puck". There's always that one-month window of "do I swap?" that you experience in the spring / fall, but the other 10 months of the year, a dedicated set will be superior.

Living in NJ, I recommend either performance / studless winter tires. Studded winter tires are completely unnecessary for you.

WRX John said:
I will exceed 1.0G regularly (and comfortably) in my Z06 on the track, but on even deserted curvy country roads, .90G is where I am comfortable (same car, but different location/circumstances).
Meticulously maintained tarmac vs ???

An unexpected imperfection (e.g., pothole, undulation, sand, etc.) in the road mid-corner can spell disaster.
 

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Elaborating a little more...

Consumer Reports take on winter tires vs A/S:
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/09/do-you-really-need-awd-in-the-snow/index.htm

Cliff notes (tests performed in CT)...
Braking test 2015 CR-V (OE A/S and Aftermarket Winter tires) in snowy conditions (vs Toyota Camry with Aftermarket Winter tires):



I've never met someone in the northeast who has experience with dedicated summer/winter tires and has decided that the expense is not worth it (and goes back to A/S). As said, by having the two sets, each last twice as long, so the only real "additional expense" is the extra set of wheels (you'd be an idiot to pay for mount/balance each season), which you recoup when you sell the vehicle with two sets of tires. Those who advocate for A/S tires are those with no idea the difference that dedicated sets offer.

I can give you personal anecdote of the difference between dedicated sets and A/S tires. I run studded Nokian tires on all vehicles (AWD/4WD). I put down 800lbs of halite to allow family members who have AWD vehicles and A/S tires the ability to make it up my driveway for holiday festivities. It was a particularly icy time, and I probably would've thrown down ~200lbs for myself if I didn't need to account for their garbage tires.
 

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Stanley Yahtzee said:
that is exactly why i will do 1 or 2 auto x events this year, i am a big chicken. i really have no idea what the limits of this car are and absolutely dont want to find that out on the road :)
Auto-X is great for learning your vehicle in a controlled environment. Most courses don't break the 60MPH mark, so you're able to see how your vehicle handles at the limit in the speeds you're likely to experience.

My advise:
1) Try to walk the course with experienced Auto-Xers / instructors, getting input from them.
2) Have instructors ride with you to give advice
3) Have someone filming your runs that you can review later (interior footage is also helpful)
4) Don't worry about competing with other people in your "class". Only focus on your own driving and improving throughout the day. This is especially important if your vehicle is modified, and you're competing outside the #-Stock class.
5) Put your car into 2nd gear and leave it there. Don't worry about shifting, focus on throttle / steering. Once you've gotten the hang of those two aspects, if you have to downshift, you can worry about the gear you're in.
 

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90+% of WRX drivers chicken out going around corners — afraid to push their cars that last 10% of the car’s capabilities. Unless you are track skilled, you will be just as happy, just as safe on the Michelin A/S 3+ tires. In fact a friend of mine who works for TireRack for decades, considered one of their best test drivers, was bragging about how great the Michelin A/S 3+ performed on some track laps he took. And that was not in an AWD car.

And when the temps drop below 40 degrees, you will be many times safer on those tires than an UHP tire. Think of a UHP’s traction around freezing temps, like a hockey puck skipping across an ice rink — for UHP get their great grip due to warm/hot temps, and give up safety/security the lower the temps get below 40 degree F.
Im going to agree with John here. I live in SE PA, prob same or nearly same weather as you get in Jersey. Even though we dont get a ton of snow, you never want to be caught out in any amt of snow or freezing precip on summer only tires. AWD or not, its a recipe for disaster.

I bought my 17 WRX in late Feb 17 and with the warm winter we had didnt need to get a second set of tires right then. The OEM tires did stick like glue. When winter rolled around, I switched to the Michelin A/S 3+ on the OEM rims and they were great. They had prob 7/10ths the grip the summers did in the dry, were great in the rain and got me through what snow and slush and ice we did have through Feb this year. I had the intention of just using them year round and not going back to summer tires. I have the same Michelin A/S 3+ tires on my wife's old X3 AWD and even with them being 2/3 worn the snow traction was good enough to get her around in the last storm without issue. Just being careful was enough.

I sold the 17 and bought an 18 STi a month ago. I immediately bought a set of 18" Motegi rims with BFG Comp T/A A/S tires this time because I didnt want to run 19" in the winter with all the potholes and other worries with low sidewall tires in winter. The BFG A/S grip just as well in the dry and wet as the Michelins and they have a really large rim-saving rib. I cant vouch for the deeper snow traction as the roads were mostly cleared by the time I needed to go anywhere but in light slush and plowed snowy roads etc they were fine. In the dry, I can still push the car through the twisties at 70mph on my early morning commute and not scare the hell out of myself. They both are quite capable tires.

My dedicated snow tire experience is dated (blizzaks and dunlops some 10 yrs ago) and will say that if you want to go in snow and never worry, buy them. They have no equal in snowy weather. The trade off is that they kind of suck in the turns on dry pavement in warmer temps when there isnt any snow compared to anything else. A friend who lives in MD with a 17 WRX bought dedicated snows and says yeah they are awesome in snow, but he cant wait to get them the hell off because they are no fun sponges in the dry, which is what he mostly sees where he lives. I drove his car and didnt like the trade off in the dry given the amount of snow we get where we live.

Personally I think Subaru should sell these cars with A/S tires already on them or at least make it an option like other MFRs do. That would give us all more flexibility depending on what tires we wanted to use for summer/winter

UPDATE: I will caveat the above that I have a lot of experience driving in snow and otherwise so A/S where I live works for me. If I lived in snowier climates like North of the NY/PA border or Colorado or something where the weather was more unpredictable, Id would def use dedicated winter tires. Should the Mid Atlantic winters get to be as snowy and cold as they used to be, Id also change my plans and go with something better than A/S in the snow, but as it stands, I dont feel I need them.
 

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I have not driven a Mustang surprisingly but drove a Camaro last week. It was an enjoyable experience, but since the weather is kinda crappy in the Midwest these days I really appreciated the WRX when I got back.

I think they are very different driving experiences. One is more straight ahead, great sensation of being pushed in a big hunk of metal by the back wheels. Obviously, handling has improved remarkably in these muscle cars over the last decade. But traction control is no substitute for AWD when trying to get traction on a slippery surface.

The WRX feels lighter and you feel more like you're on top of the power. Personally I like it especially for everyday mixed driving--city and expressway. It's smaller and easier to deal with in the city. Parking is easier, visibility is much better.

I think if you want raw power the muscle cars probably have the most bang for the buck, but if you want versatility and maneuverability, while being fun to drive in a spirited fashion, the WRX is a great deal.

I'll second what was said about the summer/winter tires, but I had AWT's (Goodyears IIRC) on my X3 and drove year-round without any problems whatsoever...in fact never had dedicated winter tires until last October. The grippiness of the stock WRX summers is pretty remarkable though, so I have become a believer.
 
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