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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’m going to start off by saying, I know this topic has been beat to death. I’m going to bring it back up though because my situation may be slightly different. I recently got a job that’s going to require me to travel a good bit every two weeks, to the job site and then back home two weeks later. All while driving around in whatever town I’m in for food and whatnot. I’ll be mostly in OH, PA, and WV. In winter time I want AWD, so first thought in my mind is Subaru because why not. I’m coming from a lifted truck on 35’s that literally gets 13mpg on a good day. So this brings me to my question. WRX or STi? I’ve always, always loved the STi, but never had the chance to own one. A friend of mine has a 2004 STi, Stage 2(I think?) and alcohol injected and it’s a fun car. However, I’m looking at it from an economical view. WRX clearly gets better gas mileage but will I regret not getting the STi instead? Either way both are going to be a tremendous leap in fuel mileage compared to the Chevy I have now. I’ve also considered the Toyota RAV4 and even a Jeep Renegade, but seeing as this is a Subaru forum I didn’t figure anyone would recommend something else over the WRX. Is it also true that just through a cat-back, and a tune you can bump the WRX up to STi standards? If so with money saved that seems like a smarter route. And of course, have to add that STi wing to it. Sorry for the noob questions really, but this is a whole new ballgame for me and any help is much appreciated
 

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If you just need something to get around town the wrx is fine. If you want the sti wow factor or cuz you might track the car then the sti.

Wrx is still fun and a tune will help. But a tune alone is t going to put you into sti territory
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It’s also going to be used for pretty extensive highway trips. Probably not as far as my most recent trip. From West Virginia to Memphis, about a 700 mile drive one way. After it’s all said and done I’ll have spent enough in fuel that it would’ve been enough for a monthly payment on a new car lol
 

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The STi is a jarring ride. The WRX is stiff, too, but more livable. With a tune, I can't say the WRX is at the STi's level, but I wouldn't own a WRX without a tune. The tune can lead to your warranty being denied, so keep that in mind. DO NOT buy a WRX with the SPT performance exhaust, unless you like severe drone. Given you'll be putting in some highway miles, this is really important.

I would strongly recommend you test drive both cars before you commit to either. Test drive the RAV4, too. You might be happier with the reduced road noise.
 

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If you are also considering the jeep & toyota I would guess you would be fine with the wrx. You may be able to tune a wrx to match the sti but the selling factor (for me) with the sti was steering feel.


If you aren't chasing performance why not a crosstrek or impreza?
 

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I couldnt drive my 17 WRX without a tune to fix what I felt were drivability issues that have been talked about here. I can drive my 18 STI all day long on the OEM tune and smile. Ive tried OTS tunes on the STI and while the power increase is great, it does introduce some drivability things I dont like.

Both cars have a somewhat busy ride but I dont feel the 18 STI is any harsher suspension wise than the 17 WRX I had. In fact the 18 STI seems to take mild bumps a bit better than the WRX did. The WRX suspension almost felt like it was crashing where the STI suspension feels taut but controlled. I did blow a rear shock on the WRX around 15k so maybe there was an issue there. I cant say. Having said that I like a go kart ride.

At first the higher RPMs in 6th were a little annoying (~3300 at 80mph STI vs ~2700 for WRX) but It doesnt phase me one bit now. I was very used to low end torque V8s and had to adjust my expectations

With the WRX, even with a tune I felt like Had to always mind the RPMs and keep them up or I was going to blow a rod and window the block. The STI seems to have more torque down low and I dont feel as compelled to worry and I enjoy driving it more. I still keep the revs up but its easier in the STi

STI short shifter on the trans shifts better inthe STI without changing bushings. vs the WRX with same shifter and added bushings.

Trunk swaps seem to be a hit or miss PITA deal.

The WRX is a great car but for me the STI is qualitatively a better driving experience all around. Its up to you and your budget as to whether or not its worth it to you. IMO the STI is a bit overpriced.

Rav4, CRV, the Jeep etc are all good vehicles. Ive driven them all in various years but I will say as the years progressed, particularly in the Hondas, the "AWD" has become more and more useless in the snow compared to Subarus AWD. Theyve dumbed down the systems so much that when the wheels slip it cuts throttle and you end up losing momentum and get stuck anyway.

Take both the WRX and the STI on an extended test drive and decide.

Everyone hates the STI performance exhaust. I had the Cobb Cat back on my WRX and then transferred it to my 18 STI. It felt like nothing more than a noisemaker on the WRX, it felt like a much bigger difference on the STI. and I love the sound.
 

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I own a 2014 WRX w/ an exhaust from the factory and some light cosmetic **** on it.

I drove a 2016 (same as a 2015 through 2018) WRX (fully loaded including an exhaust) (stick and CVT) back to back with a 2016 STI (fully loaded including an exhaust) to see what they were like.

The STI is superior in every single way. I admit the STI was a bit of a harsher and stiffer ride but it wasn't a big deal, at least for me, but we are all different. We all have our own opinions and preferences on what is harsh and what is comfortable.

The new generation WRX just isn't fun or fast in my opinion. I know I probably just really upset a ton of people on here but hear me out. If you've never driven a 2011-2014 WRX or 2011-2014 STI then the current 2015-2018 WRX will feel incredible for the price. But if you drive a 2015-2018 WRX then a 2015-2018 STI you honestly will regret going with the WRX over the STI even if slightly better fuel economy and a marginally more comfortable ride is to be had with the "softer" version of the Rex.

A recent friend a made has a 2018 WRX w/ a six-speed and fully loaded inside out. He let me give it a spit in exchange to throw my car around. The 2018 felt identical to the 2016 I had tried out. We both agreed that performance and driver's "feel" wise my car was far better. Perhaps it were the tires? But I would take his in a heart beat for longer commutes or road trips.

Don't get me wrong, I love the new generation WRX very much. It's so much easier to drive and feels so much better and "safer" to throw around. As a daily it is far superior to my car in every single way possible. But I chose my 2014 WRX over a 2015 WRX because it just felt more "raw" and felt "quicker" with the longer gear ratios.

Sorry, I'm getting slightly off topic. If money is no issue and you can "suck it up" with something that's a tad meaner to drive and a tad less fuel efficient then buy the STI and don't even look back.

Furthermore... remember this... if you start to modify a WRX to match an STI you will be risking some reliability issues and some warranty claim denial.

(yea, buy the STI fully loaded is what I was getting at)

Food for thought. Good luck. :)
 

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I have owned 3 wrx's, and a couple years ago finally got my STi. (I have always wanted an STi). The wrx's are great cars and I loved every single one of mine. But there is something about the STi. A lot of people say that the STi is too harsh. But I don't think so. It is a bit (not excessive) more stiff that the wrx. But not back breaking harsh like some people make it out to be. I find it very fun and pleasurable to drive.

I agree with the above that going out and driving each one will give you the best idea of which one you should get. From the information you have provided, the wrx sounds like the better suit. As it gets much better mpg's than its counterpart. However, if you are going to be one of the guys that thinks that they can just turn their wrx into an STi by buying parts over time, then you need to just buy the STi. The extra premium for an STi over a wrx is literally a fraction of the cost you would spend to buy STi parts (brembo brakes, STi tranny w/ DCCD and Si-drive, rear end, all of the stiffer bushings and suspension, etc) to make your wrx as close to an STi as it can be.

Go out, drive each one, do not impulse buy, and weigh in on the pro's and con's. Think about it for a few days before you go buy one.
 
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