(TOPIC: WRX FA, STI EJ, TYPE R...)
This is my first post here, so please don’t bite my head off if I miss anything. I’ve thoroughly exercised the search button, but i’m sure i’ve missed certain threads. First off, welcome to the site. Folks here for the most part are wicked friendly and welcoming . . . it is a very inclusive community. Second off, my experience is quite limited to the present generation WRX only, so . . .
I currently am in the market for a sporty car which is a practical daily. I’ve got a heavily modified 4Runner, but i would like something much more fun. You could call me an extremely passionate car enthusiast...
The first roadblock i ran into was STI vs WRX. I could either go with an older version (Really like the 2005, any recommendations for used would be appreciated), or i could go with a newer one. If i went with newer, it’s a debate between the EJ and FA motors. I’ve heard a stage 2 FA is insanely quick around town, some have gone to the extent of saying it’s quicker than the stage 2 EJs. The FA is also more modern, and potentially more reliable. Time will tell. I'm not sure I would ever call the FA motor insanely quick . . . I mean sure it is zippy, but when I think insanely quick I tend to think more about V-8 powered sports cars. Also, if you have the money and can buy new, I personally would recommend going that route to get a warranty and perhaps even more important . . . so you know from Day 1 how the car was run and maintained. Buying a 2005 model with potentially one or (even more likely) more than one owner can sometimes be a crap shoot -- you may be lucky and a little old lady bought it, maintained it religiously at the Subaru dealership and only drove it to church . . . or you may get the kid who was given the car as a graduation present and then modded the heck out of it without proper tuning.
I then came across the Civic Type R. I’m not a fan of the looks, no, but being a car guy i see beyond the appearence to the apparently useful aero and performance. This car is fast and efficient, but it is really a better alternative outside of the spec sheet..? I never experience snow- so i’m not super anti FWD. And FYI i spent a long time scrolling through the type r thread here, and it veered off very quick and was posted a bit before people have really got their hands on them. Having owned a Honda Accord coupe I still am a bit partial to Hondas . . . and while the looks are very . . . well . . . to me it looks a bit like a teen-ager designed it by incorporating everything they have ever thought was cool on other sports cars . . . I still like what I am seeing and reading . . . but for me personally the lack of AWD and price (especially a price point that starts out above MSRP makes it a no go in my opinion.
I’m really set on the WRX or STI. I’ve read millions of threads comparing them, so i’ll just throw in a little of what i’m looking for.
-Fast acceleration in the low end, not much freeway driving. The WRX is fine for this . . . in fact I personally think it does best in the around-the-town, stop light to stop light type of driving. When it gets into the higher speeds it's OK, but nothing to write home about.
-The car will see the drag strip routinely just for fun, no real competition. Both will be tuned so not really considering the power dip on the stock FA tune From what I know of the STI and what I have seen with the WRX neither one of these cars is really a drag type of car. Going fast straight is not what these cars are about . . . tuned or not tuned. Don't get me wrong, they're zippy and with some mods folks can get them to really move, but for the drag strip something like a Mustang or Camaro seem to be the real deal.
-Low speed autocross, will need punchy acceleration It's been said here many a time . . . and it wasn't me that coined the phrase . . . and I'm paraphrasing there . . . both the WRX and STI can do autocross the difference is the WRX is the daily driver that you autocross once in awhile vs. the STI is the autorcross car that you use as a daily driver. Both work . . . but if you wanted to do it more often the STI would be the better choice once your skill set exceeds the WRX limits.
-Daily driver General consensus is that the WRX is better for daily driving . . . perhaps largely due to the better gas mileage and a bit softer suspension, but I would wager either would work. It's not like the STI is a rally car -- there are plenty of folks who drive a STI back and forth to work every day.
-Because Racecar, i want it to feel like a sports car and it will 100% be modified Well . . . these are fun cars, zippy cars, handle great and are sporty . . . and not to open up past debates, but I'm not sure I would call them sports cars. Doesn't mean I dislike them . . . on the contrary . . . the WRX is one of my dream cars and it is the best car for me, but when I think sports cars I tend to think of Camaros, Mustangs, Vettes, Zs, etc.
-I don’t have an endless budget Very few of us do . . . used car = cheaper, but no warranty, newer car = more expensive, warranty. However, while new may be more expensive, depending on your credit and amount you put down, car payments can be pretty reasonable and the interest rate better than used car loan rates. As for the difference in price between a new WRX and new STI . . . folks here have pointed out that a loaded WRX is a few thousand dollars off from a base STI. Me . . . I'm cheap and did not want all of the "extra" stuff and got a very basic WRX . . . for a good price. If I wanted the sunroof, heated seats, high end stereo, etc. the price tag would have been much more expensive.
I’ve grown up among the Fast and Furious culture. I love german cars and american cars, but the japanese car culture is just so awesome to me. It seems like subies are right up there, but so is the legendary type r... Enjoy the movies, but do not expect the WRX or STI to be like the cars in the movies because . . . well . . . physics. Well that and many of us really dislike folks who buy these cars, drive them like morons, get in a wreck and everyone's insurance rates are affected.
I want to thank you for your time and patience if you’ve actually made it here in my post, and thank you in advance for your patience and help. Like I said, folks here are really nice for the most part.