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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello All,
(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.

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 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.

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 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
-Low speed autocross, will need punchy acceleration
-Daily driver
-Because Racecar, i want it to feel like a sports car and it will 100% be modified
-I don’t have an endless budget

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...


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.
 

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You'll have to drive them and see what you prefer. None of them are what I would consider fast from a roll however the sti does do a little better than the WRX.

Depending on what we you buy your mod path will be different. Fa20 responds better to intake mods. Ej better to exhaust. Intakes, turbo backs, both will require tunes on either vehicle. The ej is also more fuel limited so you will hit your roof very quickly if you really start building it. However the ej doesn't have a hpfp to worry about so with a few parts it becomes e85 capable where as the hpfp on the fa20 is prone to burning up with e85. I've not seen an e85 capable pump yet but rumor mill had one company designing one.

People autocross both vehicles so you can have fun with either, however if you plan on hitting the drag strip the sti trans is far more robust and may better handle repeatedly launching and banging gears over the 6speed in the 15+ and the older 5 speeds.

As for the type r. My only assumption about it would be far better reliability than any Subaru WRX or sti. The ej is prone to smoking piston rings, the fa20 is less prone to ring failure however the rods have been a sore spot. Neither are super common on a maintained properly modified vehicle but it's common enough on the ej that I believe there are talks of a class action lawsuit.
 

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If you are going to race it, Id get the STi over the WRX. the driveline and suspension is more robust and as XJ said with some fueling mods you remove the glass ceiling. I drove my 17 WRX for 33,000 miles and while ive only had my 18 STi for a week 700miles it feels like a stronger car mechanically.

The Type R is likely more reliable and a bit faster and lighter but they do have some transmission issues cropping up with difficulty shifting into 2nd and 4th gear.

I dont know where you are but my biggest problem was no one would allow me to test drive at TYPE R, Until after I bought it. That was the song and dance at EVERY Honda Dealer on the east coast I went to.

Im 50 and whether I pulled in with my 17 WRX or 15 Hellcat, they would not allow the car to be test driven, "because its a high performance car" I laughed. Some wouldn't even unlock the car for you to SIT in it for fear they will lose some 20 something fast and furious customer who then wont buy it because someone else's ass was in it. I wish I was kidding, but THREE dealers told me this.
PLUS they are still charging at least $5000 ADM and you have to bust through that just to get to MSRP. personally I think a Type R in the low $30k range or even at MSRP is a screaming deal, but trying to get one at that price is almost futile. It just wasnt worth the effort and I wanted AWD so I bought an 18 STi and am happy.
 

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-Fast acceleration in the low end, not much freeway driving. STI
-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 STI
-Low speed autocross, will need punchy acceleration STI
-Daily driver WRX
-Because Racecar, i want it to feel like a sports car and it will 100% be modified STI
-I don’t have an endless budget Focus

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You'll have to drive them and see what you prefer. None of them are what I would consider fast from a roll however the sti does do a little better than the WRX.

Depending on what we you buy your mod path will be different. Fa20 responds better to intake mods. Ej better to exhaust. Intakes, turbo backs, both will require tunes on either vehicle. The ej is also more fuel limited so you will hit your roof very quickly if you really start building it. However the ej doesn't have a hpfp to worry about so with a few parts it becomes e85 capable where as the hpfp on the fa20 is prone to burning up with e85. I've not seen an e85 capable pump yet but rumor mill had one company designing one.

People autocross both vehicles so you can have fun with either, however if you plan on hitting the drag strip the sti trans is far more robust and may better handle repeatedly launching and banging gears over the 6speed in the 15+ and the older 5 speeds.

As for the type r. My only assumption about it would be far better reliability than any Subaru WRX or sti. The ej is prone to smoking piston rings, the fa20 is less prone to ring failure however the rods have been a sore spot. Neither are super common on a maintained properly modified vehicle but it's common enough on the ej that I believe there are talks of a class action lawsuit.
I have heard about the new WRX transmission being less robust, and people swapping the STI engine into them. My mod path is simply a Intake/downpipe/turbo back and MAPerformance tune. I heard the FA likes to cut timing. Likely a result of the higher compression?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are going to race it, Id get the STi over the WRX. the driveline and suspension is more robust and as XJ said with some fueling mods you remove the glass ceiling. I drove my 17 WRX for 33,000 miles and while ive only had my 18 STi for a week 700miles it feels like a stronger car mechanically.

The Type R is likely more reliable and a bit faster and lighter but they do have some transmission issues cropping up with difficulty shifting into 2nd and 4th gear.

I dont know where you are but my biggest problem was no one would allow me to test drive at TYPE R, Until after I bought it. That was the song and dance at EVERY Honda Dealer on the east coast I went to.

Im 50 and whether I pulled in with my 17 WRX or 15 Hellcat, they would not allow the car to be test driven, "because its a high performance car" I laughed. Some wouldn't even unlock the car for you to SIT in it for fear they will lose some 20 something fast and furious customer who then wont buy it because someone else's ass was in it. I wish I was kidding, but THREE dealers told me this.
PLUS they are still charging at least $5000 ADM and you have to bust through that just to get to MSRP. personally I think a Type R in the low $30k range or even at MSRP is a screaming deal, but trying to get one at that price is almost futile. It just wasnt worth the effort and I wanted AWD so I bought an 18 STi and am happy.
How does the new sti feel around town? I’ve been in a WRX and noticed the throttle was so punchy I could’ve gotten whiplash. Felt quick until the RPMs and then the power dipped off. The only other sports car im use to is an acura NSX (91’), and that builds power up top. I was a little disappointed, but figured it was just a tuning issue.

I remember sitting in a type r at an auto show, and I remember the car had a guard monitoring everyone. Only car that had a guard at the entire show. I am 6’3 and I somewhat think the car didn’t neccicarily have enough leg room for me.

As for me racing the car, does the STI feel more robust? I’m very intense about oil changes, oil filters, and all mantinence. I just typically accelerate much quicker than the average joe. I get a good kick out of it.

I know a lot of enthusiasts like the Type R because it’s new, but isn’t the car community bigger with the STI? The aftermarket support isn’t really there for the Type R, and any parts are rediculously overpriced. When i was in my friends WRX (the whiplash mobile) other wrx/sti’s would wave routinely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
-Fast acceleration in the low end, not much freeway driving. STI
-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 STI
-Low speed autocross, will need punchy acceleration STI
-Daily driver WRX
-Because Racecar, i want it to feel like a sports car and it will 100% be modified STI
-I don’t have an endless budget Focus

<img src="http://www.clubwrx.net/ubb/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smilie" class="inlineimg" />
Thanks for the checklist! Is the STI truly that much better? Sorry- seen too many comparisons on youtube where they always say the WRX is better for the dough.

As for the focus, I haven’t been too much of a fan. The RS has some incredible performance, but it’s an american company trying to get in the japanese car industry. Apparently they don’t get much love at car meets because of this.
 

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How does the new sti feel around town? I’ve been in a WRX and noticed the throttle was so punchy I could’ve gotten whiplash. Felt quick until the RPMs and then the power dipped off. The only other sports car im use to is an acura NSX (91’), and that builds power up top. I was a little disappointed, but figured it was just a tuning issue.

I remember sitting in a type r at an auto show, and I remember the car had a guard monitoring everyone. Only car that had a guard at the entire show. I am 6’3 and I somewhat think the car didn’t neccicarily have enough leg room for me.

As for me racing the car, does the STI feel more robust? I’m very intense about oil changes, oil filters, and all mantinence. I just typically accelerate much quicker than the average joe. I get a good kick out of it.

I know a lot of enthusiasts like the Type R because it’s new, but isn’t the car community bigger with the STI? The aftermarket support isn’t really there for the Type R, and any parts are rediculously overpriced. When i was in my friends WRX (the whiplash mobile) other wrx/sti’s would wave routinely.
Dont know about it cutting timing. I never noticed it in logs or anything. I ran the MAPerformance Stage 1 93 map mostly.

The WRX in stock tune is overboosted a lot at light throttle aps. You push 10% and the throttle is at 80%. It was maddening and the power drop off the cliff at 4300 rpms or so was the worst when trying to pass on short zones on backroads. The MAP stage 1 tune took care of all that, made power delivery linear and gave it a good kick. You blow the motor warranty though.

STI is far far less overboosted but still a bit. No real power dip like the WRX but it does seem to taper as you get up in the 5k range. Havent beat it up much as its not fully broken in yet. In "I" mode its pretty tame around town, in S# you can feel a lot more boost but its IMO easier to drive than the OEM tune in the WRX. Gearing is a good bit shorter so you shift more in the STi.

car community may be bigger with the WRX/STI but the Type R aftermarket should be big too once it gets rolling. Pretty sure Hondata is working a tune and Ive seen a few exhausts coming.
Its not a limited production car and there is no talk of stopping production, only sending more.
 

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Thanks for the checklist! Is the STI truly that much better? Sorry- seen too many comparisons on youtube where they always say the WRX is better for the dough.

As for the focus, I haven’t been too much of a fan. The RS has some incredible performance, but it’s an american company trying to get in the japanese car industry. Apparently they don’t get much love at car meets because of this.
I have no idea what car meets you go to but the focus RS is held in extremely high regard.
 

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From most of what you said so far I would reccomend the WRX over the STi. The Sti would be the better track car, but you could build a drag car for the difference in price, and the wrx has the quick spool for street driving and is more comfortable, without making too many concessions. If you're modding it anyway it will be damn close. You'd probably be happy with either though. I had a Focus RS for 2 months as a demo, and it was quick, but not as well put together as the subies, and it was prone to torque steer under full throttle even though its AWD. The Golf R I had for about a month was as solid feeling as the subies, and as quick as the focus, but I wouldn't reccomend that based on past VW reliability, and the fact it is loaded up with soon to be broken gizmos like steering headlights and power folding mirrors etc. Honestly from everything you mentioned, a mustang GT might be worth a look if you dont deal with any snow.

The CTR is just too fugly, and although supposedly great, I just dont think I could warm up to FWD, nor would I pay what they want for the pleasure of doing so.
 

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-Fast acceleration in the low end, not much freeway driving. STI
-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 STI
-Low speed autocross, will need punchy acceleration STI
-Daily driver WRX
-Because Racecar, i want it to feel like a sports car and it will 100% be modified STI
-I don’t have an endless budget Focus

<img src="http://www.clubwrx.net/ubb/smile.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Smilie" class="inlineimg" />
I would think the wrx would be better for low end acceleration. Doesn't the twin scroll give more even boost across rpm?
 

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-Fast acceleration in the low end, not much freeway driving. STI
This isn't incorrect. The (stock) STi requires more time to build boost. It's sweet spot is higher in the RPM range. The WRX wins here, however slightly.

If you want low-end grunt, go NA. Small turbo four-cylinders will severely disappoint you with low-end lag. My definition of punchy is very different from yours.

My advice is to test drive at least five or six cars and narrow it down from there. Try the Mustang GT. Since you don't need AWD, the low end grunt will make you wet your self a little every time you get on it.
 

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Is the STI truly that much better? Sorry- seen too many comparisons on youtube where they always say the WRX is better for the dough.
This is a highly personal decision. The WRX and STI feel like two completely different cars. The STI will give you far more analog feedback that helps quite a bit when you are pushing the car nine-tenths. The WRX is more DD-friendly with better economy, but there are plenty that choose to DD the STI (myself included). The TS turbo and shorter EL manifold in the WRX helps spool the turbo quite a bit faster, but the larger displacement of the STI really improves off-boost drive-ability compared to the WRX -- the WRX has more of that rubber-band effect on throttle. As I said, completely a personal preference and I would certainly recommend driving both and deciding. Making a decision based on YouTube videos, Magazines, or even input from people like me is not doing you and your preferences any justice.

As for the focus, I haven’t been too much of a fan. The RS has some incredible performance, but it’s an american company trying to get in the japanese car industry. Apparently they don’t get much love at car meets because of this.
Your concept of an "American company" getting "into the Japanese car industry" is quite silly. The Focus RS is designed and built in the EU. Most cars that you might consider "Japanese" are built and (to some extent) designed stateside. If you want to just fit into a tuner car meet, do yourself a favor and buy an older Evo.
 

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This isn't incorrect. The (stock) STi requires more time to build boost. It's sweet spot is higher in the RPM range. The WRX wins here, however slightly.
You are forgetting the larger displacement and gearing advantages of the STI.
 
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If you want low-end grunt, go NA. Small turbo four-cylinders will severely disappoint you with low-end lag. My definition of punchy is very different from yours.
I was leaning towards the WRX based on everything I read online but then test drove both back-to-back and went with the STI which I've been daily driving for the past 10 months or so. If you can arrange test driving both on the same day that would be the best way to decide.

The lack of low-end grunt (particularly just above idle) can be annoying in heavy traffic but you get used to it. At 1-1.5k rpm the STI feels more anemic and prone to lugging than even the 4-cyl honda accord manual it replaced. With that said I still can't wait to drive it everyday.
 

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Having owned and raced (track and strip) both an 04 WRX and 05 STi, but with little to no exposure to the newer models, I can say from that experience, hands down the STi would be a better match for your stated use. One caveat would be using as a DD. While I really enjoyed the STi, after a while the ride just became too rough for me. Living in PA with roads that are poorly maintained, the car would bounce and jounce due to pressure ridges and potholes, and it just became too annoying. Understand I'm in my 50's now, so take that with a grain of salt. While the newer WRXs come close to the performance of the STi, its the clutch, trans, and suspension that really show the difference between the two. With just a simple DP, intake and tune, with good driving, you can be in the high 12's at the strip. As for autocross...well..it takes quite a bit more suspension setup to make it a true competitor. On a track, some good brake fluid and pads and you are good to go, easily, for more than one all day "friday at the track" session. I've enjoyed reading about the new Type R, but the acceleration numbers turn me off, in addition to the cartoonish appearance of course (what...and he owned an 05 HUGE WING STi...lol). The car definitely handles, no question, but if it came down to it, I would wait a year or two when the will have depreciated enough to make it good value. My advice..pick up any year STi and run a compression test, launch it once, test the brakes and if it is sound, pick it up. Stay away from anything that has more than an exhaust/intake/tune mod....you just can't be safe with who did what and how with any internal mods.
 

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You are forgetting the larger displacement and gearing advantages of the STI.
I understand and agree wholeheartedly. The STi is a much better suited track car. It's designed to be. My only point was that both cars are anemically slow, due to severe low-rpm turbo lag. The WRX does respond quicker. I'm not claiming it's faster from 0-60.

Again, I'm not recommending the WRX for the OP. Just clarifying an interesting detail.
 

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ive never driven an sti or any other wrx than my 18. so take what i say with a grain of salt. my decision on a wrx over an sti came down to many things but i did all my research from the point of view that my car is never going onto a track. ive since changed my mind and i think ill probably look into at least doing one autocross event, just to really see what the cars limits are as far as cornering goes in a safe space as i am kind of a wuss on the road.. as i probably should be ofc. but im definitely never drag racing it, nor do i have any desire to ever be on a real race track, the idea of it honestly scares me, tho i do love watching others. so onto the bullet points.

1. msrp, the wrx is a much cheaper car.
2. economy, i cannot stomach the idea of owning/driving a 4 cylinder car that gets as bad mpg as the sti does. i realize this is an unpopular opinion in the "car guy" world but i just cant justify it in my head, not as a daily anyway.
3. as Clayton said, spending less on the car means more money for mods.
4. ez boost, as others have said, the sti is geared more aggressively and has the bigger engine but the wrx does make boost a lot sooner and i am falling in love with it more and more every time i mash the pedal in 2nd gear and 25 mph, that turbo surge is addicting, and so very accessible. if that is more or less the same as the sti but slower please correct me lol.

all that said i do like the sti, and absolutely do not fault anyone for choosing it over the wrx. it is a hell of a lot of car for the money, just like the wrx is, it is, however, a lot more money, not just the car but your fuel bills as well. i am a nerd and that trick center diff, even tho i dont think most people ever touch it, is super cool to me. i love the wing, and the heavier drive train as well. i feel comfortable saying the sti is objectively a great car.

so in conclusion, i will re-iterate my first statement and urge you to not take what i or anyone else said too seriously. you have done very well to make it here in your research. based on sales the wrx and sti have to be 2 of the most underrated cars on the market. but this is your decision and yours alone. i would be fearful of repeated launches of a stock wrx drive line on a sticky drag strip tho...

ps, the focus rs may have a big engine problem, people are reporting their head gaskets failing and it probably has to do with the basic design of the engine, so it may not be fixable... and imho as long as honda dealers are coveting the R in this way they can build a bridge and get over it as far as i care.

edit, PSS i put the MAP stage 1 tune on my wrx at 1600 miles and am now at 4000 so most of the cars life has been tuned at this point, i didnt hate the car stock but i bought it knowing an AP was inevitable and i do love the tune a lot.
 

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Hello All,
(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.
 

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I understand and agree wholeheartedly. The STi is a much better suited track car. It's designed to be. My only point was that both cars are anemically slow, due to severe low-rpm turbo lag. The WRX does respond quicker. I'm not claiming it's faster from 0-60.

Again, I'm not recommending the WRX for the OP. Just clarifying an interesting detail.
Go drive an sti around. The torque delivery is way better even driving around in traffic.
 
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