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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, my name is Luke and I’m in South Carolina. I drove my first WRX about 6 years ago and LOVED IT, but I wasn’t in a position to buy one. 6 LONG years of waiting and I’m finally ready to buy my first Subaru. I’m hoping that I’ll get some good feedback from you guys on what to buy. This is what I’m looking for:

3 Pedals
Under 20K
Something fast

The WRX I drove all those years ago was really a lot of fun, but I have a lot to learn. All I know is that it was a sedan and was probably a 12’ or 13... and it was blue...

so my question is: what is going to be the most reliable, fastest car I can find at my price point? How many miles should I stay under? Is it safe enough to buy a higher mileage, older model year STI? Does the legendary STI badge really make that much of a difference? What about ‘Subaru WRX’ vs ‘Subaru Impreza WRX’? The lingo confuses me there. I know it’s a lot to answer but I’d really appreciate the input. I’m going to look at this one this one tomorrow. Thank you in advance!
Luke
 

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Hello all, my name is Luke and I’m in South Carolina. I drove my first WRX about 6 years ago and LOVED IT, but I wasn’t in a position to buy one. 6 LONG years of waiting and I’m finally ready to buy my first Subaru. I’m hoping that I’ll get some good feedback from you guys on what to buy. This is what I’m looking for:

3 Pedals
Under 20K
Something fast

The WRX I drove all those years ago was really a lot of fun, but I have a lot to learn. All I know is that it was a sedan and was probably a 12’ or 13... and it was blue...

so my question is: what is going to be the most reliable, fastest car I can find at my price point? How many miles should I stay under? Is it safe enough to buy a higher mileage, older model year STI? Does the legendary STI badge really make that much of a difference? What about ‘Subaru WRX’ vs ‘Subaru Impreza WRX’? The lingo confuses me there. I know it’s a lot to answer but I’d really appreciate the input. I’m going to look at this one this one tomorrow. Thank you in advance!
Luke
Previously the Impreza and the wrx/sti shared the same platform. I don't believe that is entirely true on the 2015+ stuff.

You'll want the lowest mileage unmodified vehicle with a service record you can find in your price range. The sti is typically more capable on a track than the wrx and gives you the dccd as well as a more durable 6speed with limited slip rear end opposed to the open diffs on the wrx. The suspension is a bit more aggressive too if I'm not mistaken. The brembos on the sti in theory can provide superior performance over the sliding calipers in the wrx models, however that gap can narrow quite a bit. But if we are looking at ultimate numbers the brembos will edge out the sliding calipers at cost of a higher parts cost.

Fast is relative and you'll find a stock wrx can get it's ass handed to it by a v6 Camry.

Reliability is and isn't an issue. It isn't unheard of to see catastrophic engine failure on a young car, it's also not unheard of to see them go 100+k with minimal issues. Maintenance is key and some engines tend to be oil burners. No generation, no matter how many miles, when used isn't something I would purchase without cash to repair it.

Ultimately both are good daily drivers. I personally prefer mechanical lsd in bad weather as I feel it makes better use of the stability management system. However with winter tires and a capable driver both vehicles are highly capable in snow, ice and slush.
 

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I'll basically parrot what XJ has said. You want a car that has been maintained religiously and one that is as stock as the day it rolled off the assembly line.

The Subie offers a good blend of practicality. It hauls people and things well. It is a decent handler. The AWD is functional. Rowing through the gears down a nice back road can be a lot of fun.

Fast is indeed different for different folks. I have a friend who is looking for something faster than his 911 GT2 RS.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Previously the Impreza and the wrx/sti shared the same platform. I don't believe that is entirely true on the 2015+ stuff.

You'll want the lowest mileage unmodified vehicle with a service record you can find in your price range. The sti is typically more capable on a track than the wrx and gives you the dccd as well as a more durable 6speed with limited slip rear end opposed to the open diffs on the wrx. The suspension is a bit more aggressive too if I'm not mistaken. The brembos on the sti in theory can provide superior performance over the sliding calipers in the wrx models, however that gap can narrow quite a bit. But if we are looking at ultimate numbers the brembos will edge out the sliding calipers at cost of a higher parts cost.

Fast is relative and you'll find a stock wrx can get it's ass handed to it by a v6 Camry.

Reliability is and isn't an issue. It isn't unheard of to see catastrophic engine failure on a young car, it's also not unheard of to see them go 100+k with minimal issues. Maintenance is key and some engines tend to be oil burners. No generation, no matter how many miles, when used isn't something I would purchase without cash to repair it.

Ultimately both are good daily drivers. I personally prefer mechanical lsd in bad weather as I feel it makes better use of the stability management system. However with winter tires and a capable driver both vehicles are highly capable in snow, ice and slush.
You’re not wrong that ‘fast’ is relative haha. I’ve driven a P100D and that’s fast lol. I guess, more specifically, I was wondering what the fastEST setup was in my price range. I totally understand that I’m probably not going to find a rocket under 20k, but I want to keep the car a stock as possible so I’d rather have something quick to begin with.
I definitely won’t use the car in snow, but it sounds like the lsd will be superior no matter what. What is dccd? I appreciate your reply!!

Luke
 

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You’re not wrong that ‘fast’ is relative haha. I’ve driven a P100D and that’s fast lol. I guess, more specifically, I was wondering what the fastEST setup was in my price range. I totally understand that I’m probably not going to find a rocket under 20k, but I want to keep the car a stock as possible so I’d rather have something quick to begin with.
I definitely won’t use the car in snow, but it sounds like the lsd will be superior no matter what. What is dccd? I appreciate your reply!!

Luke
Dccd is the center diff control. The wrx has an open viscous style center diff that isn't adjustable the sti has a mechanical one that can split power differently depending on it's setting. I believe it is electromagnetically controlled but don't quote me on it.
 

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Well that's a tiny market to be honest.
He has a Tesla S P100D with Ludicrous Mode, too.

You’re not wrong that ‘fast’ is relative haha. I’ve driven a P100D and that’s fast lol. I guess, more specifically, I was wondering what the fastEST setup was in my price range. I totally understand that I’m probably not going to find a rocket under 20k, but I want to keep the car a stock as possible so I’d rather have something quick to begin with.
I shouldn't but I just can't help myself (I do apologize). I might suggest you look at a Gen6 Camaro SS. You can find pretty clean 2016 - 2017 1SS Camaro in your price range. Look for one with the TR 6060 - 6 speed manual and stay away from the 8A units.
 
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