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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have never owned a Subaru and I have never owned a fast car either. Now I am pretty sold on Subaru WRX(STI is too expensive for my taste and Manual Tran). I am looking to get a WRX Limited with automatic CVT tran. Now the reason I buy this trim is because I want to have some fun with the car and also able to use it as a day-to-day driving car. I would love to buy a Manual Tran only if my wife could drive it. So this limits me to only choosing the automatic.

I have heard many people say how disappointed at the CVT with Subaru while many others say the CVT isn't that bad at all. I have test drove both CVT and Manual. I didn't rip the car hard enough to notice any performance issue. I felt the CVT was pretty responsive. Any reason that I should be aware that CVT is indeed bad for WRX?

I've also read that Subaru owners replace their engine oil every 3k to 4k miles. But I have a Honda Civic and a Acura MDX, both of them need not to replace engine oil until the maintenance light indicates. Should I still replace the engine oil every 3k to 4k even it's synthetic oil?
How much overall cost(real world) for owning a WRX? Oil change, brake pads, premium gas and etc. for three years?

I am trying to get as much details as I can so I know how much more I need to spend than my Honda civic.

Thanks all

P.S. I live in San Francisco, so there will be a lot of steep hills. Any people that own WRX live around hills could share with me about the cost to gas?
 

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I Drink & I Know Things
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Welcome. There's nothing wrong with the CVT on the FA20F motor. We have two of them (one with almost 40k miles / one with 12k miles).
Simply follow the owner's manual for maintenance...nothing special.
If you're into modding or want to eventually get into it, there are some torque limitations with the CVT, but it's still doable. I had some slight slipping on my '16 at one time, but a TCM update fixed it. I'm sure that's worked out by now.
I drive in 'S' full auto mode 95% of the time-ish.
If you've never had a fast car then you should be plenty pleased with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jaysin for a quick answer.
What do you mean by slipping? I have no idea.
For modding, I am not going to spend a lot of money to get like 400hp or 500hp.
I have heard that ECU mod and air intake replacement can be the cheapest way to increase some HP and gaining a little bit of fuel economy. Is it true?
Thanks
 

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You've never owned a fast car and you still won't after your purchase. Test drive it hard so you know what you are buying.
 

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Replacing the intake is pointless on this motor...just for noise. Which is OK by me...just be sure to get a tune. I would focus more on the looks/handling/braking/tires sort of stuff and get to know the car a little better before you start down the motor modding path. A jpipe and a protune is really all you need technically. It's good you don't want 400hp or 500hp...not gonna happen with the CVT.
As for slipping...the CVT wasn't grabbing when accelerating for a brief second on heavy acceleration...especially when cold. The issue hasn't returned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mjmwrx,

I didn't have an open road to try hard acceleration. It often find I have to brake on the third gear at around 60mph. Because I have not owned a fast(sporty) car, I don't know how even to try it without fearing losing control of it. But I am hoping I will learn the fun part after driving it for a while.

I do ride a Ninja650 though so I know what fast is. Just never own a car that is fast enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jaysin,

Thanks for explaining "Slipping". I don't think I have accelerated hard to notice that. I have never modded any cars, so I don't even have a clue where to begin with protune. Is it a shop or what. lol
 

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Most new cars have oil change intervals of 10k miles. The new WRX is different. Subaru actually lowered the Oil Change Interval for the 2015+ WRXs from 7500 miles to 6k miles.

The reason people change the oil sooner then that is the FA20DIT is hard on oil, and has fuel dilution issues. Oil Analysis have show the factory oil (5w-30) sheers down to a 20 weight oil in 1000 miles.

If you get the WRX, follow Subarus oil change intervals, so you remain in warranty. It isn't a bad idea to go down to a 4k to 5k oil change interval to be safe.

Personally I run 4k mile intervals, as changing the oil is super easy in these cars. I also use Mobile 1 ESP 5w-30. It doesn't meet the "API SN GF-5" spec that Subaru requires, so it could technically void my warranty. But it is the correct weight, and is a much better oil for the FA20DIT then that API SN GF-5 stuff, which is on the thin side of 5w-30, and doesn't hold up well in our engine. Mobile 1 ESP 5w-30 is highly recommended for our cars because it is on the thicker end of a 5w-30, holds up well in DIT applications, and is LOW SAPS, which helps reduce carbon build up on injectors. I am not worried about voiding my warranty because my wife's car takes 5w-30, so I just use 5w-30 SN GF-5 oil in my wife's car, and use those receipts for my WRX's records.

If you want to read up more on oil for the FA20DIT, here are 2 good threads:

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2657990

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2714154
 

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Mjmwrx,


You don't have to go really fast to achieve this. Hammer on it from a 10,20, and 30 roll. Focus on getting up there in rpms not mphs. Many make the mistake of test driving it easy and expecting much more than it has. Trust me..you will not lose control of the car.
I didn't have an open road to try hard acceleration. It often find I have to brake on the third gear at around 60mph. Because I have not owned a fast(sporty) car, I don't know how even to try it without fearing losing control of it. But I am hoping I will learn the fun part after driving it for a while.

I do ride a Ninja650 though so I know what fast is. Just never own a car that is fast enough.
 

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Yes, a pro tune is just that...a shop tune by a pro. Modding is a rabbit hole. Be careful.
Before you even realize it you have spent enough on mods to buy two of your cars !


 

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Before you even realize it you have spent enough on mods to buy two of your cars !


Literally if I pooled together all the mod money i've spent on my last car and current car I'd have a down payment on a house... when will I learn :shakehead:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Goose42,

Thanks for your warm welcoming. There are several factors that made me choosing Subaru WRX over other similar competitors:

1. Most bang for the buck - The rival cars like VW GTI, Civic Si(including the upcoming Type R), and etc. are not as good. WRX is probably the least expensive car with the HP and Torque available.
2. WRX has better handling. Given that I will mostly be driving in city, it still feels better to know that I have a car that handles better than the FWD.
3. WRX is a Japanese car that has a reputable reliability rating especially the electronics. I still remember when I had my Mercedes, it would cost 1000 bucks to replace the ECU which was just having a very minor issue. I have owned Honda and Acura that I never had electronic issues.

I already have a Acura MDX SH-AWD which is my go-to car for road trips. It's been solid. But I don't drive it much at all compared to my Honda. I want a car that I drive a lot and enjoy driving it. When I was young, car was merely a transportation tool. Now I want to have some fun with it while still can use it for daily chores. VW GTI comes very close because it's got nice interior, features and performance. However, I am not too sold by it's reliability.

The only reasons I have not jumped on buying it is the interior, and the body. Honestly, I don't think WRX looked that attractive. So isn't VW GTI. But I figure driving it matters more, so I am very likely to buy WRX in August...

Sorry for the long answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Most new cars have oil change intervals of 10k miles. The new WRX is different. Subaru actually lowered the Oil Change Interval for the 2015+ WRXs from 7500 miles to 6k miles.

The reason people change the oil sooner then that is the FA20DIT is hard on oil, and has fuel dilution issues. Oil Analysis have show the factory oil (5w-30) sheers down to a 20 weight oil in 1000 miles.

If you get the WRX, follow Subarus oil change intervals, so you remain in warranty. It isn't a bad idea to go down to a 4k to 5k oil change interval to be safe.

Personally I run 4k mile intervals, as changing the oil is super easy in these cars. I also use Mobile 1 ESP 5w-30. It doesn't meet the "API SN GF-5" spec that Subaru requires, so it could technically void my warranty. But it is the correct weight, and is a much better oil for the FA20DIT then that API SN GF-5 stuff, which is on the thin side of 5w-30, and doesn't hold up well in our engine. Mobile 1 ESP 5w-30 is highly recommended for our cars because it is on the thicker end of a 5w-30, holds up well in DIT applications, and is LOW SAPS, which helps reduce carbon build up on injectors. I am not worried about voiding my warranty because my wife's car takes 5w-30, so I just use 5w-30 SN GF-5 oil in my wife's car, and use those receipts for my WRX's records.

If you want to read up more on oil for the FA20DIT, here are 2 good threads:

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2657990

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2714154
Thanks for sharing with your experience. I will read through them. Also is it absolutely best to use the 92 octane gas?
 

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You've never owned a fast car and you still won't after your purchase. Test drive it hard so you know what you are buying.
Here you go again. I guess you are still mad your WRX can't run the quarter in 4 seconds.

There is nothing wrong with the CVT. It has advantages for folks who daily drive or have commutes that include a lot of stop and go traffic. It may see a marginal mpg bump as well with conservative driving.

The real complaint is with torque handling, so it won't support all the modifications the WRX 6 speed will. Since people like mjmwrx feel it should be a race car they will all poopoo the CVT. I own a 2011 WRX and a 2012 legacy and I like both of them, but I just prefer driving a manual.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
XJman,

You are right about the stop-n-go pain with manual shift. But if it were up to me, I would also get a manual shift WRX because it's not a big deal to me since I don't get to stuck those stop-n-go situation too much. I've owned Honda Civic and Nissan Sentra long time ago that I didn't find too much annoyance from shifting manually. I was pretty good at the clutch that I never had to change clutch for the years I own them.
 

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Yeah I daily my WRX but don't mind my CVT legacy at all. They both have their place in the world. If you are ok with either be honest with yourself how much modding you'll do. If you want to get at it it will be cheaper to start with the manual.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
 
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