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102 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this gets long, as I tend to ramble:
(Scroll down for short version.)

I'm looking to buy an 05 Crystal Grey Metallic STi.

I stopped by Mastro Subaru today after giving David, who I had been talking to, a call to make sure that the STi that they use for test drives would be available.

When I got there, I walked out onto the lot to check out what they had there. I got a chance to see 2 WRX's next to each other, one Silver and one Crystal Grey. That was what I had been hoping to see, because until then, it was a toss up. I am digging the CGM.

Walked a little further, saw the CGM STi they had on the lot.
1st impression: 'Holy crap, those are big brakes'

As walked past the front of the car, to look at the side, I saw a salesman walking up to me. I had probably been on the lot less than 60 seconds, and I was impressed at the speed at which I had been targetted!

I was surprised when he introduced himself as David. Good deal, I don't have to tell him that I'm already talking to another salesman! We exchanged a few minor questions, and then got to the subject of a test drive after I had given the STi the 'walk around.'

Walking back to the showroom, I commented on how the new Legacy looked really nice. I was very impressed with it when I saw it up close, and sat in the one they had in the showroom. Interior is very well put together, and the door panels are well sculpted. If I were 5 years older I might be buying a Legacy instead of an STi, but I'm not.

The 'test drive' STi is actually belongs to one of the owners, and is not 100% stock. According to David, it is an 04 STi with a 3" turbo back exhaust, BOV, lightweight battery, rear strut tower brace IIRC, but not much else. Nothing too extreme. It had the regular shifter, OEM Boost Gauge, and armrest extension. I didn't really care for either of these options. I thought I would like the OEM Boost Gauge but for some reason, I did not. The shifter actually felt really nice, nice positive engagement, a little side to side slop but less than what my previous car had. Based on this, I decided against the OEM Short Throw kit.

David went over all the controls and bells and whistles, including DCCD and adjustable shift light/chime. He also went over all of the changes to the interior from 04-05, and seemed to be very well informed about the vehicle's nuances. Probably the best auto salesman that I've dealt with in regards to product knowledge.

This is my 1st new car purchase, but I've been along for the ride for a lot of other people's car shopping, so I've seen plenty of salesmen who don't know jack about their product. I am a research junkie, so it was really nice to have someone who not only knew what I was talking about, could answer all my questions, and also gave me some info that I didn't already know.

Anyways, David hopped in the back, my g/f in the passenger seat, and I turned the car over. 1st impression was that I loved the exhaust note, it wasn't too loud but sounded nice and mean. I've never really heard a boxer engine before, and love the distinct sound. Granted this wasn't OEM exhaust, but after assurance from David that they wouldn't screw me over on warranty, I decided that it would be a good plan to upgrade my exhaust some time after I bought my STi.

After going through the gears once or twice, I was pleased with the positive action and solid feel. I put it in 1st and started to move out of the parking lot, and promptly stalled.

Oops. I guess everything that I read about the clutch taking some getting used to is true.

Feeling like a moron, I started it up again and engaged the clucth more carefully this time, and pulled out into rush hour Tampa traffic.

The car is very docile at low RPM's and seemed fine in stop-go traffic. Pretty soon, however, we got to a spot where I could open it up a little.. I really didnt drive it hard at all, but when boost comes on it really makes the car move. I've driven a Turbo (slushbox) Eclipse, which was docile compared to this. It reminds me a lot of the powerband of my R6 (Yamaha sportbike). Good enough power to get by down low, but past a certain point you kind of have to hang on.

I found that I really wasn't used to how short the gears are, and I consistantly bogged on the 1-2 upshift. I contribute this to the fact that I was shifting at a pretty low RPM (I think that the shift chime was set @ 5500, and I only hit the chime a few times), and that the car felt much different than most I've driven.

The car didn't feel as heavy as I expected it to, which is good. I didn't even come close to any spirited cornering, but on the few turns that I did take, I noticed that there wasn't too much body roll, and turn in seemed pretty crisp. The gearbox felt even better while the car was in motion.

Drove through some residential streets with some speed humps, felt like the car was very well put together, very solid feeling.

I did not listen to the stereo. It probably won't last long anyways.

Pulled back into the dealership, parked the car, and went to check out the white STi up front while David returned the keys. 1st comment to my g/f: I am SO getting this car. Like I said, I am a research junkie, so I was already 75% sold. After driving one, I am 150% sold.

I like the 05 interior a whole lot more than the 04. Seems better laid out and the 04 cupholder spot is terrible. I don't usually bring drinks into my car, but SOME PEOPLE do. Trunk was bigger than I expected. OEM Wheels look nicer than I expected up close. The brakes are huge. Seats feel nice.

After looking under the hood, it was time to go, so I said goodbye and wished I didn't have to wait until the end of the month to buy an STi.

Short Version:
I want an STi,
I like CGM better than Silver,
Wow it has Big brakes,
I love the styling, looks 10x better in real life and up close,
1st official test drive action was to stall it,
Loved how the car felt on the road,
Kept bogging on 1-2 shift b/c I'm a noob and was granny shifting,
Don't like OEM Boost Gauge or Armrest Extender,
Car sounds great with 3" exhaust,
Very pleased with my salesman,
I wanted to take one home today, real sad that I have to wait.

Sorry for the big post but I've got STi on the brains.

1,155 Posts
Nice review, very informative.

Glad you will be joining the subaru family! I know it's a little early, but welcome aboard! :D

2,599 Posts
I think it's very odd that they only let you test drive one of the owner's cars that was not stock or the same model year. I think you should make them let you test drive the car you're buying before you actually buy one.

102 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
VSGTS14 said:
w00t to the STi
when my friend took me for a ride in his, i thought that it was the greatest car ever and i wanted one, but i would have to settle for my wrx.
They don't want people beating on the STi's they have on the lot.. They don't let people drive them unless they are very serious about buying them. I will test drive the actual car before I buy it, to be sure.
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