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I have found in heavy rain for example the Subaru feels far more stable, than a front drive car. I also felt it was more stable than my wife's CRVs. I have never really tried driving very aggressively with all wheel drive. At one time I raced go carts and my car control was pretty good but I never had access to all wheel drive back then.
And you fully understand this is likely pyschological?
 

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And you fully understand this is likely pyschological?
And you fully understand this is likely pyschological?
I don't know that to be the case, It is kind of hard to test objectively. I defiantly have found my Impreza and my wife's Crosstrek to be more stable, my insight for example was far more twitchy in aggressive wet conditions. At the time my primary car was a honda insight and my wife had a Crosstrek. So I had a direct comparison. I traded my insight eventually in for a Impreza, I found my Impreza to be superior to other cars I had owned in most bad weather conditions. You can call it psychological but I liked the way that car drove. I had the Impreza for 5 years, wanted something more fun so I got a WRX which still meets my requirement to have 4 doors also. I really like the driving feel of Subaru all wheel drive and the flat 4 engine. I like it even better with a Turbo.
 

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That likely has more to do with the chassis, suspension setup, steering ratio and weight, throttle tuning, and weight distribution. Not an apples-to-apples comparison. Unfortunately no way to test a FWD Impreza in America....

"Twitchy" should have absolutely nothing to do with driven wheels.

Forgive me -- but we need to END this myth of AWD being "safer" in inclement conditions. It leads to people driving with incorrect tires and far over their capability with the assumption that AWD will save them.
 

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That likely has more to do with the chassis, suspension setup, steering ratio and weight, throttle tuning, and weight distribution. Not an apples-to-apples comparison. Unfortunately no way to test a FWD Impreza in America....

"Twitchy" should have absolutely nothing to do with driven wheels.

Forgive me -- but we need to END this myth of AWD being "safer" in inclement conditions. It leads to people driving with incorrect tires and far over their capability with the assumption that AWD will save them.
I am not talking about aggressive driving, i am just speaking of driving to work every day rain snow or shine. I spent most of 20 years driving long distances to work in every kind of weather. It is not like I would see rain or snow and now I can really drive it hard, I did not suffer from superman syndrome just because I had an Impreza. No it just felt to me that it worked better than other cars I had. I used all season tires, good quality, goodyear, michelin brands like that. I have seen lots of people driving down the road like idiots because they have all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive. Any car, any drive, if you drive like an idiot under whatever the circumstance, you are going to get in trouble. I have seen lots of years where the first snow of the season every other car was in the ditch because they were either on bad drivers or not slowing down for the tricky spots.

I have also turned around and drove home because conditions were dangerous and other people were putting me in danger. Now I don't have a long trip anymore but I have put my miles in during about everything.
 

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We had about 4" of ice and 16" of snow in the past few weeks. I drove a jeep Wrangler without using 4wd to and from work during the worst of it.

It's also poorly equipped for those conditions with 12.5" wide mud tires, massive lift, and super heavy front end with my steel bumper and warn winch. Our Forester couldn't make it out of the driveway
 

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We had about 4" of ice and 16" of snow in the past few weeks. I drove a jeep Wrangler without using 4wd to and from work during the worst of it.

It's also poorly equipped for those conditions with 12.5" wide mud tires, massive lift, and super heavy front end with my steel bumper and warn winch. Our Forester couldn't make it out of the driveway
I know people love Jeeps and Sport Utilities, I personally don't like them. I like cars. If there is a foot of snow, I snow blower out first then go. We have had some big snow lately but I just clean out and then head to work. These days it is a short trip in. When I had a long commute it was on main roads so they were cleared. You only had to worry about slick conditions. I am and always have been a car guy. If I need a Truck I rent one for the day. I like Subarus, I think they are a pretty good balance at most things, you can always find something that is better for a particular purpose. A subaru WRX is not a good choice if there is a foot of snow on the road. Nor is a forester. If there is a foot of snow on the roads here then it is so bad the plows can't run and we are staying home.

Now my in-laws live in rural canada. if you don't have a suv there you are not going anywhere. If I lived there I would drive something appropriate. There you need something that will run in the tracks the oil trucks leave. However up there Subarus still have a really loyal following, especially Foresters.
 

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It's less about the specific vehicle and more about driver capability and the drivers understanding of his or her vehicles dynamics.
 

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So getting back to the original post and questions . . .

You may not like their advice . . . but it really holds true.

A WRX at $10K is most likely older or has had some issues . . . and even the most reliable unmodded vehicle once it starts to have some age will need a little more TLC than one bought new or need more TLC than other cars of a similar age simply because folks tend to run these cars a little harder than say a Corolla, Camry, Accord, etc.

So to echo others thoughts . . .

If you are looking for a reliable, fun and cheap car . . . I would recommend something like a Civic Si or even a Honda Accord (my 5-speed Honda Accord coupe with only a naturally aspirated 4 cylinder engine was a ton of fun to drive and was spirited).

If you are looking for reliable, cheap and a Subaru car . . . I would recommend an Impreza, Crosstrek, etc. (but start saving money towards that down payment for the WRX that you really want in a few years). For even more fun, get a manual and if you don't know how to drive one, start practicing now on a cheaper car vs. a WRX.

If you truly insist on getting a WRX and can swing it . . . I would go brand new as the loan rates are generally better and you get the peace of mind of a warranty and knowing how it was maintained from Day 1.

If you insist on getting a WRX and cannot afford a new WRX and insist on getting a used WRX . . . I would try to find an unmodded WRX owned by an older person who has kept good records on how it was maintained. I know it sounds like you could be looking for a unicorn . . . but they are out there if you search long enough.
 

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I would only disagree with one point above to a point, I am an older person by some standards, age 50, there are some hardcore wrx owners over 50 who probably almost all take good care of their cars but at the same time use it as a track car or autocross. At my age you are not going for a wrx for a cruiser, you have a purpose in mind in many cases. I really think as the prior poster said, if you want a Subaru, start with an impreza, especially a manual and save then go WRX as soon as you can afford a good one. Otherwise, Honda Civic SI all day long. A used SI holds value and also gives you a path to the WRX later as well.
 

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I would only disagree with one point above to a point, I am an older person by some standards, age 50, there are some hardcore wrx owners over 50 who probably almost all take good care of their cars but at the same time use it as a track car or autocross. At my age you are not going for a wrx for a cruiser, you have a purpose in mind in many cases. I really think as the prior poster said, if you want a Subaru, start with an impreza, especially a manual and save then go WRX as soon as you can afford a good one. Otherwise, Honda Civic SI all day long. A used SI holds value and also gives you a path to the WRX later as well.
I'm actually 50 years old (although in fairness I bought my WRX 5 years ago) and while I view my wife's Legacy as the go to car for long and comfortable car drives, I bought my WRX simply because I wanted to have a sporty car for my drive to and from work. While I enjoy watching the rally car race here in our State and have been to a few auto crosses I do not plan to do either which I suppose means I am not really a hardcore WRX user. I also have not modded my vehicle . . . unless you count the JDM arm rest which I added. That said . . . I suspect I am a rare breed . . . for me I value reliability (but still like the ability on occasion to drive a little spirited).
 

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I'm actually 50 years old (although in fairness I bought my WRX 5 years ago) and while I view my wife's Legacy as the go to car for long and comfortable car drives, I bought my WRX simply because I wanted to have a sporty car for my drive to and from work. While I enjoy watching the rally car race here in our State and have been to a few auto crosses I do not plan to do either which I suppose means I am not really a hardcore WRX user. I also have not modded my vehicle . . . unless you count the JDM arm rest which I added. That said . . . I suspect I am a rare breed . . . for me I value reliability (but still like the ability on occasion to drive a little spirited).
I am not going to modify mine, I might do a couple things to reduce risk of premature death like oil pickup, I am interested in doing some autocross with it though. I use mine as a commuter as well. But I have a short trip anymore. It is fun to look at the mods people do but it is not for me. The cars are just not engineered in my opinion to handle large power mods.
 

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As far as I'm aware oil pickup issues died with the ej platform depreciating.
 

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Agreed. The oil pickup concerns had merit about 10+ years ago.

It seems the QC has improved on those items since.
 
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Agreed. The oil pickup concerns had merit about 10+ years ago.

It seems the QC has improved on those items since.
This is interesting, I have a 2013 WRX, 44,000 miles, factory original car, is it likely safe to leave this alone then?
 
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