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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So before I make the plunge from 10+ years of VW/AUDI to Subaru, I wanted to get some feedback from New and Old Impreza Owners. Just some general thoughts about how the ownership experience has been for you from when you started looking for the car to receiving it from the dealer, to driving it and taking care of it.

So how'd it go?

Also, understanding that the interior of this car is very spartan to say the least, was everything pretty easy to get used to, controls and I.P. wise? Was the dash layed out in an easy fashion to understand for you? Do you feel the controls are easy to get to and placed where they should be? Was their any operation you didn't know off hand, and needed some reference to understand?

Why am I asking so many lame questions? Well a big factor that is keeping me from getting a WRX is that I've grown very accustomed to the way that audi/vw lay their cars out in the inside, controls are placed in the right place, at the right distance, and for the right reasons. Its a very intuitive car to operate, and I think that the thought that goes into planning the layout of the inside of car only increases the amount of driving pleasure you have when driving your car (i.e. if things are intuitive, you don't have to think about them, and you can focus more on pushing you car to the limits)

I've heard from many reviews and people, that subaru controls are very unintuitive and sometimes hard to figure out (i.e. the sunroof on an outback, or having to use two seperate buttons to activate climate control)

so let me know your thoughts,

thanks,

justin
 

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As far as control placement, the WRX has your typical Japanese light touch controls and they are perfectly spaced. Everyone who drives a WRX with a stick will ineveitably hit the wiper stalk with there right hand when the go to shift.

The climate control knobs are well placed, as are the stereo controls. The vent selector knob requires too much force at first to turn, but it breaks in eventually.

Coming from a VW/Audi, which use cable shifters almost exclusively, the WRX shifter may seem a little harsh at first, but it's very rewarding once the tranny breaks in. There is no question about whether or not you shifted properly because you FEEL the synchros engaging.

The interior is spartan and IHMO could use A LOT of refinement. The materials are attractive to look at and feel nice, but I have 17,500 miles on my WRX and I've already had to have trim pieces reaffixed and I'm planning a second service visit because of poor interior fit and finish.

The second generation clutch (After July, 2001) is much lighter and better engaging than the first generation WRX clutch (which I have, since my car was built in June), but if you don't already have one, you'll get the new clutch. If you have any problems with the 1st gen clutch (and some people are) SoA has instructed dealers to replace them with the new clutch assembly.

The WRX also has variable power assisted steering.

There you have it.

-Jim
 

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Ok here's my take. I've only had the car for 4 days... and it has 500 miles on it. Here's what I think...

I agree with Jim that almost all the controls are in reach and that they're pretty simple. Coming from a Civic, dials throw me off... but I'll learn. I'm used to sliding levers. I have yet to hit the wipers accidentally while shifting.

Although I will say the stalk is weird to me since my old car you twised it instead of moving it up or down to adjust the speed of the wipers (off, intermittent, low, high). And the highbeams throw me off. My car it was pull to turn them on... this car is pull you flash your highbeams... push to turn them on. Just an 'adjustment' I have to make.

Other than those... the stock stereo's tuning knob (for radio station) or the same knob for the CD which fast forwards or skips tracks is a bit out of reach for 'easy' use. But I don't use it that frequently and it's not a SUPER far reach. Just more of one than I like and it would be in a perfect area if it were a toggle switch vs a turnable knob. And the fog light/cruise control button area is a bit out of easy reach. I have to look for them, I'm sure after a while it will become second nature. But the cruise control set/coast, resume/accel and cancel lever is easy to get to. Just the push button to activate the cruise control system seems out of 'easy' reach, so if you leave it on or never use cruise it won't be an issue at all for you.

Some people complain about the arm rest extension being in the way. For me its at the perfect height for my size (5'11" and long upper torso) and I have the 5 speed.

Although none of the car really bothers me. I think the fit and finish is great (no squeaks, rattles, etc) but its so new I can't be a good judge of that yet. But the thing that really irk me about the car is getting in and out... the doors are much shallower than on my 2 door civic and it's not that they're unusually small.. I just have ALWAYS had 2 door cars (I feel the same about my mom's Mecedes E430). So its a bit strange to me. That... and ... the windows seem to trap water easily on the outside. When you lower the window (which I have to do twice a day to get in and out of my parking garage) it leave a wet trail up the center of the window about an inch or two wide when I roll it back up. That drives me nuts. It hasn't rained for 2 days here and the water is still there.

I know what you mean about not wanting to jump the VW ship. I wanted to get a GTi. But after thinking more about it I went with the WRX (and had a hard time leaving Honda). I'd have had a harder time choosing if the GTi came with the VW 4-motion awd system. But since it didn't the WRX was a MUCH easier choice.

Good luck choosing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah with the introduction of the new EA337 gti, it seems like the only viable vw option (180 1.8t with a six speed, sport suspension, two gear diff, votex appearance package, recaro seats and 18" BBS RC's.. all for 22500).

I was waiting for the 3.2l vr6 with 255 bhp and 4 motion to hit the shores, but it sounds as if this engine is first going to be introduced in the new S3 and tuned to about 285-300 bhp, and will probably not come to the us for some time, so as far as getting an awd car that hand handle, and is built with high quailty, the WRX is the only car on the list, unless 40k falls in my lap and I swing an s4 or a 330xi sport wagon, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
 

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Controls are all in the correct place like all japanese cars although it will take some getting used to from a German one. As for the clutch, mine is hold up great actually. It is the earlier type and amazingly it holds better than many lower powered newer WRX's I test drive. It is much heavier than the newer ones though.
 

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I've never driven an Audi/VW so cannot compare those cars to the WRX. All the controls seem well spaced and intuitive to me. I absolutely love my car (I'm at 2500 miles) The more I drive it, the more I like it :)

Everyone who drives a WRX with a stick will ineveitably hit the wiper stalk with there right hand when the go to shift.
Thats never happened to me. I came to the WRX from a Miata and the shifter at first felt inprecise and a little rubbery to me, but then again, the Miata has a *perfect* feeling shifter with ultra short throws. I am going to install a Kart-Boy short shifter.
 

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Justin

I've actually been pretty pleased with the quality to date (one plus months) compared to other Japanese cars I've had, especially econoboxes. This is far better than the Mitsu mirage I had in the '80s, and every bit as nice as the '83 Accord we had (which was the first so called yuppie car, even before BMWs.)

I got the WRX after 17 years of Ford trucks, so anything is a change for me. My wife, on the other hand, went from 15 years of Accords to the A6. Both fill their respective niches quite well. Build quality is not VW/Audi butit seems very good. I've had the console out and the fender liner for trim, shifter, and resonator mods, and found all the hidden bits just as good quality-wise as the visible pieces.

I happen to like rotary knobs, so this car is great in that respect. As noted, the cruise stalk is easy to use and seems more handy than the on-wheel buttons, although it is this stalk and not the wiper control stak that I have bumped into a couple of times. I've had some confusion on the wiper stalk, but more from unfamiliarity. I have the wagon, so I twist one way to wipe the rear window, twist the other to wash the rear, twist a ring to adjust front wiper interval, pull toward me to wipe once, push down to wash and up to run...or is it the other way for the wipe/run/wash..arrrr, just try them all!

I've pressure rinsed mine several times here in the slush and salt with a black car, and haven't noticed a single leak, even with the frameless windows (which take a bit of getting used to, as well.)

The WRX is not a luxury car, though. Remember, it is an econobox with a whoop-ass engine, some suspension tweaking, and nice seats. It is similar to my friend's 4 year old A4 both in size and plasticiness (new word for the day) but nothing like the new ones, or probably even as nice as the new Passat or Jettas.

But then, none of the above are anywhere *near* as fun as the WRX is, and that'sthe best reason to get one. You can't get this much juice for less that $40K, elsewhere.

BTW, old VW fan myself. Dad, brother, and I have had something like 17 of them starting with a '57 rag sunroof, to the first gen Scirocco, and now the A6. Next logical step would be the GT3 I saw at the car show, I think!

Steve
 

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ex Corrado owner

I drove my VW corrado for 10 yars and of course had become very used to it.
The interior is no where near as nice as the interior of my VW (leather and real nicely done).
the hardest thing to get used to is where reverse is .
Downshifting from 5th you need to think a bit.
and the fit and finish isnt quite as tight as my VW was.
And it doesn't have a sunroof option.
And I had gotten used to the automatic seatbelts.
1 month later though and I am very happy with the WRX.
 

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Door Locks

The only oddity I have found with the WRX interior is that the door locks are backwards from other cars. But it`s no big deal.
 

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This is also a very difficult decision for me...I have been into VW/Audi since 1989 and I have grown very used to the way these cars are designed that it just makes me feel awkward that I am considering jumping ship and going to the WRX. I know how you feel Justin. I'm not too crazy about the carbon trim in the WRX nor am I about the position of the reverse gear, but I have to say that the engine is very nice and the overall feel of the clutch and gears makes it all worth it. VWs used to use rod shifting but all of the newer cars use cable shifting nowadays so when I felt the WRX shifter, it put a grin on my face!!! I think the VWs back in the days of the Corrado and older GTIs are more fun. The whole VW image has changed these days...for the worse in my opinion so this makes my decision toward Subaru a slightly easier one...;)
 

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Audi Electrical

We have owned three Audis, and they were all besieged with electrical gremlins. I have bought only Japanese vehicles since, and with no such problems.
 

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PlatinumWRX said:
Everyone who drives a WRX with a stick will ineveitably hit the wiper stalk with there right hand when the go to shift.
And I thought it was just me, boy am I glad to hear that, I bump that damn thing at least once everytime I drive the car. It drives me crazy because I don't want to scratch the windshield with the dry wipers sliding across it.
 

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Everyone who drives a WRX with a stick will ineveitably hit the wiper stalk with there right hand when the go to shift.
Dang it, now I'm going to start hitting the stalk after reading this :). Maybe you guys need to start driving like a G-Dog Pimp where you are leaned over towards the middle of the car and at the same time laid back.
 
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