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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does the WRX/STI get the most out of the 4 cylinders? Anything better?

My only experience with other 4-cylinder turbos is the BMW 328. Very refined with the 8-gear automatic--best auto I've ever driven.

Not quite as fast, not as many HP, not quite as much fun for spirited driving. Very nice handling, better quality overall, but comes at a price--base is about $10K over the WRX, and costs escalate quickly with upgrades.

Upshot, the 328 offers a nice refined driving experience. With the dynamic adjustable suspension it approaches a real performance vehicle.

However, if you appreciate a more "unplugged" experience, the WRX offers more bang for the buck.

Any thoughts out there? Anything better or comparable at a decent price?
 

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I'm confused.

The WRX has a much more modern motor. The motor in the STI is quite antiquated.

Are there better 4 cylinders? Certainly. Precisely what is the criteria here?

Plenty of great alternatives in the sport compact market. Gold GTI/R, Focus ST/RS, Fiesta ST, etc.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, the criteria are a bit loose--just looking for another 4-cylinder (turbo) that would give the WRX a run for the money at a *reasonable* price. Not just HP, but the whole driving experience.

I don't have any experience with the VW or the Fords. From what I've read they look good on paper. I'm not a fan of the Ford styling. None of the above are readily available compared to the WRX and not easy to get at a discount. The Focus and GTI start at about $8K more than the WRX--the only new Golf R in Omaha is $41K.

I like the Golf R/GTI styling. But, for the money it seems to me the WRX is a better deal, and certainly more versatile than the GTI.
 

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Most companies have some hot hatch that really competes. The new civic type r, focus st and rs, GLI/golf r.

Honestly the feel of a VW isn't bad, it feels more quality than it is. The Germans really know how to give the illusion of quality, even if real quality isn't there.

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Focus ST and GTI start several $thousand less than the WRX. Interior quality is better in both.

For the money, the best deal is really the Fiesta ST.

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After test driving all of the "affordable" (under $45k) alternatives over the last year and finally making my decision to go WRX Limited my opinion on what is faster, ranked below. Note the STI was a pals car 2015, these are all stock, just my impressions:

FOCUS RS - $42k - Fastest Car in this comparison. This was a fun drive however I didn't like how it felt for a daily driver. Seemed more difficult to drive then WRX Sti.
WRX STI - $39k - Nice..however Drivign manual all the time is an issue for me.
Volkswagen R - $40k
WRX Limited (Auto/Make believe manual mode w/ Paddle Shifter) - $34,500 - I bought this one got around 2k off sticker but I suspect I still paid about 1K more then I should even with nav included.
Volkswagen GTI SE - 30k. More refined then what I selected however no AWD is a problem for me. Also was noticeably slower then WRX.

The Volkswagen R was fun several test drives at various dealers until I was sure, however I hated the styling, was around 5k more and honestly it didn't seem much faster. I really wanted the STI however I also wanted to be able to drive auto sometimes and needed some features that would have pushed my total cost another 3 or 4k up.

But... the WRX is only faster, in my opinion, then the GTI SE in the above lineup. However its the best daily driver if you need AWD. I love the styling and the drive.
 

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The focus on "4 cylinders" is interesting. I'd put that aside and merely look for the car that fits your cost, utility, smile, and other criteria. (Smile criteria - for my money, I now require my personal DD cars to make me grin like an idiot when I'm driving.)
 

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Not to muddy the waters too much (OK maybe a lot), aren't the 2017 Porche Boxster and Caymans both 4 pot powered? I know there is a bit of price difference, but these are still 4 cylinder cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re' Porsche yes, but. I realize someone can make a better 4-cylinder if price is no object, but I unfortunately live in the real world...

The Focus ST and GTI start out less it's true but don't have 4WD and don't make as much HP as the WRX. The RS and Golf-R are a step up but cost quite a bit more. If one were spending 40K, I at least would start looking at BMW, Mercedes, etc.

And, Ray, I agree with you 100%, just curious how this engine stacks up against the competition.

I guess one could throw the Evo out there, which I don't think is being sold anymore in this country new.
 

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Mustang Ecoboost:
 

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I'm gonna join this discussion because I am a Ford guy... cross that, I'm a Subaru guy who was raised a Ford guy haha.

The Focus RS is impressive but not entirely the beast it is made out to be. The RS uses over boost for about 15-18s to get to 350HP. Also it uses too many ECUs for its awd and torque vectoring systems that end up overheating and turning into a Focus ST on steroids when pushed too hard. There have already been reports of the transmission leaking fluid when becoming too hot or pushed too much. Ford installed thermal safeguards so you don't damage the drive train and when pushed too much the car will go into a 'limp mode' and tell you it's time to change the diff fluid.

The STI 'reliably' gets 305+ HP without the use of a ton of technology other than AVCS, Si Drive, and DCCD. With the STI you hear and feel more from the car like it is an extended body part.

For a comparable car under 45, I mean there really isn't one, the RS and MAYBE the Golf R or R32 do. I saw someone said Porsche Cayman/Boxster (love the Cayman haha) what about the Alfa Romeo 4C?


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I'm gonna join this discussion because I am a Ford guy... cross that, I'm a Subaru guy who was raised a Ford guy haha.

The Focus RS is impressive but not entirely the beast it is made out to be. The RS uses over boost for about 15-18s to get to 350HP. Also it uses too many ECUs for its awd and torque vectoring systems that end up overheating and turning into a Focus ST on steroids when pushed too hard. There have already been reports of the transmission leaking fluid when becoming too hot or pushed too much. Ford installed thermal safeguards so you don't damage the drive train and when pushed too much the car will go into a 'limp mode' and tell you it's time to change the diff fluid.

The STI 'reliably' gets 305+ HP without the use of a ton of technology other than AVCS, Si Drive, and DCCD. With the STI you hear and feel more from the car like it is an extended body part.

For a comparable car under 45, I mean there really isn't one, the RS and MAYBE the Golf R or R32 do. I saw someone said Porsche Cayman/Boxster (love the Cayman haha) what about the Alfa Romeo 4C?


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There are other cars that produce considerable horsepower and cost under $40K. These do not offer AWD, but neither does the Porsche or the Alfa.
 

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The Porsches do well year round from what I've heard. It kind of surprised me.

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The Porsches do well year round from what I've heard. It kind of surprised me.

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Rear transaxle with LSD. Doesn't surprise me at all.
 

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Rear transaxle with LSD. Doesn't surprise me at all.
I mean there is more to it than just that, it's weight balance, smooth power transport, as well as the mechanical LSD.

But typically you don't hear positive things about sports cars on wintery roads.

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