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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone I'm new to the forum and am looking for my next new car... we were truck and camper shopping until my wife got the phone call that shes deploying at the end of this year so camper is on hold for 2 or 3 summers... so naturally a sports car was the next logical decision ; ) I love muscle cars so I started my search problem being I have an 8 year old and an 18 month old and I'd like to be able to take them with me lol... so it was narrowed down to a challenger. I need it to be manual (in the 30 cars I've owned I've only had 3 automatics) second problem is I live in western ny so it snows ALOT and having a car that if I needed to use in the snow I could would be a bonus so BAM Insert the wrx or sti... next problem is idk much about the newer generations of subie... is the sti worth the up charge? I'm most likely not going to track the car mostly errands and spirited driving.. so pros and cons and potential mods would be huge and I appreciate it in advance!!! Thanks guys and gals
 

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The sti has a better awd system, beefier transmission and driveline, beefier brakes, and the old EJ257 engine that's been around for ages.

The 2015+ wrx uses the newer fa20f engine that arguably is much more sophisticated and reliable than the EJ. It's proven to be a solid powerplant thus far with the only major failures being early in production and mostly limited to modified engines. It aslo gets far superior fuel economy with several members here passing towards 30mpg.

The rides will be pretty comparable with the sti in my opinion being a little stiffer. The cabin noise is also higher with the sti for some reason. The factory exhaust on the ones i drove was loud in comparison to even my 2011 wrx in stock form. Those may not make it ideal for toting kids around in the sti, but it will happily do it otherwise.

The sti will have a slight higher maintenance bill because of oil change intervals, fuel required being premium, and things like brakes are ever so slightly more expensive. After a few years it'll add up.

If you are not interested in any of that and are looking to go full vape bro both can be good options. The wrx will be limited by the transmission and has weaker rods than the EJ however there are people still putting out some hefty power with them on e85. Keeping in mind you'll need lower e50 or some such if you actually want the high pressure fuel pump to survive 10k miles. The sti hasn't changed much aside from the body. So basically it's faults are carved in stone and known by the community really well and can be mitigated when modifying.

Either way neither is worse or better just different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
XJman, thanks so much for an incredibly helpful and thought out answer giving basic differences as well as personal opinion and experience... I guess I'd need to drive a new sti and wrx to really know what's more important/worthwhile in the end... also would one car over the other hold a particularly higher resale or trade in value? As for mods I'd be doing nothing to crazy... turbo back exhuast (or cat back?) Intake (if it's worth it) maybe upgrade to intercooler (if recommended) and a tune
 

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Both WRX and STi have amazing resale, but the STi holds value better.

If you plan to mod for power, track, or just need an STi then the extra $$ makes sense. The EJ has been around longer, and has many options to build and make power.

The WRX, has the newer, more efficient engine with a twin scroll turbo. It puts down more power initially and makes what most would consider to be a better daily driver. If decent MPG, in an AWD car you can drive to work every day, haul your kids around, and still have fun on the back roads then the WRX is your car. There are some amazing results with simple mods the EJ can't touch, but if you want to build for power the EJ is still the way to go.

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Random thoughts . . .

I would argue that neither the Challenger or the WRX is a sports car . . . but both could be considered sportier or more fun with the Challenger having markedly more power from the get go.

I would also respectfully suggest that in most cases folks don't truly "need" a manual or even AWD . . . although I would also whole heartedly agree that a manual is just a lot more fun to have in a sportier car and in the winter AWD is certainly better than FWD or RWD (providing all things being equal -- i.e. winter tires are on the vehicles.)

If you're not planning on tracking the car or doing much heavy modding I would suggest the WRX. If you want to build it up with some mods to build up the HP or want to track it I would go with the STI.

Also . . . XJMan can correct me if I am wrong (and I have been wrong before) but I thought the WRX and STI required premium fuel (technically the WRX highly recommends using premium fuel, but I don't know of anyone who runs regular fuel unless it is an emergency) . . . and I thought both had similar oil change intervals (or maybe I'm just thinking this since I try to do an oil change between 3-5K). Brakes however . . . undoubtedly cost more with the STI.
 

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Firefighterjake said:
I would also respectfully suggest that in most cases folks don't truly "need" a manual or even AWD . . . although I would also whole heartedly agree that a manual is just a lot more fun to have in a sportier car and in the winter AWD is certainly better than FWD or RWD (providing all things being equal -- i.e. winter tires are on the vehicles.)
I need both AWD/4WD and studded snow tires to deal with my parents driveway during the winter (they babysit my dog during my long workday). The difference between my setup and AWD+A/S tires (my extended family members refuse to buy separate sets) can be as much as 3X the application rate of halite (at 400+lbs/application), which gets expensive, even with the discount they get having 8,000-12,000 lbs delivered at a time and for being a "senior".
 

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Hi everyone I'm new to the forum and am looking for my next new car... we were truck and camper shopping until my wife got the phone call that shes deploying at the end of this year so camper is on hold for 2 or 3 summers... so naturally a sports car was the next logical decision ; ) I love muscle cars so I started my search problem being I have an 8 year old and an 18 month old and I'd like to be able to take them with me lol... so it was narrowed down to a challenger. I need it to be manual (in the 30 cars I've owned I've only had 3 automatics) second problem is I live in western ny so it snows ALOT and having a car that if I needed to use in the snow I could would be a bonus so BAM Insert the wrx or sti... next problem is idk much about the newer generations of subie... is the sti worth the up charge? I'm most likely not going to track the car mostly errands and spirited driving.. so pros and cons and potential mods would be huge and I appreciate it in advance!!! Thanks guys and gals
Regarding the kids, if you have both kids sitting in the rear, passenger footroom is going to be pretty bad in the Subies. It's usable, but anyone pushing 6' isn't going to be comfortable for very long, unless you have room to put the 18 month old behind the driver. If you're letting the 8yr old up front, it's pretty easy to put a rear facing seat in the middle of the rear bench and have decent footroom for both driver and passenger (I'm 6'4), plus room for people on each side of the car seat. Also, the rear doors swing out almost 90 degrees, so it's really easy to get kids and car seats in and out. Trunk is big enough to fit a stroller like a single B.O.B. or an umbrella stroller, but I'm not sure it could fit a double... maybe, it is pretty big. The double we have is really long so I have to remove the car seat adapter for it to fit in my wife's Forester.

I have a 2018 STi (I obviously need to update my avatar), and a 2yr old and 2 week old. The above will be the same for the WRX too.

Oh yea, the 2 year old loves when I push it a bit. :)
 

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I shopped around for AWHILE for both the STi and WRX (2017 new) and went to about 8 dealerships. Went with the STi for the fun canyon drives in the mountains and track days. It did take about 4 months to get the dealerships competing with each other to a great price, but worth it.
The STi requires premium gas but IF the WRX says “recommend” premium gas than you don’t need it unless you want to unlock the full potential of the engine. Many articles online about that.
STi does require healthy maintenance schedule, not sure about the WRX maintenance. You also have to factor in the difference in insurance cost.
Both cars are great and their pros and cons are all readily available on this website and others. I personally wouldn’t heisitate on buying the STi again, it’s been well worth the extra cost, which wasn’t that much over a limited WRX.
I would personally wait to see if a revision is done for the 2020 lineup however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for the info... drove the limited wrx today... its quick it seemed very fun and comfortable but that stereo... wow is it bad... I didnt spend a ton of time playing with it but it just sounds like distorted speakers that are covered in mud... is that really the top of the line stereo for Subaru? Is there anyway u guys found to make it sound somewhat better? Replacing the speakers and sub? Add a new sub? I'm not even sure that headunit is worth salvaging...
 

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Thanks so much for the info... drove the limited wrx today... its quick it seemed very fun and comfortable but that stereo... wow is it bad... I didnt spend a ton of time playing with it but it just sounds like distorted speakers that are covered in mud... is that really the top of the line stereo for Subaru? Is there anyway u guys found to make it sound somewhat better? Replacing the speakers and sub? Add a new sub? I'm not even sure that headunit is worth salvaging...
IMO, most of the stereo woes on WRX and STi are due to the head unit -- the speakers are not as awful as the sound might suggest. If you are a true audiophile, you might want to replace the whole shebang.

Check out OEM Audio+ : Pricey, but I appreciate solid R&D.

https://oemaudioplus.com/subaru/subaru-options/
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey guys so I'll be test driving the sti tomorrow (weather permitting) but now I'm trying to figure out if I go with just a wrx, is it even worth getting a limited? I was searching for a limited initially with the thought that the upgraded stereo wouldn't need to much attention but I was wrong... so if that needs a total overhaul, then is going with the limited worth that added expense? Thanks again in advance
 

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Hey guys so I'll be test driving the sti tomorrow (weather permitting) but now I'm trying to figure out if I go with just a wrx, is it even worth getting a limited? I was searching for a limited initially with the thought that the upgraded stereo wouldn't need to much attention but I was wrong... so if that needs a total overhaul, then is going with the limited worth that added expense? Thanks again in advance
Did the limited you tested have the HK stereo? There are 3 headunits/stereos in the WRX/STi.
Base WRX gets the 6.5" screen headunit
Premium, limited, and base STi get the 7" headunit.
Limited WRX w/ nav, and STi limited get the HK system. It has different speakers, built in amp, sub, and a different headunit.

After listening to both, the HK system is definitely better. I wouldn't call it amazing, but it's adequate for a car. (I would consider myself an audiophile) by the time you add road, engine, and exhaust noise you aren't going to get truly good sound anyway. I focus on something that can play comfortably loud without distortion, and has clear bas, mids, and highs.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Picking up the sti for the test drive today... still wondering if it's worth the more in price tag (it's around $4-5k without negotiations yet) it seems to me to get sti power doesnt seem to take a whole lot out of the wrx and wouldn't be anywhere near 4k... I know the suspension is different, wheels, brakes ect... but unless really planning on track days that stuff shouldn't be a huge deal right? Continued thoughts and inputs please!!!!
 

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The sti also has better control and distribution of that power.
If you just need to get the power to the wheels the wrx drivetrain is fine. If you want to be able to dial in that power, the STi DCCD gives you some control over how that power gets to the wheels.
This has always been the case, and one of the biggest pros for the STi if you are going to track the car. For daily driving, most people set and leave the setting. Besides, the STi typically has more drivetrain loss than the WRX, I know Subaru revamped the new STi drivetrain, so I'm not sure this is still true.

the EJ247 has a timing belt. It's due at 105k.

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If you just need to get the power to the wheels the wrx drivetrain is fine. If you want to be able to dial in that power, the STi DCCD gives you some control over how that power gets to the wheels.
This has always been the case, and one of the biggest pros for the STi if you are going to track the car. For daily driving, most people set and leave the setting. Besides, the STi typically has more drivetrain loss than the WRX, I know Subaru revamped the new STi drivetrain, so I'm not sure this is still true.

the EJ247 has a timing belt. It's due at 105k.

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The STI system is far more effective at putting power to the ground in all situations -- not just when you want to manually override the setting.

The front LSD enhances the capability of the faux torque-vectoring ATV solution
The electromagnetic center clutch responds faster and with greater torque transfer capability than the viscous LSD in the WRX
The missing rear LSD in the WRX is a criminal oversight

The major advantages have little to do with the minor detail of adjusting the center differential lockup bias. The STi does have greater drivetrain loss, yes, but IMO this is more likely due to the much greater rotational mass than the LSDs themselves.
 
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