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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

I really need some opinions from this group. I've had my 17 WRX since Oct. 16', and although I like it a lot, I sometimes feel the frustration of the manual drive; mostly by comparison to models like the GTI which feel substantially easier to drive. For the 18' they really improved in this space so I went to test drive the 18 STi, and it's the first time I've stalled a car in probably 5 years. I can't see how people can drive it smoothly, let alone as daily drivers. Is there a break-in period for the clutch to soften and allow for a smoother shift/drive?

Traditionally, I know the STi is notoriously worse than the WRX in this category, but I've always wanted the STi — the heritage and breed is nostalgic.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Practice. I can’t say I found either the wrx or sti particularly difficult to drive. For me it was way easier than any other manual I’ve driven through the years.
 

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I moved from a '16 WRX to an '18 STi and stalled it on the test drive at the dealership! Been driving manual for 30 years, motorcycles for about the same. **** happens. It's not the easiest car to drive. But you get used to it, and it becomes second nature.
 

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My brother had a 16 WRX and I have had my 18 WRX for 9 months now and we both agreed that the 2018 clutch was harder to drive smoothly. Its much lighter and has less feeling. I took out the clutch spring and it helped a little.
 

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I kill mine every once in a while. It's tricky to drive smooth, but it's doable. There are times that I stumble, like when I have my radio up loud and I can't use the sound to help me out.

The clutch is just one of the many aspects of the STI that make it tough to live with. This should be a reflection of the overall car itself. You have to really love these cars and appreciate them enough to deal with their jerkiness and stiff ride. I feel the STI's harshness all the time, since the roads in my area are utter crap. I'm not talking about what most people bitch about, which is pavement that needs a little work. I'm talking about pot holes, caving in roadways covered by steel plates, and cobblestone. Almost every intersection has deep grooves which makes starting off unpleasant. I'm keeping my STI for at least a couple more years, but I miss the toned town ride of my 13 WRX.

I would think carefully before you make the switch. Look at it from a financial aspect. Your car is brand new. This could be a lose-lose situation for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I kill mine every once in a while. It's tricky to drive smooth, but it's doable. There are times that I stumble, like when I have my radio up loud and I can't use the sound to help me out.

The clutch is just one of the many aspects of the STI that make it tough to live with. This should be a reflection of the overall car itself. You have to really love these cars and appreciate them enough to deal with their jerkiness and stiff ride. I feel the STI's harshness all the time, since the roads in my area are utter crap. I'm not talking about what most people bitch about, which is pavement that needs a little work. I'm talking about pot holes, caving in roadways covered by steel plates, and cobblestone. Almost every intersection has deep grooves which makes starting off unpleasant. I'm keeping my STI for at least a couple more years, but I miss the toned town ride of my 13 WRX.

I would think carefully before you make the switch. Look at it from a financial aspect. Your car is brand new. This could be a lose-lose situation for you.
That's a very fair assessment. It could be lose-lose.

I did feel a complete shift in driveability after the dealership once I got into my WRX. I don't drive very far for work and I live in the suburbs; the roads are in great condition in my area. I have no intentions to track the car.
 

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I had a 17 WRX for a year and 33,000 miles.
I now have an 18 STi for 5 weeks and have 6000 miles on it
I drive between 100-200 miles a day

For me, the STI is the better driver car. Little to no rev hang, better trans, better steering, about the same handling, I dont find it harsher riding than the WRX. In most respects the STi is easier to drive than the WRX

I agree with the clutch engagement being somewhat Random. My only issue is sometimes it feels like whatever mechanism holds the car in place from moving backward (Hill holder clutch crap) doesnt release soon enough and it feels like the back brakes stop the car from moving when I try starting off. THAT leads to me stalling it or re-engaging the clutch and feathering it excessively. Even the slightest slip of the clutch results ina LOT of burning clutch smell which to me is not right. BUT It doesnt always do it. Ive found no way to turn it OFF either. I think I was able to in the WRX.
 

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the clutch in the fa20s do feel a bit heavy compare to other brands. ive driven my friends 15 si and 16 ST and both cars were easier to drive. Cant say anything about the STIs tho but i do want to drive one ;) and find out myself
 

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I didn't have any issues stalling my 02 WRX or my 04 STi. I did, however, have issues with stalling on my 15 STi because of the damn "hill-assist". Once I de-activated the hill assist on it though I had no more issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had a 17 WRX for a year and 33,000 miles.
I now have an 18 STi for 5 weeks and have 6000 miles on it
I drive between 100-200 miles a day

For me, the STI is the better driver car. Little to no rev hang, better trans, better steering, about the same handling, I dont find it harsher riding than the WRX. In most respects the STi is easier to drive than the WRX

I agree with the clutch engagement being somewhat Random. My only issue is sometimes it feels like whatever mechanism holds the car in place from moving backward (Hill holder clutch crap) doesnt release soon enough and it feels like the back brakes stop the car from moving when I try starting off. THAT leads to me stalling it or re-engaging the clutch and feathering it excessively. Even the slightest slip of the clutch results ina LOT of burning clutch smell which to me is not right. BUT It doesnt always do it. Ive found no way to turn it OFF either. I think I was able to in the WRX.
As someone mentioned above — you can disable hill-assist. I prefer it on the WRX but it's good to know it's not really preferred on the STi.

When I test drove the car, I smelled the clutch burning a bit.. the dealer said it was the tank's lining indicating that the car is low on fuel.. is this accurate, lol?
 

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I kill mine every once in a while. It's tricky to drive smooth, but it's doable. There are times that I stumble, like when I have my radio up loud and I can't use the sound to help me out.

The clutch is just one of the many aspects of the STI that make it tough to live with. This should be a reflection of the overall car itself. You have to really love these cars and appreciate them enough to deal with their jerkiness and stiff ride. I feel the STI's harshness all the time, since the roads in my area are utter crap. I'm not talking about what most people bitch about, which is pavement that needs a little work. I'm talking about pot holes, caving in roadways covered by steel plates, and cobblestone. Almost every intersection has deep grooves which makes starting off unpleasant. I'm keeping my STI for at least a couple more years, but I miss the toned town ride of my 13 WRX.

I would think carefully before you make the switch. Look at it from a financial aspect. Your car is brand new. This could be a lose-lose situation for you.
I think Zach accurately described the STi. It is jerky, stiff and harsh. It is also a lot of fun and rewarding, very engaging when you can wring it out. I test drove it twice. I stalled it on my second test drive... it was embarrassing.. I tend to stall it once every couple of months. I find i do it when I try and be smooth in a parking lot and it just dies... mostly in "S". I find it easier to drive in "I" or "S#" surprisingly.


I'm going through the love hate thing right now with the STi. I have a 2016 for the past almost 3 years.

From a whats practical perspective, the best thing for you to do is keep the car you have, don't modify it, and change it out for a redesigned STi if that it what you want. Your car is relatively new. trading it in on a a very similar car seems like a losing proposition.

The GTI is easier to drive and more comfortable too. I definitely considered it... Its also less engaging, has VW reliability and has crappy resale value. you pick your poison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think Zach accurately described the STi. It is jerky, stiff and harsh. It is also a lot of fun and rewarding, very engaging when you can wring it out. I test drove it twice. I stalled it on my second test drive... it was embarrassing.. I tend to stall it once every couple of months. I find i do it when I try and be smooth in a parking lot and it just dies... mostly in "S". I find it easier to drive in "I" or "S#" surprisingly.


I'm going through the love hate thing right now with the STi. I have a 2016 for the past almost 3 years.

From a whats practical perspective, the best thing for you to do is keep the car you have, don't modify it, and change it out for a redesigned STi if that it what you want. Your car is relatively new. trading it in on a a very similar car seems like a losing proposition.

The GTI is easier to drive and more comfortable too. I definitely considered it... Its also less engaging, has VW reliability and has crappy resale value. you pick your poison.
That's fair. It's definitely more of an impulsive emotional decision than a practical one.

I'm in my early 30s and want something before kids and tougher responsibilities become a challenge in owning a car like this. But I have been debating the GTI as it's really more of a balanced machine. The love-hate relationship is one I really feel for this brand in general. There are days I loath the temperamental transmission in the WRX.. and there are the days where it's the only thing I would ever care to drive. I used to have the same relationship with my Integra. When things work, they're brilliant — and it heightens your experience beyond reasoning, something I never got from my TLX. The mechanical feel of these cars is so visceral and fun.

With the high residual and inexpensive payments I am looking to lease rather than buy. As you said, the new model is coming out relatively soon, hopefully 2020. I have enough positive equity and good value in my WRX where I wouldn't take much of a loss. It's great reading everyone's feedback regarding their experiences, though. I haven't made any decisions. Thanks for posting!
 

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That's fair. It's definitely more of an impulsive emotional decision than a practical one.

I'm in my early 30s and want something before kids and tougher responsibilities become a challenge in owning a car like this. But I have been debating the GTI as it's really more of a balanced machine. The love-hate relationship is one I really feel for this brand in general. There are days I loath the temperamental transmission in the WRX.. and there are the days where it's the only thing I would ever care to drive. I used to have the same relationship with my Integra. When things work, they're brilliant — and it heightens your experience beyond reasoning, something I never got from my TLX. The mechanical feel of these cars is so visceral and fun.

With the high residual and inexpensive payments I am looking to lease rather than buy. As you said, the new model is coming out relatively soon, hopefully 2020. I have enough positive equity and good value in my WRX where I wouldn't take much of a loss. It's great reading everyone's feedback regarding their experiences, though. I haven't made any decisions. Thanks for posting!
For the record, you can manage kids with these cars, and probably the GTI if you want.

Not ideally as your only family car, but it certainly can carry kids OK. I have an almost 7 yr old and an almost 2 yr old. The only problematic thing is the car seat until you turn it around limits the front seat space. I'm counting the days until I can turn around my little guy. This was my practical car that I bought after I had kids.
 

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I tested both 2017 STI and WRX and ended up with a WRX Limited. To my foot, the clutches both felt roughly the same, but I did like the shifter feel of the STI better. Felt less sloppy and more direct into the gears. What killed the STI for me was the poorer MPG, the much harsher ride, and the fact that I'm a suburban dad with two kids under 5 and I'd never get around to truly being able to appreciate what the the car had to offer. I mostly go to daycare, work, home, get groceries, etc. The WRX/STI are very capable kid haulers, especially if they are in front-facing carseats. We've taken my WRX on numerous road trips without having to resort to a roof cargo carrier. It swallows up a surprising amount of stuff and is plenty good for a family of four.

I had also tested a Golf R, but wasn't impressed with VW's spotty QC and I felt the rear had noticeably less legroom to put in a rear-facing carseat. I do admit, the R did feel nicer and more upscale than the WRX.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I ended up test driving the STi again — it actually felt much better than the initial drive, maybe because I was expecting it. I agree, the shifting feels smoother on the STi, and I have the short-throw-shifter package installed on my WRX. I didn't notice the rougher ride, it actually felt more planted and hugged the road much more smoothly.

I was offered a TLX A-Spec with Tech package, the v6 but FWD, for $389/month on a lease, 36/10. So it's between these two cars if I decide to pull the trigger on trading my car.

The GTi, although a much more refined experience, just isn't fun after being in the WRX for nearly two years. It has some power but the drive feels plain. The QC scares me, which isn't as big of an issue on a lease, but nevertheless that's time wasted. And dealers just don't negotiate much on these cars, ironically. Their value plummets and I can lease an STi for cheaper than a GTI SE / MSRP 32k. The 'R' I never bothered to even look at. They don't sell below MSRP and I never pay suggested value.
 

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I have to say I am liking the 2018 TLX styling. Acura is definitely a step up in refinement.

I really enjoy the driving experience of the WRX, but if I had to make a decision right now, especially as a true "family car"...
 

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RTFM and found how to turn off hill assist.

Driving the car is much much better. No more bull**** starting off.
 

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I have to say I am liking the 2018 TLX styling. Acura is definitely a step up in refinement.

I really enjoy the driving experience of the WRX, but if I had to make a decision right now, especially as a true "family car"...
The new 18 TLX do look nice. I also would love to drive the new Accord Sport. Ive read good reviews and its well equipped.
 
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