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WRX or STI?


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I'm looking to buy a 2018 WRX and I'm unsure if I should go for the WRX or the STI. The car will mainly be used as a daily driver but I like modding cars so I'm trying to find what would be the best daily driver while offering good performance and modability. I'm also trying to find out if the performance the STI offers is worth the extra $$$. Comment down below what you think would be a good choice given the circumstances. Also if you know of any places to get aftermarket parts for them leave it down below.
 

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I have had my WRX coming up on a year. The gas mileage most of the time is higher than the factory estimate of 27 highway - typically I see 35-37mpg on average. While yes, an STI would be a blast, but as a weekend car or unless you don’t really have a commute to work. Also, with some of the more simple mods, you should be able to see similar performance to an STI.

Road trips are fun regardless of what you choose. However, with gas prices on the rise - premium is NOT cheap. In fact I paid $3.80/gal today to fill up. Also keep in mind that you will HAVE to have a dedicated set of tires for the wet season - summer tires are like baldies with little to no traction.


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I'm looking to buy a 2018 WRX and I'm unsure if I should go for the WRX or the STI. The car will mainly be used as a daily driver but I like modding cars so I'm trying to find what would be the best daily driver while offering good performance and modability. I'm also trying to find out if the performance the STI offers is worth the extra $$$. Comment down below what you think would be a good choice given the circumstances. Also if you know of any places to get aftermarket parts for them leave it down below.
I would drive the newer wrx personally. However both will make great daily drivers and are capable of having a good time at the track or an autox event.
 

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I'll contrast with what hellkat said. MPG must totally depend on your speed. In my case over 1 yr and 34k miles with my 17WRX I averaged only 27-28mpg. With my STI, same roads, same COBB Catback exhaust, same commute, 22.5-23.5 I rarely if ever saw more than 31 mpg with the WRX. thats miles/gallons not what the car shows. I have the fuelly data to back that up.

MAP stage 1 tune and CoBB exhaust had zero effect on MPG or drivability in the WRX and sound was good. Same catback on the STI bumped MPG by about 1-2+ mpg and the car was noticeably easier to drive. Less back-pressure when letting off the gas. and the sound is glorious.

I like crisp handling cars that are fun to drive and for me the STI is qualitatively a better driving car in every category. I dont know what if anything they changed for 18 to make it less harsh, or if Im just more tolerant but I dont feel any of the harshness or things people complain about on the STI that make you suffer in daily driving vs the WRX. I didnt buy an STI the first time because everyone complained it was a track car that you could drive on the street. So far in my experience with my STI, Ive found that to be completely false. I spend 100-200 miles in my car a day and didnt want to be annoyed or uncomfortable and Im not.

IMO, the WRX in stock form, drivability leaves lot to be desired. so much so that a Cobb or map stage 1 tune is a must to get rid of all the negatives. the STI in stock for is just fine. power, drivability etc are all livable as is. a Stage 1 tune improves that even more.

The hill assist stuff never bothered me in the WRX, its a PITA in the STI and I had to turn it off so now I get to see the orange light in the dash 24/7. Maybe its my specific car but it seemed the brakes would hold a second too long and Id end up stalling the car or driving it like I never owned a manual.

Not sure what HK means by summer tires being no good in the wet. I found both the summer dunlops on the WRX and the summer Bridgestones on the STi are great in the rain. Zero traction in snow but since both cars come with summers, you have that problem with both.

If you can afford it, HK system is MUCH better than the junk Subie puts in for radios otherwise. Pity its paired with a $$$$ nav system. Google maps and waze make that as useless as teets on a bull. Carmakers should be punched in the face for forcing you to pay for it as a "package" deal with other stuff they know you want. Upgrading the OEM stereo seems to be a peicemeal PITA but it looks to be getting better as more options are coming out.
 

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Oh boy... another one of these....
 

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I'll contrast with what hellkat said. MPG must totally depend on your speed. In my case over 1 yr and 34k miles with my 17WRX I averaged only 27-28mpg. With my STI, same roads, same COBB Catback exhaust, same commute, 22.5-23.5 I rarely if ever saw more than 31 mpg with the WRX. thats miles/gallons not what the car shows. I have the fuelly data to back that up.

MAP stage 1 tune and CoBB exhaust had zero effect on MPG or drivability in the WRX and sound was good. Same catback on the STI bumped MPG by about 1-2+ mpg and the car was noticeably easier to drive. Less back-pressure when letting off the gas. and the sound is glorious.

I like crisp handling cars that are fun to drive and for me the STI is qualitatively a better driving car in every category. I dont know what if anything they changed for 18 to make it less harsh, or if Im just more tolerant but I dont feel any of the harshness or things people complain about on the STI that make you suffer in daily driving vs the WRX. I didnt buy an STI the first time because everyone complained it was a track car that you could drive on the street. So far in my experience with my STI, Ive found that to be completely false. I spend 100-200 miles in my car a day and didnt want to be annoyed or uncomfortable and Im not.

IMO, the WRX in stock form, drivability leaves lot to be desired. so much so that a Cobb or map stage 1 tune is a must to get rid of all the negatives. the STI in stock for is just fine. power, drivability etc are all livable as is. a Stage 1 tune improves that even more.

The hill assist stuff never bothered me in the WRX, its a PITA in the STI and I had to turn it off so now I get to see the orange light in the dash 24/7. Maybe its my specific car but it seemed the brakes would hold a second too long and Id end up stalling the car or driving it like I never owned a manual.

Not sure what HK means by summer tires being no good in the wet. I found both the summer dunlops on the WRX and the summer Bridgestones on the STi are great in the rain. Zero traction in snow but since both cars come with summers, you have that problem with both.

If you can afford it, HK system is MUCH better than the junk Subie puts in for radios otherwise. Pity its paired with a $$$$ nav system. Google maps and waze make that as useless as teets on a bull. Carmakers should be punched in the face for forcing you to pay for it as a "package" deal with other stuff they know you want. Upgrading the OEM stereo seems to be a peicemeal PITA but it looks to be getting better as more options are coming out.
I did mean snow, slush, ice. Might as well strap skates onto the rims instead of using summer tires hahahah


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I did mean snow, slush, ice. Might as well strap skates onto the rims instead of using summer tires hahahah


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ah gotcha. Yeah in those cases you are asking to die
 

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soooo i have a 2017 WRX and i'm perfectly fine not having the STI. In my own personal opinion the difference in price isnt worth 37hp and 32 torque. With the money you save you can build a WRX to be faster than a STI not to mention the WRX is lighter than the STI. Granted the STI does have the superior transmission and classic Subie rumble but you dont really lose any driveability in daily driving. This is my opinion though so to each their own.
 

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My suggestion is to test drive them (if you can with the STI...not that easy) and see what kind of deal you can get, then decide if the STI is worth the extra $$$.

I started out wanting an STI twice but "settled" for the WRX...mainly because I got a great deal on the WRX's and didn't feel like paying $8-10K more for an STI, which I wouldn't be tracking anyway.

Don't forget the likely higher insurance premiums on the STI, possibly higher theft rate (my 2012 WRX was stolen and totaled, so I take this more seriously than most people), older engine, (probably) higher maintenance and repair costs, and lower gas mileage. The insurance, gas and maintenance will affect the cost of ownership, and it's not trivial.

Someone mentioned at 70-80 MPH it generally runs at over 3000 RPM, so this is a concern for me as well, since I do a lot of highway miles. (The WRX is usually ~2500.)

Anyway, having said that, I am anxiously awaiting the likely 2020 redesign, and then will once again think if I am worthy of an STI...
 

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I went with WRX because of the MPG and price. Like Aaron_S said the price difference is too high for what you get but this is just my opinion. I am happy with WRX. average 24.5 mpg. not too great. I must have a lead foot.
Oh, my WRX came with STI short shifter from the factory and I like it.
 

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The WRX is a decent, fun car. It has a decent level of performance. It has a high grade for practicality. 4 doors, ability to seat 4 and trunk space to haul their gear are worth having. Handling is very predictable. The dialed-in under-steer makes this a better car to explore the limits with. AWD has advantages, with proper tires, in foul weather. It does not replace better driving skills.

The down sides are the fall on its face above 4,800RPMs stock tune. The gear box is notchy and clunky. Being smooth is an accomplishment. You can tell that its interior started life as an econobox.

I have not owned a STI. I found that its price point put it into competition with much stronger performers.

In closing, don't confuse either one for a supercar. They will not turn 10.XX quarter mile times. They will not run out to 20XMPH in their top ends. They will not run a ~7:25 (or unofficially a bit lower) lap at The Green Hell.

What they will do is offer a solid level of fun and reasonable performance; coupled with a good dose of practicality and above average dependability.
 

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My mpg with the WRX is about 24.8. I do a lot of mixed driving. On the highways I get in the high 20's.

I realize for some people mpg is not a huge consideration, but it's nice not to have to fill up more than once a week, and gas prices are projected to go up ~20% by the summer.

At current prices, driving 20,000 miles a year (as I do) and based on the mileage why2kmax mentioned above that's $500 more a year for the STI vs the WRX.
 

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My mpg with the WRX is about 24.8. I do a lot of mixed driving. On the highways I get in the high 20's.

I realize for some people mpg is not a huge consideration, but it's nice not to have to fill up more than once a week, and gas prices are projected to go up ~20% by the summer.

At current prices, driving 20,000 miles a year (as I do) and based on the mileage why2kmax mentioned above that's $500 more a year for the STI vs the WRX.
OOOUUCCHH! I have been averaging a strong 13.5 - 14.0 MPG while during break-in. One of my dogs is going to have to get a job to support my gas habit.
 

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Also to OP. It would all depend on your goals IMO. Both respond to mods well. The STI is about 6-8k more than the WRX. With that you get more HP, LSD, slightly better handling. I personally went with the WRX because it was cheaper, and stock it drives fantastic. Besides, the non linear throttle, which can easily be fixed. You'll have fun in either car tbh
 

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My suggestion is to test drive them (if you can with the STI...not that easy) and see what kind of deal you can get, then decide if the STI is worth the extra $$$.

I started out wanting an STI twice but "settled" for the WRX...mainly because I got a great deal on the WRX's and didn't feel like paying $8-10K more for an STI, which I wouldn't be tracking anyway.

Don't forget the likely higher insurance premiums on the STI, possibly higher theft rate (my 2012 WRX was stolen and totaled, so I take this more seriously than most people), older engine, (probably) higher maintenance and repair costs, and lower gas mileage. The insurance, gas and maintenance will affect the cost of ownership, and it's not trivial.

Someone mentioned at 70-80 MPH it generally runs at over 3000 RPM, so this is a concern for me as well, since I do a lot of highway miles. (The WRX is usually ~2500.)

Anyway, having said that, I am anxiously awaiting the likely 2020 redesign, and then will once again think if I am worthy of an STI...
This is the most spot on suggestion. Although there are major differences for the average person they are subtle however can make a huge impact on your ownership experience.
 

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Maybe try finding an sti to drive & compare them. I wasn't able to drive an sti before I got my wrx. I had a 17 wrx for about 1yr 6mo & tried a used sti. I ended up trading but still wouldn't say 1 is better than the other. They are just different similar cars. My only real complaints with the wrx could be tuned out & they weren't really deal breakers.
 

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For 2015-2018 get the STI if you have the extra cash
 
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