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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone.

I'm looking to replace my Explorer with something more fuel efficient. I go to grad school in Indiana, I'm lecturing this summer in Pittsburgh, and my parents, who I'll visit often, live near Morgantown. I'm going to be keeping an apartment in Indiana, so I'll be putting a LOT of miles on over these next few months.

I was considering a Forester, I still partially am. Yesterday I found WRX that's about 150 miles away that struck my fancy. It's an 03, 100% stock, automatic, it's exceptionally clean in and out, and it has no rear spoiler. :) I called the owner to find out that it's a man in his mid 60's who is selling it because he currently owns 2 of them and his wife says one has to go. Unfortunately, he's the 2nd owner. It's got 130K on the mill. He says the guy he bought it off of claimed that the timing belt was changed at 70,000, but he said he wouldn't guarantee it. If I'd purchase it, I'd take it to a friend who's the guru at my local Subaru dealership to have the timing belt, water pump, and tensioners replaced. I'm meticulous when it comes to oil changes and routine maintenance in general.

My question is this: Is a WRX a car that I'd want for a daily driver in stock form? How do they ride and handle on the highway? On country roads? In the city? Assuming that I'd purchase snow tires when November arrives, how do they perform in the snow? How well do the turbos hold up over time? Are they somewhat comfortable on road trips? Is this something that would make a good fuel efficient daily vehicle? I'm not looking for a vehicle to hot rod, I just want something fuel efficient and dependable that's got the ability to safely merge onto the Interstate or to get moving quickly when someone's approaching a little too quickly for comfort in the rear view mirror.

Thanks in advance for all the help.
 

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I'll share my experience. I commute 70 miles every day. My 04 5mt wrx has been stage 2 (40 or so more whp than stock) since 60k miles, i bought it with 48k miles in August 06. It now has 185k miles and i'm still running the stock turbo, trans and clutch and basically whatever else that any other car would have had replaced by now. I get 27 mpg and do 8k oil changes with full synthetic (i'm not saying i recommend 8k oil changes ;) )

With all seasons, it handles snow better than most cars. With the blizzaks i've been running for 2 winters... it will blow your mind. The only downside is after about 10" of snow on the roads, it's a snowplow/sled (mine is lowered on Tien H Tech's, about a 2" drop iirc).

Overall, this is the most reliable commuter car i've ever owned, or seen owned by friends. It's also relatively easy to work on. Did my own timing belt change at 110k miles and will do another when i hit 210k and beyond.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well thank you for the reply.

This car has some severe rust developing on the lips of the rear fender wells. I decided to pass for that reason.
 
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