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2015 Subaru WRX Pros and Cons: Why (Not) This Car?

2015 Subaru WRX front quarter view
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Introduction

Some people like to avoid the first model year of a new design. Others want the new new thing while it's still new. Car enthusiasts are especially likely to fall into the latter camp. And those who prefer their cars compact and relatively affordable have two new new things to pick from for 2015, both icons, the Volkswagen GTI and the Subaru WRX. I've now been able to spend a week in each. How does the Subaru stack up?

WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX front quarter view

Under the flared fenders and body kit lives the body of an Impreza. more WRX photos

WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX interior

WRX interior offered in any color you want as long as it's black. With red stitching.

Tested: 2015 Subaru WRX

4dr Sedan turbocharged 268hp 2.0L H4 6-speed manual AWD

Compared: 2015 Volkswagen Golf / GTI

4dr Hatch turbocharged 220hp 2.0L I4 6-speed manual FWD

Why the 2015 Subaru WRX?

  Compared to the Golf / GTI
Handling
Handling: Better Better Worse

I last drove a Subaru WRX a couple years ago because I needed a comparison car for a Mitsubishi Evo. (Not a fair comparison, but I couldn't get my hands on the more comparable WRX STI.) That WRX felt cushy and sloppy compared to the Evo. Was this the icon we'd lusted after a decade earlier, before attention shifted to more powerful, bigger-buck machinery like the Nissan GT-R?

With the 2015 redesign, Subaru has dramatically tightened up the suspension of the regular WRX. It's still not as rock hard or as lightning quick to respond as an Evo, but nearly all of the slop has departed. There's still some lean in turns, but excellent control over body motions. The new body structure feels more solid than that of most Asian cars--quite a change from earlier WRXs--and not too far off the VW's. This improves both handling precision as well as impressions of the car's quality. Brake-based torque vectoring limits understeer, so the new WRX also feels much more balanced than the old one.

The new electrically-assisted steering feels linear and precise, and loads up nicely as the wheel is turned. Unless you're really hitting a corner hard; then it can go mum when feedback is most needed. Luckily, more information on how well the tires are gripping (usually quite well) arrives through the seat. The GTI's steering has a similar feel in typical public road driving in its sport setting, but improves rather than goes AWOL under duress. The Focus ST, which has much tighter, quicker steering, can be more entertaining than either. But many reviewers have found the Ford's tuning overly aggressive.

I've also briefly driven the WRX STI on a track. The STI retains hydraulic steering with a quicker ratio, and this system communicates a bit more. But the way the STI's limited-slip front differential twitches the steering wheel in turns at speed unsettled me.

The regular WRX lacks the STI's limited-slip front and rear differentials and adjustable center differential. But in the most aggressive driving arguably appropriate for public roads I didn't miss this hardware. All-wheel-drive abetted by brake-based traction control make it possible to power out of turns far harder than is possible with front-wheel-drive cars like the GTI and Focus ST. Power the WRX into oversteer, and its stability control system cuts in appropriately and unobtrusively.

All in all, while I'm most entertained by the more aggressively tuned, friskier Ford Focus ST, I found the GTI uncannily easy to finesse through curves. Its electronically enhanced chassis virtually autotuned my driving skills. The new WRX doesn't handle quite well as the GTI, but it's not far off, and it has a trump card to even the score: the additional traction of permanently engaged all-wheel-drive.


Driving position & visibility
Driving position & visibility: Better Better Worse

Subarus continue to be designed by engineers. Or to be designed by designers who live under the thumbs of engineers. One result: even in the all-new WRX you sit high above the instrument panel in comfortable, supportive seats and view the outside world through large windows. Together with the new suspension tuning (if not always the steering), this inspires confidence.

This said, the new car is so much roomier that it felt a little larger around the elbows than I'd personally prefer. A tighter car would feel sportier. But if you want or need space, you'll find it here. Especially if you get the base trim, without the sunroof.


WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX rear quarter view on dirt

Subaru originally created the WRX to compete in World Rally Cross (hence its name).

WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX instrument panel

Screen at top of center stack toggles among boost gauge, traction display, trip computer, etc.

Powertrain performance
Powertrain performance: About the same Better Worse

With many of the latest turbocharged engines, including those in the Volkswagen GTI and the Ford Focus ST, you'll only notice the boost kick in if you're paying close attention. The WRX has a new direct-injected engine for 2015, a 268-horsepower 2.0-liter instead of the previous 265-horsepower 2.5-liter, but it retains old-school turbo flavor. There's a distinct transition as the boost kicks in. You feel it, and hear it.

But the new engine's on/off character makes for more of a rush than the GTI's when you do want to get on it. Once the turbo spools up (in a blink of an eye over 3,000 rpm) the engine, with a distinctively grumbly flat four sound, pulls hard. This is a very quick car. The new STI, which retains the old STI's 305-horsepower 2.5-liter engine, isn't any quicker. All-wheel-drive makes it much easier to employ the full power of the engine than in the front-wheel-drive competitors. Especially if the road isn't straight. Or dry.

All is not well with the powertrain, though. The six-speed manual transmission sounds and feels clunky. You'll find much better shifters in the Focus ST and GTI--and those are hardly the best. Also, the engine's bipolarity isn't optimal for around-town drivability. If you're not making a conscious effort to either keep the engine below or above the point where the turbo fully spools up, boost will kick in just as you shift. It's much easier to drive the Focus ST or especially the GTI smoothly.

A continuously variable transmission (CVT) that can be manually shifted among eight simulated gears is optional. I briefly drove a new WRX with the CVT, and didn't care for it. Though Subaru's CVT is about as good as they get, even when using the fixed ratios the engine felt weaker and far less responsive than with the manual. As much as I mind the clunkiness of the manual, I strongly prefer it to the CVT. Comparing two-pedal cars, the GTI with its optional DSG automated dual clutch manual transmission delivers a much more satisfying and engaging driving experience.


Rear seat room & comfort
Rear seat room & comfort: About the same Better Worse

The Subaru WRX has always been fun to drive. But it used to be cramped inside, especially in the back seat. This is no longer an issue. The new car has more rear seat legroom than the one-size-up Legacy had during its 2005-2009 glory days. Unless your friends and family are tall, they'll fit in back. While the GTI's back seat is nearly as roomy, the Focus ST's isn't in the same ballpark.

If you want rear air vents for your passengers, though, you'll have to get the VW or the Ford. Subaru doesn't offer them in the WRX.


Why Not the 2015 Subaru WRX?

  Compared to the Golf / GTI
Exterior styling
Exterior styling: Much worse Better Worse

Subaru, as if seeking to maximize disappointment, tends to transform stunning concept cars into forgettable (or worse) production cars. Sadly, the latest WRX is no exception. They promised styling completely different from that of the Impreza--these would be two separate cars going forward. They displayed a stunning concept at the 2013 New York auto show. The 2015 production car is an Impreza with flared fenders. While I wouldn't call the car ugly, my eyes aren't tempted to linger, either. Especially not with white. Subaru's signature "world rally blue" better suits the car.


Interior styling
Interior styling: Much worse Better Worse

Subaru has dramatically upgraded the WRX's interior materials. Some of them anyway. The door pulls and center console remain econo-styled hard plastic, but the instrument panel and most of the upper doors are now soft to the touch. The door-mounted armrests are now downright cushy. Moving deeper, the body feels solid and the doors close with a reassuring thunk. The Focus ST might still be nicer inside, and the new GTI nicest of all, but the WRX's interior materials and structural solidity are now competitive.

Unfortunately, Subaru hasn't done anything dramatic with the interior styling. If anything, aside from the WRX Limited's red-stitched black leather steering wheel and seats (which do look good), the new car's interior is un-styled. Okay if you're all about function over form. But if you wanted a car that seems artful or at least special inside, this isn't it.


WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX front view

Limited trim has LED low beams. Large hood scoop feeds air to intercooler.

WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX back seat

Back seat now roomy enough for adults.

Cargo capacity
Cargo capacity: Worse Better Worse

The new Subaru WRX's trunk can hold twelve cubic feet, about average for a compact. But it's a trunk. The GTI and Focus ST are both more versatile hatchbacks. Subaru used to offer the WRX in both wagon or hatchback AND sedan forms. But they're only offering the new one as a sedan, at least so far. (The Impreza on which the car continues to be based, earlier PR to the contrary, is also available as a hatchback.)


Ride smoothness
Ride smoothness: Worse Better Worse

The WRX's new spring and damper tuning strikes a good balance between ride and handling for enthusiasts who'll be driving the car daily on less than perfect streets. It's far more livable than an Evo's and about even with the Focus ST's. But non-enthusiasts (and even enthusiasts who just want to get home after a long day at work) will find the tuning on the firm side. Bumps can register with a loud thunk, and on some roads the WRX's ride can feel a little busy. Other reviewers report a clear edge for the GTI in this category. (I've yet to drive the Volkswagen on badly paved roads.)


Other features of the 2015 Subaru WRX

  Compared to the Golf / GTI
Fuel economy
Fuel economy: Worse Better Worse

Fuel economy isn't quite a strength, but it's no longer a weakness, either. The new Subaru WRX with its new smaller (but not weaker) engine scores better in the EPA's tests than the old one. City mpg is up from 19 to 21, while highway mpg is up from 25 to 28. In my real-world driving, the trip computer reported averages between 22 and 25 mpg when I enjoyed the car's power, and a little over 30 when I made minimal use of the turbo.

Despite the supposed efficiencies of its type, the CVT dings fuel economy. Its EPA ratings are the same as last year's manual transmission WRX.

The real problem with the WRX's fuel economy, though, is that the new GTI rates much higher: 25 mpg city, 34 mpg highway. The Focus ST splits the difference with 23/32. Even cutting the WRX a couple mpg of slack for all-wheel-drive, it doesn't quite match the others.


Quietness
Quietness: Worse Better Worse

The new Subaru WRX is quieter than earlier ones. Wind noise is fairly low, road noise is moderate, and the exhaust drones only at low rpm, so even long distances on the highway shouldn't prove tiring. The GTI and Focus are both quieter inside, though.


Price or payments
Price or payments: Worse Better Worse

As high-performance all-wheel-drive cars go, the Subaru WRX is inexpensive. But that doesn't mean it's inexpensive, with a $27,090 starting price. Add $2,200 for the Premium trim level, which includes a sunroof, heated seats, fog lights, illumination for the visor mirrors, and a demure rear spoiler. Add another $1,500 for the Limited trim (as tested, $30,790 total), which includes leather upholstery, a power driver seat, and automatic headlights with LED low beams. The CVT can be added to the Premium or Limited for $1,200. Navigation with a Harmon/Kardon audio system lists for $2,000 on the Premium. The same plus a proximity key lists for $2,500 on the Limited. So if you don't want to take the key out of your pocket, you've got to go all-in, to the tune of $33,290.

A mid-level 2015 Volkswagen GTI lists for $1,975 less. The GTI doesn't have all-wheel-drive, but does have a number of features not offered on the Subaru. In terms of typical values, these nearly cancel out. So you're paying more for the more powerful but less upscale car.


Reliability & durability  

Some people will buy a Subaru WRX instead of a Volkswagen GTI because of the brands' disparate reliability reputations. But VW reliability has been improving, while Subaru's record is not spotless. Specifically, new Subaru engine designs often have first-year faults (some 2008 WRXs suffered crankshaft bearing failures, 2011 Forester engines are prone to valve cover leaks), and it remains to be seen whether head gasket leaks are entirely a thing of the past. Both cars are new this year, and it remains to be seen how they'll hold up.

This said, the current Impreza, on which the WRX is based, was introduced three years ago and has been highly reliable so far.


Conclusion

The new Subaru WRX is the most thrilling yet, with fewer downsides than in the past.

If you want an all-wheel-drive performance car with a price in the mid-20s to low-30s, this is it. The WRX remains ultra-quick while handling much better than the 2009-2014 rendition. And it'll go farther on a gallon of gas. The on/off engine isn't the easiest to drive smoothly around town, but enhances the rush when you're seeking (and likely finding) some thrills. Likewise the car's ride. Though a touch thumpy when you're trying to relax, the suspension tuning feels spot-on in spirited street driving.

With past WRXs, iffy styling and interior materials were also part of the deal. This isn't as much the case with the new WRX. Build quality and refinement, while not up to 2015 GTI levels, have substantially improved. For enthusiasts seeking plenty of power AND traction, and who don't feel the need for sexy styling, the trade-offs will seem justified. For those less willing to make such trade-offs, there's the GTI.

WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX engine uncovered

New engine smaller, but just as powerful and more efficient. Credit direct injection.

WRX Reviews: 2015 Subaru WRX trunk

Decent trunk, about average for a compact sedan. I\\\'d personally prefer a hatch.

See more 2015 Subaru WRX photos

Subaru provided an insured car for a week with a tank of gas. Volkswagen provided airfare, hotel, meals, and insured, fueled cars at an event for invited media.

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2015 Subaru WRX pros and cons, according to Michael Karesh: the best reasons for buying (or not buying) the 2015 Subaru WRX. Join TrueDelta to post your own impressions.

Response from psundell

4:33 pm October 6, 2014

Michael,

An excellent review as always. I have ordered the WRX premium. The models I drove had the short shifter which is i was told was similar in terms of short shifts to the STI. The manuals are different between the WRX and STI in terms of gear ratios however. You were not happy with the throttkle resonse. In an email you stated the shifting problem is mostly in the 2000 to 3000 rpm range when the turbo begins to spool up. How would you shift the car to smooth this problem out as much as possible.

Thanks,



Paul

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Response from mkaresh

8:15 pm October 6, 2014

The short-throw shifter should feel better. Just time the shift and modulate the throttle. When shifting over 2,000 rpm in fairly casual driving, start lifting off the gas a moment before you actually shift. After a few days it could become second nature.

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Response from psundell

8:23 am October 7, 2014

Michael,

Thanks for the advice. I have always shifted that way. That was how I was taught. I believe Less wear on the clutch as well in that the clutch is full disengaged before you give it the gas. I got 223K out of the original 2003 Honda Accord v-6 clutch before the engine died.


Paul


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Response from Member4411

7:10 am October 14, 2014

Michael, Great review. A minor question - between the GTI and WRX, which has the most audible turbo? I've yet to drive either, but as a long time Saab guy, I absolutely love the sound of a spooling turbo. Thanks Todd

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Response from mkaresh

12:44 pm October 14, 2014

Far more audible in the WRX, with much more of a traditional turbo feel--which cuts both ways. It's not obvious that the GTI engine is turbocharged.

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Response from psundell

7:28 am October 18, 2014

Michael,

I just got my WRX yesterday. It is my first turbo car and I am a bit confused. I did some reading this morning but still have some uncertainties. By spooling up to you mean achieved maximum boost or turbo is just begining to give boost? Is the turbo boost minimal enough below 2700-3000 rpms with WRX that as along as you are driving at rpms below that four for five minutes or more that you can safely turn the car off immediately after reaching your designation or should you let the car idle for a minute of two and let the turbo further cool down? Also to minimize wear and usage on the turbo should you drive in a low gear when accelerating or going up a steep long hill and drive in a high gear at other times to minimize your fuel usage and limit turbo boost. Is it rpms or fuel usage that determines exaust gases and turbo boost? Does the car limit the amount of turbo boost at a certain point to avoid turbo overheating? This is the srticle that raised most of these questions. Turbo tips: five ways to extend your turbo's life.


Thanks,


Paul





Thanks,



Paul

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Response from mkaresh

5:06 pm October 18, 2014

A boost gauge is one of the options for the display at the top of the center stack. Select which option you want using the small rocker switch below the display.

The turbo can provide boost at low rpm, but spins up more slowly then, as there's less exhaust pressure.

Modern turbos usually have water cooled bearings and an electric coolant pump that can continue to operate after the car is shut off. I don't know if the WRX has this. I'm no expert on the proper procedure to follow, but my understanding is that you only need to idle the car--for perhaps a minute, not five--if you've just been running it hard.

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Response from Member93

4:20 pm November 5, 2014

As Michael said, this is a modern turbo system...not an old turbo like I had in some Saabs from years ago. You don't have to worry about it "wearing out" depending upon what gear you are in when climbing a hill...just select the most appropriate gear for the power and speed you are going, and whether or not you need to accelerate to pass. An engine has to burn a certain amount of fuel to deliver X amount of power...it doesn't matter as much what gear it is in as what power is required (within a 1000 rpm's anyway), IOW, drive in 5th gear at 50 mph or 4th gear at 50 mph, and you'll see the fuel consumption isn't radically different even though your rpms are going to be higher in 4th gear. Yes, you'll get better economy in 5th gear, but, it won't sink a lot if you only used 4th. The difference in fuel burned depending upon whether you drove in 5th or 4th is exactly the difference in how much exhaust gas passed by the turbo...the turbo spins exactly as much as the exhaust gas that passed by it...no matter what the rpm's of the engine. Think about that. So, no matter what your rpms are, the turbo only spins in response to total exhaust gas flow out the exhaust header. OTOH, you MIGHT have more coolant and/or oil flow through the turbo at higher rpm's, as coolant and oil flow are driven by precisely by rpms....NOT engine power output. This is the OLD arguement about which engine lasts longer...the one with ataller overdrive gear, or the one that cruises at a higher rpm? Some say the engine turning more rpms is being better lubricated and cooled. MOST wear comes from cold starts, so, don't worry about rpm's so much. Just drive it and enjoy it. Whatever style burns the less fuel per mile will probably result in less wear on the turbo per mile. Oh, you don't have to worry so much about turbo "cool down" as back in the old Saab days, either. If you've been scorching the road, just do everything you need to do (unbuckle, gather your items in the front seat, etc.) prior to turning off the engine....that will be plenty of cool-down. I'm assuming you aren't actually a racer...a day at the track might require a longer cool-down...

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Response from psundell

1:10 am November 6, 2014

Thank you for the discussion and tips. I appreciate the comments very much as I am new to turbos and improvements in turbo technology. It sounds like since I have a couple miles of residential driving after a few miles of stop and go at no more than 50 mph that I can safely turn the engine off immediately after driving home. The last few miles the turbo boost gauge remains in the negative range with a combination of stop signs and stop lights generating slow speed driving on level ground with some idling.

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Response from psundell

7:27 am November 18, 2014

Michael,

Have you had a chance to drive the shortthrow shifter yet on the WRX? In my opinion an excellent manual transmission. It is slightly more notchy compared to a Honda manual but the throws are a lot shorter. Overall given the much higher power of the WRX compared to the typical Honda, I would rate the WRX manual no worse than even with my old 2003 V6 Accord.

Paul

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Response from mkaresh

10:48 am November 18, 2014

Response from wmba

8:19 pm November 19, 2014

Recently drove both WRX and STI 6 speed manuals. The WRX DI engine suffers "rev hang" even if you tread lightly on the gas and don't invoke boost. Same problem in a normally aspirated Impreza. Coupled with an under-engineered shift stop that allows bad slop in the 1-2 plane, I found the 6MT as bad as any past normal Subaru manual, making smooth shifting in traffic tiresome to say the least, constantly feathering the clutch for smooth progress. Why bother? If you go on forums, "he-men" deride those who complain about this behavior, which speaking as a mechanical engineer myself, is just an excuse for Subaru under-development. This engine is meant to be driving a CVT, IMO, where this isn't a problem. You'll have much more fun driving a Mazda3 manual except for outright pace. Or just get a GTI. The STI has a completely different gearbox which has always been a 6 speed, not a four speed from the '70s that has gradually had 2 more skinny cogs crammed in since. The STI shifter is coupled directly to the gearbox, no slop, no cables, the old EJ257 is port-injected with no rev-hang, and is a joy to drive. Slick shifts all the time, you don't even have to think about it. Now subtract 10 mpg. Despite what Michael says, it's a much better drive in the real world off track, and the one I drove while suffering more initial lag than the WRX in gear, then proceeds to demolish it a second later. A real Drive. Only car I've tested in the last two years that I enjoyed as much as my old Legacy GT, which is now eating wheel bearings. Didn't want to stop driving it. However, the 2015 Impreza has a much better dash and infotainment, so I'll wait to see if the 2016 STI is similarly upgraded. It had better be, because I want one.

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Response from mkaresh

10:21 pm November 19, 2014

Sounds like I need to drive the STI in the real world. My seat time in it was limited to a lap of Road America.

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Response from psundell

11:47 am November 20, 2014


Car opinions and tastes are wide with widely differing wants and acceptable trade offs. Did you drive the short throw shifter version of the WRX? I appreciate your thoughts. I own a 2015 WRX with the short throw shifter and it seams fine to me. A little more notchy than my old 2003 EXL V6 Accord but the short throws are nice. I grant that the throttle response is sensiive but I did not notice rev hang, I will see if it appreciable exists on my car when I drive it today. I notice sensitive throtle response which may or may not be caused by rev hang. It took a little time to get use to. Turbo lag is minimal and turbo boost falls rapidly when you lighten or take foot off the gas peddle.

I did not drive the STI but your review is the first review that suggests that gap between the the cars has not significantly narrowed. Power band is better especially in the in low to mid rpm range in the WRX according to Road and Track and their dyno test report. As you noted as did Road and Track, the turbo lag is significantly shorter in the WRX. Road and track 0 to 60 and quarter mile advantage was 0,4 seconds, is something the typical driver is not likely to notice. Digital trends stated that you get 90 percent of the performance without the harshness. Eighty to ninty percent of the STI reviews are great track car but harsh daily driver. A five mile gain in mileage and loss of premium fuel required is a significant plus for most drivers. At least a 5K difference in price is not insignificant either. Just my thoughts.



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Response from wmba

10:16 am March 11, 2015

Well, since you made up your mind by buying the WRX, and by believing the reviews down to opinions like harsh STI ride and same power as the STI, not much point in responding. But I will for completeness' sake. Of course, you could have driven the STI like I did. which was almost by accident. By the time you're in third gear it's pretty obvious you're not in a WRX. Not even close. The feel is totally different. Twitchy throttle can be banned by selecting I in the SI Drive. You still get full boost but have to actually depress the accelerator and use the full travel. Pretty much removes the overt sproinginess of the WRX at traffic speeds. The steering is better. The so-called harsh ride is definitely firm but hardly unliveable. I kicked myself mentally for putting credence in the reviews, which stopped me from trying the STI for 6 months, so I know where you're coming from there. I fooled myself by believing if all these dolts are saying the same thing, I guess it must be true. Trouble is, it's wrong. The gearshift is about 8 times better as well, because the gearbox is a special Aisin unit, not the refurbished tractor gearbox Subaru has used for 40 years which I despise. It has a very nice AWD system instead of an under- rated viscous LSD around the center diff, better shocks and better brakes. It drives much more naturally at civilian speeds. Track testing and tenths of a second difference when the cars are being driven flat out means nothing to me - I drive on the street 100%. So debating online is a loser's game. If you haven't driven an STI then all the R@T articles, people thinking a slightly shorter gearlever transforms the WRX and other idle daydreams about this and that, mean absolutely nothing. You don't know, but are reciting other people's "opinions". That makes zero difference in the real world. As I found out myself by trying both cars out - in the end. And to my chagrin at initially believing, like you, STI reviews to the hilt. No more - this guy drives the car himself. It's how I know I much much prefer an Audi A3 2.0t AWD to the GTI. To me, the feel difference is night and day in favor of the A3. Mr Karesh here doesn't agree and that's fine, but he isn't me. On the other hand, he recommended the Legacy GT years ago, then never bought one himself. I did go and drive one based on his and Megan Benoit's opinion. I bought it. Superb car - in this case, all opinions agreed and that's why I'm having so much difficulty replacing the darn thing. Maybe I won't. It is so much better than all these modern cars I've tried, it's frustrating. I didn't know I was driving a unknown winner. It's flown under the radar for a decade.

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Response from mkaresh

11:07 am March 11, 2015

Your posts make me want to spend a few hours driving the WRX and STI back-to-back on some suitable roads (i.e. somewhere other than SE MI).

The STI should perform significantly better--it has a considerably more sophisticated drive train and suspension that add about $6k. Unfortunately, the resulting MSRP is well above what most people are willing to spend. Plus it uses much more gas, which might not be much of an issue at the moment but is likely to become one again.

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Response from psundell

11:25 am March 11, 2015

WMBA,

You are correct in the perfect world you test drive all cars you are interested in. I was not interested in the STI, more than I wanted to spend and I wanted a car sprung more like a sports sedan and not a sports car. In a perfect world you rent a car that you are seriously interested in for part of a week and drive it in the real world under different conditions. Most people don't rent the vehicle before they buy so real world longer term auto reviews are useful. At a minimum, they point out things the reviewer likes or dislikes so the potential buyer spends more time evaluating those points in varing driving conditions.

I found that the short throw shifter is much better than the base shifter in the WRX. I drove both WRX manual models. Did the WRX that you drove have the reqular or short throw shifter? The STI is clearly the sportier car. It is also significantly more expensive, has significantly worse gas milage, requires premium gas, and a hasrher ride. The STI has more top end performance and cornering ability while the WRX has more low end engine performance and is softer sprung for everyday driving. Drivers have different tradeoffs that work for them. The WRX was the better fit for me but not for you. Nothing wrong with either of us.

In passing, sales greatly favor the WRX over the STI indicating more drivers find the WRX a better fit. My salesman pointed out to me that one customer of his traded in his 2014 STI for a 2015 WRX. I asked the salesman why and he said owner stated that car was too jarring as a daily driver. I wanted a versatile car so I don't have to have two depreciating assets to insure. Doesn't make my or your reasoning correct for other drivers since we have different tradeoffs that we are willing to make in our car purchases.

Good luck with your Subaru. Subaru appears to be on a roll in recent years.

Paul

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