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Subaru Impreza WRX

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  • Just got a 2002 Silver WRX 5-speed sedan to keep our trusty 2000 Outback Wagon (40000 miles in 24 months) company!
    I'm quite excited (duhh!) but have to endure the excruciating wait thru the break-in period where I have to drive it like a Civic. A 2002 Altima had to be turned down for a stoplight race (I woulda killed him anyways).

    Went to California's highest volume (100 cars/month) Subie dealer, Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City (30 minutes south of San Francisco) and was quite surprised. They had 20+ WRXs, all going for a fixed 2.75% over invoice ($631, in my case)! No haggle, no hassle, no bull! A very pleasant experience.

    Got the spoiler & security.
    Might get tinting, short-throw shifter, and bass box later. Was considering the Morette headlamps, but I think I'm happy with the stock lights.

    Dave C.
  • Congratulations on your great purchase! However, I think that in a stoplight race the new Altima 3.5 might give WRX a run for it's money...
  • ...would be beaten if the WRX owner knew what he was doing. AWD, if launched properly, will get the jump on many cars. There are lots of real world timeslips to prove that.
  • I'd like to thank everyone for their well wishes..I hope I can hold on until January. Has anyone purchased an extended warranty from Subaru? I have a good deal of time to consider the matter, since I'm sure my dealer will be happy to take yet more of my money. If people have bought the warranty, how much have they paid? (with what deductible and gold or classic?)

    Thanks..oh and I hate Monday mornings :(
    Eric
  • From a happy WRX Wagon owner... :-)
  • After months of on again, off again consideration, I'm still in a quandry about buying a WRX. i-club participants list all manner of problems with their cars - multiple check engine lights, drivetrain noises, clutch problems, premature wearing of interior materials and exterior weatherstrips, rattles and squeaks, suspension noises, brake rotor scoring, etc. etc. How many of you have had these kinds of issues? Anyone think the i-club posters are representative of WRX owners in general, or are they just a vocal minority?
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Congrats to all of the new WRX owners. Looks like you guys have been doing some holiday
    shopping. :-)

    Andy - Funny story. You need to turbo the MP5.

    Extended warranties? Have two Subarus with a total of 114,000 miles and haven't regretted not getting one yet (knock on wood). I've seen other owners use theirs though. Peace of mind I suppose.

    Quality issues - More people tend to complain when they have problems. Fewer people tend to post when they're content. I've had clutch problems with my OBS and Subaru of America has stepped above and beyond the call of duty.

    -Dennis
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Take anything you read there with a WRX sized grain of salt. A lot of those kids abuse their cars to no end, then expect subaru to fix em. There is some good info you but you need to read betweent he lines more.

    -mike
    I-club Member #197
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Yeah, that too. :-)
  • have really been driving their cars into the ground! The WRX is like any car--you have to take care of it and treat it with a little respect if you want it to hold up.

    We've had our wagon for six months and it's still like new. On cold days, there's sometimes a little squeak in the back when you hit a bump, coming from the cargo cover insert. Also, after driving in a heavy rainstorm, a lot of grit got into the spring beds and started hearing a creaking noise--dealer cleaned it out and lubed the coils with wheel bearing grease and no problem since. Those are the only two things to complain about on ours. The car has been great to drive and still feels solid as a rock.
    --RA
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,673
    Many of the I-Club folks are probably very hard on their rides, assuming they ride like they talk...

    Bob
  • I-Club is a great place to get information. But remember that the only people that post there are the ones that are really passionate about their cars. Reading their forum will give you the impression that just about everyone drives like a maniac and that 9 out of 10 WRX's have been modded. The ratio of owners that actually mod their cars is probably 1 out of 10 or even less.

    Another issue is that most people have nothing to say when their cars are working fine. They only post when there is a problem. That makes it look like there are far more problems than there really are.

    Actually, if you read the I-club forum enough, you'd get the impression that there are very few WRX's left that haven't been crashed. This is obviously not the case.
  • narenjinarenji Posts: 161
    I bought an extended warranty at the dealer, but he charged me $1929 for the 7yr/100k mi warranty, which I found to be too much. I cancelled the warranty friday. The refund will be issued to my bank. Subaru's are reliable, and I hope mine will be as well. If you really want to get the extended warranty, just do so before the factory 3yr/36k mi warranty expires.

    Your power train (engine/trans/awd system) is covered for 5yr/60k mi, and your turbo/intercooler is covered under the federal emissions defect warranty. Here in Calif, the turbo/IC is covered for 7yr/70k mi under the state federal emission defect warranty. That's a pretty good warranty. It won't cover things like the A/c, but most of the really expensive stuff is covered for at least 5 yrs. Even with the 7yr warranty, you'll only gain 2 yrs or 40k mi. I would go without it, simply because it's hard to judge the actual cost of the warranty (I've heard that the 7yr gold warranty costs around $1000), so it's hard to negotiate the price and come up with a price that you think is reasonable.

    Silver_bullet,
    I just wanted to echo what others have said about the i-club. I have gotten Check engine lights (CEL), and I also hear some grinding type noise coming from the drivetrain (clutch maybe). The CELs are minor, especially when it is steadily on. The drivetrain noise is more concerning, but lots of Subaru owners report this noise. But Subaru is in general a very reliable brand (except for the Justy and the SVX transmission), so the noise may be normal. Some people have succeeded in getting it fixed by a new clutch. If you don't drag race, and drive it normally, you'll have a reliable and unbelievably fun car that you can drive everyday. Even with my CELs and the drivetrain noise, i've driven about 1000 mi in two weeks!
  • barresa62barresa62 Posts: 1,379
    It would be nice to welcome ya to the WRX fold one of these ole days but your Protege5 is one nice looking ride both in and out! I sat in one at the Seattle Auto Show and was impressed. BTW, I have a silver WRX wagon. I'm always giving thumbs up to P5 owners but they don't always know what I'm doing, :-)

    Stephen
  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    With the Protege5 Wagon is that it doesn't have as much power as I'd like. Of course this can be an advantage for insurance, I just tell 'em I drive a 4-door station wagon with a 135 horse 4 banger :) I think it looks great and it's a blast to drive, it's just not going to blow anybody's doors off. Rumors abound about a factory turbo kit for Mazda's 2.0 liter or a new turbo Protege model in the next year or two. I'd be interested in those if the price was right, but I'm also considering a WRX for the future because of AWD. I'm living in southern New Mexico where my low-profile Dunlop SP5000 tires ARE all season, but in another year or two I'll be out of college and likely living somewhere that I'll be doing real winter driving again (I'm from Chicago originally). If that's the case, it wouldn't hurt to have something like a WRX that's fast enough for dry summer pavement and reliable enough for snowy winter roads. Just don't look for me too soon, short of something amazing happening, I'm at least 2 years from joining the WReX Crew :)
  • I just read the C&D Review; thumbs up for the WRX- but after reading, it sure seemed a foregone conclusion that the T-Bird would get the nod; there were teasers about the T-Bird in every 'category'. It's not the cheapest, nor most expensive, nor fastest or slowest, nor most fuel efficient, nor most technologically advanced. Hey, its the least common denominator. Its a throwback to Betty Boop,.10 cent cigars, and a car in everyone's garage (did I get my decades right?). Its a rose-tinted reverie on a mediocre era in American automotive history. Its a paean to shop-floor engineering, planned obsolescence and model year mania. It sums up whats not to like about the domestic mfr's emphasis of style over substance and follow-the-leader approach to innovation. BMW (Z3)and Mazda (Miata) have already won the retro game. But Ford gets the consolation prize: C&D's Car of the Year!
  • mgreene1mgreene1 Posts: 116
    We got our first snow this weekend (about 6") and my WRX wagon 5-speed with all season Dunlop SP5000s on stock 16" rims was rock solid. Played around in a big unplowed parking lot and it handled just as well, if not better, than my former S4 with dedicated winter performance tires (Dunlop Winter Sport on the stock 17" rims). The extra ground clearance and relative absence of low end torque (compared to the S4) makes the WRX more 'reassuring' in the white stuff. In the Audi, you had to be extremely careful with the gas pedal or the acceleration could be downright explosive, especially with the aftermarket chip. ;) I'm also happy to report that after 4500 miles, the Subaru short shifter has loosened up quite a bit and is much less notchy. When the shifter was first installed it was sometimes hard to locate 3rd when downshifting from 4th but that isn't a problem any more. With the drop in temperatures, I was expecting a few more squeaks and rattles but the WRX seems to be screwed together pretty well. Definitely not complaining.
  • Could not resist one after test driving it. Got one with the turbo gauge, armrest, auto dimmer/compass, upgraded speakers/sub woofer, upgraded security and spoiler in rally blue.

    The turbo engine is so active (read=fun) that it was difficult to break it properly with the 5-speed (keep below 4,000rpm for 1,000 miles?). Am I the only this problem? :-)

    Does anyone know if it is okay to bring this car to a normal automatic car wash considering the functional hood?

    One more question, I did not read any where that I need to keep the engine running after driving it (to cool the turbo). I seemed to remember that some turbo engine requires a cooling period. Am I doing something wrong?

    Thanks you in advance for your feedback.
  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    A bit of a warm up before and cool down after hard use. This is true of any turbo and makes the WRX a bit higher maintenance than your average vehicle. It's probably also the reason some people have torn up their WRXs and cried about it online.

    Just keep in mind that an internal combustion engine is controlled explosions which means heat and that having a turbo makes that already hot engine run even hotter. If this image doesn't do it for you, understand that the slower you go from relatively cold to hot or vice versa, the less thermal stress you're inflicting on something breakable :)
  • i work at a full service wash and just bought a blue 5sp wagon. the breakin period is extremely tough as well. i have 400 miles and have already disconected the daytime running lamps and the silencer box in the right front fender. sounds way cool and might ad something but sounds cool. i bought mine in houston and 10 minutes out destroyed the front winshield which will be replaced this week. Sorry, just love the car. The only thing i see as a potential problem is with a dryer system like ours that follows the car using sensors. I just pick up the blower bags as they reach the scoop. A good wash should be able to do that for you. Trying to decide on 17" wheels and
    tires for now. Looking at the xs air intake in latest issue of turbo as well. Ok just excited to have the car that i have researched for 8 months. The best part is that my boss bought it for me with all the extras. I am stoked
  • wrxguywrxguy Posts: 51
    I like to post stuff over on the i-club also. I have no mods on my WRX and maybe one day I will but the stock performance is wonderfull! Perhaps some wheels and tires .........maybe some suspension stuff too one day..... But yeah many of the guys over on i-club do give me the impression of modern day HOT-ROD cowboys. The wrx has great appeal and by throwing in a couple thousand dollars extra under the hood for mods will give you........a rocke ton wheels :)

    to note: my car has 2000+ miles,, CEL light came on once for 4 days,,,,,,,,,went off and that was last month ,.,,,,,,,,,,,wonderful car! no regrets here
  • My WRX Auto-Wagon (Platinum Silver) has been a fun car from day 1. Now it has crossed the 2300 mile marker. It has been an absolute pleasure with absolutely no problems whatsoever. No CELs, no squeaks, no rattles NOTHING. Well worth every penny that I spent on it. I would have loved to have had the Navigation (similar to the one present in my TL) and also maybe leather, but I am thoroughly satisfied for what I got for the price I paid.

    I am still debating on the tires. Maybe the Dunlop SP sport 5000s or so. It is just the timing. Should I wait till about 10,000 miles and then replace the tires or should I do it right away ??? Wifey says to wait a while....

    Later...AH
  • Based on my first trip to the i-club forums, I wonder how my broker managed to get me reasonably priced insurance and I'm praying it doesn't go through the roof next year when they have stats on how many WRX drivers are dumbass maniacs.

    I personally like to have a fun car to drive, which is why I can't wait to get mine in January, but I'd like to have fun in it for a bunch of years rather then months of weeks :)

    I think I'm staying out of the i-club for awhile, those accident pics are brutal.

    Eric
  • twrxtwrx Posts: 647
    So far here on the WRX boards here i have seen no problesm at all. I now have 8000 on mine with no problems. No noises either. State Farm just lowered rates in Indiana and I am now paying only $40 more per year for my 5 speed wrx wagon than I did for my '98 Forester. Better still if there is a reason not to dread the big 50 next year it is that I will get another rate break. (If I am any example of WRX owners here on Edmunds then I suspect that there may be a much younger crowd over at iClub.)

    old guy, TWRX
  • nn4xnn4x Posts: 6
    Just got my Automobile magazine yesterday.

    There's a picture of a silver WRX on the cover - they've named it Car of the Year.
  • I, too, have the short shifter and dunlop sp 5000s. The tires are great, but the short shifter is a bit hard to engage, especially when the car is a bit cold or you are going slow. I also have trouble finding 3rd gear sometimes. I am encouraged that your car has loosened up a bit in time, since my car already has 3500 miles.
  • This touches an interesting issue, because anyone who has a WRX knows how much fun the car is and how quickly it can bring out the Richard Burns in any of us. We may start out the day driving like the well-behaved Dr. Jekyll and then find ourselves morphing into Mr. Hyde as the traffic situation progresses.
    So I try to follow a few simple driving rules which I'm happy to pass along, but I'm sure not everyone is going to agree with these 100%:

    1) Around town, I try to drive my Rex just like any other car. Normal take-offs from traffic lights, don't try to race anyone, maybe driving with a little more gusto down wide boulevards with light traffic. When in-town, the name of the game is defensive driving and self-preservation (and no tickets! :).
    2) Once in a while someone will start showing me a little disrespect and I'll end up in a little stop light duel. Then I'll gun the car just enough to beat him by a car-length or so, never going all out (it's just too hard on the engine and drivetrain). And only do this when traffic is light and conditions are safe.
    3) Save the really fun driving for the open, windy roads in the country-side--this is what the car was made for and here is where you really get your money's worth--pure driving bliss!
    4) Under any circumstances, never show up anyone with a new-car sticker (I know that new car feeling and don't want to spoil it for anyone else), an economically disadvantaged person, or anyone out with his girlfriend.

    That's it-- Happy WRX-ing everybody!
    --RA
  • boomn29boomn29 Posts: 189
    You are right, I disagree with most of what you stated. haha.
    Is there problems with Subaru realiablity or what? I give my Toyota a lot of he**. It goes to the floor many times, and well into the redline. I know Toyota's can take it, so I'm not too worried, besides I have a warranty. Most people are going to freak when they read this, but Toyota's are known to last. I'll be getting rid of mine before I hit the 3/36,000 anyway.
    The reason I ask is, I am thinking about a possible Subaru next time around - the STI if available. I don't want to have to baby a vehicle all it's life. Help me out please!
  • It has nothing to do with babying our WRXs; it has to do with being a safe and courteous driver...remember, as the illustrious SubieGal has said, "Any FOOL can go fast in a straight line!" People who floor it from light to light or go weaving from lane to lane on the highway or streets will end up with either tickets, or injuries and possibly death, or all of the above. High peeds belong on the race track
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    What it can't handle is people that abuse them. Like constantly do 4K RPM clutch drops, or Brake Stands, or Neutral drops on ATs, etc. etc. Not hard driving, but abusive driving. Even toyotas will break if they are abused. I push my XT6 to the limit every time I drive it, but I don't abuse it, 14 years 85K miles she is still running w/o a problem. The toyotas probably have a slim advantage over the subaurs, but if you can find a toyota awd sold here in the states for the price of a WRX, you should buy it.

    -mike
This discussion has been closed.