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Subaru Impreza WRX

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Comments

  • ottosottos Posts: 80
    Consumers Reports has a bunch of reliability ratings. The ratings for the Impreza are still relevant because the 2002 car is not that much different that the previous year.

    Plus, previous model years sold well in Japan, Europe and the rest of the world, so that is worth something. It is also good to know that the EJ20 engine is highly developed by racing and customer use, so all important bugs have very likely been worked out. So even moderate upgrades (extra 20% in power) probably won't decrease reliability significantly.

    I agree with few luxuries. As long as the car is quieter than my crap (but trustworthy) truck, I'll be satisfied. With cloth seats, I'll be in the lap of luxury. In my parents' BMW, I realized that trip computers, power seats, and sunroofs become boring. I also realized in my truck that it is more important that major items like heater, A/C, wipers, and gauges work reliably after many years. The seats should also be durable.
  • except reliability. Subaru has a higher reliability rating than either BMW or Audi. Additionally, replacement items that are either not covered under warranty or out-of-warranty are significantly more expensive than Subaru. I agree that luxuries are nice but what is more important to me (next to fun-to-drive, of course) is reliability and cost of maintenance. I used to, but no longer allow the BMW mystique and, to a lessor extent Audi mystique, rose color my viewpoint. I'm certainly not insinuating that you are doing this but for a lot of folks this seems to be the case, expecially when considering BMW's. Really, Audi's and BMW's are fine automobiles but at what "price". When I weigh all the factors, I can't justify the ownership of either at this point in my life, especially with great alternatives such as the WRX.

    Stephen
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It's rather interesting to me that in checking out the various town forums, it seems everyone wants to compare with BMW 3/5 series on on the small/mid size sport sedans (or Nissan Maxima on the affordable mid size sport sedan). Even the topic titles bear this out.

    It's a testimonial to these cars that they are the standards everyone else seems to be chasing. It comes with being on the top consistently for a long period of time.

    However, with all due respect, comparing a Subaru to a BMW from a historical perspective is pretty absurd. Allen Iverson may be the NBA All Star of the moment, but given his history, he's not likely to replace Michael Jordon on the Wheaties box or as a role model for kids (I want to be like Allen????).

    Subaru apparantly has come a long way over the past fifteen years years from when my friends were anxious to dump their "Burros" in favor of real cars. Congratulations are well deserved. However, the comparison to BMW will, for me, take another couple of decades to be justified.
  • If the Seat is comfortable, and the Steering wheel feels like butter in your hands, than thats all the the "Luxury" required for ANYONE in reality. Everything else is just Visual luxury and gadget luxury, it its never in use.

    And the IS300 isnt luxurious IMO, its got a hard plastic dash and console with fake silver highlights (Same as the WRX, exept the WRX dash is soft to the touch). The Gages are fancy looking, but rather non-functional and hard to see. The radio and climate area is fancy as well, but that just makes it hard to operate... Blank out the gages and the center console area with the radio and other controls, and its hard to tell them apart.

    Remember, the IS300 is more of a top-of-the line Toyota than a bottom of the line Lexus (And its sold as a Toyota in the rest of the world to boot)
  • I agree the comparison between Impreza and BMW is quite irrelevant in many people's mind. Go and ask around to people who know nothing about cars except for their prices. They all say, "What? BMW and Subaru? Are you nuts?". But for those people who know how to enjoy cars more than lether seats and wood trim, it is very natural to compare 330 and WRX. In Europe and Japan, WRX and STI are very highly regarded. When car magagines in Japan compare sport sedans, they have to omit WRX and EVO even before they start the comparison, simply because cost-performance can not be in the same league.

    WRX has terrific chasis, engine, suspension, and handling. It is one of the cars in the market which is most highly decorated with motor sports trophies. It has everything and is proven, but it does not have pedigree of luxury. Now, if an experienced tester says "330 still has an edge in steering and handling" or something, I respect that kind of opinion. I really want to know how "car and driver" will judge WRX.

    I guess What I want to say is 330-WRX comparison is quite relevant from the point of view of driving pleasure. But it is quite irrelevant, if you think price and pedegree are important and if you think a car is a piece of furniture.

    I own 2000 Jetta VR6 and 1997 Impreza. Jetta's interior/exterior quality is so nice and it's no comparison with Impreza's cheat toy-like interior finish. Now I am approaching 40 years and start to like indulging myself in such a nice interior. This is Jetta-Impreza comparison. So, I agree 330-Impreza comparison IS absurd in that respect. If you can afford, go for 330. But if you are young or a driving enthusiast, WRX-330 comparison is valid, although you must forget about car price in one hand and luxurious interior in the other hand.

    4 years from now, I will get rid of my Jetta VR6. If 330 and WRX are still in the market, I will seriously compare them. No doubt. $35K 330 is a little stretch but I can get a highly praised car with gorgous interior/exterior and a normal aspiration engine, and I will be envied (or maybe a bit dingerous in Baltimore). $25K WRX is perfectly within my budget and I can enjoy its driving ability everyday. So, here is at least one guy, who will actually compare the two :).
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    I think WRX customers would be better served if Subaru had decided not to use a MOMO steering wheel, or offer BBS wheels as an option. Why? Because you're going to pay a lot extra to have those "Designer" labels applied to your vehicle.

    I've sat in the new WRX, and while the MOMO steering wheel is nice, it's, IMHO, no better than a steering wheel that Subaru could have designed in house. It's waste of money, as far as I'm concerned.

    As for the 17" BBS wheels—$3K just for the wheels, sans tires—is nothing short of highway robbery (pun intended!). With tires, you're probably in the neighborhood of $3.6K. That's crazy!

    Again, Subaru has some great 17" in-house rims/tires that are "standard" on overseas WRXs. I doubt they add $3.6K (U.S. $ equivalent) to the cost of the vehicle.

    I'd be surprised if SOA sells many of those 17" rims. It's a shame, really.

    Bob
  • It's indeed insane, but you must understand Japanese tendancy to worship brands. Steering must be MOMO, wheel BBS, rubber Pirreri, and sheat Recaro. It's stupid and they must study more about American market where people do not care about brands that much.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    of Subaru, but that's fairly recent. In fact, ten years ago they were still known as fwd "rust buckets." Most in the U.S. have no significant awareness of rally championships, but they still recall the rust and the econobox styling. It'll be awhile. If the company -- as opposed to just the posters on this board -- is seriously interested in competing in the public eye w/ long time prestige marques, it'll take awhile and a lot more than just one model. I have a Forester and while I love it I would never make a comparision between it and an AllRoad or an X-5 w/o winking. The WRX may be real good -- let's see what the posts are like on this board 9 or 10 months after it appears -- but it's going to take more than speed and "interesting" headlights to compete w/ prestige brands, if that's really an issue. (To me it's not.)

    One advantage of a Subaru over the Audi and BMW that I haven't seen mentioned is that parts are available and generally don't require a second mortgage. That's really good (and important to me). But it's not very prestigious.

    Take care.
    Joe W>
  • I agree with you, but there is one thing I want to say. WRX has been around in Japan and Europe for a while and it has already built up prestige out there. It is not an untested, unknown newcomer.

    Also, WRX is not "just one model". Subaru has high-output twin-turbo Legacy for 10 years, which has been ranked as one of #1s in the Japanese market where you can find a number of insane domestic sport sedans.
  • How long was the Datsun PL510 compared to the BMW?
    I have been in the (Toyota) car-biz for 2 decades. Many times I saw the two compared, and having owned both at one time or another (a beemer and an old 510), it's amazing what folks will compare, car to car. Really.

    Dianne
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    silverjetta, but I wasn't talking about reality (Remember: I'm a fan!). I was talking about perception. And not in Japan. In the US. Sorry. People here on the board, and who buy Subarus, are far ahead of most buyers who would as soon compare a Kia with a BMW as a Subaru with a BMW. Not for quite awhile.

    Take care.
    Joe W>
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    The March issue of Automobile magazine has an interesting "comparison" between the WRX and the AWD Porsche 911.

    Even though you could buy 3 WRXs for the price of the 911, there are some very valid comparisons: in engineering, in corporate philosophy, and in (the bottom line) driving satisfaction. It's an interesting read.

    Bob
  • I guess you are right. It's hard to change people's perception once it's fixed. By the way, rsholland, what was the conclusion of the Porshe-WRX comparison? I though it was a little bit of a strech...
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    Certainly not your everyday comparo, and it's very doubtful you will ever see a 911 customer ever cross-shopping a WRX. But that wasn't the point.

    The point(s) are: that, besides sharing a boxer and AWD format; Subaru engineers, early on, were strongly influenced by Porsche engineers; and, that for most driving, they both offer similar levels of satisfaction.

    By the numbers, the Porsche is the faster car. You would expect that. What I didn't expect was, that according to the folks at Automobile, a WRX is just as much fun to drive as the AWD 911.

    Bob
  • The MSRP is $24000, but what are the options going to be and for how much?

    I am in the market for a new car and the more I read about it, the better it sounds!!!
  • ramonramon Posts: 825
    actually the steering wheel and the shifter knob and skirt are MOMO products. There just wasn't a label there. But it's MOMO. Just rip the RS leather stiched steering wheel out and look inside. heheheh
    Do not compare the interiors of the current generation Impreza to the likes of Audi or BMW or even a VW. The Impreza is plasticky and crappy. However the new age design is very good. I just sat inside a WRX today at the Toronto autoshow and am very impressed with the seats. It is on par if not even better than the seats that is in our 330Ci at home. sans the heated treatment. Actually the Canadian WRX all have heated front seats....
    The interiors are beefed up. Much better than the current gen interior dash boards. Still no where the likes of bmws or audis. You are paying for the interiors pretty much. So nice.... i really dig the baseball glove motif interior of the TTs. Anyone know where TTs are made?
  • Those BBS wheels are some of the best wheels money can buy. But, I totally agree, $3000 for the set WITHOUT tires is insane for a dealer to ask! But, then again, those are slightly smaller versions of the wheels that the WRX STi 22b has, with the same build quality to boot.
    The MOMO wheel on the other hand, is VERY nice to see! What other cars have Momo wheels? Ferrari... Thats it :)

    Oh, and here are some quotes from the Automobile Mag comparo between the WRX and the 911:

    "This car is as close to the old Porsche 944 Turbo as you'll find today"

    "Funnily enough, the 911 used to be like this. It was a car you had to learn to control, a car that rewarded good execution... ...Now, the Porsche 911 is too harried by insurance companies to leave its raffishness exposed, but it, like the WRX, retains the short wheelbase that, to the trained eye, means power oversteer."

    "The Subaru WRX engine is best thought of as two-thirds of a Porsche 956/962 engine."

    "...In many important ways, these cars are bound together- by the rallying heritage of their all-wheel-drive hardware, by their boxer engines, by there emphasis on handling, and, finally, by their ability to blend refinement with the kind of performance that drains the blood out of your brain."

    (I like this one) "And if your a rally enthusiast or a PlayStation-ist (Gran Turismo reference), its fair to say that the WRX holds as much allure as the 911, despite being nearly $50,000 cheaper."

    "If the 911 wears its age on its sleeve, so does the WRX. The Subaru is as light as the 911 is hefty, as impetous as the Porsche is stable, and as explosive as the 911 is measured. Nevertheless, if you really examine the cars back-to-back, the WRX reveals itself to simply be a less polished version of the 911. The WRX is not quite as refined, not quite as quient, not quite as developed, but both cars have the same tactile directness born of the same engineering solutions. In fact, its uncanny how much these cars have in common."

    "In terms of ride, the WRX and the 911 strike an almost identical ballance of soft wheel impacts and stiff, well-controlled body movements... ...These cars dont just read the road, they subject it to strict freudian analysis."

    "In handling too, both cars take the same tack. The 911 and the WRX are set up for mild initial understeer that segues to a neutral phase, then, finally, to oversteer... ... a WRX slide can be adjusted with careful applications of the throttle, an overeager foot prompts the notorious Swedish Flick of rallying legend."

    "The WRX and the 911 are not compeditors, really, but they're very definatly in the same league."

    Sorry prestige fans... But for the price of the 330 or X-type or IS300, I could get a WRX, put on those BBS rims, the STi Suspension package, the STi exhaust, a chip upgrade, air filter upgrade, maybe one or two more mods, and I'd eat up anything less than an M3 for lunch :)

    Leather and fancy cupholders just isnt worth that much guys... Sorry
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    Yes, the MOMO wheel is nice, but it's no better than something Subaru couldn't have done in house.

    As for the 17" BBS wheels, Subaru offers a standard some very nice 17" rims as standard on all WRXs sold overseas. Why couldn't (shouldn't) we get those too? So the base price would be a little higher, but at least you wouldn't be paying $3.6K, as you would now.

    I sometimes wonder what Subaru is thinking when they make marketing decisions. There are no rear cupholders. A moonroof is not available, even as an option. The WRX should have the 6-speed from the STi, not the current 5-speed. There are no heated seats on U.S. models. Yet... they offer this incredibly expensive BBS wheel option!

    They obviously cut some corners to keep costs down, yet on the other hand, they expect customers to cough up huge sums of money for items that shouldn't be that expensive. It just doesn't make sense.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    I don't understand why the sedan and wagon don't share the same has a wider track (and blistered fenders). The "official" justification that I've heard from SOJ, is that the wagon didn't look good with the blistered fenders (or wide track??).

    That answer just doesn't wash. Why, on a price-sensitive vehicle like the Impreza, would you design two different sets of fenders, and two different suspensions? Subaru, over the years, has often made some excellent/smart "production" decisions. This, however is not one of them.

    Bob
  • hgileshgiles Posts: 66
    rsholland
    Regarding the moonroof, Subaru has crossbeam reinforcements in the roof where a moonroof would go. It is a tradeoff. You get a 250 percent rigidity increase which translates to better handling, but obviously you lose what many of us (myself included) like as an option.
This discussion has been closed.