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WRX vs Legacy GT Wagon

aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
edited March 7 in Subaru
I am torn between the WRX and the Leg.GT - both wagons and with the EAT. I really like the beige interior but the exterior color choices are limited with the beige and hence looking at probably the Silver (Crystal Gray in WRX).

In terms of sheer personality, the WRX (wagon) shines. The GT lacks its dynamism and looks extremely toned down (front-end styling alone). Translation: Generic Japanese mid-size styling. I simply cannot get beyond its plain-Jane exterior looks. Other than the tiny hood-scoop, there is absolutely no differentiation between the GT and the other Legacy wagons, all of whom look tame, sedate and generic Japanese. The WRX wagon on the other hand, is brimming with personality and appears compact, purposeful and packed down for action - talking of visual impression only.

The interior is a different matter. The GT is heads-and-shoulders above the WRX in terms of the tactile feel of the interior materials. The fact that the GT wagon has a 5EAT, comes with the SI-Drive, TPMS, Side-curtain airbags, better quality of interior materials, power driver's and passengers seats and certain other features, certainly has me torn, since all of those come for a bare $1800 over the EAT WRX Ltd wagon ($27K vs $28,800 - street prices). The WRX EAT Ltd at $1800 below the 5EAT Leg.GT does not look like a sound purchase decision from a financial point of view. On the other hand, rumor has it that Subaru debated dropping the Legacy wagon (and Sedan OB) due to lack of sales/demand....the intent being to retain the wagon in the OB line and the Sedan in the Legacy line....the WRX wagon on the other hand sells very well.

If the WRX came with the 5EAT and the SI-drive, I would not think twice between these two but without it, it is going to be a tough decision - exterior appeal of the REX Wagon notwithstanding.

Someone help me in deciding. :confuse:
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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Think about this - you spend far more time inside the car than you do looking at it.

    Also, the bland looks also makes it stealthy so you may attract less attention from the folks that serve and protect (and hand out speeding tickets).

    -juice
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Think about this - you spend far more time inside the car than you do looking at it.

    True and absolutely right. Almost like an ugly girlfriend with a great personality. Tough to introduce her around but definitely a joy to converse with and be around !

    I believe they are redesigning the front-end of the Legacy and have already done so in the European market, which improves its appearance a lot. Unfortunately, if rumors are true, they are also dropping the Legacy wagons (GT and 2.5i) from the lineup, along with the Outback Sedan - due to lack of sales. Which means when the good-looking Legacy arrives, it will be Sedan-only, which I certainly don't want.

    Since the upcoming Impreza is based on the Legacy platform and will come as a wagon, I guess I will wait and see what that model brings to the table. No point in jumping in and buying either a model that is being re-designed (WRX) or a model that is a loser in the marketplace (GT).

    WRX Wagon advantages are the quicker, tighter steering, shorter wheelbase for nimbler handling, pretty much the same power as the GT, MUCH better looks, arguably better build quality (based on consumer reports body integrity reports) and terrific resale value. When the new model arrives and if a lot of incentives are provided for the existing WRX, I will bite the bullet and go for it.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    As a LGT wagon owner I'm going to be biased, but part of the appeal of the LGT to it's buyers is the stealth look. To the untrained eye, it looks like a regular Legacy wagon which is what I absolutely love about the vehicle. I personally don't want the attention WRXs sometimes get from the boy-racer crowd. I also get the nicer appointments (as you mentioned) not to mention a better powertrain with the slightly larger VF40 turbo and 5EAT.

    Honestly, I think if your criteria are:
    -Subaru wagon
    -Automatic
    -Turbo
    -Sub 30K street price

    Then the LGT wagon is going to be your better bet for everyday driving. If you were going to autocross, then sure the WRX would be a better choice, but then again you probably would want to opt for the 5MT instead.

    Another way to think about it -- you can make a LGT wagon look more "racy" by upgrading the wheels and doing some exterior modifications. However, that same amount of money is not going to buy you a 5EAT and other hardware on a WRX.

    Ken
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Again, agree completely about the unobstrusive nature of the LGT. A bit too tame however. :cry:

    The below link shows a gentlemanly specimen too, but looks gorgeous...can't ignore this, even though roof-rails would have completed the look of the practical wagon. This should have been how the LGT should have been all along (click on those photos and they will enlarge).

    http://www.autoblog.com/2006/09/19/european-subaru-legacy-gets-a-refresh/ :shades:

    However, there should be some end of the year rebates. Let us see how generous those are. Either way, it looks like I need to special order to receive either of these cars. They are so "rare". :blush:
  • just wondering, at what rpm will the turbo kicks in for both wrx and gt legacy? i know they are AWD and will be great when rain or snow, but with turbo, would that be changed? and as far as insurance wise, which would be lower? thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I felt boost at around 2800rpm on the EJ257. You need a load for boost to build, so there is a tiny bit of throttle lag.

    To be honest, with a manual transmission you don't notice any lag at all. With an auto, just a tad.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Personally, I'm not a big fan of the turbos with the AT transes. I find it too hard to get into the boost on an AT subie, maybe I'm just used to driving an MT and all my ATs are large displacement engines that have grunt from down at 500rpms...

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hop over to the Acura RDX thread, we're discussing that EXACT topic right now. Share your track experience if you would.

    -juice
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    I know I'm coming to this discussion a little late, but I can't help but weigh in since I've encountered a similar dilemma recently.

    Unlike you, I favor sedans, and up until recently, I thought I wanted a manual transmission. But otherwise, our choices were similar. I ended up with the WRX, and I wish I'd gone with the Legacy GT.

    I have the 2006 WRX Limited sedan, 5MT. I had a 2000 Maxima previously. I don't know what you're used to driving, but the Impreza line just feels cheap to me, compared to the Maxima, and I underestimated how much that would bother me on a day-to-day basis. It also had interior rattles from day 1.

    Subaru's midsize platform is waaaaayyy nicer than the Impreza platform. The Subaru dealership gave me an Outback wagon as a loaner when I had my car in for service, and I was blown away by the car's level of comfort and refinement (and complete lack of rattles, just like my Maxima). I also liked the auto's manual mode: unlike some others, it doesn't defeat its own purpose by thinking for you. The auto available on the WRX doesn't even have a manual mode.

    Considering the Legacy basically has the same interior as the Outback, I wish I had gone with the Legacy GT sedan with automatic and navigation (which isn't even available on Impreza).

    Although the press seems to disagree, I agree that the WRX looks good, especially the front end. But the back end is still a little odd, and the car looks strange to me in profile. I like the Legacy sedan's rear-end treatment. Of course, styling is subjective, and the wagon is another story anyway.

    On another note, the Legacy's sound system is drastically better. I'm not sure why -- the wattage is about the same -- but it sounds significantly more powerful and full.

    But as you say, a new Impreza is coming out soon, so who knows what to expect.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Interesting write up. The Legacy/OB does have significantly more sound dampening compared to the Impreza/Forester line. Perhaps that can explain why the stereo sounded much better. The two lines are targeted at different market segments. With the Legacy GT you get performance and refinement -- a balance I really love.

    If you liked the OB with 4-speed auto, you'll really like the 5-speed auto offered on the GT and upscale OB models.

    Ken
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Somebody told me that watts alone are not really that great a measure of a stereo's power. I don't remember the details of the discussion. He was implying that even though the Legacy's sound system is rated the same (watts), it could still be substantially better. But the improved sound dampening of the Legacy/Outback certainly doesn't hurt.

    I think I'm on the same wavelength as you -- unfortunately, I had to make a purchase and live with it for a while to realize my preference towards a little more refinement with my performance. Oh well. Next time.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,671
    That's the only regret I have with my WRX Limited. It's just waaay too noisy. I'm hoping that will be addressed with the '08 model.

    What I would love to see is that the WRX Limited and STI Limited to get sound deadening equal to that found in the Legacy/Outback.

    Note that I said "Limited" models, as they are a different customer, and want that extra Legacy-like comfort, but in a smaller more nimble chassis.

    Bob
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Note that I said "Limited" models, as they are a different customer, and want that extra Legacy-like comfort, but in a smaller more nimble chassis.

    I agree completely. The WRX Limited thing seemed like a pretty nice concept to me: make a smaller, semi-luxury sport sedan. There's an unfortunate correlation between bigger and better in the automotive market, and only the luxury brands seem to let you get into a smaller car without feeling you've missed out on something. Otherwise, if you want a nicer car, you gotta drive a bigger car too. Some of us want refinement without size.

    I thought the WRX Limited was a step in the right direction for a non-luxury brand, especially considering how darn nice the Legacy/Outback are now. Unfortunately, I think Subaru took a nice idea and messed it up.

    The Limited package feels a little "tacked on" to me. So what, you get a spoiler and foglights -- these are available on the regular WRX too. The structural changes needed to accommodate the sunroof reduce headroom substantially. I'm not particularly tall (5'11") but it's barely enough, and I occasionally hit the ceiling on bumps. Beyond that, you get leather and heaters for the seats, wipers, and mirrors. Nice touches, but still a very long way from Legacy/Outback standards. Were I to buy a WRX again, I think I'd save the money (and headroom) and just get the regular WRX, and add the spoiler and foglights for substantially less.

    The Legacy/Outback is simply a more solid/refined vehicle from the ground up.

    But the funny thing about this:

    That's the only regret I have with my WRX Limited. It's just waaay too noisy.

    I briefly had an STI before my WRX Limited (long story), and the WRX is very quiet compared to the STI. But after several months in the WRX, I've gotten used to it and I notice how loud it is. (The STI, btw, is also how I know the sunroof reduces headroom in the Impreza.)

    Yes, it shall be interesting to see what Subaru comes out with for 2008 with the new Legacy-based Impreza.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    A Full size subaru something to take on the 5 series, the E-class, and the A6 is something Subaru needs. They also need a coupe. I know that they have lost a lot of Subaru loyalists because they've outgrown the Subaru line. I for one will likely be getting a GTO next year as it's the closest thing to my SVX and XT6 out there with a reasonable price. I would go for an A6 or similar size Subaru, however, it doesn't exist!

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They have the Tribeca's wheelbase, build a sedan from that.

    -juice
  • I agree with Paisan. An all wheel drive Subaru M5 challenger would be just the ticket. Just make sure you make mine a WAGON! I've got to admit, now that I have 4.5 years and 103,300 miles on my WRX wagon, at my age, I'd like something with a little less road noise, a bit more upscale, and just a bit more room. I suspect a suitably dressed Legacy STI wagon would do the trick. The current top of the line Legacy, besides not being available as a wagon, is just plain disappointing. Too much for too little. I'd pay more if it had decent performance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Too bad the spec.B doesn't come as a wagon. Road & Track had is lapping the fastest in a comparo with many of the luxury brands (BMW, Audi, Infiniti).

    -juice
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Bob,

    Have you considered adding some of your own sound-proofing (ie. Dynamat and the like)?

    Ken
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    But technically the Legacy is in the same size class as the 5 Series, A6, etc. (all mid-size). The Legacy might be a bit smaller because of Japanese size restrictions or something, but it doesn't seem to get the same complaints as the small-for-a-midsize Mazda 6. They're all in the same general territory, size-wise.

    Maybe then they need a full-size car in the same range as the 7 Series or A8?

    Of course this could all get a bit silly because those are luxury brands, and Subaru is not (similarly, the Legacy is way way way less expensive than those luxo midsizers). I'm happy if the Legacy can successfully do battle with the Altima/Camry/Accord/6/etc. Maybe Subaru could spin off a new luxury brand like Nissan/Infiniti Toyota/Lexus etc. and really address these other market segments.
  • Any car you drive comes with si drive...it's called your right foot.

    Stay out of the boost and you'll essentially be driving a normal 4 pot. I certainly wouldn't let that be deal breaker for not going with a car you liked more.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The legacy is significantly smaller than the rest of the "mid-size" Maybe they need a full size, but they need something longer and wider than the legacy to keep biz. As I said they've lost at least 6-10 people I know who were die hard suby fans because they simply outgrew the legacy and SOA couldn't offer them something they wanted.

    -mike
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Stay out of the boost and you'll essentially be driving a normal 4 pot.

    I actually get noticeably worse mileage than a non-turbo Subaru in my WRX, even on long highway trips, but it's not too awful I guess. I think the turbo is always generating enough boost to affect efficiency, especially if you're cruising at 2500-3000 RPM's (highway speed). Granted it helps if one doesn't abuse it.

    From what I've read, the problem with the Si drive is that it's more gimmick than useful technology and cannot be set to a default that doesn't partially cripples the car's output without giving much benefit.

    So I think you're equally screwed with a turbo, Si drive or not. In that sense, I agree, it's not a deal breaker.
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Out of curiosity, do you know any Mazda fans who have suffered a similar fate? There's nothing in the Mazda stable bigger than the smallish midsize 6, other than various van and SUV-like things that are completely below my radar, so I don't even remember their names.

    It seems both automakers aren't quite going for full mainstream market coverage.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,671
    No I haven't Ken. I'm not familiar with that stuff.

    Bob
  • Now we're talking. Add a front LSD, a more powerful motor, keep the price near that vicinity and I'm all in. In a heart beat!
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    You may want to check it out, Bob. I've heard of people who have noticed a signifcant reduction in cabin noise. You do need to get under the carpeting and in the panels (ie. take apart your door) to apply. Can be done DIY or have someone (usually car audio shops) do it for you.

    Ken
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup same problem with the Mazdas. I know more subie folks, but a few mazda people in the same boat. Also mazda doesn't offer anything unique like AWD across the line, so it's much easier for folks to depart from them, IMHO.

    Subaru is striving to be the AWD leader, but if they don't offer a full line of cars, including a large AWD one it's hard for them to keep custys.

    -mike
  • nightvznnightvzn Posts: 232
    Also mazda doesn't offer anything unique like AWD across the line, so it's much easier for folks to depart from them, IMHO.

    Yea, Subaru has a pretty clearly defined trump card with their across-the-line AWD. I think Mazda is going for the "more fun to drive than the average car" factor, and I won't deny they're good at that, but Subaru and Nissan both play that angle too. It's a fairly crowded field.

    I think that to be a Subaru owner in the first place, you have to get past the stigma that they are a funky SUWagon company (which doesn't bug me, but bugs some people I've talked to). With the current Impreza and Legacy, they've come a long way towards establishing some mainstream appeal, and the current Legacy and Tribeca are a clear move upscale. So I have to give them credit where it's due.

    Maybe more surprises are in the cards.
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    I think one of the challenges that Subaru will face when it comes to interior room, is the "symmetrical drivetrain layout", which will mandate a huge front overhang and thus loss of interior space for a specific exterior size. The Accords and the Camrys will always hold a huge advantage over the Subaru, in terms of the largeness of the interior when factoring in the overall exterior size, unless they modify their key mantra of "symmetrical AWD drivetrain".
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