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Subaru Impreza WRX



  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    In general, Subaru has done a good job minimizing the downsides to AWD. If you look back on their history, they essentially retrofitted a FWD car to create their first AWD car (it was a project for the Japanese forest service). Pretty much just added a small lightweight drive shaft to send some power to the rear wheels. Since then, the design has been refined quite a bit.

    Never mind the details though -- just look at the "integrated" real world benchmarks: gas mileage typically ranges from 20-28 MPG for 2.5H4 models. That seems in line with other similar vehicles of the same displacement.

    As far as weight, my WRX has a curb weight of 3085#, while my Prelude (SH model) weighed 3042#. That's pretty damn close. A 43# weight penalty for AWD is not too bad, and it's more than made up for by the extra HP.

    I honestly don't think maintenance is any worse for AWD Subarus compared to FWD cars I have owned, at least in the 70,000 mile range I typically put on my cars before selling. As far as home maintenance is concerned, the AWD system is transparent for all practical purposes.

    I think it's generally acknowledged in the industry that Subaru has made AWD work for mass production everyday vehicles. I had that perception even before I started buying Subarus. So in my mind, you get all of the advantages of AWD with very little penalty.

    By the way, tires have the biggest effect on handling in the ice, far more than whether the car is FWD, RWD, AWD. And I think you might be confusing 4WD with AWD. 4WD vehicles can be a real handful when it's slippery, contrary to popular belief. AWD is quite neutral on ice, in my opinion.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Depends on if you measure 0-60 or 1/4 mile, or even if you're looking at the Tribute or Escape. Also as you mention only the CR-V 5-speed would give the Escape a run for its money. The auto, Foresters, and Libertys aren't far behind, but the gap isn't that big.

    For perspective, the Forester XT has an estimated 0-100kph time of 6.1 seconds, which is high 5 second range for 0-60. Now that is a significant gap.

    Street prices for the VDC are just over $27 grand, that seems very reasonable. I saw a left over 2002 a while back for $25.5k, too bad it wasn't there when I was shopping last year 'cause I'd have bought it!

    So $6 grand of discounting brings the VDC into value territory. By comparison the WRX gets maybe $3 grand of discounting.

    I tend to compare street prices simply because that's what I would pay.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Seems like a half-hearted apology to me.

    You put these two quotes along with my name, with no periods to seperate your thoughts:

    "wheelalighment of AWD is more art than science"
    "The car seems bulletproof in this respect"

    I said neither, and just want to make that abundantly clear. Anyone reading your post will think I said both things.

    English is the 2nd language I learned as well, so I can overlook a few errors as long as people aren't getting the wrong idea about what I said (or didn't).

    Back to the regularly scheduled discussion...

  • BTW, I never said, Subaru makes bad cars (why would I be hanging out here otherwise); or AWD is worthless - I just said we have to be realistic about these things. I just said ...what I said.
  • I didn't apologize - I just said I was wrong, and I corrected myself, where I was wrong; and I guess we should move back to cars and discussion of ideas, since discussion is discussion and points of wiev could be opposite, and not everything said could be perfect - but I don't believe (hope) anybody means any offence.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No layout is perfect so it's easy to take shots at any given setup. What would you propose as an alternative?

    FWD? Torque steer. Asymmetrical. Top heavy. Unequal length half shafts. Front tires overburdened. Less traction than AWD.

    RWD? Poor traction in adverse conditions. No real advantage in efficiency or packaging vs. AWD. Sporty but not suitable for many inexperienced drivers.

    It's funny because at one point we owned all three, one FWD, one RWD, and one AWD. We sold the FWD and replaced it with AWD, and it's serving our purposes better in every way.

    We've had almost 3 feet of snow this February,so AWD was used extensively. Mileage average is about 25mpg, better than the FWD 2.5l engine managed, and that burned premium octane.

    We've had none of the trade-offs you listed above.

  • What's this talk about ice? My street was mostly ice for a large part of last month, and I've had an opportunity to experiment a bit with the AWD. This is a real road, with rutted icy stretches. The AWD system handles it beautifully, I tried playing around on it, standing starts, turns under throttle, braking.

    The braking is a pain, but that's a fault of the ABS. I drove the same stretches with a FWD Accord, and the AWD is just so much more preferable. You dot have to appreciate that the WRX will oversteer but it's very easy to correct.

    IMO. I think your underestimating the value of AWD. I really really love it. In fact, I'm hooked. In fact, I look forward to snowfalls. No it's not invincible, but it's really feels quite secure.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The rear axle gets some power, so on ice if you apply too much power and break traction it's possible for the tail to get loose. Most people don't know how to handle that.

    But an Intrepid going too fast around a turn (or applying too much power) would just understeer right into the snow bank on the side.

    I think if you go too fast on ice you're doomed no matter what layout you have.

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    "handling on ice is bad - and that's exactly what you don't expect from AWD ("The car seems bulletproof in this respect" - yea, right - be carefull!!! and emergency handling is NOT THE BEST BTW, Protege5 outhandled WRX as per CD or some other car mag, can look it up)"

    1. Was not comparing the WRX to the Protege5
    2. Emergency handling from my experience whether rain or not has been exceptional in the WRX compared to a similiarly weighted FWD vehicle (Camry V6). The rear wheels producing force and grip to the pavement besides just grip, with the front wheels helps greatly here. When you go around a turn hard, you can feel all four wheels clawing at the pavement for traction.

    - Also am curious about the weight/wheel size and turning ratio of the two cars tested. Also what were the conditions. What is the wheelbase and weight of the two cars. These, and other factors would determine how well the car does in the slolom. A smaller car generally does better than a bigger car.

    In terms of the ice factor - having the ability of power to be displaced to any of the 4 wheels is a huge advantage. If any of the wheels has traction, power will be delivered to that wheel, thus helping ice traction. Just basic mechanics. AWD IS better than FWD on ice. Now tires (and conditions of tires), car dimensions, weight, balance, and CG of the car might make a car better or worse in ice.
  • there is no perfection in the world, that's basically the idea... and, I don't suggest anything - I just said, beware of very uncontrollable behavior of AWD on ice (I have brand new tires, as the matter of fact), since most people definitely don't expect that + minor other grips. as for the cars, I guess, I still gonna get WRX for myself and Dodge Magnum Hemi for my wife. Both more or less performance station wagons.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    I think the standard Legacy, or older models had 90% of power to front and 10% power to rear (someone please correct me if I am wrong). The WRX has a 50/50 split on power. This might have some bearing on the ice performance.

    The WRX also has a LSD in the back vs. an open differential on many of the Legacies (again, someone correct me if I am wrong, this is from memory).

    As a result, the WRX's AWD might handle differently on ice.

    Also, you have to remember, my experiences with FWD and AWD were NOT on ice. I live in So Cal. The only ice we have here are in our drinks.
  • WRX's AWD system on either the automatic (VTD system) or mechanical 50/50 split with rear LSD will react differently than your Legacy. The LSD has a noticeable effect compared to non-LSD cars.
  • did I say anything re WRX handling bad in certain conditions? I believe, I referred to AWD in general, and Sub has like 3 set-ups at least, and they might differ; but the whole conversation gets pointless - I'd say, those who own, go and drive your cars, and have fun. And, Kev, I just was told, I have to go on business to our Miami office - so, I'll have my ice in my drinks too for a while. 'till in a week, everybody. enjoy it; I will.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have a front-drive VW Jetta with ASR traction control and all-season tires on it. When the snow gets really deep (as it did in MD alot lately), my car goes nowhere. If I had an AWD Subaru, it would definitely go. I have also been going up a hill, and had the front end slip sidways on me.

    There is no way in 3 worlds you are gonna get a front drive car to = an AWD one in bad weather or handling. They handle better, consistently, rain or shine. Anyone knows that.

    Also, Subarus are very durable cars. As I have said before, my uncle has a 1989 4WD wagon with stick and 210K miles. These miles are from banging up and down mountains in NC, mind you, and the car still runs. It looks like hell, but it still got me up their muddy, unpaved mountain road when my Jetta wouldn't even THINK about tackling a road like that.

    And with the whole Subaru/alternative lifestyle thing, come on now. Grow up! This is the 21st century, people. I have a Jetta, like I said, and it's (supposedly) the #1 alternative lifestyle car (next to the Outback - according to a CarTalk survey). So what? Do I care what people think about me when driving the car? Only if they're paying my car payment... People who have thoughts that are that closed need not associate with me anyway, that's the way I feel personally.
  • sensei1sensei1 Posts: 196
    Good job qualityguy! You really hit a hornet's nest with a big stick (#8358). 30+ responses and counting. Now it's time to break out the smoke to mellow out the nest. C'mon it's Friday.

    I'm just another WRX driver who enjoys driving and had all 3 configurations too. So my opinion would only be a little biased.

    There was an article a while back (11/02) by a mag that did eval'd all 3 configs @ Michelins proving grounds in SC. Now these guys get paid to do this kind of stuff.

    Cars: WRX, Acura RSX-S and BMW 330i - all stock
    Tires: identical 205/55YR16 BFG g-F KDW
    5 laps averaged wet and dry on a auto-x layout.

    The BMW was tested w/ Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) on and then off.

    Results: The WRX had the best times followed by the RSX with the BMW taking the rear.

    The mags conclusion: "And at the end of the day, when the timers are all turned off, it's still nice to have a choice."

    Bottomline: If you don't enjoy what you're driving, there's a problem (not mine); if you're enjoying driving with what you're driving (likely a WRX), no problem. Just my opinion. Have a good weekend folks. ;-)
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Whew... it's hot in here and it isn't spring yet. ;-)

    I owned the '98 OB; have not driven on 100% ice conditions, but driven it in packed snow, slush, and an oil slick. What I've learnt is, from the get go, you aren't going to be straight as an arrow. To think that it's going to happen with AWD would be foolish. Yes, the car will slide around like any others. The difference between an AWD vs FWD/RWD is the recovery factor. I find that AWD aids recovery from a slide far better than FWD/RWD.

    Are there any differences in AWD feel/performance between the '98 OB and WRX (both ATs) in the above conditions? I have yet to experience with the WRX to give an opinion. Pebbles is still a virgin in that territory. ;-)

    p/s the ride on the oil slick was fun... wee :)

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    I do not think I have ever seen Juice so peeved though.

    BTW, Qualityguy, where in NY? I grew up there in the suburbs. I still have relatives there and understand how bad it can get.
  • declansdaddeclansdad Posts: 120
    ...Audi banned from using AWD in their touring cars after winning (dominating) a few touring car championships? I believe the AWD system had an unfair advantage over the RWD setups. BTW, we're talking professional drivers here.

  • bruticusbruticus Posts: 229
    Cuz I just did. It was also about the longest dream, subjectively, I've ever had.

    It started with a bunch of stuff that didn't involve the car and that doesn't concern any of you, like you though I may.

    However, near the end of the dream (weird segue coming up) I was at home listening to music when the CD player began to malfunction. I discovered that one of the "next track" buttons was sticking and causing the player to just cycle through available tracks [incidentally this is accurate. I must get this fixed].

    So I removed the CD player's front panel (something I've confirmed I cannot do, so here's where the dream breaks with reality) and got into my NEW SUBARU WRX (yet another break with reality, alas) to take the item to my local electronics shop to see if they could repair it. While driving down the road I discovered that the buttons on the front panel, which I had lain across my lap, would ALSO control the radio in the WRX. Then, magically, I melded that panel with the steering wheel to give me steering wheel-mounted radio controls. SWWEETT!

    However, as I was trying to ensure that the radio was performing correctly I discovered that the shift pattern engraved in the shift knob looked like a symbol an ancient Egyptian might've used to denote a quantum physics theory. It had at least 3 "R" positions, one of which would've required shifting the lever into the glovebox; 2 "E" positions (???) and one "7" (which I thought was pretty neat, as the STi only gets SIX gears)

    I awoke then and the first thought into my head was "what am I THINKING?! I can't buy this car! I can't DRIVE this car!!!"

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    C&D compared the Protoge MP3 to the RS, not the WRX. The RS lacks the rear limited slip diffy and has less power, of course, while the MP3 enjoyed big rims and much better tires.

    Besides, they were measuring dry handling. Add rain or snow and the results would change.

    Dave hinted at something I agree with - recovery is fun with AWD if you know what you're doing. You can do a controlled slide, that's what the WRC is all about.

    AWD is the only setup that'll allow you to drive slideways.

  • sensei1sensei1 Posts: 196
    Now if you can extrapolate those symbols into winning lotto #'s you're set!!!

    Yeah, I'd say that's terminal! Get some fresh air with your head hanging out the driver's window while tackling those winding roads with a WRX. ;-) (Just kidding)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm thinking that you just don't know how to drive very well. Based on your 1/2baked postes about how poorly the legacies handle. I've driven 1000s and 1000s of miles in SNOW/ICE/RAIN in Legacies (92, 97, 00) and other subies (XT6, SVX, Imprezas) and they all handle far better in snow and ice given the same tires than RWD or FWD chassis.

    You are just wrong here, period.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    On the 4EAT it's 80/20 not 90/10 and most of the time while driving it's probably closer to 50/50 when under acceleration.

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    And I still have wishful thoughts about the SVX. In the mid 90s, that was my absolute favorite car in the market. Alas, I was in no position to purchase it at the time. :-(
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    Really good point. You can get a WRX at $1,000 under invoice, some dealers are treating the coming '04 as a reason for a "fire sale" on remaining '03's. least where I am, you can combine the low rate financing with the incentive.

    BTW, 60 months is now 3.49%.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    When do you think it will happen, if at all?

  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    When do you think it will happen, if at all?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup I loved the SVX since my aunt bought hers in '92. I figured there would be no way I could ever afford one. This year my aunt turned 70 and could no longer get in and out of the low-slung SVX so she sold it to me, not cheap but at least I knew it was never abused. :)

  • robmarchrobmarch Posts: 482
    wow. If you like the bug-eyes, this is the time to buy! That would be $21,300ish for a base wagon. I'm planning on holding out to get an '04 at invoice, but $1000 has some definite pull.
This discussion has been closed.