2013 and earlier-Subaru Impreza and Impreza WRX STI Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • dsilver668dsilver668 Member Posts: 4
    Not bad in the long run. I can't kep from smilling.
    Anyone know the brake in procedures for the engine?
  • ozman62ozman62 Member Posts: 229
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    This is something that can be argued both ways. Some will say drive it like you normally would, others say to be a bit gentle. It's really up to you.

    Do read the manual. Basically, keep it under 4k RPMs, don't brake extremely hard (unless you have to), don't maintain the same speed. It's all in there.

  • jfalconer1jfalconer1 Member Posts: 1
    As the owner (and lover) of 2 Subarus, I was ecstatic to receive SOA's trade-in offer in my mail. For my 2003 WRX it was something like $16,500 on a 2005. I called several dealerships to see how much they were, and was quoted prices down to as $22,000--one even lower. I said yes, I'll take it and trade in mine per the SOA offer. Well, all bets were off right then. From that moment, the price went up to LIST, AND, my tradein had even LESS value than the guaranteed offer! What a disappointment, and what poor, shoddy sales Subaru still has. It's like dealing with a USED car dealer in the '50s; maybe worse. So, all you who think SOA is really making headway becoming a 1st class marque, think again. It's still the same old dealers, and unfortunately the same old national.
  • impalasteveimpalasteve Member Posts: 4
    Has anyone recently purchased an 05 STI in the Southeast Michigan area? I'm test driving one today and wonder if they are going for under MSRP or not. Edmunds.com indicates that pricing is pretty much at MSRP.

    Thanx in advance for the response.

    04 Forester XT auto
    95 modified Impala SS
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Take a deep breath, you can't visit one dealer and conclude all 600+ are the same. They aren't. Each one is independently owned.

    Try this - go to a no-haggle dealer like fitzmall in MD or Van Bortel in NY. Prices are fixed up front.

    Then see what trade-in price they offer for you.

    In fairness if you offer invoice for your new car, they should offer wholesale on your trade-in. Apples to apples.

    And if you offer MSRP on the new car, they should offer full retail list on the trade. Apples to apples again.

    But...as a consumer, what you want is the lowest price on the new car with the highest value for you trade. Not apples to apples. :-)

    Hey, I'm the same way, I'll admit it.

    So try to work the no-haggle angle to your advantage. You get a fair price, if not the lowest, and see what they offer you in trade.

    Don't expect miracles, though. A dealer will go bankrupt selling you cars for invoice and giving you retail blue book for your trade.

  • impalasteveimpalasteve Member Posts: 4
    What happened was that in checking around with some dealers in the Detroit Metro area, they were talking about just a little under sticker for the 05 STI. Then I went to another dealer and after test driving and falling in love with the car, I asked her about pricing. She said "The best thing for you to do is to join Costco." (The membership based discount warehouse chain) Seems Costco has an auto purchasing program that this dealer subscribes to. However, the STI hasnt been sold by the dealer through this program until just this week. Bottom line, I bought the 05 STI for $800 over invoice (no tradein involved) or about $1400 under sticker. I was happy with the deal and am really happy with the car.

  • crazybabydoccrazybabydoc Member Posts: 32
    Performance in Durham/Chapel Hill has a few '04 STi left on the lot. I've been shopping for a used WRX/STi but the purchasing manager seemed eager to deal on his remaining '04 stock.

    Is there a particular reason you prefer '05 to '04?
  • impalasteveimpalasteve Member Posts: 4
    I had never driven an 04 STI, but I had heard that the ride on the 04 was more harsh than on the 05. I'm much older than you guys most likely, and any decrease in harshness feels good on this old arthritic body.

  • BCG1049BCG1049 Member Posts: 5
    i am thinking about buying a 04sti w/4000 miles. it has a full eclipse stereo w/ a tv headunit and it looks nice. Does anyone have any clue about maintenance costs i.e.oil changes and insurance costs. the price is the kicker $26000. any ideas or suggestions?
  • secretariat73secretariat73 Member Posts: 47
    I have a friend who is interested in an Impreza lease; however, she would only take an auto tranny. The Subaru promotion only mentions 5 speeds. Does anyone know if the same, or a similar, deal is available for an A/T?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm a Costco member, also. Haven't used their program but everyone I know that did was happy in the end.

    The '05 got revised steering and the wider rear rims, plus some detail changes. The '05 rims have 113mm spacing so they're actually less universal than the old 5x100mm rims on the '04, if that matters to you.

  • lee_wlee_w Member Posts: 239
    Consider the Smart Shopper or Repair Board. They can be found in the "Browse by Message Board" area to the left. Hope this helps.
  • nohitterhoodnohitterhood Member Posts: 6
    I have 21,000 mi on mine now....The only problem has been something went wrong with the RR strut. I think the bearing at the top had a problem...There have been no idle problems and I was getting 25mpg at 80-85 mph...Now with our latest lousy gas it is down to 23...All 3 of our vehicles have lost 2-3 mpg..The only thing I dislike about the car is the seat, that has given me a constant sore spot on my thigh.
    It is a hoot to drive...Great brakes, handling, acceleration...
    Hope this helps.
    Fred Hood
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,133
    If you've purchased this vehicle recently, be sure to join our Subaru Crew to share your experiences with other owners. You can find other STI owners in our Subaru Impreza WRX discussion.

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  • km24km24 Member Posts: 36
    How good are the STI HID lights? I test drove a Saab 92-x with HID lights and it did light up the road a little bit better. I also would like to know how much better the STI headlights are compared to the regular headlights on the WRX?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,133
    Please visit our Subaru Impreza WRX discussion for general info about this vehicle. You'll find that people are only talking about pricing & purchasing experiences in this topic.

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  • cooljcoolj Member Posts: 15
    I have the chance to purchase a 2004 WRX sedan for $19,800. It is silver, has the premium package with heated seats and roof, it is an automatic with 8,000 miles on it Any opinions?
  • legendsfanlegendsfan Member Posts: 1
    $1100 over invoice at Tacoma Subaru in WA for 05 STI. They were friendly and not high pressure. I showed up and they asked me if I wanted a test drive. Check it out if your in the Washington area.
  • impalasteveimpalasteve Member Posts: 4
    I was fortunate to get my 05 STI for $800 over invoice at Dwyer Subaru in West Bloomfield, Michigan. You had to be a member of Costco, a discount warehouse which has an auto buying club which Dwyer Subaru subscribes to. They had just added the STI to the models that they would sell with the Costco price, so I lucked out. Having fun with the STI!! I tried to keep it cool for the first 1000 miles (under 4000 rpm's) like the manual says. Much of the time I was ok but occasionally I "fell off the wagon" and let her rip. I'll probably pay for it later on. Legendsfan, have fun with yours.



    05 black STI

    04 Forester XT-automatic, for the wife

    95 modified Impala SS, first winter in storage.
  • pvnwrxpvnwrx Member Posts: 2
    Are these deals still around? If not kindly let me know if there are any comparable deals. I am looking at WRX sedan w/o premium from NorCal.

    Appreciate any reply.

  • ndsax707ndsax707 Member Posts: 30
    I recently discovered Fitzmall and am totally blown away by their prices. Has anyone actually purchased a vehicle from them?


    How was your experience?


    If you purchased out of state, did your home state charge you taxes on the car (other than title/reg.)?


    How long did you have to wait for your car to arrive?


    How are their trade-in offers?


    Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
  • blisterchickenblisterchicken Member Posts: 2
    Here are some ownership cost I have researched for the STi.


    Tires- From Tire rack,(so this will not include labor) 4 Potenza's for around $800 or 4 Goodyears for around $600


    Brakes - Pads are around $350 a set.


    Oil Change - ? didn't research. I guessing no more than $40.


    These are my chief concerns before I by an STi. I knew a guy that got a deal on a Porche 911, and flipped out when he had to have an oil change.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yep, got my wife's car from Fitzmall, my best purchase experience ever. E-mail me if you want a reference to a specific salesman I trust.


    They are great, no surprises. I was in-state.


    My dad, brother, and sister have also bought cars from the same salesman. All bought from stock, no orders.


    Trades? They sell for invoice or less, so expect wholesale for your car, no more no less. They're not making a margin on the new car so they can't afford to lose money auctioning off your used one.


  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    ...aftermarket brake pads for the STi that are supposed to be excellent, not produce as much brake dust, and cost less. You can find out more over at www.nasioc.com
  • narenjinarenji Member Posts: 161
    The sti isn't that much more to maintain than a wrx. oil changes are cake, as are brake pads. pads cost a bit more than the wrx, but prices will come down in a while for sure. insurance is expensive, but it is a bonafide sportscar, not just a dressed up econobox.
  • toyotacogtoyotacog Member Posts: 1
    I will be buying either an '05 STI or an '03 350Z. I test drove both yesterday and the STI (BRAND NEW) had a shake in the front end that was very noticeable in the steering wheel. Has anyone else experienced this? Just wondering if this is common or possibly the tires were mis-balanced at the factory. The 350Z was smooth and tight even with 16K.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    How was the handling of the 350z in the rain and snow? Just curious ;)


  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Could be a flat-spotted tire, or perhaps the tire pressures were not even. Sounds unusual to me.


  • sulimiossulimios Member Posts: 11
    what is the current residual on a 36 month lease, 15k miles, and the money factor??
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,133
    You might try our Lease Questions discussion as well.



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  • treeks22treeks22 Member Posts: 1
    I am set on buying an STi. However, I'm now living in Massachusetts and am planning to move to the San Diego area by early summer (late May, early June). I'm not sure if its cheaper to buy it in MA and transport it to CA or just to buy it there. Is it a good car for that area in terms of maintenance and fuel costs? And if not, what is a worthy replacement in the 25k to 35k range?
  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Member Posts: 1,760
    as being and ex cali dude.....

    i think CA does or use to look if you bought the vehicle in the last year to see if you were just trying to escape paying ca sales tax. i can recall the details, but i know people were buying cars in nevada and bringing them back. not sure the current state of this illegal act, kinda goes against interstate commerce. i think u were ok if u could prove residence outside of cali.

    i paid about 600 a car to ship my vehicle out to nj from cali
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I would buy in Cali because they have different emissions equipment, don't they?

    Though I'm not sure if MA requires the same emissions stuff.

  • barriostkdbarriostkd Member Posts: 71
    I would just buy it here if I were you. I moved from NJ to CA (San Francisco) July of 2003. Due to emissions and the hassle of registering an out of state vehicle, I decided to sell my Outback Sport and just bought a WRX as soon as I got out of the airport. I would think it's even easier to maintain the car here in Cali simply because we don't have the harsh weather like the ones back East. Although gas prices in Cali are ridiculous, so that's something you might want to consider. But in the bigger scheme of things.... it's still probably worth it to go for the STi.

  • jchristopherjchristopher Member Posts: 8
    Just got an '05 WRX Sport Wagon from Exclusively Subaru in Ontario, California. Feel I got a great price - a bit better than the Cars Direct route, at $24K out-the-door, all-inclusive. We brought our own financing and took the rebate. I'd have to say highly recommended for SoCal buyers, if you:

    1. Do all your research in advance and know exactly what VIN you're interested in, and what it should cost to make it a "great deal" for yourself before you even contact them.

    2. Are willing to do the email thing for negotiating ahead of time. Just send them the VIN you want (inventory is online) and your offer.


    '05 Impreza SRX Sport Wagon
    5sp Manual
    Crystal Grey
    Cargo Tray
    Bumper cover
    Security Upgrade

    I know the changes coming in the '06 MY, but I needed a car today, and frankly, it's plenty quick for my needs as is. When Subaru increased the rebate, I jumped.

    Hope posting this helps someone shop!
  • charlie48charlie48 Member Posts: 1
    How is the ride? My local Subaru dealer won't do test drives in STI. They claim that the ride will be "substantially stiffer" whatever that means.
  • silversolarasilversolara Member Posts: 113
    I was searching for a deal for a Subaru WRX sedan in central New Jersey. I tried Coleman Subaru/Jeep in Ewing Township. It was an an experience in rudeness I have never seen equalled. The salesman was actually very nice - we test-drove 2 sedans for about an hour, and then sat down to talk about prices and deposits. He had emailed me and quoted a price of $22100 (for a WRX withouth the premium package, but including the auto-dimming mirror and short throw shifter), knowing I would also have a trade-in. This seemed to be a more-than-decent offer. He went to talk to his supervisor, and that was when the rudeness began. Apparently, the salesman had 'mistakenly quoted' to me, and now the supervisor wanted to backtrack over the email. We waited for half an hour as the supervisor went over the numbers with the salesguy in a private meeting in the supervisor's office. I reminded them twice that my wife & I had not eaten dinner, and it was getting late. Fifteen minutes later (with no end to their 'meeting' in sight, I demanded my paperwork back, and we left, after agreeing to talk about the deal the next day.

    Of course, I never got a phone call. At the end off the business day, I received a COWARDLY e-mail offering 3% over the dealer's invoice. Now, I had already received an offer for $750 UNDER dealer's cost from another dealership, about which I had told Coleman's people. Incensed, I emailed back, telling them about how rudely we were treated, and how disappointing the counter offer was. What a slap in the face by a 'reputable' dealership.

    I would NEVER, under ANY circumstances, recommend Coleman Subaru in New Jersey to anyone.
  • threesinthreesin Member Posts: 50
    Been away from the boards for way too long so I'm in need of some good info. Hope all are well and keeping the wheels lookin' at the pavement and not at the sky!

    Have been playing with several subys since I bought my '05 WRX wagon with auto tranny. I'm now the proud owner of an '03 WRX wagon with 5-sp, and two '00 2.5RS Imprezas (a cpe,& a sedan) with manual trannys. I won't talk about the '01 2.5RS cpe I got burned on, but if anyone in the WA area needs parts for that vintage RS, let me know; I have a good parts car:-(

    Unfortunately, all the WRX has done is wet my appetite for an STi. So, while I saw this Q asked in an earlier post, I didn't find much in the way of an answer: Specifically, what are the differences in the '04 & '05 STi?? Does the '05 actually have a more compliant ride than the '04, as was hinted at in one post?

    I've been watching an '04 with 4200 miles on it and an asking price of $25500. It looks good and has a clean Carfax, but I've also got a couple of spare Subys to trade in on a new '05 STi.

    Anyone in the WA area have any recent STi buying experience? As noted in one of my earlier posts, I've been very happy with my experience at Eastside Subaru in Kirkland, but with all the perks they offer new buyers, they really can't, or don't, give the best prices in the area.

    I look forward to your input, and once again, hope my post finds you all well and happy!

  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    I've noticed that no one has bothered to reply so I'll try to steer you to some info. Go over to www.nasioc.com and do a search (or just ask). I can tell you that there were many small (and some not so small) changes including upgrades to the suspension and interior. If I was in your situation I would certainly go for the '05. I drove one last October and went wild over the car. If the dealer had had a blue or silver STi with sliver wheels I probably would have jumped on it.

    Well actually if I was in your situation I might just sit back and wait to see what's up with the '06 STi's. In '04 and '05 the new model year STi's were pretty much out of the bag by May... but this year the roll-out isn't until late summer. This might mean that we will see the new Impreza platform. Considering that Subaru is trying to "Euroize" their car line, the results might be interesting. And if they aren't, well, there will be some great buys on the remaining '05's.

    Another reason to sit back might be to see what's going to happen with gas pricing. If gas does go up dramatically, will you be willing to fork out the cash to feed that STi? My bet is that the cost of crude is going to head up, like way up. At, say, $2.50 a gallon, it ain't that big a deal but how about north of $3.00 a gallon?

  • groovinpinkygroovinpinky Member Posts: 3
    Hello all, I am debating between the forester right now and the impreza outback sport wagon (special edition). Can anyone give me some feedback on the outback sport wagon? This will be my first subaru and I am very excited!
    ld in nola
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    While I don't have either (an '02 Audi A4 Avant) I do know that I'd go for the '06 Forester with the 2.5 liter turbo and the six-speed manual. That sucker is gonna scoot and squirm like a crack monkey on caffine over-dose.
  • threesinthreesin Member Posts: 50
    Thanks Bryon! I did manage to find a good summary of the differences in the '04 & '05 STi on another board. Basically, the conclusion was the same as yours.

    I've subsequently learned from my Suby Salesman that a 2.5 Turbo eng will be added to the WRX & the Forester for '06. Also, this year's launch of the new models is probably going to be later than the usual late spring or early summer time frame; but my salesman said it would be "worth my time" to wait. (That's why I stay with him. I was all ready to buy an '05 STi and he knew it, but he shared this latest info with me.) I prefer the wagon to the sedan, so I'm going to start slimming down on cars and bulking up on cash in anticipation of an '06 WRX wagon with a better power band!

    FWIW, I think you're right on the mark with the gas prices, and we'll be lucky if they don't go north of $4/gal! Of course, other countries around the world have been paying those high prices for ever. That's why they developed all the small displacement engines and small cars. May have to get a Prius for the really tough times and store my Subys:D.........Terry
  • threesinthreesin Member Posts: 50
    I struggled with that same choice in 2002, and ultimately went with the OBS because it handled better. However, in '03 the Forester suspension was reworked to improve it's handling. I've not driven the Forester since this suspension improvement was made.

    The two vehicles are basically built on the same platform and have the same drivetrains. However, the Forester has 7.5" of ground clearance,and the OBS is on the order of 6.3", if my memory serves me correctly. The taller stance of the Forester is going to tell in the handling.

    I found that the Forester had more storage nooks and pockets, such as the seatback pockets; and the seating is higher and more suitable to taller or larger individuals.

    When I test drove them on separate days, I found them both suitable; but when I drove them back to back, I felt insecure taking turns in the Forester at speeds which were comfortable in the OBS. Again, the Forester suspension has been improved since I last drove one! But, be sure you have time to drive both cars back to back!

    Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either car, and your test drive will let you know which car is comfortable for you. I have had one dealer tell me that there is very little demand for the impreza OBS so you may be able to get a better deal on a new OBS than on the Forester which is very popular.

    If you're buying used, and decide on a Forester, try to stay with an '03 or later. The same may also be true of the OBS, as there were some clutch issues with the '02 OBS.

    Whatever you do, don't go shopping without all the numbers and knowledge of rebates, cash back, and other incentives the mfgr may have in effect in order to move cars. I've been told that the whole car market is really soft this month. So, if you're ready to buy, shoot for making your deal in the last few days of the month when the dealers are getting really anxious to boost their sales figures. (The end of the month is always the best time to negotiate a car price. Better yet is the end of Dec!)

    You need to know what the dealers are paying for their cars: "invoice price"; what they're trying to sell for: "retail price or MSRP; and what the average price is across the nation: "Fair Mkt Value Price". You also need to know what the cars are selling for in your area. Different cars are popular in different areas i.e 4x4 or AWD sell for more in the snow belt than in the sunbelt. All this information is available at the following sites: NADA, KBB, Edmunds, and of course, on this forum.

    Good luck..............Terry
  • byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    Wow!... a salesperson suggesting that you hold off for a few months. I also prefer wagons (or multi-door hatchbacks) to sedans. This late summer or fall should prove interesting with some of the new models on the near-horizon.

    Looks like energy prices are going to make it a bearish market for Hummers:)
  • threesinthreesin Member Posts: 50
    I did forget one other possibility: Unless you need/want the extra ground clearance (about 1/2" or so) and two tone paint, you might want to look at the RS Sport wagon. I don't keep up with the prices, but I believe it is several hundred dollars less than the OBS. Most of the posts I've seen on these boards concerning the OBS and RS Sport Wagon seem to indicate that there isn't enough difference in them to pay the extra dollars for the OBS.

    Good Luck........Terry
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Actually still will have a 5 speed, even for 06. It did get a boost in power, 173hp base and 230hp for the turbo.

  • groovinpinkygroovinpinky Member Posts: 3
    thanks Terry for your info. I am still deliberating! Decisions, decisions..... I will wait to see what sort of incentives and/or rebates will be offered tomorrow. :blush:
  • g95110g95110 Member Posts: 1
    Hello! My wife & I are debating wether to go with the RS or WRX Impreza wagon. She can only drive auto, so we're looking for AT. I know that the WRX offers more standard items (like spoiler, fog lights, CD changer) on top of the engine, but is it worth $4-5k more? Also is auto with the WRX engine worth it? Thanks in advance for your advice!
  • hypovhypov Member Posts: 3,068
    Test drive them both, both of you; the answer to your question will reveal itself.
    Me, I have the '03 4EAT WRX wagon and my money spent was and is still well worth the extra over the TS wagon at that time.
    The '06 MY might make your decision much harder as both the RS and WRX would be 2.5l, except the later is TC'd.

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