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Pontiac GTO v. Subaru STi



  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    So Edmunds posted the comparison test, and they liked the Subaru over the GTO.

    First the Mustang, now a WRX...

    ALSO, with all of this talk about the suspensions (IRS vs Solid), here is my favorite excerpt from the article, concerning the GTOs handling:

    "Wobbly suspension...

    more engine than the suspension can keep up with...

    Big tires, rear-wheel drive and a fully independent suspension can only do so much when they're trying to herd in 3,725 pounds of sheet metal. At moderate speeds the big Goat is stable enough, but push harder and its limitations aren't hard to find.

    Driven back-to-back with the Subaru, the GTO feels massive, with slow turn-in and excessive body roll...

    Slalom testing confirmed the GTO's clumsiness as it rumbled through the cones at a leisurely 60 mph. The STi knifed through it at 66.7 mph, a Toyota Camry Solara can do it at 60.9 mph.

    Dial out the body roll, install a better shifter and swap in a beefier set of tires and this Pontiac could hold its own. As it is now, it's a great motor in need of a better supporting cast."
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    I couldn't find the comparison but it doesn't matter. It was a ridiculous comparison. The STi is 500 pounds lighter and has all wheel drive I believe. Not a comparison at all. Just another chance to put down the GTO. Whatever, we are used to it. But, as bender just put it 'first the Mustang and now the STi'. Fine, now that both those cars beat the GTO, let's see them go at it. That would be a better comparison. Their weight is closer and they both claim 300hp. That seems more of a realistic matchup. Plus it would give you a chance to test out that solid rear axle. So come on you mustangers, tell Edmunds you want a comparison with the STi. Or maybe you don't want to go up against a smaller, lighter car with similar hp?
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    Article is HERE

    I mainly used the quotes from the article to point out that the Edmunds editors consider the oft-cited, highly vaunted, much lauded fully independent rear suspension of the GTO to actually be inadequate! Of course overall weight and slow steering were also factors, but they made the point several times that the suspension setup is lacking. Very interesting, considering all the posts about the Mustangs' solid rear, which appears to actually help the Mustang to handle better.

    "I couldn't find the article, but it doesn't matter. It was a ridiculous comparison."

    Go actually read the article before you call it a ridiculous comparison. Another quote:

    "Although drastically different in their design and execution, the 2005 Pontiac GTO and the 2005 Subaru WRX STi both employ this time-tested formula. Think about it. Subaru took its lowly Impreza, added a turbocharged engine, a stiffer suspension and a little extra bodywork and, suddenly, every male under the age of 25 is trading in his girlfriend for one. Sounds like a modern-day GTO to us.

    The new GTO takes a more traditional route. Like its legendary ancestors, it's a coupe with classic muscle car credentials like a big V8, rear-wheel drive and a long hood/short deck design. Although it's built in Australia, it's so American it makes Tommy Franks look like a Communist.

    Sure, conventional wisdom says if you like one, you wouldn't even consider the other, but we think otherwise."
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I couldn't find the comparison but it doesn't matter."

    You should read it; they actually had many complimentary things to say about the GTO as well has some differing opinions for some of the other editors.

    "Just another chance to put down the GTO. Whatever, we are used to it."

    At least you didn't use the "conspiracy" word. For that, I salute you.

    "So come on you mustangers, tell Edmunds you want a comparison with the STi."

    Personally, I think they should do a bigger roundup of cars: they did 2 in this test (GTO vs. STi), and 3 in a previous test (Mustang, RX-8, 350z). They need to lump all the RWD/AWD performance cars in the 25-35k bracket together in one big mosh pit and let'em all have at it. Of course, once you include the 'gotta have it' factor, is there any doubt who'll win? :P
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    I read the article. I don't think it had anything bad to say about the IRS, only the usual litany of a soft ride and slow steering. Edmunds did not have to run it against the STi to come up with that.

    I still say it's ridiculous. Your quote confirms it, "drastically different in their design and execution". Another line from the article calls them polar opposites. And that's right. The STi is the last thing on earth I would want to drive. Why hook up two totally different cars. I think the guy who wrote this was actually thinking about the RoadRunner. Yes, I had one of those, it was my second car. No padding, no insulation, bench seats and the cheesiest interior I'd seen up to that time. Oh and you think the GTO has a shifter problem. How about the three foot stick in the RR. Of course it did have Hurst linkage which was cool. The old GTOs were a little more upscale than that. And it makes a stripped Mustang sound like luxury car next to the STi. Yuk. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth...
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    You're right. When I read it, it was more positive than I expected considering the quotes. In fact it was one of the most complimentary reviews regarding its power and interior and even exterior styling. And even the criticism was constructive. I see where benderguy is coming from now. But still, what a mismatch. A little whiney 2.5. Come on. Run it against a turbo Porsche. Then rave about how it slices through the slalom. Or like I said, compare it with the Mustang. The statistics are similar except for the STi's lower weight and of course the AWD. I'm tired of these comparisons though. I want to see some real racing. Like you said, put them all together and let them go at it. And yeah, we know who wins with the gotta have it factor.
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    "I read the article. I don't think it had anything bad to say about the IRS"

    The article didn't say anything bad about the IRS? I thought it had plenty to say about the GTOs suspension. I quote again:

    "[Soft] suspension... makes for a livable daily driver, but dilutes some of its muscle car character...

    Wobbly suspension...

    ...more engine than the suspension can keep up with...

    Handling in Short Supply...

    push harder and its limitations aren't hard to find...

    excessive body roll...

    Slalom testing confirmed the GTO's clumsiness as it rumbled through the cones at a leisurely 60 mph... a Toyota Camry Solara can do it at 60.9 mph...

    Dial out the body roll... and this Pontiac could hold its own. As it is now, it's a great motor in need of a better supporting cast."

    I just point this out again because, judging by all of those comments, the solid rear in the Mustang works better than the IRS in the GTO (no such handling comments from Mustang reviewers), so... end of discussion as to why the Mustang has a solid rear!
  • sensaisensai Posts: 129
    Well then explain why no other reviews have said such nonsense about the suspension. Explain why the GTO pulled a better number than the Mustang in R&T's figure 8 test. Explain how a similar car called a Monaro was compared to a M5 and said to have similar handling, but all of a sudden it cannot outhandle a Toyota Solara now that it has a Pontiac badge on it? I cannot wait until June 12th when they put these cars on a real race track and we get to watch the Mustang get spanked.
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    Here we go again. You were mighty selective about the quotes you chose. I realize now you were just refering to the suspension but it came off sounding much worse. Let me select some quotes about the car that won.

    "bucket seats aren't big on comfort but new higher friction cloth trim..." Oh yeah, that's what I want, uncomfortable seats with higher friction cloth trim, whatever that is.

    "The seating position isn't perfect".

    "shifter ...annoying tendency to float while in gear". Don't know what that means.

    "...nasty low end drag" and "...understeer emerges".

    "ride quality positively punishing". Oh yeah, that's what I want for my $33K, a punishing ride.

    "raspy blat, blat, blat..." refering to the exhaust.

    "not everyone agreed on its appeal".

    This is the car that the GTO lost another one to. Give me a break. Moving on...

    "Compared to the frantic delivery of the Subaru, the Pontiac V8 feels like a Lexus".

    The overall assessment: One of the best V8's ever made, comfortable enough to drive every day, interior design looks worthy of the price tag.

    And finally, "If a 2005 Pontiac GTO pulls up next to you at a local stop light, we suggest paying it some respect". I guess that doesn't mean you guys though.

    So the GTO is a powerful, refined automobile, with a soft comfortable ride. Oh the shame of it.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,276
    bend....when I was test driving the GTOs, handling was my biggest complaint. Driving the Mustang on the same day as the GTO and the handling differences become apparent.

    I don't know what GM was shooting for with the GTO. Maybe the suspension was dialed in more for what the Australians prefer? Still, you can't argue the GTO's engine overall "goodness". Same can be said for the Mustang's 4.6L motor, though.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • 442man442man Posts: 210
    I would never compare or cross shop a front drive mundane Solara to a GTO or Mustang. Best the Solara does is low to mid 7's with optional V6, with the std 4 banger its 8 to 9 seconds. Not much performance for me anyway. Remember a top of line Solara is $30k+.

    Monaro (GTO) compared very similar to the M5 in Austrailia and competes with it. But you are right, all of a sudden since we get it with a Pontiac badge some people bash it, interesting. My GTO handles just as well or better then my Old BMW 5 series did, go figure? GTO was a lot more reliable then BMW too in my experiences.

    June 12th should be interesting. I have respect for both cars, Mustang-GTO etc. STI I have respect for, but I would never pay that much $$ for what is essentially an economy car Impreza.
  • 442man442man Posts: 210
    I would never cross-shop the STI against the GTO or vice versa. Strange comparo in a way. They are two different cars. Sorry but I would never pay $30k+ for what is essentially a Impreza economy car. Don't care how much 300+ hp it makes. All the kids, 25 and younger seem to be buying them and modding them. Nasty sound to me whenever I hear one. The big fart can exhaust which sounds like a lawn mower on steroids, but I guess the newer kids like that sound. I don't. My opinion. Not to mention the GTO is much more refined of a car, ride-sound etc. Ever ride in a WRX? Feels like there are no shocks. To each their own.
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    Sputter; yes as I stated, I just used the quotes as relevant to the "IRS vs. Solid" suspension discussion. Sure you can pull negative quotes about the Subaru as well, of course each and every car made has downsides, e.g. price, room, etc. I was only "selective" in my quotes about the GTO as related to handling. Some posters here continue to harp on the fact that the GTO has it and the Mustang does not, and speak like it (the GTOs' IRS) is somehow superior. Every article I've read about the GTO which was written post-2005 Mustang gives the nod to the Mustang in handling overall.

    I have mentioned before but will again, I have tremendous respect for the GTO, especially "if [you] pull up next to one at a stoplight..." because that is what it does best evidently.
  • 442man442man Posts: 210
    ....." (the GTOs' IRS) is somehow superior.".....

    I know, yet another IRS/solid rear rehash.....Anyone who believes that a solid axle can deliver the same level of performance as an IRS and still maintain decent ride quality should pick-up a book on chassis engineering and study it . Unsprung weight and roll center height quickly becomes a limiting factor with a solid axle.

    The only advantage a solid rear axle has over an IRS is lighter weight, cheaper cost and same or better at STRAIGHT line, 1/4 mile acceleration.

    just because Ford screwed up the last IRS in the 1999-2004 Cobra which was a patch in half-baked job, doesnt mean they should give up on it. You wonder if they thought "well, we cant design a proper IRS, so let just stick to solid axles from now on"

    Tai-Tang head engineer of the Mustang wanted an IRS, but Ford told him no, to cut down costs. True story. Notice how Tang has changed his tune. He now contradicts his 1st interview, LOL!

    The GTO also weighs nearly 300 pounds more then Mustang. But still does a good job at handling. Mustang barely beat it out in C&D comparo.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,276
    Hmmmm....I never heard Tang contradict anything. As he's stated many times, he'd put the Mustang's solid rear engineering up against IRS. He went onto say based on how well the Mustang's suspension turned out, the added cost, weight and complexity of an IRS was not worth it.

    I've driven both. I agree with him.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    Well, if the solid rear is so bad, then why are the reviews of Mustangs' handling so good?

    And if IRS is so great, then why did the Edmunds' editors have so much to complain about with the GTOs' suspension? (Please re-read above quotes from recent comparison article).
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    Slalom testing confirmed the GTO's clumsiness as it rumbled through the cones at a leisurely 60 mph. The STi knifed through it at 66.7 mph, a Toyota Camry Solara can do it at 60.9 mph.

    The editor Karl drove an SRT-8 through the slalom in 65.2mph! I just thought that would be fun to mention.
  • 442man442man Posts: 210
    Tang originally said in his first interview that he wanted the IRS. but the bean counters, "accountants" at Ford told him NO!!! Then again they perfected the Solid Rear to be very good BUT!!!! Rumor now says that the mustangs Solid rear axle cost more then an IRS> They spent alot of $$ on it. Kudos to the Stang. As I have remained I love both cars. Muscle cars to the Extreme.
  • 442man442man Posts: 210
    Benderofbows, Both cars have good handling. Drive both and see for yourself. For me the GTO felt like it had better ride/seats and handling, just my opinion. To me I have many bumpy roads around here near NY city, so the IRS made the dif. Had a 442, Grand National, etc, with solid rear end. sick and tired of the bumps throwing it off course.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,276
    442....Don't want to get into splitting "hairs" on semantics. I don't know how much it cost Ford to develop the current Mustang's solid rear. I do know I very much liked the Mustang's handling and prefered it over the GTO's.

    But, as you say, muscle cars are back and they are very good this go round.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • benderofbowsbenderofbows Posts: 544
    Yes, the cars and the competition is great!
  • 442man442man Posts: 210
    I agree as well. I love all Muscle, Mustang-GT0, Vette ETc.... We'll see as gas prices go up, LOL!
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    Personally, I have yet to experience any of the wobble or body roll alluded to. I've noticed a verticle motion when excellerating which I don't like but I would rather live with it rather than the cure which is probably stiffer springs.
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    I guess I am as sensitive about the GTO's handling as you are of the Mustang's solid rear. As I said before if the solid rear works for you that's all that counts. The GTO is the best performing car I've had. Like that quote that says "push it harderthe problems become evident" or something like that. I admit I don't go around corners at 50mph but it's handled what I have dished out to it.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,276 need to be sensitive at all. You've got a nice car.

    As rorr has said (man, you've got a good memory) we each have our own preferences. Having the good (and sometimes bad) fortune of driving many cars over a short period of time, I preferred the Mustang's suspension. It's more akin to the type of handling I like (sharp and quick) and the ride I like (firmly damped with no uncontrolled movements). You like the GTO's suspension (which was on the "bigger car handling" side of things...something I don't prefer). That certainly doesn't mean everybody is going to like what I do. Nor, does it mean everyone is going to like what you prefer.

    In the end, we drive what we like.

    To dismiss either car for the type of architecture they use for thier respective suspension means someone hasn't driven both, back-to-back.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • kevm14kevm14 Posts: 423
    Speaking of that type of thing, I just watched the STi vs GTO comparo video. I noticed the GTO has like zero brake dive. Start watching at 2:30, where they do the 60-0 test. As it comes to a stop, the entire car was hunkered down while stopping. That's a sign of a combination of good brake biasing, suspension design, shock damping and spring rate. The STi dives noticably more. Of course, the STi stopped faster from 60...but that part impressed me anyway.
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    You're the only one that's driven them back to back so your opinion carries a lot of weight. At least with rorr and myself.
  • Edmunds compared the RWD GTO to an AWD subaru in a recent comparo and held that the subie was better.

    I have a question: are these cars comparable?

    You cannot compare them! First of all, the Subari is a FOUR DOOR and the GTO is a COUPE,
    Secondly, the Subaru is AWD and the GTO is RWD!

    I don't understand, do the folks at edmunds just want to apologise for glorifying the GTO (2004) when it turned out to be a sales flop, or they just wanted to show bias for foreign cars?

    These two are not even on the same hemesphere, the only thing they have in common is price. Of course AWD is gonna handle better than RWD, i think NASCAR tried that in the 80's or 90's, its just wrong IMO.

    Also, i don't think anyone would cross shop the two cars. And BTW, how many Percocet does it take to wake up in the morning and say the Subaru has a better interrior than the GTO, a car that in Austrailia competes with BMW's?
  • sputterguysputterguy Posts: 383
    What SRT-8 is that. Not the 300 I hope.
  • gottabgtogottabgto Posts: 95
    I thought they said the GTO interior was superior by far.
    But I agree - how could they even think of comparing them.
This discussion has been closed.