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2008/09 Subaru Impreza STI

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    tiff_ctiff_c Member Posts: 531
    Why? Because I have one one my "performance" WRX—and I would also want one in an STI, should I decide to buy one at some point.

    Yes but the WRX the new one is lacking a few things from the old model and from what I see in this forum those points have been debated to death. Why not just buy a new WRX? They have moonroofs and a good AWD system, less power but so what.

    Same with the AWP. I've got it on my WRX, and again would want it on a STI

    Yes but the STI is a flatout performance model the WRX is not it's a nice compromise and I really like mine but it's really worn out now. but still a great car!
    The STI is a whole nother car entirely!
    it's not supposed to come with sunroofs or fancy luxury items like the WRX.... Well the new WRX anyway. ;)

    These items should be part of a trim package available to those who want them. You don't want those features? Buy a cheaper trim package without those items—but don't tell me what I should or should not want. It's that simple.

    Yes i suppose they should be offered but Subaru is a small company and probably can't afford to offer multiple trim levels. It looks like they cut costs across the board on all models. The WRX got hit the most but the STI at least has it's performance. You can always have someone cut a hole in the roof aftermarket. As far as the heated seats and other stuff, no idea as I don't use them. Be nice on an Accord or something.

    The STI Limited from last year had those features—and they flew off dealer lots. So there is a market for such a car.

    Yes well it was Limited wasn't it. Why didn't you buy a 2007 model? There are probably a few still around with all the gadgets that you want.
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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    New WRX does not have a moonroof either. Another bad move form SOA.

    Again, you're imposing your views of what the STI should be on me. I have my own views, thank you.

    I don't want someone to cut a hole in the roof. I want a factory job with its warranty.

    I don't want a 2007 STI Limited.

    Bob
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    I'm with you on this, Bob. SoA is completely clueless and they don't recognize things when they hit them in their faces. STI Ltd. did fly off, as you said. So what's the response? Lets decontent the car and tell people it's what they should want :mad: Both WRX and STI are simply "unfinished". Now it will take them two or three years before they realize that perhaps adding options is a better move than removing them. Every new model since I remember is like that: "yeah, but..." and then long list of things that are missing even as options. I'm pretty sure new Legacy will be same way. They're usually decent deals in their midcycle - but the "new thing" factor is already gone and whatever audience might have been captured when it was new, moved on, too and only the most faithful are left by that time. It is what makes a Subaru a Subaru. :sick:

    They are really running out of time for me. I'll be getting new car next year or one after and there is still nothing I would be ready to buy today. It really does look like I will have no choice but overpay for one of those unreliable and expensive to maintain pieces from Germany or Sweden. I don't like it to be honest, but Subaru is simply not keeping up. Even those GTP, VIP and other programs they're throwing at me every so often are not moving my desire needle even a bit. If there is no product, even the best deal is worthless. :sick: :cry:

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Agreed. I'm getting fed up with Subaru not offering fully contented vehicles from the get-go. My WRX Limited wagon is a great example. The WRX came out in 2002, and it wasn't until 2006 did they offered it as I wanted.

    If I were to get an STI, I would want it with the factory NAV. So we're looking at a vehicle that's close to $40K—and it doesn't have a moonroof or the AWP, or even offer those items as options! When you get in that price range, there are a lot of very desirable cars that offer so much more in terms of content.

    It may be a performance bargain as it stands, but there are a lot of very good performing cars in that price range that offer so much more in terms of creature comforts.

    Subaru also desperately needs a car that splits the gap between the WRX and the STI. The WRX, as it stands is just too soft; and the STI, as it stands is just too hard. The Legacy spec.B would be great—if it came in a wagon. I want a 5-door wagon or hatch, not a sedan.

    Bob
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    I want a sunroof so that all the hot air rises out of the car when I leave my dog in there. Heck, why have a/c or a radio or any other creature comforts in a "performance" car. The reality is that most people shopping in this segment (including me) want GT's, not race cars for everyday use. Subaru has already set a precedent with "tuner" versions, perhaps they'll do the same with the STI.
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    tiff_ctiff_c Member Posts: 531
    This is what I do. I just don't see performance cars as luxury sedans. i never have although I guess my namesake thought differently. I'm not telling anyone what they should buy but I certainly have a right to my own opinion same as everyone else.
    Buy what you like, it's what I do at least within the range I can afford.
    I also drive a lot everyday and I'll wager I drive more than most people ever will for my job. So I understand comfort and I understand performance. Lightweight equals better performance, heavier is usually leaning more towards luxury.
    Either way you guys buy whatever floats your boat and i'll do the same.
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I think a lot of folks are overlooking the Legacy and how it falls into this picture.

    Moonroof, Navi and all the goodies of an STi can be found in the Spec B.

    If you don't want to track or take full advantage of all the goodies in the STi (Active center diffy, etc) the Spec B is a perfect car that is heavier, handles very well, has as much power (again, we are talking non-tracking car here) and offers all the goodies that folks want on the luxury side of things.

    My guess is that in 2 years when the current gen of Legacy which is very very similar in size to the Imprezas gets bigger, we will see the luxury features appear in the Impreza.

    -mike
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    Aren't you forgetting something, Mike? Can I have your Spec B with the hatch in the back, please? How about just plain GT? Or 2.5i without stupid cladding and with lower ride? No? I didn't think either. They have one in Europe, they have it in Japan, albeit with H6 not turbo. Canadians don't have Spec-B wagon, but at least they have GT Ltd. What do we get? Nada... I don't hold my breath for new Legacy, either. Those things simply don't come back.

    Why can BMW or Audi offer them even at lower volumes and higher prices with more trims (and when counting stand-alone options the variety gets even bigger) and Subaru can't even keep decent non-crossover low-riding wagon in their stable? 3-series or A4 wagon volumes are also very small - yet they keep them around - so it can be done even at that volume. I bet most hatch/wagon buyers are so committed to that choice that they would pay extra thousand, maybe even for that choice - especially that it is so small and everything else in the ballpark is even more expensive. I know I would.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    That's why the STI is so appealing. As it stands it close but no cigar.

    I would expect the items I'm complaining about being MIA will "eventually" make their way here—but they should have been here from Day One—not 2 or 3 years into the production cycle.

    Bob
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    You guys are making a lot of sense.
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    The frustrating part about it is that seem to think it's an actual strategy: catch suckers first, then when first excitement wears off they add std. features to increase the appeal. Sounds great on surface - what it doesn't account for is lost opportunity.

    There are plenty of people buying "all new" cars only, but they would not touch anything that doesn't have certain feature that is below "standard of care" at a given price point. Examples were HID lights or axial regulation of steering wheel. The worst of all is split fold-down seats: they were introduced to Legacy sedans in 2007! Feature that was standard in my father's car from 80's designed and manufactured in then-communist Poland! Simply ridiculous.

    I look at them sometimes and simply don't get it. It's like they develop those great machines and then Grinch comes and to messes them up so it remain in oblivion.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Folding sedan seats split was in the 1st, and 2nd gen Legacy Sedans. The 3rd and early 4th gen lost it due to crash regulations.

    As for BMW and Audi, they have significantly higher volumes of cars sold and can afford to make the wagons, I'm also not sure they make them in any of the performance models. There is no M3 Wagon... I am not sure they still offer an S4 wagon either.

    -mike
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    They do offer S4 wagon. There used to be S6 wagon, I read somewhere Euro RS6 and M5, but agree - that's irrelevant to US. Crash regulations is very poor excuse for the lack of split folding seat for six years. if everybody else could make it (and they did - my '97 Escort had it). There is no reason they couldn't whatsoever - other than inaptitude or lack of respect to the customer.

    Lets look at volumes, shall we:
    Audi: US volume in 2006 was 90K with about 900K worldwide
    BMW: US car 275K, with about 1.1M worldwide
    Subaru: US 200K with about 580K worldwide.

    Now lets count number of trims, engines, options available for the former vs. the latter. Of course price point makes BMW volume much "heavier" on revenue side - but that segment is equally competitive as Subaru's - lets just mention Lexus, Benz, Acura and awakening Caddy.

    Volume is just an excuse. Perhaps a good one, but an excuse nevertheless. The problem is the product, its positioning in the market and its marketing (or lack of thereof). When they release it it's either undercooked or not thought through. Leaving out "essential" (for a given price point) options reveals complete lack of understanding for the market and the customer - or worse, it's a sign of total arrogance with an assumption that the product is so perfect that the customer would not dare to ask for something that competition has.

    There are of course other important factors, like world volume, or larger parent backing. However, one needs to notice that Audi was the only profit maker of VAG in 2006 so one can't say they survive thanks to their bigger brother.

    It looks that those who develop vehicles for the rest of the world and then bring their best versions win. Subaru seems to be doing exact opposite. even though US is their single biggest customer. Miniscule Canadian market get more choices - and better cars, too (Tribeca gets HID, Legacy has more options, just to name a few).

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    You don't seriously compare Legacy or even STI to M3, do you? It's not only about 0-60 or slalom.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Audi: US volume in 2006 was 90K with about 900K worldwide
    BMW: US car 275K, with about 1.1M worldwide
    Subaru: US 200K with about 580K worldwide.


    2 Footnotes here...

    1) BMW and Audi are Luxury car brands, Subaru is not.
    2) The Audi volume numbers should include the associated sister cars sold by VW.

    -mike
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Not the Legacy, but the STi is the equivalent to the M class and S class. It's the premium trim level of the brand, like the V series Caddy, the SRT series of chryslers, the AMG of MB, etc. etc.

    -mike

    PS: Any Subaru will beat an M3 in my book, for the simple fact that the M3 does not come in AWD.....
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    dinterndintern Member Posts: 24
    I think SOA is obsessed with Impreza being ranked as the top safety pick. Adding a sunroof to it the car may not score that high. Also, maybe they just wanna cut the cost so the new model's price doesn't jump too much. Whatever it is, it's somewhat again their "mainstream buyers" motive.
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    Bingo!

    First they go "upscale" - but without real upscale features.
    Now they go "mainstream" and "refined" - but without mainstream features and limiting refinement to fit and finish.

    Unfinished concepts - it's what makes Subaru a Subaru ;)

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    Hey... but the STi's got the look :P
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    They were just trying to keep the price down for the intro, and surely will offer a Limited package next year or soon after that.

    If they had offered the AWP and moonroof off the bat, everyone here would be screaming about an STI retailing for over $40 grand. Heavens no! :surprise:
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    There is always possibility of setting the price lower for the same stuff :P

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    That's tough to do with the weak dollar.

    I think we who live in the USA have to get over it - the dollar is pathetic right now. It just ain't what it used to be.

    I had dreams of retiring in Brazil, in my hometown beach front apartments were selling for $200k or so. I figured I'd use the equity in my home, buy a few of them, live off the rent from the ones I wasn't using.

    Now the prices are so high I could only afford ONE single apartment. :cry:

    Subaru added VDC, window frames, hood struts, side curtain air bags, and a multi-link rear suspension. Couple that with the strong Yen, and keep in mind the STI is built in Japan.
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    gurplegurple Member Posts: 8
    In the last two days drove both 200mi each (all freeway)-the 08 is light years ahead of the 07 for everyday driving imho, but I imagine the 07 woould be a better track car because of its stiff,stiff suspension. I think once you drive the 08, you'll be impressed, I was.
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    I hope that the local dealer will allow test drives. He should have one in a couple of weeks. As for the the suspension and track use... I'd guess that would be an easy fix. I'm prepared to once again, dislike the seats.
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    In the last two days drove both 200mi each (all freeway)-the 08 is light years ahead of the 07 for everyday driving imho, but I imagine the 07 woould be a better track car because of its stiff,stiff suspension. I think once you drive the 08, you'll be impressed, I was.

    Belive it or not even with the better ride, I think the 08 will be better on the track, from the manuvers I put it through during my test drive.

    -mike
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    I doubt the cost of all the "goodies" that make an STI and STI, amount to more than double the cost of a base Impreza. The markup for special performance vehicles like M and S series are notorious. You'd think the Subaru market guys would have realized that most Subaru buyers, though capable of spending money are more value conscious than buyers of other brands. Sure, I can see Subaru wanting to get their share of the performance market profits, but, as long as they have provide vehicles to the lower end of the market (a good thing mind you!), they'll have a hard time competing with the perceived "prestige" brands. Unfortunately, I don't think the market will accept the perception of an "all things to all people" sales approach and garner the same profit margins from all markets. I admit to a bit of self confusion here. On the one hand, I see the STI as the potential car of my choice (especially when compared to other "comparable" cars) on the other hand , it doesn't t cost much less than a base Corvette (I know, not "comparable" at all) doesn't come with some expected niceties and cost twice as much as the base model.
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Don't forget it's not just cost of materials over the base model, it's the R&D as well.

    -mike
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    You are right in principal, of course. The lower the volume, the higher R&D cost per unit. So it's no surprise that 20% better car may cost you 50% more. But there is also a "price tolerance" of particular brand/model/vehicle class. I think Subaru is playing with fire setting the stickers of their STIs (and WRXs, too for that matter).

    They may have no choice - as cost of raw material is rampant, indeed. However, once they break that barrier, whatever it is, you should switch to thinking in "reverse": i.e. what would a customer expect at a given price point/range. Sometimes it may be worth add a thousand or two into the sticker to cover all of it.

    I don't think that mindset really sank into SoA marketing/engineering teams. Acura is probably the best in price/value strategy - with similar model/trim approach (limited number of stan-alone options). Subaru should follow them very closely - at least in their higher priced trims/models.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Unfortunately SOA doesn't decide what FHI sends them. :( They just have to deal with whatever FHI decides is best.

    -mike
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    Well - that is somewhat hard to believe. The product is significantly different than that sold in the rest of the world (e.g. for starters, 2.5i engines here vs. 2.0i elsewhere). I'm pretty sure those config decisions might be done in Tokyo, but Cherry Hill definitely has a lot to do with them. I suspect the likely scenario is some price point determination done by Cherry Hill and then they probably send "wish list" to Japan. There they decide what actually makes the cut and what not - based on that price, cost, predicted volumes, etc. What may be missing is Cherry Hill ability (or influence) to look at the final product of that exchange and honest determination if it actually makes sense. Certain cuts may seem reasonable (or not a big deal) on the other side of Pacific, but they may not be here.

    US volume represents nearly half of their total sales worldwide, so you would think SoA would have major influence over what is made and how. Judking by final results of that one can't help but conclude that either Cherry Hill is totally clueless and should be fired for incompetence in its entriety, or they are so powerless that FHI needs some major shakeup up there in Japan...

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I know quite a few people at SOA, and everyone I speak to relays the same story whenever I say "what were you thinking when you did X, Y or Z" their response is "It was FHI, we didn't have a choice on it".

    Unfortunately, like most companies today, they aren't run by enthusiasts but run by bean counters who could be selling widgets or dingbats just as easily as a car, and treat car sales as such.

    :(

    -mike
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    So who's picking the seats for NA? Must be the SUPER BANZUKE Sumo Games World Champion or his kin. In any case I've asked the local Subie dealer to try and snatch either a silver or grey STi. If his aikido is graceful and my center is weak, I might end up in one of those big butt seats... all 5'6" and 150 pounds of me. I could always swap out the animal hide for velcro.
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Sorry for the big seats. Last year during our annual 48hrs of Tristate Charity Drive we met the then CEO of SOA and I made an appeal for a larger Legacy to quote what I told him "Big Man, needs Big Car" as I patted my tummy! So I guess he had em put in bigger seats til the larger legacy gets here.

    -mike
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    "Sorry for the big seats..."

    ...said the whale to the shrimp whilst looking at each other from opposite sides of the bell curve :P

    Just once in my wretched life I'd like to have a car that's not an Evo with seats that really fit.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    A-ha! And I just can't fit properly in an EVO's seats. It's simply a deal killer. :sick:

    Back to the point about the base Impreza costing half as much, that's exactly what surprises me. I wonder, honestly, if at current exchange rates they will be losing money with each base/Premium 2.5i Impreza they sell. They're lucky if they're breaking even, but at least it brings new, young buyers into the brand.
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    Well that does indeed suck that those very nice Evo seats don't fit ya. The Evo certainly looks nice but... that tiny two liter engine gets slightly worse mileage than even the 2.5 flat four and the MR only comes with an auto transmission (although some folks seem to insist that it isn't an auto). For me the Subie seems the better choice for hauling a kayak (not to mention the six speed). If I do get one, I'll drive it for a year or two and then move to a gas miser of some sort... maybe a Lotus? :)
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I have young kids so I won't be in the market for this type of car until they leave for college (10 years or so), but if I were the hatch alone would put me in an STI.
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    I won't even consider a vehicle that isn't a hatchback or wagon. There are just too many instances where this oh so practical configuration comes in handy. No 5th door, no sale!
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    Other than left vs right hand drive, push button start, Recaros seats, tires, displacement and single scroll vs. twin scroll turbos are there other differences? I don't know much about these things, but, would the 2.5 litre US version benefit form the 2.0 litre Japanese version twin scroll turbo? If so would other mods be necessary? Would it be feasible?
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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    The results may (or may not) surprise you.

    http://blogs.edmunds.com/Straightline/4062

    Bob
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    downloading .... this is a keeper.
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    xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,872
    I cannot get the link to work.... comes up not found.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Bad news. Good news.

    You got it just in time, as the blog has been removed. That the bad news.

    The good news is that it will be a lead story over on Inside Line on Monday.

    Bob
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Nope - it stopped downloading right in the middle of it. Bummer.
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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    It's over at NASIOC.

    Bob
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    tominlatominla Member Posts: 1
    I was not expecting it, but when I walked across the street 10 days ago from the Acura dealer (where my 2007 RDX was in for service) to look in the window of the Subaru dealer, I was surprised to see three STIs in the showroom (I had been told in an earlier email from the dealer that they would not be arriving until Feb/Mar timeframe). I test drove it, and the next day I bought it. I took delivery on 1/9. Blue, BBS wheels, NAV. The dealer told me that the blue only comes with the gold BBS wheels (I don't know if this is true, but that is all he could find in the locator), but he switched out the silver BBS, which I liked more, for the gold.
    I am now in the horrible first 1,000 miles, with this amazing car that I am not supposed to drive above 4k RPM. But it is still tremendously fun.
    There is a lot to like about this car, and as someone who is probably a little older (early 40s professional with a lot of friends who don't understand why this isn't a BMW or a Cayman in my parking spot) than the normal STI profile, I find the combination of tremendous fun and great practicality to be a really smart move by Subaru. This is a great driving car, with lots of responsiveness, and a rumble from the engine that makes you remember you are here to have fun. But it also has a back seat that humans can fit into, and a rear seat that folds down and creates a huge and easily accessible storage/luggage space. And there are a lot of well thought out small points that are great - the hill assist is a wonderful asset (when you are stopped on an incline and take your foot off the brake to put it on the gas, the car will continue to brake for a short time so you avoid the dreaded roll-back into the guy riding your butt on the hill). My "sports" car before this has been a 2002 Boxster, which has also been fun to drive but not fun to own (leading to a vow that I wanted to just buy Japanese cars from now on), and the attitude from the service department of my local Porsche dealer was just awful. I am hoping that my STI will be both fun to drive and fun to own.

    My only complaints so far are small - there is no change cup. The NAV system is good, but somewhat confusing compared to my Acura RDX; you can't have both an iPod kit and the NAV system; some of the buttons etc. feel a bit cheap (but much better than in prior Subarus I have tested; I think that Honda has spoiled me for good plastic). Some form of sun/moonroof would have been nice. The buttons on the wheel are a bit small and not as well implemented as I have seen on my many Honda/Acuras. And, of course, I still have 900+ miles to go before I can really drive it But I will fix that last problem as soon as my job lets me, and the other complaints are small and easily forgiven when you are behind the wheel and having fun.

    This car is just a total kick to drive. I test drove other cars, including the new Infiniti G37. It was a night and day experience, and testing such disparate cars really helps you figure out what you want - a comfortable ride, with cool gadgets and a surrounding of some opulence, or a really fun, practical, engine- and drive-oriented experience. Not a bit $ difference between the two cars, but worlds apart in terms of what they are "about" as vehicles. Since I wanted to have a car that was total fun to drive, it was an easy choice. What about you?
    TomInLA.
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    Best of luck! Please, do keep us informed as you put on the miles.
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Good luck, keep us informed of all the gorey details as you break it in!

    -mike
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    rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Congrats—and as others have said, keep us posted as to what it's like to "live" with this car as a daily driver. Unfortunately that aspect is totally disregarded by most STI testers. Not everyone who buys one will "track it," so knowing what it like to take on trips and going to pick up the kids at soccer practice is just as important to many readers (me!).

    Bob
This discussion has been closed.