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2008/09 Subaru Impreza STI

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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I tried another automatic car wash yesterday. Another scrape on the rims. Then when I was drying it off, I was able to see where the neighbors kid hit it with their metal leaf rake. It is 3 very slight scratches, but when clean are visible.

    I did get a good 6 hours yesterday driving through long winding country roads, 55 mph 2 lane blacktop. As I was ripping over some rough roads, hitting potholes around corners, etc I was thankful for the softer suspension. It was very comfortable driving around. I could have done all day, except I only got a 6 hour pass.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I should test drive one.

    Then again, maybe I shouldn't! :D

    Need to replace the Miata with another city car, eventually.
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    Frankly I'd shell out the extra green for the STi, with all the better hardware. Hated the feel of the Rex five-speed shifter. The STi six-speed with the short throw shifter alone nearly justifies the price diff.

    Also prefer the exterior of the STi but then neither car is likely to be purchased for its strikingly good looks. It's remarkable that the STi has the most recent fashion conceit, tail light LEDS, yet manages to make them look like retro parts bin leftovers from the days of disco. Hey, but this is a Subie!

    Anyhow, the STi I drove had five miles on it and since it was a "green" engine (and city traffic), I didn't really get it on. But with only about 20 minutes of seat time in either car I couldn't make up my mind about how life would be six months down the road with either of them.

    Anyone here have some feed back about what life's like living with an STi after the honey moon? Does the sucky gas mileage make for regrets?
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    davekatzdavekatz Member Posts: 4
    I learned how to drive stick on my 2008 STI. No regrets except for leaving the dealership wondering WTF did I just do in rush hour traffic. The poor car . . . It makes driving a pleasure and road trips along windy roads an excuse to party.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I am still in the honeymoon phase with my '08 STI, 2500 miles, 2.5 months. However I can tell you it is an absolute dream to drive. It is smooth over bumpy roads, a good daily driver, plenty of room and it can go like anything. It isn't the scalpel that reviews call the mitsu...around town, it can drive nice and smooth and in my opinion have a very good ride, it can also hold hard corners and handle the broken surfaces of real roads. I am still in the honeymoon phase though. The really cheap plastic interior has me concerned. I am waiting to pull one of the door handles off while I climb in. I figure that subaru as a good track record and it will probably last. I hope that I will appreciate its cheapness long term as it may handle abuse better.

    The mileage doesn't bother me. I am getting about 17 mpg around town. If you are concerned about cost, if you live anywhere that has winter, you will need new tires. I wasn't quite sure until driving today in sub-50 degree weather. I was able to get the car to get loose. It wasn't anything terrible and the car handled great through it, but it was a curvy road that I have gone faster on with no slippage.

    I am planning on getting either the bridgestone potenza's or one of the michelin pilot series. I will probably have to spilt the cost of tires and rims up...get new tires, put them on the stock rims now, then get rims in the spring and put these summer tires on them. About the same $$$ but at least it is broken up.
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    About those tires... I live in NE Ohio and it's a given that ya gotta have two sets of wheels. While I would be fine with just one set running UHP all-seasons, I would still have to pay for the rubber swap so it just seems better in the big picture to go with eight wheels.

    My sister has an old Subie Forester and the interior seems to have held up as good as one would expect. It seems that the tactile feel or look of the interior materials doesn't necessarily imply poor durability.

    Anyhow, thanks guys for the feedback. I did email a local dealer saying that I would go for a dark grey STi at a previously agreed upon price & trade. I'll be waiting to see if he throws me a fish :P
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    merrycynicmerrycynic Member Posts: 340
    Now that the WRX seems to have been suitably improved to the point where it's actually competing with the STi, it seems inevitable that the the STi will soon be getting improvements too. What will they be?
    320+ HP?
    Paddle shifters?
    Direct injection?
    Active all-wheel drive?
    Sunroof?
    Ceramic brakes?
    ???
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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    I'd bet on direct injection.. if Subaru can get it finished in time for the 2010 new model season. That would likely help achieve your hp guess and improve the STi's rotten gas mileage. The only other item that seems better than 50/50 is a sunroof.

    My local dealer can't find a dark grey '09 STi, which is pretty much what I intend to hold out for.

    Interestingly, as I was talking with the sales guy, my radio was on. And it was an interview with the former head of the CIA, James Woolsey. He's an unrepentant neocon. He drives a Prius and he was discussing all the ramifications of our heavy oil dependence. If you agree with his point of view on energy, which I do, it tends to result in a degree of internal conflict as the STi isn't exactly the most earth-friendly choice :P But that's another subject, eh?
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    Subaru is running huge volume-based cash bonus for '08 STIs AND 0% financing. Firt time ever. So I decided for about $5.5K off the sticker and no interest, I will look at it. We had a little back and forth about my '03 WRX, but came to an agreement. So I have a new red STI sitting in my garage today :D . The car - wow... Still learning it. It's practially sick - but the civilized factor is also good for me. Suspension slighlty firmer than my old WRX, but not terribly stiff - you still can take 500 mile trip and walk straigh line after that.

    Never thought I would buy one. I was getting ready to jump the ship and go to Germans (mostly for refinement - I really was not craving for that power). But, hey - for 15 grand difference I can change my mind...

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    byronwalterbyronwalter Member Posts: 220
    That's a great deal and I certainly understand why you jumped on that. I've checked out NE Ohio and apparently there aren't any high-volume dealers around here so there aren't any of those super deals on '08's.

    That suckth mightily since there are a bunch of '08's hanging around on dealer lots. But, so it seems, there's a negligible price diff between an '08 and '09.

    Good luck with your new STi and watch your 'six' :)
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    josswjossw Member Posts: 9
    Here is Southern California dealers are offering $8,000 off all 2008 STIs. This CAN be combined with 0% APR for 63 months. Call Shaver Subaru and ask for the internet manager. Good luck.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Congrats. Great time for bargain hunting.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    There isn't a lot of traffic on this board...but I thought I would update any of the old faithful's listening...I got my new tires this week. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus. I am getting them installed on the stock rims this week. I am going to wait until the spring to decide if I want to get the stock tires installed on new rims to use for summer time...or if I will just run these new ones year round.

    I really enjoy driving this car, but the summer tires have become very hard and not too grippy in the cold weather. They get me through...but if it is wet and cold I can get the wheels loose very easily. They would get me through the winter I think...I think they are better than some of the really cheap and worn tires you see on old beaters...but I want to continue to enjoy driving my STI all winter.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    Wow...I only have about 30 miles on the new michelins, but what a difference. I am seriously wondering if I will ever want to put the dunlops back on...maybe to only burn them up at a track.

    My initial impressions. The car seems lighter, there is less tire drag. I am not an expert and even sure I understand it completely, but the understeer seems to be completely gone. No more having to cut it too hard and then let off, back and forth around corners (ie constantly adjusting it through hard corners), it just goes where I am pointing it now.

    Of course I only have an brief afternoon on them and the Firestone place put 29 PSI in all the tires which set off the tire pressure warning light when the temp dropped another 10 degrees after dark. After pumping them up to 34 psi, the do seem stiffer and slightly harder, but the lightness feeling and cornering improvement is still there.

    Time will tell...but I am super psyched.

    I also had my first oil change at 3300 miles with synthetic.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    So the understeer is still there from what I can tell...but significantly improved. When I would correct with the Dunlop's the car would pull too far in and I would have to adjust back and forth under hard cornering. The Michelins I have had to correct for understeer a couple of times...but not it feels like it is just a turn a little bit more event vs. turn a little bit more, pull in to hard, go back out, etc.

    Still way psyched about the new rubber. This is all preliminary since I am still at under 100 miles. I figure if I post enough here, I might spur some action and I won't have to join IWSTI.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    Tried them out on a really windy uphill road yesterday, 39 degrees and wet. At the "slippery when when sign" around the tightest turn I really got on it. No slip. I am sure I could have broken it loose if I really tried hard, but the performance and grip was exactly why I bought these.

    Still trying to not to have to join iwsti.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I just got an '08 STi and have the same issues with needing AS tires- am looking at Bridgestones RE960s- have heard some good things about them. I too may buy a set of wheels to mount the summer tires on and put the AS tires on the stock wheels since I wasn't able to get the BBS wheels.

    Any issues you've had so far with your car? I love mine! I don't think there's anything out there that's as practical and with the same performance. I'm guessing some mild suspension tuning can fix the understeer issues but to be honest I don't think it makes a difference in my daily commute.

    I would like to put it on a track for fun so maybe then I'll consider some suspension mods. :D

    tom
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    The cargo cover was rattling and popping which was really annoying. I heard on other boards it can't be fixed. I asked my dealer for a replacement, got it for free and have not heard any noises yet.

    I have noticed in the cold weather that the auto temperature isn't so great...it either blows too hot or too cold, it never seems to equalize. I need to put the fan on manual setting it to low to keep the cabin at the right temperature.

    No real issues. It runs great. I only have 3400 miles on it...got the oil changed with synthetic when I had the tires put on.

    With 200 miles on my new setup...The understeer is a lot better with the new tires. If I were you I would consider getting new tires on new rims and just selling the stock setup. I am somewhat apathetic on selling things and think I will be taking it to the track, so I think I will get affordable track rims for the stock tires and burn them up...but I don't think I need summer/winter tires with my new all seasons, other than track work.

    The stock rims are heavy and I wonder if I would see even better performance if my new tires were on lighter (and better) rims.

    Yes...I really enjoy it. Perhaps if I had an M3 to compare it to, I might be as critical as the things I read on the web...but I can drive it all day. It handles great, oodles of power and very practical from an everyday usage perspective.

    I got the stock radio...the radio really stinks...but I just listen to either my ipod or mp3 disks and I find the sound to actually be pretty good in that configuration. The radio sound though is miserable at best.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    Cool thanks for the input. I guess we'll see how the rattles do after some more miles!

    I'm going to put AS tires on the stock heavy rims and probably get a set of lighter rims for the summer tires. Maybe consider changing out the rear sway bar too.

    I agree with you, most of the time I'm sure AS tires will be fine for daily use, but the sticky summer rubber is nice too!

    tom
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    dfwhondadfwhonda Member Posts: 45
    Does anyone know if Southern California Subaru dealers are still offering $8k off '08 STIs? From a quick search, I'm having trouble confirming that this offer is still valid. I don't live there, but for $8k off the price of an '08 STI, it may be worth trying to determine how to get a car from California to where I live if the dealers here aren't offering anything special other than 0% financing. Thanks.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    My dealer told me the deal was good through the end of December, the problem being that they were out of cars. Mine may have been one of the last ones sold in WA, and they had to get my car from OR.

    Don't know where you live but some of the bigger dealers like mine went and bought out STis from smaller dealers- I'd call around and see.

    Good luck!

    tom
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    May be joining you guys. Pontiac dealers are not being humble about the fact that they are on the chopping block on the G8GT, so looks like it's STi for me....

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    Great Mike! Hopefully you can get a great deal on one!

    It's freezing with snow to come here in Seattle so I just had some all weather tires installed yesterday. A little quieter and smoother than the summer tires, and for everyday driving I'm sure they'll be just fine.

    Mike, any ideas on reasonably priced lightweight wheels for the STi? I'm planning to get a new set for the summer tires.

    tom
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    paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I haven't looked that far into things yet but I'm sure that over the next few months we'll be able to hone in on some good wheels for ourselves. :)

    You know me I have to tinker and fiddle with things to get them tweeked out so if this plan works out look for lots of little tidbits on the car.

    I just received my order from Turninconcepts with all my whiteline bushings sway bars, group N mounts and shifter bushings for the 05 LGT so I'm sure that some of those improvements will also be put on the STi when/if I get it.

    -mike
    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    You know me I have to tinker and fiddle with things to get them tweeked out so if this plan works out look for lots of little tidbits on the car.

    Looking forward to your thoughts Mike- the car is good but I'm sure with a little tweaking it can be better!

    tom
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    1daniel11daniel1 Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone purchased a NEW 2099 WRX (non STI) and can share what he paid for a standard or premium one? Thanks!
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    rascal99rascal99 Member Posts: 54
    "Has anyone purchased a NEW 2099 WRX (non STI) and can share what he paid for a standard or premium one?"

    The 2099's are not out yet. Sorry, couldn't resist :)

    I too am mostly interested in the '09 WRX prices. Thanks for any input.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    Hi

    You might want to post in this thread:

    Subaru Impreza & Impreza WRX STI: Prices Paid & Buying Experience

    This thread is STi specific whereas the above thread is for all imprezas.

    Good luck- they're wonderful cars! I can't imagine what they'll be like in 2099! ;)

    tom
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm hoping by then it makes 1000hp and runs on H2O by extracting the hydrogen and using the water to spray the intercooler to make even more power. :shades:

    Bad news? Inflation has brought the price up to $124,999.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I'm guessing 1000hp is conservative considering how much hp cars had 100 years ago! You're probably right about pricing though.

    Aren't cars going to fly and have time travel capability? Mr. Fusion?

    I guess we'll just have to wait Juice! ;)
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    But many of the very reasons they hated it were exactly ones I like mine, so it very much is kind of eye of the beholder. One thing I have to admit - I would never pay anything close to the full price - and the car was a compromise to me due to their "No manual GT Wagon for you" policy. I got it with with VIP, 2500 cash AND 0% 60 mo financing.

    Without that no way I would get it. And mine doesn't have a fluff of the BBS wheels or Nav - just plain base one. At that time it was just a couple of grand or less from what I would have paid for '09 WRX Premium, even with VIP deal and not counting in financing discount.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It's supposed to be a polarizing car. I don't think there's anything wrong with their hating it - Subaru did not make the compromises Edmunds editors' would have liked to see to make it a cushy daily driver.

    Owners are willing to make that sacrifice.

    Heck, 2008 base WRX owners complained it had lost its edge and was too refined.
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    Read it again, Juice ;) . Their complaints were exactly opposite, - too many compromises. They hated it because it wasn't hardcore enough for them, they kept repeating how much better Evo was as a rally-bred car. Read also their long-term article, it explains their mindset even better.

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I stopped reading the blogs when work got a lot busier for me. ;)
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I love my STI. Edmunds has a lot of complaints about it that are valid...but other cars that might even be worse don't get the same scrutiny because there is no evo to compare against it. I got a great price at the time and after about 6K miles still enjoy taking it out everyday.

    The comments about it being a bad road trip vehicle are not accurate in my opinion. Sure, it is smaller than an SUV, but it still has plenty of room to pack away family gear, have the kids watch videos in the back and the highway ride is pretty good. I have done close to 5-6 hours in the seats and they are extremely comfortable. I did change out the summer tires for Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus, so perhaps that has made the ride even better for me.

    Perhaps my satisfaction comes from the fact that I don't have an evo to drive to compare...so I am left with nothing but the fun parts of the STI and cannot complain about how it handles, the cornering, etc.

    I have been reading a little bit about driving techniques on a competitor forum...and addressing the body roll before the corner by breaking hard and accelerating through makes a huge handling difference. Once the initial weight transfer is complete, it smokes through corners and even handles switch-backs easily.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I stopped reading the blogs when I could see there was no changing the editor's sense of the car. It's an extremely capable car that you can drive comfortably everyday. You could do that in the Evo but where I live you'd need back surgery after a year! Some minor mods to the suspension tighten the car up significantly for those that want to feel like they're driving a skateboard.

    Oh well, it's good that the test is over. Send that poor STi to an owner that will appreciate it!

    tom
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I don't really fit in the Evo's Recaros, so I can't even test drive one.
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    kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 240,775
    I couldn't fit in the old STi, either... I didn't think my butt was that wide, but it's like I was perched on the bolsters...

    The new model, no problem.. :)

    Edmunds Price Checker
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    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

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    stivt1962stivt1962 Member Posts: 2
    I have 10K on my '08 STi. I bought it for about the same price as a regular WRX. Have no regrets - car is amazing and still a great Daily Driver and family hauler.

    To get the performance and mileage you'd expect, buying a catted Downpipe and doing a Cobb Tune is critical, easy and not very expensive. With that, and sway bars, the car is still a great daily driver but incredibly rewarding to drive. It is tame around town, but a monster when you open it up. The low and midrange come to life. Complaints about it being soft on the track don't translate to the rough streets, especially with the sway bars, since some give keeps the car stable in rough terrain in corners. The car is designed to be stable in rough terrain, not to maximize G's on the track. Reviewers seem to miss that real world reality. Plus, we all tend to modify the car anyway.

    This car, with those 'light' mods is highly recommended. I liked the Mitsu a lot too, but not as a daily driver. The Subie is more versatile and has a nicer interior, the Mitsu is better on the track - especially when both are in stock form. The choice then is more about preference and what you're going to use the car for primarily. I don't think one is "better" than the other.

    The WRX (non STi) is a bargain though - were it not for the discount, I would have gone for that. My only disappointment with the car is that my previous WRX with mods got 30 MPG average much of the time - mileage with this is 6 MPG lower in same conditions. Subaru should consider direct injection to boost mileage, and perhaps work on aerodynamics.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I agree about the fit. I have test drove these over the years and I would sit in the older models and be shoulder to shoulder with the passenger. This was true for every subaru actually, we were very close to getting a LL Bean Edition wagon in 2001 but I rubbed shoulders with the salesguy sitting next to me.

    I actually test drove the 2008 for fun on a vacation day with a friend...while I needed a new car, the STI wasn't really on the list (the GX35 was the leading contender)...I sat in the car with my friend and my immediate thought was...Hey, I actually fit in this thing.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I was able to fit 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 scooters, 2 helmets, 2 baseball gloves, a ball, 4 clothing bags, camera bag, CB radio, flashlight, dvd player, laptop and a ton of personal crap easily.

    While the car is loud, it is a pleasure to drive. I can drive the STI all day long. I drive an '02 MDX on most road trips and I found this more comfortable to drive. The MDX is absolutely fabulous, don't get me wrong...it might be the best road trip vehicle I have ever driven in...but as a driver, the STI is super comfortable, powerful and fun to drive.

    Instant passing by dropping it to 5 is nice. Edmunds mentioned how they missed a gear in the hill race course...the car naturally downshifts 5 to 4. So 5 to 6 you need to remember to push the shifter out. The downshifting is great when coming off a highway from 70 to 25 around a corner. I find the downshift so great that I don't mind having to remember to push out while shifting up.

    It is quite fun driving a racecar packed up for a road trip. I was thinking about how a 911 would look with the same amount of stuff in it plus 4 people. In addition to how fast and cool the STI is...Its overall practicality is what makes it work for me.
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    The only real complaint I can make about my STI is that when it is raining...the side mirrors aren't the greatest. I don't mind the lack of power seats, but heated/defrosting mirrors would help.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    Actually, I hate the plastic dash as well- I wish they would have spent $50 more and put in a soft touch dash, but oh well.

    I wish I had heated mirrors- you'd think that would be standard on a Subaru!

    tom
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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    Everyone who rides in the car likes the interior a lot. I agree though, I think it is cheap. I find it scratches easily.
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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Well, yes, but...the STI even has summer tires. It's not the best Subaru for winter.
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    davekatzdavekatz Member Posts: 4
    The 08 STI in snow is a dream and my snow wheels stare longingly at me everytime I walk into the garage. Roar of the engine and all that becomes audible . . . I played all winter with a set of aggressive wheels (Nokian Hakkapeliitta) and locked differential. The windy roads varied from hard packed powder to about 6-8 inches deep powder and always on a slope. Average speed varied from 35 to 65 mph. I still remember thinking after the first run through the backcountry "Damn this is more fun than snowboarding through backcountry powder!" Half a tank later I reluctantly started up the trail head.
    I don't necessarily recommend sliding on all fours around snowy corners between 3500-6000 rpm but the car almost drives itself. It really feels like the engineers designed it specifically for these conditions.
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    tsytsy Member Posts: 1,551
    I switched to all seasons for the winter for the 4 days the whole winter it snows here in Seattle. It did great with all seasons so it must be a lot of fun with snow tires! It is an amazing AWD system in this car!
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    dino001dino001 Member Posts: 6,188
    Car drives great. Gas mileage sucks, but nobody buys this car to get a good gas mileage. Unfortunately, hard plastic dash and trim are showing their uggly side :cry: . The car rattles, creaks and knocks! I identified some four or five distinct sounds coming from the trim :sick: Of course all are intermittent so good luck getting them fixed :cry: . So far dealer fixed one. Today another one became semi-permanent: about 16 out of 19 miles of my morning commute I had the privilidge to listen my dashboard "ticking". :cry:

    It is definitely worse than my previous then-called "cheap" WRX from '03. Wasn't this generation supposed to be "refined"? Refined my foot. Cheap hard plastic...

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

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    sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I upgraded the stock tires to Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus. The car performed very well in the snow witrh these. I read about how bad it was with the stock dunlop summer tires.

    I was considering a second set of rims for the dunlops to have a summer set...however the Michelins seem great so far. I haven't seen any HOT weather, but on normal dry days, they stick on the road more than I drive.

    I am not sure what to do with the dunlops. I have about 1000 miles on the stock tires...I don't think I could even get $400 for them.
This discussion has been closed.