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Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Infiniti G35, Coupe, Sedan
#19 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [fsttrp]
Jul 21, 2006 (4:47 pm)
I am posting this as I am currently going through selling my 2005 G35 6MT and buying a real car a 2006 Subaru Sti. Let's put it this way the G35 has the wheelbase and curb weight of a Cadillac and drives like it as well. I sold out to the styling and perceived luxury of the Infiniti and regretted it every day since. With 111 rediculous inches of wheelbase the car turns in like a 70's sedan with body roll to follow and if the suspension is loaded and you hit a bump you better brace for a wicked rebound from the rear suspension as it upsets the entire car at critical moments. The car drives heavy and the steering responses are slow and artificial. The car lacks anything close to feedback and is not fun to drive. As for the luxury someone at Infiniti flunked Ergonomics 101 as after two years you still have to look at the buttons to handle the stereo and the climate controls (stupid, stupid, stupid) and it looks and feels more very Nissan in both quality and style, many notches below BMW, etc.
The motor which claims 298 BHP is reputed to be reliable and strong for a 6, but on the road the car is gutless and suffers is glutonous build and from a huge lack of usable torque. There's a good reason you don't often see 0-60's on this as its generally in the 6.3 second range and to get that you have to wind the stupid thing out all the way. The tranny is equally bad with poor feel and a rediculously low 1st gear. The clutch is pure garbage and is the worst I've felt in any quasi sports car. I won't even get started on the traction control system as it is more tuned for a minivan than a coupe and requires deactivation even on the mildest of drives. The brakes ok they're Brembos so the seem to work very well, but unfortunately when you slow this pig down it won't be able to get back up to speed so you are forced to roll (like a boat) through corners to try and carry momentum as again their is absolutely no usable torque to be found.
Alright enough the G35 is pitiful as a sports car if you have any knowledge of driving or any experience wheeling a real car. I guess if I wanted something to wow the neighbors, as most people think it a $40K car, I would be happy with my G.
The Suby on the other hand is a rocket 0-60 easily below 5, and yes there is a huge diffence in feel on the road as the Sti has a wide usable torque curve and pulls all throught the range. The suspension is rock solid and very predictable with go-kart like responsiveness. The short wheelbase allows immediate turn in and perfect responsiveness. The car is as good of a performer as one could ever hope for for under $40k.
As for the rest.... The G35 is so impractical its stupid. The car has pitiful wet weather traction, NO storage space, a moronic (and heavy) backseat, which made Nissan add 17 inches to the car over the Z and yes it matters and yes you can feel the difference, the trunk is tiny and with the raised rear floor and speaker boxes nearly unusable (trust me on this one). The finish and paint are both marginal as I am dealing with Inifinti on oxidation issues already. The Subaru is built solid with a near perfevct eye for quality. It has 4 doors and 4 usable seats (soemthing I normally never would care about, but with it it still kills the G in every performance catagory) and I can take my friends for the ride. The truck is large enough for my skis or bouldering pad so my 15 mpg Grand Cherokee can stay in the garage unlike with the G. The Suby takes a rack beautifully so I can also carry my kayak as I go through the mountain twisties, try that with a G.
Sure the Suby is a 4 door mini sedan and has blue seats. Unlike the G it doesn't pretend to be something its not and doesn't try to hide its inequities under a pretty face. In short if you want something pretty and your not looking for anything resembling an excititng drive or practical buy the G. If you want a quality, versitile, world class performer buy the Sti which I will be doing this week and smiling as I get that bloated hunk of G35 trach out of my garage.
#20 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [cmorgan33]
Jul 24, 2006 (10:28 am)
Make sure you take longer test drives, though I know it's hard to secure one in a sporty car like these.
I think the G35 is more of a GT in that sense, the long wheelbase being good for long interstate drives.
#21 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [cmorgan33]
Jul 25, 2006 (11:40 pm)
Wow, I have never heard a more ridiculous and obviously biased opinion. First of all, you talk about the "perceived luxury" of the G, and brag about the Subaru. Are you serious? I honestly have a hard time believing you actually wrote that with a straight face. I was recently a valet driver and I am here to tell that no "subie" I EVER got into was as nice and well put together as my G. Both the EVO and WRX put every dime of the purchase price into the performance aspects of the cars. My friend just bought an EVO and tested the WRX extensively, and he laughed at your post. "Neither one even came close to the finish of a Honda..." To argue that the interior on the Subaru is superior to the G is laughable.
As far as the usable torque, I drive my 06 to work everyday and it has gobs of torque. I dont have to shift nearly as much as the subaru because I dont have to get it into the turbo's effective band. If you expect to be yanked back in your seat with every application of the gas, then you must love shifting. For me, there is plenty power for passing, even at 60 mph in 6th gear. PS. Do you DRIVE to work, or RACE to work?
You blame the "Ergonomics" of the buttons because it has taken you two years to remember where the radio buttons are? If you could only hear me laughing. I need not say more... other than the buttons on my steering wheel work just fine, are "ergonomic," and it took me a week to remember their location.
Now, I will admit I have only driven 500 or so manual transmission cars as a valet (and when I say driven, you should know what I mean), so I won't profess to know anything about manuals. But, the G's transmission is one of the notchiest and most sure-feeling shifters I have ever rowed. Granted, it may not be as legendary as some others trannies, but I guarantee its as good as the Subaru ( although I admit I have not driven the most current WRX). My last impression of a Subaru tranny was, in a word, rubbery.
Lastly, yes, you are correct. The G coupe is no "mini sedan." And thank freaking god. If I wanted a sedan I would buy one. And not a dressed up Subaru Legacy with engine and transmission tweaks. Sounds like you traded in a real car for a boy racer. Good luck with that. Must be a big market for used, entry level sports "sedans." You know, BMW, LEXUS, ACURA, SUBARU...!?! Sorry, low blow.
#22 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [law06]
Jul 27, 2006 (11:32 am)
The interior of the original G35 is about where Nissans should be, OK but not really luxurious.
They spruce it up more and more each model year, so it's possible that he owned a first year model and the new ones are a lot nicer.
Having said that, the interior of the WRX is par at best, but that's not the point of the WRX. It's about bang for the buck.
#23 of 72 Long term reliability
Aug 03, 2006 (9:56 pm)
I know this is kinda off the whole topic of conversation but if someone is gonna be driving a lot of miles ... 20k or so in a year ... how would you guys rate the reliability of the STI?
#24 of 72 Re: Long term reliability [mpatil]
Aug 07, 2006 (12:19 pm)
At that rate I'd be more concerned about fuel costs, that's a lot of fuel and premium at that!
If you drive 20k, get a Prius!
Or maybe a Lexus GS hybrid, or Accord V6 hybrid, for the performance/economy balance.
The EJ257 has been near bullet-proof. The 6MT is also phenomenal, far-far-FAR better than the 5MT on the base WRX.
#25 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [fsttrp]
Aug 15, 2006 (4:06 pm)
I realize this was first posted almost a year ago, but the thread has continued, and recent events give me a perspective worth weighing in from...
I was drooling over the STI for about three years. Pretty much ever since it came out. That's around the time I ended up with a used 2000 Maxima GXE, which I drove until recently.
Sometime in the last three years, I discovered the G35 Coupe, which I've also drooled over since that time, although the AWD, 4 doors and usable back seat, and somewhat lower price of the STI always tipped the scales slightly.
Recently when I found out my Maxima's extremely-well-worn auto tranny was dying, I took the plunge and bought the STI.
My feelings so far are mixed. The power is, of course, amazing, and this car's ability to whip around corners is legendary. But the reason I never considered the Evo was that I preferred the STI's better interior and liveable demeanor (not to mention cruise control, which for me is a must), and now I find myself wondering if the STI is still too crude.
I never thought of my base-model Maxima as a luxury car, but I now realize I took its comfort and refinement for granted. Here are my main unpleasant discoveries about the STI:
There are several squeaks and rattles triggered by certain road surfaces. You might say "of course a dressed-up econo car with a super-stiff suspension is going to rattle." But it's not even rough roads that cause it; it's just certain surface textures, even on smooth roads. The worst one comes from the dashboard clock assembly. Another one seems to be in the leftmost air vent, and there are a few sporadic ones I haven't been able to locate yet. My Maxima NEVER rattled, and I don't appreciate it in a ~$35k car. I'm going to ask the dealer to look at this, but still, it's disheartening.
When running the air conditioner, the automatic climate control is bizarre. Rather than running at some moderate temperature (like every other car I've seen with auto climate control), it continually turns the compressor on and off, resulting in air that's alternately super-cold and lukewarm, and never particularly comfortable. My Maxima had manual HVAC controls, and I find that I miss that. This might be a defect; Motor Trend had the same problem with a long-term Legacy, and apparently many readers contributed advice. But the STI documentation says the system operates this way in auto mode. For me, it does in manual mode as well. Again, I'm going to ask the dealer to look at it, but either way, it's a hassle.
The sound system is weak, even with the optional subwoofer/amplifier. But it's 120 watts, so what do you expect? The thing is, this car has a lot of interior noise at highway speed (some wind, but especially the tires), and the sound system isn't powerful enough to make up for it; if you crank it up, it doesn't sound good; it just gets uncomfortably loud. As a rule, I hate the appearance and ergonomics of aftermarket head units, so I'll just have to live with it. I thought the subwoofer would help more. To be honest, I wish I could hear it without the subwoofer so I can see just how different it is.
These are the parts I wasn't expecting. I was expecting a stiff ride, expensive insurance, expensive (and short-life) tires, a downgrade from my Maxima in fuel efficiency, rear-window visibility issues (from the wing), and an altogether somewhat crude vehicle. I guess I'm not as tough as I thought, because those things are bothering me more than I anticipated. Although the squeaks/rattles, climate control fluctuations, and weak sound system probably aren't helping my overall impression.
Honestly I miss my Maxima, and I never thought I'd say that after getting behind the wheel of my long-time dream car.
I've come to realize that what I probably really wanted was a nice sporty GT, not a road rocket -- something with the comfort and refinement of my Maxima, but with better power and handling, and maybe some upscale features (navigation, bluetooth, power seats...). I'm pretty sure the G35 Coupe would have fit that bill better, and given me all the power and performance I wanted. But I was too hung up on the AWD, and ultimately, I gave in to my "car lust."
Say what you will about the G35 vs. other luxury brands, but it's obviously more luxurious than the Maxima, to say nothing of the STI. Gas mileage is better than the STI's, albeit slightly (18/24 vs. 18/26 -- in all fairness, my Maxima averaged 22-24, and the STI is averaging 20-22, so the smaller tank and rising gas prices make the difference seem bigger than it is). The G35 also has a kickass sound system, a lot more comfort, and probably no squeaks or rattles. I even miss the ultra-refined VQ engine family shared by my Maxima and the G35. The STI's 2.5 sounds great for a four-banger, but it's loud, rough, and angry.
I even find myself wondering if I would have been happier with the regular WRX (less abusive ride, better fuel efficiency, cheaper/quieter/longer-lasting tires, cheaper insurance, better-looking wheels IMHO, unimpeded rear visibility with the regular spoiler, moonroof and leather in Limited model, and cheaper overall, although still the same sound system and maybe the same squeaks/rattles), or just a newer used Maxima SE (the car of my dreams before the STI was the 2003 Maxima SE, but what Nissan did to it in 2004 killed my interest). The G35 would be an awesome sporty refined GT, but either the WRX or the Maxima SE would give a decent GT impersonation at a lower price.
The STI is damned good at what it does. It is an amazing machine. But the moral of this very long post is, know what you want from a car. The STI and G35 are both excellent performers, but my sense is that the STI is much more of a toy, and the G35 is something you can really live with, yet offers almost as much fun.
Having said that, I'm not about to give up on my new car. I'm still glad I took the STI over the Evo. I'm going to see the dealer about the climate control and the rattles. If they can't do anything about it, at least I can say I tried.
Also, the STI is my first manual transmission car. I've been driving stick off and on for 10 years, but this is the first one I've driven daily, and it's a rather unforgiving clutch if you're relatively inexperienced. Once I'm better with it, I'll probably be more comfortable behind the wheel, and my outlook may improve somewhat.
And I'll take pride (and have fun) knowing I have one of the most capable machines on the road. I'm just not exactly looking forward to my first long road trip!
But I've learned from this experience. Next time I buy a car, I'll probably put a little more emphasis on comfort/refinement. For some people, the uncompromising nature of the STI is perfect, but any potential buyer should definitely consider these issues.
#26 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [nightvzn]
Aug 15, 2006 (4:51 pm)
Welcome to the world of "buying down." It's happened to me a few times too.
The STI is a street brawler, plain and simple. If you want quiet and refinement, this is not the car for you. I think you would be much happier in a Legacy GT or a Spec. B, both of which are much nicer to "live" with.
#27 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [rsholland]
Aug 15, 2006 (10:54 pm)
Indeed ... I think I just underestimated my threshold for the crudeness of the machine. Although like I said, if it weren't for the unanticipated issues (squeaks/rattles, fluctuating climate control, weak sound system, and my own difficulty with mastering this particular clutch), I'd probably be somewhat happier.
You're right, the Legacy GT (or even Mazdaspeed 6) would also be decent alternatives. I didn't seriously consider those largely because they are midsized cars, and after three years with the Maxima, I wanted the handling advantages of something smaller. But it's too bad that with most car manufacturers, size has to correlate with refinement. (Even with the luxury brands, where "smaller" equals "entry-level.")
Plus the Legacy has the same lame 120 watts of audio power the Impreza has. And with any of those vehicles -- the WRX, Legacy GT, or Mazdaspeed 6, I'd be dealing with a turbocharged 4. After the Maxima (and my surprisingly quick little Buick Skylark before it), I like the torquey but dignified urgency of a powerful V6. Probably the G35 Coupe would have made me the happiest of all those choices (although I know it's bigger than it looks).
Not that the STI is lacking for torque. And I'll admit, there's something fun about punching the throttle and feeling it pull harder and harder as the RPM's climb. Quite a different experience from naturally aspirated V6's with all their grunt in the low end.
Oh well ... for however many years I own it, I will enjoy it for what it is.
#28 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [nightvzn]
Aug 16, 2006 (5:38 am)
I recently drove a MazdaSpeed6 at a Mazda Zoom-Zoom LIVE! event. It's a fun car, but I did notice some turbo lag. Also, I don't like the on-demand Haldex AWD as much as the Subaru's fulltime AWD. My pick would be the Legacy GT, or Spec. B if you want max handling—and now the '07 model has a 6-speed tranny. Both have less turbo lag, a better AWD (IMO).