Last post on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM
You are in the Subaru Impreza
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Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Infiniti G35, Coupe, Sedan
#23 of 72 Long term reliability
Aug 03, 2006 (10:56 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 (1:19 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 (5:06 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 (5:51 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 (11:54 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 (6:38 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).
#29 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [rsholland]
Aug 16, 2006 (11:23 am)
I seem to recall at least one comparison review that put the Mazdaspeed 6 ahead of the Legacy GT and/or Spec. B (in fact, they all seem to say the Spec. B really isn't that different from the regular Legacy GT).
But as we know, one car magazine's opinion is not everybody's truth. If I took comparison reviews as gospel, I might have chosen the Evo over the STI (which I'm glad I didn't).
And unless anything bizarre happens it'll be at least a few years before I am car-shopping again, so who knows what will be on the market by that point. That's one nice thing about any technologically advanced toy -- you can usually count on it to get better over time.
I'm only afraid about styling at this point since a lot of the body styles now being released are making me nauseous...
#30 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [nightvzn]
Aug 16, 2006 (2:45 pm)
Just switching tires from the OEM ones on the STi can have a dramatic impact on ride comfort and noise levels. I found the OEM tires to be unbelievably harsh and noisy on the highway and switched to a set of Pirelli PZero Nero (M+S) tires that were a night and day difference. The Pirelli's traded a slight bit of the Potenza's turn-in response (which was razor sharp) for a huge gain in ride compliance and lower noise levels at all speeds. Luckily, there are a ton of people who love the OEM tires, so I had no trouble at all selling them online (for $100/ea) to partially offset the cost of the new Pirellis.
#31 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [bkaiser1]
Aug 16, 2006 (4:22 pm)
Interesting idea. I'll probably keep these tires until they wear out, but I've wondered about what I'll do at that point. Maybe even something sacrilegious like put all-season tires on. Or maybe a happy medium with some slightly less extreme summer tires, as you say.
It's really hard to find tire reviews in the magazines. The one time I did find a review made it abundantly clear why they're uncommon: it's a royal pain for the magazine to swap tires off a few tester cars over and over and over again.
Anybody know any good sites/publications for tire reviews?
#32 of 72 Re: 2006 Subaru STI vs. 2006 Infiniti G35 coupe [nightvzn]
Aug 18, 2006 (3:11 pm)
I'm sort of having the opposite problem. I got a new G35 sedan earlier this year. After 6 months of ownership, I am starting to wish I had gotten something else with a bit more edge, like a Legacy GT. The G35 is nice and refined, with advanced eletronics. But somehow I can't get excited looking at it or driving it. While the engine has good power in the mid range, I'm not impressed with the low end torque, especially when the A/C is on. The handling is too soft (non-sport), and the auto tranny does slow shifts. On top of that, the gas mileage is terrible. I test drove a Legacy GT last year, and the pull of the turbo felt great.