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Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Subaru Impreza, Future Vehicle, Sedan
#936 of 1480 Went yesterday to see it
Sep 23, 2007 (6:38 pm)
Local salesman called me about GTP, checking if I wanted something. I told him I didn't plan to, but "since you called..." . So I went yesterady and drove new WRX. Of course this dealeship is so fussy about driving any turbos that I can see why they can't sell too many, but it's another issue. All I could see was oboviously increadible pickup at lower gears. Hard to gage an actual turbo lag, but it probably was small. Suspension and steering feedback feels OK, but I'd rather have mine.
But the rest, hm... How to put it mildly. Oh, I know - the word is "unimpressive". The "sebring" grill is not as horrible as on pictures, rear clear lights are. Beauty it is not - that's for sure. Interior is a few years behind - AGAIN. It's a freaking new model and it looks old already . Radio looks like built in 1998, climate control dials are recycled from '05+ (or at least similar), color scheme is depressing. It would be a blast on my 2003, but in 2007 it is just sad. I don't get it - they obviously know how to do nice interiors (Outback, Tribeca) - so why oh why would that get us such a bore - AGAIN?
The car simply doesn't deliver. It may be fine for what it wants to be, although I doubt it will stay at the sticker for very long. It is just not for me - I want more - not in horsepower - I want more features and I want nicer interior. A3 or MS3 are coming in mind for this class. Not enough features, not enough size, not enough refinement and styling -well, we already said what we think.
So - compared to my '03 it certainly is and improvement, but even 2.5 grand GTP overallowance on my trade did not make me think (let alone make) a switch. I admit, large part of it had less to do with the actual vehicle, as I simply am not very thrilled about idea of an Impreza-sized car for my replacement. However, with Legacy gone and Outback being too far off what I look for, it was next almost last hope for Subaru to sell me something. The hope is nearly gone. Never say never, but if couple of grand can't sway me, I don't know what can. STI, perhaps? Resurection of Legacy wagon? Real Ltd. trim on WRX? Who knows. I a tree fell on my car today and I had buy a new car now, Subaru has no vehicle for me.
#937 of 1480 300 mile review
Sep 23, 2007 (7:12 pm)
I don't know, but with the satellite navigation and full climate control it feels as good or better than my friend's BMW (without the GPS). Sure, mine is missing the Bluetooth mic and maybe the remote engine start, but probably these could be fixed.
I think the A3 is more expensive for the same features and MS3 is not AWD. I also think Subie has higher ground clearance - better when driving through some mountain roads.
My review after a couple more miles...
Driving experience: awesome
Fuel economy: 17.7mpg in the first 280 miles (mostly in the city), about 26mpg in the recent 40 miles mostly on highway
Driver's mirror remote is far away under the steering wheel (to make place for the bottle holder?)
Can't raise the passanger's seat, so my wife can barely look out the window when I'm driving
Looks like Mazdaspeed 3
Missing Bluetooth mic (maybe could be added as accessory some day?)
Missing remote engine start (could be added as accessory today?)
The navigation system seems to react slowly at times when you tab the screen/press buttons or even sometimes seems to hang
The navigation system is setup to not allow typing in addresses (or watching movies?) while driving
The navigation system is missing plenty of important places around here (IKEA and the nearest Whole Foods from what I noticed already)
Has more power than You need - result - less mpg, requires a feather foot (you won't even notice when you are well above the speed limit with a lead one)
Great improvements (over my '05 Impreza Outback):
Bottle holders and wide pockets in the doors
Pockets in the backs of the front seats
More space in the (hatch)back
Looks great in Lightning Red (the dark grey I test drove looked nice too and so does the black on the pictures)
Looks better IMHO than MS3 - not worse than a BMW
The navigation system is great even despite some quirks - has a lot of popular local locations
The climate control works great
Power and audio connectors for the Zune under the armrest
Front seats are more comfortable
I like the new interior
Will think of adding more stuff later...
#938 of 1480 Re: 300 mile review [xyzzer]
Sep 23, 2007 (10:08 pm)
Good news for you and others with the nav/sat pkg!
Bluetooth will be available as an accessory add-on. Search the News & Rumors forum of NASIOC.com for the thread about it. You can also IM "crazywrxdriver" (he's the Internet salesman at a Subaru dealer on the east coast) through AOL Instant Messenger for more information.
#939 of 1480 MY2008 oil change interval - turbocharged Subarus
Sep 23, 2007 (10:11 pm)
I apologize in advance if this is old news to most of you.
FYI: Subaru changed their recommended (normal) oil change interval from 7,500 miles to 3,750 miles for all MY2008 Subaru vehicles with turbocharged engines.
#940 of 1480 Mineral vs. Synthetic
Sep 24, 2007 (12:45 am)
Isn't that because of the type of oil used?
Anyways, I was using mineral oil for my '05 Impreza and was changing the oil every 3k miles. Once I did that after 4k miles after a long trip to Yellowstone - the oil level turned out to be close to E and the engine started getting hot. This is the time when I started thinking more seriously of getting a new car and finally ended with the new WRX.
My dealer provides free oil and filter changes every about 3750 miles, which looks like a great deal, but I might need to check with them if they could do that with a synthetic oil as well - maybe if I bring my own oil?
I have done some research and there are plenty of different opinions here, but I am leaning towards switching to synthetic oil after the initial break-in period of the engine.
Oil - Synthetic vs. Mineral
There are pros and cons of either of these. Mineral oil is cheaper and should be changed more often - every 3k miles in general. It seems like it breaks down quicker than the synthetic - hence the frequent changes, but that can also be good for a general consumer, since it makes you change the filter and maintain the proper level of oil to keep the engine running. It is also better for the initial break-in of the engine, because it does not protect from wear so well, where wear is important to do the break-in and since the manual recommends 1000miles for the break-in on the WRX - I will not do the switch before that. After then - I might just do that.
Some people suggest that moving back to mineral from synthetic is bad, but some sources claim that it is how it was in the past and now there is no problem switching back and forth. Synthetic oil might be leaking in theory if it turns out the engine is not broken-in well. It is also more expensive.
On the other side - it lubricates better, improving fuel economy, power and engine life. It breaks down harder, so it is better for performance driving and lasts longer, compensating for the price. The only catch is even if you decide to change it less often than the regular mineral oil (in theory some synthetic oils should last for 15k miles) - you should still be careful about the level and cleanliness of the oil at least as often as you would change the mineral oil. I figure it is worth the try. I think it was also used more often than the mineral one back in Europe...
Now, which one to choose?
#941 of 1480 Re: Mineral vs. Synthetic [xyzzer]
Sep 24, 2007 (4:27 am)
Rest of the developed world pretty much departed from mineral oils completely. Tha maintenance recommendations are synthetic even for vehicles like Corolla, or Focus, let alone WRX. Admittedly, their intervals are 15 to even 30 thousand km. High-performance engines (like WRX): NOBODY would even think there that your could use mineral oil. They would cut the interval on them, probably to 10K km, or so. I don't have any booklet, but it could be checked. General trend is rare but thorough and putting good stuff. And don't think our driving conditions are worse than theirs.
I really don't get it, why Subaru of America is not mirroring these policies here. Is it because nobody would follow them, or dealers would put mineral oil anyway (I heard of such instances on other brands), or what?
#942 of 1480 Re: 300 mile review [xyzzer]
Sep 24, 2007 (7:13 am)
Thanks for the detailed review!
I am almost ready to pull the trigger on a 5-door WRX, but the in town mileage is a little scary. Does your commute have alot of red lights or stop signs? My previous 06 Mini Cooper S was getting 25-26 mpg in the city.
#943 of 1480 Re: 300 mile review [rphillips2]
Sep 24, 2007 (8:12 am)
I think the initial mpg had a lot to do with the break-in period. The traffic around here is horrible and my morning commute is usually less than a mile, which adds up to a really low mpg, especially with my foot (lead at times), but that depends on the driver and location a lot. I believe the city mpg will increase the next time anyways. In my '05 Impreza Outback I was getting around 20mpg in the city.
#944 of 1480 Offroad: WRX vs Outback?
Sep 24, 2007 (9:42 am)
I just read in the manual of my new WRX, that all models except OUTBACK are not supposed to be driven offroad.
Now why is that? And do they mean Impreza Outback, or the regular Outback? What makes the difference? Why would they put info on the regular Outback in the WRX manual?
'05 I.O.: 6.3inch
Does not seem like a big difference (0.2inch) between the two Impreza models - maybe they mean the regular one? 2.5inch makes the difference.
Is the Outback or Impreza Outback more sturdy than the WRX? I guess Outback is longer and that could make it worse, but differences in the construction might be the issue here. I do not think there would be a difference between WRX and I.O. here. Unless the I.O. has better water sealing and the WRX with its turbo is more fragile here?
Now the manual says "Do not drive on rough roads or over curbs in a vehicle that has 17 inch or other ultra-low-profile tires". That is exactly what all new Imprezas seem to carry, but so does the Outback (albeit a bit different 17 inch...). The manual also states that tire chains cannot be used on P205/50R17 tires (because of lack of tire/fender clearance) and this is what is carried by both the Impreza models. I have bought the chains for the old Impreza Outback, but have never used them. I wonder if it was right to use it back then or if I could use them now...
Probably they are just protecting themselves. Of course the Outbacks might be a little bit better suited for rough roads, but the difference does not seem significant.
Now I have driven the '05 Impreza Outback through some rough country roads in Oregon and through some shallow streams without any issues. I guess my new WRX could do as well, but still I am a bit afraid. The 0.4 inch difference might not be much alone, but together with the longer wheelbase (105.1 vs. 99.4) I might just get stuck in places where previously I just made it...
Seems like the new care might be just a bit more civilized than the old barbarian...
#945 of 1480 Re: 300 mile review [xyzzer]
Sep 24, 2007 (9:55 am)
Hmmm... forgot to add that I like the additional airbags in the new WRX...