Bought 2016 WRX - Initial Impressions After 150 mi

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Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Gearbox - It feels just fine to me. I've read where others have said it's notchy, isn't as slick as an S2000, etc. (Really, what car's gearbox does equal an S2000?) I don't know...I've never driven an S2000 - apparently it's the standard for slick shifting. All I know is, this one feels good - a little notchy, but it is still new. Maybe I'll get a short-throw and switch to some aftermarket brass bushings one day. For now, I'll enjoy it just how it is. Gearing itself is pretty short - especially 1st and 6th. I feel that both 1st and 6th could have been made taller. Especially 6th. My normal cruise speed on the interstate is 79 mph, which equates to right about 2900-3000 RPM. It wouldn't bother me any if that 6th gear allowed more like around 2500 RPM at 80 mph.
My personal experience with 1998 Miata and 2004 S2000 I must give Miata's gearbox a slight edge above S2000, mainly because Miata has about 1/2"-3/4" shorter throw on all gears. The AP2 S2000 is around 4400-4500 at 80 MPH in 6th, about 50% higher RPM than your WRX. The reason that Honda and Subaru has shorter gears and final drive ratio is for performance, not MPG. I bet that your WRX can accelerate in 6th at 70 MPH to 80-100 MPH fairly quick without a need to shift down to 5th or 4th. Yes, for faster acceleration rate you need to down shift.
 
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john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: Rand
Around here statefarm beats travelers insurance by 10% or so.
I got a quote from a local State Farm office here, and they were nowhere close. That surprised me, as they've been known for being one of the cheapest.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: HTSS_TR
The reason that Honda and Subaru has shorter gears and final drive ratio is for performance, not MPG. I bet that your WRX can accelerate in 6th at 70 MPH to 80-100 MPH fairly quick without a need to shift down to 5th or 4th. Yes, for faster acceleration rate you need to down shift.
Yes, it does. 6th gear at highway speeds of 70-80 mph puts it around 2500-3000 RPM - squarely in the middle of boost.
 

JTK

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Great looking Soob John! You got yourself an outstanding deal too. I would imagine that WRX will be bit more costly to insure than the rest of the Subaru line. I know my Legacy, XV Crosstrek and now Forester were pretty cheap to insure.
 
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Thanks for the post -- glad you like the car. Reminds me of how excited I was when I got mine in 2011 smile Insurance sounds reasonable to me. When I switched from a Civic coupe to my WRX my insurance actually went down (somewhat substantially, IIRC). Go figure.
 

emg

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Originally Posted By: Virtus_Probi
At least you don't have to deal with the CVT lag, most FXT drivers blame the tranny for their cars not launching particularly well...and, rumor is the WRX CVT has much less lag.
CVT WRX has a launch control mode, and the FXT doesn't. So the CVT WRX is only slightly slower at 0-60 than the manual... I believe acceleration drops off quite a bit over 100, though.
 
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The oversights would bother me too. I wouldn't back out over it but I would have attempted to get the price knocked down more. I know someone who walked on salesman when the car was "detailed" and stickered up against his request.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: JTK
Great looking Soob John! You got yourself an outstanding deal too. I would imagine that WRX will be bit more costly to insure than the rest of the Subaru line. I know my Legacy, XV Crosstrek and now Forester were pretty cheap to insure.
Thank you, sir! Happy to be a new member of the Subaru family. I've always been intrigued by the cars, as they've historically been just a little different from everything else on the road. Like their designers just March to the beat of a different drum. Somewhat surprisingly, they've stuck to the boxer engine philosophy and AWD (though the RWD BR-Z did make it to market), and that's exactly what attracts me to the brand. I tend to like simplicity in a car. And this car definitely has some complexities and quirks that will take more time and effort to service, in the future (boxer engine, turbo, AWD, GDI). But, the bang for the buck and cool factor of the car (even though the best, most Japanese, most-Subaru-esque styling, to me, graced the 2005-model-era cars) outweighed those things, for me. Anyway, it will be an interesting, and hopefully not too expensive, of an experiment for me over the next few years, to see how the car holds up.
 
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Enjoy. Except average to maybe slightly above average reliability. I have had two turbo subarus and 2004 wrx over 90k/7 years was flawless. Our 05 legacy gt has been slightly below average in reliability. There is complexity in boxer in terms of certain servicing like hard to get at spark plugs, difficult valve cover gasket replacement near turbo, and valve job at 170k required engine removal. The turbos interesting I found are flawless and only care for us is changing oil every 4K with conventional. I feel like they are still one of the few mechanical feeling cars in a good way left although it's tamer now. Enjoy!
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Looks very nice, I'm not too crazy about dark colored wheels.
You know, I'm the same way. But these look a bit better in person. Not saying they're the best looking wheels in the world or anything, but I think it's kinda cool that they're the same color as the car.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: Gasbuggy
The oversights would bother me too. I wouldn't back out over it but I would have attempted to get the price knocked down more. I know someone who walked on salesman when the car was "detailed" and stickered up against his request.
You know, what can you do. I don't like being a d***. If it had been more major, I would have made a bigger deal of it. I do suspect that someone had a lot of fun in it before I got it (it had 54 miles) because the intake manifold pressure display has a feature where it records max boost pressure. I noticed it was pegged out at 21.9 PSI (max boost is supposed to be 15.9 PSI, but supposedly it can go into "overboost" temporarily, in certain regimes of operation, though I've also heard that boost spikes, as shown in the gauge, may not be 100% accurate, due to how it's measured, as well as instrumentation error). So, somebody buried the accelerator at some point. Hel, they coulda done it at the dang factory for all I know. Doesn't bother me much. I certainly haven't followed the manual's break-in recommendations myself. First thing I did was to take it out on some tight, crooked backroads and wring it out real good, varying gear, RPM, with LOTS of engine braking.
 

john_pifer

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Originally Posted By: rationull
Thanks for the post -- glad you like the car. Reminds me of how excited I was when I got mine in 2011 smile
Man this thing is fun. I was visiting Memphis, my old stomping ground, and I took this thing up on some of my old favorite sportbike backroads. They're tight, crooked, and the pavement's a bit broken up in places, though it has plenty of grip. The WRX was right at home. Has such an intoxicating pull in 3rd gear from around 3K to around 4.5K, when the boost starts signing off. I gave the car its most thorough flogging yet, with plenty of time spent in the upper range of the tach, with a few pulls to redline. (Car now has 750 miles total.) Turn-in and steering feel - great, despite the fact that it has the electric steering that's been much-maligned in the car rags...this one seems quite good to me, and I won't have to worry about hydraulic leaks. Brakes are strong and smooth, and I've noticed no fade in the aggressive street driving that I've done. Good pedal feel. I can't say I love the electronic throttle - my sportbike has it too, as do most vehicles built in the past 10 years or so. Makes it easier for the OEM to tune detrimental emissions out. But nothing can replace a good ole cable. Feel is just OK... Response is pretty good most of the time...just not excellent like a plain ole cable-actuated throttle pedal would be. And then there's the lag. It's not a huge thing, but when you rev the engine out and want to shift to the next cog, you have to wait a LOOONNNNNGGGGG time for the thing to drop back to a compatible RPM. The ability of an aftermarket stand-alone ECU programmer to tune out the rev hang - just that feature alone is making me want to get one. Oh - even though there's not much point in revving it out to redline because boost signs off well before that point, the boxer engine sounds fantastic at redline! The car is just turning out to be everything I'd hoped it would be, despite the fact that I'd committed to buying one with only a 5-min. test-drive around the block on a city street over a year ago. It's a fine highway cruiser, too... I've so far spent a few hours droning down I-40 between Nashville and Mempho, and it rides great. I will say this - I gave a ride to a 300-lb. passenger, and I felt like the front suspension was a bit underdamped in that situation. It would tend to crash a bit, over bumps, which it doesn't do when it's just me (I weigh 180). If I carry that person again, I may have to ask her to ride in the passenger side back seat to even things out a bit...lol. Speaking of weight distribution, I don't like the fact that the batt. is at the front left of the engine compartment. Seems like it wouldn't take much engineering effort for FHI to have at least located the batt. on the passenger side of the engine bay...or...better yet...in the aft right corner of the trunk, instead of on the driver's side of the car. Fuel fill spout is on the passenger side, which I hate and people in the countries where they drive on the wrong side of the road will undoubtedly love. What else can I complain about? Hmm...having to really reach deep here. Plastic on the dash is hard and plasticky-looking. It's inferior to what Toyota used in my Tacoma, which was designed >10 years prior! Also, there is faux carbon fiber trim. That is stupid - first off, no one actually believes it's real. And brushed aluminum would have looked better. I like the seats. No complaints about them, even though I'm 6'2" and the only adjustability they have is fore/aft and height. Automatic climate control is unnecessary...it is harder to use than a simple fan speed/temp knob/vent outlet knob setup. Wish they'd included oil pressure indication. Seems to be it would have been pretty easy to do. There is already a company offering a dual-outlet boss that allows plumbing in an aftermarket gauge while retaining the stock outlet that sends a signal to the ECU. Oh...the brake vectoring system sometimes causes a weird sensation in higher-speed corners as it drags the rear inside brake to help the car rotate through the corner. It can be a bit disconcerting on higher-speed sweepers. Well, this turned into a stream of my consciousness...welcome to my brain. smile More later...
 
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Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Turn-in and steering feel - great, despite the fact that it has the electric steering that's been much-maligned in the car rags...this one seems quite good to me, and I won't have to worry about hydraulic leaks. I can't say I love the electronic throttle - my sportbike has it too, as do most vehicles built in the past 10 years or so. Makes it easier for the OEM to tune detrimental emissions out. But nothing can replace a good ole cable. Feel is just OK... Response is pretty good most of the time...just not excellent like a plain ole cable-actuated throttle pedal would be.
I like electric power steering in my S2000 too, no worrying about leaky fluid, no need to flush power steering every few years. My 2004 S2000 didn't have electronic throttle, Honda changed cable to electronic for model year 2006 and later.
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
The car is just turning out to be everything I'd hoped it would be, despite the fact that I'd committed to buying one with only a 5-min. test-drive around the block on a city street over a year ago.
I didn't test drive any S2000 before I bought mine in Nov 2013. Actually, the first time I was inside a S2000 was after I paid for my car, got on driver seat for the first time and drove off. When I went to dealer to pay for my car, the salesman asked if I like to test drive the car before signing the paperwork, I declined. Same for other cars I bought before S2000, I didn't test drive any of them. I only got in the cars for the first time after paid for them.
Originally Posted By: john_pifer
I like the seats. No complaints about them, even though I'm 6'2" and the only adjustability they have is fore/aft and height. Automatic climate control is unnecessary...it is harder to use than a simple fan speed/temp knob/vent outlet knob setup.
The seats in S2000 has 2 adjustments: fore-aft and seat back recline, no adjustment for height and nothing else. Pretty much minimum adjustment. Climate control in S2000 is plain old manual, just like in a 1980 Honda Accord. The only automatic is when the air flow knob is at defrost A/C is automatically turned on. But there is a way to defeat this feature and I followed that instruction to turn off A/C when it is in defrost mode.
 
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Originally Posted By: john_pifer
Originally Posted By: Gasbuggy
The oversights would bother me too. I wouldn't back out over it but I would have attempted to get the price knocked down more. I know someone who walked on salesman when the car was "detailed" and stickered up against his request.
You know, what can you do. I don't like being a d***. If it had been more major, I would have made a bigger deal of it. I do suspect that someone had a lot of fun in it before I got it (it had 54 miles) because the intake manifold pressure display has a feature where it records max boost pressure. I noticed it was pegged out at 21.9 PSI (max boost is supposed to be 15.9 PSI, but supposedly it can go into "overboost" temporarily, in certain regimes of operation, though I've also heard that boost spikes, as shown in the gauge, may not be 100% accurate, due to how it's measured, as well as instrumentation error). So, somebody buried the accelerator at some point. Hel, they coulda done it at the dang factory for all I know. Doesn't bother me much. I certainly haven't followed the manual's break-in recommendations myself. First thing I did was to take it out on some tight, crooked backroads and wring it out real good, varying gear, RPM, with LOTS of engine braking.
I'm sure Jose from the car wash department treated your WRX with the utmost respect on that 40+ mile drive. Probably doesn't matter. Something about the WRX, atleast the prior gen, running them hard doesn't feel like abuse. Engine is very docile.
 

john_pifer

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HA! I watched that video on the Motor Trend YouTube channel. Awesome! Over 1000 miles on the car now. Dropped off at the window tint shop earlier and the Mishimoto oil catch can system arrived today.
 

john_pifer

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Little day trip out to Deal's Gap today to see how the car handles some mountain roads. While I'm out there I'll see how my ole lungs handle a good run @ over a mile of elevation! I realize that's probably nothing to some of you westerners...but I'm a Tennessee flatlander!
 
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