Pros Fast, handles good, gets 27 mpg back & forth to work 32 mile commute
Cons Stereo needs upgrade. Kept head unit & added Alpine amp with 4 Kenwood 's , kept original head unit with xm & bluetooth.and put in 10" JL in suby sub box. Sound is now awesome
Summary I absolutely love this car. I look for excuses to drive it.
Great looking wide-body sedan body style, but still compact
Manual gearbox only!!!
2 years free maintenance!!
Best resale value in class
Good rear headroom
Nice leather interior (with cool contrast stitching)
4wd sticks to the road
Cons It's tough to be inconspicuous
Fuel economy could be better (avg 23 to 24 mpg after broken in)
iphone integration renders phone screen useless (have to control with small car screen unless you get the GPS unit)
Bluetooth sometimes is hard for other end
Summary Subaru have finally returned the WRX to form. It looks great, handles incredibly well, and is a performance bargain (you will look for excuses to take the long way so that you can hit fun turns). For just above $30k, you get a compact, good looking sedan that is faster than the competition and has a nice interior that can comfortably seat 4 adults (rear headroom is superior to Lexus and BMW).
The only other option I was really considering was a 3 series, because it's one of the few nicer sedans with a manual option. However, the 335 has significant reliability issues with the turbo, is over $10k more and frankly has a d-bag vibe. 328 is slow. The beemer really can't compete with the WRX in my opinion if you want quality value performance that is also somewhat different from all the other bro dude tools. The std WRX was better for me than the STi b/c the STI has the huge wing (boy racer looks) and much higher insurance.
The best advice I can give is to get this car and *custom order it*. You will get exactly what you want (short throw is a must! and I recommend body side molding) and you may even save cash (you will pay full sticker off the lot otherwise - often marked up even). This is a great car that is super fun, and when you throw in the awesome performance, free service and good Subaru customer service and top resale value, you can't go wrong!!!
Pros Body looks amazing on the sedan, wider body and wider tires, nice interior, lots of room for this car this class, awd, turbo, handles excellent, clutch and smooth shifting, excellent safety, bluetooth
Cons gas milage could be better and stereo could be better
Pros Acceleration, cargo capacity in a sedan, handling, manual transmission, rarity, mean-looking exterior, ENGINE SOUND
Cons Audio system: iPod linkup has a lag, BT is difficult for other-side to hear, sound muffled
Summary Since purchase 3 weeks ago, I am shocked that more people do not own this car. One of the draws for me was how few you will see on the road, and after test driving one, I knew this was it. Speaking for the Limited WRX, the leather interior is sharp and comfortable, the sunroof quiet when open, and the fold down 60/40 split seats in the back make it possible to really load out. Oh yeah, and WHENEVER you would like to pass that straggler on the road...it'll put you back in the seat every time.
As an AWD, taking corners and getting out of them can be a little scary, but only if you look at the speedometer (seeing how fast you took it). Reason being, speed limits and this car do not get along. It will turn on a dime from 30+, but for a mid-size car, parking is a little bit of a challenge, especially in a parking garage.
The public majority does not readily recognize a WRX, so in a way it is a sleeper, if you somehow miss the functional hood scoop. With more Camaros and Mustangs popular in the "sports car" realm, it's quite priceless that each of the 4 occupants in the WRX can have their own door...and go faster...
The audio system is quite blah, to be honest. The linkup between the iPod dock has a split-second lag which plays the current song before skipping to the next on command. The bluetooth connection, while clear in the car, is muffled on the other side. But seriously, when driving this car, you will mostly want to hear the sound of the engine, which does not leave you wanting with it's deep, throaty rumble.
Pros I drove both cars extensively. Both are Bang For The Buck cars. If you need AWD where you live, want a 0-60/quarter mile drag car, then this would be your car. If you want a car that is great for cruising freeways, country roads, power with gas mileage
Cons WRX 5 speed gear box is like shifting a truck. Rough. Opt for the short shift, much smoother. WRX interior is ok but not great. Gas mileage for the WRX is far lower than Mazda SP3 due to SP3 6 gear transmission. WRX is not as tight in the turns like
Summary As I said both cars are great Bang For The Buck cars. VW GTI is for the librarian person who wants a little excitement with a refine, smooth ride. The GTI is a Jack of All But Master of None car. WRX and SP3 will blow this car off in any speed test though the Wild Child SP3 as it often is called, will give the driver either a thrill or scare due to torque steer. You won't encounter this with the AWD WRX. It comes down to what you are looking for. Some might like the SP3 tighter/lively ride and don't mind the torque steer as long as they don't drive like a drag car from stop light to stop light. You can do this with the FWD WRX but be prepared to pay at the gas pump because you have to use premium gas. By the way, all three cars have been tuned by the manufacturer with a loud exhaust, so if you don't like this sound as some older drivers might, don't buy none of these cars. It's obvious the Subaru, Mazda & VW wanted to make a statement to the other driver than you have a hot car. Other than the GTI, you can keep up with just about any car on the freeway or country road. And such a lower price compared to other names like Audi, BMW, Porshe, you will have a big smile when those drivers wonder what kind of car you are driving unless they know about Pocket Rockets.