Loads of Questions for Suby fans....might get quite a discussion going!

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Timmy, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Timmy

    Timmy Guest

    Hello everyone, I have been scanning the posts in this NG for the past
    three hours and I am confident the questions I have will get answered
    (at least give me some food for thought) by some knowledgeable Subaru
    fans...

    I am moving to the Vancouver area after several years abroad and will
    be looking for a new car as well. I will be living and working in the
    city during the week, but I forsee many weekend jaunts into the great
    outdoors and communte to Whistler EVERY weekend during the
    Ski/Snowboard season.

    At the moment, I am considering the following options (in no particular order)

    1. Audi A3
    2. Audi A3 Quattro
    3. Subaru Outback
    4. Subaru Legacy
    5. Subaru Legacy Wagon
    6. Subaru Impreza Wagon
    8. Audi A4 Sedan
    9. Audi A4 Wagon
    7. Audi A4 Quattro Sedan
    8. Audi A4 Quatto Wagon
    9. VW GTI

    Becuase I plan on driving in some adverse mountian weather, AWD is a
    feature I require. I have not had a chance to try ANY of these cars
    yet, as I am still on the road, but I would like to get some feedback
    on these choices. Basically, I have kind of grouped these choices into
    groups along these lines.

    1. GTI-A3-Impreza Wagon
    2. Legacy-A4
    3. Outback-Legacy Wagon-A4 Wagon

    I am espcially looking forward to hearing people's thought on the
    Outback Vs. Legacy Wagon. What are some of the major differences?
    Also, does anyone else consider the Impreza Wagon to be able to compete
    with the A3? I would LOVE it if the VW came with an AWD system, but
    after hearing some pretty bad things about VW reliability, I might have
    to rethink it.

    What are the qualitative differences between Audi's Quattro system and
    Subaru AWD?

    What about Navi systems? Does anyone have any experience using them?
    I have been living in Japan for the past four years and most cars on
    the road (including taxis) come equipped with them. They are IMMENSELY
    useful, and to be honest I don't think I would drive in Japan in a car
    without one. What is the perception of them in North America? Useful
    or just "show-off" toys?

    Thanks for ANY help anyone can give!
     
    Timmy, Apr 2, 2006
    #1
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  2. I have recently test driven both of the wagons (base models). The major
    differences:

    - the Outback is quieter on the road, about 3-4 dbA quieter at 100 kph.

    - the Outback has a better equipment spec, and sits a bit higher.
    Limited slip differential, roof rack bars, and a few other items.

    The similarities are larger. They both handle fine on the road, the
    Legacy a bit better than the Outback, IMO, simply because it's a bit
    lower. (The Outback is just a Legacy that's got a raised suspension,
    basically.)

    I prefer the manual transmission, finding the Subaru automatic a bit
    crude (though based on everything I've read and heard, quite reliable).

    Compete in what way? The finish levels are *quite* different, but for
    driving in the snow and general handling, the Impreza can compete
    easily. Not as sophisticated a car, but *very* effective.

    Larry Van Wormer
     
    Larry Van Wormer, Apr 2, 2006
    #2
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  3. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    If you have the dough and want to get a stick get an A4 Quattro. I
    haven't driven one, but
    I suspect just about anything should be better than a Subaru 5sp (the
    slick Subaru 6sp in STi for example :)))
    I might be in minority here but I absolutely *hate* the rubbery shifter
    feel in my Impreza. Automatic should be just fine and that's what I
    should've got. Anyhow, if you are in the US #2 is not an option. AWD A3
    is not sold in the US I think. And for a good reason: A3 (in europe)
    and TT have a shitty Quattro variety: Haldex. It's the system that does
    not work in Volvo (and now should not work in the same way in Ford
    500).
     
    Body Roll, Apr 2, 2006
    #3
  4. The Outback has stiffer springs and more ground clearance. Better for
    off-road. But it handles more like a truck than the Legacy. The Legacy
    wagon sits lower, has a smoother ride, plus sportier handling. Both have
    AWD, so if it just snow and ice you are worrying about getting stuck in,
    either one will do.

    For me, the Legacy was the better choice, especially given that the
    Outback costs several thousand more. I would rather have the sporty
    handling of the Legacy since I rarely go off-road. I would have chosen
    the Legacy even if they had been priced comparably. But most people seem
    to get the Outback; I think it has something to do with the exterior
    styling.
     
    Andrew Taylor, Apr 2, 2006
    #4
  5. Friends of mine with Audis complain of frequent and expensive
    maintenance/repair costs.
    I have a 5sp WRX wagon, and I certainly don't associate words like
    "rubbery" with the shifting. The turbo lag is a little annoying, but
    the shifting itself feels fine ...

    I also don't know how the WRX shifting compares to the regular Impreza
    compares to the Legacy ...
     
    Monique Y. Mudama, Apr 2, 2006
    #5
  6. I agree with Monique - plus, if they upgraded the rest of the Impreza
    line like the '06 WRX, it has a shorter shifter now and better first
    gear synchros. I cannot comment about how it actually feels as it is my
    first 5spd soob. Take a look at www.cars101.com for some of the 'new'
    features over the '05s.

    maybe you could rent an Audi and a soob for a weekend? Also, if you
    trade often, I'd investigate the resale value of the models you're
    interested in.
    Have fun with your new car!

    Carl
    1 Lucky Texan
     
    Carl 1 Lucky Texan, Apr 2, 2006
    #6
  7. Timmy

    KLS Guest

    I'm not a friend of yours, but the maintenance on my 98.5 Audi 2.8 A4
    Quattro has not been frequent. It has, I admit, been expensive when
    needed, but overall, I am satisfied with the tradeoff: I have a very
    reliable car (it's never stranded me and now has 97k miles), and the
    repairs were known issues with the marque. The car drives like a
    dream and is a joy to travel in over long distances and in severely
    bad winter weather (where I live, in western New York). My personal
    vehicle has experienced far fewer incidences of these known issues, so
    it has cost me less to keep running, an average of about $1,500 a
    year, excluding oil/filter changes and tires. I can't buy a new car
    on that kind of budget, and I love this car.

    FYI, I also run a 99 Subaru Legacy OBW which has had its own
    repair/maintenance needs, and those have been not very much less
    expensive than the Audi. The Audi is the superior vehicle, but the
    Subaru is very good.
     
    KLS, Apr 3, 2006
    #7
  8. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    My understanding is that WRX has the same transmission and the throttle
    linkage.
    Anyhow I should not be too harsh on them. After all the buttery Honda
    or at least Mazda shifter feel is not easy to replicate. My problem is
    that they DO have a 6sp in STi that is snickety snick.
    And they had it for what? 3-4 years in a mass produced car? Probably
    more because
    it was available outside the US for long before then and was selling in
    no small numbers
    there either. And what they did to improve the shifter feel on the rest
    of the impreza line?
    Exactly. NOTHING. My Protege that cost about half to 2/3 of what OBS
    was bought for and was made a few years before OBS shifts about two
    times better.

    Anyhow, to pacify you a little big about the turbo lag issue in WRX:
    the engine in the normally aspirated impreza does not feel any better.
    You press the go pedal and nothing happens until
    the needle hits about 3.5-4k. Then it pulls. But the engine revs soooo
    unwillingly.

    Subs are just specialized vehicles for people who live in bundocks. If
    you live in a snowbelt
    and have to go on gravel roads to reach your home you'd probably
    worship the car.
    But I live in a sunbelt and drive mostly on paved roads. Sooo, until
    Sub attends to the fun to drive
    issue in their mundane lineup I'd say the increased sales in the
    sunbelt that they started to
    covet recently hopefully ain't gonna happen.

    After all, people are not stupid. They read car magazines. And what do
    reviews say?
    I haven't seen a single glowing review of impreza (save for the $$$$$
    STi) in a loooong
    time. Why? Because Subaru had been sitting on its ass for more a decade
    doing NOTHING
    to significantly improve the base Impreza. Which is understandable,
    given that they sell maybe
    25000 or Imprezas a year of which there are probably 18000 WRXes
    anyway.
    That is not to say that I think that slapping a turbo on a base impreza
    and improving the
    spring stiffness by a whopping 15% makes the car that much more fun to
    drive.

    And the final drop: does anyone know why exactly did they have to
    remove the lock from
    the gate of the wagon? Having to use the switch on the front door to
    open the gate absolutely
    drives me nuts.
     
    Body Roll, Apr 3, 2006
    #8
  9. Timmy

    Sheldon Guest

    I live at a ski resort, and it's "still" snowing here. Every other car here
    is an Outback or Legacy. The sporty set likes the WRX, as it's an all year
    round sports car for this climate, but we do have our share of Porsche's and
    Ferrari's. We even have an Enzo.

    I recently traded an older Subaru Loyale 4WD for a later model Outback.
    Haven't had much trouble with either, and the sheriff's dept. also drives
    Outback's. The biggest problem I have with the car is finding mine in a
    parking lot among a sea of Subaru's.

    While the Audi's and others are fine automobiles (I also have a Porsche)
    look at the stats. Subies are well respected in areas around the country
    where it snows a lot. Just put on a set of studdless ice tires and you're
    all set.

    BTW, I did get to play with a navi system in a Lexus SUV. Worked like a
    charm here in Colorado.
     
    Sheldon, Apr 3, 2006
    #9
  10. Timmy

    Jim Stewart Guest

    Just mention "Brake Job" to a Quattro
    owner and watch him cringe...
     
    Jim Stewart, Apr 3, 2006
    #10
  11. Timmy

    CompUser Guest


    ...bwah haha...bwah hahahahahahah!
     
    CompUser, Apr 3, 2006
    #11
  12. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    ..bwah haha...bwah hahahahahahah!

    If that means in English: "You should've bought STi and did not bitch
    about the bag of sticks
    you got instead" I agree.
     
    Body Roll, Apr 3, 2006
    #12
  13. Well, I live close to the Rockies in Colorado. I chose the WRX
    carefully because it had what I wanted, which absolutely includes the
    ability to get me to ski areas in inclement weather and get me to
    trailheads in nice weather. It drives like hell when it's nice, and
    it makes nasty weather much less stressful. It's as much fun as you
    can have, I think, and still be able to drive with confidence in heavy
    snow.

    Maybe you just chose ... poorly. My wagon is perfect for what I need.
    (Although there's a good chance I'll switch to an Outback wagon in a
    few years ... the extra space makes a difference.)
     
    Monique Y. Mudama, Apr 3, 2006
    #13
  14. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    can have, I think, and still be able to drive with confidence in heavy
    I'm not denying that the car is an absolute blast to drive on snow. It
    definitely is.
    Even with Crapenza 92.
    Yes. Subaru needs to recoup all the money they spent into WRC and STI
    is a good vehicle for that. I should not have pinched pennies and got
    the STI.
    Nevermind the whale wing. I probably chose the place to live poorly
    also.
    Time to move where it snows :-(

    One think I don't understand is the Ford participation in WRC. What do
    they get out of it?
    They don't have anything remotely close to the rally car in their
    lineup
    (and still sell tons of crap in spite of that: just check out the
    finance.yahoo.com
    article on Ford 2005/2006 sales today). Makes me wonder what all the
    pro American posters
    are bitching about. American auto makers still have a waaaay larger
    piece of pie
    than they deserve. Same goes for Toyota though. Sigh.
     
    Body Roll, Apr 3, 2006
    #14
  15. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    What are the qualitative differences between Audi's Quattro system and
    To answer the rest of your questions: I'll probably get slaughtered
    here, but I'd guess that
    Quattro in A4 is somewhat better than Subaru systems. Can anyone with
    5sp A4 quattro comment
    how much driveline lash you have?
    Btw, do you plan to get a 5sp or an automatic?
     
    Body Roll, Apr 3, 2006
    #15
  16. Timmy

    Timmy Guest

    I would prefer a 5sp, but after some more reading in these posts, am
    wondering if that will have an affect on how well the AWD system
    works....
     
    Timmy, Apr 3, 2006
    #16
  17. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    If anything the Subaru AWD on 5sp should be better. If you're an
    engineer you might appreciate the fact that the front diff and the
    manual transmission share the same case. One fewer fluid to
    worry about.
     
    Body Roll, Apr 3, 2006
    #17
  18. Timmy

    Body Roll Guest

    Compete in what way? The finish levels are *quite* different, but for

    Fit in finish on Impreza is impeccable. This is one area where Subaru
    did
    keep abreast the competition for the last 12 years.
    A3 does not have AWD, what kind of competition there could be on snow?
    This kinda reminds me of an old commercial where a Sub guy goes to
    the Beemer guy scraping snow off his 3xx and goes "Wanna race???"
    THAT was priceless :)))))

    I somehow think that A3 would be more fun to drive when the roads are
    dry though.
    So I think the algorithm could be as follows: rent one of each of
    these:
    1. Audi A3
    3. Subaru Outback
    4. Subaru Legacy
    5. Subaru Legacy Wagon
    6. Subaru Impreza Wagon
    7. Audi A4 Quattro Sedan
    8. Audi A4 Quatto Wagon
    9. VW GTI
    for a day or two when it snows, repeat when it rains, then dries.
    Then go to a dealer and repeat for the models with the stick shift.
    In a month or two you'd decide what you want. What's the sales tax
    where you live?

    I think you can safely skip these:
    8. Audi A4 Sedan
    9. Audi A4 Wagon
    in favor of A3.
    A4 with no quattro should be a lame duck.
     
    Body Roll, Apr 3, 2006
    #18
  19. Timmy

    KLS Guest

    I replied to this earlier and neglected to say that both cars in our
    family (the 98.5 A4 Quattro and the 99 Legacy OBW) are manual
    transmissions. Hope this clarifies. The clutch action and shifting
    in the Audi are just much more clear and crisp than in the Subaru, and
    we both feel this way. The Subaru feels more mushy and doesn't kick
    in as immediately as the Audi does. Love both cars, prefer the Audi.
     
    KLS, Apr 4, 2006
    #19
  20. I work in Boulder, and there are an awful lot of subarus in my office
    parking lot. A disturbing number of WRXes (only disturbing because
    it's weird to have a car that everyone else also owns). I think there
    are at least 5 WRX wagons in this 150ish person company; maybe more.

    It's not unusual here in the front range to see packs of 3-4 subarus
    on the road; that's how common they are. While stopped at lights, I
    like to play "count the subarus."

    (In contrast, when I go back East to VA, I play "try to find even a
    single car rack in all this damn traffic." It's a major big deal to
    find one.)
    It's true that there are tons of Subarus in these kinds of places, but
    I don't know if that speaks to the effectiveness of their performance
    or of their marketing teams. Certainly the sheer number of Subarus in
    the area influenced my decision. They're also pretty affordable.
     
    Monique Y. Mudama, Apr 4, 2006
    #20
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