Originally Posted by swedishSTile
Damn wool, sorry about another fender bender.
Its a rough decision. My inclination would be to keep it. I know you get to the point where you stop trusting a vehicle and begin to doubt its longevity and reliability. Im right there with you with mine. Two rebuilds and multiple follow up problems and I am going crazy.
I am in my late 20's, getting married in November of this year and probably following that up with a kid within a year after that so I am in the same boat there as well.
While my car was down for the last 4 months I drove a few rental cars and learned to appreciate and smooth quiet car with good off the line torque and good MPG's. I am convinced that I dont really need the STi and that I could be happy with a lesser car. Part of me still wants to go out and buy and S4 or S5, but the part of me that would rather save that money to enable me to go on vacations with my girl and give my future kids nice things hesitates to do that. The opportunity cost of a new car is steep.
That train of thought led me to realize that the STi is probably the best bet to keep. Maintainence on it is exceedingly cheap for the level of car that it is. It cost me an arm and a leg to maintain my 328i (which thankfully i sold TODAY!). Once a car is paid off (which it sounds like yours almost is, it becomes VERY cheap to drive).
I say keep it, but if you dont let me give some more advice. I got to drive several rental cars in the past few months and I have some strong opinions about them.
Subaru Outback: Biggest piece of crap ive ever driven. Granted it had the 2.5 in it but it was just a tin can of rattling crap. Worse than the STI. THing drove me crazy. I managed to average 21mpg in the Outback driving conservatively. It definitely DOES NOT meet its advertised economy.
Subaru Forester: Loved it, got to drive the XT, great little SUV. Wait till the 2014 drops and pick one of those up if your going to grab one. All the new goodies for offroading and playing in the dirt are very cool.
Chevy Cruz: I was blown away. Damn nice car. Had the 1.4L turbo, was quiet, smooth, had good dynamics, great commuter car. After driving the cruz I pretty much wrote Subaru off. They are light-years behind even Chevy now. It is REALLY pathetic. I will probably never buy another Subaru now, they are just not relevant anymore. This econobox was more refined than any Subaru I have ever driven.
Dodge Dart SXT: It has the fantastic Multiair 1.4T engine from Fiat in it. AWESOME motor, just awesome. Quiet car, smooth, exceptionally well balanced, a joy to drive. Again, it blows subaru products out of the water. I told my boss about it and he went out and snagged one for $15k out the door with the 1.4T to use as a commuter/beater. He put a chip and a short throw on it and it is a damn fun car to drive.
My point here is that if I were looking to get another car, for comfort, performance and reliability reasons I would not buy another Subaru. I dont have enough brand loyalty to stick with an inferior car for more money. I am hopeful about the 2014 Forester, but im not holding my breath.
Good luck with your decision.
Congratulations, and thanks for the input. I guess my Subaru fanboiism is showing a little
The funny part is, I've been to a winter driving course where the older Honda Civics were braking just as well and keeping up on the hills, so I know that getting away from AWD is doable with tires appropriate for the season, but there really isn't anything like the unstoppable go-power in a Subaru with winter tires.
With that said, and while I am leaning more toward something like the new Forester or current Outback, the main reason for doing so is for my future family. So, like my realization above that even a crappy one-wheel-drive Civic can do well in the snow with right tires, even a smallish car is sufficient for a small family - I remember the four of us cramming into my mom's Tercel when I was a little kid. While the Tercel was probably pretty dangerous and not ideal in any sense, AND we did end up moving to a much more comfortable Aerostar, and then Windstar, the Taurus my pops drove was good enough for 2 or 3 of us. So, going straight to an SUV I don't quite need in preparation for a family I don't have yet might be jumping the gun a little.
All of the little turbo fours you mentioned have really caught my eye. A cheap, fun, and economical vehicle like the Cruze Eco might bridge the gap nicely, and have plenty of room for a family of four (with a roof rack and carrier.)
Contrarily, I really do want to keep my STI, and I know full well that any change will come with regrets, no doubt about it! As previously mentioned, I don't track my car and have only been to one auto-x, but the handful of times I've taken the car to its limits (more likely MY limits,) and the hundred or so times I've done what cannot be done in something like a Cruze Eco or Subaru Outback, have given me immense joy! Swapping to something like an SUV or even a regular, boring, economical choice, while not currently the most ideal setup, will maybe cause a shift in mindset to that of driving an SUV/economical vehicle, where as something like a smaller, less-powerful, semi-sporty vehicle will only serve up a big old hunk of remorse.
I think what I definitely will wait for, is a test of the new '14 FXT. I've heard one disappointing review on Nasty sock, but many, many great reviews, so I'm curious to see how it drives. With the added space and the option of a powerful, economical engine, it seems like the best of all worlds. After the issues with '08 STI's, I'll never buy another refreshed model, so I'd have to wait until the '15's come out, at the earliest...well, unless the '14's turn out to be issue-free right off the bat!
As you've noticed, I'm all over the place, and have been struggling with these thoughts since last Fall. I finally had to get it all out, and I'm glad I've got you guys to bounce ideas off of and get me thinking about my options. Thanks!