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I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)
I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)
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Old 03-11-13, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

Firstly, and to justify starting the thread in this section, I'll state that if I do decide to trade, it will most certainly be for another Subie. I'll also follow that up with the fact that the only reason I'm thinking of trading, is because my poor STI has been in two front-end collisions in the past year.

Last fall, some lady pulled out right in front of me -- $17k+ in damages. The damage didn't seem all of that bad, but the insurance company-approved shop I went to replaced everything that was even remotely questionable, and did an amazing job. Besides a little bit of pain over-spray and some other minor issues, I got my car back looking (and seemingly handling - PS Pump and rack replacement?) better than before. I was pretty worried, but everything seemed great, so I shrugged off the idea of trading and figured I'd keep to my original plan of driving my STI until the wheels fell off.

More recently, traffic locked it up and I couldn't stop in time -- another $3k+ in damage. This time, it looks like only the bumper, hood, grill, and driver-side headlight will need to be replaced.

Part 1: To Trade or Not

So, I feel that, while everything seems to be running smoothly now, that this thing will start nickeling and diming me to death as everything that was replaced, messed with or tweaked begins to fail. Only time will tell, but the decision I need to make, is whether to trade'er in while she's looking shiny and new, give it a couple of years (at least until I pay it off in another year,) or cross my fingers and toes and hope for the best while I drive her into oblivion.

Part 2: If I Trade, What For?

Ok, so now we'll assume that I've decided to trade. The hard part now is deciding what for, taking the following into consideration:

1.a. I'm currently in my late 20's, so I'm currently at the stage in my life where I'm interested in having all of the latest tech. Leaning toward toward

1.b. I'm currently in my last 20's, so my priorities are shifting away from "me, me, me" to me, my wife, and my future family. Leaning toward a base model OR the limited/touring models (leather will probably be easier to clean with kids.)

1.c. I don't currently have kids, and don't plan to have any for at least another year, though what ever I get I plan to keep until the wheels fall off.

2.a I'm moving on from my gotta-go-FAST phase, though something super slow MIGHT drive me crazy

2.b I'm very good at adapting to the current conditions. What I mean by this, is that while driving my STI, I'll drive conservatively around town, but have a lot of fun on back roads. On the flip-side, I never try driving my wife's Civic aggressively, and make a game out of getting the best MPG possible. So, while driving a Civic every day probably wouldn't satisfy me, because it's small AND underpowered, trading my STI for something like an Outback might satisfy me in ways that wouldn't make me want for additional power.

2.c. With that said, the Outback is offered with a 3.6R, and the new Forester is offered with a 2.0T, possibly offering the best of both worlds. The downside, neither's more-powerful offerings will offer anything close to the thrill of an STI, and might be more of a tease than a boon, so going for the smaller, more economical option might be best.

3. I don't want to spend more than $30, and I won't accept a low-ball. Fair value trade-in is just under $21k, but I've been low-balled well below that in the past, so I'd expect more of the same if I explained to the dealer the vehicles history. I'm not one to lie, so I'd have to bring it up.

I know that's a one of info, but I'm hoping some one will have some insight, or actual experience with a similar situation!
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Old 03-11-13, 01:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

Why not look into a WRX hatch? Practical, reliable, relatively inexpensive, and a quick, well performing car you can daily drive without question.

A bit smaller than the Outback, but if you have small children that won't really be a problem.
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Old 03-11-13, 01:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan9999 View Post
Why not look into a WRX hatch? Practical, reliable, relatively inexpensive, and a quick, well performing car you can daily drive without question.

A bit smaller than the Outback, but if you have small children that won't really be a problem.
Would it be too similar to my current STI, and possibly leave me wanting. I know they're 0-60 quick, and I know for certain that the lighter clutch would make it easier to daily drive, but unless I got the sedan, wouldn't it be like trading for exactly what I have now, minus the LSD's (and DCCD,) hubs, brakes, and DAVCS; the only real gain being lower miles and a less complicated drive-train. Hmmm
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Old 03-11-13, 01:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

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.
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Old 03-11-13, 02:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

Quote:
Originally Posted by swedishSTile View Post
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!
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Last edited by gathermewool; 03-11-13 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 03-11-13, 02:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

The Forester is a very nice car My sister has the base one and it's very roomy and comfortable although... it'll lack the "fun" part of what you would like. She has just the base model though.
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Old 03-11-13, 02:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

The nail in the coffin for me to keep it was the financial analysis.

Buying a new car meant a couple grand in sales tax, a down payment and 5 more years of car payments.

Keeping the STi meant that when we are ready to start a family I wont have that car payment at all (just a beat to hell STi
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Old 03-11-13, 04:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

Other than the STI the subaru lineup is seriously weak IMO. I sat in a couple of foresters, and felt like I was sitting in a car from 1995. I actually couldn't believe they had the balls selling that car for that much. At least in the STI the crap interior and lack of features can be justified. The tribeca was likely the best car they had on the lot and even then it was meh. Legacy wasn't all that great either.

I say keep the sti, bumpers are just plastic after-all. If you do get rid of it, be sure to look at all options because I think there's way better offerings from the other manufaturers.
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Old 03-11-13, 04:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

Quote:
Originally Posted by severe View Post
Other than the STI the subaru lineup is seriously weak IMO. I sat in a couple of foresters, and felt like I was sitting in a car from 1995. I actually couldn't believe they had the balls selling that car for that much. At least in the STI the crap interior and lack of features can be justified. The tribeca was likely the best car they had on the lot and even then it was meh. Legacy wasn't all that great either.

I say keep the sti, bumpers are just plastic after-all. If you do get rid of it, be sure to look at all options because I think there's way better offerings from the other manufaturers.
Will do.
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Old 03-11-13, 04:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: I've got a hard decision to make (RE: Trade or keep post-accident)

How many miles and what mods do you have?
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