After a massive accident last year (and having to go back to the shitty body shop a dozen or so times to fix/re-fix their screwups) my STI was never quite the same. I struggled with whether to trade or keep it for a very long time. The catalyst was twofold:
1. The new '14 FXT arrived and I fell in love after one test drive. I've grown up a bit, and maybe I never really was the type to own an STI - look at my MPG average in my sig to see what I mean :lol: I sure as hell enjoyed modding (what little I did) and when I could take advantage of the performance, it was amazing, but the '14 FXT felt like a better fit for me; whether because of the accident or not, it just felt great to drive.
2. After test driving the FXT I sat down and thought long and hard about whether to trade the STI in. While doing so, I realized how miserable I've been in it over the last year, dealing with the aftermath from the accident and other related (but not considered related by the insurance company) issues that made every single drive a reminder of that day. It would take substantial dollar-bucks to make the STI whole (outside of going back to the body shop again and again until it's right,) and there is not guarantee that other, more costly issues won't arise.
I usually choose power or practicality over form, but my wife talked me into splurging on a higher trim this time, and wouldn't let me get the non-turbo Forester. I brought home an XT Touring with the remote keyless/nav/HID/eyesight package in Venetian Red Pearl - another deviation from my typical SSM/DGM/etc (dark gray or silver) past preference.
It's night and day difference, and I don't find myself wanting for power while DD'ing, at least not yet. All of the aforementioned features make commuting almost a pleasure now, whereas the STI made it seem as if I was an Olympic athlete manacled at the ankles each day, only to be let loose (and actually enjoyed) on weekends and short jaunts onto the freeway. In every other way, the STI was a bit tedious to drive (flame suit on!)
Things I like:
1. Keys in pocket, grab the door handle and get in.
2. Keys in pocket, push a button and the engine comes to life.
3. 30 MPG highway indicated (only one 40 mile highway trip home from the dealer, so not anything conclusive as of yet.) Around town, indicated is mid 20's. With similar driving styles, I'm hoping to gain 3-4 MPG over my STI MPG ave.
4. The ride! On my way home from the test drive I noticed how freaking loud my car is. It's that way for a reason, and it almost never bothered me, but on long trips I would actually wear ear plugs to prevent excessive fatigue over long hauls. I can actually speak with a passenger in the FXT without having to literally face them or raise my voice. :lol:
Things I'll miss:
1. Speed/handling: The new FXT is surprisingly nimble and has some balls, but it's not even close to an STI. If you need that, then you will never be happy in an FXT. Fortunately, it was still an enjoyable ride and not as much of a tradeoff as I was expecting. Unless they offered a really nice gear box (yea, right!) I'm not sure I'd prefer rowing my own gears over the CVT in something like this. It was nothing like when I test drove the non-turbo Forester 2.5i - nothing.
2. The noises: I'm glad that you can hear the turbo spool in the FXT. I'll miss the gear whine and pretty much every other low-speed (or high boost) sound that the STI made. I always thought the gear whine while engine-braking down a hill in second during traffic was great (even though most passengers probably expected that noise to portend a tow truck and cab in our very near future.)
3. Play: I'm sure I'll catch the mod bug with the FXT soon enough, but it has enough to play with to keep me busy for a while. Besides, there's no Cobb solution as of yet, and I won't play Guinea pig when they do first release a solution, anyway, so I'll be spending a good amount of time on the stock tune, if I ever decide to tune.
4. The wave: Without the hood scoop, I'm not so sure any one will wave to me any more. :lol:
First and last Auto-X:
Team O'Neil Winter Driving/Safety School:
Quick pics of the new XT:
I'll be sticking around, but my participation may fade as I lose interest in STI's and spend most of my time on the Forester forums. That is, unless the Forester forum really sucks, or the new STI comes out and there are tons of new things to read about!