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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys....I just registered, and this looks like a friendly & very informative forum.
To start with, I am in a dilemma right now. I am young(22), and I drive a BMW 2002 330I right now. My parents bought me a first car for around 20k(prelude), but when a drunk driver destroyed it, I had combined the unsurance money with my own money and was able to afford a 330 with a pretty low monthly. Anyways, its paid off now. You can check my car out here:
http://www.cardomain.com/id/sharpacid
--it has more mods now than that website shows--

Right now, I am reconsidering my decision and am thinking of trading in my 330 and getting a new WRX STI. Since I am young(fresh out of college, almost) & and tired of the BMW stigma, I want a car that I do not have to worry about getting keyed etc. Also showing up to your first "real" job/interview in a pimped out BMW wont make you many friends....Although an STI is flashy, it does not have the same stigma as BMW. The problem is my 330 is still brand new(22k miles), excellent condition, and has about 8k in mods already. It would take me probably around 2-3months of hard work parting out my car re-selling parts to get about half of the money back before I could trade it in....

Anyways, I test drove an STI, and I loved some things(driving it was amazing) hated others(interior). It wasn't very comfortable, and to my surprise had less room than a 3 series. I didn't really like the layout of the cockpit, but I loved the guages. I hated the shifter which felt like a bus....I would probably get racing seats as one of my first mods. The car was very easy to drive and very fast, but it was also very noisy. I was thinking of changing the wheels/tires immediately for some Max Performance summer tires on SSR's so I could drive out in bad weather without problems(Im in Seattle)...

Also, would changing to "regular" tires from the stock Drag Radials alleviate the road noise issue?? I have also heard that the STI has issues with knocking and crappy paint job(chipping), is any of this true???

I would like your advice: should I keep the 330 continue to mod it, and live with all the stigma or buy the STI?? Since I am young performance matters more to me than luxury, and getting rid of the BMW stigma for when I join the workforce is also an issue. I also know that the STI will never be as comfortable as BMW for a daily driver....Can mods alleviate some of these problems to make it more of a daily driver? Please help, I have been getting a headache thinking about this.....I would have to return my car to stock, lose the 10k in depreciation, get the STI basically for free on the trade in, and then sell all my mods and maybe get around 4k-5k to mod the STI(depending on how well I sell my bmw mods). And although I love my bimmer, I have & always will, a passion for Japanese turbo cars....

I would like your comments/feedback etc. Any and all....I am not a snobby guy, I am down to earth, and if I offended anyone with my comments I apoligize in advance.

Thanks for reading.....
 

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You seem to be looking for something a bit more comfortable than an STi.

I would recommend you look at a few other cars that may be more to your liking, such as the volvo s60, some of the audis, a 350z.... maybe even a WRX (in my opinion, they're comfortable and quiet inside.)

There are plenty of cars that offer good performance and are more comfortable than the STi.
 

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Re: Running A Stock at SCCA National events

k-dog said:
Hi guys....I just registered, and this looks like a friendly & very informative forum.
welcome! you'll find it is indeed a friendly, informative place.

k-dog said:
http://www.cardomain.com/id/sharpacid
very nice! those wheels rock. would be a hard to part with that car.

k-dog said:
...tired of the BMW stigma, I want a car that I do not have to worry about getting keyed etc.
some of us have been keyed. bottom line: if you have a car someone envies, then lower your expectations. a car that definately will not get keyed is something like a toyota echo. ;)

k-dog said:
I test drove an STI, and I loved some things(driving it was amazing) hated others(interior)...wasn't very comfortable...less room than a 3 series...didn't really like the layout of the cockpit...loved the guages...hated the shifter...very noisy...
did you like the stereo, floormats, and sunroof? quality pieces, eh? :D

anyway, i'm curious. what is it that attracted you to the sti given you're coming from a bmw? hopefully it wasn't a surprise that you would not find the same luxury for fit&finish. btw, have you checked out the evo, by chance?

k-dog said:
would changing to "regular" tires from the stock Drag Radials alleviate the road noise issue??
tires have made a difference for many, but you have to realize the car is just not as insulated as a normal car, to say nothing of a bmw.

k-dog said:
I have also heard that the STI has issues with knocking and crappy paint job(chipping), is any of this true???
knocking/pinging was an issue when the car first arrived; i never experience it though. there haven't been any posts about this for quite some time though. i have a maybe two small chips in my hood. get rockblocker if you want protection.

k-dog said:
should I keep the 330 continue to mod it, and live with all the stigma...
y'know, i don't know what this "bmw stigma" thing is. i have no presumptions when i see a bmw. :shrug: however, i suspect you'll be trading one stigma for another, so choose carefully.

k-dog said:
Since I am young performance matters more to me than luxury...
if this is true, then the sti is the obvious choice. however, i don't think it is true that performance matter more to you. you're not ready to trade off that much luxury for the sake of performance. what other cars are you considering? is $30k the most you're willing to pay for a car? it's a good time to be buying medium performance cars with luxury.

k-dog said:
...getting rid of the BMW stigma for when I join the workforce...
? what career are you in/pursuing that this should matter? social work? the ministry? :)

k-dog said:
Can mods alleviate some of these problems to make it more of a daily driver?
no mod is going to change the feel of the shifter, interior size, or the layout of the cockpit. regarding noise, tires will help a little. you could add 100pounds of dynamat. or a good loud stereo--at 110db, everycar sounds good. ;)

to me, your lifestyle will help you decide what to do. to me, the sti driver is someone who will more than likely: take their car to the track, is a follower of WRC, is convinced of the beauty of awd, is happy subaru traded creature comforts for performance and auto technology; doesn't give a rip about the "riceboy" stigma, or stigmas in general; actually thinks the sti is an attractive car; happy to have a friendly and knowledgeable forum. okay, so i just described myself. :) but if *none* of this describes you, then maybe you should think again. peace.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow thanks for the great replys. What attracted me to the STI is the fact that I have been in love with Japanese turbo cars since i was a teenager. However, until this year, US was getting the shaft. The supra and the RX7 were gone with the wind. When i bought the BMW, I did not want to buy a used car, and nothing else was really availabe(only s2000). The reason why the 350z, s2000, etc are out of the question for me, is because I would be making a switch from NA to NA, absolutely not worth it. I always wanted to own a turbo car. The fact that the STI has a 6spd, water to air intercooler, and an adjustable differential, makes the performance nut in me drool. The fact that the performance upgrades will be limited by imagination is also a BIG plus.

I also always loved BMW's with a passion, styling, handling, etc. The e36 M3 is one of my all time favorite cars. That is what attracted me to BMW's in the first place. However I am young, and I have never owned a "real" performance car, let alone a japanese turbo car. One thing you have to understand about BMW's is this: the money invested to HP gained ratio, short of going forced induction(which is still VERY expensive) is ridiculously low. 500 for a good intake....to make 300hp NA it would take like 6 grand plus god knows how much for labor. Also, whatever you do and wherever you go, you pay the "BMW tax" for everything, if you know what I mean.

The stigma i was talking about is generally this "bmw owner=snobby, spoiled prick". I am afraid that when I look for my first real job(i am an economics major with a focus on finance, this is my last quarter in school), driving a hooked up BMW can only work to my disadvantage.

By mods to make the STI more of a daily driver.....I was thinking, new wheels tires, MP3 player with minor stereo upgrades, racing seats, maybe aftermarket shifter, etc....I would say for a car, my budget is my cars current value(30g) + another 5k tops. This would include me taking the 10k hit from depreciation on trade in. The real pain would be to return my car to stock and then sell all my upgrades, so to be honest, right now I am leaning towards keeping my car....But i have had dreams about driving the STI lol.

PS> I have not test driven the EVO, but the general consensus is that it is even less of a daily driver than an STI.
 

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how does it perform? how much torque?

In my opinion, any perspective boss who isn't a fan of performance autos is going to dislike you in an STi more than a BMW. However, if you're just looking for performance and want to get rid of attention, you could still get an STi and remove the wing (swap the trunk w/ wing for another without) and get a front-mount intercooler, which will allow you to get a hood that doesn't have the large hood scoop. Then simply take off some of the bright pink STi stickers and badges, and the car will look very much like a modest compact sedan, while still having all the power and performance (in fact, a front-mount intercooler, or FMIC, is one of the big performance upgrades associated with adding power to the car.) that it does in its stock form.

And by cloaking your STi as a "normal" impreza, you will probably be able to aviod a lot of attention from people who might key your car, as well as unwanted attention from *cough*police*cough* who might give you trouble.

But this is all dependant on your tastes, and if you can get over the fact that the car is not designed with luxury in mind.

After your first post, I would have assumed that the STi is not for you, but after your second, it seems like you might be more open to new ideas. My biggest piece of advice is to take your time and be sure that you'll be happy with the car you choose. It's a lot of money to spend if you're going to be unhappy with what you end up getting, especially considering your current car is very new and should last you a long time. And remember, there will probably be something better in the future. The skyline is supposed to be coming to the US in 2007.... :)
 

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k-dog said:
PS> I have not test driven the EVO, but the general consensus is that it is even less of a daily driver than an STI.
IMO that is a very accurate statement and the main thing that drove me away from the EVO.
 

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k-dog said:
What attracted me to the STI......you pay the "BMW tax" for everything...The stigma i was talking about is generally this "bmw owner=snobby, spoiled prick".
good response. i get it.

k-dog said:
By mods to make the STI more of a daily driver.....I was thinking, new wheels tires, MP3 player with minor stereo upgrades, racing seats, maybe aftermarket shifter, etc.
regarding wheels: you do know there are limited choices. one of the pluses you didn't mention about the sti is the bad-ass brakes. since the front setup is so large, you have to really be careful when buying new wheels. just having the right diameter (17"+) and offset (48+) isn't enough. the design of the spoke also matters. many wheels with the stock diameter and ample offset do not clear the calipers.

stereo: yep, everyone does that "mod". had to even call it a mod. :)

seats: a few here have swapped in racing seats. of course, you do loose the side airbags, which are built into the seats. and you'll need a hack to extinguish the "airbag" light. all doable.

shifter: i guess you didn't like the length of the throw. (i'd thought you were referring to the notchy feel.) i don't know of any short-throw shifters for us as yet. it will come though and would be a mod i'd do.

k-dog said:
The real pain would be to return my car to stock and then sell all my upgrades, so to be honest, right now I am leaning towards keeping my car....
you could always put if up for sale (e.g. www.autotrader.com) or on a bmw forum and see what happens. you're not in a rush obviously, so why not put it out there and see what happens. if no one what to give you a respectable price given the mods, then just keep it. just promise you won't key an STi when you see it kick yourself. (kidding)

k-dog said:
I have not test driven the EVO, but the general consensus is that it is even less of a daily driver than an STI.
correct.
 
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Man that is a sweet looking 330I. Before I bought my STi, I was looking into BMW's as well. And, the E36 is definitely one of my all time favorite cars, so our tastes sound somewhat similar.

Bottom Line: I made the decision based on my association with most of the attributes F1fan mentioned earlier, and I have been extremely happy ever since. I've had the STi for about half a year now and I still give it loving looks everytime I can. I love to drive it, and I find it very hard to talk myself into taking the 'daily driver' to work.

One of the first things I did was dynamat the interior and replace the seats. These 2 changes made a world of difference in my perception of the car's interior. Just deadening the sound made it feel that much more luxurious, and switching to new seats made it that much more comfortable.

Finally, the adult in me sees your situation and your young age and wishes you would sell the BMW, buy a kia and invest the rest for your future, but wth, I know I didn't!

:)
 

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Nice 330. I thought it waz a ZHP for a few minutes until I read your description. My wife bought a 325 convert in 2002 - very nice but definately too subdued for my tastes. Given the choice, I'd drive the STi any day over the 325, but I'm sure she feels the opposite! I was considering getting an M3, until I woke up and saw the price... Also, BMWs have been having lots of reliability problems (lots of little things), just check out alldata.com and compair the recalls/TSPs between BMW and Subaru. Overall, different strokes for different folks. My wife loves her BMW and thinks I'm a nut for paying $30K for a hyped-up Subaru.

How are those Perelli's working out for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Once again thanks for the great replies, I have something to think about.

4MLA1FN, I actually have more of a problem with the length of the shfiter itself, not the length of the trow. The LOOOONG shifter makes me feel like I am driving a school bus, and detracts from the sporty feeling of the car IMHO. Also the gearbox has a kinda of "vague" feeling, so yeah, I an aftermarket SSK(short shift kit) would be on my list of must do mods.

Hayasa, the pirellis are probably the best overall tires I have ever owned. Driving in HEAVY rain is like driving in the dry. In the summer, I could take the same corners 15-20mph faster without the tires making the slightest sqeal!!! They are also relatively inexpensive....i got these for around 550 bucks for all 4, vs the 430bucks you would pay for some cheap KUMHO's. They are also very quiet tires b/c of their tread design, and as an added benefit, tremlining(steering wheel following the road on its own) is kept to a minimum. The only bad part is the wear rating, which i beleive is 240. However, this would be one of my first mods if I were to get an STI.

Keep your thoughts coming, its very helpful. I emailed this thread to my friend yesterday, and he thought all you guys were dead on.
 

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4MLA1FN said:
or a good loud stereo--at 110db, everycar sounds good. ;)
At 110db, every car sounds like permanent hearing damage, but I have to agree that something like an S60R might be a better fit. The STi is a raw car, and very little can be done to make it less so without ruining its character.

k-dog, though you may have grown used to being around people with BMWs who are dicks, an STi will work against you with most economists when compared to your current car. The 3-series is the Honda Accord of the Wall Street and CBOT crowds, and wins far more respect from the old guard (the guys who are important, in the end) than the STi will. Having two economists as parents (one in International Finance at the DC Fed), I can tell you that the academic crowd's tastes (bicycles, public transportation, walking, hybrid cars) intersect only mildly with the professional crowd's tastes (Volvos, BMWs, hybrid cars... nerds). The 3-series is a car intended for a higher median age than the STi, something that is immediately apparent upon inspection.

If you really want to sell your car, you may be able to sell it with all of the mods on roadfly for roughly what you would get by parting it out. As long as they are tastefully executed (and, in your case, they are), mods don't have to work against you when selling to an enthusiast.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Chaboud, your comments are very true, however they also deal more with people who have established themselves among a certain "academic" crowd and have a steady job. When I start looking at companies, I do not want them to think "here comes some snotty spoiled rich kid"....I think driving an STI will not have the same connotations, b/c frankly, many people who do not know crap about cars(about 90% of the US) care only about the brand.
 

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First of all, it's none of ANYONE'S business what car you drive as a condition to obtaining employment, excuse my language, but that's the biggest bull$***I've heard in a long time. If my future boss asked me what kind of car I drive (as a condition of employment perhaps), I'd politely tell them it's my own f***** business.

I never drove a BMW 330Ci, but I was in my sister's b/f M3 E46. These cars are different than the STi, their ride is more supple, especially the 330C I would assume, their interiors are upscale and their "image" ofcourse is different.

I test drove the STi and decided to buy that myself instead of the 350Z. I don't think the ride is that bad, and didn't notice alot of road noise at all.

Another thing with cars in general, you're always going to lose money on them. I'd say findout how much you can get for the BMW, if it's worth it for you and you REALLY like the STi, than go for it. Just consider the give n' take here, you're sacrficing a bit of ride quality, interior and stigma for some SERIOUS PERFORMANCE and the fact people will look at your sort of weird.

So it all boils down to money and what you're truely looking for in a car.

Hope this helps.
 

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k-dog said:
4MLA1FN, I actually have more of a problem with the length of the shfiter itself, not the length of the trow. The LOOOONG shifter makes me feel like I am driving a school bus, and detracts from the sporty feeling of the car IMHO.
Interesting, I've not heard any complaints about the length of the shifter before. On a bit of a side note, if you watch racing, you'll notice that in the series where they still use a stick shift, they either have it mounted on the side (single seater) right near the wheel, or they have REALLY long sticks to get it up near the driver's hand where they just have to move their hands off the wheel a few inches. Professional drivers apparently know that the only thing sporty about short stick shifts is their looks. :D
 

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k-dog said:
When I start looking at companies, I do not want them to think "here comes some snotty spoiled rich kid"....I think driving an STI will not have the same connotations, b/c frankly, many people who do not know crap about cars(about 90% of the US) care only about the brand.
You're right: Subarus don't universally impress people like BMWs do. If that's important to you, then the STi would be a good switch, given your other comments. The question is whether or not you can afford the switch. You'll either have to work really hard to recoup some of what you spent on mods, or you'll take a beating on them. Of course, the "snotty spoiled rich kid" is just a first impression. Assuming you're not snotty--and I have no reason to think you are--then once you get to know these people, that won't be a problem. Then again, if you're really only concerned about first impressions, e.g., for a job interview, you could just rent something cheap on interview days.
 

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k-dog said:
4MLA1FN, I actually have more of a problem with the length of the shfiter itself, not the length of the trow. The LOOOONG shifter makes me feel like I am driving a school bus, and detracts from the sporty feeling of the car IMHO. Also the gearbox has a kinda of "vague" feeling, so yeah, I an aftermarket SSK(short shift kit) would be on my list of must do mods.
Shortening the shifter shouldn't be a problem--worst case you could saw off the stock shifter and cut new threads. The vague feeling--which I haven't noticed myself--might be helped with aftermarket bushings.
 

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K-dog, I may have someone interested in the BMW with mods. He is a CPA here where I work.

What would be the asking price as is? You can PM me if you prefer.
 

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Slowride said:
Shortening the shifter shouldn't be a problem--worst case you could saw off the stock shifter and cut new threads.
the one complication is the reverse lockout. i know it's cable-actuated, so maybe it's just a matter of shortening the cable. dunno.
 
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