I am looking for some input from the Car Talk community about a car decision. I am driving a 2005 Saturn VUE which does provide me some utility, but we have another SUV and i could get by with something smaller. I am highly considering a 2004 Subaru WRX STI. I plan autocross this and maybe even do some SCCA club racing. I’ve always has sports cars in my life and now really want something fun as a daily driver. My wife says the WRX is for 18 year olds.

What does the community think? Is the WRX too cool for a 35 year old with graying hair?

As long as you don’t “rice” it out, I say go for it!

You’d look even sillier autocrossing in the VUE.

I don’t see how you’d look out of place in that car when I’ve seen autocrossers using Cavaliers!

Buy what you like and look after it! Unless you use the car for your job, and your employer or your clients have objections, ignore the rest. The WRX happens to be a very good car and is practical as well. Happy motoring!

I am a proud owner of a 2004 WRX wagon with two baby seats in the rear and age 36.

While teens love the car there are many adult owners I know my age and into their 60’s and 70’s with STI’s. Who cares what your wife thinks. She is not going to be driving it.

I don’t know a lot of teenagers who can afford a new $30,000+ car. However, at 35 you may want to consider more “sophisticated” speed that does the same job as the WRX, but doen’t look foolish at the office. Only one car I know fits that bill-The BMW M3. It’s the best handling 4 seat car I’ve ever driven, and at autocross events I’ve attended they seem to be able to outrun almost anything.

You’re way too old, geezer-boy. Go EVO! ;’)

Check out the Lancer, too.

Hey, I’m 67 years old and I would really like to have a Mazda Miata. I don’t have one for two reasons:

  1. I need a minivan to tote instruments and my fellow musicians around;

  2. At 6’3" tall, I don’t fit well in the Miata.

Go for the WRX. Why should 18 year olds have all the fun?

I’m still in my 20’s and I would be a little embarassed to be seen in an STi, the styling is too over the top, The park-bench rear wing is just too much for me. With that said it’s a very fast car and is alot of fun to drive.

You’re getting old before your time and/or you embarrass too easily. I bought a new Oldmobile 4-4-2 back in 1978. The 4-4-2 was just a trim package by 1978, and the car only has a 260 cubic inch V-8 engine, but the price was right and it looked fast. People thought I was too old at that time (37) to have such a car. I still have the car–it’s the 3rd vehicle in our “fleet”. It’s rather faded and battered now, but I still drive it. Most of my younger colleagues are embarrassed if they have to ride with me in the car. I always make sure to drive the car to receptions that the president hosts at the university where I teach. I like to go looking poor.

This is great. You won’t mind people thinking that you had to borrow your son’s car while your transmission is being fixed. Autocross is kind of a rare one for car-talk. Gear heads will never understand enthusiasts, who won’t understand wanna-be’s who… This reminds me of a lot of stories and situations which I have seen before. Life is full of differences. I just saw a Lifetime movie. It could pay to impress the wife at least some of the time. The guy that married the dancer should not have started calling her names.Shouldn’t have left her home when he went on a business trip that she wanted to be included in. Shouldn’t have started divorce proceedings, or trusted his insurance agent. Life isn’t that grim, we hope.

“Give me a fast boat, for I go in harm’s way”

I say, test drive an STI and an EVO, pick the one you like and damn the torpedoes!

Get a license plate that says HRMS WY (already taken in Calif - it’s on a Porsche)

I have driven an STI, and it was wickedly fast. I found it to be brutal on my 55-year-old body, but part of that due was the suspension mods and Ricaro seats on the one I drove.

For my money and at my age, my 3-series BMW is as fast and as brisk a ride as I want. But then, I am old enough to be your dad. You are still a youngster.

I say if you like the car, buy the car. They are quite quick…

but don’t expect to get much respect from the teenyboppers and old school rodders.
The young’uns will say you are too old and the rodders will call you a ricer.

I went to college with a guy who raced SCCA and autocross in a volkswagen GTI and blew th doors off quite a few of the BMWs and subarus.
cheap to get, easy to modify, and there is nothing like spanking a guy in a car that costs 3 times as much as yours.

but, I prefer old trucks…so…

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I am looking at two STI’s this week and a mini next week. We’ll see what comes…