CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

My Subaru Is Great But I Want My VW back? Maybe

Car was lousy last winter? It will for sure be worse this winter with old tires. A dealer will love ur trade in. 3yrs old’ 60k miles. They will snap it up in a heartbeat.

The Outback Sport version of the Impreza was replaced by the XV Crosstrek last year. It was always a bit confusing when most people knew the Outback as a version of the Legacy, and when they dropped the Legacy name from the wagons and Outback became the model, it was even more confusing. Now the XV Crosstrek is a raised, butched-up Impreza, but not at all sporty. From most comparisons I’ve read, magazines almost universally consider the GTI a better handler, though some have said the Focus ST has even better handling than the GTI, if not the overall sophistication. I’d probably pick the GTI, but the expect to be sell it in about five years or 75,000 miles, hoping it lasted that long before needing any major repairs.

When discussing a car like GT I as a good handling car, it completely neglects the dependability of good handling characteristics. I used to race fwd cars and they are totally unpredictable as the surface, terrain and power requirements vary. A COMPARABLE RWD car is predictable in nearly all situations and modern AWD cars which are also great in snow with the right tires, nearly so. Like I said before, in a real life situation, if you want some power, a WRX and even a Six cylinder Legacy while feeling less nimble around pylons on a FLAT dry surface will negotiate a mountain road, pass or merge while trying to accelerate while turning especially, much more dependably. In the real world, good handling is required in all situations.

I was looking too at the acceleration times of fwd cars and some do quite well 0 to 60 in well less then 6 seconds. That’s great. (Sarcasm) This power is only spastically available as you tweak the wheel trying to get the car going straight ahead while you achieve maximum acceleration.

Please forgive me as I say this for OP as an observation and not as a slur, but if you are one who expects an AWD car to handle well in snow with all season tires with 50k miles on it and also says a GTI on a dry road is a better handler, then these drivers are missing the intent of good handling characteristics. They are meant to save your life not to play with in artificial situations. Next time you drive a GTI with 50k all season tires in snow, you’ll get my point. Unsettled conditions reveal handling flaws on all cars.

I live near Buffalo NY and have never had an all or 4 wheel drive vechicle and the last snow tires I bought were for a 72 Chevy back in the 70s. But I do have more than 3 million miles under my belt.

My view is you pays your money and you takes your choice. If you really really want a Yugo, go for it.

I am definitely oriented to maximum reliability over sex appeal and fun. My Sienna gets me where I am going in a safe manner. 212,000 miles so far. I don’t mind slowing down on corners.

Ha, I think the snow tires from 1975 were made out of hard rubber so they wouldn’t wear so fast. They relied on big lugs to bite snow and had zero traction on ice.

I’m with dagosa - to compare a GTI to a Subaru Outback Sport / wagon… totally different sorts of cars. Depending on your needs, and performance vs luxury desires, +1 to dagosa’s points.

I’m a Subaru fan, so take this with a grain of salt but the 2015 Legacy is a huge difference in handling from the 2012 era one. It’s far sharper around corners. The 3.6R version is reasonably fast, though not a sports sedan, it is fun to drive. Both the 2012 and 2015 I’ve driven handle suprisingly well for the size and weight, though you may feel like you’re manhandling the car a bit, it will grip and turn in.

If you want sports handling like the GTI from a Subaru, you need to be looking at a WRX or STI. The 2015 WRX is pretty amazing according to the motor press, youtube and a cousin of mine who’s test driven one.

According to the press, the 2015 STI is just . . . out of this world for the price. Corner grip was 0.99G which is $100k car territory. The interior of course does not compare, and there’s no luxury, it’s just a really fast street legal rally car. Sport sharp is rumored to be jaw dropping.

I think you try one of those, and you’ll have Subaru reliability, Subaru AWD, traction control etc, with probably better than GTI handling and performance, or at least comparable.

But the Outback Sport Wagon is probably more like a Passat if it was a wagon…

Just to make the comparisons relevant…or at least closer. I have a friend who owns two cars…a Subaru outback 6 cylinder and a 3 series BMW AWD. He says, the engine performance of the two is very similar. The handling is heavily in favor of the BMW…but when he is tired and just trying to get from point a to point b…he takes the Outback. According to him, the 6 cylinder makes the Outback a car he can live with. He had no interest in the 4 cylinder as owning the BMW too, it would have been too much of a let down.

The WRX is just an Imprezza on steroid. It’s a great family sedan with some handling compromises. I’d drive an Imprezza hatch if I can afford it. Subaru has a purer sports car that’s closer to the GTI; it’s the BRZ

@chunkyazian‌ “A great man never repeats himself.”

There are always enthusiasts out there comparing the WRX and the GTI. Look up “hot hatch comparison” or “hot hatch review” and check out the articles.

@dagosa, if I can delete those repeated posts, I would. And if I have better internet access, that wouldn’t have happened. But most of the time, I’m posting with my Xiaomi on a 2G network

@chunkyazian‌
Have had it happen to me too on my slow internet connection and pumped “post” too many times. I completely recognized what happened. But we should never let an occasion go by without being a wise asteroid. :wink:
The real comment should be "a great man never repeats himself, never, "

But, being that the Subaru is our state car, I am compelled, right or wrong and have taken a solemn oath to support the WRX over all others.

Your story of loving a car that you can’t keep running’ reminds me of a friend that owned a Fiat. Early eighties that boxie sports model. Fun to drive, but once a month it was needed something. Near the end , no miles, the timing belt broke, sending the valves into the pistons .