Poll: GTI vs Impreza 2.5RS

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Lord Blackadder, Nov 13, 2007.

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Blackadder's new car: GTI or Impreza

  1. 2000-2002 GTI 1.8T

    30 vote(s)
    48.4%
  2. 1998-2000 Impreza 2.5 RS

    19 vote(s)
    30.6%
  3. Neither

    13 vote(s)
    21.0%
  1. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
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    #1
    Lord Blackadder needs new wheels. :(

    A couple weeks ago some 18 year-old punk lost control of his beater F-150 and totaled my Nissan Altima in my own parking lot. The insurance company isn't giving me much (IMO) for my car, but I want something a little sportier this time. And it must have a manual transmission. I've narrowed it down to two cars that fit in my $8-9k maximum price range:

    2000-2002 Golf GTI 1.8T

    Pros:
    -Good acceleration (especially the 180HP 2002)
    -Hatchback versatility (sounds like marketing-speak, I know)
    -"Sleeper" appearance
    -Decent fuel economy

    Cons:
    -Uses premium fuel
    -No limited-slip differential
    -Not 100% convinced on reliability
    -A little soft in the handling department (but miles better than my old Altima)
    -It's a turbo, insurance?

    OR

    1998-2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS

    Pros:
    -AWD w/ 50-50 torque split, I live in a town that gets 200+ inches of snow per year.
    -Uses 87 octane fuel
    -Fairly rare, so I won't blend in

    Cons:
    -A bit heavy
    -Fairly rare, so hard to find
    -Goofy rear spoiler
    -AWD system could become a maintenance issue down the road - lots of differentials, U-joints...

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #2
    Golf. Prestige alone.

    I can't abide Subaru's Airfix quality interiors.
     
  3. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #3
    Yes, I hear you there. Even the 2002+ Subarus were not up to par on the interiors. The '02 WRX had the same interior quality as my '99 Nissan econobox.

    I think the Golf is the more likely choice, simply because it's much easier to find. The 2.5 RS is indefatigable in the snow though...I'm thinking about budgeting money for a Quaife limited slip differential if I buy the Golf.
     
  4. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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  5. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #5
    You know... what you really need is a Focus ST and it's incredible sounding turbo'd 5 cylinder. :D (and it was the only one of the 3 car road test including the Caymen and MX-5 to make it across the Alps to a ski resort). ;)

    But, as they don't sell them over there... what performance Focus models are actually available stateside? Or did Ford U.S. never learn how to screw them together properly?
     
  6. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #6
    Yeah for being driven by absolute twats.

    Golf is classy compared to the chav that is the impreza.
     
  7. mahashel macrumors 6502

    mahashel

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    #7
    Insurance may be slightly different since the Golf is a 2-door, but insurance on my 1.8T Jetta (same car, 4 doors) is very reasonable.
    In fact, my ex has a '97 Subaru Legacy, and insurance for it is nearly double (on the same policy) what my '03 Jetta costs.

    The Subaru will be better in snow, true. However, that's the *only* thing I can see as a perk over the VW. GTi beats it down in all other categories (IMHO).
    Even the snow isn't that big of a deal. The Golf is front-wheel drive, (it's not a total rear-wheel sled like a Mustang) so it's not going to suck entirely on slick roads. I crawl *everywhere* in my Jetta throughout the Colorado winters.
    If it has the same slip-reduction (ASR is the acronym I think), you're fine. That stuff is incredibly useful on slick roads. (I disable it all summer though) :D
    I'd get the Golf. :cool:

    PS: My VW turbo does fine with mid-grade fuel, which is 87-octane (I'm in the USA). Higher octane is better, obviously, and the engine *will* get better mileage, but it's just so damn expensive (premium fuel is $3.25/gal here now).
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

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    #8
    It pales in comparison to the GTi's credibility. Trust me on this one.
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    GTI, but you shouldn't be taking advice from me regarding this, I'm biased and can't give a credible answer :D
     
  10. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #10
    Good points...the main advantage of the Impreza is the AWD, but it looks very boy-racer and doesn't accelerate any faster than my Altima GXE did. I took the Altima through several Ohio and Michigan winters with an open differential and all-season (not snow) tires, so I don't really fear the white stuff, though AWD makes it easy!

    I've heard that VW insists that you use premium in the 1.8T...what mileage do you get with 87 mahashel? A friend of mine tried 87 octane in his Integra and he lost over 8mpg, which negated the cost savings. If I got the Golf it would get 93 octane all the time.

    Once I get the settlement money I will call the insurance company and see what the cost to insure these vehicles will be...They're both two doors and one is a turbo, so I am bracing for impact somewhat.

    My biggest beef with VW is the base engine...the 2.0L SOHC four is a joke, purely and simply - it was fine in 1990 but in 2000 it's just not on. So I can either get the turbo (which is a little more expensive than I'd prefer) or the thirsy VR6, with it's nose-heavy weight bias. I'll be thrilled with the turbo, but I will be car-poor for a year after buying it.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #11

    I know nothing about VW engines, but if that's the same 2.0t that's in the current GTIs, that thing is a freakin beast. Don't let the small size fool you, I test drove one and I think the first words out of my mouth were "HOLY SH*T!" :D Can't wait until mine arrives, one more month!

    And really, I'm trying to not let the premium fuel thing bother me. I don't think it will work out to be *that* much more, and you have to pay to play I suppose.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    Nope, it's a carryover engine from the Mk 3, and not really much of an improvement of the old 1.8L my Dad had in his '88 Jetta. It worked OK in that car, but the Mk 2 Jetta is a much lighter car than the Mk 4 cars, so Mk 4 VWs with the 2.0 (115HP) are dogs.

    The new, 150HP 2.0L is a totally different engine.
     
  13. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #13
    I own a 2002 GTI 1.8T, what it has is amazing low end torque, it zooms around at low speeds which makes it so much fun. It also handles great. You won't be able to drive anything after you get into the fine engineering
     
  14. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #14
    Go with the Subaru.

    I like the VW more but their reliability, repair costs, and difficulty to repair is absurd. I should let you know that my moms VW just got towed away about 20 minutes ago because it won't start (for the second time in 40,000 miles). Other notable repairs include CD player, two CV joints, the trunk latch 2x, a window regulator, many many light bulbs, a door seal, alternator, fuel pump, and probably other stuff I can't think of. Again this has milage in the low 40,000's and is a 2005. Some people love their VW's, many hate them. I think you either get a good one or a bad one but everyone in my family that has ever owned a modern VW have agreed with my opening statement. My uncle said to change a headlight on his Passat he had to remove part of the air intake. They are basically over engineered cars and they are engineered to be made so that an owner just can't change the headlight.

    Don't get me wrong, I love VW's. They are fun to drive and have excellent build quality (in the sense that plastics are high quality, body panels line up, etc), but for the same price you can get a Subaru that will never have a problem. Everyone I know with a Subaru loves them. Just look out- many people kill themselves in the WRX :p. AWD is definitely a plus too.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #15
    My dad's '88 Jetta was the worst car to own I've ever had personal experience with.

    - It rusted into a dangerous state (holes through the floor) in under 5 years.
    - the windshield wipers burned out and seized mid-stroke in a driving rainstorm on the freeway.
    - VW put the ECU right next to the exhaust manifold (duh). The tiny heat shield protecting it rusted away after 2 years and the engine melted its own ECU.
    - 2 of the the doors seized shut after 2 winters.
    - All of the plastic body trim fell off in under 5 years.
    - Etc. Etc.

    But the Mk. 4 Golf is not an '88 Jetta, and actually, when it was running, the Jetta was a fun ride.

    On the other hand, I know someone who had a '96 Subaru Outback and it was similarly problematic - the head gasket blew after 80,000 miles, every single ball joint failed within 4 years, and the car was plagued with weird electrical gremlins that were never totally fixed despite several expensive attempts.

    And here's the kicker - a co-worker and friend of mine bought a new 2000 Civic that was a mess, with rust bubbles showing after three years or so, electrical faults and unexplained stalls! A Honda? Gasp! :eek: Not possible!

    It doesn't matter which brand you go with, there's always a risk you'll get a lemon.

    My Nissan has been bulletproof reliable through very harsh driving conditions and I can't fault it in that regard. But it was a bit boring. If I have to trade some reliability to get the drive I want, then so be it. So far research indicates both the Subaru and Volkswagen are pretty reliable.
     
  16. mahashel macrumors 6502

    mahashel

    Joined:
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    #16
    I got 34-36mpg with 91 octane, which is the highest octane fuel I've seen around here.
    Dropping down to 87 octane, I'm getting closer to 30-32. I've not even bothered with 85 octane, which is the sludge they sell as "regular" at my local filling station.
    Honestly, my mileage wasn't impacted nearly as heavily as my throttle response. When the turbo is at full boost, the car is a rocket regardless of what octane is powering it. It's the low-RPM off the line performance where the premium fuel really shines. :D
     
  17. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #17
    over here my 12 year old renault 5 crap bucket is on the cheap stuff which is 95 and i even put 99 in it sometime when i'm feeling flash.
     
  18. mahashel macrumors 6502

    mahashel

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    #18
    WOW! Is the formula for determining the octane of fuel different between the UK and USA? If not, then maybe I can get somebody across the pond to ship me some 99 octane so I can try it out?! :D
    93 is the highest I've *EVER* seen in the states.
    (yeah, yeah, I know. Can't ship highly flammable stuff. ;p)
     
  19. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

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    #19
    I'll soon be owning my 4th GTI.

    I've had two 98 VR6's and an 02 GTI 337 (1.8T). Soon a 2.0T 4 Door Candy White GTI.

    Get the GTI. Don't think twice about it.
     
  20. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #20
    Shell V Power :cool:
     
  21. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #21
    Reliability of VW's are awful. Check out the 3 year quality surveys from JD Powers or Consumer Reports, they are almost almost dead last, only surpassed by Kia and Land Rover if my memory serves me right. For a used car without a warranty, I'd say that should have some significance.
     
  22. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #22
    Some of the fuel stations near home in Ohio sell 100+ octane fuel. Premium is usually 93 octane in the Midwest, though some stations sell 91 or 92.

    Pardon my skepticism, but that's 10/8mpg better than the EPA rated numbers!...if the Golf really does anywhere near that on premium I will be most pleased.

    Of course, my Altima was listed as 25mpg city and it actually got more like 31.5mpg, so I'm not taking those numbers as gospel.
     
  23. mahashel macrumors 6502

    mahashel

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    #23
    On 91 octane, I used to get 430-450 miles on a tank of fuel, which takes 13 gallons (verified at the pump) to fill. (33 - 34.6 mpg)
    On 87 octane, I'm getting between 400-410 miles per 13 gallon tank. (30.8 - 31.5 mpg)

    So my 36mpg claim was indeed high, but unless my odometer is fibbing, the remainder of the numbers are pretty close. I do drive lots of highway miles, so my numbers will be higher. :)
    Granted, my mileage numbers were a lot lower for the first 6 months I had the car. Just couldn't keep my foot out of the turbo. heh

    As for the concerns about reliability, I firmly believe it's luck of the draw. If VWs are terrible, then I've been very lucky. The only issue I've encountered in 5 years / 60K miles is a dead battery.
     
  24. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #24
    That's just the standard split, it's variable to 100% in either direction with the manual thanks to the viscous center diff. Just don't run it on a two wheel dyno or tow it with two wheels on the ground.
    Not for an AWD sedan (or coupe if that's what you want) they aren't.
    Depends on your area (I don't know how popular they are in Sod Off :p)
    It hasn't really been an issue for most people. The only real weak point are the gears themselves, and then that's only an issue if you have a turbo and like harsh clutch engagement. The diffs hold up fine under even elevated power levels, provided you don't swap it to RWD.
    Stay away from the 1998 models. That was the last year for Subaru's Phase I heads, which had head gasket issues. 99-2000 will be fine.
     
  25. Lord Blackadder thread starter macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #25
    Right. I was mostly saying this in reference to the automatic version, which has a ridiculous front bias, 90-/10 or some such IIRC.

    Very true (it's lighter than my Altima was). The weight still hurts acceleration in comparison to the Golf, though not by a huge margin.
    So far the closest one I've found is about 100 miles away and it's an automatic. :(

    Yeah, I expect them to be reliable, but you know the old saying: just one more thing to break (thought you could say the same about the turbo on the VW)...

    Hmmm, good to know. Thanks.
     

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