I had an 05 STI with lots of mods, a thinly disquised race car with a an attitude. It was a fun weekend driver, incredable handling, great power and reliable. However, the car was setup for performanc...
I had an 05 STI with lots of mods, a thinly disquised race car with a an attitude. It was a fun weekend driver, incredable handling, great power and reliable. However, the car was setup for performance and traded off creature comforts...like ride. The 2011 is a different car, leaning more towards the BMW side of the sport/luxury equation. While it isn't an M3/335, it does very nicely with the blend of very good acceleration, handling and ride....but the styling is still a little different than the mainstream and it is $10s of thousands less and has better resale and repair/service costs.
The car itself has gained a little weight, improved the stock suspension/handling and improved the interior design and content. The seats are wonderful, easy to shift, and did I comment about the great acceleration.
Yes this is really a car for the "sport" oriented driver. While it will certainly work as a daily driver and grocery hauler, it comes into its own on a curvy back road or any straight away. The S-drive helps out by giving a moderate performance level in S1, easy to drive around town, but powerful if you rev it up. The S# setting gives the type of response that enthusiasts are looking for....gobs of torque, improved throttle response and some exhaust sounds....music to my ears!
Subarus are reliable and repair costs modest in todays world of $100 hr/dealer rates. The cars are durable. just not as robust as the europeans when comes to sheet metal, trim parts and interior materials...they're just more Japanese like...adaquate and reliable. The STIs require more frequent maintenace than your run of the mill import, but its the good kind...oil changes, tire rotation, brake and transmission fluid changes are more frequent since its a high performance car.
If there's one single caution it is check the insurance rates on the car before buying. If you have a good record then expect to pay slightly higher than normal rates, but if your 25 yrs old and a few tickets then be prepared for a sticker shock.
The Base model is just fine because the Premium only adds a sunroof and BBS wheels, all of the rest of the features can be added to the Base if you want them. To me, spending $2k for a factory NAV when I can drop in any of the excellent aftermkt units for $150 makes no sense. Yes you can upgrade the stereo but the factory speakers are the weak link. If you want a high quality music upgrade the system/speakers with aftermkt units ....sound better and less $$$.
Nice thing about STIs is that there is a huge performance and styling aftermkt, so you can personalize or extend the performance to pretty much any level you want.
I love this car for what it is...unadulterated fun, in your face styling, and a grin to drive. Oh and did I mention it has great acceleration?