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Old 06-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #15
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Thanks for taking the time to write a full comparison.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:26 PM   #16
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As a previous owner of a 2011 STI I will say that in fact both the WRX and STI put the same whp on the dyno, with the WRX having a smoother area under the curve.

Stock for stock the WRX will also beat the STI due to the gearing (on the STI you're on 3rd gear before hitting 60). Brembo brakes are nice but interestingly the stopping distance is actually a tad bit shorter on the WRX. Perhaps on a track the STI brakes might resist fading a bit better. The STI has a much firmer suspension while the WRX is very soft.

The main difference between both of them, apart from the transmission is in the AWD system - open diffs vs mechanical diffs.

Finally, I applaud the original poster for the comparison - very well written and I agree on all points presented - especially with the choice of the sedan, I hated the brake lights on the hatchback.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PetrolHead View Post
That's my point! Seems like the STI outguns the R in most ways. So when you ignore price, what is the R more matched to? Probably the WRX. I don't know why there aren't more Golf R vs WRX comparos...seems more evenly matched, ignoring cost.
Oh I got you now.

I think the next generation R is going to give the STI and EVO a run for it's money. Just looking at what they are doing to the GTI, I am excited about how the R is going to perform
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #18
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Dude, fantastic review. Wow. Very well written and thought out, and you do seem to be very objective even though it is something that is typically subjective. Nice job.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:09 PM   #19
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i didnt see stereo mentioned. hands down the R wins?
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #20
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i didnt see stereo mentioned. hands down the R wins?
"InteriorÖ. Not even a comparison. Everything and I do mean EVERYTHING feels and looks better in the R. Everything is more supple: seats, dash, buttons, trim, doors, you name it, it feels and looks better in the R. No comparison. The WRX feels cold and cheap inside. The Rís stereo is much more refined and I didnít even get the upgraded Dynaudio stereoÖ the base stereo on the R is better than anything Iíve ever heard of (factory-wise) on a Subaru. The flat-bottomed steering wheel on the R is perfect! It makes getting in and out of the R MUCH easier than it is on the Subaru and feels better in my hands. I canít say enough about the fit and finish in the R: the Subaru isnít in the same league. The gauges are clearer/nicer, the head unit is beyond easy to use and looks greatÖ. Really, there are a lot of differences in these cars, and this is likely the most one-sided. The R looks and feels like an Audi insideÖ the WRX looks and feels like a cheap $17k econo-box inside. "
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:56 PM   #21
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Not slightly interested in the WRX, the looks meh.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:59 PM   #22
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Damn that subie is ugly in white

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Old 06-04-2013, 12:36 AM   #23
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Good comparison OP. I come from 2013 sti and even thoug you compared to wrx, I agree with you on almost everything. I do enjoy stock suspension an steering feel of sti more than R though.
My stage 1+ R feels about same as STOCK sti. So it just shows how well sti performs.

But what I like most about my R is the keyless entry!! Lol.
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by mdhollis View Post
Yeah this is a great write up. The way you anally compared these cars I wish you had a STI to compare to the R
Well, I've owned the old GD STI (2006), but only test driven the newer GR STI's (I've test driven 3 of them since 2008). The results are pretty similar, with a few variables... while the STI has a claimed 305hp, in the real world, the 0-60mph & 1/4 times favor the WRX... Of the WRX's & STI's I've test driven, the WRX's all felt faster in a straight line... this is mostly due to 2 reasons: 1. the WRX's gearing is much better suited to 0-60mph & 1/4 mile runs. 2. the WRX weighs less (3208 lbs- WRX vs 3373 lbs- STI). However, the guys at Inside Line note that the STI has been getting progressively slower over the years:

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/t...sti-sedan.html

The last STI they tested:
http://www.edmunds.com/subaru/imprez...road-test.html
The last WRX they tested:
http://www.edmunds.com/subaru/imprez...oad-test1.html

Here's the breakdown:

2011 Subaru WRX: 5.3 seconds 0-60 mph & 13.8 @ 98.2 mph
2011 Subaru STI: 5.5 seconds 0-60 mph & 13.8 @ 97.4 mph

^^^Look at the trap speeds... the WRX is just a tick faster. For comparison, here's the Golf R:
http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/t...en-golf-r.html

2012 VW Golf R: 6.2 seconds 0-60 mph & 14.4 @ 97.2 mph

^^^Take a peek at the R's trap speed... it's right in line with the WRX & STI's... even though the Subaru's both rip out of the hole harder, the R manages to nearly match speeds with them at the end of the 1/4 mile.

Note that the Subaru's launch more aggressively, and also note what they had to say about the R's launch:

"5,500-rpm clutch launch produced the fastest run. No wheelspin, as all four tires hooked up and actually bogged the R just slightly off the line."

^^^There's the problem with the R: bogging off the line, which hurts 0-60mph & 1/4 mile ET. Trap speeds show that it keeps up just fine at speed.. and like I mentioned earlier, I would put my money on the R at high speeds. To keep up with with Subaru's, the R has to be underrated, given it's curb weight (3325 lbs) and short gears, which APR has shown to be the case (273hp findings).

In short: the R is not really "out-powered" by the competition. If anything, the STI is over-rated and has been since around 2009, right after everyone started popping [stock] motors in the 2007/2008 STI's and Subaru "re-tuned" them.

Since the STI isn't any faster in a straight line, here are the things that would be favorable in the STI (vs WRX):

-6-speed transmission. Better feel. More positive engagement. Shorter gearing. MUCH more stout in design, as in, I've heard of guys putting down 700+hp in stock STI 6-speeds. Beefy to say the least.
-Limited slip differentials & DCCD. Better at putting power to the ground coming out of corners.
-Stiffer suspension/less body roll. Straight up, it will corner harder and flatter.
-Brembo brakes. These will help on the track, as they will resist fade to a greater degree. The pedal feel on my old STI's Brembo's was nothing to write home about, and I can't remember being impressed by the new STI's Brembo's either...

The WRX and STI both have EJ25 motors (EJ255 & EJ257), which are nearly identical... they have fairly identical compressor housings, whereas the turbine on the WRX is just a touch smaller; we're talking boost peak kicking in around ~300rpms sooner. Again, nothing to write home about. Most people aren't going to notice much of a difference.

The STI costs more than the R, by around ~$1500 if you compare the 4-door R to the hatchback STI. So, the STI would lose the WRX's price advantage. What would you get for the extra cash?

-A whopping 0.2 seconds faster than the R around VIR.
-Similar acceleration to the WRX...
-Better brakes that would be about on par with the R's.
-Less body roll, that would be just a tad bit stiffer than the R.
-Better traction when coming out of corners & putting power down. <---This is where the STI's real advantage over the R, although it would only be more prominent at low speeds.
-Gearbox that would make it easier to keep it in powerband vs the WRX, about on par with the R's gearing.

The R's advantages over the STI:

-Much nicer interior. The STI looks and feels very much like a WRX inside, but with a couple alcantara inserts & seats that look prettier.
-Seats. The STI's seats are just re-badged WRX seats. They are absolute rubbish and don't begin to compare to the R's seats.
-Options (covered above).
-Steering feel. Subaru's have poor steering feedback, they always have.
-Ride quality. While the R & WRX are similar, the R rides smoother than the STI IMO.
-Fuel economy. The STI's mpg is even worse than the WRX's (17/23mpg in STI).

Everything else will be just about the same... really, if anyone wants to know the secret as to why the magazines said the R wasn't enough performance for the money, it's pretty simple: all-season tires. Swap those out for sticky summer shoes and you would see the R's performance sky-rocket and it would be a VERY direct competitor for the STI... as was the case with the VIR lap times. Something tells me VW sent that car to the Lightning Lap with summer tires.

The EVO on the other hand.... well, that's a whole different animal. Much harder to live with than the R and the WRX/STI... drove a few of them, and for the money, nothing corners harder and offers more race-like steering feel IMO.... the powertrain/drivetrain is awesome! Too bad the rest of the car is such a cheap pile of rubbish... I would buy an STI before I would buy an EVO, and considering how much of an animal the EVO is, that's saying a lot. It's fast, but I like good daily driver's, not straight track machines. Just my $.02


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Originally Posted by thedude4bides View Post
Very well written and thank you

I've never driven a stock subie. The 450hp STI that I drove made my R seem like the smoothest quietest car ever made. I loved the rawness of the STI, however, it only suits a small piece of my personality whereas the R checks virtually all the boxes.
You hit the nail on the head buddy. That's exactly how I feel about the STI vs R!


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Originally Posted by PetrolHead View Post
Only in price, really. From a performance standpoint, the two seem (on paper) to be equally matched). I'm actually glad to hear someone say that's not the case in real life. Seems like the R has gotten dogged quite a bit for it's poor cost to performance ratio, and I've always questioned whether it was warranted or not.
From one gearhead to another, I would honestly say the R's bad performance-per-dollar rap is a direct result of all-season tires. It shows at VIR that when you [likely] throw on a set of summer tires that the R smokes the WRX and keeps up with the STI. Apparently the option to run summer tires on the R didn't make it to the PR guy's desk, as an option to give out for testing would have improved the R's overall press IMO.


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Originally Posted by mdhollis View Post
STI is far superior to a WRX though. Front and rear Brembo brakes, BBS wheels, different transmission, bigger turbo and intercooler. STI has 305hp stock compared to 265 for the WRX.

Don't get me wrong I would choose a R over both of these cars. The R gets compared to the STI and EVO due to the price, and it is underpowered compared to those cars.
Underpowered & out-gunned when compared to the EVO, sure, I'll concede that... although, as I mentioned above, the STI is right in line with the R, as far as real world performance goes (when equipped with proper tires that is). Although, the R beats both of them handily in terms of luxury and daily driver qualities.


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Originally Posted by hcw5733 View Post
As a previous owner of a 2011 STI I will say that in fact both the WRX and STI put the same whp on the dyno, with the WRX having a smoother area under the curve.

Stock for stock the WRX will also beat the STI due to the gearing (on the STI you're on 3rd gear before hitting 60). Brembo brakes are nice but interestingly the stopping distance is actually a tad bit shorter on the WRX. Perhaps on a track the STI brakes might resist fading a bit better. The STI has a much firmer suspension while the WRX is very soft.

The main difference between both of them, apart from the transmission is in the AWD system - open diffs vs mechanical diffs.

Finally, I applaud the original poster for the comparison - very well written and I agree on all points presented - especially with the choice of the sedan, I hated the brake lights on the hatchback.
+1 for the most part.

^^^I have actually seen STI's put down a bit more power than WRX's on the dyno. Generally I've seen STI's put down an extra 15-20whp over their WRX counterparts. Here's a good example from Cobb's database of their stock WRX vs their stock STI, both on the same dyno (in Austin, TX):



^^^Note, the almost identical peak torque figures and similar shape of their torque curves. It's easy to see that the WRX has a slight advantage below 3200rpms due to it's smaller turbine/hotside... but that smaller hotside won't allow it to hold boost as well up top- the STI has an advantage above 5000rpm.

Now, while in this instance, the STI has a 16whp advantage (not nearly the 40hp advantage Subaru claims), that advantage is almost completely negated by the WRX's ~160 lbs weight advantage alone. Combine that with the WRX's taller gearing and it's easy to see why the WRX is generally crowned the drag strip champion of the 2. IMO, the WRX's acceleration advantage isn't really going to go away until they both reach very high speeds (90-100mph+ IMO)...

Otherwise, I agree with all of your points.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:19 AM   #25
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i once had test driven a sti, which i thought will be my next car..fortunately i am in deep love with my 1.4 hahaha.. if you want something that offers you comfort kind of fast, i would definately go with R..and if you wanna something offers you anger and emotional kind of fast go with STI...on comparison 0-60 time of R is slower than STI...but 60-120 of R is faster than sti (got it when test driven dealer's sti and race it with friend's Scirocco R lol)
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #26
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The 2011 STI is a different animal from the 2008 STI. Here's a plot for better comparison between the 2011 WRX and 2011 STI (my actual car here on Cobb Tuning Plano)
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #27
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Well done review, sir
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #28
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great review, thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

I negotiated with the subaru dealership in November 2011 on a WRX, trimmed out the exact same as your wife's (minus the special mirror). Couldn't get them to do anything under 28k out the door... or I would have one. Walked out of there and into the VW scene and got the GTI in December '11 and haven't looked back since. I believe at the time the WRX's were in short supply because of the tsunami, so maybe my timing was just terrible. Or maybe that was just the excuse the salesman gave me, what a turd he was.
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