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      03-12-2014, 09:32 AM   #1
bsmack
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Downgrading from an m3 to...?

So the time has come to purchase a house. I'm in a very real situation in which I might have to downgrade my car, which saddens me . Hopefully I will be able to keep it, but I've been trying to come up with a plan B in the meantime. I know I will need to make sacrifices on either the performance or luxury side and am trying to figure out if I can find a balance between the two. So far, I've only really looked at two cars, and I'm fairly certain a good number of members here have driven both of them so any insight is greatly appreciated .

Lancer Evo X (Both GSR and MR)
+Best performer for the price range I'm looking at
+Much better stock sound system than the STI
+Less to worry about when modding (vs. STI)
+Looks great IMO
-Small trunk (I haul DJ gear, but this might not be as big of an issue as it's blown out to be on the internet. For reference, my DJ gear fit fine in the TT-RS I had)
-Terrible cruising drone (from autoblog.com review, does the MR alleviate this with the extra gear?)
-Small gas tank, fill-ups will need to be every 200ish miles

Subaru WRX STI (considering both new incoming model and old)
+"Softer" ride for better daily drivability than the Evo
+Also looks great (I don't know why people think they're ugly, and I think the new one looks even better)
+Better trunk space
+Bigger fuel tank
-Overall less reliable engine (Complete engine failure with just a tune? Really?)
-A few more grand than a similar year/mileage Evo in my area
-Terrible stock sound system (from both users and critics)
-People seem to complain about the interior a lot (haven't sat in one since probably '06-'07, so hard to remember)
-New model seems purely cosmetic

This will be my only car that will serve as a DD. I have about a 20 mile commute, mostly highway. I'm leaning towards the performance side of things, but am open to other suggestions. As far as modding goes, I'm not one to do more than a tune and some bolt-ons.

P.S. I should also note that I do not have the typical New England phobia of driving a RWD car year-round. I want the car I get to either be RWD or RWD biased AWD (not quattro).
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Last edited by bsmack; 03-12-2014 at 09:48 AM.
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      03-12-2014, 09:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmack View Post
So the time has come to purchase a house. I'm in a very real situation in which I might have to downgrade my car, which saddens me . Hopefully I will be able to keep it, but I've been trying to come up with a plan B in the meantime. I know I will need to make sacrifices on either the performance or luxury side and am trying to figure out if I can find a balance between the two. So far, I've only really looked at two cars, and I'm fairly certain a good number of members here have driven both of them so any insight is greatly appreciated .

Lancer Evo X (Both GSR and MR)
+Best performer for the price range I'm looking at
+Much better stock sound system than the STI
+Less to worry about when modding (vs. STI)
+Looks great IMO
-Small trunk (I haul DJ gear, but this might not be as big of an issue as it's blown out to be on the internet. For reference, my DJ gear fit fine in the TT-RS I had)
-Terrible cruising drone (from autoblog.com review, does the MR alleviate this with the extra gear?)
-Small gas tank, fill-ups will need to be every 200ish miles

Subaru WRX STI (considering both new incoming model and old)
+"Softer" ride for better daily drivability than the Evo
+Also looks great (I don't know why people think they're ugly, and I think the new one looks even better)
+Better trunk space
+Bigger fuel tank
-Overall less reliable engine (Complete engine failure with just a tune? Really?)
-A few more grand than a similar year/mileage Evo in my area
-Terrible stock sound system (from both users and critics)
-People seem to complain about the interior a lot (haven't sat in one since probably '06-'07, so hard to remember)
-New model seems purely cosmetic

This will be my only car that will serve as a DD. I have about a 20 mile commute, mostly highway. I'm leaning towards the performance side of things, but am open to other suggestions. As far as modding goes, I'm not one to do more than a tune and some bolt-ons.

P.S. I should also note that I do not have the typical New England phobia of driving a RWD car year-round. I want the car I get to either be RWD or RWD biased AWD (not quattro).
STI look better than EVO mo. Neither will be an M3. What about an E46?
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      03-12-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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STI look better than EVO mo. Neither will be an M3. What about an E46?
While I like the e46 idea, I have concerns with owning a car from 2006 that will probably have over 80,000 miles. Theoretically if I could find the PERFECT example I might be willing to pay for it, but it's still a tough sell because it's my daily driver car.
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      03-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by dmk08 View Post
STI look better than EVO mo. Neither will be an M3. What about an E46?
While I like the e46 idea, I have concerns with owning a car from 2006 that will probably have over 80,000 miles. Theoretically if I could find the PERFECT example I might be willing to pay for it, but it's still a tough sell because it's my daily driver car.
Why does it have to have 80k miles? Lol
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      03-12-2014, 10:49 AM   #5
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Why does it have to have 80k miles? Lol
That was just a number I threw out there. For what I would want (which is pretty much everyone) it would need to be LSB, 6 speed, 2003+, <60k miles. Then MAYBE I would consider it. I consider a DD to be a "get-in-and-go" car, meaning not having to constantly fix things. With an older car, it's only more likely that things will need to be fixed.
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      03-12-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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Both really good, sensible options that will provide you with a fun driving experience...so what if they're "not an M3."

Growing up in Europe one of my all-time cars was the Evo VI, especially the 6.5 TM edition. Unfortunately, when they arrived in the states from 7 onwards they never looked half as good. However, they did become a better daily drive, smoother and more predictable yaw control.

STi has always sounded better, Evos have always had a dreary drone. Evos have always been a little more single-minded, STi fast but a bit more livable.

Either are a good choice but I'd lean STi. For sure try and get a new one or one with watertight history.
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      03-12-2014, 10:54 AM   #7
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I drove the 2014 WRX-STI and it was OK. not overly impressed with the performance vs. the M3 - but I know you are looking for a downgrade. internal build quality was OK. It was comfortable. but overall left me "meh". I do like the styling of the hatch - I'm not a fan of "wings"...

if you are looking at other stuff outside of those two - How about an Audi S4? AWD. Nice looking. nice kit. 4 doors. good trunk room.

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      03-12-2014, 11:31 AM   #8
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What about the 2 series?
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      03-12-2014, 11:40 AM   #9
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E46 M3 ZCP gets my vote and you can still find low km ones.
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      03-12-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
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I owned two Evos including a Evo X GSR. The Evo is much more hardcore than the STI. If you are looking for something to have fun at the track the Evo is the ticket. It is also very noisy and not very refined for daily driving. The Evo hands down handles better than the STI, the engine is bulletproof and easier to extract power if you want to mod. Just a flash adds 60-80hp easily. The S-AYC system is pretty sophisticated and the handling is neutral and will allow for power oversteer. The Evo looks much better than the nasty 2014 STI!

The STI i the softer of the two. The interior is nicer and it is quieter for daily driving. It is also softer and tends to understeer a lot at the limit. It also has a delicate engine that breaks easily if you tune it. But it is more civil and easier to live with if you are driving it every day.

Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear loves the Evo X. He actually went and purchased one. Here is his review on Top Gear.
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      03-12-2014, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsmack View Post

Lancer Evo X (Both GSR and MR)
+Best performer for the price range I'm looking at
+Much better stock sound system than the STI
+Less to worry about when modding (vs. STI)
+Looks great IMO
-Small trunk (I haul DJ gear, but this might not be as big of an issue as it's blown out to be on the internet. For reference, my DJ gear fit fine in the TT-RS I had)
-Terrible cruising drone (from autoblog.com review, does the MR alleviate this with the extra gear?)
-Small gas tank, fill-ups will need to be every 200ish miles
I've owned two X's from 2009-2013, both being 2010 GSR's and wouldn't hesitate to buy another one, given it being a newer 2013+, (that cosmic blue is sexy). I strongly believe they're your best bang for buck out of the box vehicle today ~>40k new.

Given your commute, assuming you'll be mostly hwy, I highly suggest you test drive the MR as the 5 speed gets pretty short & old. Interior is nothing fancy, get use to the plastic rattles and the paper thin factory paint. They can get really high up there considering what packages you add; sight, sound, leather, moonroof.
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      03-12-2014, 12:22 PM   #12
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Forget the E46 M3. It has a mediocre reliability history and will be a maintenance headache with problematic bearings, vanos, SMG, subframes, etc... If you don't need 4 doors and/or AWD there are other good cars. C6 base Corvette, Nissan 370z or G37 (or 350z/G35 if on a tighter budget), Mustang GT, and if you can compromise on interior space FR-S, S2000, and Miata are also fun and cheap thrills.
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      03-12-2014, 12:24 PM   #13
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Evo engine bulletproof?? Lol
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      03-12-2014, 12:29 PM   #14
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The evo x gets my vote. Im actually planning on leasing one very soon for a new daily!
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      03-12-2014, 12:38 PM   #15
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I would daily an e46 m3, seems reliable enough to me but mines also a track car so some work went into it.
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      03-12-2014, 12:38 PM   #16
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Evo engine bulletproof?? Lol
It is definitely very good! I know lots of people with over 100k miles and some over 200k miles on the original motor and turbo. Just do regular maintenance and stay mild with mods and tuning. People get into problems when you start messing with mods and questionable tuning. It is very hard to find a reliable tuner!

Subaru STI have stock engines that blow let alone tuned.
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      03-12-2014, 12:41 PM   #17
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Evo engine bulletproof?? Lol
hahaha seriously just spit my coffee! I must have missed a post... Did someone seriously say that?
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      03-12-2014, 12:55 PM   #18
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hahaha seriously just spit my coffee! I must have missed a post... Did someone seriously say that?
Of course it is. Leave it stock and it is totally bulletproof. The ones you see with problems are modified. I have over 100k miles between the two Evos I've owned and never had any problems. Ran a ton of track days, autocross events and daily driving.
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      03-12-2014, 01:02 PM   #19
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It is definitely very good! I know lots of people with over 100k miles and some over 200k miles on the original motor and turbo. Just do regular maintenance and stay mild with mods and tuning. People get into problems when you start messing with mods and questionable tuning. It is very hard to find a reliable tuner!

Subaru STI have stock engines that blow let alone tuned.
That's interesting. All the long term reliability reporting I've seen favor the STI. I know several locals plagued with EVO issues. One specifically is on his third fuel relay and second clutch and trans replaced. His car is about to break 40k miles and doesn't even track the car. It's been babied and meticulously maintained.
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      03-12-2014, 01:15 PM   #20
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I know both models really well since I owned an 09 STI for 3 years and now own an Evo X MR!

I'll cut the suspence, forget the STI, the car is just boring to drive in stock form, the engine has no feel, no power and no sound and if you mod it, it becomes a time bomb!! I blew up 4 engines on that car within 25k miles with only minor mods, Cobb stg 1, then stg2, then a custom tune, nothing worked, this engine is simply pure crap!!

Now the Evo, well to keep it short, this car is not the most confortable thing for daily use, but it is so much fun that I would'nt want to drive anything else in the same price range!! I only have a K&N intake and Perrin cat-back(no tune) and the car already feels as powerfull has my STI stg2, and that's not even the best part! With the Evo you can powerslide whenever you want, where the STI just wants to understeer most of the time! The suspension on the Evo also feels better to my taste, rougher but much more rewarding! Also the steering feels much better in the Evo, almost equally good as the M! And there's the DCT tranny that makes for a lot of enjoyment too, with such short gearing I would'nt want a manual anymore!

To put it simply, I would never buy an other STI unless they make a complete make-over, starting with the engine(which they have'nt done with the new model), while on the other hand I could see myself having this Evo as my only car if a financial bad luck ever happen!! It's a clear choice for me, hope it helped your descision if you ever have to get rid of your M!
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      03-12-2014, 01:16 PM   #21
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Yeah, like I said I'm not looking to mod past bolt-ons + a tune, which the Evo doesn't really have a problem handling. The STI on the other hand...

I'll have to give the MR a shot. I'll be on the lookout for an e46, but with a car that old that is performance oriented you have to be VERY picky. As for the S4 that was suggested earlier, I actually drove a B8 for a day. Very comfortable car, but just not for me I don't think. I didn't like they way it took corners really, and the way it accelerated was a little too tame for my tastes. S4 would definitely be at the top of my list if creature comforts were my #1 priority though.

Everything is in limbo right now, but if it works out that I can't keep my car, I think I will be pursuing a new STI. Reason being that any lightly used one (30,000 miles or under, 2011MY) runs for $32k asking price. Would rather have a new one for $5k more. Keep the advice coming guys, I know there are more Evo/STI drivers on these boards!
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      03-12-2014, 01:19 PM   #22
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I know both models really well since I owned an 09 STI for 3 years and now own an Evo X MR!

I'll cut the suspence, forget the STI, the car is just boring to drive in stock form, the engine has no feel, no power and no sound and if you mod it, it becomes a time bomb!! I blew up 4 engines on that car within 25k miles with only minor mods, Cobb stg 1, then stg2, then a custom tune, nothing worked, this engine is simply pure crap!!

Now the Evo, well to keep it short, this car is not the most confortable thing for daily use, but it is so much fun that I would'nt want to drive anything else in the same price range!! I only have a K&N intake and Perrin cat-back(no tune) and the car already feels as powerfull has my STI stg2, and that's not even the best part! With the Evo you can powerslide whenever you want, where the STI just wants to understeer most of the time! The suspension on the Evo also feels better to my taste, rougher but much more rewarding! Also the steering feels much better in the Evo, almost equally good as the M! And there's the DCT tranny that makes for a lot of enjoyment too, with such short gearing I would'nt want a manual anymore!

To put it simply, I would never buy an other STI unless they make a complete make-over, starting with the engine(which they have'nt done with the new model), while on the other hand I could see myself having this Evo as my only car if a financial bad luck ever happen!! It's a clear choice for me, hope it helped your descision if you ever have to get rid of your M!
This is great! How is highway drone in your MR? Have you been in a GSR to compare? Also, how are the roads where you live? The roads here in Boston are downright terrible. The plow trucks absolutely tore them up this year.
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