T.J. SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 3:05 p.m.

Just came back from test driving a 2011 STI 5 door. I only drove it about 7 miles and was very nice and gentle with it. Overall I liked it. I see what the reviews mean when they say the interior is cheap compared to other cars in the price range. I thought the shifter feel was very strange. It had the short shifter option, and I'm not sure if that was the cause or not, or if driving my Miata for the past 6 years has spoiled me. Is it just me and something that I'd just have to get used to, or is the shifter deviod of a good feel?

Also, there was this red led in the gauge cluster that liked to beep at me. No idea what it was or what it was trying to tell me. The salesperson didn't know. Seemed like it it would beep when starting from a stop.

Tom Heath Web Manager
Sept. 27, 2011 3:13 p.m.

The red light and chirpy-chirp noise are gearshift indicators. You can set them to whatever RPM you like; it sounds like someone had set them pretty low.

In terms of shifter feel, I suspect your are a bit spoiled from the Miata. I know I am. It's not a GREAT feel, but it doesn't feel worse to me than most other manufacturers. It seems Mazda is just really good at that aspect.

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 3:14 p.m.

I'll ask my buddy about the shifter. He has an awesome feeling shifter in his GC 2.5RS, he could either tell me what it is, and/or tell you if the crappy feeling is normal in the 2011 STi.

Unfortunately, you're coming from a Miata. Tough act to follow. (Though i much prefer the 5spds to the 6spds in terms of shifting feel in the miata.)

AutoXR Reader
Sept. 27, 2011 3:28 p.m.

anyone see the article where a new V6 mustang beat and STi Around the track? (motortrend?) LOLZ!! Car has had the same HP since 2004 when it came out.

kazoospec Reader
Sept. 27, 2011 3:33 p.m.

I would tend to agree the shifter is probably just the side effect of recent Miata operation. When I've recently driven my Miata, the transmission in my SE-R feels like someone swapped out the fluid with rock salt and pea gravel. When its been a while since I've driven the Miata, I don't even notice it.

HiTempguy Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 4:20 p.m.

Subaru trannies should be thought of more like shifting american muscle than shifting japanese goodness. Everytime I drive my father's Camaro, I'm reminded of this. The 6 speed is definitely better than the 5, but neither rank great.

T.J. SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 4:34 p.m.

This car had 11 miles and only the gas it had in it from coming off the trailer. Chirp must've been set at 2.5k or so.

Maybe i'll go back and drive a WRX to feel the 5 speed. The sti rode a lot smoother than I expected. I figured it would feel more like my MSM in terms of ride quality. Felt closer to a camry to me, but with 305hp and that tractor like subaru sound.

T.J. SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 4:43 p.m.

Wondering if anyone has driven one with amd without the short shift option. I did drive the mini this morning and maybe the short throws are what seemed weird.

irish44j Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 4:57 p.m.
AutoXR wrote: anyone see the article where a new V6 mustang beat and STi Around the track? (motortrend?) LOLZ!! Car has had the same HP since 2004 when it came out.

funny that an autocrosser would be so concerned with HP......seeing as Mitats willl beat both of them around many autocross courses, lol.

Try the mustang vs. the STi on a wet track (or an autocross course, or a rallycross course, or from a stoplight) and it would be a different story!

irish44j Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 5:05 p.m.

btw, my 09 wrx came with the "Sti" short shifter. It's a bit rubbery still. A kartboy lower shifter bushing (Like $20) makes a HUGE difference in feel and directness.

T.J. SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 6:17 p.m.

That's good to know Irish.

T.J. SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 6:20 p.m.
irish44j wrote:
AutoXR wrote: anyone see the article where a new V6 mustang beat and STi Around the track? (motortrend?) LOLZ!! Car has had the same HP since 2004 when it came out.

funny that an autocrosser would be so concerned with HP......seeing as Mitats willl beat both of them around many autocross courses, lol.

Try the mustang vs. the STi on a wet track (or an autocross course, or a rallycross course, or from a stoplight) and it would be a different story!

Whether or not a Mustang is faster or not around a track is irrelevant to me. I do not have any interest in Mustangs. I guess I would take a free one, but that's about it. Same for the Evo. I bet it is faster around a track than the STI, but I do not like the styling nor do I trust Mitsibishi enough to drop so much cash on one.

Feedyurhed Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 6:33 p.m.
irish44j wrote:
AutoXR wrote: anyone see the article where a new V6 mustang beat and STi Around the track? (motortrend?) LOLZ!! Car has had the same HP since 2004 when it came out.

funny that an autocrosser would be so concerned with HP......seeing as Mitats willl beat both of them around many autocross courses, lol.

Try the mustang vs. the STi on a wet track (or an autocross course, or a rallycross course, or from a stoplight) and it would be a different story!

You beat me to it. Don't forget the snow/ice in the northern climates. I have had multiple Subarus including an STi and several WRXs and have heard all the "their ugly", "their cheap looking", "so an so car beat it at the track" but when you factor in the overall picture it's in a class of two which includes the Evo. Seriously, it's one of the of the all time greats.

Capt Slow Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 6:41 p.m.

In reply to AutoXR:

Got a link? I would like to show the article to a certain "friend" who is a major subie fan boi...

Capt Slow Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 6:59 p.m.

Found it, it was published in the car and driver "lightning lap" article.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/10q4/lightning_lap_2011-feature

peter Reader
Sept. 27, 2011 7:06 p.m.

I've got a 94 Miata and an 02 WRX with the factory short shifter.

When I go back and forth between the cars, the WRX shifter irks me. But after driving the WRX exclusively for a while, I'm starting to understand and enjoy the shifter a bit more. Sure, it's short, but it definitely doesn't have that bolt-action rifle feeling that the Miata does. It's taken me a while to understand that forward-back motion is super-short, but left-right motion seems normal. Not sure how this might help you, but meh, I felt like sharing.

T.J. SuperDork
Sept. 27, 2011 7:09 p.m.

Yep, the distance between 3rd gear and neutral seemed to be about a half an inch. I like that there is a lockout for reverse. No worries shifting into 6th and creating a horrendous grinding sound when you try to engage reverse. Did that a couple times when I first got the Miata.

irish44j Dork
Sept. 27, 2011 7:25 p.m.
Capt Slow wrote: In reply to AutoXR: Got a link? I would like to show the article to a certain "friend" who is a major subie fan boi...

if he's much of a fanboi, he's on NASIOC, and the lightning lap results have been discussed ad nauseum there, lol.

I'm not sure why it's a big surprise though. You have two cars with similar power and similar weight. No reason why a RWD car on this particular track wouldn't be faster than an AWD car with similar power/weight ratio. The new Mustang is a great chassis/suspension/drivetrain bone stock. It's not embarrassing to me (a WRX owner) that it could take my car (stock) on a road course.

I just make sure to ask for a rematch in the winter

camaroz1985
camaroz1985 Reader
Sept. 28, 2011 8:38 a.m.

I think you should save some money and get a 2011 WRX instead. The difference from WRX to STi is so small now, that I couldn't justify spending the extra money.

Subaru transmissions have never been known for being smooth shifting, but I do think the 6 speed is a little better than the 5. The 6 speed is also much stronger, but that is only a concern if you are racing or really flogging it (ask me how I know )

92CelicaHalfTrac SuperDork
Sept. 28, 2011 9:04 a.m.
T.J. wrote: Yep, the distance between 3rd gear and neutral seemed to be about a half an inch. I like that there is a lockout for reverse. No worries shifting into 6th and creating a horrendous grinding sound when you try to engage reverse. Did that a couple times when I first got the Miata.

I do that on the 4-5 shift on my Miata. I find myself in "no man's land" quite often with that thing.

AutoXR Reader
Sept. 28, 2011 9:17 a.m.

Wow .... Subaru lovers unite.. I get a kick out of all the poeple who buy them and make them into pseudo rally cars... I worked for Subaru for 4 years and my father still has the 06 Legacy GT 5spd i got him a few years ago, great car.

I just think in terms of performance the car hasn't progressed in 6 years and is becoming old news.

Josh Dork
Sept. 28, 2011 9:48 a.m.

In reply to AutoXR:

A Wusthof chef's knife dices an onion a lot better than a Leatherman, but I'd probably ruin one if I used it to cut down a tree limb.

HiTempguy Dork
Sept. 28, 2011 10:02 a.m.
AutoXR wrote: I just think in terms of performance the car hasn't progressed in 6 years and is becoming old news.

It's not meant for dry pavement performance. As you should know having worked for Subaru, they were one of the few car companies to experience near continuous growth through the recession. Most people don't buy cars for the performance (as alfadriver would profess), so apparently Subaru is doing it right.

Tom Heath Web Manager
Sept. 28, 2011 10:05 a.m.
AutoXR wrote: Wow .... Subaru lovers unite.. I get a kick out of all the poeple who buy them and make them into pseudo rally cars... I worked for Subaru for 4 years and my father still has the 06 Legacy GT 5spd i got him a few years ago, great car. I just think in terms of performance the car hasn't progressed in 6 years and is becoming old news.

It's not so much the Subaru love, but the fact those results seem...funny to me. Who drove which cars? What time of day? Were the best times with the same driver, and did the fastest drivers drive all the cars?

As an editorial exercise, sure. As a genuine test?

Sept. 28, 2011 10:18 a.m.

In reply to Tom Heath:

That is Car and Driver's lightning laps. It looks legit, but who know.

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