Is a Subaru a good choice for a first ever car?

GenericUserName

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For my first car. I want it to be a Subaru, I would prefer an sti but my wallet says no.

I want an 07 Hawkeye 2.0R there are two in my area for sale and are stock.

My questions are:

Should I get a Subaru? Are they a good fit for a first car? Personally I think so but I would like your perspective.

Regarding the 2.0R: Are they any issues about them I should know about? Engine and transmission wise? Or any other issues I could possibly run into. I'm game to take on any problems if the need so arises.

Modifications for the car: In the beginning I would like to mod it but not as hard, just a few additions to boost power a bit.

In the far future I want to add more power: I would like to swap the engine and transmission with the 2.5l engine and six speed transmission. And adding a turbo. Essentially making it into " an STI " because the STI(s) are expensive and I won't be able to afford it right now, which is why I'm considering the 2.0R
But I see myself having the cash saved up for the engine and transmission swap in the future.
Is this a good idea for the future of the car? Will the car hold up to the swap? Are they any issues I should look out for when doing a swap?

Please educate and advise me from your past experiences or opinions.

Thank you
 

UrBaN963

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What is your salary like? How much driving experience do you have?

Affording a car is far more than making the monthly payments. There's insurance, petrol (expensive in a performance car which you clearly plan on driving hard) as well as wear-and-tear and maintenance costs. I cant think of a worse first car strategy than the one you've described above, depending on your age and finances.

Also, turning your car into an "STI" will cost more than buying an STI, not sure why you'd want to do that anyway. For the man in the street, the affordable way to make your car more powerful is just to buy a better car. New engine, turbo and transmission will likely mean new exhaust, new or modified ECU, brake upgrades, suspension upgrades and lots of fun with insurance. Also you'll be without your car for a while so better buy a second vehicle to cover that.
 

Hemi300c

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When you try insure it you will get the fright of your life being your first car insurance. When you claim you will get another fright as they will not pay the claim if you have not advised of all the mods done to the vehicle. If you do advise them they will probably not want to insure it/you.
 

Neuk_

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I love Subaru's although I have never owned one, I grew up watching Colin McRae demolish the WRC in them and have a good friend who works on them in his spare time which includes having built his 400+ hp Impreza and many race engines. From speaking to him, even the 2.0 and 2.5 NA motors can be expensive to run and maintain so I wouldn't look at one as a first car.
 

Sumen

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For my first car. I want it to be a Subaru, I would prefer an sti but my wallet says no.

I want an 07 Hawkeye 2.0R there are two in my area for sale and are stock.

My questions are:

Should I get a Subaru? Are they a good fit for a first car? Personally I think so but I would like your perspective.

Regarding the 2.0R: Are they any issues about them I should know about? Engine and transmission wise? Or any other issues I could possibly run into. I'm game to take on any problems if the need so arises.

Modifications for the car: In the beginning I would like to mod it but not as hard, just a few additions to boost power a bit.

In the far future I want to add more power: I would like to swap the engine and transmission with the 2.5l engine and six speed transmission. And adding a turbo. Essentially making it into " an STI " because the STI(s) are expensive and I won't be able to afford it right now, which is why I'm considering the 2.0R
But I see myself having the cash saved up for the engine and transmission swap in the future.
Is this a good idea for the future of the car? Will the car hold up to the swap? Are they any issues I should look out for when doing a swap?

Please educate and advise me from your past experiences or opinions.

Thank you
What's your budget?

I would rather save up the extra money and get the real deal than swapping out the engine as your insurance will use it as an excuse to reject a claim and I doubt anyone will want to buy it from you if you end up selling it.
 

dielaksman

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Oct 14, 2011
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I had a WRX, awesome cars. The biggest problem is that Subaru's are thirsty cars. Be prepared to visit your local garage often.
 

voldoverse

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Subarus are insanely reliable usually, so in terms of buying a first car for reliability. its a good choice.

Fuel economy wise, things arent so peachy, a boxer engine by nature is not an economic motor.

now, the elephant in the room, mods. i understand how you feel with regards to mods, you are obviously young and want that performance, i had the same ideas as you when i got my first car (10 years ago)

Here is what you need to know as i pursued most of these things.

-modding a normally aspirated car for more performance, especially if youve got some rival you want to beat is a waste for NA cars with mods, especially here at altitude.

Pretty much everything else thats turbo, bigger engine or turbo diesel will trounce you. the general rule of thumb for tuning NA cars is 1kw=R1000, that said it probably got more expensive by now, also if you understand how a cars power delivery works on a dyno graph you will realize many times that the 1kw you gained is right at the top of the revrange which isnt very useful most of the time

-planning big future mods. Dont bother. By the time that future comes then many things in your life has changed and you most likely are looking for something different

-if you go through with an engine and gearbox swop you will realize its going to cost you a craphouse full of money, conversions and swops are never as simple as they seem, there are always things you have to figure out, more things you didnt plan on buying and having to end up paying people to do for you which is also expensive and most of the times a disaster because the hard truth is we dont have decent mechanics in SA, we only have new part fitters.

they usually end up breaking 5 more things on your car trying to fix 1 thing and end up putting the blame on you or not disclosing it to you, until you find yourself next to the road with the hazards flashing with your girl in the car and people grinning as the drive past you with their corollas and polos.

-after an engine and gearbox swop you are still sitting with only half an sti, no sti suspension, no sti brakes, no sti flared wheelarches and body kit, no sti wheels, no sti structural reinforcement, no sti interior.

and nobody at the party wants to hear about your kind of sti subaru, they want to see the real thing. (sorry i know that sounded mean spirited but not my intention, really trying to lay down the facts from experience)

-You will struggle big time to sell your car if its modded like that, also you can throw book value out the window so you got no clue what the car is worth.

it will most likely be worth less because dealers wont be willing to trade it in meaning you just denied yourself an opportunity to get a newer fancier car. if you do this now then id say in 3 or 4 years the car should be able to sell for 50grand privately to some young subaru fan like you are currently, no jokes.

-when you reach 30 years old youll look back and regret how much money you pissed out on a car instead of making smart moves with stuff that really matters. dont get me wrong, im also a big time petrol head so im not saying buy a polo, corolla or figo. im just saying if you want a fast car then buy a fast car. and a little extra advice.... dont in desperation for a fast car buy one with high mileage, that will ruin your early life also. if you cant afford a low mileage fast car now then drive your scooby, put on some nice wheels and leke sound but stop there and keep her mint for the day you want to sell her or trade her in on a faster one with low mileage when you can afford it.

hope this was helpful buddy
 
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Tacet

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@OP - it is your first car. Treat yourself if you can afford it, but make very sure that you can afford both the initial cost and the running costs: fuel, insurance, maintenance. I'd suggest that you contact a few workshops and ask detailed quotes for a e.g. a 200 k service, and say that you want the belt changed (I think they use belt?). That will give you a fair idea of what the usual small things will cost, as well as what a more expensive service will cost.

And I'll agree with the rest - always better to save up an STI than to try and make a non-STI into an STI.
 

Pitbull

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Very bad idea...

As a first car, get something sensible. Don't buy a speed machine. They cost money to maintain and your insurance will have you crying. And don't mod cars. Especially not if you have it on Hire-purchase. Wait for it to be paid in full...
 

Colin62

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As a first car, get something sensible. Don't buy a speed machine.
The other issue with a speed machine as a first car is that you may think you know how to drive, but you probably don’t, and hopping into a really fast car as a new driver is an accident looking for a place to happen.
 

eg2505

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imo, its like buying a ferrari as ones first car,

yes, if your related to the kardashians, yes go for it, as you got enough money for the polo or corolla for when things break.

but as a first car, not the brightest idea in the world.
 

WaxLyrical

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imo, its like buying a ferrari as ones first car,

yes, if your related to the kardashians, yes go for it, as you got enough money for the polo or corolla for when things break.

but as a first car, not the brightest idea in the world.
He's more interested in the speed than the brand or cost.
 

ubercal

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depends who is funding the OP :D .If its your parents then go ahead.If not then rather get a cheap run around and save up for a real STI.Doing a sti swap is expensive and time consuming.You can find blobeye stis from 130k to 200k.Most ppl that have STI's have another car as there daily or backup.Fuel costs are hectic.My daily WRX gets on average 300km to a full tank.
 

ubercal

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if you only interested in speed then a subaru is not for you.You have to spend big bucks to make the same power as a slighly modified Golf R or any of the german performance cars.German cars need only small things like a downpipe and ecu tune and bam you have silly amounts of power.A subaru on the other hand requires alot more mods.Again what do you want.You want a head turner that is fun to drive or a out right speed machine with no personality ?
 

Mike Hoxbig

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depends who is funding the OP :D .If its your parents then go ahead.If not then rather get a cheap run around and save up for a real STI.Doing a sti swap is expensive and time consuming.You can find blobeye stis from 130k to 200k.Most ppl that have STI's have another car as there daily or backup.Fuel costs are hectic.My daily WRX gets on average 300km to a full tank.
86 also used to get around 330km on a 50L tank. And that was a slow-ass 2.0 NA. An STI would be much worse.

People don't realise how thirsty a boxer engine is, especially as a daily driver. Scoobies should be a weekend car unless you can afford the fuel.

Also @OP if you want a fast car, buy a fast car. Don't try turning your slow car into a fast one for most of the reasons already mentioned.

Nobody cares about what you did to make your car fast except your close friends, and is their opinion really worth all that money? If you want some high-fives, then rather give me the R150k and I'll gladly give you some...
 
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Anthro

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I daily drive a modded 04 WRX, I absolutely LOVE my car - and bought it, because SUBARU

Don't do it.
ENGEN attendants know me by name.

Also, for all that is holy.
Don't attempt to turn a 2.0R into a STi - rather get an STi off the bat.
Take into consideration that the 2.5 engines are inherently prone to ringlands (that is a full R40,000+ engine rebuild required)
When you do get an 06+ STi, ask if it has been rebuilt yet = else don't buy it.
04-05 STi (2.0l) is bulletproof engines
WRX version has a weak gearbox but the 05 STi with DCCD, is a UNICORN and is damn strong from factory

Suggestion is also to contact any other Subaru driver, they will likely be part of a group where you can possibly find out the history of the specific vehicle and even some recommendations

Cape Town - you contact Julian at Pyro Performance to check it out, and also to tune it / service it
Johannesburg - You contact Chett Meyer for tuning and to check it out, engine wise - Wayne Hay Performance.
 
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