So I’m thinking about trading the BRZ in for something else. Honestly it’s nothing to do with the power or anything else about the BRZ specifically, it’s just that I don’t think a small sports car is for me.

The three main contenders are the WRX, STI, and Focus RS.

The Focus RS conceivably pushes all of my buttons. It’s properly AWD, stupid powerful, MT, and a hatchback. Additionally, I had an ST previously and loved it. The big, glaring, potentially dealbreaking issue is the seats. It’s got the same seats that were in the higher ST trim levels, and I know from experience that they are not comfortable for me. The BRZ isn’t quite as bad but even that gave me crippling back pain after a long trip. So getting the RS would mean having to spend an additional amount of money and effort to replace at least the driver’s seat. And, of course, there’s apparently all sorts of dealership shenanigans going on with it. Markups and such.

The STI is again, on paper, my kind of car. I had an 05 STI previously and it was one of my favorite cars, period. The problem is that I drove the ‘15 a while back and was just... not impressed. (Or imprezzed). While it had more power on paper than my ST, it just didn’t feel as quick or as eager. I chalk that up to the difference in powerband and torque delivery. It probably didn’t help that the 6'5" 400+lb salesman insisted on riding along, and it was a 3000ft ASL test drive. I honestly feel that if they offered it with the FA-20 in STI trim it would be amazing, but I haven’t heard any signs that they’re planning that.

Which brings me to the WRX which is probably my frontrunner. I am, however, concerned about road noise. Another issue I have with the BRZ is that it’s quite loud at highway speed in a deceptive way. I swear it doesn’t sound loud, but any music or audiobooks I’m playing have to be turned WAY up to be really audible (no pun intended). It’s like a lot of the detail washes out. I frequently pull off to get gas, get back in, and when the stereo comes back on at the same volume I had it on the highway it’s almost painful. (I don’t have any sort of speed-sensitive volume doodad) When I got back from that same long trip that broke my back, my ears kept ringing. From my short test drive the other day, it was hard to judge how the road noise in the WRX compared. It’s not that I really mind road noise in general, it’s just that I don’t like having to turn the volume up that much. (this is obviously a concern, if not greater concern, with the STI). Honestly the biggest concern I have is whether I’d spend the whole time thinking about what could have been had I gotten the RS or STI.

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But by far, the biggest issue, is I’ve only had the BRZ for about 6 months, and while as best I can run the numbers the depreciation from having it for another year would be about equal to buying a brand new WRX and keeping THAT for a year, I feel like it’s generally a bad move. I can’t even buy used to soften the blow since ‘15 WRX’s are selling for basically MSRP. (Which of course will provide me NO benefit when I go to sell it because that’s how the universe works.)

Mostly I just wanted to get some of my thoughts out of my head and onto “paper.” I’m planning on going back to the dealer I drove the WRX at and see if I can take it out on the interstate (the day I was there traffic was clogged up something awful) and maybe test drive the ‘15 STI Limited they have to get a better feel for that.