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Old 09-11-2019, 09:18 PM   #1
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Anyone own both a BRZ and a WRX?

I've been shopping for a BRZ since the beginning of the year. Along the way, She Who Must Always Be Obeyed In All Things (Mrs. AnalogMan) decreed that before I could buy another mostly impractical sports car, I had to get something that would be 'practical' year-round transportation, particularly usable in the winter in our new home in snowy New England.

So, much to my surprise, earlier this year I test drove, and bought, a WRX (6 speed of course). I never paid much attention to them before, both because we don't need another 4-door car (wife has a Crosstrek), and because of the whole 'vaping bro' stereotype of the WRX (being in my 60's, I don't quite fit that demographic). But it was so much fun to drive, great visibility, roomy enough for our needs, that I couldn't resist. The stiff and jittery ride might get old after a while, but that's a decision for the future.

There's one space left for a car in our lives, and I can buy anything within our budget (as long as it's not a Corvette, Mrs. AnalogMan refuses to get into one). For the past few months, I've been debating with myself about finally buying a BRZ. I like the car very much. It's the kind of old-school analog-feeling elemental sports car I grew up with and always loved. But, I question if it's silly to have 3 Subarus in the family? (My other car is a 2015 Mustang GT, bought as a retirement present for myself, to commemorate my first car being a rusty clapped out old Mustang when I was 16).

Along the way I also seriously considered the Nissan 370Z, love the engine, came close, but in the end couldn't deal with the abysmal visibility and cramped interior. Also test drive the Miata RF, which is still a candidate, but neither my wife nor I are especially into convertibles anymore.

Does anyone else have both a BRZ and a WRX? Is it silly to have both?

Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:21 PM   #2
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I have a BRZ, a WRX STI, and my wife drives a 3.6 Outback. So 3 subarus isn't crazy. Right??? maybe it is...

I bought the BRZ before the STI and it was a lot of fun for a few years, particularly on track. The consumables for track duty are just so cheap compared to bigger, heavier cars. But then we had a kid in January and it just wasn't all that compatible so I bought a new STI. Now the BRZ mostly just sits because the STI is WAY more fun around town. It's more comfortable, makes better power, it's quieter (even with a louder exhaust) and has nicer creature comforts. I haven't had a chance to get it on track yet (new baby, remember?) so I don't know how that compares... But as far as having both, I kinda like the STI more in every way as a daily driver and I'll probably sell the BRZ before too long. The BRZ is very fun to drive hard and it looks great but everything about it is kinda cheap. it's noisy and doesn't make great power around town. But it's a fun RWD car especially if you can take it on track.

For what you're looking for, I don't think the BRZ separates itself enough from the WRX to earn a spot in your fleet. I'd be looking at a sporty convertible. Or a motorcycle... Is that an option? Because bikes are the most fun money can buy.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:56 PM   #3
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I may get called crazy for this, but I don't think it's a good idea. The BRZ is a really good inbetween car. It handles extremely well but doesn't have a lot of power. It doesn't have low power though. The WRX has great power and torque, and no wheel spin - so it's very thrilling to drive. It handles great. Not extremely well, but it's great.

I think you'll find the WRX to be such a great generalist that the BRZ will not be unique enough to serve a purpose. The WRX handles really well, it gets excellent gas mileage, it hauls way more, it's much faster, it sounds the same but with the bonus of turbo noises and much higher power potential.

if you want an exciting secondary car, find something more niche than the BRZ. if you want exciting, light, and fun for 20k, look into a lotus Elise or Exige. Don't stifle this chance with a BRZ when you already have an excellent all around car.

Edit:; holy crap, JoeC and I were thinking the same. Glad I'm not alone.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:08 AM   #4
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My ultimate plan is to have a full Subaru household consisting of a BRZ, WRX (STi or not), and a Crosstrek. I'm almost 2/3 of the way there with myself purchasing a BRZ very soon and my other half already having a Crosstrek. The BRZ will be the fun/backroads/track/auto-x car, while the WRX will be the practical around town car suitable for children.

While I do agree with @JoeC and @DarkPira7e, some key things to consider is what you want to do with this car, what is your budget, and what you're willing to do to maintain it. On the used market there's a bunch of good options around the price of a new BRZ but again it comes down to what you want to get out of the car.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:22 AM   #5
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JoeC, DarkPira7e, scoobydrew, thank you, very much!! I appreciate the benefit of your actual ownership experiences, and your objectivity. On a BRZ forum, it wouldn't be surprising to hear a chorus of 'hell yeah go for it!', because the BRZ is a great car. I appreciate your thoughtful, reasoned comments.

JoeC and DarkPira7e, you're right. I'm looking for something semi-niche, a small, light 'sports' car (I'm a hard-core gear head, and have owned well over 100 cars in nearly 50 years of driving). Like millions of other people have carped, if the BRZ had 'more power' (like, the 268 hp WRX engine) it would be a no-brainer and I would have bought it a year ago. But that will never happen, thanks to the Toyota bosses and their need to protect the Supra from cannibalization.

I hope to keep my WRX for as long as possible. It's such fun to drive! In some ways it reminds me of some of the old Saab Turbos I used to own, great ergonomics and visibility, practical but with power and handling.

My budget is up to $30k's. Enough to buy a new BRZ Limited, or something else used.

The 370Z came very close a couple of times. It was a blast to drive, in many ways like a BRZ, a simple, elemental car but with a lot more power. But with the non-existent visibility and cramped interior, I didn't see using it that much. No car is perfect, especially in my price range. In hindsight, I probably should have bought a 370Z. It seems like the closest to what I'm dreaming of.

I used to ride motorcycles in my younger years (teens and 20's). It was a loooonng time ago. At this point in my life, I don't want to be the stereotype of the 60-something guy getting back into bikes after 40+ years, and then killing myself on it because my reflexes aren't what they used to be (besides, my wife would probably kill me sooner than the bike if I brought one home; I still have scars from two near-fatal accidents as a teenager on them).

Thanks again!
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkPira7e View Post

if you want an exciting secondary car, find something more niche than the BRZ. if you want exciting, light, and fun for 20k, look into a lotus Elise or Exige. Don't stifle this chance with a BRZ when you already have an excellent all around car.

Edit:; holy crap, JoeC and I were thinking the same. Glad I'm not alone.
You guys are not alone at all.
The BRZ is a very well done compromise for somebody wanting a sports car that still maintains a level of practicality as a daily driver. It fills that space very well but those compromises do hobble it a bit.
If I was in Analog's shoes (am also a dude in my 60s) I would most certainly be looking at something a little higher up the food chain. A used Lotus or Porsche in the same price range as a new BRZ would be well up my list.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:21 AM   #7
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HEre's what I would do in a 3 car world:

1.) Practical people mover (Wifey's car)
2.) Second practical people mover (My car)
3.) fun car (sports car, any kind)

I'd also say go Lotus Elise or something.

while a BRZ would be fine and dandy I think as a third car you can afford something that is higher up the food chain and/or very not practical.

In a 2 car world, one car has to be a practical people mover while the second car needs practicality, but can be compromised a bit.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:24 AM   #8
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Tcoat, thank you for reassuring me that I'm not the only WRX owner in my 60's. It gets a bit lonely at times, driving around and seeing all the WRXs/STis in my area driven by people less than half my age (but then, I've always been immature).

In theory, something a little 'higher up the food chain' would be great (especially for what will likely be my last 'sports car'; by the time I hit 70, I probably won't want to shift a manual transmission anymore, and might not have so much fun climbing down into a low sports car).

I've ruled out Porsches (I've owned several in my life). The air-cooled ones are fabulous, but prices have gone into the stratosphere. The water cooled ones, I can't abide a car like the Cayman with an engine you essentially can't even see (I like to do my own maintenance), and doesn't even have an oil dip-stick (I owned a 2006 Boxster S, and the lack of an oil dip-stick ended up causing headaches and expenses, when the digital gauge on the dash showed the oil level increasing).

Lotus, great in theory, but I'm too old to deal with the poor reliability and constant repairs. I've had many British cars, was always constantly tinkering with them, don't want to do that anymore (and my wife would not be happy if I brought another British car home, after some marriage-straining experiences with MGs and Triumphs in the past).

I keep thinking about the Nissan 370Z. Simple, basic, like the BRZ but much more power (but also more primitive). I'd go for a C6 Corvette, but my better half would never ride in it.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:44 AM   #9
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Tcoat, thank you for reassuring me that I'm not the only WRX owner in my 60's. It gets a bit lonely at times, driving around and seeing all the WRXs/STis in my area driven by people less than half my age (but then, I've always been immature).

In theory, something a little 'higher up the food chain' would be great (especially for what will likely be my last 'sports car'; by the time I hit 70, I probably won't want to shift a manual transmission anymore, and might not have so much fun climbing down into a low sports car).

I've ruled out Porsches (I've owned several in my life). The air-cooled ones are fabulous, but prices have gone into the stratosphere. The water cooled ones, I can't abide a car like the Cayman with an engine you essentially can't even see (I like to do my own maintenance), and doesn't even have an oil dip-stick (I owned a 2006 Boxster S, and the lack of an oil dip-stick ended up causing headaches and expenses, when the digital gauge on the dash showed the oil level increasing).

Lotus, great in theory, but I'm too old to deal with the poor reliability and constant repairs. I've had many British cars, was always constantly tinkering with them, don't want to do that anymore (and my wife would not be happy if I brought another British car home, after some marriage-straining experiences with MGs and Triumphs in the past).

I keep thinking about the Nissan 370Z. Simple, basic, like the BRZ but much more power (but also more primitive). I'd go for a C6 Corvette, but my better half would never ride in it.
To be clear I do not currently own a WRX/STi but it is at the top of my shortlist when it is time to replace the FRS. I am just waiting on it to come out on the new platform because I think it will be spectacular.


I shopped the Zs and did not enjoy them at all. It is a horribly dated platform now and as far as sports cars go it is a barge in handling. It can't do anything you can't do as well or better with a WRX.
Newer Lotus seem to not have the issues of the past so constant repair is really no big deal. They are a total bitch to get in and out of though.
Your $30K price limit does restrict you a bit but I don't think the BRZ will give enough variation to your current line up to have much fun value.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:52 AM   #10
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Have you considered the new Miata? The power-hardtop convertible is pretty sweet. It's a good looking car and definitely has that sporty driving characteristic you're looking for.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:02 PM   #11
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If I were looking for a fun toy from among new cars right now, I think I'd be seriously considering an Alfa 4C. It's odd how every picture I've seen of it makes it look ugly as sin, but then it's surprisingly beautiful in person. It's funny to watch traffic around a 4C give it extra space because the drivers don't quite know what it is and whether they should respect it.

The driver of one recently mistakenly interpreted my downshift while approaching traffic as a challenge and left me behind like I was sitting still. My BRZ felt heavy and sluggish as I watched it zip around cars ahead of me.

But in reality if I were looking for another sports car, I would probably end up buying an older classic instead, maybe a TVR or Austin Healey. Hell, I could buy two or three old sports cars for what a new one costs.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:25 PM   #12
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I had an STI hatch before my FRS. They are really different cars despite them both being Subarus.

As I understand it, you and your wife have a Crosstrek, WRX, and Mustang GT, and are thinking of adding a BRZ? With that mix of cars I'd probably skip the BRZ since you could get away with a car that's even less practical.

I think a used Cayman (or 911 if you want a larger cabin) would fit the bill nicely. If you want something new and it's not out of budget, possibly a new Supra.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:49 PM   #13
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I second the recommendation to check out the new ND Miata. I was fortunate enough to rent one while on vacation. Even though it was an auto, it was a blast to drive. I think it fills the requirement of being a fun car, yet not practical enough to overlap too much with the WRX. As a reference, the trunk wasn't big enough to fit carry-on sized suitcases for 2 people (i.e. the driver & passenger).
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
JoeC, DarkPira7e, scoobydrew, thank you, very much!! I appreciate the benefit of your actual ownership experiences, and your objectivity. On a BRZ forum, it wouldn't be surprising to hear a chorus of 'hell yeah go for it!', because the BRZ is a great car. I appreciate your thoughtful, reasoned comments.

JoeC and DarkPira7e, you're right. I'm looking for something semi-niche, a small, light 'sports' car (I'm a hard-core gear head, and have owned well over 100 cars in nearly 50 years of driving). Like millions of other people have carped, if the BRZ had 'more power' (like, the 268 hp WRX engine) it would be a no-brainer and I would have bought it a year ago. But that will never happen, thanks to the Toyota bosses and their need to protect the Supra from cannibalization.

I hope to keep my WRX for as long as possible. It's such fun to drive! In some ways it reminds me of some of the old Saab Turbos I used to own, great ergonomics and visibility, practical but with power and handling.

My budget is up to $30k's. Enough to buy a new BRZ Limited, or something else used.

The 370Z came very close a couple of times. It was a blast to drive, in many ways like a BRZ, a simple, elemental car but with a lot more power. But with the non-existent visibility and cramped interior, I didn't see using it that much. No car is perfect, especially in my price range. In hindsight, I probably should have bought a 370Z. It seems like the closest to what I'm dreaming of.

I used to ride motorcycles in my younger years (teens and 20's). It was a loooonng time ago. At this point in my life, I don't want to be the stereotype of the 60-something guy getting back into bikes after 40+ years, and then killing myself on it because my reflexes aren't what they used to be (besides, my wife would probably kill me sooner than the bike if I brought one home; I still have scars from two near-fatal accidents as a teenager on them).

Thanks again!

Have you thought about getting a vintage sports car as fun car? MR2 or a fox body Mustang.
You should have taken your motorcycle to Old Town Road and keep riding until you cant no more
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