My 1st WRX. Which specific car do I buy? Stock or not?
I've read so many of this forum's great threads and have finally decided to post myself. I am about to buy my first Subaru and am very excited but I just don't know what car to buy. I’m a law student with little free time, a strict budget, & 2 more years before graduation. I have okay car knowledge & have always done my own work, but I'm far from a pro & have never worked on a Subaru.
That said, my requirements:
Price: $10,000 or less
Reliability: must last at least 2 years (20,000 miles) without any major problems
Performance: the best I can get within the budget & reliability parameters (which may be stock), but I do plan to do small things like exhaust, cobb tuner, & maybe suspension & intake (as my budget & craigslist availability allows) in the first 2 years. I’ll save the real fun for after graduation.
Type: I want an STi, but my budget makes this, at best, quite doubtful. I prefer the 04-05 body, but will settle with a bugeye or 06-07 if it really wins on value.
Location: I live in Oklahoma City & would prefer to buy local, but am willing to travel to buy if the car is in my budget after travel costs.
=> MY SPECIFIC QUESTION: What car do I buy & what should I pay??!?
Let me know if you know of a car that you think I should buy!
Here are my top 2 options thus far: (I may add others depending on thread responses)
04 WRX: dealer is asking $10000, 84046 miles, appears completely stock & unmodified, black. 2 owner carfax that appears clean, owner 1 had it only 3k miles in IL & owner 2 was in CO.
Notes: Glad I saw it before dealer started showing it, there was lots of hail damage & it reeked like no other smoker’s car could, but engine looked very clean even then. The dealer’s janky neighboring shop has fixed a rear door dent, hail damage, & replaced both the hood & trunk. Car still smells strongly of smoke after its cleaning, has a passenger seat cig burn, front cup holder wouldn’t come out, & center console has a tear (don’t really care, but I want it to help me with price).
Worries: Little rocks stuck in top of intercooler, tough to get in 1st gear but this improved as I drove it (btw, it was my 1st time driving a WRX so Idk how it should feel, & I was quite surprised by how long the clutch was!), car will soon need 85k maintenance (what does this cost?), & the dealer is a shady douch.
05 WRX: 92k miles on body, 32k on engine, blue. Seller says he knows little about cars & that it is in the same condition as when he bought it. He has docs for the engine work, but I haven't had a chance to go see it or test drive the car.
His description: "2005 Subaru limited wrx/sti. Full clone except spoiler. 2.5 engine, 5 spd, 17' Enkei performance series, boost gauge, cold air intake, electronic wheel dump control, running only on 6psi for fuel efficiency. It has a sunroof, new brakes, new alignment, recent oil change.. it has some paint chips and minor right passenger ding. Nothing serious. I'm asking for about 15 negotiable, no low ballers. Kbb says its worth about 20K also I am in no rush and ## more than welcome to bring a mechanic to check it out"
Worries: 6psi boost for untold reasons, 2.5 block with low miles sounds good but it indicates a blown engine at some point and that the car has taken a beating. Asking price is out of my budget but I'm hoping its negotiable to $10k, especially since I have other options & bc its been on craigslist for over a month.
After negotiating price & before paying, I plan to take the car to a shop to put it on a lift, check out the turbo, compression test, etc. Are there any other specific things I should have looked at? What problems may still hide from a thorough check? Where should I take the car? I was just thinking a subaru dealership, unless anyone knows of an okc local subaru shop.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
I am not here to waste your time or make you do my work for me, I just need some specific help. That said, feel free to refer me to other threads if this 1 starts to get repetitive. I have taken the time to read a lot of forums on WRX buying tips, what problems to look for, etc., before I decided to ask for this car specific help.
(I believe this is posted in the right place, but please let me know if I didn't, or if there are any other problems with the post. I'll fix any issues asap.)