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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone,

First-time poster here. I currently drive a 2005 BMW 330ci ZHP (performance package), which I absolutely love. However, my wife and I are expecting our first child in October so I am on the hunt for something more family-friendly (4-doors, more comfortable ride, better all-season performance (the BMW is useless in 0.01" of snow or ice)) that retains the "driver's car" aspects of the BMW. The new WRX seems to suit every single one of those specifications to the "T".

At the risk of being flamed (and sounding unintentionally pretentious), I expect something of a step-down in terms of overall fit and finish going to a Subaru from a BMW. That said, I intend to invest in a Limited trim WRX. My plan is to lease (makes the most financial sense for my growing family at the moment) so I don't intend to go mod-crazy.

I have two main questions for the WRX guru's out there:

1. Is the $2500MSRP navigation/audio upgrade/keyless package actually worth that investment? I have heard the factory nav unit is horrendous (as it is with most manufacturers) so I would plan on swapping that out for a bit nicer aftermarket unit. I suppose my real question is whether the amp/speaker upgrades and keyless entry and start are worth the investment? How does the base audio system compare soundstage-wise? Does the keyless entry and start actually work?

2. Again, at the risk of being flamed, I take exception to the factory wheels on the new WRX's. I have also heard tire noise as being a negative tick against the new car in various reviews. I'm glad to hear that Subaru has adopted the 5x114.3 bolt pattern for the new model and plan to replace the wheels with something lightweight and decent-looking (TBD) and wrap them in Michelin Pilot Sport AS3's. The problem is, the car is so new I am having trouble tracking down any examples with aftermarket wheels, as well as offset/spacing data. Can anyone help? Lastly, do you suppose there would be a market for brand-new factory take-off WRX wheels?

Thanks for all your help and advice!

Looking forward to joining the Subaru community!
 

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I don't think you'll be disappointed with the WRX at all. The interior is not bad at all and the excellent seats and large greenhouse make for a great time behind the wheel. Much more open and airy than the 3-Series though not as upscale.

If you are used to push button start than it is certainly worth the money. I've been driving keyless cars since 2007 and really like the feature. The NAV unit is ok at best - I would call it servicable. The voice controls work fine once you get used to the strange order of entering an address. I avoid the touch screen because the buttons are difficult to press and the screen is slow to register a touch. But the system will take you where you want to go.

I think the Harmon/Kardon stereo sounds great. Nice bass and clean highs and the equalizer function lets you fine tune the sound to your ear. Streaming music integration works well and if I am listening to bluetooth audio when I leave the car the system picks back up where it left off when I get back in (something my VW GLI did not do). I've heard terrible things about the base audio so if you like music - the NAV/stereo upgrade and pushbutton start is a no brainer....especially if it is a lease since you won't want to add an aftermarket and you're only paying about 50% of the package cost during the lease term.

Wheels - I am not a fan of the stock wheels at all and have been doing some research. The offset on the stock 17x8 wheels is either +55 or +53. I am looking at either 17x8 or 18x8 +45s which I think will move the wheel out enough to fill the wheel wells. I think the 17s look fine but the 18s will give me more flexibility if I feel the need to go to a BBK after getting the car on the track. I am still trying to determine if there will be any rubbing issues with those setups.

A strong lightweight wheel is the Enkei RPF-1. I think they look great and are available in silver, gold or black... 71oAE8B051L._SL1500_.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the great info, 15!

I definitely care about how the audio in the car sounds, but figure I could swap the base-model head-unit with a double-DIN aftermarket nav unit that offers more functionality and replace of the speakers for well under $2500. I wouldn't mind transferring them to the next car down the road or reselling after lease term. Do you know if it's possible to get the HK system without the nav unit, or if you can get keyless without the audio package?

Also, thanks for the wheel info! I've been eyeing TSW Nurburgring 18x8's. They're not as light as the Enkie's, but they're a little different flavor. I figure the factory wheels are probably pretty heavy, so anything under 20lbs per wheel should be an improvement in unsprung weight. Let me know what you end up doing or if you come across more info!
 

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I went with the base model, I had the keyless push start in the BRZ I traded in and often found myself leaving my keys in the car, or forgetting to lock it due to the hand sensors. The sound system is good as is, but if you wanted to take the money you saved on buying the base model and pour it into the sound you will absolutly blow the HK system out of the water. I opted for the short throw shifter, and the car came with SPT exhaust. My only gripe about the base model is that the headlights don't have the same HID feature as the limited (and to upgrade it's a $1400 switch) or you can just buy LEDs for the DRLs and the "eye lid" light. It's not the exact same but it's darn close and still looks great. I also swapped out all the interior lights with LEDs from Diode Dynamics (they are the same as the BRZ) so it has a great interior glow to match the exterior.

To each his own, I just preferred to pay less money and invest it in other areas of the car.
 

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I have 2015 wrx. I travel a lot for work so I am alway taking suitcases in and out of car. I love not have to find my keys to get in and out of car. I just leave keys in my pocket and touch the door and I am in. That alone was worth it to me.
 

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I'm not a fan of stock wheels too. Enkei RPF 1 is a classic that you can never go wrong with. TSW Nurburgring on the other hand are pretty cool and lightweight too:

17x7.5 17.55 lbs
17x8 17.95 lbs
17x9 19.2 lbs

18x8 18.6 lbs
18x8.5 19.5 lbs
18x9 19.4 lbs
18x9.5 21.05 lbs
18x10.5 21.25 lbs
 
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