There’s seemingly no such thing as a stock Subaru WRX anymore and today’s Nice Price or No Dice STI is no different. Let’s see if this modded but still mostly stock Subie is worth the money.
Why do you suppose it is that the less obtainable something is actually makes it more desirable? It’s that forbidden fruit smoothie that’s always expected to taste the best.
Except, of course, when you actually take a swig and perhaps find out that it wasn’t nearly as special as you’d imagined.
That was kind of the case with the 1992 Mercedes Benz 300TE we looked at yesterday. It was a gray market car, allowed here in the States only by dint of its age, and it carried Euro upholstery and a manual gearbox. Both of those aspects may have made it unique and interesting, however, were they enough to overcome a somewhat steep $19,995 price to experience? Apparently not, as fully 78 percent of you found that price to be less than desirable, dunning the car with a solid No Dice loss.
While gray market cars may offer that whiff of the unfamiliar, there still are a lot of great cars around that automakers have actually built specifically for this market. Buying one of those provides relief from having to do the math when figuring out how fast you are going or how far you have gone, as well as a more solid footing for parts and service. One such great car that has been officially sold here for a while now is the Subaru Impreza WRX.
Named for World Rally eXperimental, the blister-fendered and be-scooped WRX brought the rally car look to the street. A turbocharged and intercooled engine, AWD and huge brakes gave the WRX the goods to backup those looks.
This 2006 Impreza WRX STI has all that and more. The 2006 model year was notable for the STi, as it saw the introduction of an upgraded front suspension as well as a new electro-mechanical center diff with a more balanced 41/59 torque split (prior cars were 35/65). Making that split worthwhile is the STI’s EJ255 2.5-liter flat-four, which off the shelf made 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of twist.
This car has a bigger turbo, fatter cat-back exhaust and aftermarket headers, so it may go even deeper into those numbers. Other mods and maintenance addressed in the ad include an Exedy stage 1 clutch, timing belt, water pump and removal of the tumble generator vanes inside the intake for supposedly better airflow. A new radiator rounds out the engine bay updates. Behind all that is a six-speed stick motivating all four wheels in traditional WRX fashion.
The car rides on Tein springs and stock struts. As you’ll note in the pictures, it also rolls on a set of sweet 18-inch Enkei alloys. Don’t get too attached to those, however, as the seller says they will be a $500 additional charge. Otherwise, the car comes with wheels of unknown description.
The bodywork is in decent shape with just a few scratches here and there and some mild peppering on the nose. The headlamp covers look reasonably clear, and the paint seems to shine up okay. The ad claims the car “runs and drives with no hesitation” so it should be pretty much get in and go.
Inside, things are likewise very livable. There is some scratching evident on the gauge cluster cover, perhaps from errant attempts to stab the odo reset. The cabin otherwise looks remarkably tidy and offers a big screen aftermarket head unit for your tunes.
Other pluses here include a clear title and a modest 108,000 miles on the clock. The seller also claims to have a CarFax report for the car and notes that so far it has found homes with three owners.
All it will take to become the fourth owner is $13,000, and maybe that extra $500 for the fancy wheels. What do you think, does that seem a fair trade for a seemingly sweet STi? Or, does that price just not WRX for you?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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