I live in South Jersey and drive a Mustang GT California Special. It took me a long time to find this car, and I absolutely love it…when the weather is warm enough to put the top down. But when it snows it is a nightmare. I'm thinking of trading it for a WRX, is that a good move?
If you have come to the point with your Stang that you feel it is time to try something different, then the WRX is a great choice. If you really love your Mustang, I'm not sure sure it is wise to get rid of it because of the handful of snow days we get. Let's think about it this way. NJ, especially the southern part, maybe gets 10 serious snow days. So out of 365 days of driving, your Mustang sucks less than 3% of the time. And how many of those snow days are you actually driving? When we get serious storms most of us people just stay home. I'm going to assume the reason you got a GT convertible is you want to drive with the top down as much as you can. NJ has at least 3 months' worth of open top motoring, so your Mustang is awesome 25% of the time and pretty good the rest of the time.
The WRX is a fantastic machine, but it is a very different car than a Mustang GT California Special. The Subaru is a rally-car for the street. The handling is much sharper, but the ride is rough compared to the Ford. Power comes from a 4cyl turbo rather than a V8. The Subaru will certainly match or even better the acceleration of your Mustang, but the experience is different. The Subie's 2.0T has a nice bark, but it won't have the same rumble as your 5.0. Also keep in mind that when the weather gets warmer you will no longer have the option of cruising with the top down.
Rather than take on a brand new car loan, my recommendation would be to invest in a set of dedicated winter wheels/tires. If possible try to get a narrower wheel than what you are running now, as a narrower tire will "cut" through the snow instead of "floating" and sliding as I imagine you have already experienced. While we are on the topic of summer/winter tires, just know that the WRX comes with high-performance (summer) tires standard from the factory. This rubber compound makes that fancy AWD system fairly useless once the white stuff covers the road, it also reduces the effectiveness of the AWD when the road is dry, but cold. So if you are buying the Subie to conquer the snow, be prepared to invest in a second set of winter wheels and tires anyway.
Another option if you have some extra cash available, is to purchase a cheap winter beater that will allow you to keep the Stang in the garage when the weather gets really nasty. That way you don't have to worry about some doofus plowing into during a snowstorm because they thought 4-wheel-drive means you can still drive fast.
It is easy to get frustrated with your car when it doesn't meet your needs all the time. However, it is important to remember why you bought that car in the first place. If your ride makes you happy most of the time, don't give it up for a small fraction of the driving conditions.
(Image credit: DVIDSHUB)
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