Nissan Pulsar GTIR vs Subaru Impreza WRX

Nissan Pulsar GTIR vs Subaru Impreza WRX

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Discussion

Baryonyx

Original Poster:

17,060 posts

117 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
quotequote all
Okay, so this is the conundrum I'm faced with at the moment. Similar prices, similar distances to travel, similar cost to insure.

In favour of the Nissan:

  • old school rally vibe
  • ATTESA 4WD system
  • Well cared for by the owner who has replaced a lot of engine parts
agains the Nissan:

  • Difficult to work on, or find someone who can work on it?
  • Difficult to find parts for it if something breaks?
For the Subaru:

  • Recently had a full service
  • Full service history
  • ten years younger than the Nissan
  • Possibly more reliable?


Which one should I go for? I keep deciding on one and then changing my mind ten minutes later! confused

I would be looking to buy this week or next, and I'll use the car as my day to day car but it will probably not do that many miles a year. Which one is for me?

The firey Nissan?



Or the sleek Scooby?


y2blade

56,027 posts

173 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
quotequote all
Baryonyx said:
Okay, so this is the conundrum I'm faced with at the moment. Similar prices, similar distances to travel, similar cost to insure.

In favour of the Nissan:

  • old school rally vibe
  • ATTESA 4WD system
  • Well cared for by the owner who has replaced a lot of engine parts
agains the Nissan:

  • Difficult to work on, or find someone who can work on it?
  • Difficult to find parts for it if something breaks?
For the Subaru:

  • Recently had a full service
  • Full service history
  • ten years younger than the Nissan
  • Possibly more reliable?
you seem to have missed out the "Against the Subaru" bit ????



Baryonyx

Original Poster:

17,060 posts

117 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
quotequote all
y2blade said:
you seem to have missed out the "Against the Subaru" bit ????
There isn't really much against the Subaru, but I'll try:

  • Probably slower in a straight line
  • More to tax
  • My dad already has one, so they're not much 'new' for me to look at.

I told you I didn't have much of an 'against' case! However, the Pulsar is a lot easier for me to get to, but I just can't decide. And I need to, as it looks as though I'll soon be selling my MR2...

halo34

1,583 posts

157 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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Pulsar against -

Weak gearbox
Weak standard brakes
Headgaskets
Prone to rust on rear wheel arches.

IMHO they did seem to be notorious for lunching gearboxes in the past.

I would say Subaru as fairly robust, engines do go pop I guess but no drivetrain issues and standard brakes are up to the job.

TBH both are probably just as much fun. I just have a feeling the pulsar WILL spend more time needing attention that the Subaru.

I had a impreza WRX and the only thing that ever went wrong with it was a leaky rocket cover and a water hose. It was an import and I used the right grade of fuel.

I then went onto a skyline and considered a pulsar - but the mechanicals did put me off. Having said that one with a forged engine, gearbox sorted and uprated brakes would be a hoot!!

SuperVM

1,097 posts

119 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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I've had a Pulsar GTi-R and currently have a 2001 Impreza WRX PPP Wagon. It's very easy to get the Pulsar to around 280-290 BHP running 1.0 bar of boost, at which point it is a pretty quick little car (was far faster than my E36 M3 Evo) given the power to weight ratio, though standard brakes are woeful. Bob at GTiR US (apologies if that infringes on any advertising rules, I'm in no way affiliated with them) stocks a vast amount of spares and often has things like uprated intercoolers, exhaust systesm, brakes, coilovers and forged engines. While the car was very quick in a straight line and stopped well thanks to some D2 330mm brakes, I didn't particularly enjoy driving it, probably in a large part due to the Tein coilovers on my car being far too firm, but also there was always the gearbox niggle. I generally miss most of the cars I part ways with, but not so much my Pulsar.

Despite my Impreza being quite a bit slower and being far from luxurious, it is a far nicer place to be and I'm quite happy to take the performance hit to have a much nicer overall package. For me, the Impreza also handles much better and stops far better "out of the box". The WRX can suffer from gearbox woes as well, indeed mine had a replacement box before I bought it.

jezhumphrey75

206 posts

106 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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get the nissan

noosh

180 posts

105 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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Only ever driven the STI Subaru and never the Nissan but given the choice I'd always find the Nissan more appealing, simply due to the fact that its different. Not nearly as many Pulsar' out on the road when you compare it to the Subaru. Might not be as many chances to have a nice Pulsar but with the WRX you have a fair shot.

snuffle

1,587 posts

140 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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In 90% of normal/fast driving my old GTiR was better fun to drive than the Exige.


Mtech25

185 posts

119 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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gtir owned a standard one a number of years back and still love them.

CoolHands

11,382 posts

153 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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the nissan looks great, apart from the black windows. The subaru looks st. Get the nissan.

wackojacko

8,561 posts

148 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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My Dad used to import all sorts so I got to drive most Jap imports you see on the roads, IMO the Pulsar was pretty quick and comfortable the 2 i drove both felt abit numb when pushing on, the steering suddenly weights up but wasn't consistant in doing so which was a little un nerving and IMO they just look so dated now.

I'd go for a WRX out of the two.

Triple D

73 posts

107 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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I see lots of Subaru's every day and i don't remember the last time i saw a GTiR, get the Nissan.

maniac0796

1,292 posts

124 months

Tuesday 7th February 2012
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I'd say the pulsar, but that's because 90's nissan = win

The SR20 is a pretty easy engine to work on. There's not a lot to it really. It's a solid dependable engine designed in the 80's and not a lot really goes wrong with them. It's only when you start modifiying without thought that they go round.

Aside from transmission, parts shouldn't be too much of a problem for one.

crocodile tears

755 posts

104 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
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I think its a head vs heart conundrum..

go with what you really want wink

Baryonyx

Original Poster:

17,060 posts

117 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
quotequote all
wackojacko said:
the steering suddenly weights up but wasn't consistant in doing so which was a little un nerving and IMO they just look so dated now.
The handling issue is a pretty big deal for me. I love the linearity of the Subaru handling. I've driven my dad's Impreza before (on an early morning airport run when I went to Cyprus, good times). That feeling of supreme stability and control is insurmountable. As I've mentioned, I don't take my cars on track, they are exclusively for fast road use and I am looking for a car inspires confidence in the handling. As much as I love my MR2 Turbo for the myriad joys it delivers, I feel as though I spend a lot of my processing power on monitoring feedback from the car and keeping it tidy. Imprezas just feel rock solid all the way through, utterly connected to the road and almost 'safe', but in a way that will let me improve my drive as I can get my view further up and spend more time looking at hazards. To think of the GTi-R having some funny steering traits is a little disappointing.


The one I'm looking has an engine that has many of the common items replaced. It's the standard sort of list you'd expect to see from a 20 year old performance car. New fuel pump, new turbo, new plugs, etc etc. I'm sure it's pretty stable, as the seller seems a genuine sort and he is not running wild boost due to the stock internals on the engine, though he reckons it's close to 300bhp (never been dyno'ed). There is a small amount of rust on a rear arch, something I could have attended to immediately. What worries me more is the transmission components having had a hard life and being hard to replace. As I have mentioned, I intend for the car to be used day to day for getting me to work and back, and I can't really be leaving the car at home just because a diff has thrown a fit (similarly, I've used my MR2 Turbo as a commuting car...that is a way to turn a dull drive to work into a bloody hoot! Never will I own a dull commuter!).


At the moment, I'm still undecided on the car. The WRX has a strong 'for' case, as they're common, comfortable, reliable, fun and plenty fast. The Nissan is also attractive because it's rare, looks wild, is very fast and has the appeal of a 90's Nissan.

Despite the power deficit of the WRX, that almost seems appealing. I will miss the lurid overtaking grunt of the MR2 Turbo, no doubt, but it should be rewarded with massive mid-corner confidence. I'm sure the WRX will have plenty of punch to overtake, as my Volvo S60 2.0L Turbo with 180bhp was fast enough on a well planned overtake to fire off some short rangers, and even see off a few of the knobs who floor it when you're passing. As far as I can see, my TED (time exposed to danger) time should still be kept short.


Many will ask why I'm not looking at the STi models. Simply, I think the WRX is better for getting more time with FFTF (foot flat to floor). It's far less powerful, so I should be able to work it harder in the speed limits. I've driven GX Imprezas before that almost feel quick enough for me day to day, but my addiction to turbos sees me right on this one!

thanks for all the replies by the way!

smile

mjb1

2,318 posts

117 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
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Have you not considered a Celica GT4? Lots in common with your MR2 turbo, except it has planted 4wd and just about usable rear seats. They are practically bomb proof in standard form, should certainly be more reliable than either a GTiR or a scooby. They are getting a bit long in the tooth, so finding a really good one might not be that easy.

I wouldn't consider a GTiR for a daily driver, a weekend toy maybe. On that basis, out of the two you're suggesting I'd have to go with the Subaru.

Baryonyx

Original Poster:

17,060 posts

117 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
quotequote all
mjb1 said:
Have you not considered a Celica GT4? Lots in common with your MR2 turbo, except it has planted 4wd and just about usable rear seats. They are practically bomb proof in standard form, should certainly be more reliable than either a GTiR or a scooby. They are getting a bit long in the tooth, so finding a really good one might not be that easy.

I wouldn't consider a GTiR for a daily driver, a weekend toy maybe. On that basis, out of the two you're suggesting I'd have to go with the Subaru.
Funnily enough I considered the GT4 ST205 at the time I was buying the MR2 Turbo! I couldn't find a great Celica locally, so I decided to look around and see what the best MR2 Turbo in the country was. I had long felt the allure of the early 90's supercar setup of a mid engine with a big turbo strapped to it and I found it in scaled down form when the best MR2 was just a short drive from my door. Hence why I ended up with it!

I would consider the Celica, though I hear it feels a bit dated next to Imprezas and Evos of the day, never mind the WRX or indeed an STi, or someone of the firebreathing Evos I've driven! I will look again, though I am looking for something new. The Celica also has the pricey figure 8 suspension that is costly to maintain. But thanks for bringing that suggestion to the thread, it's been a while since I perused those cars!

icepop

1,167 posts

165 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
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snuffle said:
In 90% of normal/fast driving my old GTiR was better fun to drive than the Exige.
WHAT !!!!?????? your idea of fun, must be very odd.

Dont be such a fool.

And Pleeease stop comparing an old GTR to an STI, why would you ever want that over the Scooby. The STI, had 280 bhp too, AS STANDARD, went better, handled better, and stopped better. And the few remaining GTR'd I've seen on the road, have even surpassed the Scooby, for being owned by the Chavtastic types.

If you must have cheapo fun, before the thing goes bang, get an EVO 3/4 or somink.

Baryonyx

Original Poster:

17,060 posts

117 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
quotequote all
It should be noted I'm thinking of a WRX at the moment, maybe with a couple of Prodrive upgrades. I have considered the STi and it's just too powerful for UK roads. Whilst the MR2 Turbo is fking quick, it balances this with a challenging mid-engined RWD setup, so the ability to travel at outrageous speeds is tempered by the need to keep the car controlled as you go along. The STi with it's stable, AWD system would just find it too easy to go fast, indeed I suspect you'd really need to push the car to get the enjoyment from it. I don't want to be backing off the throttle every couple of seconds because I'm at the speed limit!

It's the same reason I've turned away from the later Lancer Evolutions. As awesome as they are, I don't think they're challenged in the slightest by our roads and beg to be driven faster than you should be driving them. With the WRX I can concentrate on the handling, on setting myself up right for corners and getting my lines right, and on maintaining my momentum.

On the other hand, the GTiR has this compelling video in it's favour:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWgh-DRklwM

b18c4thom

11 posts

104 months

Wednesday 8th February 2012
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Of the two I would personally say Subaru. Unfortunately they a both a bit 'chavvy' but the pulsar far more so than the subaru. I apologise in advance as I have only skim read the thread but what is your budget? do any evo's fall into your budget or even r32/33 skylines? recently fitted coilovers, hicas lockout bars, camber arms and traction bars to a 33 and all the nuts and bolts came out far easier than those of hondas half its age I normally work on, and from what I could tell they hadn't been touched since it rolled off the factory floor. They are very well built and reasonably priced although you do suffer both 'jap tax' and 'skyline tax'