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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I test drove a WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, and a 24v VR6 GTI recently and thought I'd share my impressions of each.
WRX: Interior was ok, but definately not a high point of the car. Worst of the group, although that shouldn't surprise. The turbo was decent, but didn't wow me either. Spool up was pretty quick as long as you stayed above 1200 rpm. There were a couple of times when I got caught off boost below 1200 and the car barely felt like it was accelerating. Power starts to taper off after 5000 rpm. Steering feel was somewhat numb (compared with my '98 Jetta), but acceptable. The shifter right out sucked. Short, but sloppy throws and is NOT weighted. It felt like I could rip the shift lever right off the car I tried. Pedals had a light feeling to them, but they were set up perfectly for heel-toe. Handling was somewhat soft, but with the all wheel drive you could coax the car into a drift with ease. I felt like with a little more time behind the wheel I could've screamed around some corners. My biggest complaint of the car was the car's behavior when shifting while in the throttle. It seemed to cough/bog a bit as I shifted. Perhaps one could learn to shift smoother after driving the car over time. The car stickered at 24+ k which wasn't worth it in my eyes. Of course the ability to mod the car is the kicker. I might have a different opinion had I driven one with mods.
RSX-S: A big disappointment here. I didn't care for the engine note, nor the power band. It pulled somewhat better in the VTEC zone, but it seemed like it the power delivery wasn't that smooth up there. Being that it was a test drive, I didn't shift any higher than 7500 rpm. Would you believe the saleman proceeded to lecture me about shifting at redline (even though I was 1000 shy of it)? "If you hit a bump, the car will spin past redline and throw a rod". Whatever. Handling was pretty good, but there was that subtle Honda numbness about it. Pedals weren't ideal for heel-toe, but you could do it with practice. I really can't believe C&D got 6.1 0-60 out of one. The RSX-S stickered at 23+ K. Maybe a fully broken in car is faster, but I came away unimpressed. http://****************.com/smile/emthdown.gif
IS300: Nice. 5-speed Manual shifted without much slop, pedals had a firm substantial feel to them. Not set-up for heel toe unfortunately. The engine had a great BMW straight six sound to it, linear power delivery, decent torque, but it felt like it needed an extra 30 hp/ft-lbs to be fun. The handling/ride was near perfect. The car felt completely flat. I could feel every bump in the road, but not too much (not bone jarring ride here). The steering had a great feel to it as well. I drove a stripper which stickered at ...(get this) ... 30K and change. Damn! Imagine a new BMW 3-series between the 325 and 330. That's exactly what this car felt like. Up the power by 30, drop the price by 5k, and I'd be all over this!
2003 24v VR6 GTI:
The engine is much more quiet than the 12v. Very nice power delivery. Did I mention the torque? Cruise along in any gear and punch it .... the car pulls like a banshee all the way (and past) redline. It felt like a 6 with a light pressure turbo. The engine did however have its quirks. It seemed like rowing through the gears that the car didn't want to accelerate as fast as if you punched it mid gear (and let off). Especially when shifting gears, it felt like the ECU had to figure out that you wanted max power each time you shifted. Even then it still didn't seem to want to accelerate as fast as it did doing mid gear punches. Oh yeah, did I mention the throttle response absolutely, positively sucked? There is at least a .3 second pause between the time you push the pedal and when the car responds. I truely believe that the biggest benefit of chip tuning will be throttle response. Those mid gear punches felt like a mid 14 second car to me. I think the GIAC chip will do a lot for this car. Stickered at 23k+, this would be my choice of the group. Handling, steering feel was typical of an MK4. Pedals were not set up for heel toe either.

Graff
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (graff48)

Ive driven 2 of the cars you test drove (wrx, 24v gti), and the next on my list is the IS300 and RSX.
I friggen loved the 24v VR6! I drove it on a 90+ degree day with the AC cranked (you know how the dealers must turn on the A/C
)
and the thing still pulled like crazy. Even in 6th gear doing 2k rpms.
I loved the WRX too, and probably would pick it over the 24v GTI. Both sell for pretty much the same price at ~$23k. But thats just me.
The 24v could give the 'Rex a hard run for its money I think (acceleration wise).
You seemed to point out the faults of each car you drove...how do they compare with your GLX?
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (graff48)

The major consensus would pick any of the 3 cars except the 24v GTI from magazine to magazine..
I see your reviews here quite bias as each car is head of each class they belong.
IS300 will out handle GTI anyday, slightly tuned and it will outrun the GTI and every girl would hop in.
RSX Type-S, your biggest dissappointment is your biggest nightmare when this car gets the right tuning, it will leave the GTI sideways on the race tracks.
I see your POV is like many sofa chair enthusaits.. you want a bloated car that has a big sofa seat and when you step on it, it feels like a lot of GO on the straight and you won't do any hard turn to see if each car behaves.
And you don't like working the gears..
I won't even get into the WRX.. it's not your cup of tea..
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Traderx25)

That's exactly what this car felt like. Up the power by 30, drop the price by 5k, and I'd be all over this!-----quote
why woudl they up the power and lower the price ,you said youd but the overpriced GTI which cant outhandle the IS
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Traderx25)

quote:[HR][/HR]The major consensus would pick any of the 3 cars except the 24v GTI from magazine to magazine..
I see your reviews here quite bias as each car is head of each class they belong.
IS300 will out handle GTI anyday, slightly tuned and it will outrun the GTI and every girl would hop in.
RSX Type-S, your biggest dissappointment is your biggest nightmare when this car gets the right tuning, it will leave the GTI sideways on the race tracks.
I see your POV is like many sofa chair enthusaits.. you want a bloated car that has a big sofa seat and when you step on it, it feels like a lot of GO on the straight and you won't do any hard turn to see if each car behaves.
And you don't like working the gears..
I won't even get into the WRX.. it's not your cup of tea..[HR][/HR]​
Don't ever buy a 360 Modena....it's definitely not your cup of tea....stick with a 911 Turbo...or something as austere.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (peanutgallery)

Here we go again. He didn't like the other two. Big deal. What, do you think the others are going to be any less of cars because someone gave 'em a bad review? Why the hell do you guys even care?
Nice to hear what normal people have to say about these cars. I'm completely unimpressed with the RSX-S. I love the WRX, though, and that's what I'd probably choose. The rumble of the flat four is beautiful. Next to the WRX, it's the GTI for me. Certainly not a model of simplistic, wind in your face motoring, but the Germanic feel and design coupled with the VR6 wail and powerband is enticing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Mark at farm)

quote:[HR][/HR]a WRX doesnt come on boost at 1200rpm.[HR][/HR]​
Yes you are right. What I meant is that it seemed like lag was minimal most of the time. There were two occasions on my test drive however where the car felt like an automatic Civic on a steep hill for about 2 seconds. To be honest, I'm not sure at what rpm that happened so I guessed I was down pretty low.
quote:[HR][/HR]And you don't like working the gears..[HR][/HR]​
Where did you get that impression? My comments about the RSX? My shifting points were aimed at either a couple of hundred rpm shy of redline or when I felt the power dropping off. With the RSX it felt like you'd get a little extra push at the VTEC switch over, but then it felt like the car would stumble a bit. ??? I have no problem taking a car to redline if the car feels healthy doing it (the GTI for instance).
And for the record, I was not trying to take these cars to their handling limits. Something about driving an unfamilar car (that isn't mine) to its limit in the middle of the day on public roads made me uncomfortable.
My aim was to get a feel for each car without abusing it. The cars I chose were possible successors to my s/c'd VR6 Jetta .. which will also complement my sport suspenion equiped '99 Miata. I wasn't looking for a track car (got one thanks) but rather something fast, somewhat practical, between 20-30k.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Mark at farm)

I wont put too fine a point on it, but that was an extreamly biased report, and some of the things you stated were just wrong. Ive driven all ther cars on there more than once and some things I just want to mention
WRX, first off the turbo spools at 3 k rpm's And the power DOES NOT fall off at 5000, like the acura this car will pull hard to the redline. Also the shifter I felt was worlds above any VW one, it had a clean, crisp, but slightly notchy action, but it always went where I wanted it to.
RSX-s, I think you forgot to mention that the RSX's shifter is about the best this side of a miata, Also you were 400 rpm's shy of the redline not 1000, if you were shifting at 7500. Really I think your main problem with the acura was not with the car, but the fact that it sounds like you had an ass of a salesman. Also maybe you forgot to mention that the quality of materials in the cabin now is almost to that of VW, its quite nice inside.
IS300 - Ive never driven.
GTI 24v - First off as good as the new 24v VR6 is, like the old one its about torque, and it DOES fall flat before the redline, it doesnt rev hard to the redline like you said. Also maybe you forgot to mention that even with 17's its the worst handling of the group, with typical VR6 understeer stepping in quite early? You raved about the engine, but even most magazines, havent been able to get times out of it much better than an MKIII 12v like yours. Also the shifter while vastly improved with the 6 speed, still isnt as good as the RSX, or WRX (at least in my mind)
Sorry, but it seems your love of VW's steped in while weighing out the positives and negitives, as a performance car, all the others are better, as a cruiser, the IS300 is probably first, GTI second, RSX thired, and WRX last. MAybe try to give the others more of a chance next time. Also go to a different acura dealer and see what they let you do, the RSX has vastly improved torque over the GSR integra, and if you drive it hard tis very rewarding. When I took one out at my dealer, the salesguy got tire into third, and proceeded to get it up to roughly 120
, The I proceeded to do the same
, he's a very cool guy BTW, anytime a new car comes in, Im the first to drive it, ditto for TL-s CL-s 6 speed, RSX, etc. But thank you for doing a test drive, I love to read these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Jettavr666)

Yes I am somewhat biased towards the GTI even though it was easily the worst handling of the group (car needs a Dieselgeek SS too). I'm a sucker for low end torque I guess. I accidently passed into redline once cause the car was still pulling strong.
The RSX shifter was better than all but the IS300.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Jettavr666)

quote:[HR][/HR]
Also the shifter I felt was worlds above any VW one, it had a clean, crisp, but slightly notchy action, but it always went where I wanted it to. [HR][/HR]​
I happened to get a nice test drive in one (WRX) when it came out and no...I didn't find it crisp and clean...notchy and sticky are better descriptions.
quote:[HR][/HR]
GTI 24v - First off as good as the new 24v VR6 is, like the old one its about torque, and it DOES fall flat before the redline, it doesnt rev hard to the redline like you said.
[HR][/HR]​
As I own a new 24V, I find, as with any car, it has faults...but no...falling flat before redline isn't one of them. Don't know where you got that from. Also, having had a 98VR6, it pulls far better that my previous VR6, and doesn't lose steam at all.


[Modified by Integrale, 11:42 AM 10-6-2002]
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (graff48)

quote:[HR][/HR]
The RSX shifter was better than all but the IS300.[HR][/HR]​
That is interesting that you say that. I have yet to drive an IS300 5 spd and if it is anything like the RSX-S shifter, that is great. The shifter in the RSX-S is sweet not to mention the seats. One thing about hondas, you cant drive them like cars with alot of torque because they dont have it. You have to keeps your revs high but it doesnt really matter as the car was meant to be driven like that.
My personal opinion. I would take the IS300 over all of them. Tie for the RSX and WRX with a little lean to the WRX for tuning potential. I have never driven a GTi but I did drive the new VR6 Jetta.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Integrale)

I personally thought the WRX shifter was great. Better than a 350Z's for sure. Not as good as my S2000, but lightyears ahead of my Corrado.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Rob)

quote:[HR][/HR]I personally thought the WRX shifter was great. Better than a 350Z's for sure. Not as good as my S2000, but lightyears ahead of my Corrado.[HR][/HR]​
I've only driven one with the short-throw shifter, I thought it was just sweel too. Also, I think the WRX is the best bang for the buck, opposite of what the original poster thinks.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (chi-dubmk3)

quote:[HR][/HR]As car enthusiasts, we appreciate your efforts! [HR][/HR]​
yups, thanks for giving such a detailed synopsis of your test drives.
http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Jettavr666)

quote:[HR][/HR]
Sorry, but it seems your love of VW's steped in while weighing out the positives and negitives, as a performance car, all the others are better, as a cruiser, the IS300 is probably first, GTI second, RSX thired, and WRX last. MAybe try to give the others more of a chance next time. Also go to a different acura dealer and see what they let you do, the RSX has vastly improved torque over the GSR integra, and if you drive it hard tis very rewarding. When I took one out at my dealer, the salesguy got tire into third, and proceeded to get it up to roughly 120 , The I proceeded to do the same , he's a very cool guy BTW, anytime a new car comes in, Im the first to drive it, ditto for TL-s CL-s 6 speed, RSX, etc. But thank you for doing a test drive, I love to read these.
[HR][/HR]​
You seem to be the only un-biased driver and understands each car's worthiness here and has "actually" driven them all like myself.
This is the reason after my 3 month worth of test drives and comparison I went with the WRX over the bunch.
My simple assessment was:
RSX Type S: Sits low, nice handling, i-VTEC is much smoother and doesn't need the hard punch to engage VTEC.
Jetta GLI VR6: The new 6 speed stick requires fishing, does not rev very quick.
IS300: Very nice all around, too small for this much $$ The suspension is a little bit stiff so is the steering but very crisp handling.
Decided on the WRX because 3 simple reasons: Power, AWD, and mod friendliness.
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Jettavr666)

my thoughts:
the WRX does run out of puff towards 5000...
we have one, it does it, its true.
I cant really compare to the RSX-S, although the closest we have is the Integra type R Dc5 (aus spec) over here. I find the car has very good low end torque for a high revving 2 litre engine.. A lot better than the WRX off boost( the subaru is an absolute shocker in this department, even a hyundai excel could beat the rex when its off boost!).
When I test drove a v6 4 motion bora I found the power to be very linear except it still ran out of puff towards the redline.
Ive only ever driven the is300 automatic, and was really disappointed at how slow it was. I was also surprised by the amount of wheelspin the traction control allowed whilst simultaneously propelling us forward at such a slow speed. Someone must have armour-all'd the tyres for me.
I love the rest of the car though... fantastic sound sytem and a DVD satnav system!
 

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Re: Driving Impressions - WRX, RSX-S, IS 300, 24v VR6 GTI (Jettavr666)

i too have driven all 4 cars. i would take the IS300 or Gti for a daily driver, RSX-S as a 2nd car and WRX as a first car. you are however wrong...Redline for a RSX S is 7900RPM yes, but rev limiter does not kick in till 8400RPM....my freind owns an RSX-S which is now modded...because ppl dont know how to drive this car he has left other Modded Tyope-S's in the dust with what was then his stock RSX. take every gear to 8400RPM and the car is extremly fast for it class....he has run with several VW's and the only two that he could not overtake are a Corrado VR6 and a Passat W8. as for the WRX..shifter feel is really not up to par with the RSX or the IS in my opinion....of the bunch the WRX is the fastest in the 1/4 but the slowest at triple digit speeds. i'm not a fan of drag so WRX does nothing for me....the interior IMHO is complete crap other then that lovly steering wheel and those seats. as for the 24V Gti, it doesnt feel FLAT ANYWHERE...and thats FACT..i guess you never drove one, so your false statement is invalid and has no real meaning other then the fact that your bashing a car you probably never sat in. overall, the IS300 is probably the best daily driver, while the Gti is a great hatchback, the RSX on the other hand is WAY better then the GSR it replaces...interior, engine, tranny, suspension..all WAY better...it feels much torquier then any Integra i've ever driven including the gutless below 5K Type-R. Now last but not least...if i were to buy a car strictly for Track use which i would mod, without a doubt it would be the WRX...but for no other reason would i buy that $hitbox. my 2 cents.
 
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