Tag Archives: GV

STI: Hatch vs. Sedan

OK, so even though the WRX and STI are no longer offered in hatch form, there’s still infighting going on in the Subaru world regarding what’s the better offering:  hatches or sedans.  Here’s my take on things.  Note that this isn’t meant to offend.  If you’ve thick skin, please understand that this is just an opposing opinion…the internet is full of such things.

Now, the key word that hatch owners throw out is practicality.  What is practicality without relating to a Merriam-Webster’s definition?  It relates to utility, usability, and “all-around” (as in jack-of-all-trades).  For those that want the true definition, you can see it here.

I’m going to throw out a few thoughts on practicality:

  • Practicality is only important if you care about it (ie, it is a subjective issue).
  • For a lot of people, practicality isn’t really a requirement.
  • Jacks-of-all-trade type of cars are best at nothing…practicality means compromising.
  • If I wanted true practicality, I wouldn’t be looking at a performance car.

There’s far more to a practical car than having space.  That’s why I got a sedan.  Before I got the STI, I had a quad cab truck…you can’t get any more practical than that, IMO.  I associate practicality with being frugal.  Again, the key words are utility, usability, and “all-around”.  I’ve said this before: I grew up one step from being dirt poor and I’ve always pinched my pennies, so I actually know what practicality is.  It means something different than what most Scoobie owners are thinking when using the word, for sure.  I was so bad with the practicality mindset that I’ve always had problems buying performance cars…if I bought them, they’d have to be low-priced in the extreme, because practicality surely has a money factor…most people don’t relate practicality with a $400 car note, for example.  I had to force myself out of that mindset when I bought the STI, otherwise I’d have never bought even the hatch version.  I never thought of getting a hatch for additional space.  I initially considered the hatch only because it looked better designed (the back end flows better with the rest of the car…that’s not so with the sedan, IMO).

If I’m looking for truly practical cars, I’m probably not going to be looking at a car with a mid-$30K price tag that gets 16-17 MPG in the city and requires a tire swap in snowy/icy/cold weather, $100 oil change services, and other expensive periodical maintenance (from my understanding, brake rotors are NOT cheap, for example) because it takes a lot more than extra space to be considered practical, IMO. Insurance prices for these cars surely isn’t anywhere near practical. None of what I mention hints at practicality.

These are just my opinions, though. I fully expect someone to be offended by this because that tends to be the nature of the interwebz and Scoobie hatch owners tend to be overly sensitive about such things.  I mean no insult by this, but if people are willing to put out their thoughts on why hatches are better, they should expect to receive an opposing opinion and be able to accept a different view of things.

Mishimoto Cold Air Intake for 2008-2014 STI



This cold air intake (CAI) is a bit different than that’s currently on the market for the GR/GV STIs.  What’s different?  Your vehicle doesn’t need to be tuned for it to be used on your car, nor does it need to used with a Cobb AP OTS tune.  In most cases, CAIs for Subarus are not plug-n-play.  So when I saw the above URL posted within the IWSTI forums, I immediately had questions, such as ‘how did they do this?’.

Here is an engineering writeup of the product (by Mishimoto engineers).  It is actually pretty thorough.  Another cool fact is that it can still be protuned for further gains.  Mishimoto claims,

The maximum gain achieved was about 25 hp and 24 tq at around 5300 rpm, with a peak gain of 12.7 hp and 2 tq. These results are very good for such an easy part to swap out. Increases on average through the power band measured around 20 hp and 18 tq, which would certainly be noticeable to the driver.

Additional notes regarding the air/fuel ratio of a car with this particular CAI:

The Mishimoto CAI follows the stock AFR as the car builds its boost. Once the engine reaches 4000 rpm the car is under full boost, as seen when the Mishimoto CAI starts to differ from the stock unit. The maximum AFR reached was about 11.7:1, but on average the Mishimoto CAI runs about 11.3:1 when under full boost. The stock AFR maxed out at about 11:1 and averaged about 10.5:1 when under full boost. These numbers were consistent throughout multiple runs, which assured the engineers that this CAI can be used every day without harming the engine.

Looks-wise, I like the Nameless Performance CAI better, even though that particular unit still needs a Cobb AP to be used (it can be used with any map that supports the AEM CAI).  Pricing between the NP and Mishimoto CAIs are also very similar.  The NP CAI is $299 and has an arsenal of color choices of the closeout and MAF housing.  The Mishimoto CAI is $313 and only offers 3 colors of the intake piping.

I’m not sure which offers better gains on OTS tuning, but I don’t think you can go wrong with either solution.