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Discussion Starter #1
Well, the wife nixxed my idea of getting an Aero. Too much for a car we don't really need (going to trade in a perfectly good Jetta). I'm thinking that I'll even have to go barebones linear. :( I've gotta say, I'm a little bummed. Any linear owners out there who aren't unhappy? Surely there are some... What's the sound system like in them? My Jetta has a kickass one.
 

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I'm also settling for a Linear, my wife only drives auto so we have to get that option too. Currently I am driving a 2000 Passat 1.8T, which is rated 150HP but the Linear is definitely faster. The other car we were settling before was Mazda3 hatchback, and I think its about par, since Mazda's auto trans is more responsive, not to mention the tiptronic mode.

If you're getting a manual, I'm sure you will be quite happy with it. With Linear you're able to get better mileage, able to get regular instead premium gas, and I think also insurance might be cheaper.

A side note, our car shopping experience is coming to a close, we have test driven from the slow 108 HP of the Scion xA, the sleepy performance and design of Corolla, overpriced and also underpowered Civic... And they were hard to find the must have features we want: ABS and side air bag. There are no other choices that comes close to the 3 criterias that we defined: decent space with 4 doors, ABS and side air bag, and enough oomph for getting on the freeway.
 

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Linear's aren't bad. I'm looking forward to test driving the '06 model that comes with an extra 10 hp on the Linear.

-Easier on fuel, uses regular instead of premium too.

-When you are driving "normally" (i.e. shifting before 3000 RPM, like around town, or when you just aren't caning the thing) it will feel peppier than the Aero.

-Lower insurance costs

-Lower curb weight

It's the closest thing you can get to an AWD Protege5 - a practical, stylish, and yes fun to drive 5-door hatch. That's high praise from me. I wasn't a fan of the Mazda3 - too minivan-ish. Mazda took a step backwards with the Mazda3 from the Protege5, IMHO.



The stock stereo in the Linear isn't great, but you have a few choices here:

a) Lots of WRX guys upgrade the stock head unit, and it's the same one as in the Aero - basically plug and play - you can get them cheap. Check out the for sale sections of some of the Impreza forums.

b) Tell the wife since you are compromising on not getting the Aero, she has to compromise on letting you upgrade the car with a nice aftermarket system.

I didn't find the stereo in the Linear OR Aero to be anything great though. If it was me, I'd go plan (b).

There are plenty of forums dedicated to the 2.5L naturally aspirated flat-four. www.rs25.com for example. They definately have their own fan base, just like the 2.0L turbo boys.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for that encouragement! Do you have any pics of the interior of a stock linear? I can't seem to find any good ones. I can't quite remember how it compares to the Aero interior but my impression was that the Aero has a much nicer looking interior. Tell me I'm wrong. :)
 

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The main visual differences between the base Linear and the Aero are:

EXTERIOR

-Linear hood has no hood scoop

-Linear rides a little higher (maybe 10 mm if memory serves?)

-Can't get 17" wheels with the Linear (fine by me, 16" rubber is less expensive and has less rotational mass. The "serious" WRX guys stick with 16" wheels, rather than the 17/18/19" monstrosities).

-no front foglights

-1" smaller front brakes

INTERIOR

-single CD single DIN stereo vs 6-pack double DIN stereo on the Aero

-no tweeters on the Linear

-different gauges (black faced)

-HVAC controls are different (auto climate control on the Aero)

-less (no?) chrome accents

-door trim cloth is slightly different vs the Aero

-seat cloth is slightly different vs the Aero

-steering wheel/shift knob is not leather wrapped

I'll see if I can dig up a picture.

 

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Protege5 to 9-2x Linear

Hi Grimace, new member here.

Funny that you compared the 9-2x Linear as the closest thing you can get to an AWD Protege5. I traded in a P5 for my 9-2! :) (Red for Red too)

I liked my P5 very much, but when I found out about the current 9-2x deals, I decided to check them out.

For me the P5 ride quality was just a bit stiff for the kind of urban driving I do, and the car was a bit buzzy.

I really appreciate the 9-2x's slightly softer ride, and sound insulation.

When I bought my P5, I considered a WRX or Impreza, but at that time they were a bit over my budget. Like many ppl who have gotten 9-2x's, I don't care for Subaru's styling. I've always liked Saabs and Suubs, so this car is perfect for me.

I got my 92x Linear, Auto, Moonroof, Cloth, Cold pkg, for $19593. I think that's less than $2000 more than I paid for my Protege5 3 years ago! AND, I upgraded to AWD, ABS, heated seats, more airbags, better warranty, 2yr maintenance, and a more refined ride in all respects. Oh, the base Linear stereo isn't much, but it's better than the flat-sounding base stereo in the P5- which I never got around to upgrading.

I'm not safely obsessed, but the upgrade to AWD, ABS, and more airbags alone was worth the trade.


Grimace said:
Linear's aren't bad. I'm looking forward to test driving the '06 model that comes with an extra 10 hp on the Linear.

-Easier on fuel, uses regular instead of premium too.

-When you are driving "normally" (i.e. shifting before 3000 RPM, like around town, or when you just aren't caning the thing) it will feel peppier than the Aero.

-Lower insurance costs

-Lower curb weight

It's the closest thing you can get to an AWD Protege5 - a practical, stylish, and yes fun to drive 5-door hatch. That's high praise from me. I wasn't a fan of the Mazda3 - too minivan-ish. Mazda took a step backwards with the Mazda3 from the Protege5, IMHO.



The stock stereo in the Linear isn't great, but you have a few choices here:

a) Lots of WRX guys upgrade the stock head unit, and it's the same one as in the Aero - basically plug and play - you can get them cheap. Check out the for sale sections of some of the Impreza forums.

b) Tell the wife since you are compromising on not getting the Aero, she has to compromise on letting you upgrade the car with a nice aftermarket system.

I didn't find the stereo in the Linear OR Aero to be anything great though. If it was me, I'd go plan (b).

There are plenty of forums dedicated to the 2.5L naturally aspirated flat-four. www.rs25.com for example. They definately have their own fan base, just like the 2.0L turbo boys.

 

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torifile said:
Well, the wife nixxed my idea of getting an Aero. Too much for a car we don't really need (going to trade in a perfectly good Jetta). I'm thinking that I'll even have to go barebones linear. :( I've gotta say, I'm a little bummed. Any linear owners out there who aren't unhappy? Surely there are some... What's the sound system like in them? My Jetta has a kickass one.
I love my Linear. I was just thinking this morning though, that if I had to do it again I would definitely get the best upgraded sound system I could. The present one is econo-basic, 4-speaker deal. Not great. Not horrible, but if your Jetta had a nice stereo, you WILL miss it if you stay stock. I leased for 3-years (~two to go), so I'm not putting a new nice stereo in a leased car.

As for power, I have more off the stop than my friend's WRX, but he beats me in the 0-60 overall, of course. But 165hp in a car this small is VERY fine. The automatic might make it feel a bit more sluggish. Before my 9-2X I had a 2002 Subaru Outback Sport, which is basically the same car, same 165hp engine, but in automatic (I traded it in for the 9-2X because I was sick of the auto). It had plenty of power, but I was really getting sick of the kickdown time when I needed to punch the throttle. But I think you'll have enough power to make it fun. Automatic with the Aero would be a non-starter for me. Another friend of mine has a WRX automatic. It is a total dog off the line.

Other than that, I'm sure you'll love it. I still miss my 97 Jetta bigtime. It was probably the most fun car I've owned, but what a headache in the repair dept. If you've run into that as well, the 9-2X is worth picking up just for the reliability.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks! I put the deposit down today. I drove the Linear and was perfectly happy with the way it drove. BUT the sound system was lackluster at best and it looked completely chinzy. I struggled with the decision, but I ended up upgrading to the premium package. More than I wanted to spend but I know that I would not have been happy if I hadn't. I should have it by the end of next week. :)
 

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Woo Hoo! Tonight I just picked up my red Linear, with Auto and moonroof. Awesome ride! Couldn't stop staring at it. Yes, maybe in few months I will look into upgrading the audio system. Right now planning on waxing it tomorrow after a really detailed cleaning. It's been a long day at work for me but feel very fortunate that it is all worth it.

Cheers!
 

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torifile said:
the sound system was lackluster at best and it looked completely chinzy. I struggled with the decision, but I ended up upgrading to the premium package. More than I wanted to spend but I know that I would not have been happy if I hadn't. I should have it by the end of next week. :)
Awesome. I'm sure you'll love the upgraded stereo. Wish I had gotten one!
 
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