03/04 Cobra vs. STi

Discussion in 'SVT Tech Forum' started by STiBoost25, Jun 6, 2005.


  1. Dragstr05

    Dragstr05 New Member

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    My vote goes to the cobra as well.

    Truthfully, I do kinda like the STi. They have a deeper exhaust tone than most imports, and they are all around solid performers. The AWD is good, but RWD is FUN! The AWD would be good too in the winter, BUT you will need the extra set of tires, plus your going to drive around your precious sports car in the snow and get all the salt and chemicals on the paint and the wheels...which will take its toll. Also, AWD will handle better than RWD in snow by any means, but that doesnt mean it will handle on rails just because it has 4 wheels spinning...its just a little more usefull.

    For the few short times I have ridden in a cobra, I have been very impressed. They are fast, easy to modify, and both look and feel like a sportscar. The STi might look cool on the outside to you, but inside its not going to feel like a sportscar. Its still an econobox...even if it is fast.

    I am biased as well really, but I love the idea of owning a fast, raw muscle car. Just take them both for a test drive, and see what you like. In the end, its your money, and you should buy what YOU want, or you wont be happy with it.
  2. OregonMustang

    OregonMustang New Member

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    Looks: Cobra hands down!
    Sound: Cobra hands down
    Ever here a WOT rice burner good lord
    Maintenance: not sure ...
    I had zero problems with GT and the new 04 I have zero problems on 11K miles...*crosses fingers*
    Cost: Cobra
    Those damn tricked out rice burners are damn spendy
    Practical: STI
    I don't know anyone who buys a cobra becuase it's practical...lol
    You buy a Cobra becuase it's freaking Cobra! I'm just glad it has a trunk and a rear seat! LOL I buy the car for the performance...it's AMERICAN and it's history and the people who drive them are a fantastic croud. Can't speak about the japanamation croud...but from my perspective most of the American Muscle car more my speed ....

    :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

    Either choice...should make you happy....the Cobra will put a smile on your face every day....the STI...ehhh it's a car.. FUGLY tin can if you ask me.
  3. 65fb302v8

    65fb302v8 New Member

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    well, in the search for my new car (mostly aimed at the 03 cobra) i drove an 01 cobra testdrove and never considered an sti and drove an 03 vert and bought it the day after. the sti felt cheap, dinky little clutch, clothe interior and i didnt care for the way it sounded. the mustang is the better choice for durribility, class, looks, and overall its the better deal. yes the svt clutch is a b*t*h but it is not at all cheap its a typical muscle car clutch. that svt interior is great, comfortble, good looking, and ive havent had any problems.

    svt all the way!!
  4. CobraG

    CobraG New Member

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    I agree with you 100%, see my post above, # 4 about how the sti felt cheap. The Cobra feels way more solid. I don't care if the sti can outrun my 01 Cobra, my car feels more comfortable and more solid, I wouldn't trade it.
    Cobra :spot:
  5. Wizards02gt

    Wizards02gt New Member

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    Get the Cobra. I have less then $2000 in my car and pretty much no one in my area can hang with me. Well other than the people that own Cobra and those pesky Vipers and built Vettes.
  6. WinterStang

    WinterStang New Member

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    i believe there is a 03 cobra on here f/s for $23,900.vI live in Tampa and there are several 03 cobras for less then $28k! I am in the same boat as you are. To bad the Sti will cost you $10k just to match up to a cobra. The awd is great for light to light racing but take it from a roll or highway and the sti is a dog. Also it is nice to be able to swap out a pulley on the cobra and other basic mods and put down 500+ hp. Good luck but I am thinking about buying a Cobra for he fact that the vette can't take the small family I have. Also owned two fox bodies.
  7. Snakestress

    Snakestress New Member

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    go for the cobra. the STi is ok but it just does not have the mean factor. its like something evil Peter Pan would drive :shrug:

    Actually I beat an sti in my 97, mine is almost stock. its not impossible- just find the crappy drivers :D

    goodluck on that purchase. I guess you have to write down the pros and cons of each and go with the one that works well for you.. and like others have said, you dont really buy a cobra for practicality. I still hurt inside everytime i stop at the gas station :bang:
  8. nyyankee

    nyyankee Member

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    Well, being a 5 time Foxbody Mustang owner and presently 93 Cobra (10,000k) I had a WRX. The WRX is an incredible car. Great in the snow, good on gas, and fast as sh.. I was being chased by an off duty Trooper @ 120m.p.h. and it felt like I was doing 80. By the way he let me go. Anyway, I sold the car after 8 months because I thought I needed something else. I am 35 yrs. old. But as far as the raw muscle car power and presence, other than the rice rocket, If I had a choice at your age between a STi and an 03 I'll tell you what you should do. Wait and get an 06. TRUST ME. :nice:
  9. Snakestress

    Snakestress New Member

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    or an 07 shelby perhaps? :D
  10. 04_snake

    04_snake New Member

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    I was shopping for a new rocket ride last winter, and the daily driver is a 2002 WRX.

    $50K M3, nice, not that frisky, mods very$$
    $47K S4, was the runner up, quick, handled great but already had AWD
    $42K Silver Saleen 281SC, handled better than the cobra and from a dig with the solid rear, hated the wing and decals. Price wasn't bad.
    $37K Evo MR, terrible oversteer for an AWD, salesman dared me to push it, said I couldn't break it loose but turned white when I had it side ways on a cloverleaf at 90pmh, for 1/2 complete revolution. Guess he never drifted before. POS interior from a 80's nissan, wouldn't deal on price
    $32K WRX Sti, test drove two, very nice, didn't want to become a "WRX Family", 100% better handling than the 2002 early version I have. Hated wing.
    $31.5K Redfire Cobra coupe, salesman was sacred to go with me. Took it for a 130mph drive it like I stole it session. Tried to not like it, kept catching myself thinking about all I could do to it and the low payment.

    I have bolted on about 3K worth of parts on to that cobra I thought someone else was going to end up with, full headers now sound like morning practice at waltkins glen when I get on it and a cadillac when I don't and with the 100% stock IRS, pulley and a competition clutch best ET=11.59

    Another fellow at the track bought a STi, he has spent about $2500, did all the work himself, tuned it and is tickled pink his best is 12.98

    which do you want? I think I made the right choice for ME!
  11. realaxed83

    realaxed83 New Member

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    Well first of all I vote cobra HANDS DOWN. I just recently went through this whole process of what has the best bang for the buck...i have had three mustangs previous to the 03 cobra I have now so that made the choice easier. I did drive a friends sti, decent performance but not for the price in my opinion. Plus I think the looks are just boring, looks like a family car with a hood scoop and a huge ass wing. It doesn't sound good, and doesn't put you back in the seat like a muscle car does. I drove probably ten or eleven cars before finally getting mine, thats what I suggest you do to see which really suits your preferences. The sti may be a little cheaper but you have to think would you be happer for 50 or 75 more a month driving a cobra? Your insurance is crazy high too, for full coverage on my 03 I pay about 85 a month but mine is through a gov. insurance company. I still think you could get a better deal if you shop around. I have had my cobra for a few months now and don't regret getting it at all. Like someone else already said sti's have their limits before needing a complete rebuild. The 03 cobra motors will handle nearly 1000 hp on stock internals which is super impressive, not too many cars that can claim that. Plus for a few thousand in mods you will kill nearly everything on the street......very easy to mod. Plus its just a beautiful car. I get tons of looks and people(mostly girls) waving at me that I don't know. I have a beater truck that I drive around to keep mileage low and thats what my suggestion to you is. BUY THE COBRA :nice:
  12. peace homey

    peace homey New Member

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    get an evo over the sti. cobra>evo>civic>sti lol (jk about the civic)
  13. svtcrazy

    svtcrazy New Member

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    I love my 2004 Cobra! Have you seen the tires on the STI? Looks like you'll have to spend more than a grand on a set of winter wheels and tires for that car, all wheel drive or not. Also, what little the Cobra may lack in the curves (driver skill can make a huge difference) it makes up in the staights. I dought that little STI motor is built to handle the power that the SVT 4.6 can take.
  14. SVT32VDOHC

    SVT32VDOHC waiting for the next hack atta Founding Member

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    I didn't rear your whole story, but it sounded just like my friends dilema. He bought a new WRX (not an sti). He picked that over the Cobra. 4 months into his decision, he regreted it. He picked it because it handles well also. Then he went for a ride in my cobra and all my buddies mustangs, and he admitted he picked th wrong car. Go with the Cobra.
  15. POWER302

    POWER302 Founding Member

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    I would Take an STi over an 03 Cobra.
  16. UrHookUp

    UrHookUp New Member

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    I bought my 03 Cobra for 26K with only 14K miles on ODO. It's White, with Black Leather & Gray Suade Inserts on front seats. It came with Pulley changes, Steeda Cold Air induction, Maxflow exhaust, Predator Chip, etc..... I just added the Accufab Polished Throttle body (Oh wow, what a difference). It came with 18x9.5 Cobra R Rims. This makes the 7th Stang that I've owned in past years. Oh, forgot to add this, since all this stuff came on car as I bought it, the Ford Dealership is covering everything under the 3 yrs 36K mile warranty.

    I have driven the STI, I also own a 99 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST with 455hp to tires. But this cobra is just great. My eclispe has been sitting in my showroom at the shop since I bought the cobra.
  17. 04_snake

    04_snake New Member

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    but have you driven both aggresively? I think the consensus of the guys have have driven both, or have owned both, the Terminator leaves the better lasting impression, but it all depends on what you want out of a car. I think guys who have owned Mustangs and earlier model Cobra's are even shocked by how the 03-04's feel, it is a whole different level and very hard to put into words, you kinda have to try one to know what the big deal is.
  18. SnakeyVert

    SnakeyVert New Member

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    Sounds like someone else has been perusing the 03-04 market....:)

    Ive been looking too, looking to sell my 99 and go for an 03, if I could ever get my POS jeep wrangler to run reliably, I would sell my 99 now and get an 03 over the wintertime...anyways, this is alittle off topic, except for the part about not finding a 23K 03-04 cobra anytime soon
  19. DBMSTNG

    DBMSTNG I fantasize about it being BIG! Founding Member

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    ask yourself if you want a muscle car, or a hopped up economy car.
  20. 94blackGTvert

    94blackGTvert Founding Member

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    The only way to get your answer is to drive both and pick the one you like. If you post this question on a WRX board, you'll get opinions biased towards the STi.

    See my sig, I went with the STi. I loved my mustang, but was so anal with it, I wouldn't bring out unless it was sunny and absolutely hated when it was dirty. I just got so tired of driving my beater and dealing with 2 cars. I just wanted a car that was fast and I could drive everyday in any kinda weather. I found my car for $24k with 30k miles, with a new set of michelon pilots, a viper alarm system, and extra set of winter rims with brand now dunlop winter tires. You can find a deal on either car.

    One, bit of advice, if you're looking to find out the limts of an STi mod wise, I'd check out wrxfanatics.com or nasioc.com. I read some not so true information in this thread. I don't think anyone made comments to purposely mislead you, they may just be mis-informed. I saw something about an STi engine needing a rebuild after 400hp. The consensus is (proven) the STi can safely handle (read safe tune) 400 awhp on the stock internals with upgraded tubro. Yes, it costs way more to achieve this number in an STi than in a cobra. It's all personal taste.

    I do agree the cobra sounds waaaay better. I don't think you can get a better sound. But I don't think the boxer engine sounds too bad, it's more a long the lines of an exotic.

    I must confess, I do find myself missing my mustang and looking at ones for sale on autotrader. Next time I buy one I'm going to mix the best of both worlds and just turbo the mustang...

    If you want a unbelievably fast car, get the cobra, if you want a car you can drive all the time and have fun doing it, get the STi.

    A quick edit: Taking nothing away from the STi, it is an awesome car to drive and handles like nothing I've ever driven, if I lived somewhere that didn't get any snow, there would be a sonic blue cobra sitting in my driveway.

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