Last week at firestone, in the middle of a normal Friday night conversation, Fuji asked me if I wanted to trade cars. I kinda laughed and said sure thinking he was joking. But he was serious. He explained he wanted to trade for a few days a get a review of his car in the context of a daily driven car. Now, most people on this site know about Fuji's wagon, and many of us have seen it progress from it's original NA ej22 to it's current nearly 300whp hybrid build. Fuji asked me to drive his car for two reasons. First, my car is very similar to what his car was in stock form, I have a 2000 Outback Sport, his car is a 99 Impreza Wagon, so I would be able to compare going from stock to highly modified and back to stock within a few days. Second, I guess he trusts me , I think anyone who has had the misfortune of driving behind me on the street knows I take it pretty easy. So this isn't going to be a review of the performance capabilities of his car, but more an analysis of the daily driveability of his various mods. Hopefully this can provide some information to people about whether certain mods are a good idea for daily driven cars. Here's a rundown of Fuji's current mods. We traded cars Sunday night. I took a short drive around the neighborhood with him just so he could point out a few things. I've driven stock WRXs before, but that didn't really compare to this. I lightly hit boost in 2nd on the onramp to 694 and quickly shifted into third and gave it a bit more throttle. By the time I looked down I think I was going over 80mph. I've never had a car that would get me up into speeding ticket territory so quickly, so that was something I was going to have to watch out for. My commute is a little more than 15 miles, a mix of 30mph residential streets and a few short sections of freeway. Here's an old video of the route, (sped up 8x so you don't die of boredom). Monday morning I went out and started the car. The first thing I noticed was the exhaust. At idle and low speeds, it was noticably louder than my NA wagon with a magnaflow catback. It was enough to wake my wife up as I was pulling away in the morning. Although it was louder, the exhaust had almost no drone at higher speeds and actually seemed quieter on the highway than my magnaflow. I tried to use my cheap DB meter to compare with my car, but the numbers I got back were inconsistent. But, it kinda showed what I was thinking, Fuji's car interior is louder at lower speeds, but at highway speeds it's very similar to my car. The equal length headers give the car a very non-Subaru sound. I've always been a little dissappointed when I hear Fuji pull away at firestone because I'm expecting the subaru rumble. However, inside the car the exhaust note is very satisfying somehow. I never noticed any gas odors from the catless exhaust, even with the windows down. Overall for daily driving, I'd want the exhaust to be a bit quieter. A resonator or catted DP might be enough. The second most noticable mod is the clutch. The pedal itself very smooth and not heavy at all, but the 6 puck clutch has a very short and solid(aka harsh) engagement. I'll admit I stalled a few times on the first trip to work, but I quickly started to adjust to it. It's very possible to drive that clutch smoothly, but you just have a much smaller range and it's not forgiving if you're off a bit, you'll either stall or get some shudder. I could easily survive driving with this clutch after having a few days to practice, but I still wasn't 100% smooth from a stop with it. Depending on the passengers you'd have to haul, they could get annoyed by the jerky starts. After that, another noticable mod is the quick steering rack. The steering is a lot heavier, almost like not having power steering, but not quite that heavy. I didn't really need any time to adjust to the faster ratio itself, that felt very natural. But the heavier steering took a bit to adjust to, parking lots get a little annoying with the heavy steering, other than that it's fine. Fuji's car had a little play in the wheel which felt very pronounced because of the heavy steering, I would have had a better impression of the steering rack if it hadn't been for that play. Also, I noticed a few corners where the turn signal didn't shut off because I didn't have to turn the wheel enough. I have to say for daily driving, I like my stock steering rack better. I just didn't find any advantage to the faster rack on the street. If you spend any time on the track though, it'd be worth any tradeoff. So, the brakes, I didn't notice the brakes.... until I got back into my car. That's actually a good thing. The brakes were very progressive and smooth with obviously plenty of braking power. It wasn't until I drove my car again that I noticed how soft the pedal was on my car and how much more pedal travel was required to stop the car. Brembos might be overkill for daily driving, but I can see no drawback at all to having them and I'm going to start looking at brakes upgrades for my car in the future. The stainless steel brakes lines probably helped to the solid pedal feel as well. Ok, the 6 speed transmission. Yes please... The gear ratios are great, the syncros actually work and as long as you don't mind shifting through an extra gear it's a great transmission. I found myself shifting between 5th and 6th on the freeway a bit when traffic sped up and slowed down where in my car I could have stayed in 5th the whole time. Otherwise I'd still cruise in 4th gear for 30mph streets, it felt very similar to 4th in my 5mt. Ok, let's see... suspension, the ride quality was better than I expected. But I'm running SPT springs and AGX struts in my wagon, so I'm used to stiffer-than-stock suspension. The coilovers on Fuji's car didn't feel overly stiff to me. The only thing noticable was on big bumps, the shorter travel would create some bounce, but the car handled it very well. I still found myself slowing down in Fuji's car for big bumps (like railroad crossings) that I would take at full speed in my car. I would be a bit worried about the longevity of the coilovers with some of the roads I drive on. I think some passengers might find the suspension a bit rough. Overall, I'd probably choose to stick with a strut/spring combo for a daily driven car. The extra bracing and subframe locking bolts created noticeably more road noise, but there were also no interior panels in the rear of the wagon. I think with the stock interior in place, this extra noise wouldn't be very noticable. Also, my Bridgestone G009 tires create a lot more road noise than I was hearing from Fuji's tires, so overall the road noise level was really about the same. Ok, so enough of the boring stuff... how about driving a nearly 300whp car to work? I'd say 99% of the time I was not using the turbo, the boost guage was firmly in the vacuum territory. Although the 2.2 felt more repsonsive than a stock 2.0 WRX at low rpm, it still didn't have nearly the low rpm throttle response of my NA 2.2. For 0-30mph speeds, I'll take an NA car any day. But Fuji's car was very driveable out of boost, not a problem at all. The few times I got into the boost was on the freeway on ramps or passing on the freeway. Coming down the ramp in 3rd gear at about 3000 rpm it only took a quick stab of the throttle to get up to (or past) the speed limit and merge. The amount of power the car made really was overkill for a daily commute. Fun, but overkill. I'm a little torn, but I still think I'd prefer NA overall, but if I spent more miles on the freeways, I'd take the raw hp over the low rpm NA torque.