I have owned over 40 cars. Including Astra GTE 16v, RS Turbo, Renault 5 Turbo, Primera Egt, Celica GT4 and lately tried a Corsa with a 2.0 ltr 16v engine. Nothing comes close to the Sapphire Cosworth. I have previously owned 4 Cosworths and have recently purchased my current Sapphire Cosworth.
My Cosworth is running a phase 1 chip, running 270BHP. I have had Stage 2 and 3 Cosworths, but even the stage 1 would put a smile on anyone's face. My new Cosworth with a Phase 1 chip is good enough to be side by side with an Impreza P1 up to 4th gear, with the Cosworth having the edge in 5th. I can get similar performance from a £3000 Sapphire Cosworth, than one of my friends gets from their ultimate £22000 Impreza P1. (Their words)
I have not been truly impressed with any Impreza turbo, and I have driven a few. I think a slightly tuned 16v Astra GTE would see most of them off. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against the cars, I have been tempted a few times to buy one, but after a test drive there is no contest, for drivability and performance the Cosworth wins hands down.
After speaking to a few Impreza owners, they seem to use twice the amount of petrol than us Cosworth owners do. After a weekend of driving, my Impreza driving friends are seriously out of pocket.
Blown engines seem to be a very regular and expensive problem for Impreza owners, I know of at least six different cars recently that have had blown engines, they have had fewer than 70,000 miles on the clock and were under 6 years old. I hate to imagine what they will be like when they are 15 years old, like my Sapphire Cosworth. My Cosworth is still running the original turbo.
My car has undergone an engine rebuild at just under 100,000 miles and this should last me another 100, 000 miles. I can still walk into a Ford dealer and order a replacement part for my 15 year old car. Try doing that even in a 10 year old Impreza. The Subaru dealer would send you packing.
I do not think that there will ever be anything made that will ever come close to the Sapphire Cosworth. I will be holding onto this one.