Friday, February 7, 2014

Our WRX Gets a Cat-Back Exhaust System for its Birthday

Our beloved Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback just celebrated its first birthday. What do you get a car for its birthday? Forget cake and ice cream—we bought car parts, of course. This is the second modification after our Rally Armor mud flaps, and it's a good one, if I do say so myself.

After much research, I decided I wanted the Magnaflow system for the car. I'd had a Magnaflow exhaust system on my 2001 Ford Focus back in the day; it fit very well and sounded fantastic—still one of the best sounding cars I've owned. But after watching (and listening to) countless exhaust clip videos on YouTube, the Magnaflow sounded the best to my ears, and I liked the look once installed.

The system can be had for around $680 all day online, but semi-amazingly, I found the exact system I wanted on craigslist! The seller, who ironically lived nine blocks from me, said he had a baby on the way and it was too loud for his tastes—plus he could use the money. He also said it only had 1,500 miles on it, and from the looks, I'd say that'd be about right. I picked it up used for $400. Cha-ching.

Stock WRX hatchback muffler vs. Magnaflow muffler

Installation was a snap. I simply unbolted the original system, slid it off the hangers, and installed the new unit. The Magnaflow system is 100% stainless steel and comes in five main parts: two main pipes, a muffler, and two exhaust tips; pipe diameter is 3-inches. The two main pipes and tips sleeve into each other and use clamps to keep things bolted up. It's very easy to install and works great. The hardest part? Getting the tips lined up the way we wanted. As you can see in the photo above, the stock muffler is quite a bit larger than the Magnaflow and also weighs a lot less.

As evidenced by the video at the top of the page, the tone is deep and a good bit louder than stock with a rich, smooth tone. Some people think the system drones too much on the highway, but as someone who has owned about 10 cars with custom exhaust systems, I'd say this one has a mild to moderate tone under wide-open throttle and cruising speeds.

We've very happy with our super craigslist find and love the extra volume. It emphasizes that classic Subaru boxer sound and adds just the right amount of volume from our favorite four-wheeled one year old.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

I went with a custom-built axle back magnaflow from a local muffler shop for my Yaris and LOVE it, plus total cost including the custom tip ran me less than $250. Great sound at idle and when accelerating. Car pulls better and I love that I can simply unbolt it and resale if need be (but I won't). Compared to the $350 I spent on the Japanese TRD version the magnaflow is a much nicer piece and came with a lifetime warranty.