By James Wong


It’s been a while since I last checked in with a staffer update, so here’s what’s been happening with this 320bhp monster.

It feels like the S204 has settled down to a comfortable routine the last few months as it has been running like clockwork without a hitch at all. The engine starts strong and true every morning, all fluids are in check and the tyres are wearing down nicely. Even the air-conditioning is holding up well on a hot day despite repeated usage. I guess this is a taste of what Japanese reliability is all about.

A couple of weeks back the Pivot boost controller’s backing gave way, and the controller plummeted to the floor causing it to snap apart from the connecting cable. I was secretly happy this happened as I never used it anyway and the car feels no different without it.

The suspension noises which have been around have not gotten worse, but it is quite annoying though not enough to justify a whole new suspension set yet. The COE renewal date is looming and once that is done (or if) I’ll get this along with other issues sorted.

It has also surpassed 100,000km. It’s a nice milestone and like when I crossed it in my MkV GTI it was pretty satisfying knowing the car was well-engineered enough to last at least that long. It feels like it can go another 100,000km!

Also, a pleasant finding in the last two fuel top-ups is fuel economy – the car is managing to hit at least 400km quite comfortably before needing a re-fuel, something it only ever did once before. I’m not sure what’s causing the good economy but our Lenspeed debates point to a thinning engine oil viscosity as it ages, together with cool weather which may mean the turbos are working more efficiently. With the lower fuel prices recently, it means the S204 feels cheaper than ever to run, which is great considering the sort of performance you get. 8km/l is really not that bad at all!

The last thing to sort in 2014 for the car is its front carbon fibre lip. It’s been out of the car for a long while now, and while in the beginning I thought I didn’t really care for the look of the car without it I’ve come to feel that the car really does need it on. It’s OK if the rest of the car looks coherent but in this case, the front looks too tame and is a mismatch with the rest of the car. So, I’ve decided to put it back on. Thing now is I have to restore the lip and find some way to better protect its surface before I do it. If you have any recommendations on good CF experts, please shout!

4 Responses to “Range increases, but looks wrong lipless”

  1. Jonathan

    Hey James, I really enjoy reading article on your ownership of Subaru S204. I am planning to get one soon in Malaysia, just want to know is there anything major bothering you beside the excitement you get since owning the S204?? Any advice for future owner ? Thanks.

    PS: Just wondering if considering between S204 and Golf GTI MK6 which will you pick as a daily ride ?

    • Lenspeed

      Hi Jonathan,

      Cheers! Yes, my car has 103k km in mileage now and there are suspension knocks and noises. I think the bushings are worn – check if the one selling has these with a test drive when the car is cold.

      Also, check the lip to ensure that the lacquer is still on and it is in good condition. The car although sitting quite high has a very aggressive lip which is very prone to being scrapped. Fixing it will cost RM1000 and more. A new piece will be RM8000 or more!

      In general, just look for an original unit as many S204s have been modded and thus devalued. Ensure for example, original suspension is on, original titanium exhaust, original rear diffuser, original seats (expensive items), and original number plates in the engine bay and the gearshift surround.

      My pick? S204 is definitely more special than the Mk6 GTI… I’d have the former. That’s why I swapped out my Mk5 GTI! And anyway, GTIs will always be around… But the S204 is considered one of the best Subarus ever made and they don’t make them like this anymore. On the contrary, the Mk7 GTI is stupendously good, I daresay more so than the Mk5 or 6!



  2. Jonathan

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your reply and honest opinion. My heart is with the S204 but my mum and girlfriend advice me to go with a Golf GTI MK6 due to its more new, consider its a more premium brand compare with Subaru ,comfort and most important an AUTO.

    Now my question is do you really think its a hassle to handle a manual car compare to an auto in a start stop or traffic jam condition ? Hows the reliable of DSG gearbox anyway ? 6 speed it is problem free through your tenure of ownership the MK5 GTI ?

    FYI, the S204 i eyeing is a real gem ,every is stock including the carbon fiber lips, recaro seat, damper and etc…. No doubt its in an excellent condition. Mileage clocked is around 80,000 km.

    PS: Do Lenspeed provide any chat room or chat box? Feel like want to interact with you guys regarding cars topic. It will be hell of a fun 🙂

    • Lenspeed

      Hi Jon,

      A Mk6 GTI would be a more comfortable daily for sure, and the image will be less ‘beng’ and more class. That said there are many distastefully modified VWs out there these days.

      The clutch of the 204 is quite heavy so yes, it can get quite tiring in heavy traffic especially if you wear for example formal shoes. 6-speed DSG is generally very reliable so you need not worry about that.

      Stock is what you’re looking for – 80,000km is decent mileage too.

      We currently do not have a chatbox function, but perhaps one day you can meet us when we head over to Malaysia! 🙂


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