Isn't the OP asking which engine would be better to swap into the stagea he already owns? That's how I read it anyway!It is not a question of RB25/26 for reliability but what you can buy because Nissan only made two manual Stageas with RB engines.
RS Four S - 1998 onwards . These are series two so have the neo engine and manual box or the Autech series one 260RS which are full GTR spec .
They did make a series 3 axis but that isnt RB powered .
It sounds like the series two S is the best bet for you . They will cost far more money than the autos or tiptronics stageas but they are much less than the autechs and are less likely to have been thrashed. RB reliability isnt about the engine difference but maintainance . Plus the S is a series two so has a much nicer interior and a nice bodykit. It is also specced much better apart from the Autech.
One problem for you is the autech is lower and has a big body kit -it probably isnt suited to driving when you have snow and I assume at those temperatures you do.
Your only other option is a Stagea that has been converted to manual. Nothing wrong with them as long it has been done right. The problem is you probably wont find one in canada and I would not buy one without seeing it in the flesh because they are not all done as nicely as Nissan did them. You should also have it looked over in detail by someone who knows what to look for.
I would personally only buy a converted car if it had an RB26 motor (or a 28 :chuckle: ) If done really well I would say they are the best car (but then I am biased as I have one)
So get a series two RS Four S as long as you dont want to run much over 400bhp.
And I have driven and owned quite a few of each
Given that the engines are very similiar you will find little between the two engines if they are the same otherwise. You'd be better thinking of including other factors into the mix.I was just listing the extra things the autech has. Would be easier to decide on if I knew the reliability of each engine. I hear of oil problems with both the 25 and 26 but no one really says the rate of failures for each if left stock or near to stock.