2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition Long-Term Update 1
Suparu Gets Its First Checkup...and a Scratch
I have a thing for nicknaming “my” long-term cars. First there was Blue, our 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring. Then came Subablue (a mashup of Subaru and blue), our 2014 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring. Not to break tradition, I came up with an honorable alias for our new STI Launch Edition: Suparu. It’s a combination of two words, Super (“supah”) and Subaru. Given that it’s the zenith of the brand’s performance car range, I felt it was a quirky and appropriate enough title, and hashtag -- #Suparu.
That said and done, it’s been mostly smooth sailing in the STI. I racked up more than 6000 miles fairly quickly, which meant a visit to Subaru Pacific was in order. Every 2015 Subaru gets its basic maintenance covered for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. (A similar plan was offered with our Forester last year.) Some dealers add other maintenance promotions to the mix, but I’ll be sticking with the standard schedule.
My first of four complimentary stops (one every 6000 miles) entailed nothing too serious: a change of five quarts of synthetic oil (5W-30), an oil filter replacement, tire pressure check and reset, tire rotation, and a “comprehensive Subaru multi-point inspection.” While waiting for Suparu, I checked out the dealer’s assortment of new rides. Among them sat a BRZ Series. Blue. Like the Launch Edition, it’s limited to 1000 units and includes some unique standard accessories. I couldn’t help but wonder how well it would dance atop Angeles Crest. “Nate Martinez, your car is ready,” the lobby’s loudspeaker blared. My comparo vanished. Time to roll.
Commuting has shed light on a few things. For one, the STI is not the best choice if long bouts with traffic are on your daily agenda. Its turbocharged boxer engine rumbles vociferously, especially when coasting off throttle to a stop. Its stiff clutch pedal and high uptake can be tiring. The standard-issue speakers don’t bump with as much clarity and bass as I’d prefer (picayune, really). The seats, though -- they’re superbly comfortable and supportive. And its steering wheel is one of the best in design and feel.
People stare at Suparu quite a bit in gridlock. Bozos always want to race; the cool ones smile or give thumbs-up. Kids’ eyes lock onto the gold wheels as if they were candy. Once, a 2015 WRX pulled up beside me as we rolled on Interstate 405. Its driver snapped iPhone shots. It wasn’t too safe on his part, but entertaining for me.
I’ve become more aware of where I park. I’m now the guy who picks the slot farthest away from the public, much to the chagrin of my passengers. Some see it as ridiculous. It’s a test car, not my car, they say. I understand their point, but I see my parking pickiness as a reflection of what actual STI owners will do. The person who buys a Launch Edition is like me: an enthusiast who takes care of the steed they jockey. It is ironic then, that Suparu’s first scratch was made inside the MT garage. Oh well.