2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition Long-Term Update 2
Road trip? Sandstorm? Deluge? Bring it!
My buddy Robert texted late one Wednesday night. "So…I bought the Turbo," his text read. I didn't even pause the movie I was watching. "Road trip?!" I hastily replied. Just like that, my first road trip in the STI was planned.
His new Porsche 911 Turbo sat 354 miles away inside Porsche North Scottsdale's pristine showroom. Robert; his girlfriend, Yuri; and their roommate, Ian (a Subaru WRX buff) jumped into the STI at 10:30 a.m. the next day.
"Wow, this is actually pretty nice," Yuri said as she settled into the bucket. "I like the dash!" She sat shotgun while the gentlemen strapped into the rear. Her eyes gravitated to the 4.3-inch multi-function display at the soft-touch dash's upper edge. A digitized boost gauge -- one of many available menus -- shone bright.
Six-foot-three Robert fit fine behind Yuri, even with Ian at his left, he said. The guys had 1.9 inches more legroom and 1 inch more shoulder room compared with 2013 STI. Between them rested our Red Bulls and Spam musubis packed neatly inside an Igloo cooler. (Mahalo, Yuri!) Five hours there. Five hours back. All in one day. We'd need all the food and taurine we could get.
One year ago, I wouldn't have recommended "my" STI for such a journey. It would have had a much stiffer ride. Our ears would have been flooded with droning and other raucousness from outside the windows. The gents would have requested rest stops galore. Instead, I heard no complaints. I heard snores (mostly from Ian). Cruise control, pristine roads, endless desert, and a taut, well-dampened suspension will do that.
I was amazed at this respectable level of comfort, and also relieved. My friends jumped out refreshed instead of totally drained. Driving the Porsche back would be a cinch for Robert and Yuri. As an added bonus, with its SI-Drive set to Intelligent mode, the STI returned more than 23 mpg.
Things got feisty on the return leg. First, a sandstorm pummeled Scottsdale without warning. We parked for an hour to let it pass. But then, as we merged onto the freeway, quarter-inch-thick water bombs pelted our windshields. In a few minutes, Interstate 10 turned into Ragin' Stream 10. Brake lights flashed. Lightning turned the night sky white. Ian snapped pictures. I had never seen anything like it. (I'm from San Diego, after all.)
Ian and I didn't worry too much. We knew we were fine with all-wheel drive, LED headlights, and what seemed to be turbocharged windshield wipers at our disposal. A deluge in the desert with 500 miles left to go? "Bring it!" Ian proclaimed.
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