2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition Long-Term Update 5
12,000-Mile Service and Some Minor Cosmetic Surgery
The email finally arrived. "They're all in!" it read. Brian, Subaru's parts procurement man, made sure of it. His sourcing of STI's optional aerodynamic kit began five months ago. It seemed that every WRX and STI owner in the country wanted the JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) pieces as much as I did.
It made perfect sense: If there is one new Subaru that owners will stockpile parts for, even before they grab ahold of its keys, it's the STI. Car lovers do that sort of stuff. The subtle bolt-ons add a tinge of raciness to the already flamboyant exterior. Relatively speaking, they're not too over the top.
My pieces arrived on a Monday. By Tuesday at 8 a.m., Suparu and I were at Subaru Glendale, ready to endure the few hours of installation. It was there, sitting in front of my service adviser Steve's desk, that I remembered Suparu had racked up nearly 12,000 miles (11, 974 to be exact). It was time for its second complimentary service.
Truong, my technician, performed all the required maintenance: a 5W-30 synthetic oil change, oil filter replacement, tire rotation, and a 27-point inspection. Then his tedious tasks began. He carefully affixed the front lip ($400), side sills ($500), rear spats ($335), center diffuser ($500), and rear bumper applique ($70). The finished product looked as though it was one of STI's JDM-only limited editions. The clock struck 1:57 p.m. as I drove back into traffic that day, $2,555.06 poorer (parts, labor, taxes) and grinning like a schoolkid.
First impressions: Although my front bumper's ground clearance got pared by about an inch, traipsing in and out of parking lots, structures, and driveways hasn't been as much of a pain as I expected. Being mindful of scraping is always a must, however. And although it may be largely psychosomatic, at 75-plus mph the STI feels planted, more stable than ever before. Color me excited.
Unfortunately, the same sort of satisfaction isn't had when turning on the stereo. The more I bump tunes in other test vehicles, the more I realize how deficient the Launch Edition's basic six-speaker HD Radio system is in meaty acoustics. Furthermore, Bluetooth connectivity is laughable, even after pairing the systems. They consistently fail to seamlessly sync at engine startup. But as it stands, each time I encounter such slight disgruntlements, I find my right foot innately leaning harder into the skinny pedal. That's all the stereo and connectivity I need.
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