I am not a morning person. At all. Thankfully, the Autoblog team knows this – I rarely get bothered before 8:30 AM unless it's seriously important. So when associate multimedia producer Chris McGraw started blowing up my phone at 6:45 AM on a Thursday, I knew it wasn't going to be good.
I'm sure this thing is going to be a total hoot in the snow.
"I got rear-ended in the WRX," McGraw informed me, a shaken-up tone emanating from the other end of the line. Poor guy was on his way to the gym, for his pre-office morning workout, and an older gentleman in a Chevrolet S-10 struck the back of the Subie while trudging through a traffic jam on I-696 just northeast of Detroit. Everyone was fine, and McGraw says that the dude's pickup was in significantly worse shape than our dear Subaru. But the WRX was still pretty banged up, and later that day, it was delivered to the body shop for what turned out to be a lengthy repair process.
What you're looking at is $4,620.83 worth of damage, but thanks to Autoblog parent company AOL's fleet insurance policy, we were only on the hook for our $1,000 deductible. Nearly all of the rear body panels had to be replaced, as did the bumper and taillight assembly, and after several weeks of being put under the knife at Suburban Collision in Troy, MI, our Subaru has mercifully emerged good as new.
What you're looking at is $4,620.83 worth of damage.
The day after the 'Rex came home, I dropped it off at our trusty Subaru dealer – Hodges, in Ferndale, MI – for some routine maintenance, including finally getting its broken fuel door repaired. The whole pull-the-door-open-with-your-fingernails thing had become increasingly annoying, and I'm happy to report that everything now works as it should. And since it was part of a technical service bulletin, no money changed hands for this service. If there are any 2015 WRX owners in the greater Autoblog commentariat, I'd love to know if your cars have experienced the same issue.
While at the dealer, I also signed the WRX up for one very special, very important update: the fitment of winter tires and – yes! – gold wheels. I have a strong personal belief that WR-Blue Subarus should come standard with gold wheels from the factory (like the Launch Edition STI), but since the Japanese automaker doesn't even offer these rollers on anything but the aforementioned, limited-edition STI, I took matters into my own hands.
I called our friends at Tire Rack and ordered the set of 17-inch lightweight Sparco gold wheels you see here, and had them wrapped in Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D tires – size 235/45R17. The tally on our credit card for our new winter shoes came to $1,506.80. These replace the car's stock Dunlop Sport Maxx tires (same size), which will be tucked away until spring. Speaking of which, despite its sedan shape, the WRX had no problem hauling the tires to and from the dealer. Despite not being a hatchback, this thing has a bunch of usable room inside.
Despite its sedan shape, the WRX had no problem hauling the tires to and from the dealer.
I love the way the WRX looks with the gold Sparcos, and while we haven't had any real snowfall since installing the tires, I'm sure this thing is going to be a total hoot in the white stuff. Now that our blue Subie looks shiny and new with its fresh set of winter tires, I can only daydream of sliding it sideways through the snow, huge rooster tails of white powder shooting out the back. Which actually sounds like a fun video idea...
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