Over the River and Through the Woods in a Subaru STI

The Subaru STI in its natural habitat


Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that I’m a die-hard car guy. Motor oil pump through my veins and it’s a common occurrence for me to get goose bumps just from a car’s exhaust rumble. Needless to say I’m a bit discerning when it comes to cars and won’t settle for just any car. My daily driver has to be fun and evoke some emotion. At the same time it has to be practical, particularly since I haul my two kids (two years and four years old respectively) around all the time and of course because we live in Minnesota.

If I had to pick one car from the portfolio of Morrie’s brands that fit my persnickety car preferences I’d most definitely land on a Subaru STI. So that’s exactly what I did. And to kick off my caretaking of my new ride I loaded the family up for a good old-fashioned road trip to the lake. You’ll notice there was at least one non-lake diversion, though.

If you’ve ever spent a weekend at the lake/campground/outdoors you know that there’s a lot of stuff to haul with you. Beyond your clothes there’s food, yard games, more food, a case of your favorite beverage, outdoor gear and a whole lot more. Throw a couple kids into the mix and you nearly need a eighteen wheeler. I, indeed, was travelling with two children so needless to say I played a life-sized game of Tetris packing the trunk. STl, the Subaru was able to swallow all our gear. One point for the Subaru.

With the kids and their gear all loaded up we hit the road

Normally you wouldn’t consider a Subaru STI the best choice for a family with two young kids, but I’ve found that the car has worked perfectly. On this trip there was an added bonus – the STI performance exhaust perfectly muffled the cartoon audio emanating from my sons iPad. There’s a little irony there. The loud exhaust had muffling qualities. Who would’ve thought?. Two points for the Subaru.

The STI performance exhaust had a two fold benefit – it not only muffled the iPad sounds coming from the back seat, it also lulled the kids to sleep

Now, nobody needs 300 horsepower in a nimble little all-wheel-drive package like the STI, but boy is it fun. The benefit is that you have the opportunity to get places a little bit faster, if that’s your thing. Of course I would never speed and opted for the hyper-miling approach. I’m getting ahead of myself, but the sporty little Subaru averaged 25 mpg on our highway intensive trip. That’s certainly not Prius territory, but for a car with an enormous soul and high levels of driver engagement I’ll take 25 mpg any day. Three points for the STI.

After a few hours in the car we made it to our lake destination in Alexandria. I’ll spare you the details, but in short we had a great time with friends. The car got little use until Sunday when we took the long way home. Scratch that, the really long way home.


Gravel roads are right up the STI’s alley

My wife’s family has a farm in the Fergus Falls area and since we were less than an hour away we thought it would be fun to drop by and check out their farm. The trip had a three-fold benefit. First, it allowed my wife to see some family she hadn’t seen for a few year. Second, it gave the kids, namely my son, an opportunity to play with some seriously heavy duty farm equipment. Finally, it gave me a perfect reason to see how the STI performed on miles of farm roads.

The STI enters farm country

The STI handled the miles of gravel roads leading up to the farm with aplomb. It was sure footed when you needed it to be and could be coaxed into controlled tail slides in the curvy bits. After arriving at the main farm parcel the family asked if we wanted to see the other piece of land. Sure we said, why not? What followed was another farm road, but this one was heavily rutted from heavy farm equipment running back and forth for decades. It took some careful navigation to avoid the ruts, but again, the STI came away victorious. Four points for the STI.

Oh hey. There’s some hay.


After we had enough of swatting at the farmyard insects we said our goodbyes and departed on the three hour drive home. The long day, combined with the soothing hum of the Subaru flat-four engine, lulled the kids to sleep. At the same time the snappy turbocharged-four kept me alert and engaged. For the most part it was an uneventful highway cruise home, but we did it in comfort and style. The STI proved to be very good, and somewhat unlikely, family truckster.

With farm country in the rearview we head for home

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *