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What Does Subaru Know That Others Don't?

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  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    I'm getting ~ 21 - 22 mpg with my '09 WRX, which is mostly a mix of country and highway driving. I just recently took a trip up to the Philly car show and behaved myself on the highway (keeping speeds close to the speed limit), and got a tad over 27 mpg.

    Still, this car gets about .5 mpg - 1 mpg less than my '06 WRX driving under similar conditions.

    Bob
  • But it's the new one right? So it probably still needs to be broken in.

    I still need to drive a WRX sometime...
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    I've 3,700 miles on it. I expect the gas mileage to improve a little once the weather warms up.

    Coming back from Philly on Monday, I let it rip through the gears after stopping for a toll on I-95. It really scoots right on up to redline. :)

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Surely the French did this once....

    :D

    Hyundai actually had a good January for sales. But...they are also offering steep discounts, so I dunno about profits.

    For Subaru, though, I agree with Bob - for the most part they nailed the Forester update. Despite the 4EAT sales doubled vs. Jan 08, and they had $2000 cash back then and zero cash back now.

    We got snow yesterday so I parked the Miata and drove my wife's Forester (our 3rd Subaru). It's a very user-friendly vehicle, easy to drive, no blind spots, perfect seat height. I drop down in to my Miata, climb up in to my Sienna, but you just slide right in to a Forester.

    Note to self: get heated seats on my next Miata. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    So the Miata will have an encore as well? Those must be such fun cars, I only wish I could fit in it better....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    One reason I bought the Subaru is that I could fit in it. As Americans grow larger and larger, Japanese cars had better follow suit.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have to squeeze in to the Miata. I'd say I'm right at the limit. More than an hour behind the wheel and I start to feel fatigue.

    The new one is a little roomier so that's one reason for the upgrade.

    To be honest I've been shopping casually for a newer one since 1999 or so. LOL

    Maybe this decade, maybe next... :D
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    What year/model Subie do you have Shify? How do you like it?

    Bob
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    I have a '97 but I went through it stem to stern just last year...new radiator, catalytic, brakes, head gaskets, water pump, power steering pump, repaired the AC, new dash light bulbs, fixed the cruise control, new headlight and foglight bulbs, new clutch, re-sealed the engine top to bottom, new belts and hoses, new battery, wiper blades, rear tires.

    That was 15,000 miles ago (I drive a lot) and nary a burp out of it. Totally reliable.

    I'm in the car total about $5,000 bucks at this point. It now has 142K on it.

    I bet I could sell it for that, too.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you kept receipts, yes.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    '97 Outback? Legacy? Impreza? Wagon? Sedan?

    Bob
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    Outback 5 speed wagon, green/gray. A little bit of California battle damage, but still looks good. It gets very good care.

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  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    Which leads to the next question: What other vehicles reside in Shifty's garage? Is the Outback your daily driver, so to speak?

    Bob
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    Yeah I picked the Subaru for versatility, AWD in bad weather and reliability. Presently the garage is pretty empty. I have a Norton Commando and a pretty nice Porsche 914 project going on, in storage (body is done, motor is built, but no interior, etc). I'd like to add maybe a BMW Z3. (ugly as sin but prices are getting down there for the 6 cylinder cars). I can't fit in a Miata without use of a welding torch.

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  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    I'd like to add maybe a BMW Z3. (ugly as sin but prices are getting down there for the 6 cylinder cars). I can't fit in a Miata without use of a welding torch.

    So can you fit into a Honda S2000?

    C&D Comparison Test
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    Don't think so, and really Subaru doesn't make a sports car (by my definition) and I'm not going to drive something with a huge wing on it, so forget that.

    Actually not trying to please everyone might be part of Subaru's current survival.

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Yeah, it can be good to be niche, as long as the buyers in your niche weather economic downturns better than the average Joe Schmoe out there. In Subaru's case, I think they do, and that has been key.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,583
    Are all HUMMER buyers broke then? That niche fell through the floorboards. Subarus aren't known for being mpg kings, so fuel economy can't be the story either. Owners are pretty loyal and they aren't shy about bragging on their rides.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    The problem is that most people bought a HUMMER for the wrong reason. A HUMMER is in fact a fantastic off-road monster if you happen to be logging in Oregon or wolf-hunting with Sarah Palin. But if you live in a condo in Miami Beach, the vehicle is utterly ridiculous given the cost to buy, drive and maintain it.

    But people buy Subarus as efficient AWD utility wagons/sedans and don't suddenly find themselves caught in some absurd lifestyle statement. You aren't going to impreza anyone in a Subaru :P

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,583
    You're such a brat about cars Shifty. :shades:

    Subaru owners do enjoy a good pun eh?

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    Yes it's part of our legacy I guess. :)

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,583
    ok, I'm going to have to meet you outback for that one....

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  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,710
    I couldn't agree more Shifty. A Hummer, in the proper environment, is hard to top.

    I blame GM for this. When the Hummer first came out, they marketed towards the "bling" crowd, and the vehicle has suffered ever since.

    This vehicle should have steel wheels and NO CHROME, and marketed in Idaho-like states. That's not what the quick-to-get-rich GM executives wanted, however.

    This is a classic case of "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Hummer got stuck, right out of the gate, with the wrong image, and it has haunted them ever since.If properly marketed from the get-go, I doubt Hummer would be in the tough position it's now in.

    Bob
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,197
    Hmmm! Maybe Hummer should've been marketed the same way as the original Dodge Power Wagon - proven in wartime / proven in peacetime.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Hummer scene from the movie Cars was classic.

    It's towards the end, when the Sargaent (a Jeep I believe) is taking SUVs on an off road course, and of course the Hummer look-a-like has gigantic chrome wheels, and he's crying and saying "I've never been off road" or something like that.

    Hilarious.

    There are only so many rappers that will buy one, and even they don't really need one. The trend dies, Hummer dies with it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    Yeah but that's when wars were popular.

    I think Subaru's marketing to the wilderness/granola bar crowd is pretty smart but like all marketing, it has to shift with the times---and I think Subaru is being smart again by making the new Forester reasonably attractive. For a while there I wondered if Subaru even HAD a styling department!

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  • One of the big things that drew me to Subaru vehicles was their environmental commitment (Zero Landfill plant, commitment to forest preservation, pzev). That kind of marketing really worked for us as we tend to be more in that crowd. :shades:

    The other aspects of Subaru revolved around the safety reputation and their AWD experience. Big plusses up here in New England.

    Oh, and the availability of AWD with a stick. Nice to see somebody out there sees the market for such a thing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    I didn't realize AWD + manual transmission was so rare an option.

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  • Pretty much the only things you can get that combo with are the BMW's and the bare bones Audi A4. Not sure if the VW R32 is available anymore.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    R32 is out of production.

    IS with AWD is auto only.

    Same for G35x, automatic only.

    Even when AWD is an option, it's usually packaged with an auto trans.

    In 1998 that was a big selling point, when I bought my first Subaru.
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