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All-New 2010 Legacy/Outback

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob's find, from another thread:

    http://www.jconline.com/article/20090803/NEWS09/90803015

    • Sales of the Legacy line shot up by 34 percent to 2,340 units.

    • Sales of the Outback line, which includes the Legacy wagon, increased by 33 percent, to 4,971 units.

    • Sales of the Tribeca dropped by 10 percent, to 707 vehicles.

    Among Subaru's Japanese-made models, sales of the Impreza line grew by 41 percent, to 6,247 units; while sales of the Forester line increased by 36 percent, to 7,574 units.


    Forester still kicking asphalt but of course the newbies' availability is still improving.

    The Impreza is the real surprise - it's doing extremely well. In the past the Forester outsold the Impreza 2 to 1, and the Outback outsold the Forester. That was the case from 1998 all the way up to 2008 IIRC.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    The Impreza 5-door is the one that's kicking butt.

    Bob
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Everyone has their own taste. I think the new Outback is much better looking than any previous one. The new Legacy is so-so, but the previous Legacy was blah...nothing to write home about (but then no one bought Subarus for their looks anyway). Speaking of the TSX, I think the new one looks more grownup and sophisticated than the previous one. Anyway, the proof is in the sales. The TSX is doing alright, and Subaru is on a roll.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    I agree. I find it somewhat amusing that all the auto "design critics" here on Edmunds, etc. (less so on the Subie forums here, but it exists) always slam anything new, yet the cars do just fine in terms of sales.

    All you have to do is go any of the Edmunds blogs, and you'll see what I mean. Almost anything that is new gets slammed and trashed. It's useless to argue with these folks, so I ignore them.

    So maybe most of the carmakers really do know what they're doing, most of the time.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure it is, but the Forester has one body style to the Impreza's 2 and still outsells it.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 679
    So maybe most of the carmakers really do know what they're doing, most of the time.

    I have commented that the market other than present Subaru owners may even prefer the soft ride of the new models. Of course that is domestic marque drivers only. :)
  • Yet Fuji apparently is losing money...

    FHI Losing Money

    Here are some take-away quotes, e.g.,

    "Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the Japanese maker of Subaru vehicles, yesterday posted a net loss of 19.3 billion yen (US$203 million) for the first quarter and forecast zero growth in U.S. sales this year."

    and

    "The company, known for its compact Forester SUV and Impreza car, said its earnings suffered from a lack of new models, a stronger yen and weaker demand in major markets including emerging economies such as Russia."

    wilbur
  • Your point is well taken. Again, this is all personal opinion, obviously. But the qualities that attracted me to Subaru in 1997, and kept me interested until the most recent design iteration, seem to have been pretty much lost. They used to be distinctive, if slightly odd (to some) cars. Remember when they were called the Japanese Saabs, but reliable? No more.

    As for not liking anything new, I respectfully disagree. When the new 2005/6 models came out, I lusted after those cars, but my '98 showed no signs of giving up. I was seriously gonna go the new Legacy GT wagon route when the old one gave out. That was the plan. But no more.

    From where I sit, from the mid 90's on, they just got better and better. This last go round, something broke (in my mind). Like the engineers are all hiding in a corner some where while marketing calls all the shots.

    Of course, that seems to be selling, so if moving product is your only criteria for 'goodness', then I guess it's good for Subaru (but I've gotta be selfish here, I want a Subaru that's good for ME). Hence my wondering about the taste of the American market, since none of these companies seem to be doing this to most of the rest of the world.

    Honda was first down this road with the new Accord (although, while bigger than I'd prefer, I wouldn't call it ugly). Now Mazda has capitulated (Toyota was always there). Perhaps it's time for the Koreans to shine, they've been going from strength to strength recently.

    Sad, really, that's all. Or maybe I'm just a sentimental old fool. But from here on out I'm afraid it's the used market for me.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    I would call the new Accord homely. The Legacy sedan is not much better, but it is in keeping with current fashion. It will probably not stand the test of time, but most designs don't. Althought the new Outback is way too tall for me, it is a better balanced design than Accord and Legacy. Those who disagree, let's check back in 20 years. I'll accept whatever results.

    BTW, still think of Ford when they introduced the dowdy Five Hundred, opposite the Chrysler 300, saying the 500 would stand the test of time better. Not so. It looks even more ridiculous only five years later. Fail! The 300 is old hat, but not dowdy. It never will be.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think that article is well written.

    No new models? Hello? Forester was new. Impreze was semi-new and updated.

    Plus now they have a new Legacy and Outback.

    Then they talk about Russia? Japan is the #1 market and USA is #2. Those are the markets that matter.
  • I'd say that some of the content is a bit suspect rather than not well written, which is why I highlighted certain phrases. The larger point though is that FHI lost money during a period when sales were strong relative to the other manufacturers. Yes, they lost less money, but they still are/were in the red.

    Below is a write-up from Joe Spitz at cars101.com re. the July sales:

    "8/3 July sales total 21,839 up 34%. Cash for Clunkers sells cars for everyone, and 'end of model year' rebates and low rates helps. Subaru is up 34% over July 08s total of 16,271 for a strong 4% YTD gain (July 09- July 08). July 09 totals - Outback 4972, Forester 7574, Impreza 6247, Legacy 2340, Tribeca 707.
    The Legacy (+34%) and Impreza (+41%) were clearly helped by big rebates and 0% financing. The '10 Outback CUV has been successful though folks who preferred the '09 station wagon version quickly picked off remaining inventory (Outback +33%) with the help of some nice 'end of model year' rebates of course. The '10 Forester Premium's new power driver seat has folks liking the car even more but all models are strongly popular. Tribeca? -10% from 788 July 08 and -44% YTD, Yes there will be a 2010 Tribeca 7 passenger but why and I still suggest a TriBaja pick-up version to replace the late Baja."

    July was an odd month so we need to see how the next quarter goes before drawing any conclusions about the re-designed Legacy and Outback. One thing that I am very worried about though is the overlap in Subaru's lineup when it comes to the Forester, Outback, and Tribeca. The Tribeca, for all intents and purposes, is dead; however, the Forester definitely ate into Outback sales in 2008 and 2009 (take a look at cars101 and the relative sales history for the two vehicles after the Forester was re-designed). Let's see how Outback sales are after the 2009s are long gone and the 2010s are on the lots in volume. I suspect that sales will be a bit disappointing because the re-designed Outback is more CUV/SUVish, a domain where the Forester resides. Also, the Forester is a cheaper option for a car that is pretty close to the size of the Outback.

    wilbur
  • Took a test drive the other night and liked the car. Friend told me to think twice before buying claiming the standard boxer engine is old technology so why pay today's dollars for an old design. Is he right? Are the powerplants in an Accord or Mazda6 more modern and sophisticated? Thank you.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    Your friend is stupid. By that reckoning, an I4, a V6, a V8, etc. is "old technology." Inline, boxer, V design, W design are all different configurations of the cylinders in relation to one another. It is not like all engines used to be boxers (like Porsche) and then the smart money moved to something better. Sheesh, perhaps your friend believes in saying any stupid thing that comes to mind.
  • Your friend is marginally right in that Honda and Mazda do have more sophisicated engines (i.e., dual camshafts and variable valve timing), features that Subaru's H4 currently does not offer. These improvements allow for greater power without increasing the engine displacement. On the other hand the boxer design is still of great value and its age should not be held against it. For example BMW, who pioneered the boxer design in 1921, continues to sells motorcycles based on engines built with opposing twin cylinders which offer a low center of gravity along with modest engine vibration.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Boxer engines have a natural second order balance. In-line 4 bangers nowadays require the added reciprocating mass of balance shafts, while a boxer doesn't need 'em.

    Plus, 170hp from a 2.5l is competitive, even without DOHC or variable valve timing.

    Plus boxers have a characteristic sound. You may not tell a difference with an in-line four from Nissan, Honda, Toyota, or Mazda, but you'll hear the distinctive boxer from a block away.

    Pop the hood, especially next to a Mazda6. I just checked one out while getting an oil change in my Miata.

    Look closely at the location of the engine - the Subaru's entire engine lies below the top of the tire, allowing a low center of gravity. I believe both spark plugs lie aft of the front axle, too, so really it's a front-midship engine layout.

    Now hop over to the Mazda6. Aye, what a train wreck. The entire block lies ahead of the front axle. And way up high, much of it above the top of the front tires. Having all the weight in front of the axle like that makes it harder for the car to turn in. There's more inertia preventing it from feeling nimble, and of course a very nose heavy, unbalanced car.

    I don't have specifics but I bet the Mazda6' weight distribution is something like 62/38, while a typical Subaru is closer to 55/45. Much, much better balance.

    To be fair the one in a showroom was a V6, but I doubt the 4 banger is much better, maybe 60/40.

    Even if you ignore the position of the engine, neither the Accord nor the Mazda6 use the latest Direct Injection technology (Mazda does in the turbo MazdaSpeed3 though), so arguably those designs are dated as well.
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 113
    I have nothing to add to this post except to say that it's one of the best written and informative I've ever seen on this or any other site. KUTGW!

    But ... I still can't make up my mind between a '10 Outback or a leftover '09 Forester. :confuse:
  • "Plus, 170hp from a 2.5l is competitive, even without DOHC or variable valve timing."

    BMW's 2.5I engine, equiped with DOHC and variable valve timing, delivers 184 HP and 175 ft-lbs. So clearly there's potential room for improvement.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,657
    The BMW is also a 6-cylinder engine, whereas the Subaru 2.5 is a 4-cylinder engine; same displacement, but the BMW cylinders are smaller. The rule of thumb is that smaller cylinders are more efficient than larger cylinders, so the BMW will always have a theoretical edge over the Subie.

    Back in the 1960s Honda made a 6-cylinder 250cc racing engine, and a 5-cylinder 125cc racing engine for their GP mototorcycles. They put out an incredible amount of horsepower for their displacement. Most other bikes of that era used single or twin cylinder engines in those displacement classes.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Different price class. Totally different set of rules, if you ask me.

    At that price, get a loaded-to-the-gills H6 Limited model for less than a subcompact BMW 1 series with that 2.5l, and indeed you'll get the double-AVCS that is more appropriate for that price level.

    Having said that, like Subaru, BMW lies their I-6 engines longitudinally, so they're not sitting on top, way up high, like the transverse designs used by Honda and Mazda.

    The Miata is a notable exception - it has an in-line four that is laid out longitudinally, with 3 of the 4 spark plugs behind the front axle for 52/48 balance. Proof that Mazda knows that's the best layout for a sports car, while the Mazda6 has other goals and being sporty isn't really a priority.

    Also, as mentioned above, BMW uses boxer engines in their motorcycles. It's rather humorous to read the press materials about those engines and how great that layout is. BMW's own words.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 679
    The rule of thumb is that smaller cylinders are more efficient than larger cylinders,

    I believe you intended to say a six cylinder may have the capability to produce more output than a four of the same displacement. The newest and most efficient engine from Toyota is a large four as in the Venza. Now that fuel economy is a dominant requirement, hp per cubic inch takes a back seat.

    Perhaps the new measurement should be sport per gallon? :D
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