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Midsize Sedans 2.0

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Comments

  • How many AWD station wagons starting in the $20s are there?

    That's exactly my point, now there is none. This used to be a market that Subaru owned. Now they are up against the Ford, Honda, Toyota, and GM, all that have equivalent options from a shopper's view point. I might get hit by lightning for saying this but what does the Outback have over a Venza? Or an Edge?

    Oh, I found a big one...they kept the 6 speed manual on the base model. But that probably isn't a big plus to most, and they still have to get past the Subaru "styling."
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    What does the Outback have over the Venza? Heck of a lot better looking, for one! I haven't seen a snout as ugly as the Venza's since the Aztec (well, the original Tribeca was close). And more "rugged" looking than the smooth (read boring) Edge. And, above all else... "it's a Subaru." :)

    I'm not quite sure what your complaint is, though. You said the new Outback isn't any "taller" than the old one, except for ground clearance. So I take it you just don't like how Subaru penned the new Outback?
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 334
    There was a new Outback behind me on the interstate today, and until it passed me I thought it was a Forester. I can't decide if I liked it or not, but it was a really cool green color.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,996
    That's exactly my point, now there is none. This used to be a market that Subaru owned. Now they are up against the Ford, Honda, Toyota, and GM, all that have equivalent options from a shopper's view point.

    I'm sure Subaru was smart enough to know that they owned that particular (read small) market. They obviously thought it was better to have a small piece of a big pie rather than the whole mini pie. They have an all-wheel drive system that is very respected along with a good record of dependability. If they can get their styling down and their mpg up so that people that don't live in snow states will buy they might be able to get an even bigger piece of that large pie.
  • I'm sure Subaru was smart enough to know that they owned that particular (read small) market. They obviously thought it was better to have a small piece of a big pie rather than the whole mini pie.

    Fair enough. I realize as a vote of 1 I don't reflect the market as a whole, but big clunky jacked up station wagons don't do it for me. Something that has a low center of gravity, is fun to drive, and has a reasonable amount of power is more appealing. I enjoy driving (as terrible of a thing that is to say in this "eco-state,") and if its not fun, I am not that interested.

    They have an all-wheel drive system that is very respected along with a good record of dependability.

    While I do like the performance of their AWD, their engines are on the harsher side, especially for the amount of power they produce. Its part of being a flat-4 and I don't mind it personally, but going up against the sewing machines in Hondas and Toyotas, they might need some work.

    If they can get their styling down and their mpg up so that people that don't live in snow states will buy they might be able to get an even bigger piece of that large pie.

    People in non-snow states don't want AWD. Yes the WRX is AWD but that is a different, equally "particular" market. If Subaru offers FWD only, their mileage will go up, and they will have funny looking coarse feeling cars that have nothing to differentiate them from other alternatives.

    Trying to be all things to all people when you have a niche market is a bad strategy. Being profitable and able to charge a premium because your product is desirable enough to command it is a good strategy. BMW (a niche market specialty product that commands a premium and people pay it) vs Toyota (a commodity product with very little to differentiate it in the market).
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,996
    People in non-snow states don't want AWD. Yes the WRX is AWD but that is a different, equally "particular" market.

    Aren't there Subaru dealerships in Texas, Florida and other southern states as well as California? I'm sure some people want them and I'm sure they aren't just selling WRXs. That's like saying nobody in a snow state wants rearwheel drive. There's always a market....albeit small.
    It will be interesting to see if Subaru steps on it's foot by leaning towards the masses with the Outback. I say leaning as I still think the Outback looks fairly distinctively "Subbie" and different from other similar size crossovers.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    image

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    They both have their awkward angles, but the Venza lacks the angry grin of the Subaru and has cleaner details, making it the more attractive design to my eyes.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    I don't mind the styling of the Venza overall, just the grille. I don't like grilles with lots of chrome. Makes it look like something from a Buck Rogers movie. :P

    (Also your link to the photo of the Outback appears to be broken.)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Yep; worked in the preview, not in the post. Sorry. ;)

    Just a pic of the Legacy Outback. Feel free to google it.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Hyundai has the SantaFe too, which for the past few years has been tops in the Reliability field too. Tough competition.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    I actually like the Venza better. Being associated with a Subaru dealer, and having the opportunity to drive and experience the new Outback, I cannot stand looking at it or sitting in it. It does ride nice, but, the CVT is sluggish, the interior is all hard cheap plastic, although it is put together well. The cloth fabric is a down grade from the prior model. I am actually turned off by the new Legacy-Outback design. I think it is a serious step backwards.

    Ont the other hand, they are selling really well at my store, so, I guess I am the minority in my opinion.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    Sounds like Subaru is going the same de-contenting route that other automakers have taken in recent years. Compare for example the interior of the current Camry or Accord to an earlier model. There are some exceptions, though. GM, Ford, and Hyundai seem to be getting better with their mid-sized sedan interiors in recent years. I think the interior of the 2011 Sonata is stunning, and that of the Mazda6 is an improvement over the prior generation IMO.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Sounds like Subaru is going the same de-contenting route that other automakers have taken in recent years. Compare for example the interior of the current Camry or Accord to an earlier model.

    What do you mean by "de-contenting"? I have looked at the new Accords, and it looks like the same exact materials used in my 03. What was de-contented?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    IMO the interiors of older Accords and Camrys had nicer interiors--more soft plastics, richer cloth etc. I think the Accord has held up better here than the Camry, but it's happening. And it's been going on for a long time. I remember a review of a mid-90s Civic that noted Honda had cut back on threadcount on the rear seats as a cost-cutting move. And now there's hard plastic everywhere on cars.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    IMO the interiors of older Accords and Camrys had nicer interiors--more soft plastics, richer cloth etc. I think the Accord has held up better here than the Camry, but it's happening.
    The 92 Accord I had didn't have better materials than the 03 I have now. The dash was soft, almost spongy, but those dashes were also known to crack, if not taken care of. The sun shade used to make little dents in the dash. The carpet, and floor mats, are the only things I can say might not be as thick now. I think the interior in my 03 interior fits together better, and more securely than the 92 did though. The materials may have been softer, but not more durable or higher quality imo. Softer doesn't necessarily mean better.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    Maybe not. But I'll take soft-touch plastic rather than the hard, scratchable stuff in common use today anytime. My 2004 Elantra has soft-touch panels almost everywhere except the lower doors and around the glovebox. Now you're lucky to get padded armrests. :(
  • I think my '93 held together very well, I didn't have any fading or cracking. My '07 has a hard plastic dash with several different materials and grains that all seem to be fading at different rates. Also, the black dash of the '93 combined with that windshield angle didn't have the veiling glare effect of the '07.
    I do remember the paint wearing off the radio buttons on the '93, and I think some of the steering wheel controls for cruise did that as well. After 15 years I am okay with that...ideally i won't have this one that long though :P
    Oh Elroy, what do you put on the weatherstripping for the doors to help it seal and not rattle? There was a Honda fluid or spray or something for that, IIRC.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    That was weird, I'm not sure what happened. Did anyone else recently try go to this "Midsize Sedans 2.0" discussion and somehow end up in forum about pseudo-SUVs?
    ;)
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    Good one, jeffyscott. :D
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    Were you referring to the wagon variant of the Legacy sedan?

    If that's a problem, maybe we could go back and delete all the posts about the upcoming Honda Crosstour, the Venza, the Mazda6 wagon, and similar posts, as well as posts about RX-8s etc. etc. Since some of those are yours, maybe you could start it off?

    :)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Oh Elroy, what do you put on the weatherstripping for the doors to help it seal and not rattle? There was a Honda fluid or spray or something for that, IIRC.

    I have never had a problem with the 03's doors. The passenger side front door on my 92 used to stick though. The windows on the 03 had started to squeak a few months back, and I used the Shin-Etsu grease that Honda sells for seals and window tracks. I remember seeing a TSB about how to apply the grease to the door seals, but doubt if I could find it again. I remember it said something about using pipe cleaners to grease the inside of the door seals. I thought that was odd. I have not had any problem with rattles or fading, and my car sits outside in the sun all day. They've fixed a lot of the roads where I live, so there's not much to make a rattle I guess. The dash on my 92 never cracked, but I've seen many of those old sunken dashes that did crack. The only part of my 92 interior I had a slight problem with was the hard plastic around the door switches. Some of those pieces didn't fit together that well, and seemed to fade quicker than the other pieces around it.
  • The windows on the 03 had started to squeak a few months back, and I used the Shin-Etsu grease that Honda sells for seals and window tracks. I remember seeing a TSB about how to apply the grease to the door seals, but doubt if I could find it again. I remember it said something about using pipe cleaners to grease the inside of the door seals. I thought that was odd.

    Thanks for looking that up...totally comical. I will let my Honda dealer take care of it.

    I have not had any problem with rattles or fading, and my car sits outside in the sun all day.

    They were mis-matched and had bad surfaces when I bought it, I just didn't notice it in time. I think that is one of the reasons I think the old Accord was higher quality, the dash only had one uniform continuous surface while the new one has 4 or 5, all with different tolerances.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    "Were you referring to the wagon variant of the Legacy sedan?"

    Not if it is a normal wagon and not a "crossover". ;)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    What is a normal wagon? That which we call a wagon by any other name would carry as much stuff.
  • stephen987stephen987 Posts: 1,994
    The Outback certainly started out as a jacked-up Legacy wagon--arguably fair game for this forum, as it was originally called the "Legacy Outback." Certainly it bore as much relationship to the Legacy as the Crosstour does to the Accord. Perhaps not strictly a sedan, but clearly part of the same model line.

    But the new Outback appears to have made the leap to something fundamentally different--a crossover, for lack of a more descriptive term. It's no longer a Legacy--and in my opinion, no longer a midsize sedan.

    The Legacy, on the other hand, certainly is a midsize sedan--now more than ever. It's also potentially one of the best, even if purists feel that it (like the Outback) has lost some of its distinctive character in the latest redesign.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,996
    I think the operative word here is "sedan". A sedan is not a stationwagon, crossover, hatchback, fastback, hardtop, SUV or convertible. If one wants to literally and technically stick to topic we are all guilty.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Much the same as calling a Prius a Midsize sedan. :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,717
    Yes, I heard the sound of glass breaking. :)
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Besides the outback, they did also have a Legacy wagon that was just a wagon:

    image
  • Besides the outback, they did also have a Legacy wagon that was just a wagon:

    Yeah I hear those are pretty good... :P :blush:
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