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Subaru Crew - Future Models II

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Comments

  • tv3wrxtv3wrx Posts: 8
    Paisan: No, I bought a SAAB 9.3 (pre GM) for my "Luxury" car, based on the mix of luxury and smooth performance/turbo, and that SAAB has a unique feel/sound/look, (I see Mercedes/Lexus/BMW/Infinity/Acura as luxury car brands...not Saab, really.) I would likely not buy a 9.2 SAAB that has the "utility" feel of a Subaru with a "luxury" SAAB interior and shell, at least not as a luxury car. I'm not really a luxury car kinda guy, but if I buy one it will likely be a BMW or another "genuine" luxury car brand with some performance qualities.

    BTW, I never saw the SVX as a luxury car. Do you?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Especially selling at over $30K in the mid '90s. What other non-luxury cars came in at over 30K in the mid 90s?

    Not to mention it has every "luxury" feature you can think of in '92.

    -mike
  • tv3wrxtv3wrx Posts: 8
    Paisan: Many "sport luxury" cars were priced in the 30's during the 90's, and certainly many sports cars were; neither type is true luxury. I bought the SAAB for a mix of performance/sportiness/luxury/style, not as a pure luxury car. To me SAAB has never been a pure luxury brand even though they tried hard to become one. They added features, and raised prices, which led to their sales demise and subsequent overtaking. I do agree that they were overpriced in the mid 90's, (and I would not have paid $35k for a SAAB). Price does not soley determine what a car/brand is. You could offer a Neon with a trick navigation system and leather seats for $35 grand but it would not be a luxury car. I believe SAAB occupy a niche category/image of "sport luxury". Try to expand outside of that too far, and they'll be unprofitable, no matter what GM does. SAAB's only hope is to be more of what SAAB is, which is a good, unique alternative in the sport-luxury segment. They'll never successfully compete with Merc, Lexus, BMW, etc., as a luxury car brand. To your point, neither could Subaru. Isn't Cadillac supposed to be the GM luxury brand? I'd like to see them just focus on getting THAT luxury-brand's mess in order. IT'd be nice to have a USA luxury car brand that wasn't a joke.
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Thanks sweet_subie. The news gets worse. I wonder how long it will take to train the nation's Mr. Goodwrenches to do the 60K maintenance on a boxer?

    Ed
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Colin: for the deisel, maybe they'll make the Saab a wide-body (wider track). Then they could stroke the motor, probably the EZ series block.

    Hey Lutz, Subies are AWD wagons with boxer engines. We'll accept nothing less!

    I do agree that all Saabs should have turbos. I don't get the reason for a 2.5l 9-2 at all.

    -juice
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    Subaru is going to find themselves in trouble again if they don't get moving on new products.

    Where's a larger SUV? Something based on a modified Legacy chassis would do very well with the H6 standard.

    Where's the 5-speed automatic?

    Where's the H6 in the Legacy GT?

    People have been hammering these points on forums for years now, and what does Subaru give us? The Baja.

    The WRX was a great move in the US market, but sales actually went down in markets where the WRX had been on sale already.

    C'mon Subaru, put that Outback cash to use...

    -B
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually, a Baja turbo with:

    * 8.4" clearance (vs. 7.3" non-turbo)
    * 235 lb-ft at just 3600rpm
    * VTD AWD!

    I hope the price doesn't sky-rocket. VTD has made every model that has it very expensive.

    -juice
  • tv3wrxtv3wrx Posts: 8
    I agree Beanboy. And I'd like to add to your list of needs: 2600lb AWD small hatchback with NA and turbo boxer options. NOT another Justy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't see US consumers buying anything smaller than a TS wagon. Do you?

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    VTD isn't that expensive in the WRX IMHO.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    also has on-star.

    -mike
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    VTD is $200. Active AWD is $800, VTD is $1000 including the AT transmission of course. Prices are MSRP.

    DaveM
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    ruh???

    VTD is $200. Active AWD is $800, VTD is $1000 including the AT transmission of course. Prices are MSRP.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    OK. What I was trying to say is AT w/ Active AWD is $800 (on an Impreza, Legacy, Forester, etc), AT w/ VTD AWD is $1000 (on a WRX, Legacy 2.5GT); therefore the VTD component is $200.

    DaveM
  • tv3wrxtv3wrx Posts: 8
    Ateixeira: Yes, I see the oppty for it, absolutely. If priced well, It'd steal a lot of business from Golf/Jetta/Civic/Matrix set, particularly among the younger consumer,and especially if gas prices stay up there.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    But wouldn't "Golf-sized" be larger than the current Impreza?

    DaveM
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, put VTD standard across the board and raise prices by $200, then. :-)

    The Impreza's wheelbase is just 0.5" longer than the Jetta. There's no real room to shrink it.

    Hey - the Baja is still two-tone, it's just a black/slate, so there is much less contrast. Much better, IMO.

    -juice
  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    go to media.subaru.com
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    The Impreza is the same size as the smallest cars of the majority of companies like the Civic/Neon/Focus/Golf/Sentra. Some of these cars were much smaller at one time, and have grown. Companies didn't replace them because it just wasn't worth it.

    Korean companies appear to be the only ones offering something along the lines of a Justy-sized vehicle nowadays.

    While we're at it, does anybody else think a hybrid Subaru/Saab drivetrain would fit perfectly for both Subaru and Saab? I'm sure it has been said before, just like many of our other comments.

    All wheels could be put to use for regenerative braking, Subaru's borderline CAFE requirements would be taken care of easily (especially if a light pressure 2.0L turbo was used. Low-end torque problem solved!), and the idea of a hybrid works perfectly with the image for Subaru and Saab. C'mon GM, use what you learned with the 1 billion EVI program and get crackin'!!!!

    -B
  • tv3wrxtv3wrx Posts: 8
    Impreza is 3200lbs. Same WB maybe but MUCH heavier. Golf is too heavy too, yes, but none of the others are as heavy. And none of them feel nearly as large. Civic lost share in some consumer groups when they went larger/heavier. There's a gap.
  • beanboybeanboy Posts: 442
    AWD certainly can account for some of the weight, and the Impreza can weigh anywhere from 2965-3220 pounds.

    Golf/Jetta is next from 2770-2900.

    Everything else is 2500-2700 pounds.

    Cars also have more safety features and luxury items versus the lighter cars of the past, there's some more weight versus size right there. And those more powerful motors need stronger and heavier drivetrain components.

    As for actual size, the rear seat of the Impreza is already tight, I don't see them going smaller and still offer reasonable accomodations, unless they do a tall wagon/SUV treatment and have it complete against the Scion. A more extreme Forester perhaps.

    Hmm, a two seat, AWD, all-season convertible anybody? have it based on a shortened Impreza chassis, use the WRX underpinnings and have it complete against the Miata and MR2 for about the same price, but with more performance and the security of AWD for a true all season convertible. Saab could even sell a verion to complete against the Audi TT! ;)

    -B
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    for '04 STi prices. From post at NASIOC.

    OK, here they are:

    $28580+$550 is invoice.
    $30995+$550 is MSRP

    DaveM
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    So from http://www.media.subaru.com/ we know for sure now that the Baja Turbo (and presumably the Forester XT) require premium gas - as we suspected.

    Not that I mind, they are performance vehicles.

    - D.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, I bet if you get a Jetta wagon and add AWD, it would weight the same as an Impreza.

    Just make it lighter, do the things they did with the Forester (aluminum hood and roof rails, for starters).

    $30.5k plus a $5000 markup... ;-)

    I was still (irrationally) hoping for 87 octane. The same engine can make 300hp, so this is "detuned".

    -juice
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I actually posted on that topic back in January:

    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=30- 6499&perpage=25&highlight=Forester&pagenumber=3

    Quoting myself in part:

    "I cross-shopped the A4 Avant (not the S4) with the Legacy GT wagon and the Forester S. Briefly considered Volvo V70 (not XC). Did not consider any Saab. I went with Subaru's better reputation for reliability and long-term maintenance costs cf. Audi's. I went with the Forester over the Leg GT due to better power-to-weight ratio and what I felt was more nimble handling, even with the higher CG and more body lean. A larger rear sway bar and performance rubber has helped some. I like the ride height, won't lift it; it could be 1-2" lower but I wouldn't slam it either. I drool over the STi and Cross Sports Foresters, but I don't like the skirts, lips and junk hanging off the bottom. I do take my car onto gravel and mud and have no desire for the lower-body add-ons save mudflaps...

    "I am really looking forward to seeing and driving the Forester turbo. I don't want to waste my time speculating about its drivetrain. I want to drive one back-to-back with a WRX wagon and then make the choice of my next Subaru."

    Ed
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    geez, do I need to trot out my "premium for premium" calculations again?

    this is a complete non-issue in overall Total Cost of Ownership, folks.

    -Colin
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    Yeah, tell it to my Dad. He drives maybe 7500 to 10,000 miles per year and still often puts 87 in his '02 Continental w/ 4.6L InTech V8 that states 91 minimum. If he can afford a Lincoln, he can afford the extra $100 max. per year for the required octane.

    DaveM
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Yea, and here I am treating my Forester to 91 octane "just because", as it were. Actually, I'd like to believe that I might avoid having the knock sensor retard the timing on me, since I like to shift early when driving around town.

    Since we're getting ~28 mpg in the city and don't drive that far per year (~12k mi), the difference in $'s is trivial (about $42 per 10 cent of price difference per year, or $3.50 per month). Heck, that's not even pizza money...

    -brianV
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    Went to the show today. juice, Bob, Ed (lark), Dave (hypov), mike (paisan) and Mark (bat1161) also attended from Edmunds. Did I miss anyone?

    '04 Baja Turbo 5 spd - looks nice in black w/ dark grey cladding. Had leather and heated seats; no heated mirrors or wiper deicer. Mini brochure says AT model has VTD with SPORTSHIFT (no mention of "direct control".

    '04 Baja Sport - medium grey with it appears to be a darker shade of the '03's silver cladding. Actually looked pretty good in that color combo.

    '04 Forester Turbo 5spd. w/ moonroof & leather - nice metallic black (Java Black?) monotone. Bob asked the rep and the 5 spd & moonroof combo will not make it into regular production models. :-( Also had a silver monotone Auto w/ moonroof & leather. The Forester Turbo looks like a winner.

    '04 LL Bean Outback - had '03 Baja wheels, chrome vs. gold OUTBACK badging & it appears a slightly lighter shade of gold cladding.

    '04 Legacy L 35th Anniversary Edition - appears to be the same as an '03 L-SE but includes 6 way power driver's seat (may have different seat fabric also).

    '04 WRX, OBS & STi - no new news.

    Did I miss anything, Bob?

    DaveM
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,565
    BTW, it was nice meeting all of you today at the show.

    DaveM
  • allhorizonallhorizon Posts: 483
    For those of you who saw it in person, how dark is the interior color (say of the seats) in the turbo Forester? Is the cloth the same color as the leather?

    I am also curious if there are any suspension parts that are upgraded from the NA Forester.

    - D.
  • xccoachlouxccoachlou Posts: 245
    Any difference in the color selection for 04 Foresters?

    - Lou
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Brian,

    Actually at your altitude, using 91 would be overkill on our engines. Higher altitude lowers octane needs.

    http://www.chevron.com/prodserv/fuels/gas_qanda/api_octane.shtml

    Have you ever tried plain old 87? You might even see better power and gas milage.

    Ken
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Interesting link, thanks.

    Going down their list of factors affecting octane requirements though, it's a mixed bag for me:

    Altitude - depending how you read this, it can go either way. The way I read it, the octane requirement falls at higher altitude, except if your engine management system compensates, which I suspect Subaru's do.

    Humidity - dry conditions increase octane requirements. We live in a semi-arid desert.

    Temperature - higher temps increase octane requirements. It's mild to hot here, rarely cold. (Avg high in January is 45, 75 is no exception)

    Spark timing, knock sensor - this is what I'm hoping to avoid, tooling around town sub 2000 rpms

    Driving conditions and style - although I tend not to lead-foot it, we have more steep hills than San Francisco, which is saying something ! I also tow a good-sized camper, utility trailer and whatnot. We put our Forester to use !

    So all in all, I'm probably not that far off leaning to the premium. It does explain why regular is 85 octane here, and premium is 91 though.

    -brianV
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Let me try this again. I just finished writing a huge long post on the show—only to have my computer crash—before posting. Argh...

    DaveM covered most of the points. Here are my comments:

    • All '04s are improved over '03 models.

    • Only '04 Legacy was a "35th Anniversary Model," which replaces the Legacy L-SE. It has a "35th Anniversary Model" decal on the front fender, cloth seats from the old Legacy GT, and no "L" badging on the rear hatch.

    • The '04 LL Bean now has all "chrome" badging; no more gold badging anywhere. It also has wheels from the Baja (not Baja turbo).

    • There were two Forester XTs there. One had a black finish with metallic gold specs in it. I loved the color, juice didn't...

    • Speaking of colors, there were two '04 Bajas there (a Baja Sport and Baja Turbo), and both had great color combos. The BS had slightly lighter sliver cladding, topped by a med-dark gray body. It was very classy looking. The BT had dark charcoal gray cladding, topped by a black body. It also looked great. The SOA rep said there would be more Baja colors available this year. She said there would a monotone blue, perhaps(?) the same blue used on the Forester. I think the other colors remain but with a different silver cladding, but I'm not sure about that.

    • The Baja turbo gets heated seats, but the rest of the AWP is MIA.

    • Baja turbo auto does get both "direct control" (as per the Forester XT) and SPORTSHIFT/VTD (as per the Legacy GT auto) according to the teaser brochure.

    • More questions than answers: A couple of the models on display had features that the production model won't get, according to the SOA reps. The Forester XT 5-speed had leather and moonroof, and the Baja Sport had leather. Not sure why they were displayed this, other than to gauge public reaction for possible mid-year changes?

    • Couldn't sit in the STi, it was on a turn-table.

    So... no all-new Legacy for USA until '05 model. No word on '04 Legacy GT turbo; although I still wouldn't be surprised if one showed up.

    Major Bummer! I went to take a picture of the Baja Sport, and for some reason, my camera became detached from the cord hanging around my neck—fell to the floor, and broke! I didn't get one picture from the show!

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    • All Bajas get the increased 8.4" ground clearance.

    • One of my bugaboos about the Baja, is that it's payload is less than any Subie car sold here. So I checked the door jamb label to see if if the payload had been increased, since there were obvious suspension changes due to the increased ground clearance. Guess what? The
    "capacity" is no longer listed on the door jamb label. The GVWR is listed (4445 I think), but not the capacity. I thought at was mandated by federal law; I guess not. In any event, SOA must have gotten tired of complaints by me and others...

    • Roof antenna on Baja is NOT for OnStar (good!), and it folds for longer roof rack loads (also good!!).

    • Last year's WRX had a subtle blue outline around the WRX trunk/hatch badge. That's no longer the case. However, the new Forester XT and Baja Turbo now have a red outline accent around their respective hatch/tailgate badges. Go figure...

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Colin: OK I'll admit it, I'm cheap at the gas pump! ;-)

    IIRC both Forester XTs had leather. One was "bogus" anyway, since it was a 5 speed with a moonroof. Same car from Chicago, I think. That black looked like a dark copper, as Ed put it. I did not like the color. The reddish black on the Baja turbo was nicer, IMO.

    I left the show convinced I'd buy a silver auto/premium Forester XT, exactly like the one at the show, but then I read the Baja gets sportshift and VTD, hmm...

    Both Bajas looked MUCH better than before, mainly color selection. The 2004 Baja Sport had vinyl/cloth seats, and they were not sure if those would make production.

    I dunno if it's because they were raised, but they looked beefier. Colors are nicer, the idea of 235 lb-ft surely improves my opinion of it. It's still version 1.1, but it is a big improvement from 1.0.

    Outbacks look more tasteful without the two-tone wheels and gold badging. A monotone champagne colored one would be just the ticket if you want a sleeper.

    I left impressed. Every model improved, some subtle, others big. Nice job Subaru.

    -juice
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    you must realize of course that you are the only person in the western spiral arm of the galaxy who shops this segment that pays one iota of attention to GVW.....
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    juice,

    Why the *auto* Forester XT?

    Ken
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Because I want that stinkin' huge moonroof! Plus this is gonna be the family trip car (read back about the traffic horror story from our last road trip).

    I'd take a manual, but I don't want another tiny pop-up, and I don't want to pay $900 for a tiny powered one.

    I spoke to the wife about it, and she's more into the 2005 SUW to replace the Forester. Then she mentioned getting a slightly newer Miata to replace my '93.

    All this in years to come, of course, not right away.

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    OCD-challenged, and proud of it! :)

    Bob
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    juice,

    The huge moonroof corrupts! For a family hauler, it probably would make sense to get the auto.

    Looks like you have your vehicle roadmap all planned out! We'll probably get a larger more practical "family" car too, but my wife has okayed that my next vehicle be my fun (within reason) car.

    I went over to the local dealer yesterday to take a look at the 04 WRX. I was a little lukewarm to the facelift. While it does appeal to me more than the outgoing style, it still needs a little something. I actually don't like how the tailights look with the round lens built in to them. I thought the back of the wagons looked fine as they were.

    Right next to the 04 WRX was a silver Forester XS premium. I imagined it with a hood scoop. If it does get a sportier suspension, I just might not fall to the dark side.

    Ken
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I agree with you comments about the rear of the WRX. It's okay, but nothing special. It screams generic econobox from the rear, IMO.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Not on display at the NY show:

    Outback VDC, Outback Limited, Outback sedans (all), Impreza RS & TS, and Legacy GTs.

    Interesting that so many models were missing, considering the magnitude of this show. I guess they were only promoting what they consider to be "hot."

    There's been much talk about the Baja's slow sales; what about the Outback sedans? I see less of them than I do Bajas! I would love to see a sales breakdown, of model by model. I bet there would be some real surprises there. I suspect there are several Subie models that sell not much better than the Baja.

    Bob
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    what about the Legacy GT? I bet SE's are far outselling the Legacy lineup.

    -Brian
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not sure if this was posted yet.

    http://www.apexjapan.com/news/04_leg/03_leg_photo.html

    -mike
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
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