2012 SUBARU NEWS AND REVIEWS-  FROM CALENDAR YEAR 2012

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Subaru, Fuji, and general car news, comments and links in 2012
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Can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, transmission, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, transmission, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, engine, transmission, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, engine, transmission, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, engine, transmission, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, transmission, trim and color combinations





12/27 Subaru is sprinting to the end of the year and a grand finale. If anyone is thinking of buying a car soon, this is the best time - its down to the wire and you're motivated,  the dealer is motivated, and Subaru is motivated...

12/25, a chop-top Subaru dually on Jalopnik, sometime home of the just plain weird
"Old Subarus are great snow cars, but what if you live in the desert near the Mexican border? It's pretty sunny down there, so clearly, the best thing to do is turn your beater Subie into a not-so-mini Mini Moke, right?
Sure, why not! Of course, there are a few problems with this one. First being that with the stock seats, it would be pretty hard to see over the new windshield's bottom edge. I'd also be willing to bet that the car's stock 90 hp mill would have a hell of a time turning that custom dually setup. But hey, it's $500, so how could you go wrong. I tried to tell Ralph to snag this instead of a Baja Bug, but he escaped the office before I could talk sense into him. Sigh." the article with photo

12/21 The world is still here, winter starts, (spring starts March 20th and we should have the new Forester by then), and its the shortest day of the year..

12/17 more time to consider what to do in Indiana. Subaru has long discussed adding much needed capacity to their SIA factory.
"Fuji Heavy Industries' Subaru is considering expanding its Lafayette, Indiana, car factory to meet rising demand and to increase US output to offset losses caused by the high yen.
Subaru's US chief operating officer Tom Doll told Bloomberg Radio "it becomes more difficult with production in Japan to import those vehicles into the United States. At some point a decision could be made to bring further production to the US."  The automaker has not yet decided to add Impreza cars or Forester crossovers alongside the Legacy and Outback built in Indiana. If this production is moved from Japan, a minimum of 50,000 units of capacity would be added.
Factory spokeswoman Jennifer McGarvey said Lafayette is expected to build a record 277,835 vehicles in 2012. Company spokesman Michael McHale said a decision was possible "within the next few months". read the original article

12/16 need last minute Christmas gift ideas for a Subaru fan? Here are some photos of goodies I just took in a dealers parts showroom


12/11 an article on why younger people, guys in particular, are driving less.  As the article below says, money is a factor- the price of the car, the gas, the insurance- it all adds up quickly. The general economy and job market can be scary for young people. And younger drivers want amenities- they don't want basic cars- they want automatic transmissions, 'infotainment systems', heated seats, nice wheels, sunroofs. Car companies struggle to create a look and an identity younger buyers can relate to. Subaru has done really well with the Impreza line, the 1998-2001 RS models were affordable and sporty, and the WRXs are muscle cars young men can aspire to.  But also some cars are less involving, all the computerization means there's less people can do or even want to consider doing. And this speaks to driving skills as well. The new coming 2014 Forester X models don't have paddle shifters. Instead they have Drive and Low mode and Low is just another computer controlled system with no driver interaction. How much fun is that...
the article "I’ve never really gotten the car-cult thing. So far in my auto-owning life, I’ve had a Nissan, a Jeep, a Subaru, a Mercury, two minivans whose makers I don’t even remember and the current Honda. No brand loyalty whatsoever, as you can see. I don’t wash my wheels, or even vacuum them until they really get grody. To me, a car is just a way to get to work.
By coincidence, I split a twin in my sleepy suburban town with a guy who is serious about his cars. Jim trades his wheels in regularly—his current baby is a big ol’ Dodge Charger with a hemi, whatever that is—and polishes them every weekend without fail. Cars mean something to Jim; you can tell by the careful attention he pays to details, by the array of cleansers and polishes he owns, by the way he lingers for long hours in the driveway, with rock-and-roll on the radio and a chamois in hand.
Jim’s a dying breed.
While for him and his fellow boomers, cars stand for something—freedom, the threshold of adulthood, even sex by the dashboard light—to younger guys today, a set of wheels isn’t so iconic. How else to explain why the rates of dudes with driver’s licenses are falling precipitously? A recent study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that the percentage of males ages 25 to 29 who have driver’s licenses has declined by 10.6 percent over the past 15 years. The number of women with licenses has also gone down, but only by half that. It’s all part of what study co-author Michael Sivak says is “the changing gender economics” of who’s behind the wheel.
Why would men no longer race to the nearest driver’s licensing center the minute they’re eligible for a learner’s permit? When I talked to Penn School of Education professor Shaun Harper for this piece on why young men today can’t seem to get in gear, he talked about how, when he was growing up, you could drive through any neighborhood and find a collection of guys crowded together beneath an upraised hood—old men, middle-aged men, and kids along the edges of the group. Such gatherings weren’t just a way to pass the time; they were a way for knowledge and values and work ethic to be passed from one generation to another. You never see that anymore, Harper told me. And he’s right. Cars are now so computerized and complicated that “most people don’t even change their own oil,” travel behavior analyst Nancy McGuckin says in an AP story on the UMichigan study. “Independence, freedom, being able to customize the car to reflect you—these are not part of young people’s association with vehicles.”
Study author Sivak cited the Internet as another reason guys are traveling less; prior studies have shown that countries with high Internet usage rates have lower licensing rates for young people. And smartphones and laptops make commuting on public trans appealing to the younger set; SEPTA ridership hit a 22-year high in 2011, and is up another one percent this year. But the economy is also a factor; car insurance rates are sky-high for young men, many of whom are under-employed or unemployed and living at home. And then there’s the car itself: The average auto cost about $18,000 in 1995; today, it’s $30,300.
There are some salutary effects of this societal change. Women, for instance, purchase smaller, safer, more economical cars than men do. The less driving, the less environmental pollution. And in the 1950s, only half of all adult women in the U.S. had driver’s licenses. Today, overall, women drivers outnumber men, 105.7 million to 104.3 million. You’ve driven a long way, baby. I sure hope, though, it’s not just because today’s men aren’t going anywhere." read the original article .

11/28 Subaru announces is has sold its 6,000,0000th car in the US. It took 44 years, from 1968-2012. The car was a Crosstrek sold at Subaru of Georgetown, in Georgetown, Texas, near Austin.


11/20 a history of Subaru- where its been, how it got there, and where its trying to go from here
"By the usual measurements, Subaru should be no more than an afterthought in the U.S. car market. It sells just seven car and crossover models and accounts for a slim 2.3% of U.S. auto sales. By itself, the Toyota Camry outsells the entire Subaru lineup. For years Subaru has been essentially a regional brand -- strong in the Northeast and Northwest but unknown in the rest of the country. No overnight success, Subaru of America -- the U.S. arm of Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries -- began selling cars in the U.S. 44 years ago and still ranks only 12th in size. Hyundai and Kia, which arrived two decades later, have developed broader product lines and sell several times more vehicles.
Yet Subaru has racked up more endorsements by independent arbiters of automotive quality and safety than just about any other manufacturer. Consumer Reports rates Subaru above Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and every other manufacturer in performance, comfort, utility, and reliability, and says the company makes the best cars in America. ALG (formerly Automotive Lease Guide), the industry's arbiter of residual value and used-car prices, named Subaru the leader in retained value among mainstream brands. And after crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made Subaru a "top safety pick" across its entire product line, a distinction no other manufacturer can claim.
Fueled by this trifecta of achievements, just about everything Subaru sells is flying off dealers' lots this year. Despite a chronic shortage of inventory, the company has been breaking monthly sales records with regularity, and sales for the year are up 26% compared with last year's -- nearly double the 14% gain for the industry as a whole. Hurricane Sandy struck right in the heart of Subaru's customer base, yet the little car company saw sales jump 30% in October, vs. the industry's 7%.
What Subaru has done is to make itself into the first automaker that could be described as "artisanal" -- focused, individualistic, and really good at a very few things. With only limited resources, Subaru has made smart bets on features like all-wheel drive, developed memorable marketing and advertising that set it apart from the competition, and learned more about its customers than any other automaker. In appealing to them by geography, lifestyle, and, at times, sexual orientation, it has built the deepest loyalty in the car business. The company understands itself so well that for years its advertising tag line was the self-referential "It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru."
So resilient is the appeal of its brand name that Subaru has managed the feat of stretching it over wildly different models. One of this year's fastest-selling cars has been Subaru's compact Impreza sedan and hatchback. Newly redesigned and with a base price under $18,000, it has young families and first-time buyers queuing up to take advantage of its improved fuel economy, updated styling, and roomier interior. Sales have doubled from a year ago, and dealers have less than a two-week supply. At the opposite end of the functionality spectrum is another red-hot seller, the Subaru BRZ. A modern interpretation of the classic sports car, the two-plus-two coupe features out-there styling and racetrack handling that appeal to men of a certain age. So many are going out the door at prices starting at $25,000 that the days' supply at the beginning of September had shrunk to 11.
It's unusual for any car company, let alone one as tiny as Subaru, to have two hit models at once.
Today Subaru finds itself in a market sweet spot that produces outsize profits because, like an NFL receiver, it has learned how to work the seams. In the overcrowded midsize segment, for instance, Subaru sidesteps heavyweights like Camry, Accord, and Altima by equipping the Legacy with all-wheel drive (AWD), which the others don't offer. It can dodge expensive incentives because its cars are in short supply and its relatively affluent buyers are less sensitive to promotions. In August, Subaru spent just $857 per car on incentives; only Porsche spent less. Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell says Subaru customers are generally capable of affording a more expensive vehicle, don't buy strictly on price, and continue shopping even when the economy takes a dive.
Even so, life isn't easy for Subaru or its corporate parent, Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries. They are minnows in an industry where size counts. Don't look in Subaru's lineup for any minicars the size of the Honda Fit or for full-size ones like the Toyota Avalon either. All Subaru cars and crossovers are based on just two platforms (General Motors (GM) has 30!), and the vehicles range in size only from subcompact to midsize. Subaru needed to form a partnership with Toyota (TM) to make the BRZ economical. Subaru did most of the engineering and provided the engine, but Toyota created the design and markets an almost identical version called the Scion FR-S.
Small size hurts when a new model like the awkward seven-passenger Tribeca fails to gain a foothold. It's also hard for a small car maker to keep on top of new technology. Subaru's signature four-cylinder "boxer" design is two decades old, and the company's first hybrid car won't come out until next year, 15 years after Toyota's Prius went on sale. Subaru suffered a near catastrophe when the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 closed factories in Japan for four weeks and interrupted the flow of parts to its sole U.S. plant, in Lafayette, Ind. Dealers were starved for cars. Used to operating with 32,000 cars on the ground, Subaru saw its inventories drop to 17,000, pummeling sales.
Subaru recovered but now faces fresh challenges. It needs to catch up with competitors by developing fuel-efficient powertrains across its lineup, opening more factories outside Japan to spread its currency risk, and expanding its U.S. sales footprint. And it has to keep looking over its shoulder. Fast-rising Volkswagen poached Subaru's top marketing executive a year ago, and according to industry reports, VW is considering a new crossover with ride height, bumpers, and wheel-arch cladding that takes dead aim at Subaru's most popular models.
So Subaru will have to find new ways to differentiate itself, which shouldn't be much of a stretch. Since its founding, it has always gone its own way. Its headquarters are in a New Jersey suburb, several thousand miles away from its Japanese competitors in Southern California. While former sales managers and marketing experts sit atop most import car companies, Subaru's highest American executive is an accountant who started at the company as an assistant treasurer. And Subaru's product history is studded with oddities like the BRAT, a mini-pickup with rear-facing jump seats bolted to the rear bed to circumvent a tariff known as the chicken tax; the Justy, which Top Gear said "manages the impressive feat of being as boring as its name promises"; and the Baja, a station wagon, built with an open cargo bed in place of a rear compartment, which one reviewer compared to a platypus.
Subaru of America was started in 1968 by two entrepreneurs, Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm, who contracted with Fuji Heavy to import cars as the initial wave of Japanese imports was washing onto U.S. shores. Their first car was the 360, a minicar with a 25-horsepower engine that needed 37 seconds to get from zero to 50 miles per hour; Consumer Reports called it the "Most Unsafe Car in America." But by selling distributorships, SOA went on to become the only import car company that was publicly traded; it made small fortunes for its two founders. Bricklin went on to build his own eponymous safety car, imported Fiats and Yugos, and was last seen trying to make a deal to import China-built Cherys.
Despite its rocky start, Subaru clung to its tiny niche like a freestyle rock climber on El Capitan. It introduced an AWD system in 1972 and continually upgraded its boxer engine. Its marketing and advertising cleverly exploited the brand's offbeat appeal. After it won the endorsement of the U.S. ski team in 1976, the company broadcast a commercial showing a Subaru driving up a snow-covered ski jump. Subaru was also a pioneer in reaching out to gays and lesbians, recently advertising on television shows like The L Word.
Still, its existence remained precarious. Subaru nearly collapsed in the 1980s when it tried to challenge Toyota, Honda, and Nissan in the mainstream car market with a lineup of sedans and sports cars sold under the slogan "Inexpensive and built to stay that way." When the yen rose late in the decade, the price of made-in-Japan Subarus exploded, and its high-volume strategy collapsed. Its sales, which had peaked in 1986 at 183,242, fell all the way to 100,407 by 1995, and nobody would have been surprised if Subaru had left the U.S. market. (This year sales are expected to be 325,000.)
Instead, it made two important decisions that continue to resonate today. It decided to equip all the vehicles it sold in America with all-wheel drive. It also created a high-trim version of its Legacy station wagon with SUV design cues, named it the Outback, and hired Paul Hogan of Crocodile Dundee fame as its spokesperson. Billed as "the world's first sport-utility wagon," the Outback was slow to catch on, but its sales have grown fourfold since 1996. It has gradually morphed from a station wagon into a true crossover -- high roof, raised suspension, beefy bumpers -- but remains Subaru's biggest seller.
Subaru was becoming known as a quirky, likable product with a workaday attitude. But awareness and sales slipped throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, in part because Fuji had decided that Subaru's AWD technology deserved a premium price. Even though the Subaru brand was soundly locked in the Japanese mid-tier along with Mazda and Mitsubishi, Fuji felt that since its car was technically equivalent to an Audi, it should sell for a similar price. It took some convincing by American executives, but in 2007 the pricing was gradually readjusted, smoothing transactions on the sales floor and improving resale values. When the 2009 Forester was introduced, for instance, the base price was cut by $1,200.
Sales responded to the change almost immediately, and by 2010 Subaru had passed 260,000 vehicles a year. The repricing was a victory for executive vice president Tom Doll, a 30-year Subaru vet and its top American executive, who had long argued for the change. Methodical and even-keeled, Doll joined Subaru after five years at the old Big Eight accounting firm of Arthur Young, and rose steadily through the company in treasury operations, strategic planning, and finance. Doll knows Subaru so thoroughly that he now serves as both chief operating officer and chief financial officer -- an unusual doubling of responsibilities for an executive in an $8 billion company. He runs it by the book. "We like to play it straight," he says. "We don't goof around."
Under Doll, Subaru is executing a strategy of controlled expansion designed to boost unit sales and build profit margins. It has created an Outback-like version of the Impreza called the XV Crosstrek that it will sell for a premium price after raising the suspension and adding new bumpers and plastic body cladding. And it is giving its performance models, now known as the Impreza WRX and Impreza WRXSTI, standalone identities by dropping the Impreza name. The move should boost brand recognition in places like Southern California, where these high-horsepower cars with bulging hood scoops and flared stabilizer wings are Subaru's highest-profile vehicles, and also make it easier to justify the $8,000 price bump over the standard Impreza model.
Asked what's missing from his model lineup, Doll says a seven-passenger vehicle. In a rare misfire, Subaru put on sale the B9 Tribeca, a midsize crossover, in 2005. Aside from its unfortunate name, the Tribeca introduced what was intended to be a new design language with a rounded body and odd triangular grille. The B9 part of the name was dropped, and the ungainly design got a quick face-lift, but the Tribeca has never caught on. Doll blames its failure partly on the seven-passenger designation; the two seats in the third row aren't big enough to fit adults comfortably.
Doll is trying to expand Subaru's geographic base. He aims to generate 20% of sales in Sun Belt states in the next two years, up from 9% two years ago and 15% now. He has been scooping up former Saturn dealers, adding eight in the Carolinas and Florida. Subaru is shooting for a nationwide network of 630 dealers by 2015, compared with 620 today.
Subaru is slowly building its manufacturing capability in the U.S. At the Lafayette plant, it is investing $75 million in a 52,000-square-foot addition to the body-assembly section this summer. That will increase the plant's capacity to 180,000 vehicles a year, vs. 156,000 now.
With Subaru on a path to reach its U.S. sales goal of 320,000 units for 2012, Doll has mapped out a strategy that he expects will lead to sales of 350,000 units by 2016 while maintaining a market share of at least 2%. He's not changing his philosophy: The inventory of cars will remain tight. Subaru is currently running with a 45-day supply, compared with the 65 days that are considered optimal in the auto industry, and Doll plans to keep it that way. "Inventory is the kiss of death and the root of all evil," he says, only half-jokingly.
His expansion plans are getting a boost from Fuji, which is crashing a program to modernize its technology with the aim of boosting fleet-wide fuel efficiency by 30% by 2015. It has introduced a third-generation boxer engine (Subaru's first entirely new engine in 20 years), and is developing hybrid powertrains and fuel-thrifty continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).
The success of the BRZ underlines one question mark about the future of Subaru that could be both an asset and a liability: its ties with Toyota. Besides designing the sports car and sharing space in the Indiana plant, Toyota owns 16.5% of Fuji Heavy, having doubled its stake in 2008. Further cooperation could give Subaru access to technology and speed its expansion into global markets. The risk, of course, is that the giant company would squeeze the individuality out of the smaller one. The partnership will be successful only if Toyota remembers what makes a Subaru a Subaru. It is a lesson that has taken Subaru a long time to learn and one that it has no intention of forgetting now" read the original Fortune article

11/16 WSJ article on Subarus growth in the US. Move production to the US at a new plant in Indiana, in addition to the long planned expansion of SIA, focus growth in the south, and keep the Tribeca as long as it meets safety standards? It would seem a better move to build more of the faster selling Outbacks or Legacys than Tribecas. 
"Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. forecast at least 6% growth in U.S. sales of its Subaru-brand vehicles next year amid growing momentum in North America, the head of the company's U.S. unit said.
The auto maker expects its U.S. sales to reach at least 350,000 vehicles next year with the gains helping the company achieve its longer-term sales target ahead of schedule, said Takeshi Tachimori, president and chief executive of Subaru of America Inc., in a recent interview.
"Obviously, the U.S. is the most important market for Subaru," Mr. Tachimori said, adding that sales in the region could account for 60% of targeted global sales of one million units within the decade.
The remarks indicate the Subaru car maker's growing confidence in the anchor role of the North American market in its future growth—a market it has geared its products toward in recent years. But with much of its production still based in Japan, one of the crucial challenges Fuji Heavy faces amid tough competition in the U.S. is how to cope with a stubbornly high yen that undermines the price competitiveness of its domestically produced vehicles.
The company is considering advancing a plan to ramp up its U.S. production capacity by 2014 to mitigate the currency's impact, Mr. Tachimori said. It remains unclear, however, if the car maker will shift production of key models to the U.S. as advocated by Mr. Tachimori.
Fuji Heavy is the smallest Japanese car maker by volume, but was one of only two domestic car makers to lift its profit outlook recently thanks to healthy sales in the U.S. Those sales will make up half its world-wide total in the current fiscal year through March.
In calendar 2012, its U.S. sales are expected to jump 24% to 330,000 units from last year when the earthquake and tsunami took a heavy toll on vehicle production, Mr. Tachimori said. He added that demand for the remodeled Impreza sporty compact also helped drive sales. An increase in sales, if achieved, would be the fifth straight year of growth in the market.
"We are discussing within Subaru of America sales of 350,000 vehicles next year or even 360,000 if possible," he said.
Even as sales of the aging Legacy and Outback models slow, the redesigned Forester small SUV, which debuted in Japan on Tuesday, will lift U.S. sales by 10,000 to 20,000 vehicles in 2013, said Mr. Tachimori, who became head of Subaru of America in April 2011 after leading development of the current Legacy model. He added that the all-new XV Crosstrek, introduced in the autumn, will boost sales by a further 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles.
The 2013 target will bring the company even closer to a sales goal of 380,000 vehicles set just six months ago for the fiscal year to March 2016. Mr. Tachimori said the current momentum is paving the way for sales of 400,000 that year.
The Subaru maker has revamped its product development to focus more on the American market in recent years, making its vehicles wider, longer and roomier, while enhancing its marketing activities with closer cooperation with local dealers. The company has also worked on improving customer services at Subaru show rooms and on attracting more dealerships in southern states where sales have been relatively weak. Write to Yoshio Takahashi at yoshio.takahashi@dowjones.com
But the company still exports half the vehicles it sells in the U.S. from Japan. By contrast, Honda Motor Co. 7267.TO +5.11% builds about 80% of the vehicles it sells in North America at local plants. Increasing local production helps reduce costs and blunt the yen's strength.
"This is a very big handicap" given the yen's current strength, Mr. Tachimori said. The car maker is considering bringing forward an expansion of its U.S. production capacity before the current target of summer 2014, Mr. Tachimori said. Under the current plan, its factory in Indiana would raise annual output capacity by 18% to 200,000 vehicles.
But Mr. Tachimori said the company should take a far more dramatic step by shifting production of the Forester and the Impreza, currently manufactured in Japan, to the U.S.
While he indicated that no such decision has been made, he added that the company is on track to decide by the end of the year details of a new plant in the U.S. to operate sometime after 2015 on the same site in Indiana.
In the long term, Fuji Heavy aims for global sales of 1 million vehicles by 2021. When its sales reach that level, North American sales will account for 600,000 vehicles, up from sales of 410,000 expected by March 2016, Mr. Tachimori said.
Still, the company will need to review its vehicle lineup in the long term, he said. Fuji Heavy will likely introduce a new SUV to replace the Tribeca SUV, whose sales have become sluggish seven years after its launch. In the first 10 months of the year, the SUV's sales totaled 1,722 vehicles, down 23% from the same period last year. The company will continue sales of the SUV as long as the current model meets U.S. safety regulations, Mr. Tachimori said." read the entire article
11/12 when Subaru made cars in China
"Subaru cancelled plans to secure a new joint venture in China because it sadly seems unlikely they will ever succeed. Subaru did make cars in China from 1989 until 2005 with the Yungque-Subaru joint venture, Chinese partner was the military-airplane maker Guizhou Aircraft Industry Corporation (GAIC). The joint venture made the Yunque GHK7071-series based on the Subaru Rex and this Yunqu GHK7070-series based on the Subaru Vivio.
Production started in 1995 and lasted until 2003. The GHK7070 was much less a success than the GHK7071 which at one moment even made it to dealers in the capital Beijing, where I almost bought one, ten years ago. The GHK7070 however was mostly sold in its home-province Guizhou and surrounding areas, it didn’t reach the big cities on the east coast. Only some 12.000 cars were made in 8 years, in 2003 just 1296 GHK7070′s were sold and Subaru pulled the plug.
The Yungque GHK7070 was powered by the same 0.658 liter 4-cylinder that powered the Subaru Vivio. Power: 40hp and 53nm. Top speed: 138km/h. 0-100: 21 seconds. The 7070 was only available with front-wheel drive, where the Vivio could also be had with four-wheel drive. Transmission was a 5-speed manual. Size: 3295/1395/1375, wheelbase was 2310.
Blue GHK7070 likely a more expensive version with sporty alloys and bumpers in the same color as the body. The most basic GHK7070 was priced at 42.000 yuan (1998), and that made the 7070 one of the cheapest vehicles on the Chinese auto market at the time.
Things didn’t work out because of the continues infighting between Subaru and GAIC. They were at war on investments, which cars to make, who got what, where to sell; well, you name it. The China-made cars furthermore didn’t meet Subaru’s quality norms and the Japanse were unable to force a change. The joint venture completely died in 2005 when Subaru simply walked out. I guess some at Subaru feel very sorry for that decision now…
Most Yungque GHK7070′s have long disappeared, left to rot on the side of the road or killed by the crusher. Some people however love their little Yunque, this nicely modified example lives somewhere near Guangzhou." read the original article with photos


11/6 Suzuki to stop selling cars in the US. That means maybe a few more sales for Subaru...
Japanese car maker Suzuki to stop selling cars in the US, though they will continue to sell motorcycles and ATVs, and honor the warranties on the cars. Their All Wheel Drive cars sold here are the SX4, SX4 Sportback, and the Grand Vitara, and no doubt there will be some attractive deals. Like there were on the Daihatsu Rocky in 1992. And Isuzus. Suzuki only sold 21,188 cars in the US through October.
According to the wikipedia, Suzuki is Japan's 4th largest automobile manufacturer after Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and the 9th largest automobile manufacturer in the world by production volume. Here's an article with a video for an ad in 1986.


11/4
Subaru likes ®. Jalopnik.com points out Subaru is ®'ing BOXER, as in the the BOXER® engine. Hmmm... I'm concerned. Hey Jalopnik, its lawyer time. If its written as BOXER, Boxer, or boxer, can it be used it in reference to the engine, or Bowser the Boxer® dog, or a guy who boxes things at the warehouse, or even the briefs (and not the legal ones)? 
"If you look at Subaru’s website, you’ll notice something. They have lots of information on the site about the kind of engines they produce— horizontally-opposed ones. They and Porsche are the only major automakers still making flat engines like this, and it’s great Subaru makes a big point about it. Hell, they’re my favorite kind of engine!
They’re nicknamed “boxer” engines because the back-and-forth motion of the pistons looks sort of like a boxer’s fists. And this nickname has been around a really long time. The first name for this type of engine was a “contra” engine, as Karl Benz called the one he built in 1897. Tatra was using them extensively in cars in the teens and ’20s, BMW used them in motorcycles in this period as well, and by the time Porsche was looking into them for his People’s Car project, they were already commonly known as “boxers.”
And it’s not just “SUBARU BOXER®” that they’ve trademarked— it’s BOXER® alone, as well.
In short, people have been calling these engines “boxers” long before Subaru ever built one. In fact, Subaru’s first boxer, the EA-52, didn’t come around until 1966. So how is it Subaru has the nickname trademarked? Probably just because they actually decided to do it. You can readily get a trademark on common words and phrases (think about “Apple”) but it seems to me that a specific nickname like this, that they didn’t even come up with, shouldn’t be trademarkable. 
Porsche, don’t you have a problem with this? VW, even if you don’t make these anymore? Someone?" read the original article  

11/4 Daylight savings time ends Sunday 11/4, turn your clock back 1 hour

10/31 10 months into the year, 2 months left to go and Subaru has already outsold all of 2011. In fact, the cars are selling so fast that some dealers in traditionally strong Subaru areas are running low on cars.
The press release: "Subaru of America, Inc. has reported it has broken its previous yearly sales record with more than two months of the year still remaining.
Sales for 2012 have now surpassed the previous sales record of 266,989 vehicles which was set in 2011 and mark the company’s fifth year of sales growth and fourth successive sales record. Sales in 2012 have been driven by the all-new 36mpg Impreza, and the addition of the all-new XV Crosstrek small CUV as well as the BRZ sports car.
“Subaru is celebrating yet another record,” said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. “Our brand is poised to exceed sales of 320,000 vehicles for 2012 and with a full year of sales for the XV Crosstrek and other new models on the way, we expect 2013 to be yet another record year for Subaru.”

10/30- Consumer Reports 2012 reliability rankings- Subaru is #6. The rankings are on Consumer Reports subscribers’ experiences with 1.2 million vehicles to predict how well new cars that are currently on sale will hold up.
The top 10 brands are #1 Scion, #2 Lexus, #3Toyota, #4 Mazda, #5 Subaru, #6 Honda, #7 Acura, #8 Audi, #9 Infiniti, #10 Kia
But not every car by every company is are created equal- buy the magazine to read the complete article with all the details or subscribe online at ConsumerReports.org
Here's a summary from AP,  "Japanese brands took the top seven spots in Consumer Reports' annual reliability rankings, pushing aside their U.S. and European rivals. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Scion, Lexus and Toyota brands took the top three spots and the Toyota Prius C, a subcompact hybrid, got the best overall score. Mazda, Subaru, Honda and Acura were close behind. The rankings, released Monday, predict the reliability of 2013 model-year vehicles based on surveys of Consumer Reports' readers. This year, 800,000 people submitted information on 1.2 million vehicles from the 2010 to 2012 model years. The rankings are critical for auto companies, since Americans frequently cite Consumer Reports as a main source of car-buying advice.
Ford and Lincoln, once top performers, plummeted to the bottom of this year's rankings because of persistent problems with glitchy touch screens and bumpy transmissions. Ford was also hurt because three normally reliable models — the Ford Escape, Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ — are all new for 2013, so Consumer Reports couldn't predict their reliability....
... The best-performing U.S. brand was Cadillac, from General Motors Co. Volkswagen AG's luxury Audi brand made the biggest strides in this year's survey, climbing 18 spots to No. 8. It was the best-performing European brand. Glitch-free new models like the A7 sedan got high marks from Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of automotive testing.
"They're out-BMWing BMW, easily, in terms of the driving dynamics," he said.
Electric cars also got impressive results. The all-electric Nissan Leaf was Nissan's best performer, partly because its electric motor has fewer parts than a gasoline engine, Fisher said. But the Chevrolet Volt — an extended-range electric car that has both an electric system and a conventional engine and transmission — also got the highest score of any GM vehicle.
"GM took a lot of painstaking time to develop that car," Fisher said. The Volt was recalled earlier this year because vehicles crash-tested by the government showed a risk of fire when coolant leaked from the battery. But Consumer Reports' rankings don't reflect that, since the magazine only asks respondents to note issues that have happened on their own vehicles. Only vehicles with 100 or more responses are included. Among 2012 models, the magazine got the most responses for the Honda CR-V, with nearly 3,000. Fisher said the magazine is getting about the same number of complaints as it did five years ago. But issues with electronics, audio and touch-screen systems have increased while complaints about mechanical problems are down...." read this entire article


10/29 Political campaigns target voters based on many factors including your car. Subaru is not specifically mentioned...
From a March 2012 press release "Over the past two years Strategic Vision has collected political party choice on more than 38,700 (76,103 two-year total) new vehicle buyers with some fascinating discoveries. A slight majority of new vehicle buyers state they are Republican (37% vs. 31% Democrat). However, this changes when specific product segments are examined. For example, 69% of people who purchase convertibles are Republicans. If we were to consider luxury vehicles as another example and were to stereotype Republicans for a moment, many would guess that most luxury vehicle segment buyers are Republicans—true? This is true only if you're talking about Luxury “Sedans” (49% vs. 27%), not Luxury “Multi-Function (station wagons),” those buyers are mostly Democrats (37% vs. 30%). read the entire article


SegmentPolitical Party% Comparison
Small CarDemocrats35% vs. 26%
Small Multi-FunctionDemocrats42% vs. 24%
Medium CarDemocrats/Republicans (tied)34% vs. 34%
Medium Multi-FunctionDemocrats38% vs. 25%
Luxury CarRepublicans49% vs. 27%
Luxury Multi-FunctionDemocrats37% vs. 30%
Convertible (< $30,000)Republicans69% vs. 18%
MinivanRepublicans40% vs. 26%
Small SUVDemocrats34% vs. 32%
Medium SUVRepublicans41% vs. 18%
Medium CrossoverRepublicans38% vs. 30%
Large SUVRepublicans76% vs. 5%
Luxury SUVRepublicans53% vs. 22%
Standard PickupRepublicans40% vs. 24%
Full-Size PickupRepublicans51% vs. 24%

10/28 are you researching small All Wheel Drive hatchbacks, wagons, 5 doors, or crossovers?
Here is a partial list of cars with their EPA ratings

a short list of 2013 5 Door and Crossover All Wheel Drive vehicles with their EPA MPG

city/highway/combined EPA rating
Thinking of getting a new 2013 All Wheel Drive Crosstrek, Impreza, or Forester?
Here are some other All Wheel Drive hatchbacks, or small crossovers
Engine size and price was not considered, only fuel economy.
Rating: city/highway/combined
This isn't a complete list!

subject to change, correction
Subaru Impreza auto 27/36/30;
Subaru Impreza manual 25/33/28
Subaru Crosstrek auto 25/33/28;
Subaru Crosstrek manual 23/30/26
Subaru Forester auto or manual 21/27/23
Subaru Forester XT turbo auto 19/24/21
Subaru WRX turbo 19/25/21;
Subaru WRX STI turbo 17/23/19

Audi A3 Quattro 23/30/25
BMW 328i xDrive sport wagon 17/25/20
Audi A4 Avant Quattro 21/29, 22
Audi TT quattro 23/31/26
BMW 328i xDrive 22/33/26
BMW 335i xDrive A 21/31/24
Mini  Countryman coupe All4 a 23/30/26
Mini Countryman coupe All4, m 25/31/27

Mitsubishi Lancer  22/29/25
Mitsubishi Lancer Evo auto 17/22/19
Lexus IS 250- 20/27
/23
Lexus IS 350 19/26/22
Infiniti EX37 17/24/20
Infiniti EX35 17/24/20
Jeep Patriot 21/26/23
Mini Countryman S All4- manual 25/31/27
Mini Countryman All4 Auto 23/30/26
Nissan Juke 25/30/27
Suzuki SX4 23/29/25
Acura RDX- 19/27/22

Audi Q5- 4cyl 20/28/23 

Audi Q5 hybrid 24/30/26
BMW X3  2.0L xDrive 21/28/24
BMW X3 3.0L19/26/21


Suzuki SX4 auto 23/29/25
Suzuki SX4 manual 22/30/25
Ford Escape 1.6L 22/30/25,
Ford Escape 2.0L 21/28/24
Honda CRV  22/30/25
Hyundai Tucson 21/28 (2012)
Jeep Patriot 21/26/23; manual 22/28/24
Jeep Wrangler 17/21/18
Kia Sportage 21/28/24
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 24/29/26
Nissan Rogue 22/27/24
Toyota Rav4 4 cyl 21/27 (2012)
VW Tiquan 4motion 20/26/23
Volvo XC60 3.2L 18/24/20

10/25 Factory Orders-  Subaru fesses up, announces that ordered cars are going to take longer and longer to arrive.
With Subaru riding a wave of popularity and cars selling quickly, there's been a shortage of cars
available on lots for a while now. This is especially true of the Japanese built Impreza, Crosstrek, BRZ and WRX/STI. This is a good/bad problem. The good part is Subarus are selling. Once known as a mostly functional car for skiers, hippies, campers and dog lovers etc in the northeast, northwest, rocky mountains and other frosty, wet areas, and widely unknown everyplace else, Subarus are now the It Car and selling everywhere.  Even where it's warm and dry all year round.
As a result of the reduced inventory on lots, more and more people are either putting deposits down on
already scheduled incoming cars, or are factory ordering if what they want isn't on the horizon.
This even further reduces the number of cars available on lots because more arrivals are pre-sold and spoken for. And with Subaru trying to expand into every market, they now have a whopping total of 1,209 possible model, trim and color combinations and that doesn't even include individual options.
As a result of the increase in orders, the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of factory ordered cars is getting pushed back. This is the bad part.  Its like your favorite neighborhood restaurant getting a glowing review, all of a sudden it's 'discovered' (like it hasn't been there for years and years),  and there's a line to get in on weekends. Then reservations are recommended, then required, then its 4 weeks out to get in and so on.
Meet Subaru, the little car company showing everyone how to make consumers fall in love with a car.
Previously orders usually took 6-10 weeks.  Now Subaru has announced a longer wait time for orders. These ETAs are not fixed. They're
are a guide as to how long the wait could be. Of course some cars will arrive sooner and others later but it can take months for a car just to be matched to the order and a future ETA released.
how can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, trim and color combinations

> according to Subaru if you order a

Impreza, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Crosstrek, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
WRX/STI, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Forester, the ETA will be around - oops.. no orders accepted. The redesigned 2014 is expected late winter/spring.
Outback, the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Legacy, the ETA will be around  3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Tribeca,  the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order (is anyone ordering a Tribeca).
BRZ, due to the way BRZs are allocated, the ETA is estimated to be 4-7 months out, but Subaru will back-fill as model and color is available. There's no ETA until shortly before the car arrives.

10/21 winter is coming- protect your cars from rodents. They can do serious damage just nibbling a few wires under the hood, and a warm engine is awfully inviting on a cold day.  Winter car care tips, and here's more info on a rodent damaged car http://www.cars101.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=504
".... Besides maple trees that create the lovely autumnal color, we also have oak and hickory trees surrounding our property. So we have nuts. And, so we have squirrels.
We confounded the little devils by building a squirrel-proof bird feeder, and our cardinals, bluejays and chickadees have been grateful for that. But evidently squirrels are either more determined, or more patiently clever than one might think. I’ve watched them try time and again to shinny up the bird feeder pole, only to slip back down empty-handed.
Our bordering stone walls are also home to chipmunks, and tiny field mice habitually winter in our garage. We’ve learned to co-exist with all the chattering, skittering little creatures that enliven our yards. At the repair center, the vehicles were taken into separate bays as we read articles about Putting the Garden to Sleep and Saving $$ on Fuel Costs. After a short wait, the owner approached us, handing me a small object that resembled a bird’s nest and giving my husband two acorns.
“That’s the reason for the funny noise,” he informed us. “Field mouse nest in the Subaru and nuts in the Nissan’s air blower.” I’ve read that as squirrels find nuts in the fall, they bury them one by one all over their territory. They then find their nuts through an excellent sense of smell, but they supposedly also remember where the nuts are stored. I guess we’ll have a perplexed little critter coming up short on his acorn count this winter. And one poor, homeless little field mouse. read the entire article


10/20-  don't forget about Subaru brand home and back-up Subaru generators
"Subaru Industrial Power Products announces Steve Hartung has been named director of strategic sourcing. Hartung has 18 years of experience in engine manufacturing and sales, and most recently has been responsible for Subaru’s Minneapolis-St. Paul sales territory as a regional sales manager. In his new position, Hartung’s primary focus is on strategic sourcing of American-made parts to be used in Subaru V-Twin engines assembled at the Fuji manufacturing plant located in Tokyo, Japan.
In addition to new responsibilities, Hartung continues to act as the regional sales manager for the greater Minneapolis area. Hartung has been with Subaru Industrial Power Products for two years. For 16 years prior to that, Hartung was the director of manufacturing for Robin America. He managed the manufacturing process for the Wisconsin Robin line of engines, focusing on the V-Twin line of engines for Polaris and Billy Goat" read the entire article 

10/8 Soggy Subaru Lifted from the Rogue River after 19 months
"The 2010 Subaru driven into the Rogue River in a suicide attempt in March of 2011 was finally lifted from the river Tuesday morning by a Sikorsky heavy lift helicopter and dropped into a nearby field to be towed away.  Kate McKay Boone, then 36, drove the car into the river in an attempted suicide but swam to safety when the car began to sink. She was fined $135.  Boone’s insurance company, Progressive, and the state negotiated the safest way to remove the car was by helicopter and the Sikorsky had been fighting wildfires in California until recently and afforded a window of opportunity. The operation cost between $11,000 and $15,000." the original article

10/6 September car sales boomed for most Japanese companies
"Most of the import car brands had a roaring month in September but the biggest two U.S. automakers lagged behind.
With the exception of Nissan, the major foreign nameplates had strong, double-digit sales gains, with Toyota and Honda rebounding from depleted inventory and sales levels caused by the earthquake in Japan a year ago.
Toyota reported monthly U.S. sales of 171,910 vehicles, up 41.5% from a year earlier. Honda sales jumped 30.9% to 117,211 vehicles. Subaru had September sales of 27,683, a 32% increase. Nissan, however, reported sales of 91,907 vehicles, down 1.1% from the same month a year earlier.
Volkswagen Group of America said it sold 36,339 vehicles in the U.S. last month, a 34.4% increase and its best September since 1972.
The South Korean brands also did well. Hyundai Motor America said its U.S. sales increased 15% in September to 60,025 vehicles. Kia Motors America said its U.S. sales jumped 35.1% in September to 48,105 vehicles.
"The Kia Optima had one of its best months of the year .... The model continues to attract attention even with all the noise of the big name redesigns in the segment," said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with auto information company Edmunds.com. "Those big-name models, as it turns out, are good for cars like Optima because midsize car shoppers are likely to stumble on to it as they research the redesigned and refreshed competitors."
Meanwhile, General Motors Co. said its sales rose almost 2% to 210,245 vehicles, its highest September U.S. sales since 2008. Ford Motor Co. sales stalled. The carmaker sold 174,976 vehicles in September, about 200 fewer than the same period a year earlier. Of the American brands, Chrysler Group had the best month, selling 142,041 vehicles in the U.S., a 12% improvement from the same month a year earlier and its best September since 2007. The retail segment of the auto industry — cars sold to consumer rather than rental car companies, governments and commercial customers — continues to grow..." read the original article
 
10/5 Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA)  gets Governor’s Service award for volunteerism in the community.
"The Governor’s Service award is the state’s most prestigious award for service and kicks off the 2012 Governor’s Conference on Service and Nonprofit Capacity Building.
SIA was honored, along with seven other organizations and people, at a dinner Monday night at Gov. Mitch Daniels’ residence in Indianapolis attended by more than 200 people.
“We are humbled to get the award,” said Tom Easterday, executive vice president of SIA. “Obviously, we don’t do things in the community to receive awards, but the recognition really represents a ‘thank you’ to our associates.”
SIA earned the Corporate Service award for its support of numerous community organizations, including the Lyn Treece Boys and Girls Club.
The automaker also hosts numerous charity walks and runs on its premises. Its next charity walk will be Oct. 13, with a fundraising goal of more than $70,000.
Community service is part of Subaru’s overall mission, Easterday said. “Subaru, as a company, has always been very conscientious about being involved,” Easterday said. “Here at SIA, we really wanted to focus on a strong spirit of volunteerism in the community." the original article

10/4 a Subaru helps rescue a lost beaver
"There are two times during the year when beaver come to my attention -- early spring and late fall. Spring is the time when they are the most vulnerable to predators and in the fall they are susceptible to the inconsistencies of nature.
Last spring, while driving between Paxson and Maclaren on the Denali Highway, we came upon a medium-size beaver in the middle of the road near the top of the Maclaren Summit. The snow berms were at least four feet high on the sides of the road and there was no water for miles. What in the world was a beaver doing way up there?
Spring is the time of year when young beaver, usually 2-year-olds, leave the family house to make their way in the world. Beaver lodges are home to the family group. In the Interior of Alaska, this group usually consists of six to eight individuals. There are the breeding adults, their young from the previous year and the new young. The spring kits are born in early May after a gestation period of about three and a half months. The house gets crowded with the new additions, so off go the teenagers to make their own way in the world.
The beaver we met on the Maclaren Summit was a wandering juvenile, looking for water. We knew his chances of survival were poor. Every large predator eats them --wolves, wolverine, lynx and bear. Even a medium size fox can handle a young beaver.  There was only one thing to do if he was to have a chance at survival -- take him to water. I threw my coat over him and he obligingly put his head in a sleeve. With him thus immobilized, I zipped the coat, picked him up and put him in the Subaru. That seemed like a good way to transport him down to the Maclaren River and safety..." read the entire article 


9/24 Subaru is growing, selling more cars than ever, and looking for all new digs for the national HQ. They already have a new distribution center under construction in Florence, NJ. Then last October (2011), Subaru's Portland region consolidated buildings and moved into a new $20 million 413,700sf combined headquarters, parts warehouse and west coast distribution center in the Rivergate industrial park of North Portland.
"Subaru of America Inc. is looking for 225,000 square feet for a new North American headquarters. It retained the Philadelphia office of CBRE Inc. to search the South Jersey market for some options, which are limited unless it’s new construction or conversion of an existing industrial building. Subaru couldn’t be reached for comment.
The company moved into its current national headquarters at 2235 W. Marlton Pike in 1986 in Cherry HIll, N.J., according to its website. The seven-story building cost $18 million to construct and totals 115,000 square feet. About 300 Subaru employees work there.
It also maintains other space in South Jersey. It has an operations center in a 59,000-square-foot building in Pennsauken, N.J., where it has about 200 employees from its customer loyalty, government relations, parts, service, financial services and other departments. It also has a regional office and warehouse in Westampton, N.J., according to its website.
The company also recently agreed to have a mega distribution center and training facility built. NFI Real Estate of Cherry Hill broke ground last month on a 526,050 square-foot building at NFI Park at Florence Crossings at 2020 Route 130 N. in Florence, N.J. It is a short distance from the New Jersey Turnpike and Pennsylvania Turnpike extension and is considered to be the largest built-to-suit development in New Jersey this year. Subaru got some breaks for the project. It took advantage of a program called Payment In Lieu Of Taxes, which is a tax incentive provided by Florence. The building is expected to be completed by June 1, 2013. CBRE Inc. represented the automaker in that deal, too" read the original article

9/18. LA Auto Show, 11/30-12/9  is going to have a Subaru 'World Debut'.
Of course the model isn't disclosed but we can always guess.
The best uneducated guess:  BRZ concept STI, convertible or turbo, Impreza concept hybrid, Crosstrek low boost turbo, Outback concept CVT diesel, Legacy Limited Special Edition upgrade package with bigger wheels, spoiler, pushbutton start, or the redesigned 2014 Forester? The new Forester is coming, probably around March, and is the mostly likely candidate for a world debut. Will the US version be a 2.5L CVT with lots of zip and good economy,  or a 2.0L CVT with little zip but better economy,  will there be a Forester hybrid, will the redesign still have the great utility and visibility that people really appreciate...? Let the rumors fly. The LA Auto Show website

 9/17 CNN/Money put out a Top 100 Best Places To Live in August 2012.
One of the criteria of any good place to live should be if there is a Subaru dealer nearby, but this important factor was overlooked in their selection process. No worries, a close reading of the list shows the answer is yes. Most of the top 25 or their Top !00 are suburbs of major cities - many clustered near Indianapolis, Wa D.C/Baltimore, Dallas, and Minneapolis/St Paul - and all have nearby Subaru dealers.

What does this mean? It means that if you're thinking of moving, you'll be able to pick your new city confident there's a Subaru dealer nearby. Or you wouldn't want to move there.
See CNN/Money's Top 100 Best Places to Live
Considering a move? Here is a list of all the US Subaru dealers sorted by state and city Alabama-Montana, Nebraska-Wyoming. 
the top 25 cities according to CNN/Money are...
and the Subaru dealers near them are...
#1 Carmel, Indiana, near Fishers #12 on this list, Indianapolis and 60 miles from Lafayette, the home of SIA
 Tom Wood, Falcone, Dreyer Reinhold around Indianapolis, Bob Rohrman in Lafayette, home of SIA
#2 McKinney, Tx, near Dallas and near Allen #13 on this list
Brandon Tomes Subaru is in McKinney. Subaru of Plano, Sewell Subaru, Huffines Subaru Denton,
#3 Eden Prairie, Mn, near Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Eagan #14, Lakeville #19, Woodbury #11 on this list
Walser Subaru, Bloomington Subaru, and Morries Subaru (see subaru.net), Brooklyn Park Subaru, White Bear Subaru,
#4 Newton, Ma, near Boston
Cityside Subaru, MetroWest Subaru, Clay Subaru, Subaru of Wakefield, Village Subaru, and Quirk Works
#5 Redmond, Wa, home of Microsoft, near Seattle, and surrounded by some of the biggest and best Subaru dealers in the country.
Chaplin's Subaru, Eastside Subaru, Carter Subaru Shoreline (where I work), Walkers Subaru, Carter Subaru Ballard, Roy Robinson Subaru.
#6 Irvine, Ca, near the Southern Ca beach towns- Huntington, Newport, and Laguna Beach etc
Irvine Subaru, South Coast Subaru, Rennick Subaru, Puente Hills Subaru, Singh Subaru, and many others
#7 Reston, Va, near near Germantown #24, Gaithersburg #23, Waldorf #20, Centreville #17, Elliott City #8, Columbia #8, on this list, all in the greater Wa, D.C/Baltimore areaWa, D.C. in the greater Wa, D.C/Baltimore area. Stohlman Subaru in Herdon and Vienna, Farrish Subaru, Fitzgerald Subaru, Manassas Subaru, and Sheehy Subaru
#8 Columbia/Elliott City, MD, near Germantown #24, Gaithersburg #23, Waldorf #20, Centreville #17, Elliott City #8, Reston #7, on this list, all in the greater Wa, D.C/Baltimore area near Baltimore n the greater Wa, D.C/Baltimore area. Russel Subaru, Wilkins Subaru, Heritage Subaru, Subaru of Hunt Valley, Herb Gordon Subaru, Annapolis Subaru
#9 Overland Pk, Ks in the greater Kansas City area
Olathe Subaru, Lee's Summit Subaru,  Van Subaru, Brigg's Subaru, Figgs Subaru, University Subaru
#10 Chapel Hill, NC, near Durham/Raleigh
Performance Subaru, Johnson Subaru of Cary, Southern Subaru, Bob Dunn Subaru,
#11 Woodbury, MN. near Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Eden Prairie #3, Eagan #14, Lakeville #19 on this list Walser Subaru, Bloomington Subaru, and Morries Subaru (see www.sube.net), Brooklyn Park Subaru, White Bear Subaru,
#12 Fishers,In. Near near Carmel #1 on this list, and 60 miles Lafayette, the home of SIA
Tom Wood, Falcone, Dreyer Reinhold around Indianapolis, Bob Rohrman in Lafayette, home of SIA
#13 Allen, Tx, near Dallas and McKinney #2 on this list
Brandon Tomes Subaru is in McKinney. Subaru of Plano, Sewell Subaru, Huffines Subaru Denton,
#14 Eagan, MN, near Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Eden Prairie #3, Woodbury #11, Lakeville #19 on this list Walser Subaru, Bloomington Subaru, and Morries Subaru (see www.sube.net), Brooklyn Park Subaru, White Bear Subaru,
#15 Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ, west of NYC, and near Franklin #25 on this list
Paul Miller Subaru in Pasippany, and Subaru of Morristown, Wayne Subaru
#16 Castle Rock, Co, between Denver and Colorado Springs
Go Subaru Arapaho, Groove Subaru, Shortline Subaru, Hueberger Subaru
#17 Centreville, VA, near Germantown #24, Gaithersburg #23, Waldorf #20, Elliott City #8, Reston #7,  on this list in the greater Wa, D.C Baltimore area Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg, Frederick Subaru, Dulles Subaru, Fitzgerald Subaru, Stohlman Subaru Herndon
#18 South Jordan, UT, south of Salt Lake City
Mark Miller Subaru South Towne, Mark Miller Subaru,  Doug Smith Subaru
#19 Lakeville, MN, near Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Eden Prairie #3, Woodbury #11, Eagan #14, Maple grove #22 on this list near Walser Subaru, Bloomington Subaru, and Morries Subaru (see subaru.net), Brooklyn Park Subaru, White Bear Subaru,
#20 Waldorf, MD Germantown #24, Gaithersburg #23, Waldorf #20, Centreville #17, Elliott City #8, Reston #7  on this list, in the greater Wa, D.C Baltimore area. Waldorf Subaru. Sheehy Subaru, Beyer Subaru, Farrish Subaru, Stohlman Subaru, Fitzgerald Subaru
#21 Highlands Ranch, CO, near Denver, and Castle Rock #16 on this list
Go Subaru Arapaho, Groove Subaru, Shortline Subaru, Hueberger Subaru
#22 Maple Grove, MN near Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Eden Prairie #3, Woodbury #11, Eagan #14, Lakeville #19 on this list near Walser Subaru, Bloomington Subaru, and Morries Subaru (see subaru.net), Brooklyn Park Subaru, White Bear Subaru,
#23 Gaithersburg, MD near Germantown #24, Waldorf #20, Centreville #17, Elliott City #8, Reston #7, on this list, all in the greater Wa, D.C Baltimore area.
Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg, Frederick Subaru, Dulles Subaru, Fitzgerald Subaru, Stohlman Subaru Herndon  
#24 Germantown, MD near Gaithersburg #23, Waldorf #20, Centreville #17, Elliott City #8, Reston #7  on this list in the greater Wa, D.C Baltimore area. Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg, Frederick Subaru, Dulles Subaru, Fitzgerald Subaru, Stohlman Subaru Herndon  
#25 Franklin, NJ, west of NYC and near Parsippany #15 on this list
Subaru World of Newton, Paul Miller Subaru, Subaru 46



9/11
help break the Guinness World Record by making the longest parade of Subarus, in Elk Rapids, Michigan 9/16
The attempt is to break the record of the longest parade of Subaru's, currently held by SoA.  On September 16, 2012, family, friends, neighbors, rally enthusiast and Subaru fans, will assemble in honor of rally car driver, Matthew Noble Marker, in Elk Rapids, Michigan, in an attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for the Longest Parade of Subarus!
The current record involved 339 cars in partnership with the Village of Itasca, in Itasca, Illinois, on July 11, 2009.
The parade will cover a minimum of 2 miles through the quaint streets of Elk Rapids, with no more than a car’s length between each Subaru vehicle as they parade the route, in compliance with Guinness Book of World Record requirements. Participants are required to bring a valid drivers license and current proof of registration and insurance to the check-in tables on the day of the event. After you register online for the event, you will receive an automated confirmation email. In the week preceding the event, please keep an eye on your email for updates and detailed schedules for the days event.
Here is the link for information, and to register http://www.subaroots.com/registration-form/


9/3 Saab is gone, well, the old Saab is gone but something will continue. The remnants of Saab, struggling for the past few years and in bankruptcy since December 2011, has now been bought by a Chinese company who plans to build electric vehicles for export to China.  But the new cars will have to come with a new logo since the Griffin (head and wings of an eagle, body of a lion) wasn't included in the sale. Perhaps a Phoenix (bird that dies and is reborn in a fire) would be a good replacement for the Griffin since the company seems to be have multiple lives. Of course, GM sold a Pontiac Phoenix from 1977-1984 so there might be some lingering resistance to adopting a GM name as a logo.  On a side note, Tim Colbeck, who started with Subaru in 1999 and marched up the corporate ladder until he quit as the senior sale VP to become President of Saab NA in April 2011, is now President of Saab Parts NA since there are no cars to sell anymore.
"The buyer of bankrupt Saab completed the deal to acquire most of its assets in a step that advanced its plans to make electric vehicles but said it would not be able to use the Swedish automaker's distinctive griffin head logo. Saab, which has been making cars since 1947, crashed into bankruptcy at the end of 2011, less than two years after General Motors sold it to Dutch sports car group Spyker. Buyer National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), whose electric vehicles will be based on Saab cars, said completion of the purchase would speed up the process toward the start of production. "In approximately 18 months, we plan to introduce our first electric vehicle based on Saab 9-3 technologies and a new technology electric powertrain," Karl-Erling Trogen, NEVS chairman, said in a statement on Monday.
..."  read the entire article

8/25 advertising- the 2012 political season is upon us with its onslaught of Love Me-Hate Him advertising.
Here is Mitt Romney's ad plan for the final months of the Presidential election. President Obama of course also has a plan.
Nominee Romney's team includes professional ad guy Vinny Minchillo, who was with Subaru's ad agency Temerlin Mcclain in the 1990s.
On Mitt Romney's plan: "It may not be Sterling Cooper, but Mitt Romney has his own set of self-described “Man Men” crafting the advertising strategy for his presidential campaign.  The Washington Post reported that Romney’s team of advertising gurus includes Vinny Minchillo, a onetime “Wheel of Fortune” contestant who made J.C. Penney and Subaru ads before getting into politics, and Jim “Fergie” Ferguson, a tattooed Texan who crafted the famous “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” slogan.
But this time, they’re selling a man instead of cars or hamburgers. The Post reported that much of the millions Romney raises goes to the “Mad Men,” who are planning a barrage of ads in key battleground states for the last 10 weeks of the campaign. While the team didn’t reveal specifics, they said their ad strategy boils down to a single message: “It’s the economy, and we’re not stupid....” read the rest of this article

> Vinny Minchello, of Romney's team, did a stint with Subaru's ad agency from 1994-2004 Temerlin McClain. They are best known for the very popular Paul Hogan Outback ads, Martina Navritolova Forester ads, and the short lived Lance Armstrong ads.
Mr. Minchello has also been an enthusiastic blogger of cars, advertising, and politics, frequently blending the 3 subjects.
His doesn't hesitate to speak his mind and compares selling cars and Presidents in the same terms. He also writes that negative advertising is effective as long as its good negative advertising.
Which means he would like ads that speak to the mind while really playing to the heart, and they will be engagingly negative.
Subaru's current ad campaign unabashedly pounds the buyer's emotions with a sledge hammer, at the same time focusing on the mentally logical improvement Subaru all-wheel-drive  brings to a buyer's life. Just think of the hugely popular and award winning Bay Driver ad. Heart and mind, mind and heart, if you can get them both, you can get it all, you can win the customer
Here are sections of  2 of Mr. Minchello's articles below...
> In September 2008, on Adage.com, he wrote
"...Seasoned politicos are quick to tell you there's nothing that can possibly compare to running a campaign for Congress, Senate, governor or president. They're wrong.
Electing a public official is almost exactly like working on another type of traditional advertising account. One that, unlike political advertising, everyone is clamoring to work on.
Political advertising is just like working on a car account.
Before you go deaf from the sound of Henry Ford spinning in his grave, consider the similarities between electing a public official and buying a car:
Both decisions come with a commitment of two, four or six years
Potential customers are engaged for a short period of time
People actually do their homework before committing
People want us to believe they decide based on facts, when it's really an emotional decision
There's plenty of negative advertising
Whether advertising political candidates or cars, it's absolutely critical to make sure potential customers/voters make a connection to the brand that is both logical and emotional. That's why shopping for a new congressman or a new BMW is almost the exact same process.
Consider this: Talking to voters who have already decided on a candidate is a lot like talking to people who have already purchased a BMW. We all know good and well that people buy BMWs because they're going to look good and be accepted by their peers. But when you ask the owners why they bought a BMW, they go straight for the facts about fine German craftsmanship, racing heritage, etc., etc.
Same with voters. Campaigns spin out miles of material to give their voters ammunition to use when they talk to their friends about their choice of candidate. Even though, in reality, the voter may have chosen the candidate because they think he's a nice guy or think she'll do a good job.
Uncommitted voters are just like active car shoppers. They often have the very same objections to certain politicians as they do to certain cars. Is it comfortable? (Does my candidate share my values?) Is it reliable? (Can I depend on my candidate to do what he says?) Is it durable? (Will my candidate live through the term. Morbid, but something voters consider.) Will other people like my car? (Will world leaders work with my candidate?) And the all-important, how will this car make me look? (What will my friends say when I reveal my candidate choice?) ....
....The political game is a lot like the car business. You've got your straight shooters and your plaid-jacket hustlers. Your sensible sedans and flashy sports cars. Your great deals and hopeless lemons. Either way, you're stuck with it for years and, if you don't choose wisely, it'll cost you." read this entire article  
> in July 2010,also on Adage.com, he wrote "...I am an advertising man. A political advertising man.  A Republican political advertising man.
When I left my regular ad job to do politics full-time, my executive creative director said, "I always knew you liked politics, but I had no idea you were a Republican." The emphasis on "Republican" was interchangeable with the emphasis you would put on the words "puppy eater."
"I hope you do well," he said, "and that all your clients lose."
I was the first person to type the immortal words "I'm so and so and I approve this message." That was mine.
We were the team that knocked off Tom Daschle. I'm the guy who brought you the infamous "Harold, Call Me" ad, which Bob Garfield called one of the worst ads of 2006.
I love my job. When I tell people what I do, it takes them roughly 0.005 seconds to bring up the fact that they hate negative advertising. Guess what. I hate negative advertising, too. Even more than you do.
It's easy to see why anyone with taste would hate it. The traditional negative political ad starts off with a grainy picture of the opposing candidate in an unflattering pose while a baritone-voiced announcer speaks over gloomy music saying things like "What kind of man is Bob Smith?"
I hate those commercials, too. They're bad. And that's my point. People are fine with negative advertising; it's bad advertising they hate...." read the rest of this article

8/23 the top stolen car in Washington State is a 1992 Accord (and I have a 1996). The 1996 Legacy makes the list
"From the insurance industry's viewpoint, the state of Washington is a hotbed for auto thieves. Experts say much of the auto theft that takes place in our state is by organized theft rings that are looking to steal cars for the parts.
The hottest wheels are 1990s models that sport the go-to logos for endurance and dependability.
Topping the list is the the 1992 Honda Accord, followed by the 199 Honda Civic, the 1995 Acura Integra, the 1990 Toyota Camry and the 1996 Subaru Legacy.  Rounding out the top ten most stolen vehicles in Washington are the 1992 full size Chevy Pickup, the 1994 Nissan Sentra, the 1995 Saturn SI, the 1991 small size Chevy pickup, and the 2003 Toyota Corolla.
"Those cars are not only easier to steal than cars that are more recently made with more built-in anti-theft technology, but they also have a ready outlet for the parts," said Karl Newman of the Northwest Insurance Council.
For the second year in a row, the hottest wheels in this state are more likely to be stolen in Spokane. Spokane ranks number four in the nation for auto theft.    Yakima jumped from 10th place to number five in the country. The Greater Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue area comes in at number 12 nationwide. Newman says thieves like Seattle's proximity to the freeway, to the ports and to the international border with Canada. And once again auto theft records reveal car owners continue to give thieves an opening.
"One of the simplest things you can do to prevent theft is to lock your doors and windows, park in well-lit areas, park in a safe area, make sure your take your keys with you and don't leave things in the vehicle that would be attractive to thieves," Newman stressed. 1990s models dominate the list because they don't have key code technology. But the National Insurance Crime Bureau warns professional criminals are paying insiders for certain key codes and making replacement keys. Now key code thefts are on the rise.  The NICB says it's aware of nearly 300 auto thefts in the first three months of 2012 , where illegally obtained replacement key codes are  believed to have been used. Experts recommend four ways to protect your car:  Common sense,  a visible or audible warning device, an immobilizing device that cuts the ignition or fuel,  and a tracking device." read the entire article.

8/22 Subaru Ironman Canada is in Penticton, B.C., Canada this weekend
On Sunday, August 26, more than 2,800 athletes will compete in the 30th Subaru Ironman Canada. The large field is comprised of athletes representing each of the Canadian provinces, 44 U.S. states and more than 25 countries.
Its a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. check out the website

8/11 Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm started Subaru, they brought the 360 to the US in 1968. Malcolm Bricklin left Subaru in a bit of a hurry, and while Subaru struggled and finally started to catch on in the mid-70s, Mr Bricklin went on to some short-lived automotive endeavors- the Bricklin SV-1, Yugo, X-19 Bertone, but he's mostly revered for Subaru, right? Well, maybe not revered.  Mr Bricklin's babies are also Autoweek's Project Hell babies.... 
"But hold on a second—what about the man who first brought Subarus to North America? The man who kept the flow of Fiat X1/9s and 124 Sport Spiders coming into the country after Fiat gave up on the entire continent? The marketing genius behind the Yugo? That's right, Malcolm Bricklin. We wasted no time in finding a couple of restoration-ready projects bearing the Bricklin stamp.
The company that built the speedy Nakajima Ki-84 "Frank" fighter aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Air Force evolved after the war into Fuji Heavy Industries, and in 1958 started mass-producing a tiny air-cooled two-stroker called the Subaru 360.
This car worked pretty well in crowded Japanese cities, and Malcolm Bricklin saw a business opportunity: Americans were crazy about little German cars with rear-mounted, air-cooled engines, so why wouldn't they buy the 360? Bricklin brought about 10,000 Subarus into the United States from 1968 through 1971, but sales suffered from a "Not Acceptable" rating from Consumer Reports in 1969, and Volkswagen dealers didn't lose many sales.
Still, with so many of the diminutive Subarus being brought over, you'd think that it would be possible to find an affordable one to serve as the basis of a Hell Project today—and you'd be right!
We've discovered this 1970 Subaru 360 in Northern California (go here if the listing disappears), with an asking price of a single grand. The car is in Sacramento, but the seller has decided to list it in San Francisco, because that's where the car was purchased new in 1970.
The seller's father bought the car in 1987, presumably in rough shape, and the seller claims that it ran at the time. Yes, those three magical words that sound so good in the Hell Garage: Ran when parked!
What's a little thing like a quarter-century when you're looking at such a historically significant vehicle, we ask you? There's rust. Parts are missing. The interior is gutted. On the plus side, you get all the glass, the bumpers and the emblems. How hard could it be?
If you think that DeLorean did a fine job of extracting vast quantities of cash from employment-hungry Northern Ireland to build the DMC-12, you should be even more impressed by Malcolm Bricklin's achievement in squeezing millions from the Canadian province of New Brunswick for the construction of his dream project, the Bricklin SV-1.
The SV stood for "Safety Vehicle," and the wild-looking car had all sorts of innovative safety features built in. It also had such not-so-innovative features as leaky gullwing doors and cracking plastic bodies, and SV-1s didn't quite fly off the dealers' showroom floors. Only about 2,900 Bricklin SV-1s were built, which makes them quite rare today.
Is it even possible to find a project-grade SV-1? Yes!
This 1975 Bricklin SV-1 in Massachusetts is on eBay with a starting bid of only $2,000, and all it needs is an unprecedented miracle a bit of TLC to get back to like-new condition. The seller doesn't want to waste time with convoluted word-twisting description, instead cutting right to the chase: "car needs to be restored,engine runs good and drives,body was painted poorly and is orginal,doors have been upgraded to air,interior needs to be replaced,hood has a scoop installed very poorly,car needs work."
So, the engine runs, the interior is unspeakably horrible (we're reading between the very few lines here), the body has been cruelly violated with J.C. Whitney's cheapest fiberglass scoop, a coat of black house paint and who knows what else, and the doors have been "upgraded to air," which we assume means they are now actuated by compressed air instead of . . . well, whatever scary system came factory-installed.
The good news is that this is one of the Ford 351W-powered cars, rather than the earlier type with AMC 360 motivation, which means you should have an easy time dealing with engine and transmission issues." read the original article, with photos 

8/6 7 passenger Subaru Exiga station wagon in Australia. The Exiga is a 7 passenger, Australian 2.5L Liberty station wagon with the CVT. The Liberty would be a Legacy if it was sold in the US. It's around 186.5 inches long and 65" high, so about 2.5" shorter than our Outback but about the same height. Its a tight fit for 7 people, the 3rd row is too small for comfortable family use. If Subaru wants to grow in the US, they're missing out on the family market and could use a true mini-van. Its true that the mini-van market is small but Subaru has done well when they don't follow the standard, well beaten path used by all the other car companies.
"The 2013 Subaru Liberty Exiga is now on sale in Australia, with the mid-sized wagon finally adding the long-absent seventh seat while retaining its existing prices.
Subaru Australia previously offered the Liberty Exiga as a six-seater in 2+2+2 configuration as it was only available from the factory with a lap seatbelt in the second-row middle position – a feature that would have compromised the car’s five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Now standard in 2+3+2 form, the Subaru Liberty Exiga gets lap-sash seatbelts in all seating positions, as well as three sets of child-seat anchor points.
The introduction of the seventh seat is part of a modest 2013 model year update that also brings revised door mirrors and a new 17-inch alloy wheel design to the range-topping Premium variant...
The upgrade comes just six months after Subaru Australia launched the 2012 model year Liberty Exiga, which introduced a reversing camera and steering wheel-mounted controls for Bluetooth, voice command and AUX/USB functions to the base model, and automatic headlights across the range. The Subaru Liberty Exiga is powered by a 123kW/229Nm 2.5-litre four-cylinder ‘Boxer’ engine and is teamed exclusively with a continuously variable transmission (CVT)." the article with more photos

8/5  Subaru Indiana America was Subaru Isuzu America when it opened in 1990. I went on the tour years ago- it was fun but there was a clearly marked 'tourist' path we had to follow and were lots of rules including no photos. Sounds like this tour was more in depth
"25 years. That's how long the Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) plant has been in Lafayette, and Saturday,  the company took the day to celebrate.
Community members were invited to visit the plant and see what goes occurs on a daily basis. Attendees were given a tour of the SIA facility, in order to thank them for their support over the years.
SIA spokesperson Jennifer McGarvey said the company usually only gives tours of certain parts of the plant due to safety reasons. She said Saturday, community members and family members were able to get a more-behind-the-scenes look. "This is a time that we were able to rope off a lot of areas to make sure it's safe for everyone, but you can go all the way from our stamping shop, our body shop, all the way back out to engine, which is something the public doesn't normally get to see," said McGarvey.
McGarvey said the celebration doesn't just last Saturday, it will be a year-long event. She said SIA will also hold a fundraiser 5K run-walk in October, and the funds will be used to build a safe haven home." the original article.


8/4  How many ways to beat the traffic? Try going above it... it does 40mph in the air and up to 100mph on the ground. Its the Maverick Subaru powered flying car that uses a Subaru 190hp 2.5L engine and CVT transmission. Dual Drive with Transaxle and Propeller. Flies Like a Car with Integrated Controls. The spec sheet says that on the road it can do up to 100 mph. Gets around 30mpg on the highway.  It has headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a horn.  Base price $94,000.00 as of 1/1/12. FAA Certified LSA Light Sport Aircraft. Check out the Maverick Flying Car website
 8/2 Subaru really wants to continue the growth, and accelerate to a strong record braking year-end finish by introducing the 2013s with lower finance rates than they would usually offer on the brand new models. The 2013 Outback, Legacy and Forester rates are 1.90% up to 63 months, and 2.90% for 72 month. BRZ continues with 2.90% to 63 months. All rates on approval of credit.

7/17 local Seattle area Shoreline-Mukilteo independent Subaru repair shop Smart Service gets reviewed in the Everett Herald
"If you're running a small business against big chain competition, how do you set yourself apart?  Smart Service owner and mechanic Michael Corbin says the answer is specialization, offering loaner cars like dealerships do and finding creative ways to advertise.
Corbin has been driving Subarus since the late-1980s. At the time, he was working as a mechanic at a dealership. Impressed by the unique engineering and all-wheel-drive that has for years set Subaru apart, this small business owner/entrepreneurial mechanic saw opportunity to specialize in maintaining and repairing just one make of car. He opened his first Smart Service shop in Shoreline in 1999....
Fortunately, Corbin's pick is also in line with what many folks around here are driving; The Northwest is one of the strongest areas in the country for Subaru ownership. And it's a brand that has a reputation for manufacturing cars that will go the distance.
"It's not unusual to see cars come into the shop with over 300,000 miles," said Corbin. "For whatever reason, many Subaru owners seem to take pride in getting the most out of their vehicle."
My Subaru driving experience is mostly behind the wheel with the occasional wiper blade or oil changes, air filter replacement or topping off fluids. But when it comes to the major projects like brakes, tune-ups or engine diagnostics, I seek out the experts. I recently took my 2001 Outback to Corbin's Smart Service shop in Mukilteo, where I learned that my car had some manual transmission differential issues that would require upwards of six hours of labor to repair.
Disappointed that after 189,000 miles I would need to sink a good chunk of money to get the repair done, I was pleasantly surprised that the shop had a loaner car that I could drive for the days that my car was in the shop.  Many repair facilities and dealerships offer shuttle service to their customers. Some car dealerships will provide loaners when a major repair is required on a vehicle. These cars are typically low-mileage and perhaps are meant to entice the customer with a bias to make their next car purchase.
Only a handful of small independent mechanics offer loaners. More commonly, they will provide a special offer through local rental car companies. The Smart Service Mukilteo shop has four loaners; the Shoreline shop runs with five. And none of these cars has fewer than 150,000 miles! The one I drove for two days had 363,000 miles -- and counting! You can't miss these cars when they're out on the road. True, I was driving a promotional billboard from place to place throughout South County. But the benefit of having a car at my disposal without jockeying vehicles to get my car to the shop and myself back home was a major plus. Smart Service is recognized by AAA of Washington as a Top Shop repair facility; they've consistently achieved this rating since 2005.
"We're happy to be connected with AAA and the evaluation services they provide. With results from AAA surveys, interviews and site visits, our shop's credibility continues to grow," Corbin said.
It's not easy to get perfect customer service feedback scores for an entire month of shop transactions. With nearly 150 cars a month receiving some form of maintenance or repair at the Mukilteo location alone, one would think that a few folks could find cause to complain. Yet in March Smart Service in Mukilteo earned AAA's distinguished 100 percent award.
The success of Smart Service can be attributed to several key factors. "The team that has been with the business is committed to excellence," Corbin said. "What started out as a one-man operation in 1999 is now at 14 employees, four of whom are part-time."
The business has seen virtually no turnover in the past few years. "Employees who are respected and feel well-treated truly extend the same to our customers. Customers think we're performing miracles, yet we've focused on a culture of treating them fair and honest while delivering high-quality service," Corbin said.
Treating customers and employees well is certainly a good foundation. Establishing expertise and delivering quality service is the day-to-day challenge that keeps a business growing.
Differentiation by providing something as simple as high-mileage, roving billboard loaner cars signals that even a small independent shop can compete through innovation. And in this economy, every small business owner needs to consider this simple question: What makes us different?" read the original article


7/12 Carfax's pursuit of the Subaru contract lands Carfax in court
" A federal judge refused to dismiss claims that Carfax made false and defamatory statements about AutoCheck's vehicle history reports to sink the competitor's $2.3 million deal with Subaru. Ohio-based Experian Information Solutions sells vehicle history reports under the name AutoCheck. It directly competes with Carfax, which sells similar reports for customers to check if a used vehicle has ever been in an accident.
In December 2011, Experian sued Carfax, for making disparaging and false statements about its product to derail a $2.3 million deal with Subaru dealerships. It claimed that Subaru was committed to a contract with Experian, under which Subaru's Certified Pre-Owned program would offer customers free AutoCheck reports, but that Carfax interfered before the contract was signed. Carfax sent Subaru a letter claiming that "AutoCheck's auction frame data is highly flawed." The letter also said that "AutoCheck will allow a significant number of problem vehicles into [Subaru's] program," and "there is a good chance Auto[C]heck will miss a problem vehicle." After Carfax sent the letter, Subaru reconsidered its deal with Experian and eventually decided to give the contract to Carfax. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang upheld the core of Experian's defamation claim...." read the entire article

7/6 The U.S is a country of many languages- its summer, time to get in your Subaru and drive around and find them
"As fuel prices drop in the United States and temperatures keep going up, many Americans are hopping into their cars and pulling out their maps, smartphones, tablets, or GPS devices to get on the road. Where should they travel? Elizabeth Little, author of the newly released Trip of the Tongue, has some suggestions. Over the course of two years, she traveled thousands of miles in an old Subaru, chronicling her encounters with Navajo, Crow, Puyallup, Quileute, Makah, French, Louisiana Creole, Gullah, Basque, Norwegian, Haitian Creole, and Spanish people. In this interview, she discusses her book and offers tips for other would-be language road-trippers.
NK: What drew you to feature the Basque-speaking communities in Nevada and Idaho?
EL: Basque is one of those languages that every budding polyglot comes up against early in their studies...
NK: You also chose to write about Spanish in New Mexico. Why did you decide to write about such a language that so many people are already familiar with?
EL: While it's true that one of my goals in writing this book was to introduce readers to the surprising diversity of language communities in the United States...
NK: In South Carolina, you explored Gullah, a language most Americans might have never heard of, but unknowingly have a connection with through the story of Br'er Rabbit, Porgy and Bess, and the song "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." What else do you wish more people knew about Gullah?
EL: The thing I wish more of us understood about Gullah -- and about all Creole languages for that matter...
NK: Of the languages you discuss in the book, which is your favorite (if you can pick just one), and why?
EL: ... I would say generally that the languages that interest me most are the indigenous American languages -- if I were ever to completely lose my mind and decide to go back to school, I would probably want to study the languages of the Pacific Northwest.
NK: What advice would you give to other would-be linguistic road-trippers?
EL: ... take the road less traveled. Get off the highway and go to a town or a state you've never been to before..." rea
d the entire article  

7/5 pillow talk,  aka car companies hook-ups
"Think of the greatest and most awful collaborations you can. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg? Check one in the "greatest" category. Architect I.M. Pei and the famous Louvre Museum? Still open for interpretation. Celine Dion and Chrysler? Beautiful and short-lived -- and only one of them came out rich.
We all like to see collaborations, whether they flourish or flop. They can prove the impossible (bacon and chocolate) or the inevitable (Snooki and birth control). It’s a human need to see two sides work together (or try to), a humble admission that we can’t do everything alone, and the suspense of creating something awesome from very different parts. The automotive world, as Dion can attest, works the same way. Here are a few good and bad examples.

The Good:
Toyota and BMW
: This is quite the information exchange. After a handshake at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the details are out. Toyota will share its exhaustive hybrid knowledge with BMW, notably to develop new lithium-ion batteries and possibly entire powertrains....  BMW will supply Toyota with diesel engines...
Alfa Romeo and Mazda: This one came out of nowhere, but again, it shouldn’t go wrong. Mazda wants to go back to the original Miata’s basic, ultralightweight design, and Alfa Romeo wants a superbly balanced rear-wheel-drive chassis to mimic the famous Spiders of old....
Jeep and Maserati
: The last time these two came together, they made an embarrassing failure that neither of them would care to remember. The Chrysler TC by Maserati was a watered-down hack job...
Subaru and Toyota
: No one outside these two Japanese companies knows who was mostly responsible for the inexpensive, rear-wheel-drive sports cars known alternately as the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S. (Probably Subaru, since Toyota has mostly forgotten how to make cars with a pulse.) In any case, these cars are the hottest-selling models in the country, and there’s no question the aftermarket community will wrap their hands around them in short time. Aside from being identical twins with different badges, these cars are already successful and prop up both companies.
And the Ugly:

Chevrolet and Daewoo: Nowadays, Korean automaker Daewoo is otherwise known as GM Daewoo, the brainy division that created the well-received Chevrolet Cruze. Before this car, though, Daewoo tried entering the U.S. market on its own in the 1990s, failed miserably, and then began building subcompact cars and selling them here as Chevrolets...
Suzuki and Nissan (and GM)
: The Suzuki Equator is simply a rebadged Nissan Frontier. It’s a basic truck with little going for it in terms of amenities or stand-out features -- and that's putting it nicely...
Saab and Anyone
: This is not so much a collaboration as open heart surgery without anesthesia. Saab has been ripped apart and gutted..." read the entire article   
6/30 from employee to boss, its not the usual salesman story...
"...Kupper had been working as a derrick hand in the oil fields before the area went through a bust in the 1980s. He always had been a bit of a car buff, he said.
He likes to drag race in his free time. Growing up in Ray, he had three older brothers. “With three older brothers you have to like tinkering with cars,” he said.
Kupper moved to Mandan in 1987 and started selling cars for Ivan Gandrud Chevrolet. “I thought I’d start selling cars until I found a real job,” he said. “I’ve been looking ever since.”
Dave Ressler bought the dealership from Gandrud in 1988. Kupper worked his way from salesman to finance, to used car manager and eventually to general manager.
When Ressler decided to move to Bozeman, Mont., in 1999, he offered to sell the business to Kupper over the next 10 years. Kupper recognized the opportunity and in November 2010 it officially became Kupper Chevrolet Subaru.
“That doesn’t happen to a lot of people,” Kupper said. Kupper now has three dealerships, two of them in Mandan and one in Bismarck. His day starts at 7 a.m. and is spent bouncing among all of the locations. “After 25 years, I still love coming to work,” he said...." read the entire article  

6/27 hunting wild asparagus in a Subaru in Seattle
"For Langdon Cook, a walk in the woods isn't that different from a walk through the produce section of the supermarket. He's a writer, blogger and all-around outdoorsy type, but in outdoorsy Seattle, he's made his name primarily as a forager.
He's kind enough to let me tag along on a mushroom hunt in the Cascades. In the back of his Subaru (the official car of the Seattle outdoors) he already has a basket full of morels, porcinis and coral mushrooms — the fruits of about ten miles of hiking, he says. He doesn't want me to be too specific about our location because other mushroom hunters might yell at him. But he's not so protective of his foraging secrets. In fact, he enjoys teaching people how to spot food...." read the entire article

6/22 JD Power announced results for the 2012 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS) when they survey new car owners for problems. The Initial Quality Study, now in its 26th year, serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership.
The scores are Problems Per 100 cars, or PP100.

Lexus is the highest-ranked nameplate in the industry for a second consecutive year, averaging 73 PP100. With 75 PP100 each, Jaguar and Porsche follow Lexus in a tie to rank second. Jaguar posts the largest improvement in the study- reducing problems by 39 PP100 and vaulting from the 20th rank position in 2011. Cadillac (80 PP100) and Honda (83 PP100) round out the top five rank positions.
The Industry Average is 102 PP100. Subaru is at 109 PP 100, between Volvo and Jeep. Below are the rankings...
The
#1 is Lexus with 73 PP100 (73 problems per 100 cars), Jaguar  75, Porsche 75, Cadillac 80, Honda 83, Acura 84, Infiniti 84, Toyota 88, Mercedes 96, BMW 97, Mazda 97, GMC 99, Nissan  99, Ram 99, Chevrolet 100, *Industry Average 102*, Audi 105, Buick 106, Hyundai 107, Kia 107, Lincoln 107, Volvo 108, Subaru 109, Jeep 110, Suzuki 115, Chrysler 116, Scion 117, Ford 118, Land Rover 119,  Dodge 124, Mitsubishi 124, VW 124, Mini 139, Fiat 151, Smart 151. Read the entire press release
6/19 Summer starts tomorrow Wednesday June 20th. Its the summer solstice and the longest day or the year

6/17 - a shredded tire
- photos

6/15 ended June 15th...  $500 Costco gift card - buy a new Subaru by June 15th and get a $500 Costco gift card from Costco.  A Costco member who purchases or has a signed purchase order for one - except BRZ, WRX, and STI-  from any new Subaru dealer (yes, ANY Subaru dealer, Yes any Subaru dealer)  through June 15, 2012 can download a redemption form for the $500 Costco gift card at http://www.costcoauto.com/Subaru/Default.aspx

6/11 on the temptation of texting and ticketing distracted drivers
"Now that the driving season is upon us, it's time more people saw flashing lights in their rear view mirrors. Let's make it open season on distracted drivers.
The use of cell phones in cars has been controversial for years, yet still only 10 states in the country ban it, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. But increasingly people are using their phones not for talking but for surfing the Web and texting, prompting pop psychologists to talk about smartphone addiction.
Disease or not, many people can't help but pick up their phones even when they are driving.
Furthermore, the level of potentially tempting distractions promises to increase in the coming years as automakers add local restaurant reviews, movie ticket reservations, and Facebook and Twitter to in-dash systems. From Cadillac to Subaru, these systems are already appearing in new models this year. And big companies see big demand among consumers. Verizon, for example, just announced this week it is purchasing Hughes Telematics, the company that supplies many of these systems to car manufacturers, such as Mercedes-Benz.
Obviously, this epidemic is not limited to one socio-economic group or area of the country....
New York, Vermont, and D.C. all have laws strictly banning these distracting practices (Vermont inconsistently does not ban handheld calling), yet they continue unabated. And it is dangerous. In the 5 seconds it takes to read a short text on a phone while you're doing 55 mph you will have driven the length of a football field—with your eyes closed.
A recent law prohibiting pedestrians from texting in Fort Lee, NJ, was much ridiculed, as if it were the modern day equivalent of the grumpy old man shouting, "Hey, you kids, get off my lawn." However, there's more than a few good reasons to hand out $85 texting tickets to pedestrians: If we can't stop drivers from texting, we better make sure that pedestrians don't text so they can keep their eyes peeled for the reckless drivers....
The difficultly facing police is the tricky nature of enforcing such laws, however, even when there is the political will. Police in Massachusetts have complained that it's difficult for officers to get into a position where they can see that a driver is texting on a phone, rather than just holding a device or tapping a contact to place a hands-free call. (Demanding the phone and checking the time stamp on a message once they've pulled a citizen over seems a little too invasive.)
So officers in some municipalities have taken unusual steps. In New York City, cops often lurk just outside tunnels looking for drivers who text in traffic. In Ottawa, Canada, it was reported recently that cops went undercover as homeless panhandlers --not to catch drug dealers but to spy into the windows of cars and catch their operators texting red handed.
Creative as these enforcement methods may be, it will become more of a challenge for law makers and law enforcement to police distracted driving in the future. Smartphone apps are rapidly being ported to in-dash systems with touch screens of their own. Auto companies are disabling some functions when a car is in motion, but they feel pressured by consumers who want to read Yelp restaurants reviews from the front seat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is so anxious about such a future that it stated in a 177-page set of proposed guidelines that virtually anything like this -- including navigation systems -- is a dangerous distraction.  Brace yourself for a (painful) learning process, as police pull people over more often and hand out expensive tickets until everyone breaks the habit. Or finds a new distraction." read the complete article...


6/10- a bumper-stickered Subaru in Silver City, New Mexico
"AT Cole talks about restoring the rare cienega on his ranch, one of only a handful remaining in the Southwest. One of my favorite quotes in reporting on this series came from Lucinda Cole.  She and her husband, AT, are the owners of the ranch near Silver City where Randy Jennings took me looking for Chiracahua Leopard frogs.When the Coles retired to this ranch, it was with the intention of restoring native habitat that could support endangered species like the Leopard frog and Gila topminnow.  But they did not enter the scene naively: "We didn't want to move in and be environmentalists...we had bumper stickers all over our Subaru when we first came here and we took those all off, and we just want to get along. And so (AT) bought a hat..."
Meaning, a cowboy hat (you can see him sporting it here).  And now, she says, "I think our neighbors all know (that we're environmentalists).  But by the time we settled in after nine years, they like us now...so no matter what we do here I think we're ok." 
That's saying something in an area where it's not uncommon to see trucks with bumper stickers declaring "save a rancher, kill a wolf."  While the Coles are purposely choosing not to tread into the hot coals of the wolf issue (sticking, instead, with birds, fish and amphibians), I love the idea that the recovery of endangered plants and animals could just be a matter of  a few people buying hats and being nice to their neighbors." read the entire article

6/9 inaugural Subaru Outside Games June 10-17, in Bend Oregon, sponsored by Subaru of Bend
"... in Central Oregon, an energetic group of cyclists, paddlers and runners have joined forces to bring a similar weeklong festival to the area.
The inaugural Subaru Outside Games are scheduled for June 10-17, featuring a variety of competitive and noncompetitive events in trail running, mountain biking, road cycling, whitewater and flatwater paddling, hiking and skateboarding....
Gross and other organizers are hoping to bring in athletes and spectators from throughout the Northwest, tapping the adventure-hungry markets of Portland and Seattle.
Some of the Outside Games' major events include the Dirty Half Marathon (June 10), the Bend Bicycle Film Festival (June 15), and the Bend Paddle Board Challenge (June 16). Bands the Dirty Heads and the Wheeler Brothers will play Bend's Century Center on June 16...." read more about the event. Check out the event website http://theoutsidegames.com though some of the site didn't seem to work correctly.

6/8 NPR's Car Talk guys Click and Clack are retiring after 25 years but don't say goodbye because re-runs are forever
"Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers, the comedian mechanics who host NPR's Car Talk, will tell their listeners this afternoon that as of this fall, they'll no longer record new programs. But their weekly call-in series will continue to be distributed by NPR drawing on material from their 25 years of show archives.
"My brother has always been 'work-averse,' " says Ray, 63. "Now, apparently, even the one hour a week is killing him!"
"It's brutal!" adds Tom, 74.
The brothers have been taping Car Talk at WBUR in Boston for 35 years, and the show has been a staple on NPR Member stations for the last 25 years. With older brother Tom turning 75 this year, the guys decided it was time to "stop and smell the cappuccino."
NPR will continue to distribute the weekly show ... to stations across the country. Beginning in October, the Car Talk production team will actively produce new shows built from the best of its 25 years of material – more than 1,200 shows – with some updates from the brothers. The guys will also still write their twice weekly Dear Tom and Ray column, and put their feet in their mouths in surprising new ways on the web and Facebook. ...
The brothers will mark their 25th anniversary on NPR this fall, and then put the series in the hands of their producers, who will continue to produce the show. the original article 

6/6 Subaru is 3rd on the ALG list of top perceived brands. ALG issues the Automotive Lease Guide, used to determine the residual values for leases. This Perceived Quality Study is one of the tools they use.
"Now in its 5th year, ALG’s Perceived Quality Study (PQS) is a semiannual consumer survey of perceived automobile brand quality. The PQS report highlights the survey results of 3,000 - 4,000 U.S. consumers in order to gauge perceptions of mainstream and luxury brands. PQS is one of the metrics ALG examines in calculating our industry benchmark residual values, helping companies and consumers understand the future value of their vehicles.
While Honda continues to lead the way among mainstream brands, ranking highest since the Spring 2010 survey, Toyota stays on a corrected course from its setbacks in 2010.
Overall rankings remain similar to the previous measurement, particularly for highly rated brands. Of the 10 top-rated brands there was only one change in rankings, with Ford moving up one spot. That said, Honda and Toyota still represent the top tier of quality perception, with the second tier consisting of Subaru, Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen."
Here's the list of mainstream companies: Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Ford, Nissan, VW, Mazda, Hyundai, Mini, Buick, Scion,  Ram trucks, Mitsubishi, GMC. Jeep Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Suzuki, Fiat, Smart
read the entire report  


6/5 Subaru and Toyota discuss plans regarding future Camry production at Subaru's SIA plant in Lafayette
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said the maker of Subaru cars is preparing to begin talks to renew its contract to build Camry sedans, the best-selling car in the U.S., for Toyota Motor Corp.
While the company has orders to build the Camry until the model is overhauled in about four years, Fuji Heavy doesn't know whether Toyota will retain its services for the next generation of the midsize sedan, Yoshinaga said this week.
Fuji Heavy, which uses about a third of its U.S. manufacturing capacity for the Camry, needs to know soon to determine its own expansion plans, he said.
"My hope is that we can have a decision about the future direction within this year," Yoshinaga said. "We would like to maintain Camry production."
Renewing the deal would extend Subaru's reliance on Toyota as the European crisis, slowing Chinese economy and the strength of the yen threaten earnings growth.
For Fuji Heavy, dropping Camry manufacturing would give the company room to expand production of its more profitable Suburu Outback sport utility vehicles and Legacy sedans in the U.S. without having to build another factory. ...
Toyota spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said he couldn't immediately comment on Fuji Heavy's future production of the Camry.
Yoshinaga, 58, also said Fuji Heavy will propose developing more automobiles with Toyota to build on the success of their latest sports car — called the BRZ for Subaru and 86 for Toyota.
The move would deepen a partnership that began in 2005 when Toyota bought 8.7 percent of Fuji Heavy. It raised the stake to 16 percent three years later. This year, they started selling a codeveloped sports car and Subaru plans to begin offering its first hybrid vehicle — based on Toyota technology — in 2013.
Fuji Heavy has been devoting some of its capacity, 37 percent of its total in the U.S. last fiscal year, to make the Camry for Toyota since 2007.  Still, Fuji Heavy is allocating some of its factory space to Toyota at the expense of its Subaru-brand cars. Because of the shortage of capacity in the U.S., Fuji Heavy is cranking up production in Japan, making itself more vulnerable to the yen. The Camry generates operating profit margins of about 2 percent to 3 percent for Fuji Heavy, while the Subaru Legacy and Outback yield margins exceeding 10 percent, according to estimates by Koichi Sugimoto, a Tokyo-based analyst at BNP Paribas SA.
... Subaru sold 3,551 BRZs in Japan in the first two months, almost quadruple the company's initial target, and is starting sales of the two-door coupe in the U.S. this year. People placing an order now will have to wait until next March to get the car, he said.
"Since the BRZ/86 is so popular, it's natural to consider expanding the lineup," he said. "For example, adding a BRZ sedan."...  read the entire article  

6/3 Colorado high school student wins a free Subaru
"Nicole Travis can’t describe how good it felt to feel the car start as she tried her key at the annual “Be Cool Stay In School” car giveaway sponsored by Subaru.
The giveaway didn’t take long as Travis was the first to put her key into the Subaru Impreza 2.5i Thursday afternoon.
Travis graduated from Grand Junction High School last week and plans to study engineering at the University of Colorado – Boulder. She was one of 61 students who qualified for the competition this year. She had an attendance record of 99.78 percent for the 2011-2012 school year. This is the fifth year that Grand Junction Subaru and School District 51 have teamed up to offer a valuable incentive to keep high school seniors in class." the original article

6/2 Lemay America's Car Museum opens in Tacoma, Wa.. 
The new museum, right next to the Tacoma Dome off I-5, opens today, June 2nd. It focuses mostly on American cars, hence the name "America's Car Museum".  The core of the cars are from the massive collection of the late Tacoma Harold Lemay, who as Tacoma's garbage king became a very wealthy man and could afford his unrestrained appetite for all things wheeled. The new museum is the best of the car collection, but there is still the family museum-storage at Marymount (also in Tacoma but further south). There are hundreds and hundreds of.... row after row of...  everything wheeled ...  its daunting to take in even a small portion of it- from buses to fire trucks to motorcyles and scooter, from quirky home-builts to exotics and oddities and rare muscle cars and even a few Japanese cars, including a little Subaru 360 that was tucked in an upper corner the when I visited in 2011. Alas, the Subaru looks like a rattle-canned survivor and naturally didn't make it to the museum, though perhaps it will in the future as cars are rotated. Both facilities are worth visiting. Click for the Marymount facility website, or the America's Car Museum website
Here's a photo of the 360 taken at the 
Marymount museum in 2011. it really was in the upper corner. 
SUBARU 360 AT LEMAY MUSEUM, TACOMA WA
see the 360 in the upper corner? taken at the original Lemay museum 2/2011

The grand opening  bash "LeMay-America’s Car Museum in Tacoma was the scene of a huge pre-opening bash Friday night. Hundreds of guests, many of them dressed in period outfits from the Great Gatsby era to the 1950s and more contemporary, hobnobbed and visited around hundreds of perfectly polished cars, as perfectly coiffed “cigarette girls,” looking like pinups with their neck-strap trays of cigars, slipped carefully between tables, offering smokes and raffle tickets.
There was a sea of double-breasted pinstripe gangster-style zoot suits and wide brim hats on men of all sizes, while many women wore flapper dresses, lots of pearls and cloche hats. Poodle skirts abounded as well.
Three different theme parties on three different levels had guests sashaying back and forth for a taste of it all, including rock, jazz and country.
And over it all, museum head honcho Dave Madeira, smooth as silk, greeted guests, on and off the microphone, and lauded members of the Harold LeMay family for their collection, which was once, thanks to Harold’s passion for American cars, the largest collection of cars in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
On the giant main level, which looks like the inside of an enormous wood-ribbed whale, guests munched on a sit-down dinner of prawns and steak, ala EL Gaucho. The hall is so big it gives off a strong illusion that the floor in slanted. “That’s the question of the night,” said one bartender. “Everyone is asking whether it is.” It isn’t.
At one point in the evening Nancy LeMay, widow of Harold LeMay, who started this whole collection, thanked everyone in attendance and stressed that for her, the most important element is her family, many of whom were there. “Harold is looking down in (approval) long about now,” she said, “and is saying, ‘Wow!'” She got a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd.
Comedian and car collector Jay Leno, who had flown in on his plane for this occasion, took the stage for a short, but difficult to hear, routine. He praised the museum as a place to house these hundreds of “rolling sculptures” – old cars that may well have ended up scrapped. He praised the LeMay family and talked a little bit about his own love affair with cars. One line got a huge laugh: “Car guys make the best husbands,” he told the audience. “When you come home covered with transmission fluid, she has no doubts where you have been.”
At 9:30 p.m., the cigar tent was full of men and women puffing on stogies. At 10:30 the fireworks went off, in a light mist, while guests watched from inside and on balconies and at valet.
“I’m coming back here tomorrow for the public opening,” guest Jan Pollard told me. She said she and her husband had come in from Spokane.  With the official public opening June 2, you can expect LeMay-America’s Car Museum to be a welcoming destination for Tacoma. They expect a half million visitors a year." The original article

5/28, Monday is Memorial Day. We are here because others aren't. Thank you to those who serve and those who gave all.

5/28 Credit- the only way to get a real credit report for free is at www.annualcreditreport.com. 
FICO scores can be industry specific, so a credit score for a car purchase will have different criteria and be different than one for a mortgage, cell phone, credit card etc. Here's a nice short article about credit in general.
"Question: I recently went to one of those free credit report websites and paid for a copy of my FICO credit scores. The report said my FICO score is 722 and my husband's is 720, which are both considered to be "excellent" credit. But when we applied for a mortgage and the mortgage company pulled our credit report, the FICO scores that they came up with were much lower than the report that we pulled two months ago. They said my "mid" FICO score was 675 and my husband's was 652. This caused us to get a higher mortgage interest rate than we were originally quoted. We are pretty upset.
Could our credit scores really drop that much in only two months? We have not opened any new credit cards or purchased a car or done anything in the past two months, so this doesn't make sense. Please explain how this could happen.
> Answer: This has become an increasingly common problem with all the advertising for "free credit report" and "free credit score" services. There is only one website where you can truly get a free credit report from the three national credit reporting bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. That website address is www.annualcreditreport.com/.
You are allowed to request one free credit report every 12 months from this website, and it is totally free. However, if you want to see a copy of your FICO credit scores, you must pay for that because it is provided by a separate service. The problem is that there are several different kinds of FICO credit scores, and the scores that you get from the paid credit report services are often better than you will get when a mortgage company pulls your credit report.
First, let me explain that FICO stands for Fair, Isaac & Company. They are the originators of credit scoring based on complex computerized models that take into account a variety of factors including your past payment history, amount of money owing on each of your credit accounts compared to the total credit limit for each account, length of time your credit accounts have been established, the number of recent credit inquires and new credit accounts; and the total number of active credit accounts on your credit report.
Each of the three credit reporting bureaus generates its own credit score based on your credit data. FICO credit scores range from about 450 to 850. Anything above 740 is considered excellent credit. Your credit scores are a snapshot of your credit picture at the moment that your credit report is pulled. The scores can change dramatically in a couple of months, or even in a couple of days if your credit balances have changed....  A FICO score pulled by a mortgage company takes into account many more credit factors than a FICO score pulled by a retail store or a car dealer, so the numbers will be different.... The FICO scores that you get from the "free credit report" services are meaningless.
" read the complete article by Steve Tytler at the Everett Herald

5/27 All-wheel-drive, but not a Subaru?
"Looking for an all-wheel-drive foreign sedan. I have a Subaru Outback now but want to trade for a sedan, but not necessarily a Subaru.
If all-wheel-drive and a foreign nameplate are your main criteria, you have many sedans to choose from. However, most are priced much higher than the Subaru Outback, whose base prices run from about $23,000 to $32,000.
Just a couple of non-Subaru all-wheel-drive sedans are in that range, including the Mitsubishi Lancer and Suzuki Kizashi. The Audi A4 is just above it, starting at $33,300. If you're OK with spending more, you can add cars such as the Acura TL, Infiniti G37x, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60 to your list, as well as several others, depending on how much you're willing to spend. The Cars.com Vehicle Recommender can help you narrow the list to the ones that fit your budget
.
We're sure you have reasons for specifying a foreign brand, there are good reasons to consider domestic brands as well. For example, the Ford Fusion is available with all-wheel drive, and it was named the most dependable midsize car in J.D. Power and Associates' 2012 Vehicle Dependability Study, which measured problems on 2009 models in the third year of ownership. The Ford Taurus, also available with all-wheel drive, had the third fewest problems among large sedans in that study, and it was the highest-ranked large car in J.D. Power's 2011 Initial Quality Study, which measured problems during the first 90 days of ownership. The Fusion and Taurus also are Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
" the original article  

5/26 Fuji has buyers for their cars and even for part of the company...
"Volvo’s Chinese owner offered to take a large minority stake in the Japanese maker of Subaru cars, an offer – never accepted – that illustrates its ambition to expand business in China and around the world and gain more technology to improve its own cars.
Two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said Zhejiang Geely Holding Group offered to buy a stake of about 20 per cent in Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries late last year through an investment banking intermediary.
If the bid had been successful, it could have paved the way for a joint-venture company in China to produce Subarus which currently have to be brought in from abroad.
China has been the world’s biggest auto market by volume since 2009.
By taking over Volvo and now possibly another foreign brand, Geely wants not only to expand its business around the world quickly but use their technology and auto design and manufacturing expertise to improve its own-branded cars....
Geely’s interest in Fuji Heavy ‘sounds like a good strategy’, said Mr Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight.
Volvo is a premium brand and Geely’s own brands in China are all affordable low-end brands.
‘Fuji Heavy could have filled the gap in the middle of product offerings Geely has,’ Mr Zhang said. A 20 per cent stake would have made the Hangzhou-based automaker the biggest shareholder in Fuji, ahead of Toyota Motor, which currently has a 16.5 per cent stake. The sources said Fuji Heavy never responded to the offer..." read the entire article

5/17 Subaru does double duty as a compost hauler
"I have been busy hauling compost like a fiend these days! I line the back of my Subaru with plastic and fill it up with the leaf compost that our municipality gives away for free every spring. I must have slogged at least a dozen loads so far this season. And I have many more to go. It pays off in the end, though, in reduced weeds, reduced watering and increased soil fertility.
Right now I am in the process of preparing my garden beds for vegetable planting. Within the next two weeks, it will be time for the warm season crops to go in and I am way behind on the prep work for their arrival. I still need to hammer in the tomato stakes, spread the compost in the beds, sort through my bucketful of cucumber seed packets, and mulch the paths with straw. Always lots to do!
..." read more, and about pest control
5/15 Puma sponsors Subaru rally team.
"Subaru of America, Inc. has announced the official sponsorship of sportslifestyle brand PUMA for the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team. As part of the multi-year sponsorship agreement with Subaru, PUMA becomes the official supplier of team and racewear and an exclusive licensing partner to the team for footwear and apparel. As part of the team sponsorship PUMA has developed custom graphics for the three Subaru WRX STI program cars.
The Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team is the factory backed rally team for Subaru of America, Inc., managed by Subaru technical partner Vermont SportsCar. The all-star team consists of BMX legend and professional Rally athlete Dave Mirra; Professional skateboarder Bucky Lasek; and three-time European RallyCross champion Sverre Isachsen. The team will be competing in the six-round Global RallyCross Championship (GRC) series.
"I am stoked to have Sverre and Bucky join the team," said rally veteran Dave Mirra "Sverre has been an unstoppable force in European rallycross and will definitely be an asset to the team with his experience and talent. I have known Bucky for years on the X Games circuit, it is great to see another extreme athlete cross over to rallycross; his enthusiasm for racing and fearlessness should be great to watch."
Sverre Isachsen, aka The Viking Warrior, has been a motorsports addict his whole life. After competing in local autocross and rallycross events in his native Norway, he set his sights on the European RallyCross Championship. After a strong debut in 2002 he dominated the series and was crowned its champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
New to the team, 12 time X Games Skateboarding Vert Medalist Bucky Lasek, is no stranger to the world of automotive racing. Bucky has competed in the Mustang Challenge series as well as a handful of Porsche Cup races. He began intensive rally training at Dirtfish Rally School where he honed his all-wheel drive skills behind the wheel of a Subaru WRX STI.
The team will compete in 2012 Subaru WRX STI rally cars that have a fresh new look for rallycross featuring a unique Zombie Cat graphic. PUMA brings a fun and colorful design aesthetic that, when mixed with the adrenaline of the sport, is sure to excite drivers, fans, and spectators alike. Mirra, Lasek, and Isachsen will sport official fireproof PUMA racing suits emblazoned with Zombie Cat graphics, and a new performance-racing shoe called the PRX Subaru. PUMA will be releasing lifestyle footwear, tees, and accessories inspired by the team and rally cars beginning in June.
"The sportlifestyle that PUMA represents is a great fit for Subaru, owners, and motorsport fans", said Dean Evans, Chief Marketing Officer for Subaru of America, Inc. "We are pleased to align with another global brand, and one that will enhance the image and awareness of our rallycross team."" the original article.
For detail on the events, go to www.global-rallycross.com/


5/14 China isn't working out for Subaru to build a new plant, so they look back to the US to increase sales and production.

"Just 10 months after outlining a five-year business plan centered on China, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. has shifted its focus to North America, as efforts to establish a Chinese joint venture run into head winds. In a major setback, the maker of Subaru-brand vehicles said Tuesday that it appears it will be difficult to launch production at a China joint venture by the March 2016 date set out in the business plan. Fuji Heavy had been counting on China production to help it reach its goal of tripling annual sales in the world’s biggest auto market to 180,000 vehicles over the plan’s five years. The company cut its China sales forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2016 to 100,000....
... Underlying the change of focus in the Japanese car maker’s business plan is a lack of progress in forming a joint production venture in China, for which it sought permission from the Chinese government in the middle of last year.
“We’ve tried everything but nothing has happened,” Fuji Heavy President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said at a press conference, adding that the car maker will continue its bid to set up a joint venture there as “the importance of China remains the same.”
... Fuji Heavy, Japan’s smallest major car maker by sales volume, is the only domestic auto manufacturer with no local production base in the rapidly growing Chinese market excluding Daihatsu Motor Co., which has closed its China factory.
The auto maker, in which Toyota Motor Corp. holds a 16.5% stake, has been looking to set up a joint venture with Chinese car maker Chery Automobile Co., according to people familiar with the matter. For the time being, Mr. Yoshinaga it will export vehicles to China from Japan, despite the yen’s strength.
With its China drive stalled, the company said it will ramp up annual capacity at its Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. unit by the summer of 2014 to 200,000 vehicles, from the current 170,000. Demand in the U.S., its biggest market, remains solid. Fuji Heavy lifted its North American sales target for the fiscal year ending March 2016 to 410,000 vehicles from the previous 380,000, since it now projects that market, rather than China, will generate the largest share of its global sales increase.  The company is also considering further increasing output capacity in North America, probably at the SIA unit, though options remain open at other locations, too, Mr. Yoshinaga said.
" read the original article

> Subaru and Costco, ends June 15th- buy a new Subaru by June 15th and get a $500 Costco gift card from Costco, through June 15th.  A Costco member who purchases or has a signed purchase order for one - except BRZ, WRX, and STI-  from any new Subaru dealer (yes, ANY Subaru dealer, Yes any Subaru dealer)  through June 15, 2012 can download a redemption form for the $500 Costco gift card at http://www.costcoauto.com/Subaru/Default.aspx.
The selling dealer does not have to be a Costco dealer
, the offer is good through ANY Subaru dealer, it does not have to be a Costco dealer. You just have to buy a new Subaru by June 15th and fill in the form.  The car can be any new 2011-2102-2013 Subaru except for BRZ, WRX, STI, and it excludes VIP deals.  From the April 11 entry below:  "... The offer includes all new Subaru models, except for all BRZ, Impreza WRX and WRX STI models and is available through June 15...."  read the original article at autoremarketing.com

5/12  a credit screw-up due to similar names takes years to correct
"Sandra Cortez went to buy a new car on her lunch break, and about an hour later, the Denver dealership staff was threatening to call the FBI to haul her away as a suspected terrorist.
The dealership’s routine check of Cortez’s credit report turned up something unusual on that day in 2005. It was an alert indicating that the woman was on a government list of suspected terrorists, international drug traffickers and others associated with weapons of mass destruction.
Cortez, now 68, was really just an accountant who wanted a new silver Subaru to better navigate the mountain roads she traveled to reach her favorite hiking trails.
The credit report Cortez had seen long before she walked into the dealership was clean. She had excellent credit, and she had no inkling that she was linked to a Colombian woman with a similar name wanted for drug trafficking. But like so many other consumers, Cortez didn’t realize that the credit reports issued to businesses are not the same as those given to consumers.
The ordeal engulfed the grandmother for the next five years. Her many attempts to fix the problem with TransUnion and the federal government on her own all failed. Cortez pleaded with the credit-reporting agency to correct her credit history but received no help.
She eventually hired Jim Francis, a consumer-law attorney in Philadelphia, and sued TransUnion. Cortez endured a grueling legal battle that included a trial and years of appeals. She originally was awarded $750,000 by a jury, but that later was reduced to $150,000. And the government took about a third of it in taxes.Officials for TransUnion’s lobbying group, which speaks for the company on all matters, declined to comment on the case. Current owners of what was then the John Elway Subaru dealership were unfamiliar with the case and declined to comment.
Cortez is still driving her 2005 Subaru — and still stinging from the experience of buying it. “Most people think if you pay your bills on time, you will be OK in the credit world,” she said. “But that’s not how it always works. And sometimes, the mistakes can be paralyzing....” read the entire article

5/13- Mother's Day- remember Mom


5/8 Consumer Reports June issue is available now
. This issue reviews and compares the new Impreza and Kia Soul, which is kind of an odd pair,  and also the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX5, and computer security software, home dehumidifiers,sunscreens, gas grills, internet, cable TV and phone services etc. Buy the issue at newsstands and online 


5/5 women and men buy Subaru-  who buys what.... 43.9% of Subaru buyers are women. women buy 50.2% of Foresters
TrueCar.com, has released its third annual demographic study based on car-buying behavior in 2011, examining gender differences in auto buying, based on over eight million retail purchases in 2011.
"The brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2011 continues to be MINI  (46.2 percent), followed by Nissan (45.7 percent), and Kia (45.6 percent) compared to 2010 when MINI (47.9 percent) came in first, followed by Kia and Honda respectively (46.8 percent and 46.0 percent).  There were fourteen brands with a female ratio over 40 percent in 2011 and newcomer FIAT landed at 41.9 percent."
The highest percentage of male buyers primarily purchased exotic brands.  This year, only one exotic brand in 2011 with 10% or less retail sales to women, Ferrari (7.5 percent) compared to 2010 when there were six brands."  read the entire article

An article about the survey above reads, "Female car buyers really gravitated toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars," said TrueCar analyst Kristen Andersson in a statement. "It was the complete opposite for male buyers, who preferred either a fast, sporty vehicle or more heavy-duty vehicle, like a large truck or SUV."
It's no surprise to find men and women playing to type. But it's worth emphasizing that few of these divides were stark: More than half of Mini buyers are still male, for example, and plenty of women buy Land Rovers and Cadilacs. "While gender preferences amongst the buyers of various automotive brands still exist, the gap is narrowing," TrueCar vice president Jesse Toprak said in a statement. But few will be surprised to hear that more than 88% of those who bought a new Porsche 911 last year were men." read this entire article

5/1 Subaru extends customer help call center hours. New hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30-8pm, Friday 10:30-5, Saturday 9-3:30. Hours are EST.  Ph 800 SUBARU3, (782-2783)

4/28 The Mayors of SIA's Indiana hometown
W. Lafayette (John Dennis) and L
afayette (Tom Roswarski) write about spinning cats and touring Subaru factories in Japan.
John Dennis writes "
Hidy-ho there, Hoosiers! Greetings from Ota City, Japan. We have successfully conquered our first Japanese road trip, and it was pretty amazing. But first things first. The meetings with the Subaru executives went very well. We had a very involved presentation about Subaru's production, finances and the impact the tsunami has had on the overall production. We don't really consider all of the different distributors and vendors that have been impacted by the earthquake and tsunami. Subaru has done an amazing job in keeping up with demand and quality in their product.
Tony and I also visited the Tokyo City Hall. See the enclosed picture. Yuparoonie, two twin towers for city hall. It is a beautiful structure, and the courtyard is nothing short of amazing.
After the meeting we all loaded on a bus and hit the road to Ota. The trip was to only take a few hours, but as always, there were just things we had to do. While "en route" we stopped in a small city where there was an incredible blend of historic structures, like 500 years old or older, that have been modified to house shops and restaurants. I tried to leave a copy of our historic preservation ordinance, but they were more interested in selling me a stuffed spinning cat. Honest. Apparently it was a child's toy, a stuffed cat-like animal if you will, that attached to a stationary bar by bending its stiff tail around it, then the cat would just start spinning. Its eyes were closed, so it looked rather gruesome. I will be bringing several home for gifts. After the spinning kitty event, we found a restaurant for lunch, and once again our inability to communicate became an issue. I ended up with a pot of boiled weirdness with noodles. Nuh-mee. Eventually we loaded back up on the bus and tooled on down the road to Ota. One observation: The roads in Japan are clean, well maintained and so smooth you could play marbles on them. Well done, Japan! Wednesday is a full day of meetings and meals. Overall, Japan is a very welcoming county that truly understands and respects its history and culture. On a personal note, my dad and my older brother hiked to the top on Mount Fuji when we lived here in the early 60s. Although it was a bit rainy on the way to Ota, I believe I got a quick view of the foothills that they must have encountered on their assent of Fiji. Coolieo. That's it for now. Dennis out.
Tony Roswarski: An eventful day Here Wednesday Day 3. This is a very busy day, starting off with a meeting at the Subaru plant in Ota City. We met with Yukihiro Kozuka, senior general manager, Eiji Ogino, general manager, as well as with other members of the leadership team.  We were given information about the plant and its overall philosophy, which is definitely "customer first."  We took a tour of the plant and also learned about technology firsthand. We were given to opportunity to drive a car with an automatic braking system using Eye Sight version 2, which is a camera system that uses dual video cameras to recognize obstacles or another vehicle stopped in the road, even when you don't. The system stops the car. The Subaru Gunma plant is located on Lafayette Drive, named so because of our sister-city relationship. Many people are very familiar with our Lafayette Plant.  Our next stop was the Shigeru Co., which is the parent company of Heartland Automotive, which operates in Lafayette. They supply the instrument panels for SIA. We met with Kan Shoda, chairman of the board, and Atsuo Shoda, president, as well as other company officials. We exchanged welcomes and our commitment to each other. Heartland will be building a new facility in Lafayette, which speaks well for all of us. We toured the plant. Their operation was very efficient and seeing the raw materials to the end product was impressive. They are definitely committed to quality and being strong supplier for Subaru. Our next stop was the NHK Co., which has a plant in Frankfort. NHK makes the seats for Subaru. The process for making the seats was interesting, as every part of the seat is made in-house and assembled. The pace of the work was extremely fast and a few of the task were definitely not easy. Associates were actually running at times. They work on a very tight schedule to deliver their products on time. I believe our visit was well received. At this point, the formal business part of our day was over. Our host took us to the top of a small mountain to see what was left of a 500-year-old castle. It was interesting, and the view was beautiful. We then met with our sister-city delegation for dinner. Wednesday was a good day. At every stop, we were greeted by numerous people and treated so well. At NHK, there were probably 30 children and adults waving American flags as we pulled in. You can feel the sense of friendship and mutual respect between all of us." the original article


4/19 What cars sell the fastest. What's on the lot for the least amount of time, from car transporter to a new owner's driveway? 
According to a study by Edmunds.com, it's a combination of the latest hot, must-have cars, perennial favorites like the CRV, and low production companies.
The car that sells the fastest off the car lot, ie is on the lot for the shortest amount of time, is the Prius C at only 8 days. Thats means the typical Prius is sold within 8 days. The manufacturers with the most quick sellers are Toyota, Audi, Hyundai, and Honda with the most quick sellers.  This is a good and bad thing- it mostly good because it means the cars are selling, but it also means there aren't many available on lots for buyers to see and choose from, and buyers won't always wait for the next shipment or settle for a 2nd color choice etc.
  Here's the list: #1 Prius C, 8 days; Audi Q7 and Mazda CX5, sod within 11 days; Hyundai Elantra within 12 days; Porsche Cayenne and Audi A5 is off the lot in 13 days; BMW X6 and Subaru Impreza is gone in 14 days; Honda CRV and Lexsus CG350 in 15 days; Hyundai Veloster and VW Jetta Sportwagon at 16 days; Toyota Highlander Hybrid 17 days; Kia Soul and Toyota Camry hybrid sell within 18 days; Audi A6 and Land Rover Evoque at 19 days; Honda Pilot and Hyundai Accent with 20 days, and the BMW X3 in 21 days. Read the entire article and on Edmunds.com


4/8 SIA gets new leader.
' Subaru of Indiana Automotive’s (SIA) parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. (FHI), has announced that SIA’s current President and CEO, Mr. Motokiyo Nomura will return to Japan on April 1, 2012 to become President of Subaru Living Service Co., Ltd. SIA is proud to welcome new President and CEO, Mr. Masaki Okawara, who will take over the position on April 1. Mr. Okawara currently serves as Senior Vice President of Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. Mr. Okawara joined Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. (FHI), SIA’s parent company, in 1982. He began as an engineer in Trim & Final Manufacturing Engineering. In 1989, Mr. Okawara was assigned as a startup member of SIA. From 1989 to 1994, he held the position of Manager in Trim & Final Manufacturing Engineering at SIA. Before his second assignment to SIA in April, 2011, Mr. Okawara held several General Manager positions at FHI, including serving as General Manager of the Second Production Department of FHI’s Yajima Plant. He will be promoted to Corporate Vice President for FHI and President and CEO of Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. as of April 1, 2012.


3/31 SIA Subaru Indiana Automotive celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
The company was incorporated March 16, 1987, and started production Sept 11, 1989 60,000 Subaru Legacys and 60,000 Isuzu pickups and Rodeos.  The plant was officially dedicated on October 16, 1989. In January 2003, SIA Subaru Isuzu America became Subaru of Indiana Automotive. Isuzu production stopped July 23, 2004, the Subaru Baja was produced through April 2006, and Toyota Camry production started February 28, 2007.
July 28, 2012 - 25th Anniversary Open House Saturday, July 28. "During this extra-special event, SIA will open its doors for an up-close and in-depth look at the inner workings of this unique manufacturing plant. If you've toured SIA before, you'll want to come back for the Open House. Self-guided tours will take you down to the production floor, where you can view the giant stamping presses that cut and mold steel in seconds. You'll get a close up view of some of the hundreds of robots that are precise to a fraction of a millimeter. You'll be amazed at the miles of conveyors that take the steel skeleton of a car through this 3-million square foot plant as thousands of parts are added one-by-one until it is ready to drive off the line. You'll get a glimpse at the engine plant where the famous Subaru BOXER engine is assembled. You'll see the tester line where each and every vehicle is put through a rigorous series of quality checks to ensure our customers get the highest quality and safest vehicle on the road. You'll also learn about SIA's environmental initiatives and see how SIA became the first U.S. auto plant to achieve zero landfill status. On behalf of all of the Associates at SIA, we express our sincerest gratitude for the Greater Lafayette community, Tippecanoe County and the State of Indiana for your support over the past 25 years. It is our mission to continue to be an exemplary corporate citizen as we Team Up for Tomorrow!

3/27- Subaru grilling spatula is available.
A full length handle, bottle opener on the end.
Grilling season is almost here. For the Subaru enthusiast. For sale around $30 at your local dealer. Check out some other Subaru stuff
subaru grilling spatula

3/21 Subaru pressure washer and generators. click for more info
click for more info

3/19 spring starts tomorrow Tuesday 3/20

3/12 a new Subaru owner reviews the Sirius XM satellite radio that came with the car.

"I had forgotten how much I like the Grateful Dead. I had also forgotten that I was a high-schooler shooting the peace sign in the audience at the Freedom Hall Louisville show on June 18, 1974. And hey! Here's that show on the friggin' radio! SiriusXM friggin' radio!
Like a vault of musical bullion beamed down from an astral disc jockey, Sirius Radio was implanted (free!) (temporarily!) inside the dashboard of our new Subaru. During the first weeks of owning the car, my fascination with it interfered with my ability to drive safely.
As we drove off the car lot in January, I couldn't control my saliva. I cranked through the 130-plus channels with the same expression on my face as that darling boy had the first time he saw the alien in E.T.
The choices were sick. Forty-five sports channels, including one devoted to nothing but Canadian sports. There are eight other Canadian channels and five channels devoted to Latin programs.
There are 17 yap radio channels — talk programs devoted to politics, mostly focused on the extremes. You can get your God on 24/7 with two religious talk channels, one devoted to the Catholic Church, the other to all other churches on Earth (mostly Christian).
All things queer are compressed into one gay talk channel. If you want traffic reports in cities you're not in, have at it. There are traffic channels for Boston, Miami, Detroit, Chicago and other towns. Maybe they're designed for people to listen to on their way home so as not to feel stuck by comparison.
But those are diversions from the main course. Music. The music channels have names ranging from the utterly literal to the utterly incomprehensible.
There's Elvis of all sizes on Elvis Radio. The Chairman of the Board is forever in charge on the tragically spelled Siriusly Sinatra. The Boss of you is working up a sweat on E Street Radio. There's great gobs of grunge on Pearl Jam Radio. And you'll scream and scream when you enter Ozzy's Boneyard.
Then there are the incomprehensible channel names, which remind me of the names they give to men's and women's boots on Zappos.com. What would you guess is on Faction? Nine Inch Nails, of course. The Bridge? Any guesses? James Taylor. How about a hit of Lithium? Wash it down with Everclear. Head to the Spa for, what else, uh, jazz. Deep Tracks is now playing "Dear Mr. Fantasy," from a frantic-sounding Graham Nash.
No matter how much or how little of this you want to listen to, Chanhassen, Minn.-based SiriusXM is riding high on the crest of a techno-entertainment wave. Since the start of the year, Sirius stock has risen nearly 21%. In 2011 the company posted net income of $427 million on revenue of $3 billion.
In this business, it's subscriber rates that get investors horny. Sirius added 1.7 million of them last year, for a total subscriber base of 21.8 million. Critics say Sirius cheats these numbers, since the company counts owners (like me) of new cars that came with a free trial among their numbers.
The pony-up letter from Sirius arrived, just as Ryan
at the Subaru dealer said it would, last week. Almost exactly eight weeks post-purchase. I'm opening it right now.
"Dear Andrew Moore," it says. "Welcome to SiriusXM!" Which is a nutty greeting given that the letter goes on to say: Pay up or see ya. A yearly subscription is $184.64.
So now it's time to make a decision. We have three in college. That's the kind of thing that gives weird relevance to specific sums of money. $184.64 is almost exactly what I paid last September for my daughter's Spanish textbook. My final analysis of the service is not working out to Sirius' advantage. Here's how it goes.
I use four channels. Willie's Roadhouse is old-school country, and it delighted me at first. But dagnabbit. Willie's was the first place I realized, after hearing the same Johnny Paycheck song three times in one week, that Sirius has a seriously short playlist. There's all the country music in the world. Hell, there's all the Johnny Paycheck in the world. The same Johnny Paycheck song three times in a week?
I crossed the fields to the Outlaw Country channel. But for every Old 97's song over there, you get cracked with a Kid Rock number.
My devotion to Bluegrass Junction reminds me of Cubs fans I know. No matter how many times I'm disappointed, I always go back for more. It's not individual artists who bum me out there. It's that the channel showcases new bluegrass artists — which is fine, as long as you play a few standards.
But no. New bluegrass, not to be confused with Newgrass, which is old, is tooth-rotting sweet. None of the danger and recklessness of its forebears. Bill Monroe would not listen to this. Why should I? So disappointing; enough to send me over to the Message music channel, which is Christian.
That leaves the Grateful Dead Channel, where the honeymoon is also over. I remember now why I stopped listening to them in 1990. Bob Weir still can't sing, and curiously, "St. Stephen" never gets better no matter how many times it's played live. In the rearview mirror of our new Subaru, there's a little square of backup video camera. This feature excited me at first. Now it seems dumb.  Kind of like SiriusXM radio." a link to the article


3/10 spring ahead, turn clocks forward tonight- daylight savings time starts tomorrow

3/11
Subaru quits making mini-cars to free up production for Crosstrek and other, larger cars. They will buy mini-cars from Japanese automaker and Toyota partner Daihatsu. Daihatsu sold cars in the US from 1988-1992 (remember the Rocky?). There are no Subaru mini-cars currently in the US market.
"Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries is to stop producing minicars to concentrate on more profitable small and midsize models. Although there is still strong demand for minicars in Japan, where they account for more than one third of the market, Fuji Heavy, which sells around 600,000 vehicles a year globally, lacks the muscle to run the gamut from minicars to large passenger cars on its own.
Small cars also offer smaller profits and production of the Sambar, which was launched in 1961, will end this week. The company has sold roughly 3.7m of these over the years.
Other Japanese carmakers will continue to focus on minicars. Nissan and Mitsubishi established a joint venture last year for minicar development and Honda is adapting minivehicle technology for larger passenger cars.
Fuji Heavy corporate senior vice president Motohisa Miyawaki said the same number of engineers is necessary to develop minicars as for larger passenger vehicles. Consequently, the automaker will focus on horizontally opposed engines as well as four wheel drive and crash safety technologies in hopes of developing unique offerings that set it apart from competitors.
The XV sport utility vehicle, due for release this June, is based on the Impreza. Miyawaki added: "By shifting resources to such vehicles, we were able to become more nimble with development." A capital and business tie-up with Toyota means that Fuji Heavy will still obtain minivehicles from Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu." the entire article  

2/29 CR annual car issue is out and its always worth buying.  The magazine should be on news stands early March, subscribers will have it early. Its worth buying.
The big news is that Subaru is the #1 car manufacturer for the first time ever, and the Impreza is the top small car. 
 
> "Who makes the best cars?
"Subaru replaces Honda atop the automaker report cards
. Subaru’s score of 75, two points higher than last year, reflects better test scores for such redesigned models as the Impreza, Legacy, and Outback over the last few years. The 2012 Impreza, which we just tested, now tops the small-sedan class and is our Top Pick in that category. Subaru’s average road-test score of 82 is the highest in our analysis. Moreover, all of Subaru’s models now have at least average reliability, thanks to fewer problems with the sporty Impreza WRX."

"Each automaker’s overall score is based on an equally weighted composite of roadtest and predicted-reliability scores for all of its models that we’ve tested. The road tests comprise more than 50 individual evaluations, covering performance, safety, fuel economy, comfort, convenience, interior quality, and more. The predicted reliability scores come from our latest Annual Auto Survey, which drew 1.3 million res
ponses..."

Here are other comments in the April issue available from your local news stand or online.
Mazda showed the most dramatic improvement among the 13 manufacturers rated... It climbed to second place from last year’s seventh
Toyota is among the top three automakers for the fifth straight year...
Honda, which had been the perennial winner for the past four years, slipped two points to fourth place among 13 major automakers, behind Mazda and Toyota... Honda’s overall score dropped by two points and its average road-test score dropped one point. Honda models, however, are still among the most reliable on the road overall.

Although Chrysler remains in last place, its overall score jumped eight points, making it the second most improved automaker..
Ford falls the farthest, dropping from fifth place in last year’s report cards to 10th...

we continue to see improvement in General Motors’ redesigned models, but reliability of some new vehicles is below average.
Hyundai and Kia continue to introduce new models that do well in our testing...
Ratings
#1 Subaru (last year #2), #2 Mazda
(last year #7), #3 Toyota (last year #3), #4 Honda (last year #1), #5 Nissan (last year #8), #6 Volvo (last year #4), #7 tie Hyundai (last year #6) and BMW (last year #10), #9 VW (last year #9), and #10 Ford (last year #5)
Read it all.. You should buy the magazine for all the independent reviews and ratings they do on all sort of products, or better yet if you like information and researching, subscribe (like I do) and get it every month.

> these are the best models of the year in 10 categories... they're the top 10 for 12
The Top Small car is the Subaru Impreza!
'Redesigned for 2012, the all-wheel-drive Impreza is a well-rounded sedan with nimble handling and a compliant, absorbent ride that rivals some luxury sedans. Fuel economy of 27 mpg overall is impressive for an AWD car. The roomy interior includes a relatively spacious rear seat, simple controls, and refreshingly good visibility. The only real shortcoming is so-so noise isolation. Based on the previous Impreza, we expect above-average reliability. Last year’s pick, the Hyundai Elantra, remains an excellent alternative that costs several thousand dollars less and provides slightly better gas mileage but no AWD'
Other top 10 picks for the year: Toyota's Camry hybrid (family sedan), Sienna (minivan), Prius (green car), Rav4 (small SUV), and Highlander (SUV), and the Ford Mustang (sporty car),  Hyundai Sonata (affordable family sedan), Infinity G (sports sedan), and Chevy Avalanche (pickup).
Buy the magazine to read the complete article.
This is all very strong praise, its recognition for Subaru cars and also for the company for being nimble and adapting to the market. Its Subariffic, and will help Subaru with their goal of 320,000 cars in 2012. Subaru is just on a huge roll and can do no wrong. Even the rear drive BRZ 2+2 is getting serious buzz. But being #1 is great but it makes you a target and bring closer scrutiny.

2/26 4 skiiers die in Seattle area avalanches, last Sunday Feb 19th, including Jim Jack, 46, a judge on the Subaru World Freeskiing Tour...

2/25 when going to visit Santa, always drive a Forester. Its the ultimate utility vehicle because not one but five reindeer fit inside
'Santa may use a sleigh but a driver in the far north of Norway found a more inventive way to transport his reindeer: he packed three in the back seat of his car and two in the trunk and drove off, The Local Norway reported.
None was wearing a seatbelt.  The Local said police were astonished to spot the antlered heads in the back seat of the Subaru Forester and then find the other two in the luggage compartment. The unidentified driver claimed he had received clearance from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to transport five of his reindeer from Karasjok to Børselv, a journey of some 62 miles (100 km).'  
the article
reindeer in a forester


2/20 Subaru art from Canada Subaru Canada had a contest and the entries are great. You can see all the entries including the winner now at the Canadian Intl Auto Show at the Toronto Convention Center Feb. 17-26.  Here's the Subaru deviantART webpage, and most importantly, the entries. They're all good, but check out 'Born to Rally In the Snow' below, its the winner by L Gonzalez
click for born to rally in the snow

an article: "deviantART is a great place to see just how far the human mind can go, with this artist website almost offering something for every taste. Subaru seems to be pretty well aware of this, as the company’s Canadian arm has recently held a contest, inviting users of the website to upload “original creations that celebrate the bold design, superior handling, and meticulous engineering that Subaru vehicles are renowned for." The company offered $2,500 to the first place winner (the image you see above), which came up with “Born to Rally in the Snow”, also offering financial compensations for the next two spots and mentioning the runner-up. All the artworks are being showcased in a “space-defying gallery” located in Subaru’s stand at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto.' the article.

2/17 Subaru abandon plants to build cars in China? They will have to look elsewhere to increase capacity.
"Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries has recently declared that the company is having second thoughts about the joint-venture with China and that the company plans to abandon the idea of building cars in this country. 
FHI President and COO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said that this decision was made due to the fact that there weren’t enough preparations made to successfully manufacture Subaru vehicles in China, and so the company is not entirely optimistic about the Chinese auto industry.
At the end of 2011 Subaru and Chinese automaker Chery had plans on forming a joint-venture at the beginning of 2012, planning to build a $369 million production plant in Dalian, a city near the border with South Korea. This was to be made on one condition: Subaru cars will be sold with a Chery badge and through a Chery-run dealer network.
" read the entire article
Model specific news, reports, reviews, articles etc are below. 


2/12 what damage a a rodent can do under the hood of a car
A warm engine on a cold night is very inviting for mice and rats. it can get expensive fast. Click for some ideas on how to minimize the risk and some photos of a car with rodent damage.


2/8  Subaru powered bicycle moped goes up to 30mph u
sing a Subaru Robin 1.6 horsepower EHO-35,  33.5cc, 1 cylinder engine.
"Design Logic Bikes, the innovative designer of motorized utility bicycles, is proud to announce the launch of their new 2012 Da Bomb...
“We were looking to really push the envelope of utility bicycles with this model,” says Lance Portnoff, CEO of Design Logic Bikes U.S.A. “I took 9th place in the 2010 Death Race in Arizona with our prototype Da Bomb, and we have put over 300 test hours into improving it.”  The new Da Bomb can reach speeds of up to 30 mph and an amazing 150 mpg, making it a green option for transportation and recreation. Design Logic Bikes achieves these numbers by mounting a Subaru EHO 35 cc four stroke engine with an American made Staton gearbox to the frame, which features a built in rack capable of carrying 150 lbs. The Da Bomb can also be pedaled with the engine off, increasing its fuel efficiency exponentially, or ridden with no engine at all.
“This year is going to be huge, as not only have we updated the Da Bomb, we’ve also released our new Da Trail,” says Portnoff. “This bike has a shorter wheelbase, making it a perfect platform for electric bike kits.”  Along with the release of the 2012 Da Bomb and the new Da Trail, Design Logic Bikes U.S.A. would also like to announce that they are promoting an east coast racing series for motorized and electric bicycles in the spring of 2012. Updates and info will be posted on their website.
www.DesignLogicBikes.com 

1/31 What consumer purchase has changed your life, presumably for the better?
It certainly depends on ones age- for some it might be the car. But, in the last 40 years or so, I'd choose the machines of convenience- the computer, laptop/tablet, cell phone, the timer on the automatic coffee maker, TV remote control, phone answering machine, digital camera (both better and worse- I take a lot more photos and think even the bad ones are good haha), cordless devices (shaver, drill etc). I am holding off getting a reader like the Nook but that could become one, and GPS is close, but I still read a map...
For some, the Subaru Impreza is a life-changer, read below.
the article "We are a consumer society and some of us (my hand is up) are always willing to try new things.
(This doesn't always work, my wife will tell you. I bought a solar watch/calculator back in the 70s. It worked for a while, then gave up even though I provided it with plenty of sun. Maybe I should put it on eBay -- or in a museum.)
Anyway, the folks at Consumer Reports asked readers and its own staff for their favorite consumer products.
Readers' choices were: KitchenAid stand mixer, Vitamix blender, iPad, iPhone (iToo), 3M Nexcare waterproof bandages, FoodSaver vacuum sealers, Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair, Schick Intuition razor, 10x magnification mirror and Ninja food chopper.
Consumer Reports staff favorites: Garmin GPS (Put that on my list, too!), Packing Cubes, Remington Wet 2 Straight Flat Iron, Furminator (for pulling off really big fur wads on your cat), Bugzooka Bug Catcher Vacuum, Motorola Droid, Sawzall, Louise Solomon Yoga & Pilates Total Body Toner Video, Thule Roof-Rack System, Contigo Travel Coffee Mug and Subaru Impreza."  the original article  by Dennis Rockstroh


1/24 Subaru looks to the Sun Belt for growth
 
"Subaru aims to generate 20% of its U.S. sales from Sun Belt states in the next two years, up from just 15% now, as it chases a fourth straight year of record sales. The brand also is racing to improve dealer service throughout the country in anticipation of an increase in service business that will result from the rapid sales expansion.
Subaru plans to boost spending on training and other improvements at least 18% this year to prepare its dealer network for repair work and customer service, Subaru of America Inc. COO Tom Doll said at the Detroit auto show. Improving its retail network and expanding in the South are key elements of Subaru's goal to reach U.S. sales of 350,000 units by 2016, while keeping a market share of at least 2%.
Subaru sales climbed 1% to a record 266,989 units in 2011, trailing the market's 10% increase, partly because the March 11 earthquake in Japan disrupted production. The maker of all-wheel-drive crossovers and SUVs expects record sales of 320,000 vehicles in 2012.
Growth in the South will underpin the expansion. Subaru gets about 15% of its sales in the South today vs. about 9% two years ago, Doll said. That will rise to 20% in the next two years, he said. In the longer term, Subaru wants to get a third of its sales from the region.
Sales in the South are benefiting from former Saturn dealers that Subaru picked up after General Motors killed that brand. Subaru picked up about eight former Saturn dealers in the Carolinas and Florida, replacing less successful dealers in its network.
The former Saturn shops generate a 33% increase in sales over the dealers they replaced, said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president of sales.
Subaru ended 2011 with 155 dealers in the Sun Belt states, up from 130 at the end of 2007, Cyphers said. Since 2009, the brand has filled 38 open sales points in the region and experienced another 19 buy-sells, in which an existing dealership changes ownership, he said.
Subaru is shooting for a nationwide network of 630 dealers by 2015, compared with 620 today.
Subaru also is focusing on improved dealer service.
Because the brand has boosted sales 50% over the past three years, executives expect to see service rates double in the next three years as the expanding fleet ages.
"Our ability to continue to grow our business will depend on how well we can get these customers serviced," Doll said. "We're conquesting so many competitive brands, we have to make sure they have a good experience with us. We've got to get our dealers thinking different."
Last year, Subaru added four training managers to the 13 it already had nationwide, he said. And this year, it plans to add four training locations to the 10 it has.
Subaru said it expects to run 750 training sessions in 2012 for a total of 9,300 hours of instruction, up from 588 sessions and 6,260 hours in 2010.
Subaru also will keep pushing dealers to improve customer waiting areas, Cyphers said. Dealership improvements will be covered by dealers. But Doll estimated that Subaru will increase spending on training 18 to 20% this year."  By Hans Greimel at AutoNews.com    


1/21 Eagle SX/4 all wheel drive. From 1981-1983, Eagle, owned by AMC, made a very cool all wheel drive 2 door hatchback called the SX/4. 
I recently saw one on the street. Click the image for photos
eagle sx/4

12/31 2011-  goodbye 2011 - a rough year for Japanese car companies including Subaru.
The year started well with a running start after a strong end to 2010.
The Puppy Bowl was a good alternative to Super Bowl advertising.
The March earthquake and tsunami disaster quickly resulted in shutdowns and delays. 2011 model shipments slowed, 2012 models were pushed back months. The the highly anticipated redesign of the 2012 Impreza with 27/36 MPG went from an expected August/September delivery to November/December. 
In March, Tim Mahoney, SoA's successful Chief Marketing Officer, left Subaru for VW. A few months later, in May, another longtime SoA executive, Tim Cobeck, Senior VP of sales, left to become President and COO of Saab NA.
In April,  Takeshi Tachimori became SoA President and CEO.  The Impreza XV concept, later named the Crosstrek,  was shown in Shangai. 
In July,  the 2,000,000th Subaru was assembled at SIA (Subaru Indiana America) in Lafayette, Indiana. The first cars were made September, 1989
Subaru sponsored the X Games in LA . Saudi women petitioned Fuji/Subaru to support a boycott in support of their right to drive. 
In August Subaru named their version of the rear wheel drive coupe being co-developed with Toyota, the BRZ, which is an acronym for "Boxer engine", "Rear-wheel drive" and "Zenith". It would first be shown at the Tokyo auto show in November, and the US version will be shown in Detroit 1/9/12.
By late summer, inventory was at the lowest point due to the earthquake. Despite all the troubles, demand remained strong and sales were still up for the year through September. People buy great cars.  Used Subaru prices were high. 2012 Outback and Legacy finally start arriving, almost 3 months late. 
The 2012 Impreza reviews are good as journalists get early test drives of the new 148hp engine and CVT transmission. Subaru begins accepting pre-orders for the car in September and by the end of October there are almost 3000 orders placed, helped by a early pre-order bonus. The cars are expected in mid-late November and people are patient as they wait for their car.
In late November, as the Imprezas should be arriving and inventory of all models finally increasing, there is a recall on the brake master cylinder that immediately stops almost all 2012 Outback, Legacy and Impreza sales. It takes weeks for replacement brake cylinders to start arriving.
By the end of December, 2011, sales were strong and the new Impreza was a success.
Looking forward, 2012 has 2 hot new models coming- the Impreza Crosstrek with 8"+ ground clearance, and the BRZ that went from an unnamed rear wheel drive curiosity to something people look forward to seeing in the spring 2012. 
Subaru survived and prospered in a tough year- you can't keep a good car company down. 



TRIBECA NEWS AND REVIEWS

2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
  -s
M


12/7 Tribeca... the rumors abound that the Tribeca is at or near the end of its life after 8 model years. Tribecas can still be factory ordered, not that many people do. And there are plenty of 2013s and even some 2012s available on lots. So far, YTD 2012 (through November) people have bought 1,866 Tribecas- that's the total amount down from 2467 in 2011 (through November). For comparison, the Crosstrek, which has only been out for 2 months, has already sold 3987, and the BRZ which is in extremely limited production for the US, has sold 3647 (though November).


9/27 Crosstrek and Tribeca brochures now at dealers Crosstreks are starting to arrive, many are pre-sold. The brochures are 20 pages long.
The 2013 Tribeca brochure is almost identical to the 2012 brochure, it has the same photos and text pages, except for the model and specs. All 2013 Tribecas are the Limiteds.


8/8 2013 Tribeca prices and specs released. The only model for 2013 is the Limited. Both Premium and Touring models have been dropped. No price or feature changes except a Brake override system has been added, and new Venetian Red color replaces ruby red. Destination raised $20 to $795 from $775.  2013 Tribeca spec page 

 
5/23 Tribeca- more rumors that it's ending. Its true the Tribeca had a difficult 2006 model year birth into a Subaru family that didn't fully appreciate its looks and engine. And its also true that it has always been a slow selling also-ran in the 7 passenger (really 5+2) SUV category, but its not only the first model's divisive look and ongoing low sales that will cause its demise. SoA likes to have a 7 seater, they need a family SUV or minivan (gasp), and no doubt the Tribeca's tooling is long paid off so the per car profit is high. Without an understudy in the wings, the Tribeca could continue on. But Subaru wants to grow grow grow and needs to make room at SIA where they make the Tribeca, and more importantly the Outback and Legacy. So the Tribeca will see a 2013 model,  though perhaps a short run as the article below indicates. And then after some time, a new 7 passenger will come around, possibly based on a comparable Toyota model.
> The latest rumor is from Motor Trend "Subaru Tribeca crossover production is to be cancelled by the end of 2012, our Japanese correspondent Peter Lyon is reporting, citing a source close to the automaker. First released in 2005, the original B9 Tribeca met with half-baked reviews as seen in our July 2007 review, in which we said, “One name too many. Good looks too few. A 3.0-liter engine in a 3.5- to 4.0-liter world.”Even the quick grille redesign and more powerful 3.6-liter 256-hp and 247 lb-ft of torque F-6 engine replacement in the 2007 face-lifted model was not enough to attract significant buyer numbers to showrooms. Sales fell from 10,975 units in 2008 to 5930 in 2009 and just 2472 in 2010. Last year, the Tribeca rebounded slightly, with 2791 units sold. By contrast, Toyota sold over 92,000 Highlanders in that same year. “I’m amazed the Tribeca has lasted this long,” says our source.|
When contacted for an official on-the-record comment, a Subaru spokesman responded, “No, Tribeca is not dead, and will be on sale for the 2013 model year.” Beyond the 2013 model year, though, the Subaru representative wouldn’t comment...." read the entire article 


5/4 Tribeca comments, from 4 Automobile magazine reviewers. Yes there will be a 2013 Tribeca.
> "Ah, the Subaru Tribeca. This is the strangest product available at a Subaru dealership. You'd be forgiven for forgetting the Tribeca is still on sale since hardly anyone buys them and the product hasn't seen a meaningful update in several years. This nameplate has to be on the do-not-refresh list and I expect it to quietly fade away very soon. Despite its pathetic fuel economy and lack of marketing attention, the Tribeca is reasonably good to drive. There's adequate power, decent body control, and a comfortable ride. The Tribeca does lots of things pretty well, but it doesn't excel in any category. That's just a recipe to be forgotten. Every other vehicle in this segment has some key characteristic that makes it worthy of purchase. The Tribeca is just average to good in every respect except fuel economy, which is a bad place to be worst-in-class these days"
> "....Subaru's Tribeca has registered on the radar of few consumers looking for a mid-size utility vehicle. After spending a weekend with the car, I can understand why. Although there is nothing the Tribeca does poorly, there is not much that it does particularly well. Plus, in appearance and character, there is little about the Tribeca, other than its badge, that says "Subaru." While its vehicles have become more mainstream, the perception of Subaru as a fringe brand is still intact and the Tribeca embodies none of the quirky ruggedness or uniqueness that built the Subaru brand..."
> "The Tribeca is old, with little to recommend it other than Subaru's reputation for quality and reliability. It's an anonymous three-row crossover with a very cramped third-row seat. It's so anonymous that, in a crowded and dark parking lot, I couldn't find it; I saw a glimpse of a grille that could have been it, but I concluded it was a Chrysler Pacifica. I pushed the unlock button on the key fob and what I thought was the Pacifica chirped its horn and flashed its lights, and then I remembered that Subaru had copied the look of the Pacifica when it got rid of the Tribeca's original, ugly, aviation-inspired grille. Is there anything positive to say? Well, yes: the interior ergonomics are excellent; temperature, fan settings, radio dials, etc., all are easy to operate."
>"the Tribeca stands out in our collective memories from its debut back in 2005, when it was supposed to herald both a new naming scheme and face for Subaru. Its original moniker - B9 Tribeca - was shortened to just Tribeca in 2008 at which time is also got a mild facelift to rectify the strange, three-port grille. At least people had been talking about it until the facelift - there's no such thing as bad PR, right? - it's just too bad that the Tribeca went from offensively ugly to offensively anonymous. What the Tribeca does have going for it is that its price undercuts almost all of its three-row crossover competition. Equivalent versions of Honda's Pilot, Toyota's Highlander, and Ford's Explorer all run north of the Tribeca's price tag; only the Hyundai Veracruz and the Dodge Journey come in cheaper". read this entire article


3/30 final day for 2012 factory orders for all Outback, Legacy, Forester, and Tribeca models. 2012 orders for Forester, Tribeca, Outback and Legacy end at 3pm today 3/30. This is early for Foresters, perhaps the 2013 model will get some updates (CVT?)  in advance of the 2014 make-over. Outback and Legacy manual transmission and 3.6L models had already stopped on 3/6. Dealers will continue to receive 2012s but in diminishing numbers. Low production models will sell out quickly. Subaru already announced 2013 Outback and Legacy details yesterday.

3/16 Tribeca reprieve... yes-no, yes-no...
"Subaru's slowest-selling standalone model, the seven-seat Tribeca medium SUV, has been given a stay of execution until at least the end of 2013.
Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior told GoAuto that the 2013 model year Tribeca has just been signed off, meaning it will remain in production “through to the end of 2013”, but could not guarantee whether the model will continue after that date..." the complete article


3/9- What comes after the Tribeca, Subaru's almost 7-passenger, drifts over the horizon?  
Subaru needs a family vehicle, a real 7 passenger instead of a 5+2, and a minivan fits the description.
It also would have been the right choice back in the late 1980s when Subaru decided to build the wonderful and offbeat 2 door SVX instead of the minivan that was also on the drawing board. But that's hindsight. Back then, 2 door Japanese sports cars were popular (Supra, RX, Z), but that wave quickly passed to bigger and bigger SUVs, and the SVX was left as a conversation starter. The SVX certainly was different (that's a Subaru?), it was fast, sexy and exotic, and yes, expensive, so it didn't sell well and today is a cult favorite, mostly - and sadly- a footnote. 
Back to the present though, and while burying the Tribeca is slightly and officially pre-mature, its not too early to toss a coin into the automotive wishing well.
I would like to see a 5 door, 5/7/8 passenger, all wheel drive, 3.6L mini-van. Make it a Subaru so it doesn't look or feel like a Chrysler or Toyota, give it all wheel drive and 7" ground clearance, keep the size tight (not an extended model, Subarus buyers don't buy 'big'), make the seating flexible (like a Chrysler or Toyota), and price it reasonably and watch all the kid, camping, dog loving, home owning Subieites jump in and drive one away when their Outback is worn out.
Of course some will bemoan that mini-vans are ugly, boring, as sexy as an old bathrobe and worn slippers, but who cares, this is a model that does it all, and appeals to every utility oriented, practical 'everything-in-one' Subaru owner.  In the recent past, all wheel drive minivans have included the Ford Aerostar, Chevy Astro, and VW Synchro.
Of course when the Tribeca (another footnote) is gone, will Subaru just pony up a rebadged Toyota Highlander/Sequoia? Maybe they will, but there's also the Sienna to start tinkering with....

Here is an article by writer Joe Yogerst on the state of the mini-van. "Long before anyone used the term “crossover,” America was besotted with another genre-bending vehicle called the minivan. A cross between a van and a station wagon, they emerged as the ideal family vehicle. Although they have been eclipsed by other genres in recent times, minivans are still going strong.  “The truth is, the minivan is the most thoughtfully designed vehicle on the road today,” said Edmunds.com executive editor Michael Jordan. “It’s a little miracle of easy access, clever storage, comfortable seating and electronic entertainment/connectivity.”
The minivan has a long history. Car buffs trace its origin back to the 1936 Stout Scarab, which offered a removable table and a second row of seats that could be swiveled around to face it. Toyota and Dodge both launched minivan models in 1984 to address a growing market: baby boomers and their children. 
Perhaps because of their safe suburban image and boxy shape, the minivan has been the butt of many jokes. 
“It’s fashionable to disdain the minivan, but this is pure social snobbery,” said Jordan, who added that the value of a minivan is in the way it’s used, not the way it looks. “That’s why kids love minivans and old men in snappy sports cars do not. A minivan cannot be improved by a gas-guzzling engine, a badge from Germany and tailfins.” 
“Minivans get knocked by people who don’t own them,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director of Kelley Blue Book. “Based on per-passenger fuel consumption, they are also remarkably efficient. These days even their looks have improved.”
Today’s minivans are certainly not the cheapest vehicles on the road, with low-end MSRPs generally running between $25,000 and $40,000. The higher prices are a result of the extra features packed into most models nowadays. 
“Minivans continue to get more luxurious and feature-filled,” Nerad said. “Though the current leading minivans — Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town & Country/Dodge Grand Caravan — are not all-new for 2012, they continue to be the class of the field.” 
The Odyssey’s appeal is based on a blend of great handling dynamics and a slate of options that includes a wide-screen TV. The Chrysler/Dodge minivans offer the broadest range of features — things like seats that fold into the floor and under-floor storage areas, plus dual-screen rear entertainment to keep the kids occupied.
In terms of sales, Dodge Grand Caravan leads the pack with 160,000 units sold in 2010. Chrysler Town & Country was second (126,000) followed by the Honda Odyssey (119,000) and Toyota Sienna (113,179). Other popular models include the Kia Sedona and Volkswagen Routan. And more models are on the way: VW is expected to introduce a 21st-century version of its legendary Microbus in 2014.
Indeed, the segment continues to evolve. A combination of factors has led to the introduction of smaller, more affordable models like the Mazda 5 and the forthcoming 2013 Ford C-Max. “These European-style minivans take the minivan formula and shrink it to a size that’s more compatible with an era of higher gas prices and smaller paychecks,” Jordan said. 
“Because we’ve grown used to the current generation of minivans, these new vehicles seem small at first,” he continued. “But ironically the Mazda 5 … offers the same amount of passenger space as the original minivan that transformed America — the 1984 Dodge Caravan.” read the original article by Joe Yogerst


3/4 For sale,  Tribeca limousine. Its at Singer Subaru in Plaistow, NH font>8 passenger, 73,171 miles. Its listed at $75,000, and probably open to offers.  At least you get the optional front mesh grill and chrome wheels.  click for photos and info or call 888-635-9262
tribeca limo for sale March 2012, singer subaru, nh

1/26 Tribeca. Another in the ongoing low-simmering rumor that the end is near, that 2012 might be the final year for the Tribeca. It could be true this time.
 
In 2011, the Tribeca's US total sales was 2791 which was at least a modest 12.90% increase from 2472 sold in the US in 2010. Thats only 5263 cars in 24 months so it shouldn't be a surprise if they drop it. But Subaru has needed a 7 passenger all wheel drive mini-van SUV since the early 1990s and hopefully in the next few years they will offer one. Perhaps like the BRZ, it will be developed with Toyota.

"Subaru’s troubled people-mover to fade into history late this year. Subaru has confirmed it will dump its controversial Tribeca, with the soft-roader-based people mover now likely to disappear from the Australian market as early as next year.
While Subaru has previously hinted at the Tribeca’s demise Akihide Takeuchi, the car maker’s project manager for its product and portfilio planning division, confirmed to Drive this week that the Tribeca’s US production line would start to switch off in December, ending a troubled seven-year run for a vehicle that sparked one of the fastest facelifts in automotive history.
The Tribeca still sells in significant volumes in Australia - according to Subaru’s local chief executive, Nick Senior, it still accounts for 100 sales a month with very little advertising budget - but Takeuchi says capacity of the Tribeca’s US-based production line is needed for other models in the Subaru line-up"  the original article 




Outback news and reviews
2012 calendar year news
click for  archived news from 2012
articles edited for length, content
-


12/22 IIHS crash test give the new Top Safety Pick+ rating to the 2013 Legacy and Outback built after August 2012, and 11 other cars.
Its interesting that Camry and Prius don't make the new Top Safety Pick+ grade, but the Suzuki Kizashi does though Suzuki announced recently that is pulling out of the US market.

"IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.
To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must earn good ratings for occupant protection in at least 4 of 5 evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test. To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their rating in the small overlap frontal test.

"To reward 2013 models with superior crash protection, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is awarding the new Top Safety Pick+ accolade to 13 cars. All earn good or acceptable ratings in the new IIHS small overlap test as well as top marks in other IIHS evaluations.
Winners include the Acura TL; Dodge Avenger and its twin, the Chrysler 200 4-door; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord 2-door; Honda Accord 4-door; Kia Optima; Nissan Altima 4-door; Subaru Legacy and its twin, the Subaru Outback; Suzuki Kizashi; Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60. The Acura TL and Volvo S60 are midsize luxury cars. The other models are midsize moderately priced cars.
"Of the 29 models evaluated so far in our small overlap frontal crash test, these 13 cars offer the highest level of all-around crash protection," says Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "We're pleased to recognize them with our new Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013."
...For 2013, 117 additional vehicles earn Top Safety Pick. To qualify for Top Safety Pick vehicles must have good ratings for occupant protection in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap rating.
"Models that earn Top Safety Pick also offer outstanding protection in many crashes," Lund says. "These vehicles are much safer choices than most vehicles on the market just five years ago."
IIHS introduced the small overlap test in 2012 to further improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. Luxury/near luxury midsize cars were the first group of vehicles evaluated, followed by midsize moderately priced cars. IIHS will announce additional Top Safety Pick+ winners as it continues to test models. Results for small SUVs are expected in the spring.
The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a car's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A Hybrid III dummy representing a 50th percentile male is belted in the driver seat." the complete list of Top Safety Picks
12/6  Aha radio-  Aha is by Harman/Kardon and funnels music, radio stations, even audio books through your phone to the car's Navigation system. It will be on the 2014 Forester, and 2013 Legacy and Outback in early 2013. Navigation is required.

11/10 Brilliant Brown Pearl color no longer available to factory order on Outbacks. It was a new color this year and only available on the 2013 2.5 and 3.6 Outback Limited with the Special Appearance Package. Initially it was only going to an option through August but it continued to be an available to order through early November. Its no longer listed as an option on new orders which means the Special Appearance Package can now only be ordered in white or black. There are still Brilliant Brown Special Appearance Package Outbacks for sale on lots however, and some more are coming in, but if you want a Brilliant Brown colored Special Appearance Package Limited, now is the time to look for best selection and price. 2013 Outback specs and details

11/9 2013 Outback webpage updated to
include the 3 new Navigation packages that include the Aha by Harman radio/phone/internet integration system available early 2013. The packages are Navigation with Aha, Navigation with Eyesight and Aha, and Special Appearance Package with navigation and Aha. The 2013 Outback webpage


 here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/07/2734691/confusing-premise-makes-awake.html#storylink=cpy
9/21 2013 Outback Limited Special Appearance package in the brilliant brown color continues to be available. Initially it was reported that the color would only be produced through August.

9/22 more US built Subarus coming?
"Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. could start cranking out vehicles in addition to the Outback, Legacy, Tribeca and Toyota Camry at its Lafayette manufacturing plant, the company’s vice president said Friday.
“There is a possibility of expansion in the future,” Tom Easterday said at a monthly industrial luncheon hosted by Greater Lafayette Commerce. “New products are possible. We’ll just have to wait and see. We should know in the next couple of months.”
SIA’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, is studying the pros and cons of moving production of an existing Subaru product to the Lafayette plant, Easterday said. “The study is looking at several factors, including projected market demand, cost of the project, forecast for future currency fluctuation and the supplier base. No decision has been made at this point,” Easterday said.
Driving the possible change is the increased cost of shipping products overseas, Easterday said. “The theory now is to build it where you sell it,” Easterday said.
SIA announced in May that it was planning a $75 million expansion to its Lafayette facility in order to increase Outback and Legacy production.
Easterday said the expanded plant will be able to produce 180,000 vehicles per year compared with its current 150,000 capacity. Those figures do not include overtime production capacity. Easterday said the 2013 models, which feature an engine with better torque and about 10 percent higher fuel economy, are popular. Outback sales in August improved nearly 50 percent over the same month last year.
SIA is set to manufacture 265,368 vehicles this fiscal year, which would be a record for the plant. The previous production high is 216,000, accomplished in 1998. Both numbers reflect overtime production capacity.' the original article 

9/16 Audi AllRoad competes with the Outback but costs a lot more
"How much will some people pay to be assured they're not driving a station wagon? About $3,200, if the * * * 2013 Audi Allroad is any indicator.
That's the difference between the base price for a new Allroad and the 2012 Audi A4 Avant station wagon, the car the Allroad replaces. Plus $150 a year for gasoline, of course. That's the EPA's estimate of how much more it will cost to fuel the Allroad than an A4 Avant wagon, despite the vehicles' identical performance and drivetrains.
The Allroad is an attractive, luxurious and sporty crossover SUV that's essentially a mildly restyled, more-expensive version of the attractive, luxurious and sporty A4 station wagon Audi sold until the beginning of the 2013 model year. (Hint to bargain shoppers: Your local Audi dealer may still have one.)
Prices for the 2013 Audi Allroad Quattro start at $39,600. The five-passenger crossover SUV comes with a fine 211-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. I tested an Allroad with a few options that stickered at $42,900.
The Allroad is no better than the A4 Avant, though it will almost certainly outsell it and earn Audi more money. It's a truism in the auto industry that Americans love crossover SUVs and abhor station wagons. Gentlemen, start your platitudes: It's the free market in action. There's a sucker born every minute. Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Well, maybe not that last one, but the others apply.
...The Allroad does much better when compared with other automakers' luxury wagons and crossovers. Its direct competitors include the front-wheel drive Acura TSX wagon and AWD wagons like the BMW 328i xDrive, Cadillac CTS4, Subaru Outback and Volvo XC70. Midsize upscale crossovers like the Infiniti EX, Land Rover Evoque, Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLK will also compete with the Allroad. The Allroad's combination of fuel economy, luxury and all-wheel drive is unmatched. The EPA rated the Allroad 20 m.p.g. in the city, 27 on the highway and 23 in combined driving. That beats all the competitors I've named but the Acura, which can't match the AWD Audi's performance, and the less-powerful and luxurious Subaru...' read the entire article


9/8 SIA making Outbacks and Legacys as fast as they can.
"Strong sales figures for Subaru could lead to increased vehicle production at a 3,600-worker central Indiana factory where it already has expansion plans. Subaru reported August sales were up more than 35 percent from a year ago, joining other automakers in pushing U.S. sales to their highest level in three years.
Those increased sales make it likely Subaru will want more of the Outback and Legacy models built at the company's Lafayette factory, Subaru of Indiana Automotive vice president Tom Easterday told the Journal & Courier for a story Wednesday (http://on.jconline.com/Olwv4F ).
Subaru previously planned to build 172,000 Outback or Legacy models this fiscal year at the factory. A production boost would mean more overtime work for the plant's employees.
"Everbody's positive about it," Easterday said. "It gives everyone a very po sitive outlook to the future."
The company announced plans in May for a $75 million expansion that will allow the factory to build 180,000 vehicles a year without overtime, an increase of about 24,000 vehicles from current capacity. The factory produced nearly 171,000 vehicles last year by including overtime.
Subaru said then it anticipated adding up to 100 jobs by the end of 2014. The Lafayette factory opened in 1989 and also produces Toyota Camrys. The factory is the only one Subaru has in North America and builds more than half the Subaru vehicles sold in the continent.' read the article.


8/28- Outback brochure error  on Outback brochure, on page 19 with the security features at the top. Printing date 6/12 on the lower rear of the back cover. The error is the PASSIVE SAFETY section, the  'Subaru advanced frontal airbag system' shows as not available on the base 2.5i model. That's incorrect. It is standard on all models. This will be corrected on later printings of the brochure.

8/17 Consumer Reports comments on Eyesight
"We recently took delivery of our new 2013 Subaru Outback, with some improvements over the previous 2010 model we tested. One is Subaru's new EyeSight system. This pro-active safety system uses a pair of cameras over the rearview mirror to know when to stop the car, if the driver isn't paying attention. We had a chance to try this and several other EyeSight features in a brief demonstration Subaru recently set up at our test track.
The EyeSight manages adaptive cruise control, lead vehicle start alert, lane departure warning, lane swaying, pre-collision warning, and pre-collision throttle management and braking. In other words, the EyeSight system sounds an alert if the driver approaches an object in front too fast, strays outside the lane, or begins weaving inside a lane.
The EyeSight system looks like a big plastic box, with two heads peeking down from the on either side of the rearview mirror, almost like police lights—except the boxes are for cameras, not lights. The cameras detect cars and other obstacles in front of the Subaru. The system sounds a warning if the driver is approaching them too fast, and it can apply the brakes up to maximum force if the driver still doesn't respond.
Insurance industry studies have shown such forward collision warning and systems have been effective in reducing accidents. (Read: "Automatic braking and better headlights reduce accidents.")
In the demonstration, Subaru set up 12 large foam blocks with the image of a stopped Outback near the end of our track. As we approached (in Subaru's EyeSight-equipped Legacy), our driver was told to hold the speed at 20 mph and not let up on the gas. The car automatically applied the brakes in time to stop in front of the target. However, when our driver instinctively adjusted the gas, the car assumed he was paying attention and released the brakes, so we smashed into the foam Outback ahead of us.
That's the way the system is designed, so if there is an escape route to the side, for example, you can accelerate into it. The next time, our driver held the throttle steady, and the car stopped short of the target.
The automatic collision-avoidance braking can only keep you completely out of a collision if you're closing on the car or obstacle in front of you at less than 20 mph. (For example, if the car in front is going 50 mph, you can't be going more than 70 mph.) That's because it takes 2.5 seconds for the system to recognize an obstacle and brake. At higher closing speeds, the system will still apply the brakes to reduce the severity of a collision, but it can't stop the car in time.
At lower closing speeds, EyeSight also uses pre-collision throttle management. It will reduce the throttle to as little as 5 percent to encourage the driver to slow down before the pre-collision warning and pre-collision braking are needed.
EyeSight's cameras can also help in stop-and-go driving (once the driver has engaged the adaptive cruise control) by following the car ahead at one of three preset distances. The system can't be turned on below 25 mph, but once activated, it will stay on even if you fall below that speed, maintaining pace with and stopping behind the car in front when needed. When traffic restarts, it sounds an alert and requires a quick tap on either the accelerator or the cruise-control Resume switch to restart, Subaru says.
Two switches in the headliner can shut off the lane departure and lane sway system, along with the pre-collision braking system, but you have to hold down the buttons for two seconds. Holding the main cruise control switch down for two seconds engages the traditional cruise control.
Other automakers have had similar systems for several years, and we have tested several. But they tend to be bundled into expensive technology or safety packages on pricey luxury cars. EyeSight is a standalone option on Outback and Legacy models that costs $1,295. One thing it lacks is side blind-spot detection, which typically illuminates a light by the appropriate side mirror if it detects an obstacle to the side.  As our 2013 Outback continues to make its way through our testing process, we'll continue to report on EyeSight's effectiveness. And we'll continue to refine our testing procedures to sort the better collision mitigation systems from the also-rans." the article


8/9 A 2010 Outback sits under water for over 1 1/2 years
"From her deck overlooking the Rogue River, Penny Toman can see the top of a 2010 Subaru Outback about a foot below the water's surface. A bit of rust and slimy green gunk decorate the deteriorating car that has been in the river for more than a year, she said.
The car belonged to Kate McKay Boone, then 36, who attempted suicide March 7, 2011, by driving the vehicle into the river at Valley of the Rogue State Park, according to police reports. Jackson County sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said the following day that the car would be removed in the next few days when water levels fell.
But the next few days have turned into nearly a year-and-a-half, and the white Subaru Outback remains underwater.
"We're wondering why nothing has been done," said Toman, 59. Sheriff's officials said they've had a difficult time locating the car because of high water levels and currents that moved the car downstream. Now that the Subaru is visible near the 3400 block of Rogue River Highway, discussions between Boone's insurance company, which is responsible for removing the car, and Valley of the Rogue officials have delayed the removal process.
After driving the car into the river, Boone escaped the vehicle and was arrested and lodged in the Jackson County Jail for nine days on charges of disorderly conduct, littering in a waterway, resisting arrest and attempting to assault a public safety officer, according to Carlson.
Boone was convicted on March 17, 2011, of second-degree disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, both misdemeanor charges. Boone paid a $135 fine but was not required to pay for the car's removal, according to court documents.
Lt. Pat Rowland, manager of Jackson County sheriff's Field Services Division, said officials haven't removed the car because it isn't considered a safety hazard and isn't blocking a water channel. If it moves and blocks a channel, Rowland said, officials would remove it.
"I know everybody's working on it," he said. "It's a work in progress. It'll get moved. I just don't know when."
Boone's insurance company, Progressive, contacted Valley of the Rogue several weeks ago about removing the car. Company spokesman Jeff Sibel said part of the reason it has taken Progressive so long to remove the car is because sheriff's officials couldn't locate it.." read the entire article


8/7 Manual transmissions- there will always be people who want a manual transmission but Subaru is making fewer than ever. For 2013, Subaru reduced the Option Packages available on the Outback Premium manual, and dropped the Legacy Premium manual model altogether. Forester, Impreza, BRZ, and WRX STI are still available with manual
"Cars with manual transmissions are making a modest comeback, but with tens of millions of drivers lacking the ability to operate a stick shift, analysts don’t expect a big jump.
Auto Information company Edmunds.com says that vehicles equipped with manual transmissions accounted for 7% of autos sales so far this year. That compares to a 3.9% share of sales in all of 2011.
If the trend holds, the manual transmission share of auto sales will be the highest since 2006. “A combination of factors – from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road – is creating a small spike for stick shifts,” said Ivan Drury, an Edmunds.com analyst. “But even though manual cars are on the rise now, they’re on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years.”
Automakers are offering fewer vehicles that have a manual transmission as an option.   Edmunds.com found that 64% of all 2012 model year vehicles are available only with automatic transmission. Ten years ago the number was a much smaller 48%.  Technology and pricing trends have ended some of the traditional advantages that manual transmissions had over automatics. At one time, manual transmissions always achieved better fuel economy, but with the advent of six- and eight-speed automatic transmissions, that’s no longer a sure bet. Edmunds points out that the automatic version of the Ford Focus has better fuel economy than its manual sibling.
Similarly, a car with a manual transmission once was always less expensive than the same model in an automatic. Several General Motors vehicles, including the popular Chevrolet Cruze and the Cadillac CTS, now cost the same for both versions, according to Edmunds.com." the original article- notice the photo in the article- it's a BRZ Limited



7/16 2013 Outback photo pages have been uploaded, (Legacy images soon) with more Outback images to be added next week. Exterior, Interior  

7/11 2013 Outback and Legacy finance rates now available at the same rate as the BRZ, starting at 2.90% 24-63 months, top credit. No rate for 72 months. Leases are also now available

7/9 2013 Outback and Legacy now arriving at dealers. Foresters expected later in July.


7/7 2013 Outback review
"Drove one about a week ago, a 2.5 Premium CVT.
Was pretty impressed, as the car seemed a bit quicker than the '12 model; and it seemed to handle a bit better too, although I didn't get to drive it on any challenging roads.
Bottom line is that I came away impressed. Today I went to another dealer to drive another, as I always like to follow up with a second road test to confirm my initial impressions, and to hopefully garner some more insight into the vehicle.
Well today I was not disappointed, as the model I drove was a Limited CVT with the new and updated navigation—and the all-new optional Eyesight!
Not only that I got to drive it on some fun country roads, as was able to check out the revised suspension.
Comments:  The suspension is a big improvement over the '12 model. The car felt really taut on the curvy country roads. Subaru has claimed that it has reduced body roll by 40 percent. I believe it. The car felt much more "Euro-like" on the country back roads. As good as this felt, I'm sure the Legacy is even better. A big thumbs up here.
As with the earlier version I drove, the '13 Outback with this new FB25 engine felt quicker than earlier models. Even the salesman who was with me commented on that, as this was the first time he had been in the '13 model. He also commented that the CVT whine, found on earlier models, was absent in this car. My only wish is that engine had direct injection with ~ 190 or so horsepower, as 173 hp is merely average in this segment. Having said that, there is definitely more low- and mid-range power than before, and that's where most people spend their time anyway. So again, a solid thumbs up here.
The navigation also seems to have been improved. The salesman commented on the graphics being better than before. It also uses an SD card for easy map upgrades. We played with it a bit, but really can't compare it to the older version, as I'm not that familiar with it. I can say what I saw here was fine, and can only assume it's better than what they previously offered. A rear-view camera is part of the package, and that worked fine—and is almost worth the price in itself. For those who tow (me!), a rear-view camera is really helpful in lining up the trailer hitch with the trailer.
As to the Eyesight, I had mixed feelings. It warns you should happen to wander out of your lane, which is good. However any time you change lanes intentionally, it also warns you with a buzzer. After a while I think that buzzer might drive you nuts. So I'm not so sure I like that aspect. (note- if you use the turn signals it doesn't buzz).
Now the adaptive cruise control (part of Eyesight) I love!  You have three choices of how much distance you want between you and the car in front. You also get a graphic on the instrument cluster showing what distance of separation that you have selected. I like that. When you come upon a slower car in front, you are alerted by a quick buzz and a graphic of the rear of a car appears next to the cruise indicator on the dash. The car also slows to the speed of the vehicle in front. You don't have to do anything. It's really neat. Should the car in front speed up and pull away, the graphic on the instrument cluster disappears along with a buzz to let the driver know that the vehicle in front is no longer within the CC range. Also neat is the actual mph that the CC is set at is displayed. In my case, it was 60 mph. The downside to Eyesight is that you have to get navigation and the moonroof. Those who don't want those features are out of luck.
This vehicle also had the optional rear seat back rubber protectors, which work in conjunction with the rear rubber cargo floor area protector. This is the first time I've seen these. They've been offered in other markets before, but never here. The seat back protectors appear to be permanently attached to the seats, which may (or may not) be a problem? The MSRP for this vehicle was a bit over $35K. Yeah, that's a lot for a 4-cylinder car. Bob"


7/1 On the 2013 Legacy and Outback brochures. Both are 20 pages. The Legacy brochure photos were taken in Seattle- the cover photo is the bow of a Washington State ferry, and on the rear cover the Seattle skyline is in the background of the ferry.  The silver Legacy on pages 3/4 is on the Yesler Way I-5 overpass in downtown Seattle, and red Legacy on pages 4/5 is in the Pioneer Square district. The background photo (center pages 10/11) and Eyesight descriptive text in both Legacy and Outback brochures is the same, the only change is its either a Venetian Red Legacy or Outback driving closely (using cruise control?) behind a silver Forester.

6/29 2013 Outback and Legacy brochures are now at dealers.
That means the cars are close behind. Some dealers might already have them.

6/21 Is a Jetta Alltrack coming, pointed at the Outback and Forester? and maybe with a diesel?
"Volkswagen is not finished with plans to extend the Jetta portfolio.
The suits inside the Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters are mulling a plan for a crossover version of the future Jetta SportWagen along the lines of the recently introduced Alltrack concept.
“We think there is definite sales potential in North America and other world markets for a new lifestyle-targeted Jetta model,” a senior Volkswagen source divulged. “It could be based on the successor to [the] existing model.” The vehicle under discussion is a Subaru Outback fighter, complete with elevated ride height, uniquely styled bumpers and light graphics, additional wheel-arch cladding and specialized interior trims.
To keep development costs in check, the wagon and the crossover would share the same steel body and mechanical package. The crossover, which likely would take the name Jetta Alltrack for sales in the U.S. market, was conceived to offer the choice of either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. It could potentially be sold in other markets, including Europe, as the Golf Alltrack.
With the next-generation Tiguan due out in 2014 set to increase in size and offer an optional third row of seats in North America, Volkswagen clearly sees room at the lower end of its lineup for another crossover offering. The Jetta crossover would be assembled alongside future incarnations of the existing Jetta sedan and SportWagen and the upcoming Jetta four-door-style coupe at a plant in Mexico. All four will be based on Volkswagen's new modular platform structure. Four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline and diesel engines for the Jetta models will also be sourced from Mexico." read the article

6/20 2013 order system is now available for Outback, Legacy,  and Forester
(and BRZ but that's been available).  Today is the first day to factory order a 2013 Outback, legacy or Forester. 2013 Tribeca, Impreza, Crosstrek and WRX STI are not yet available to order. 

The Legacy and Outback have some good upgrades, including suspension and steering upgrades, new front grill, wheels, bumper and fog lights. There are new option packages, new Eyesight driver assist system, and new colors. Outback gets a new Special Appearance Package with push-button start, integrated turn signals in the outside mirrors and more, and this should be a very popular package. Its available in 3 colors- black, white and new brilliant brown, all with new Saddle Brown leather.  The two new Outback and Legacy colors, Venetian Red and Twilight Blue, are available in both the off-black or the warm ivory interior.
Contact your local dealer (list of dealers) to place an order if you've been waiting, or contact me if you'd like to order one in the Seattle area. Research the 2013 specs, colors and list prices Forester, Outback, or  Legacy.


6/13 2013 prices and features announced. 2013 models are not yet available for ordering but should be very soon. For 2013 specs, prices and more: Outback, Legacy and Forester

6/3 Eyesight- an overview of the major components of Subaru's Eyesight safety system. This review is from Australia.  Its soon to be available on 2013 Outback and Legacy Limited models. Sort of like having Mom or Dad in the car, the lane sway function warns when changing lanes without using turn signals. Now if it could only disable the cell phone texting...
"For the majority of new car buyers, Subaru’s EyeSight system is revolutionary. In reality, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, although until recently most of the technology has been exclusive to high-end European luxury cars....
Subaru EyeSight is the combination of seven different new-generation active safety features that will help prevent or limit the impact of a potential accident. They go far beyond what we have seen in cars for the past few decades.
The first and perhaps most useful in inner-city driving conditions, is the pre-collision throttle management system... say you’re pulling into a car park and get distracted by a song on the radio or an incoming phone call, you quickly go for the brake pedal and accidently floor the accelerator pedal. This may seem unlikely, but it’s one of the most common causes of car park incidents. EyeSight’s cameras can work out if there is an object is in front of your car when the accelerator is suddenly pushed and restrict engine output, significantly reducing the risk of damage or injury....
The second system is adaptive cruise control, which can ‘lock on’ to a vehicle in front and follow it at a predetermined distance and up to a predetermined speed. Essentially it takes the need for the accelerator and brake pedal out of the equation for long drives. All you have to do is steer.... The Subaru system is a second-generation unit and can bring the car to a complete stop with traffic and resume when the car in front starts moving.  Like similar systems in Volvos and Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it does have some limitations. For example, it gets a little annoyed when another car merges between you and the target car, leading to sudden deceleration. It can at times not even realise there is a car merging until it’s right in front of your bumper. As a result, it’s important to not rely solely on the system for all your acceleration and deceleration inputs...
The pre-collision braking and brake assist systems are there to either prevent or limit the damage caused by a front-on accident. If the driver becomes distracted or disabled (e.g. suffers a heart attack) and the vehicle is driving straight into another object, the system audibly warns the driver of a potential impact and then automatically applies braking force if it detects a collision is forthcoming. In some cases this will stop the vehicle completely while in others it will simply limit the speed prior to impact, helping reduce the severity of the crash.
The assist system helps bring on full braking force in case the driver is not applying full brakes.... Subaru has taken the approach that if an impact is imminent, maximum braking is the way to go.... This system can potentially save many lives and as more and more manufacturers introduce it as standard equipement. Nonetheless, it can also be rather annoying. It does tend to get a bit alarmed when you’re accelerating towards another car to, for example, make a green light or prepare for an overtaking manoeuvre, giving you audible warnings that can drive you mad. If you’re a car enthusiast (or an aggressive driver), you’re likely to quickly try to turn it off....
The lane departure and vehicle sway warning systems are also part of the ‘can-drive-you-mad’ category. They give audible warnings when the car is drifting across a clearly marked lane without indicating or when the system recognises that the vehicle is drifting to the other side of the road unintentionally. It’s all well and good in theory, but only after having it on for a week do you come to appreciate just how often you either cut clearly marked lines or leave your lane without indicating. It’s a great way to teach you how to drive within the lines and it does this by constantly blasting you with warnings like a high-school teacher...
Last but not least, the lead vehicle start alert system is something we haven’t seen before. It essentially gives you a reminder if you’re in traffic and the car in front has started to move without you noticing. It’s rather handy and very unobtrusive." the entire article.  


6/1 Subaru removes 2013 model order forms except BRZ.  Subaru changes their mind, removes 2013 online order forms for Outback, Legacy and Forester. Over the past weeks, 2013 Outback, Forester and Legacy order forms were online and those models could be ordered. Those forms have now been removed which means orders are not accepted for those models. I'm not sure if any 2013 orders, other than BRZ which is available for ordering, actually went through successfully.  Stay tuned for updates


5/30 Outback 3.6R review. The 3.6L Outback models for 2012 are 3.6R, Premium and Limited. For 2013, its 3.6R and Limited, the Premium model has been dropped
"This last week I received my fourth Subaru to test, a 2012 Outback with the six-cylinder engine.  It was the 3.6R “Limited” model in Ice Silver metallic with black leather interior.  This car is made by Fuji Heavy Industries, a Japanese firm, in Lafayette, Indiana.  The Limited is the top-line Outback, out of six models offered in both four-, and six-cylinder configurations.  This one had  an option package that included power moonroof, navigation system, 440-watt harman/kardon  stereo, Bluetooth phone, backup camera, and Ipod/USB connections.  This $2,995.00 package, plus $223.00 for “puddle lights”, brought the total M.S.R.P. to $35,886.00, including freight.  I really enjoyed the puddle lights that shine beneath each of the four doors on the vehicle, after dark. The Outback is a derivative of the Subaru Legacy wagon, introduced in 1994.  It was originally called the “Legacy Outback”, and the Legacy name was dropped in 2003.  Subaru in the 1990’s could not afford a new design for its “crossover SUV” to be produced, so simply modified an existing offering.  They added side body cladding, raised the ground clearance, and added a rugged-looking rack on the top.  In 2009, the second generation Outback came out, and sales since then have been brisk – over 90,000 in 2010 and over 100,000 in 2011.  Crossover SUV’s are quite popular nowadays, and in large part it is the fault of the Subaru Outback.
Power for the Outback is supplied by a 3.6 liter, “boxer” six-cylinder, DOHC, all-aluminum engine with 256 horsepower and 247 lb. ft. of torque.  Boxer refers to its horizontally-opposed configuration, like a Corvair or Porsche.  The weight of the engine, although modest, is kept at a lower center-of-gravity with this design.  Ground clearance, however, is a category-best 8.7 inches.  The transmission is a five-speed automatic with manual mode and paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.  All-wheel drive, is, of course, standard equipment.  Fuel economy is rated at 18-city and 25-highway for the car, and I observed about 20 mpg during my trips to Denver (2), along with running around Greeley.  The tank holds 18.5 gallons of regular gasoline and acceleration from zero to sixty is reportedly in the 8/9 second range.  Wheelbase/length/weight are 107.9”, 188.2”, and 3,631 lbs., respectively.
The front leather buckets in the Outback are nice, and the three-passenger rear seat is split and reclines somewhat.  Cargo space is 34 cubic feet with the back seats up and 71 cubic feet with the back seats dropped down.  The center passenger in the rear has a shoulder belt, adding to the Outback safety reputation.  Both of the front seats are power-adjustable, and the driver ergonomics are fine. I don’t think the Outback styling is its calling card, but I happened to like it OK.  The 17” alloy wheels on the Limited are attractive, and they are surrounded by 225/60R17 all-season radials.  The silver paint was offset with the dark cladding and bumpers, and the black roof rack gave the car an off-road look.  I did not go off-road, but took some bumpy dirt roads with satisfactory results.  I like the hefty feel of the car both in town and out on the highway.  While on one of the Denver trips, I enjoyed dinner at John Elway’s (sizzle), and found pleasure in the ride down and back in the Outback (steak – solid, sturdy, safe, and stylish)." the original article 

5/29 diesel CVT in the next Outback set for Australia
"Subaru will take the next step in its dynamic diesel story by with the introduction of its first automatic transmission diesel variant.

The Outback 2.0 diesel with Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) will build on the significant success of the manual diesel variants of Outback and Forester.
It will be the first time Subaru has offered an automatic diesel in Australia.
Nick Senior, Subaru Australia Managing Director, said: “Diesel Foresters and Outbacks represent up to 20 per cent of sales of those models, so the addition of the diesel auto Outback for Model Year 2013 is significant news for Subaru. “We know there’s massive pent up demand for auto diesels, particularly in rural and regional areas, so it’s a great opportunity for us to meet the needs of those customers. “The CVT transmissions in our petrol cars are a huge hit, typified by new XV and Impreza, so we can only see good things for Outback auto diesel.”
Mr Senior said engineers from Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have been working with Subaru Australia engineers.
“FHI engineers have just returned to Japan after extensive testing of the pending Outback diesel CVT.  “We’re very excited and we suggest customers pre-order with dealers to ensure early delivery.” Pricing and specification are yet to be announced.  Outback 2.0 diesel with CVT is expected to be on sale in quarter one of 2013." the original article

5/20 2013 Subaru Outback and Legacy orders now available. No prices announced. Check out the 2013 Outback page (Legacy page soon)

5/19
Subaru, on a growth spurt and spurned by China,  expands the Outback and Legacy SIA plant in Lafayette
"...Over the next two years, Subaru will invest approximately $75 million to increase production output in order to meet estimated consumer demand for the Subaru Outback and Legacy. Construction on a 52,000 square-foot expansion to the plant’s body assembly section is expected to begin this summer.
“We are proud but not surprised. Each time I have visited with Subaru leadership they have stressed how pleased they are with the performance and productivity of (Subaru Indiana Automotive),” Daniels said.
According to the executive vice president of Subaru Indiana Automotive, Tom Easterday, the company has produced more than 3.6 million vehicles since production started in 1989.
“The expansion of (Subaru Indiana’s) capacity is necessary to meet the growing demand for Subaru vehicles in the North American market,” Easterday said. “The success of the Legacy and Outback is the result of innovative design focused on the needs of our customers.
The new expansion will enable company associates to build 180,000 vehicles on regular hours, compared to the current limit of 156,000.
Approximately 3,600 people work at the company’s 832-acre Lafayette campus. More than 600 workers have been added in the last three years, Easterday said.." the entire article

4/12 early safety advocate drives an Outback
"Shahan is the founder and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS), a driver of some of the most important advances in auto-related safety and financial protection regulation.
The gig: Rosemary Shahan is the founder and president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS). The Sacramento organization has been the driver of some of the most important advances in auto-related safety and financial protection regulation on the books today.
Shahan, 62, championed the nation's first lemon law in California, which has since been copied in every state. She was a major force behind the federal air bag mandate and laws protecting military service members from abusive car loans. And she's not finished.
Accidental activist: A native of Canton, Ohio, Shahan attended Case Western University on a full scholarship. There she met her husband, a naval officer with whom she lived in Italy and Greece, where she worked as a teacher. Shahan found her calling when the couple moved to San Diego and had a run-in with a Volkswagen dealer in 1979. The dealer took their broken Dasher wagon in for repairs, but after several months hadn't fixed it, yet refused to release it from his shop when she asked to take it to another mechanic. Furious, she picketed the dealership for five months until the dealer gave in. "I was the world's worst picketer," Shahan said. "But I prevailed."
It could happen to anyone: The experience was revelatory for Shahan, who heard dozens of stories about rotten dealers thanks to her picketing. "I felt this was un-American," she said. "It shouldn't happen in a country where everyone's voice is supposed to matter."
Energized, Shahan began agitating among California legislators to pass a bill that would protect consumers from defective cars. In hearings, automakers defended current practices. But consumer data found that more than a million defective new cars a year were being sold to the public. The so-called lemon law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1982, gave dealers four chances to fix a car before it was dubbed a lemon and the dealer had to refund the car's sale price.
A full-time obsession: That same year, Shahan formed Motor Voters (short for Motor Vehicle Owners Together Ending Ripoffs) and threw herself into a new cause: safety. She and her husband moved toWashington, D.C., and Shahan joined the effort to require all cars to have air bags. It was one of the nastiest fights in a city known for them, but Shahan and fellow supporters refused to quit. Air bags have been required in all new passenger vehicles since 1989.
California state of mind: After a split with her husband, Shahan in 1993 returned to California, the nation's largest car market. She soon founded CARS, a registered lobbying group that allowed her to take up issues with politicians in Sacramento.
Not about the money: Shahan doesn't sport Gucci loafers or bespoke Italian suits like other lobbyists — not on the $45,000 she pays herself. She hasn't taken a major vacation in years. "There were years I made only $7,000 doing it," she said. "But I get to do what I love."
But what does she drive? When her 1988 Volvo finally gave out in 2010, Shahan bought a used Subaru wagon she found on Craigslist, taking care to get it inspected first. "I've never had a car payment in my life," she brags.
Letdown: For years Shahan pushed a voter initiative known as the Car Buyers Bill of Rights that would have dramatically changed the way dealers sell cars in California. But the initiative fell victim to backroom political wrangling. When a bill finally passed in 2005, it was a shadow of the original. "It could have been something great," she said.
Next up: In 2004, two sisters driving a car rented in Santa Cruz were killed after an engine fire disabled the vehicle's steering, leading to a head-on collision with a semi. The car had been subject to a safety recall a month before, but the rental car firm chose not to fix it. Shahan has been fighting to get federal legislation passed that would require rental car companies to remove all vehicles from their fleets until recall service is performed. "It's a matter of trust," she said.
Motto: When the going gets rough, which isn't uncommon when doing battle with multibillion-dollar corporations, Shahan tries to remember a line attributed to Mohandas Gandhi. "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
Personal: Shahan is a dog lover who once adopted a border collie with a broken leg. She dreams of driving up Pacific Coast Highway and seeing Northern California, but can never tear herself away from work long enough to do it. "My work is my hobby," Shahan said. "  the original article

3/30 final day for 2012 factory orders for all Outback, Legacy, Forester, and Tribeca models. 2012 orders for Forester, Tribeca, Outback and Legacy end at 3pm today 3/30. This is early for Foresters, perhaps the 2013 model will get some updates (CVT?)  in advance of the 2014 make-over. Outback and Legacy manual transmission and 3.6L models had already stopped on 3/6. Dealers will continue to receive 2012s but in diminishing numbers. Low production models will sell out quickly. Subaru already announced 2013 Outback and Legacy details yesterday.

3/29 2013 Outback and Legacy details announced
. They will debut at the big NY Auto Show April 4-16 alongside the all new XV Crosstrek. New Outback and Legacy models usually arrive in late spring/early summer,
the Crosstrek is expected later this summer.
The 2.5L engine and CVT are new, the suspension has been improved on all models among other changes.
Dropped models:  The Legacy GT, Legacy 2.5i Premium with manual transmission, and both Legacy and Outback 3.6R Premium models have been discontinued. If you want one now is the time!
2013 Outback details
The 2.5L engine and CVT are new, the suspension has been improved among other changes. Limited gets optional memory drivers seat and keyless unlock with pushbutton start.
Models includes 2.5i and 2.5i Premium with 6 speed manual or CVT, 2.5i Limited CVT, and 3.6R and 3.6R Limited with the 5 speed automatic. The Outback 3.6R Premium model has been dropped.
The CVT is the 2nd generation with smoother and quicker response.
Suspension upgrades reduce body sway and lean up to 40%. Other steering and suspension enhancements are for a smoother, quieter ride with better handling.
All models get a new grill, headlights, bumper, fog lights, and brake override system so when brake and gas are pressed at the same time, the brake overrides the gas and stops the car. There will be other minor changes.
The 3.6L and 5 speed automatic transmission remain the same.
The 2.5L DOHC engine is new, its the FB25 that was first used in the 2011 Forester. Thats a big change for the 13s.
The new 2.5 engine has a timing chain (replaces timing belt), and gets better fuel economy plus has more power.
It has 173hp up from 170hp, and 174ft-lb torque up from 170.
2.5L economy increases to 24/30 combined 26, up from 22/29 combined 24 for the 2012-2010 models
New- Eyesight system will be available on both Legacy and Outback. No details yet on which models it will be available.  Eyesight is a new, multi-functional, forward viewing dual camera system that warns you if the car is wandering out of the lane (lane departure warning) or it detects an object in front the car in which case it helps stop the car by activating the brakes or increasing brake pressure, and uses engine management to reduce RPMs and lower the speed. It has Adaptive Cruise Control that helps maintain a set distance from the car in front.
And it lets you know if, when stopped at a traffic light, the car in front has started moving.

new on all 2013 Outback models-
The roof rack rear crossbar now adjusts for a wider spread. Thats good news for carrying long loads like surfboards and kayaks etc.
Suspension: body sway or lean has been decreased up to 40%, plus other steering and suspension enhancements for a smoother, quieter ride.
Cloth material on 2.5i, 2.5i Premium and 3.6R models has been upgraded, and the silver trim will be replaced by a new matte woodgrain trim (no word on if this new trim is also on the Limiteds).
new on....
2.5i: now has steering wheel audio controls with hands free bluetooth, audio streaming, and USB (like 2012 Premium/Limited)
2.5i Premium: no changes announced other than the new seat material, adjustable crossbar, suspension improvement, and dash trim.
2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited: long overdue power memory drivers seat is finally available for the first time on any Outback. Its part of a new Special Appearance Package that also includes another all new feature, keyless access with pushbutton start. Other new Limited upgrades for 2013 include rear A/C vent, upgraded electro-luminscent dash display with 3.5" info display, new navigation/gps system with Nav traffic and SD card.
read the 2013 Outback press release

3/26 The 2013 Outback and Legacy to be at the NY Auto Show April 6-12 (4th-5th are press days). 
The cars will be be mildly refreshed and are expected in late June.
Among other changes, Subaru Eyesight will be officially introduced. Its an advanced driver assistance system with multiple functions that will be available on some 2013 Outback and Legacy models.  The Eyesight system  uses 2 small, forward facing cameras on either side of the rear view mirror to create an image of the road immediately ahead of the car.
> It warns you if the car is wandering out of the lane (lane departure warning).
> It if it detects an object in front the car, it helps stop the car by activating the brakes or increasing brake pressure, and uses engine management to reduce RPMs and lower the speed.
> It has smart Adaptive Cruise Control that helps maintain a set distance from the car in front.
> It lets you know if, when stopped at a traffic light for example, the car in front has started moving.

3/25 older Outbacks - "Karen Swicker, a social worker in Massachusetts, was on her way to visit a client when she noticed a puff of smoke next to her left elbow.
The door of her 2002 Subaru Outback was smoldering. She pulled over, and within minutes, the door was in flames.
"By the time the fire department got there, it was fully engulfed in flames," Swicker told The Huffington Post. "The door melted."
Swicker's case and five other complaints registered with the government prompted Safety Research & Strategies, an automotive safety consulting firm, to ask the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation into the possibility that there might be a defect in the electronic components in the door, which could cause fires.

The agency in February announced it was investigating 309,00 General Motors vehicles and 830,000 Toyota vehicles for the same kind of fires happening in driver side doors. The safety agency is looking into the possibility that GM and Toyota use the same supplier.
A Subaru spokesman said the company is aware of Swicker's incident and is looking into it.
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is committed to ensuring the safety of vehicles on America’s roads," a spokesman for the agency said. "The agency is aware of the potential issue, is monitoring complaints and other data closely, and will take appropriate action as necessary.”
... One North Carolina car owner, whose complaint is listed in the NHTSA's anonymous complaints database, said the owner's son was driving their 2004 Subaru Outback in a Target parking lot when he noticed smoke and heat coming from the driver's side door. By the time he stopped, flames were coming from the door. The Durham Fire Department extinguished the blaze. Another driver said he or she could feel heat coming up through the buttons on the driver's side arm rest, and then the fire started. Yet another said the flames melted a two-inch hole in the door.
It didn't take many complaints for NHTSA to decide to look into the issues at Toyota and GM: There were just six complaints from Toyota owners and 12 from GM owners. None of the cars were totally destroyed by the fires, but doors melted and some seats were singed...." read the entire article
3/8  a few winter cars for snowy, slushy driving, from NY Daily News.. The Outback makes their list
"We had a mild winter. But it isn't always that way and for those living outside the big city, wise East Coast drivers put winter performance as a key priority when considering a purchase. It may be new and sleek, but if it doesn't hold the road in winter you'll end up walking.
The criteria for “Best Winter Car” isn’t very far from what anyone wants on any car – you want it to start every time, don’t want to get stranded and you want it to keep you safe in the event of an emergency.  That said, there are some rides that simply do better through the white stuff than others.

The
FORD F-150, that tried-and-true best-selling American workhorse pickup, is a top snow-buster. Not only is visibility excellent all around, its 4-wheel drive configuration lets it punch through small drifts and its fuel economy is better than most gulpy trucks on the market. That’s due to its 365-horsepower EcoBoost V6 engine, now the most popular engine in Ford’s crop of trucks. It’s also got hill-start-assist, which helps when encountering icy inclines.
The
SUBARU OUTBACK doubles up not only as a great family car, but a great all-arounder for all kinds of weather as it comes with a a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system as well as a Vehicle Dynamics Control system, keeping you steady on slippery surfaces. It’s also comfy and its looks are handsome if a little bookwormish.  Choose the 3.6R for your winter travels as it’ll give you more oomph, or opt for the base model 2.5i. Options include a Cold Weather Package.
Minivans are typically horrible in snow, but the
TOYOTA SIENNA AWD is one of the few exceptions as it features an optional On-Demand All-Wheel Drive System with Active Torque Control on its V-6 Sienna LE, XLE and LTD. You can fit up to eight people in its innards, though one or two may have to be of small stature. Options include a Dual-View Entertainment Center on the XLE/LTD models as well as a Navigation Package and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control on the primo LTD variant.
The
ACURA MDX is stylish, powerful, well-balanced and solid little SUV, but it also happens to work well in snow, with a Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system and a lot of features designed to combat old man winter like power heated leather seats and tri-zone climate control. It’s got a powerful 300 horsepower V6 engine perfectly matched to its small dimensions, and standard equipment includes power heated leather seats, a premium audio package and a power rear liftgate plus available Technology, Advance and Entertainment Package upgrades.
Rugged, fun, young and fantastic when the sun it out, the JEEP WRANGLER can also handle the kind of weather seen in Montana winters. And if you fit a snowplough your neighbors will love you! More elegant, more confortable (and more money) takes you to the JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE with a powerful engine, great grip and a frame designed for off-roading. " the entire article

3/6 Outback and Legacy- orders are no longer accepted for 2012 Outback, and Legacy 3.6R and Legacy with manual transmission - that's the Legacy 2.5i manual, Premium manual and 2.5GT - as Subaru starts to prepare for the end of the 2012 model year. There will be a good selection for a while but if you want a 2012 3.6L Outback,  or Legacy 3.6L or manual transmission, its time to look seriously.

2/27 Diesel automatic - an Outback diesel CVT is going to be available next year in Australia. Now that a diesel CVT is available, will the US get one or will the cost of the diesel engine and higher US diesel fuel prices be a deterrent?
from Australia: "Subaru will start to fill a significant hole in its model lineup when it launches an automatic version of the turbo-diesel Outback soft-roader in 12 months. And further down the track the company expects to add auto-diesel Forester and XV models to its SUV range. However, they won’t arrive before 2014. Passenger car models with diesel would be further out than SUVs.
The auto in the Outback will be a high-torque version of the Lineartronic CVT which is gradually spreading through the Subaru range, replacing traditional torque converter autos.
“Next year at this time we’ll have an Outback CVT diesel on sale,” Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior confirmed at last week’s Impreza launch. “We sell about 70 Outback diesels per month and once we add the auto we will double that quite convincingly,” he said.  He said auto was more crucial to boosting sales of the Outback, rather than the Forester, both of which offer the same 350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel boxer/six-speed manual alongside petrol manual/auto options in the range. “We take Outback to a lot of field days and motor shows and the message from people is ‘once it has an auto we are interested’,” Senior said.
“The Forester diesel is a little different. We sell around 180-200 per month with the manual and we don’t get the same feedback with the Forester in terms of an auto as we do with the Outback.” The new generation Forester is due next January, and Senior indicated it probably wouldn’t have a diesel at launch, and when it does arrive it won’t initially be with an auto.
He said that was simply due to engineering projects taking their place in a bulging Subaru development schedule. Intriguingly, Senior said the arrival of a high-torque Lineartronic in Outback indicated its potential suitability for high-performance models such as the next generation WRX and STi due in 2014. “If you’re able to put that sort of torque through a CVT it then opens up the possibilities of it being in our more performance variants.  I think that’s the future direction for us.”  the article
 

2/16  seen on a car lot, a 2002 Outback Limited 3.0R VDC. It was the top of the line model from 2001-2004 and the first to have Subaru's VDC stability control, which is where the name of the car came from.   I just made a photo page about this car, click here or the photo to visit the page.
click for photos of tyhe 2002 VDC

2/15 recall- 2012 Outbacks and Legacys for side airbags that might not deploy.
A total of 387 new 2012 Outbacks and Legacys - that's 381 cars in the US and 6 in Canada - have been produced with one or both side curtain airbags that may not inflate during a side impact collision.  The recall calls for replacing the defective air bags, and dealers will know which ones to replace on a car. Recall #WVZ-36.
NHTSA says "These vehicles may be equipped with side curtain airbags that contain an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator component used, resulting in insufficient output of compressed gas," said NHTSA in its recalls summary of the problem. "The side curtain airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury."
Subaru told the federal safety agency that it has not received a technical report of the problem from any market, including the U.S. Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries received an initial report of the problem through Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. from component supplier Takata U.S.A. that the side curtain airbags had not deployed during their sampling inspection. Letters to owners will be mailed in February.
The recalls has already affected more than 2,700 Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan vehicles, but that number could grow if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines that more automakers used similar defective parts. All four companies with recalled vehicles told NHTSA that the Americas unit of Swedish safety parts maker Autoliv Inc. made the propellant for the side air bags...

2/10 recall- side airbags might not deploy on Outback and Legacy in Canada. Reportedly only 6 Canadian cars are involved. 
From Transport Canada "On certain vehicles, the side curtain airbag inflators may have been incorrectly manufactured and, as a result, one or both airbags may not deploy as intended. Failure of a side curtain airbag to deploy during a crash (where deployment is warranted), could increase the risk of personal injury to the seat occupant.... Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace one or both side curtain airbag assemblies." the Transport Canada website




 Legacy news and reviews
2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content

m

12/22 IIHS crash test give the new Top Safety Pick+ rating to the 2013 Legacy and Outback built after August 2012, and 11 other cars.
Its interesting that Camry and Prius don't make the new Top Safety Pick+ grade, but the Suzuki Kizashi does though Suzuki announced recently that is pulling out of the US market.

"IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.
To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must earn good ratings for occupant protection in at least 4 of 5 evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test. To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their rating in the small overlap frontal test.

"To reward 2013 models with superior crash protection, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is awarding the new Top Safety Pick+ accolade to 13 cars. All earn good or acceptable ratings in the new IIHS small overlap test as well as top marks in other IIHS evaluations.
Winners include the Acura TL; Dodge Avenger and its twin, the Chrysler 200 4-door; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord 2-door; Honda Accord 4-door; Kia Optima; Nissan Altima 4-door; Subaru Legacy and its twin, the Subaru Outback; Suzuki Kizashi; Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60. The Acura TL and Volvo S60 are midsize luxury cars. The other models are midsize moderately priced cars.
"Of the 29 models evaluated so far in our small overlap frontal crash test, these 13 cars offer the highest level of all-around crash protection," says Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "We're pleased to recognize them with our new Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013."
...For 2013, 117 additional vehicles earn Top Safety Pick. To qualify for Top Safety Pick vehicles must have good ratings for occupant protection in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap rating.
"Models that earn Top Safety Pick also offer outstanding protection in many crashes," Lund says. "These vehicles are much safer choices than most vehicles on the market just five years ago."
IIHS introduced the small overlap test in 2012 to further improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. Luxury/near luxury midsize cars were the first group of vehicles evaluated, followed by midsize moderately priced cars. IIHS will announce additional Top Safety Pick+ winners as it continues to test models. Results for small SUVs are expected in the spring.
The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a car's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A Hybrid III dummy representing a 50th percentile male is belted in the driver seat." the complete list of Top Safety Picks

12/18 Consumer Reports tests Accord, Legacy, and Malibu. They like the Honda. Here's a summary
"Consumer Reports has completed testing several new or updated family sedans, and the results are a bit mixed.
Honda Accord - The all-new Honda Accord looks very much like last year's model, but the sedan demonstrated a real improvement in our tests. Although Honda has slipped with other models it redesigned in recent years, it nailed this one...
Subaru Legacy - With a mild update, the Subaru Legacy dropped a couple points in its overall test score, falling a bit short in refinement and performance. For 2013, Subaru tweaked the steering and suspension, which helped make emergency handling more secure and predictable. But the changes also robbed the car's ride of its plushness; it's still good, but no longer great. We feel the same about the recently tested Outback...
Chevrolet Malibu - Our latest Malibu, tested with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, outscores the mild-hybrid Malibu Eco by a fair bit. The Malibu shines with a plush, comfortable ride and a very quiet cabin. It also has simple controls, decent fuel economy, and secure handling. However, the rear seat remains relatively tight, with less space for legs and knees...
Bottom line: The family sedan segment has been significantly freshened this year, with many cars being updated or redesigned.... it definitely pays to dig in and do the research to see which best suits your needs and budget.." subscribe to CR online and read the entire article

12/6  Aha radio-  Aha is by Harman/Kardon and funnels music, radio stations, even audio books through your phone to the car's Navigation system. It will be on the 2014 Forester, and 2013 Legacy and Outback in early 2013. Navigation is required.

11/8  2013 Legacy webpage updated to include the new 2.5L Sport model available late 2012, and 2 new Navigation packages that include the Aha radio/phone/internet integration system available early 2013.
The new 2.5i Sport CVT model fits between the Premium CVT and Limited CVT. No manual is available. Includes power moonroof, All Weather Package, Fog lights with chrome trim, alloy pedal covers, 18" high luster silver alloys and carbon fiber design dash trim (from the discontinued 2012 Legacy GT) and striated black cloth with silver stitching.
Prices have not been announced. The 2013 Legacy webpage for details


9/22 more US built Subarus coming?
"Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. could start cranking out vehicles in addition to the Outback, Legacy, Tribeca and Toyota Camry at its Lafayette manufacturing plant, the company’s vice president said Friday.
“There is a possibility of expansion in the future,” Tom Easterday said at a monthly industrial luncheon hosted by Greater Lafayette Commerce. “New products are possible. We’ll just have to wait and see. We should know in the next couple of months.”
SIA’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, is studying the pros and cons of moving production of an existing Subaru product to the Lafayette plant, Easterday said. “The study is looking at several factors, including projected market demand, cost of the project, forecast for future currency fluctuation and the supplier base. No decision has been made at this point,” Easterday said.
Driving the possible change is the increased cost of shipping products overseas, Easterday said. “The theory now is to build it where you sell it,” Easterday said.
SIA announced in May that it was planning a $75 million expansion to its Lafayette facility in order to increase Outback and Legacy production.
Easterday said the expanded plant will be able to produce 180,000 vehicles per year compared with its current 150,000 capacity. Those figures do not include overtime production capacity. Easterday said the 2013 models, which feature an engine with better torque and about 10 percent higher fuel economy, are popular. Outback sales in August improved nearly 50 percent over the same month last year.
SIA is set to manufacture 265,368 vehicles this fiscal year, which would be a record for the plant. The previous production high is 216,000, accomplished in 1998. Both numbers reflect overtime production capacity.' the original article 
9/9 Legacy review- its an overlooked gem
"Many mid-size sedan buyers act like lemmings, continually buying the same make of vehicle year after year. Otherwise, a lot more Subaru Legacy mid-size sedans would be bought.
Rivals to the Legacy—essentially an overlooked gem—include the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Most receive far more advertising and have a considerably larger owner body.
Not that Subaru hasn’t been around for decades. It began to get its feet as a small, cramped front-wheel drive model that nevertheless was rugged. It became a favorite for rough New England winters, and for years was known as a “New England” or “Northeast”  car. Few Americans knew it scored well in tough European rallies.
Subaru began switching from inexpensive  economy cars to more upscale models later than rivals. It built a terrific sports car—the SVX—in the early 1990s, but few could identify Subaru with a sports car, so the SVX eventually was dropped. However, hot-car lovers have readily accepted the more modern, very fast Subaru Impreza WRX four-seater, which had done well in tough overseas rallies....
While, not as big as many major competitors, Subaru has moved up in the world since its switch to standard all-wheel-drive for its models. More recently, models such as the Impreza,  Outback and Legacy have helped improve sales.
The Legacy got a major redesign in 2010, when it received a roomier, nicer interior. The handsome, tightly built 2013 Legacy is much the same as the 2012 model, but has minor trim changes and revised styling with new headlights, grille and front bumper.
Legacy base prices range from $20,295 for the base 2.5i to $28,895 for the top-line 3.6R Limited.  All trim levels are well-equipped, especially the higher-line ones, and have Subaru’s exceptional all-wheel-drive system.... That leaves the Legacy with models that have either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 173 horsepower (up from 170) or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder with 256 horsepower—unchanged from 2012.
Both compact engines have horizontally opposed pistons, as do Porsche sports car engines, to allow a lower center of gravity for better handling.
.. Subaru says the four-cylinder makes the Legacy the most economical mid-size all-wheel-drive vehicle, with preliminary estimated fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on highways....The 2013 Legacy delivers a lot for the money and deserves more consideration from the generally conservative folks who shop for mid-size sedans..." read the entire article

9/8 SIA making Outbacks and Legacys as fast as they can.
"Strong sales figures for Subaru could lead to increased vehicle production at a 3,600-worker central Indiana factory where it already has expansion plans. Subaru reported August sales were up more than 35 percent from a year ago, joining other automakers in pushing U.S. sales to their highest level in three years.
Those increased sales make it likely Subaru will want more of the Outback and Legacy models built at the company's Lafayette factory, Subaru of Indiana Automotive vice president Tom Easterday told the Journal & Courier for a story Wednesday (http://on.jconline.com/Olwv4F ).
Subaru previously planned to build 172,000 Outback or Legacy models this fiscal year at the factory. A production boost would mean more overtime work for the plant's employees.
"Everbody's positive about it," Easterday said. "It gives everyone a very po sitive outlook to the future."
The company announced plans in May for a $75 million expansion that will allow the factory to build 180,000 vehicles a year without overtime, an increase of about 24,000 vehicles from current capacity. The factory produced nearly 171,000 vehicles last year by including overtime.
Subaru said then it anticipated adding up to 100 jobs by the end of 2014. The Lafayette factory opened in 1989 and also produces Toyota Camrys. The factory is the only one Subaru has in North America and builds more than half the Subaru vehicles sold in the continent.' read the article.


8/7 Manual transmissions- there will always be people who want a manual transmission but Subaru is making fewer than ever. For 2013, Subaru
reduced the Option Packages available on the Outback Premium manual, and dropped the Legacy Premium manual model altogether. Forester, Impreza, BRZ, and WRX STI are still available with manual
"Cars with manual transmissions are making a modest comeback, but with tens of millions of drivers lacking the ability to operate a stick shift, analysts don’t expect a big jump.
Auto Information company Edmunds.com says that vehicles equipped with manual transmissions accounted for 7% of autos sales so far this year. That compares to a 3.9% share of sales in all of 2011.
If the trend holds, the manual transmission share of auto sales will be the highest since 2006. “A combination of factors – from the growing age of vehicle trade-ins bringing more manual drivers back to market, to a greater proportion of smaller cars on the road – is creating a small spike for stick shifts,” said Ivan Drury, an Edmunds.com analyst. “But even though manual cars are on the rise now, they’re on track to be virtually extinct in the next 15 to 20 years.”
Automakers are offering fewer vehicles that have a manual transmission as an option.   Edmunds.com found that 64% of all 2012 model year vehicles are available only with automatic transmission. Ten years ago the number was a much smaller 48%.  Technology and pricing trends have ended some of the traditional advantages that manual transmissions had over automatics. At one time, manual transmissions always achieved better fuel economy, but with the advent of six- and eight-speed automatic transmissions, that’s no longer a sure bet. Edmunds points out that the automatic version of the Ford Focus has better fuel economy than its manual sibling.
Similarly, a car with a manual transmission once was always less expensive than the same model in an automatic. Several General Motors vehicles, including the popular Chevrolet Cruze and the Cadillac CTS, now cost the same for both versions, according to Edmunds.com." the original article- notice the photo in the article- it's a BRZ Limited



7/11 2013 Outback and Legacy finance rates now available at the same rate as the BRZ, starting at 2.90% 24-63 months, top credit. No rate for 72 months. Leases are also now available

7/9 2013 Outback and Legacy now arriving at dealers. Foresters expected later in July.

7/1 On the 2013 Legacy and Outback brochures. Both are 20 pages. The Legacy brochure photos were taken in Seattle- the cover photo is the bow of a Washington State ferry, and on the rear cover the Seattle skyline is in the background of the ferry.  The silver Legacy on pages 3/4 is on the Yesler Way I-5 overpass in downtown Seattle, and red Legacy on pages 4/5 is in the Pioneer Square district. The background photo (center pages 10/11) and Eyesight descriptive text in both Legacy and Outback brochures is the same, the only change is its either a Venetian Red Legacy or Outback driving closely (using cruise control?) behind a silver Forester.

6/29 2013 Outback and Legacy brochures are now at dealers.
That means the cars are close behind. Some dealers might already have them.


6/20 2013 order system is now available for Outback, Legacy,  and Forester
(and BRZ but that's been available).  Today is the first day to factory order a 2013 Outback, legacy or Forester. 2013 Tribeca, Impreza, Crosstrek and WRX STI are not yet available to order. 

The Legacy and Outback have some good upgrades, including suspension and steering upgrades, new front grill, wheels, bumper and fog lights. There are new option packages, new Eyesight driver assist system, and new colors. Outback gets a new Special Appearance Package with push-button start, integrated turn signals in the outside mirrors and more, and this should be a very popular package. Its available in 3 colors- black, white and new brilliant brown, all with new Saddle Brown leather.  The two new Outback and Legacy colors, Venetian Red and Twilight Blue, are available in both the off-black or the warm ivory interior.
Contact your local dealer (list of dealers) to place an order if you've been waiting, or contact me if you'd like to order one in the Seattle area. Research the 2013 specs, colors and list prices Forester, Outback, or  Legacy.

6/13 2013 prices and features announced. 2013 models are not yet available for ordering but should be very soon. For 2013 specs, prices and more: Outback, Legacy and Forester

6/3 Eyesight- an overview of the major components of Subaru's Eyesight safety system. This review is from Australia.  Its soon to be available on 2013 Outback and Legacy Limited models. Sort of like having Mom or Dad in the car, the lane sway function warns when changing lanes without using turn signals. Now if it could only disable the cell phone texting...
"For the majority of new car buyers, Subaru’s EyeSight system is revolutionary. In reality, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, although until recently most of the technology has been exclusive to high-end European luxury cars....
Subaru EyeSight is the combination of seven different new-generation active safety features that will help prevent or limit the impact of a potential accident. They go far beyond what we have seen in cars for the past few decades.
The first and perhaps most useful in inner-city driving conditions, is the pre-collision throttle management system... say you’re pulling into a car park and get distracted by a song on the radio or an incoming phone call, you quickly go for the brake pedal and accidently floor the accelerator pedal. This may seem unlikely, but it’s one of the most common causes of car park incidents. EyeSight’s cameras can work out if there is an object is in front of your car when the accelerator is suddenly pushed and restrict engine output, significantly reducing the risk of damage or injury....
The second system is adaptive cruise control, which can ‘lock on’ to a vehicle in front and follow it at a predetermined distance and up to a predetermined speed. Essentially it takes the need for the accelerator and brake pedal out of the equation for long drives. All you have to do is steer.... The Subaru system is a second-generation unit and can bring the car to a complete stop with traffic and resume when the car in front starts moving.  Like similar systems in Volvos and Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it does have some limitations. For example, it gets a little annoyed when another car merges between you and the target car, leading to sudden deceleration. It can at times not even realise there is a car merging until it’s right in front of your bumper. As a result, it’s important to not rely solely on the system for all your acceleration and deceleration inputs...
The pre-collision braking and brake assist systems are there to either prevent or limit the damage caused by a front-on accident. If the driver becomes distracted or disabled (e.g. suffers a heart attack) and the vehicle is driving straight into another object, the system audibly warns the driver of a potential impact and then automatically applies braking force if it detects a collision is forthcoming. In some cases this will stop the vehicle completely while in others it will simply limit the speed prior to impact, helping reduce the severity of the crash.
The assist system helps bring on full braking force in case the driver is not applying full brakes.... Subaru has taken the approach that if an impact is imminent, maximum braking is the way to go.... This system can potentially save many lives and as more and more manufacturers introduce it as standard equipement. Nonetheless, it can also be rather annoying. It does tend to get a bit alarmed when you’re accelerating towards another car to, for example, make a green light or prepare for an overtaking manoeuvre, giving you audible warnings that can drive you mad. If you’re a car enthusiast (or an aggressive driver), you’re likely to quickly try to turn it off....
The lane departure and vehicle sway warning systems are also part of the ‘can-drive-you-mad’ category. They give audible warnings when the car is drifting across a clearly marked lane without indicating or when the system recognises that the vehicle is drifting to the other side of the road unintentionally. It’s all well and good in theory, but only after having it on for a week do you come to appreciate just how often you either cut clearly marked lines or leave your lane without indicating. It’s a great way to teach you how to drive within the lines and it does this by constantly blasting you with warnings like a high-school teacher...
Last but not least, the lead vehicle start alert system is something we haven’t seen before. It essentially gives you a reminder if you’re in traffic and the car in front has started to move without you noticing. It’s rather handy and very unobtrusive." the entire article.  

6/1 Subaru removes 2013 model order forms except BRZ.  Subaru changes their mind, removes 2013 online order forms for Outback, Legacy and Forester. Over the past weeks, 2013 Outback, Forester and Legacy order forms were online and those models could be ordered. Those forms have now been removed which means orders are not accepted for those models. I'm not sure if any 2013 orders, other than BRZ which is available for ordering, actually went through successfully.  Stay tuned for updates

5/22 Want a manual transmission midsize family sedan? they're still available but fewer and fewer each year. Starting with the coming 2013 Legacy, only the base model is available with a manual transmission- the 2.5 Premium manual and GT turbo models have been discontinued. And in the 2013 Subaru Outback crossover, while a manual is still available in both a 2.5 base and 2.5 Premium models, the options have been reduced - no sunroof, no upgraded stereo etc.
"
Soon a majority of mainstream midsize sedans will have standard automatic transmissions and no manual transmission option. It's been a long time coming. The stick shift has stuck around longer on midsize sedans than on other body styles, probably due to the broad appeal of the segment; these cars still make up the most vehicle sales in the U.S. The manual-transmission option also allowed marketing departments to advertise the highest fuel-efficiency figures and the lowest base prices, which were usually found on the manual-equipped models.
But automatic transmissions have become more efficient, and sometimes they deliver better gas mileage than their manual-transmission cousins. The automatic-equipped 2012 Subaru Legacy gets 26 mpg combined while the manual gets 22 mpg, for instance.
Although automatic-equipped cars usually cost about $1,000 more than their manual-transmission counterparts, so few people are opting for the shift thrower that carmakers are abandoning the option. The latest to do so was Hyundai. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata is no longer offered with a manual transmission. This has raised the car's base price by $1,100 and docked 1 mpg from its fuel-economy rating in city driving, but few people were opting for the manual, according to Hyundai. Of the 225,961 Sonatas sold last year, just 1,725 had a manual transmission, said Miles Johnson, Hyundai's product public relations manager.
Of the 13 mainstream midsize sedans available today, six can have a manual transmission. When the 2013 Ford Fusion comes out, the manual-transmission option will be dropped from the base model, but it will be kept it for its fuel-efficient 1.6-liter four-cylinder powertrain, according to the carmaker.
Overall, the industry's average take rate for vehicles equipped with a manual transmission has hovered around 4% of total new-car sales for the past couple of years, according to the Detroit Free Press. The figure was 8.5% just a decade ago.
According to the article, these family sedans are still available with a manual shifter: Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, Mazda6, Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Passat. read the original article 


5/20 2013 Subaru Outback and Legacy orders now available. No prices announced. Check out the 2013 Outback page (Legacy page soon)

5/19
Subaru, on a growth spurt and spurned by China,  expands the Outback and Legacy SIA plant in Lafayette
"...Over the next two years, Subaru will invest approximately $75 million to increase production output in order to meet estimated consumer demand for the Subaru Outback and Legacy. Construction on a 52,000 square-foot expansion to the plant’s body assembly section is expected to begin this summer.
“We are proud but not surprised. Each time I have visited with Subaru leadership they have stressed how pleased they are with the performance and productivity of (Subaru Indiana Automotive),” Daniels said.
According to the executive vice president of Subaru Indiana Automotive, Tom Easterday, the company has produced more than 3.6 million vehicles since production started in 1989.
“The expansion of (Subaru Indiana’s) capacity is necessary to meet the growing demand for Subaru vehicles in the North American market,” Easterday said. “The success of the Legacy and Outback is the result of innovative design focused on the needs of our customers.
The new expansion will enable company associates to build 180,000 vehicles on regular hours, compared to the current limit of 156,000.
Approximately 3,600 people work at the company’s 832-acre Lafayette campus. More than 600 workers have been added in the last three years, Easterday said.." the entire article

4/14 Legacy review -
"Legacy feels chiseled, solid.  The Subaru Legacy can be summed up in one word: solid.  Rarely do four-door family cars feel as well-built as this one, with its standard all-wheel drive and chassis that seems more German than Japanese. It's one of those special cars that feels like it's built from a single block of steel.
The doors close with a solid thud. The dash trim is all chiseled and tightly assembled.
  Even the driving feel is heavy and slightly militaristic, with that go-anywhere, do-anything machismo of 4x4 trucks, only in a much more socially acceptable package.
The Legacy's standard all-wheel drive system is terrific comfort for those times when road conditions are slippery. That's one of the reasons Subarus are so popular in areas with frequent snowfall and mountain terrain, but it can also be helpful on wet roads as I found out during a freakishly strong spring storm in Texas recently.

Other cars would have felt skittish in such a downpour, struggling for traction on the soaked tarmac, but the Legacy always displayed Jeep-like confidence over puddles and through the howling wind.

There's a cost to that all-wheel-drive confidence, though, and it comes in the form of added weight that hurts its gas mileage.
  The most efficient Legacy — with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission — is rated for 31 mpg on the highway and 23 in the city. There are two ways to look at those mileage figures. They're obviously worse than you would get from more traditional front-wheel-drive cars such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion.
But, on the flip side, that's excellent mileage for an all-wheel-drive vehicle and much better than you could expect from crossovers and SUVs with similar capability.

One of the best parts of the Legacy, like any Subaru, is the design of its engine. The Legacy offers both four- and six-cylinder engines with a horizontally opposed layout, also known as a "boxer" design, that's more common in high-end German cars such as Porsches and BMWs.
  Boxer engines have cylinders that bang against each other in opposite directions, from side to side, virtually eliminating the need for balancing. This design gives them a smooth, almost turbine-like feeling when you press the gas pedal. It's a wonderful thing to find in affordable cars and something I wish more brands would offer in their lineup.
Subaru offers a smaller car called the Impreza that has a sportier driving feel, but the Legacy is a more grown-up model. Its suspension is tuned to the smoother, more comfortable side of the driving spectrum, and its cabin is bigger and more practical for families.
  Styling seems to draw inspiration from European cars, using the high, dramatic beltline of new Volvos and the trunk bump popularized on BMWs. Its overall shape nicely straddles the line between sporty and classy.  Pricing starts at $19,995 for the basic 2.5i model and reaches up to $28,595 for the performance-oriented 3.6R Limited version." read the article


3/30 final day for 2012 factory orders for all Outback, Legacy, Forester, and Tribeca models. 2012 orders for Forester, Tribeca, Outback and Legacy end at 3pm today 3/30. This is early for Foresters, perhaps the 2013 model will get some updates (CVT?)  in advance of the 2014 make-over. Outback and Legacy manual transmission and 3.6L models had already stopped on 3/6. Dealers will continue to receive 2012s but in diminishing numbers. Low production models will sell out quickly. Subaru already announced 2013 Outback and Legacy details yesterday.

3/29 2013 Outback and Legacy details announced
. They will debut at the big NY Auto Show April 4-16 alongside the all new XV Crosstrek. New Outback and Legacy models usually arrive in late spring/early summer,
the Crosstrek is expected later this summer.
The 2.5L engine and CVT are new, the suspension has been improved on all models among other changes.
Dropped models:  The Legacy GT, Legacy 2.5i Premium with manual transmission, and both Legacy and Outback 3.6R Premium models have been discontinued. If you want one now is the time!

2013 Legacy details
The 2.5L engine and CVT are new, the suspension has been improved among other changes.
Models- 2.5i manual or CVT, 2.5 Premium CVT, 2.5i Limited CVT, 3.6R and 3.6R Limited with the 5 speed automatic
Gone: the Legacy 2.5GT, 2.5i Premium with manual transmission, and 3.6R Premium models have been dropped.
(Note-  4/1/12
I do have a new 2012 white Legacy 2.5GT for sale, with navigation, rear spoiler etc)
All models get a new grill, headlights, bumper, fog lights, and brake override system so when brake and gas are pressed at the same time, the brake overrides the gas and stops the car.
Suspension: body sway or lean has been decreased up to 40%, plus other steering and suspension enhancements for a smoother, quieter ride with better handling.
There will be other minor upgrades.
The 3.6L engine and 5 speed automatic remain the same.
The 2.5L engine is new, its the FB25 that was first used in the 2011 Forester.
The new 2.5 engine has a timing chain (replaces timing belt), and gets better fuel economy plus has more power.
It has 173hp up from 170hp and 174ft-lb torque up from 170.
2.5L economy increases to 24/32 combined 27, up from 23/31 combined 26 for the 2012-2010 models
The CVT is the 2nd generation and is expected to be quieter and more responsive.
New features and options

New keyless access with pushbutton start is available, no word on which models.
Cloth material (2.5i, 2.5i Premium and 3.6R models) has been upgraded, and
The silver dash trim will be replaced by a dark glossy woodgrain trim (no word if this new trim is also on the Limiteds).

2.5i: now has steering wheel audio controls with hands free bluetooth, audio streaming, and USB (like 2012 Premium/Limited)
2.5i Premium: now with standard CVT (no manual available) and has standard 17" alloys (replaces 16")
2.5i Limited and 3.6R Limited  upgrades for 2013 include rear A/C vent, upgraded electro-luminscent dash display with 3.5" info display. There is no memory seat.

New- Eyesight system will be available on both Legacy and Outback. No details yet on which models it will be available.  Eyesight is a new, multi-functional, forward viewing dual camera system that warns you if the car is wandering out of the lane (lane departure warning) or it detects an object in front the car in which case it helps stop the car by activating the brakes or increasing brake pressure, and uses engine management to reduce RPMs and lower the speed. It has Adaptive Cruise Control that helps maintain a set distance from the car in front.
And it lets you know if, when stopped at a traffic light, the car in front has started moving.

read the
2013 Legacy press release

3/26 The 2013 Outback and Legacy to be at the NY Auto Show April 6-12 (4th-5th are press days). 
The cars will be be mildly refreshed and are expected in late June.
Among other changes, Subaru Eyesight will be officially introduced. Its an advanced driver assistance system with multiple functions that will be available on some 2013 Outback and Legacy models.  The Eyesight system  uses 2 small, forward facing cameras on either side of the rear view mirror to create an image of the road immediately ahead of the car.
> It warns you if the car is wandering out of the lane (lane departure warning).
> It if it detects an object in front the car, it helps stop the car by activating the brakes or increasing brake pressure, and uses engine management to reduce RPMs and lower the speed.
> It has smart Adaptive Cruise Control that helps maintain a set distance from the car in front.
> It lets you know if, when stopped at a traffic light for example, the car in front has started moving.

3/6 Outback and Legacy- orders are no longer accepted for 2012 Outback, and Legacy 3.6R and Legacy with manual transmission - that's the Legacy 2.5i manual, Premium manual and 2.5GT - as Subaru starts to prepare for the end of the 2012 model year. There will be a good selection for a while but if you want a 2012 3.6L Outback,  or Legacy 3.6L or manual transmission, its time to look seriously.

2/15 recall- 2012 Outbacks and Legacys for side airbags that might not deploy.
A total of 387 new 2012 Outbacks and Legacys - that's 381 cars in the US and 6 in Canada - have been produced with one or both side curtain airbags that may not inflate during a side impact collision.  The recall calls for replacing the defective air bags, and dealers will know which ones to replace on a car. Recall #WVZ-36.
NHTSA says "These vehicles may be equipped with side curtain airbags that contain an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator component used, resulting in insufficient output of compressed gas," said NHTSA in its recalls summary of the problem. "The side curtain airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury."
Subaru told the federal safety agency that it has not received a technical report of the problem from any market, including the U.S. Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries received an initial report of the problem through Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. from component supplier Takata U.S.A. that the side curtain airbags had not deployed during their sampling inspection. Letters to owners will be mailed in February.
The recalls has already affected more than 2,700 Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan vehicles, but that number could grow if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines that more automakers used similar defective parts. All four companies with recalled vehicles told NHTSA that the Americas unit of Swedish safety parts maker Autoliv Inc. made the propellant for the side air bags...

2/11 replacing an old Subaru-  is it Love? An essay on brand loyalty and the paradox of choice.
"When my 1995 Ford Escort died about seven years ago, I felt angry.
  The car was 10 years old, with 150,000 miles on it, but my basic feeling was that cars should last for much longer than that. Cars are expensive, and 150,000 miles didn’t strike me as particularly excessive....
I didn’t know what fate had in store for my next car, a 1997 Subaru Legacy, but I knew I wanted things to end differently. Even so, I ignored my parents whenever they suggested I start looking for a new car, and pushed them away when they offered to take me to the Subaru dealership near their house over Thanksgiving. Periodically my father would ask me how my Subaru was running, and when I said, “Fine,” he would indicate that he didn’t believe me and that he suspected a terrible car-related calamity was just around the corner.
There is one person I take seriously when it comes to cars: my mechanic. And when he told me two weeks ago that I shouldn’t bother fixing my car, I decided to follow his advice. The car was still running, but rapidly leaking oil, and my mechanic estimated it would cost at least $400 to fix. And there were other problems that would have to be dealt with soon enough — the check engine light was on again, the timing belt needed to be replaced, the tires were worn. “It’s time,” my mechanic said, and I agreed.
I don’t think you can ask for too much more from a car than 12 years and 253,000 miles, and I understood that my Subaru had had a good run. I didn’t feel angry. Mostly, I felt relieved, as I often do when I finally make a decision that I’ve been dreading for months. I got myself a rental car, and started scanning online advertisements.
I knew immediately that I wanted another Subaru. My theory was that focusing on a specific make of car would help narrow my search and make it manageable. I saw ads for other cars that looked decent — Hondas and Toyotas, Fords and Mazdas — but whenever I considered expanding my search I became overwhelmed. Better, I figured, to focus on a specific car I already knew I liked than become paralyzed by what psychologist Barry Schwartz has called the “paradox of choice” — the idea that an abundance of choices can cause indecision and unhappiness, and even result in poor decision making or no decision at all.
I also felt strangely loyal to Subaru. My Subaru was a good car. It never left me stranded by the side of the road. It got OK gas mileage, had all-wheel drive and allowed me to put a ton of miles on and drive it into the ground. Why change? And yet I pondered whether sticking with Subaru was the right thing to do. My basic feeling is that you should reserve loyalty for your friends and family, rather than material possessions and products. Vowing to buy a Subaru seemed slightly out of whack with this whole philosophy.
Despite these misgivings, I developed an infatuation with the Subaru Impreza — an infatuation that was only heightened by the fact that moderately priced Subaru Imprezas do not exactly grow on trees. I contacted two private sellers, but neither worked out. I traveled downstate to visit a lot with several Imprezas, but the one I liked most was a stick shift, and I’ve never really driven one of those. I test-drived a Subaru Forester, just for the heck of it, but I didn’t like the dealer and the car smelled funny.
I went home, got out my laptop, did some searching and stumbled across an ad for a 2004 Subaru Legacy, just two miles from me. I checked out the car through Carfax, a company that provides vehicle-history reports, and when I didn’t see anything alarming, decided to visit the dealer. And I was glad I did. “I think I’ll get it,” I said, after reviewing the car’s service records and driving it around.
I don’t ordinarily look forward to spending thousands of dollars, but I suddenly felt elated at the prospect of a new car, and pleased to be acquiring another Subaru. At the same time, the depth of my enthusiasm baffled me. Was I excited because everyone in my family drives a Subaru, and getting another one seemed like a way of declaring my inherent Foss-ness? Was I anticipating all the fun places my new car would take me, as I happily ran the odometer up to 250,000 miles?
Stumped, I reread an essay a friend of mine wrote on the puzzling nature of brand loyalty. In the piece, my friend ponders her grandfather’s loyalty to Ford and Maytag, and wonders whether sticking with these companies helps provide him with a sense of stability in a rapidly changing world. “How much life has changed since he was a new consumer, a 20-year-old World War II vet with a new wife, living in a shotgun house in Oklahoma,” she writes. “Back then, solid, time-tested American brands like Ford and General Electric made products a person could trust, and there wasn’t much else to pick from. Buying something new meant choosing from a few brands at best, not the dizzying number of companies — many of them headquartered in foreign nations he grew up distrusting — that we can buy from now on the Internet. No wonder he sticks to those brands. How does he know these new companies are good, or that their products will last?”
Like my friend’s grandfather, I’ve decided to stick with what I know, rather than seek out something different.  My new Legacy has three amenities I’ve never had before: a CD player, keyless entry and a sunroof. And it’s a sedan, which is a big change — I’ve never owned a car that’s not a wagon. To a more adventurous consumer, these new features might not sound like much. But when you’re a stodgy, risk-averse customer like me, maybe they’re all the change you really need." the article by Sara Foss 

2/10 recall- side airbags might not deploy on Outback and Legacy in Canada. Reportedly only 6 Canadian cars are involved. 
From Transport Canada "On certain vehicles, the side curtain airbag inflators may have been incorrectly manufactured and, as a result, one or both airbags may not deploy as intended. Failure of a side curtain airbag to deploy during a crash (where deployment is warranted), could increase the risk of personal injury to the seat occupant.... Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace one or both side curtain airbag assemblies." the Transport Canada website




Forester news and reviews
2012 calendar year news
click for  archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
m





12/29 Forester 0% for 24, 36, 48, 60, 63 months available through 1/7/13.

12/6  Aha radio-  Aha is by Harman/Kardon and funnels music, radio stations, even audio books through your phone to the car's Navigation system. It will be on the 2014 Forester, and 2013 Legacy and Outback in early 2013. Navigation is required.

12/4  2014 2.5L Forester and paddle shifters.
The Subaru 2014 Forester site under 'specs' indicates that the 2.5L CVT has Paddle Shifters. Hopefully the 2.5L will have them, but the photo of the Limited at the LA auto show clearly shows the shift lever with 'low mode' L-D, and no paddle shifters on the steering wheel. See the photos on the 2014 Forester page. Hopefully Subaru will hear from enough people who want the 2.5L CVT to have Paddle Shifters that they add them before production starts. By the way, the same specs table also shows the power gate is an option on the Limited, but other Subaru places show it as standard on the Limited.



11/30
2014 Forester page and photos now available. The new model looks great, seems to retain the utility and function of the previous models. The X model benefits from a CVT and 24/32 MPG (which is much better than the 2013s 21/27mpg) . The 250hp 2.0L engine should kick-start the slow selling 2013 XT (rated at 224hp).  But it seems Paddle Shifters will not be available on the X models. For Subaru, this is a notable move away from driver involvement. The only choice for X model is going to be Drive and Low mode, like the current base model Imprezas.  This means there is no way for X drivers to downshift the CVT to accelerate when merging or passing on freeways, or power up hills, or just to fully manage the transmission in snow or rugged road driving. This is a dramatic change for Subaru, they have always (always) had automatic transmission gear selectivity, whether it was with a standard 1/2/3/D, Sportshift, or Paddle shifter. Low mode is basically a 2nd 'gear' setting. More on the new Forester later.  2014 Forester webpage


11/28
2014 Forester will be shown at the LA auto show today, 3:40pm See it live http://www.subaru.com/auto-show/la-2012.html

11/25 they're unwrapping the 2014 Forester in a few days
There's going to be a power gate. That's one new feature and there will be more announced, but in the meantime here's a short wish list of things it would be nice to see
Memory driver's seat
Pushbutton keyless start
Rain sensing windshield wipers
Keep the large panorama moonroof
Better front cupholders than in the current models
More models with side mounted turn signals for better visibility
One piece key/remote to replace the old fashioned separate pieces
Large outside mirrors are good, especially heated. How about dimming too
All Weather Package to include splash guards, cargo tray, rubber floor mats
Tires pressure monitors that self-register so a technician isn't required to register them
A real foul weather, camping, skier version with vinyl floor and cargo area, real mudflaps
Keep the rubber rear bumper cover- don't switch to the clear vinyl one like on other models
XT turbo- give it a sportier look plus upgraded suspension, brakes, wheels/tires etc to handle the power
Prefer a manual parking brake, but if they use the electric one, have the the incline assist activate it when the car is put in park

11/24 another 2014 Forester review with photos
"It's the next Subaru Forester, due throughout the United States and Canada by the middle of 2013. The 2014 Forester represents the fourth major overhaul of a vehicle introduced in 1998, at the leading edge of the “crossover” wave.
The next Forester's dimensions increase slightly, starting with the wheelbase (1.0 inch), length (1.4 inches) and height (1.4 inches), but curb weight increases just 46 pounds. Hip points are higher, doors slightly larger.
The bigger body/frame weighs no more than the current Forester's, according to engineers, thanks to a broader application of high-carbon, high-tensile steels, and torsional rigidity increases 150 percent. Subaru expects best-in-class crash ratings in government and IIHS tests. From the driver's perspective, the stiffer structure allows a substantial increase in suspension-damping force for better response and stability, without a corresponding increase in flex or vibration.
Inside, there's more shoulder room and front space, a deeper dash, a new instrument panel and new dual graphic displays. A particularly tall automotive journalist notes that the driver's seat seems much less confining. There's more rear-seat space, too, and a less-intrusive center tunnel. Feature upgrades include 440-watt Harman/Kardon audio with the Aha smart-phone app, a programmable liftgate and Subaru's new, optically controlled EyeSight adaptive cruise control and guidance.
The base engine is about the only carryover component. Subie's familiar, port-injected 2.5-liter boxer four generates 170 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions include a six-speed manual (up from five) and a CVT (replacing a conventional four-speed). These, better aero and other efficiencies address a historical Forester weakness: fuel economy below the class mean. Subaru predicts EPA ratings of 24 mpg city, 32 highway with standard all-wheel drive, and the best base-engine 0-to-60 mph time among its competitors...
Styling might be the least “new” thing about the 2014 Forester. In profile, it's hard to spot differences between this one and the 2013....
The 2014 Forester looks a bit richer, thanks to LED-infused light clusters and other more expensive looking jewelry.
There are a lot of happy Forester buyers out there, so it's hard to knock Subaru for its conservative approach. The Forester ranks second on Subaru's North American sales chart, and it consistently outsells a whole bunch of similarly sized, similarly purposed vehicles, from the Acura RDX to the Jeep Compass to the Volkswagen Tiguan.While technology and features have changed, the crossover's basic, multi-use utilitarian appeal hasn't changed at all.
....We're sure the Forester's base engine is strong enough to compete with anything in the class. The ride/handling balance will please drivers under a wide arc of bell curve, and the Forester is more stable at high speed than many competitors. The steering—with a new rack-mounted electric motor—feels a bit numb on center, but comes in nicely moving toward the edges.
One thing stood out, and it has nothing to do with the mechanical systems. The trend in a lot of crossovers is thick, pushed-out A-pillars and big, pulled-tight side mirrors that create triangles of mass, blocking a big chunk of the driver's sightline when looking ahead through a corner. The Forester counters by putting the mirrors on struts and filling the triangles with a quarter window, thereby reducing the visual obstruction you'll find in some vehicles in this class.
Compared to many competitors, the '14 Forester also offers an off-road bonus. A one-button program called X-Mode changes several control parameters for off-pavement use, including throttle/torque map, stability management and torque split, and it adds hill-descent control. So equipped, the Forester manages off-road exercises and steep grades with less drama and driver intervention (or skill) than a Hyundai Tucson or Toyota RAV4 require...
...The 2014 Forester doesn't do anything best, but, even more than its predecessor, it does a lot of things quite well, like only a handful of vehicles in its price range. That all-roles, Swiss Army-knife quality represents the core appeal of a crossover to begin with.
In some respects, Subaru as a brand is like Saab in the 1970s and into the '80s, and then again in the late '90s. For reasons that aren't easy to pinpoint, it appeals to a certain sort. We'd guess the next Forester has the requisite Subie-ness, now packed in an improved package that fits the crossover role to a T. And it might look just different enough to let the world know it's new." read the entire article with photos


11/23 2014 Forester shown in China, and to be shown at the LA Auto Show next week 11/28
"Subaru has unveiled the all-new 2014 Forester in China at the 2012 Guangzhou International Motor Show in the midst of consumer backlash and economic uncertainties in China.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru automobiles announced today that the all-new 2014 Forester has made its Chinese debut at the 2012 Guangzhou International Motor Show which opened today in Guangzhou, China. As the new crossover rolls out across the globe the Forester is expected to be a global car and will make its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.
Subaru unveils the new Forester in China at a time when its Japanese competitors have shut down plants in China due to a territorial dispute between Asia’s two largest economies. Subaru is the only major Japanese automaker that does not have a plant in China and it has been a blessing in disguise. Subaru’s smaller presence in China has helped shield it from a consumer backlash triggered by a decades-old territorial dispute involving a group of islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Chinese consumers have responded by not purchasing Japanese cars which has caused deliveries to slump and the competitors factories have been idled.
China is an important market for the all-new 2014 Forester and is Subaru’s third largest market, after the U.S. and Japan. The popular Forester makes up 50 percent of the brand's sales in China, and the all-new crossover is expected to continue to lead Subaru sales in the market. Even though its growth in the country has slowed, Subaru sales in the U.S. and Japan have surged.
Even though the consumer’s anti-Japan protests have subsided in China, tensions continue to simmer. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said at the unveiling of the new Forester SUV last week in Tokyo, “Selling cars in China is difficult now. Luckily we can cover the loss there by producing more cars for Japan and the U.S., since we don’t have a plant in China...." read the entire article  


11/22 the 2014 Forester will be shown at the LA auto show November 28th, 3:40pm PST. Can't be there? See it live http://www.subaru.com/auto-show/la-2012.html


11/18 about the video introducing the 2014 Forester
"Over the years we’ve seen some crazy adverts from brands promoting their latest autos and this has included a car riding waves, although it is pretty obvious these vehicles can’t do most of the things shown in TV ads, but the message is strong and the videos mostly work by driving interest in a new car. Subaru’s new 2014 model of Forester has been promoted in a recent marketing video, which uses Projection Mapping to reveal the new model.
The World Premiere for the 2014 Subaru Forester had been on November 13, 2012. The video below this article shows that unveil, which lets you see the new Subaru Forester being built in front of your eyes using Projection Mapping. This presentation had been shown during the auto event in Tokyo and involved two Foresters covered, and then a projector displayed images on these covered cars, which we’re sure you would admit is pretty impressive?
What do you think of the 2014 Subaru Forester launch in Tokyo? We loved the way Subaru used digital robotic arms to build the drivetrain, which is then added to the new 2014 model. Take a look at the video below that runs for just over 3 minutes, and let us know if you think this is one of the most innovative auto launches. It is worth noting that similar reveals have been used for the Toyota Yaris and a Lamborghini before, but this is certainly our favorite launch to date." the original article with video

11/14 Some folks got flown to Japan to drive the 2014 Forester due next year. Even though I have a passport someplace I wasn't one of them darn it so will have to settle for a trip downtown to the annual Seattle Car Show which opens today. The Subaru display at the car show will no doubt not include a 2014 Forester, but will probably have a BRZ, Impreza, and Crosstrek which is more than most local dealers actually have for sale on their lots (supply problems and order delays keep bedeviling Subaru- if you have to have a problem, its one of the better ones). But Seattle doesn't get a world debut or unveiling, its Seattle after all and Subarus pretty much sell themselves so there's no need to have a big splashy do.
Anyway, back to Japan.... below are 2 articles from writers who got free trips in exchange for articles, to drive both the 2.5 and 2.0L models.
The fuel economy ratings for the 2.5 CVT is estimated at 25/32 which is excellent and as many people hope for. It fits right between the Outback CVT's 24/30 and Crosstrek CVT's 25/33 MPG. The current 2013 Forester only gets 21/27 and that just doesn't cut it in today's market.
Of course the writers are car reviewers so they spent more time with the 2.0L XT performance model. Granted its more fun to drive but the XT has not been a volume, bread-and-butter seller for Subaru. Perhaps if as reported, the new XT runs on either regular or premium gas, turbo sales might increase, but keep in mind that performance usually drops as the octane does. 
Subaru has the new model introduction thing down pat. The articles are good with enough info to keep the the buzz high and gossip flow steady.
There's no specific model line-up, feature/details, or prices for potential buyers, and there are plenty, to grab. That's to come later. 
Expect more details at the 2014 Forester's North American coming out party at the LA Auto Show November 29th.

from Jalopniok's Jason Torchinsky...  "The Subaru Forester has long been the vehicle of choice for outdoorsy people, competent, no-nonsense lesbians, and Vermonters (not to be confused with Vermonsters, a colossal tub of ice cream incapable of purchasing a car), and I don't think that's going to change with the new 2014 model. It's been updated in some pretty significant ways, but it retains the fundamental qualities that have made it a niche favorite.
Only now it does it all faster, roomier, and a bit uglier.
(Full Disclosure: Subaru flew me out to Tokyo, put me up in a hotel, fed me, and even let me drive a tiny truck they didn't fly me out to drive. Also, they always made sure I was pretty much out of earshot before making fun of me to other journalists.)
These impressions to follow are from my time behind the wheel of a pre-production mule of the 2014 Subaru Forester. For a mule, however, it was very, very close to the final production model, and I was told only would differ in extremely small ways. So, while these impressions likely will be valid for the production version, I can't absolutely say that, so we'll wait to give a Jalopnik Number until we get our hands on an official production model.
A lot's changed on the Forester since the current model, most obviously the body design. I'm personally fond of Subarus in a general sense, though I feel like design-wise they're like a good kid entering middle school and making some strange and misguided choices appearance-wise. Like that short, stocky, funny friend you had in the sixth grade who shows up for the first day of seventh grade in unfortunate skinny jeans, eyeliner, and massive limp bangs. You know what he's trying for, but it's just not really him.
The new Forester feels like that. It started out as a car-like SUV with a simple, clean design with interesting proportions, and with each successive redesign it's gotten more SUV-like and more over-styled. This new one has some decent design cues here and there— the angled-corner motif on the headlights and grille, for example, but the general look is a bit overdone. Especially that lower front bumper/valence with all the grilles and slits and fake intakes.
It's not bad, as such, but somehow manages to be slightly boring despite all the overworked detailing. I guess that's sort of an achievement right there. It's not all bad news, as the new more raked windshield design provides a good increase in interior room, and there's thoughtful touches throughout, like doors that are designed to close in a way that prevents off-road dirt from making it into the car.
Inside, you've got a nice, modern-feeling if not breathtaking SUV interior. The rear seats have been thoughtfully designed, with cupholders moved so that a toddler in a child's seat can reach them. Having a toddler who often likes to reach for drinks, I can attest that this is a wonderful change. I'm sure many toddler eyes will be spared poking by drink straws from this one simple innovation. Also nice when you have a kid is the auto-opening rear hatch, new for this year as well.
The dash has one confusing decision: Subaru has added a very up-to-date feeling color LCD screen, but for some reason decided to place it on the upper center of the dashboard where it's hard for everyone to see. I've grown used to seeing these LCDs in the main instrument binnacle, and moving it so far out of eyeline seems like a terrible idea. The optional infotainment system has its own centrally-placed LCD, so I have no idea why they felt the one with the useful driver's information should be placed in the middle as well.
There's two flat-four boxer engines for the new Forester, a 2.5-liter normally aspirated and a 2.0-liter turbocharged. The NA engine makes 170 HP/174 lb-ft, and the Turbo one makes a very respectable 250 HP/258 lb-ft. For the 2.5, you can pick between a 6-speed manual and CVT, and the CVT is the only transmission for the Turbo 2.0.
The Turbo, of course, is the interesting engine here. You may recognize it from it's more glamorous job hauling around BRZs and FR-Ses. Here, Subaru has swapped out Toyota's TDI for their own Gasoline Direct Injection system and, of course, they've placed a turbo on it. I'm sure this turbo will end up in BRZs before too long as well, from the factory or not. The turbo is placed under the engine, which is fine in a vehicle with high clearance, but may make things trickier for people hoping to do straight swaps onto a BRZ.
Now that I'm talking about the engine, I'm going to jump into what this was like to drive. I drove it on Subaru's banked test track. We were limited to a maximum speed of 100 mph, which is fine for a car like this, really. Most of these cars lives will be spent far below that speed.
On the turbo, the acceleration is great— it gets to 60 in 6.2 seconds (the NA does it in 9.5). Subaru made sure to point out that a V6 Porsche Cayenne does it in 6.1 seconds. Yes, they're targeting the base-level one, but it's still a decent comparison. They also had a V6 Mustang race it for the journalists while we were there, and while the results were close, it sort of looked like the Mustang wasn't really trying too hard.
Silly stunts aside, the Turbo Forester felt quite quick and was a pleasure to drive. The low center of gravity from the low-mounted, flat engine could absolutely be felt, especially when compared with other competing small SUVs I drove on the track as well. The Forester felt planted and very controllable, not nearly as top-heavy as its shape would suggest.
The CVT is interesting in the car as well. It has three modes— economy/normal, S (sport), and S# (Sport 'sharp'). Of the three, S is actually the fastest, and the smooth, stepless quality of a CVT can be felt here. It's a constant, smooth transition between ratios, and provides a nice power curve, I felt.
What baffles me is the S# mode, because it's entirely a psychological trick. Essentially, Sport Sharp makes the stepless CVT pretend it's an 8-speed automatic transmission, by changing the straight ramp up of ratios into a sawtooth-pattern of gear steps, with the engine revs slowing and speeding up accordingly like they would if actual gears were used. I suppose it sort of feels like you're going faster, but only because we're used to hearing and feeling gear changes. The reality is it's actually a bit slower and less efficient.
I'm sure some drivers may prefer the fake gear changes, but it's fundamentally a bit silly. Personally, if you're going to use the car's computers to fake this kind of thing, you should have settings so the driver can choose how they want to be faked. What if, instead of a modern-seeming 8 gears, I'm nostalgic for the old Ford LTD wagon my folks had growing up? Can I dial in just three steps? That'd be more fun, and no more absurd.
The steering felt decent, not quite as numb as I was prepared for, possibly because the electric assist is on the rack as opposed to the column. Rack-mounting the assist motor should also be an advantage for off-roading use as well.
The body and chassis are more rigid (they say 150% so) and the car did feel pretty solid on the track, but I didn't do anything really, really demanding. Brakes were excellent on the Turbo, a bit less so on the NA. Really, the Turbo is the model you need to be looking at here, anyway.
I didn't get to drive off-road, but I did get to try some interesting things: driving up a hill, with rollers on one side of the car. This was to simulate if half your wheels were on ice, and the Forester new traction control system did adapt quite quickly, letting me drive up the steep hill with only a couple seconds of wheel spinning and the car doing lots of math.
I was also driven on Subaru's off-road course by one of their engineers that I can only assume they usually keep chained up in a closet. The guy was insane, barreling through gravel-filled ditches and up 45° slopes like a maniac, getting sideways on dirt road turns and generally driving like a loon. It was a blast, and the new Forester seemed to cope with everything quite well. I was just a passenger here, but the fact that the engineers hoon the cars with such abandon is a good sign.
All told, I think Subaru's done a good job updating the Forester. They've retained the useful qualities of the car, highlighted the unique parts (low-center of gravity boxer engine) and actually made it quick and fun to drive. Let's just hope there's a facelift scheduled for 2015." read the original article with photos

And from MotorTrend "We're deep inside Subaru's Tochigi Proving Grounds north of Tokyo, and our test driver is getting rowdy in a turbocharged prototype of the all-new 2014 Subaru Forester. Rocks are furiously pinging off of Subie's new crossover as he whips it into a gravel rut and gracefully executes a four-wheel drift as the 2.0-liter FA20 turbo wails away. So, yeah, seems capable enough.
The new Forester is a hugely important vehicle for Subaru, and while flinging it around off-road is fun and all, the brand's execs/engineers/designers/PR flaks -- heck, even the security guards at Tochigi's main gate -- know full well that its fourth-generation crossover, which accounts for roughly a quarter of Subaru's sales, must perform at its American dealerships. Translation: Make it bigger, quieter, more efficient, and more capable.
At Tochigi, we had a chance to get an up close and personal look at the new Forester, including a few high-speed hot laps around the facility's massively banked, 2-mile parabolic oval and infield track, and from what we can make of it so far, Subaru has achieved its goals of improving the weak points of its outgoing model without messing too much with the formula that scored it our 2009 Sport/Utility of the Year title.
Designers always get to mess with a new-generation vehicle, and while the 2014 Forester's basic footprint remains roughly the same (every major exterior dimension is within an inch or so of the outgoing model), there are some noticeable changes, chief among them no more hood scoop for the turbo, as Subaru says it's aiming for a more mature, refined look. The XT does get its own mug to distinguish it from non-turbo models, including blade-cut look flourishes, unique foglamps, and HID lighting, and it also gets bigger brakes and rim/tire packages. The Forester's front and rear fascias have also been updated, with new head and taillight treatments and foglamp housings, and an updated grille. The rear spoiler has been re-engineered to aid with aerodynamics; there's a slightly more sloped rear roofline; there is 8.7-inches of ground clearance, and the A-pillar has been moved forward to help grow overall room and improve vehicle access.
The interior changes are more dramatic. The curved front dash of the outgoing model has been reshaped for a more horizontal feel. Engineers worked extremely hard on improving ingress and egress for shorter folks in front and children in the rear, and rear-seat legroom has been improved. Soft-touch points are more prominent, and the instrument panel and center stack have also been modernized. One-touch fold-down second-row 60/40 seats open up to a slightly bigger cargo area, and the rear tailgate now has an available power option. Subaru has also upped its game in the telematics/entertainment departments. The Forester will be available with Subaru's EyeSight suite of safety tech, harman/kardon audio (we cranked it up and it sounds tight), and enhanced navigation and smartphone integration features, including Aha Radio.
Motivating the new Forester are two engine combinations, one new and one well-worn. All 2.5i models get Subaru's 2.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-four with 170 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque, which is essentially unchanged, but both transmissions are new -- a six-speed manual and Subaru's Lineartronic continuously variable transmission, replacing the ancient four-speed auto and five-speed manual. Subaru is quoting 0-60 mph times in the low 9-second range for the 2.5 models. The XT comes in one combo only, a turbocharged, direct-injected (Subaru's own system, NOT Toyota's DI unit from the BRZ/FR-S) version of Subaru's new 2.0-liter (no, the turbo won't fit in the BRZ) rated at a maximum 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft, paired with an optimized version of the CVT (no, the XT won't have a manual). What you will get with the "high torque" Si drive CVT for the turbocharged XT are two sets of "manual" modes in both six- and eight-speed flavors.
Neither mode will get you to Subaru's claimed 0-to-60 mph time of 6.2-seconds for the XT any faster than if you just matted the gas and let the CVT take it to redline and wail away, but the mapped-out ratios will help keep the turbo in the power band in certain situations -- and it's always cooler to pop the paddles and impress your friends, anyway. Fuel economy for each is an estimated max of 24/32 city/highway mpg for the 2.5i and 23/28 for the XT, well above the outgoing models and right there with the best in the segment, front- or all-wheel drive. The turbo also is capable of running on regular gas right up to 93 octane, although performance will vary depending on the type of dino juice added.
We had a brief stint in each new Forester flavor (CVT only) around Tochigi's imposing oval and a one-lap blast around the facility's handling course back-to-back with the previous-gen base model, and the differences were patently obvious. Both new-gen Foresters were much quieter at speed and under high revs, and were far more adept around the handling course, where playing with the sport paddles proved most beneficial. Subaru engineers spent considerable time improving chassis rigidity, response, and stability, with a goal of reducing the dreaded pitch and wobble. One lap around the handling loop confirmed that the engineers did their jobs well. Gold stars all around.
After our laps we also had an opportunity to sample Subaru's new low-speed traction system, dubbed X-Mode (maybe the X-Men had a hand its development?), which reduces wheelspin dramatically to whatever wheel needs it most when the going gets slippery. The system can be activated at speeds below 13 mph and disengages after 25 mph. X-Mode's hill-climbing control demonstration centered on a Forester getting its two left-side wheels stopped on a set of rollers on an incline. In X-Mode it easily moved off the rollers with little effort. Let's just say the Hyundai Tucson and Toyota Rav4 all-wheel-drive models also on hand for the demo did not fare nearly as well. Hill decent control is also part of the X-Mode package, which takes Subaru's all-wheel drive prowess to the next level of sophistication.
We'll have to get more time in actual production versions of the new 2014 Forester to form more robust and informed opinions, but it doesn't take a Subaru engineer to tell us that the new Forester indeed stays true what made the present model a success, while bolstering areas where it needed it the most. And if you want to rip around in a gravel pit when it goes on sale early next year, it can do that, too." read the original article with photos

10/31 Initial 2014 Forester details announced.
The Forester has been a consistent top seller for Subaru and this is a this is a major and long awaited redesign.  Its a little bigger and will get better fuel economy. The bottom line for most people? If they liked it before they'll like it now -  the changes are more evolution than revolution. And if it's too big, there's always the new Crosstrek.
The new US Forester will use the same 2.5L engine with 170hp used in the current 2.5X models. That's a relief for all the people worried the US models would get a 2.0L with only 148hp.  A CVT replaces the dated 4 speed automatic Sportshift currently in all models, which will increase fuel economy and could encourage some buyers to wait for the 14s.
The turbo performance models get an strong new turbo 2.0L direct injection engine with 250hp and and all new high-torque CVT.  T
he increased power is going to please enthusiasts and car reviewers while the CVT will leave them asking for a 6 speed manual and optional 7 or 8 speed automatic. Premium gas is recommended but no longer required. This all new 2.0L turbo is the first of the new turbos to come in future BRZ, WRX, and STI turbos.
The new Forester is slightly longer, wider and taller than the 2013s, but not much.
The overall length grows by 1.4" and the wheelbase by .9". Its expected the rear seats will benefit the most.
The 2014 Forester will stand at 68.2" high, or 1.3" higher than the the 2013 Forester and 2.40" higher than the Outback's 65.8" height. Thats in keeping with the competition. If you like the current size, the 2014 will not disappoint, though the increased height will make putting accessories on the roof harder.
Again, there's always the new Crosstrek if the Forester won't work.
Harmon Kardan and probably Aha will be available.
The car will be shown at the LA auto show 11/30-12/9 and a lot more information will be available then, including if the 2014 still has the great rear visibility that the current model has. Hopefully it does. The cars are expected to arrive winter 2013.  It will be for sale in Japan early November

2014 subaru forester- early publicity photo
2014 Subaru Forester, publicity photo from SoA
feature
compare the 2014 Forester
to the 2013 Forester
engine
standard models
2.5-liter 4-cylinder,170 hp @ 5,800 rpm  174 lb.-ft. peak torque @ 4,100 rpm. Chain drive
standard model transmission
6-speed manual
optional Lineartronic CVT
5 speed manual
optional 4 speed automatic with Sportshift
turbo model engine
new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, direct fuel injection, turbocharging, intercooler
250 hp @ 5,600 rpm* 258 lb.-ft. peak torque @ 2,000-4,800 rpm
Premium gas recommended
2.5L 4 cylinder, multiport fuel injection, DOHC, turbocharged with intercooler, with 224hp @ 5200rpm, and 226lb-ft torque @ 2800rpm.
Premium gas required
turbo model
transmission
new high-torque CVT with 6-speed and 8-speed manual modes and Hill Descent Control 4 speed automatic with Sportshift
all wheel drive
Standard on all models standard on all models- continuous awd on manual models, active awd on CVT or automatic (XT) models
wheelbase
103.9 in.  (+.9" over 2013)
103.0
length
180.9 in. (+ 1.4" over 2013)
179.5"
height
68.2 including roof rails,  (+1.3" over 2013). (The Outback is 65.80" high).
66.9" including roof rails
width
70.7 in. (+ .6' over 2013)
70.1
wheels, tires
2.5-liter: 17 x 7" alloy with 225/60 R17 all-season
2.0-liter turbo: 18 x 7" alloy with 225/55 R18 all-season
X 16x6.5" steel wheel with 215/65 R16 all season tires
X Premium, Limited, Touring, XT Premium, XT Touring: 17x7" alloy with 225/55 R17 all season tires


10/25 Factory Orders-  Subaru fesses up, announces that ordered cars are going to take longer and longer to arrive.
With Subaru riding a wave of popularity and cars selling quickly, there's been a shortage of cars
available on lots for a while now. This is especially true of the Japanese built Impreza, Crosstrek, BRZ and WRX/STI. This is a good/bad problem. The good part is Subarus are selling. Once known as a mostly functional car for skiers, hippies, campers and dog lovers etc in the northeast, northwest, rocky mountains and other frosty, wet areas, and widely unknown everyplace else, Subarus are now the It Car and selling everywhere.  Even where it's warm and dry all year round.
As a result of the reduced inventory on lots, more and more people are either putting deposits down on
already scheduled incoming cars, or are factory ordering if what they want isn't on the horizon.
This even further reduces the number of cars available on lots because more arrivals are pre-sold and spoken for. And with Subaru trying to expand into every market, they now have a whopping total of 1,209 possible model, trim and color combinations and that doesn't even include individual options.
As a result of the increase in orders, the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of factory ordered cars is getting pushed back. This is the bad part.  Its like your favorite neighborhood restaurant getting a glowing review, all of a sudden it's 'discovered' (like it hasn't been there for years and years),  and there's a line to get in on weekends. Then reservations are recommended, then required, then its 4 weeks out to get in and so on.
Meet Subaru, the little car company showing everyone how to make consumers fall in love with a car.
Previously orders usually took 6-10 weeks.  Now Subaru has announced a longer wait time for orders. These ETAs are not fixed. They're
are a guide as to how long the wait could be. Of course some cars will arrive sooner and others later but it can take months for a car just to be matched to the order and a future ETA released.
how can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, trim and color combinations

> according to Subaru if you order a

Impreza, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Crosstrek, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
WRX/STI, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Forester, the ETA will be around - oops.. no orders accepted. The redesigned 2014 is expected late winter/spring.
Outback, the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Legacy, the ETA will be around  3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Tribeca,  the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order (is anyone ordering a Tribeca).
BRZ, due to the way BRZs are allocated, the ETA is estimated to be 4-7 months out, but Subaru will back-fill as model and color is available. There's no ETA until shortly before the car arrives.
10/23 2012 Impreza and Forester navigation system update process announced


Please note: updates to 2012 model year Impreza and Forester vehicle navigation systems are now available from Nokia via the following link: www.navigation.com/subaru-na
Although ’12 systems are the first to go live on this new update system, additional carlines and newer model years will soon be available for updates as well. Customers interested in updating their navigation systems can do so through the following process:
1. With vehicle on, eject SD Card (see pg. 18 in Navigation System Owner’s Manual for SD card ejection procedure)
2. Insert SD card into computer SD card reader
3. Open web link: www.navigation.com/subaru-na
4. Click “ Buy Updates or Extras”
5. Register a user ID and password
6. Select head unit (currently only 12MY Impreza and Forester head unit available)
7. Select update for purchase
8. Download Naviextras Toolbox to computer
9. Use Naviextras Toolbox to download update to SD card
10. Replace SD card in vehicle navigation head unit with vehicle off
11. Turn on vehicle to confirm update

For additional questions about the update process and the Naviextras Toolbox software, please visit the FAQ on the Subaru Navigation Update page: https://subaru-na.naviextras.com/shop/portal/howto-guide?guide=Toolbox (May require user registration or logging in as Guest to access FAQ.)


10/17 redesigned 2014 Forester to be shown at the LA Auto Show or  Detroit Auto Show in January.  The next WRX is due in 2014
"The WRX is heading for the biggest makeover since it was created in the 1990s as part of the product renewal plan that's already seen the new Impreza on the road and will soon produce a next-generation Forester. But the workload at Subaru in Japan, including development of the BRZ sports car and then getting it into full-scale production, means there is no chance of an early update to the WRX.
"I don't know where talk of 2013 would have come from. The WRX has always been 2014," the managing director of Subaru Australia, Nick Senior, confirms to Carsguide. "The strategy that was put in place three years ago was that the WRX and STi would take on a life of their own. And the Impreza becomes a standalone model as well.
"From a timing point of view, Impreza was first cab off the rank, then the introduction of the BRZ as well. The timeline for WRX and STi slots into 2014." Senior refuses to discuss rumours of a radical remake of the WRX that turns it into a sportier compact hatch, despite persistent talk around the world and dozens of artist's impressions of how the car could look.

"It will be performance oriented, and a visually exciting car," is all he says. "I think the enthusiasts will not be disappointed. It has been a mandate from day one when doing this next generation that it is not to lose its edge." While the WRX is over the horizon, the new Forester is closing fast and brochure pictures of the newcomer have recently hit the internet.

Senior says the car is locked for Australia and hints at a motor show appearance in the USA soon, either at Los Angeles in November or Detroit in January. "We'll have a new Forester in quarter one. They are working through the launch plan as we speak. They haven't decided where they will show it...." read the entire article.


10/14 some early 2014 Forester information. Nothing has been confirmed about the US models yet but its widely expected and hoped that they will have a 173hp 2.5L with CVT- not a  148hp 2.0L-  and MPG similar to the Crosstrek's 25/33/28 and slightly better than the Outback's 24/30/26The Forester is expected in the U.S. late winter but there will be a lot of information between then and now, including teasers and/or concepts at cars shows. Also due in the 2013 is the long long (long) awaited hybrid.
"...It’s not hard to see that Subaru didn't want to alienate buyers of one of its most popular global models when it came to design, as the new Forester looks like a more modern, or evolutionary, if you prefer, interpretation of the current model.
 Besides the more forceful face incorporating Subaru's latest grille design, the high-riding, station wagon gains some new styling cues, the most notable of which concern the more prominent wheel arches and heavily sculpted door sills, the addition of a small quarter window up front and new door mounted mirrors. The previously mentioned brochure gave us a grainy glimpse at the Forester's interior with the dash looking a lot like the one fitted on the new Impreza and XV models.
Talking about the Impreza, it's almost a given that Subaru used its platform to build the new Forester.
According to the brochure, the new model is a little bit bigger than the current Forester at 4,595mm / 180.9 inches long (+35mm), 1,795mm / 70.7 inches tall (+15mm) and 1,695mm / 66.7 inches wide (+20mm). It also rides on a longer wheelbase at 2,640mm / 103.9 inches (+25mm), which should improve space for the rear passengers.
The increase in exterior dimensions benefits the load area as well as it now stands at 505 liters (488 liters when opted with a power tailgate), versus the soon-to-be replaced 2012 Forester's 450 liters boot capacity.
In Japan, the new Forester will offer buyers a choice of two gasoline engines, a 146Hp (148PS) 2.0-liter unit coupled to either a 6-speed stick shift or a CVT, and a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged flat four rated at 276Hp (280PS) that's connected exclusively to a CVT.
The engine options in other regions remain unknown, but as we mentioned in our previous posting, we believe that the U.S. market model will likely be available with Subaru's new 2.5-liter flat four rated for 173hp and 174 lb.-ft. of torque, while the European spec version, with 2.0-liter petrol and diesel boxer units, both delivering around 150-horses.
Japan will be the first country to get the new Forester starting in mid to late November followed next year by the rest of the world"... read the entire article, with photos.


9/25 the 2014 Forester is coming. Subaru has already stopped accepting orders for the 2013s, and popular models will become scarce over the coming months. Scans of the brochure of the 2014 Japanese version, on sale in November, have been making the rounds of websites, see image below. The Japanese (and European) Forester has a 2.0L engine but its hoped the US model due late winter/early spring 2013 will retain its current 2.5L and with the addition of a CVT, get a much improved-  and much needed - fuel economy boost. The new model is slightly larger than the 2009-2013, but not by much so if you like the current size, you should also like the 2014.
Details are expected (hoped for) at the Paris, then LA car shows, but one can expect Subaru to release information on the US model slowly to keep up a high level of anticipatory gossip while also not confirming or denying the persistent rumor of a possible hybrid version.  (If anyone reading this has secret information, please send it to me).
2014 subaru forester japanese brochure scan
a scan of the brochure for the Japanese 2014 Forester
> Here's an 2014 Forester entry on autoblog.com. "Upon its introduction for 2008, we couldn't help but feel that the third-generation Forester was perhaps Subaru's most attractive design effort in many, many years. While there was little that was groundbreaking about the design, its simple two-box shape was – and is – clean and free of extraneous details. To be fair, the Japanese automaker has always been renowned more for their technological designs (e.g. all-wheel drive, boxer engines) than their aesthetic ones, but this Subaru was proper work. Thus, we've been awaiting the range's promised successor with more than a little trepidation – we've seen modest design tweaks undue the visual appeal of previous Subarus too many times. Judging by this early look courtesy of what look to be scans of a Japanese Domestic Market brochure, we needn't have been so concerned.
The new Forester is expected to carry a 2014 model year designation here in the U.S. when it goes on sale here next year, and it's almost certain to share its platform with the new-for-2012 Impreza and XV Crosstrek. Based off the measurements disclosed in the JDM brochure, the new Forester will ride on a modestly longer wheelbase (less than an inch longer than the 2012 model), be a bit longer (roughly 1.4-inches) and wider by under an inch. It will also stand a sliver taller, but such minor differences will likely be very tough to discern with the naked eye.
Up front, the Forester has a bluffer and more assertive face, with a markedly more aggressive lower fascia with what look like vertical slat vents adjacent to smaller, low-mounted fog lamps. Subaru's wing-form element has nestled into a boxier grille form – the outgoing model's chrome fillet and badge rode on the top edge of the grille, but here it slides down a bit, standing out more thanks to a dark mesh backdrop. Like the new Impreza, the Forester adopts a five-window greenhouse, with a small quarterlight up front and new door-mounted side mirrors. The rest of the two-box shape looks decidedly similar to the outgoing generation, but that's not a bad thing. Prominent fender flares and new wheels mark out the rest of the profile. Out back, there's a larger roof-mounted spoiler, new rear hatch skin and a fresh bumper cap as well.
What we can see of the dashboard in the grainy brochure image appears to be the same unit found in the Impreza, which is to say simple and frill-free. We're hoping there are some upgrades in the materials and center stack technology, as we found the Impreza's cabin to be honest but underwhelming.
In Japan, the Forester will apparently be available with the buyer's choice of a 146-horsepower, 2.0-liter four (yoked to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a Continuously Variable Transmission) or a 276-horsepower, 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four, the latter only available with a CVT. For those keeping score, the outgoing Forester is available in the U.S. with a pair of 2.5-liter engines, one with 170 hp and the turbocharged model with 224 hp. It isn't immediately clear what engine(s) will be available in the States, but we think it's unlikely that the JDM 2.0-liter will be offered, if only not to go "backwards" on the spec sheet in terms of power. Thus, it's reasonable to assume that the company's newer 2.5-liter FB flat-four will find a way underhood, and it offers 173 horses in today's Legacy." click for the article and many more scans.

9/15 2013 Forester order system will end Wednesday 9/19, 5pm. After that, the 2013 Forester can't be ordered anymore. Dealers will have a good supply for a while but don't hesitate if there's one you want, This means the redesigned 2014s are getting closer.

 7/4 2013 Forester brochures at dealers.
20pp. no major mechanical or body changes. The X model gets handsfree bluetooth with steering wheel controls and stereo with USB and wireless streaming. Premium  has new optional 'Plus Pkg' with stereo upgrade to the 4.3" display in the 2012 Limited/Touring, and the rear view camera is now optional on it. The Premium with manual gets standard all weather pkg. The sky blue color is dropped, deep cherry pearl (off-black) is available, and marine blue pearl now has platinum interior (was the gray with off-black). All the 2013 Forester specs and details

6/21 Is a Jetta Alltrack coming, pointed at the Outback and Forester? and maybe with a diesel?
"Volkswagen is not finished with plans to extend the Jetta portfolio.
The suits inside the Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters are mulling a plan for a crossover version of the future Jetta SportWagen along the lines of the recently introduced Alltrack concept.
“We think there is definite sales potential in North America and other world markets for a new lifestyle-targeted Jetta model,” a senior Volkswagen source divulged. “It could be based on the successor to [the] existing model.” The vehicle under discussion is a Subaru Outback fighter, complete with elevated ride height, uniquely styled bumpers and light graphics, additional wheel-arch cladding and specialized interior trims.
To keep development costs in check, the wagon and the crossover would share the same steel body and mechanical package. The crossover, which likely would take the name Jetta Alltrack for sales in the U.S. market, was conceived to offer the choice of either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. It could potentially be sold in other markets, including Europe, as the Golf Alltrack.
With the next-generation Tiguan due out in 2014 set to increase in size and offer an optional third row of seats in North America, Volkswagen clearly sees room at the lower end of its lineup for another crossover offering. The Jetta crossover would be assembled alongside future incarnations of the existing Jetta sedan and SportWagen and the upcoming Jetta four-door-style coupe at a plant in Mexico. All four will be based on Volkswagen's new modular platform structure. Four-cylinder direct-injection gasoline and diesel engines for the Jetta models will also be sourced from Mexico." read the article

6/20 2013 order system is now available for Outback, Legacy,  and Forester
(and BRZ but that's been available).  Today is the first day to factory order a 2013 Outback, legacy or Forester. 2013 Tribeca, Impreza, Crosstrek and WRX STI are not yet available to order. 

The Legacy and Outback have some good upgrades, including suspension and steering upgrades, new front grill, wheels, bumper and fog lights. There are new option packages, new Eyesight driver assist system, and new colors. Outback gets a new Special Appearance Package with push-button start, integrated turn signals in the outside mirrors and more, and this should be a very popular package. Its available in 3 colors- black, white and new brilliant brown, all with new Saddle Brown leather.  The two new Outback and Legacy colors, Venetian Red and Twilight Blue, are available in both the off-black or the warm ivory interior.
Contact your local dealer (list of dealers) to place an order if you've been waiting, or contact me if you'd like to order one in the Seattle area. Research the 2013 specs, colors and list prices Forester, Outback, or  Legacy.

6/13 2013 prices and features announced. 2013 models are not yet available for ordering but should be very soon. For 2013 specs, prices and more: Outback, Legacy and Forester

6/9 Forester comment from the WSJ's Jonathan Welsh
Q: I am contemplating purchasing a 2012 Subaru Forester. I try to get at least 12 years out of my vehicles. Would you recommend the Forester as a wise choice? I have never owned a Subaru before and not sure of its reliability. 
A: Readers often complain when I say nice things about Subaru, but my family's experience with our 1998 Impreza and 2007 Outback has been nearly flawless. They are sturdy, endearing cars that simply soldier on without fuss. Fuel economy could be better, especially for the Outback. But in general we have been happy with them.

I also appreciate that Subaru embraced all-wheel drive long before it was in fashion. The Forester is also a pioneer in the now-popular crossover segment, and I see many on the road that are 12 or so years old. I would buy one, but you should definitely take a test drive to make sure you like it." the article  

6/1 Subaru removes 2013 model order forms except BRZ.  Subaru changes their mind, removes 2013 online order forms for Outback, Legacy and Forester. Over the past weeks, 2013 Outback, Forester and Legacy order forms were online and those models could be ordered. Those forms have now been removed which means orders are not accepted for those models. I'm not sure if any 2013 orders, other than BRZ which is available for ordering, actually went through successfully.  Stay tuned for updates

5/2 a question and answer about dog friendly cars
"Q: Do you think there's any chance of Honda bringing back an updated version of the Element? I just bought a gently used 2008 model and feel as though I've found my vehicular soul mate, mostly because I'm a dog owner and cyclist and love the fact that the back seats are removable. The car seems to have a fairly large following among owners online. —Ann Vick, Redwood City, Calif.
A: Honda says it is not planning to develop a direct replacement for the Element. However, the car maker has been guiding fans of the discontinued vehicle to its new CR-V compact crossover. Of course if you (and your dog) try one out you'll see that the CR-V's interior space isn't as "perfect" for pets, bikes and other gear as the Element's.
Still, your best bet is to try out other small SUVs and crossovers like the CR-V, Subaru Forester and Chevrolet Equinox. There are also capable wagons like the Volkswagen Jetta and Acura TSX that could work if your dog isn't a large breed." read the entire article


4/23 1960s plastic artist and furniture designer glues plastic rats to his old Forester
"Have you seen a black Subaru with black plastic rats affixed to its roof and hood tooling around Hancock County (that's in Maine)? Have you wondered who in the world is behind that wheel? Well, the car belongs to retired designer Neal Small, described by The New York Times in the ’60s as the “Prince of Plastic” for his furniture and sculpture creations of Plexiglas and Lucite.
“As far as I’m concerned, anything is a vehicle for art,” Small said during an interview at his Steuben residence. “Art is the mark of our time just like the cave drawings. Each piece is a history of that particular time...." see a photo of the rat car and read the rest of the article about 60s artist/designer and Subaru driver Neal Smal

4/20 2013 Forester orders now available. No prices or new or changed features have been officially announced. Color changes: Sky Blue dropped, Marine Blue now with platinum interior instead of black, new Deep Cherry Pearl (on 2012 Imprezas) with black now available. New- All Weather 'Plus' option package for X Premium includes fog lights and the 4.3" LCD stereo with optional back-up camera. Check for more details 2013 Forester

4/2 PZEV goes national and is required on all Foresters and Impreza. All Foresters allocated to dealers and all Imprezas ordered or allocated to dealers starting 4/1 will have PZEV emissions which adds $300 to the MSRP.

3/30 final day for 2012 factory orders for all Outback, Legacy, Forester, and Tribeca models. 2012 orders for Forester, Tribeca, Outback and Legacy end at 3pm today 3/30. This is early for Foresters, perhaps the 2013 model will get some updates (CVT?)  in advance of the 2014 make-over. Outback and Legacy manual transmission and 3.6L models had already stopped on 3/6. Dealers will continue to receive 2012s but in diminishing numbers. Low production models will sell out quickly. Subaru already announced 2013 Outback and Legacy details yesterday.


3/17 Forester.. the 2013 Forester will be available later this fall. Thats when new model year Foresters generally are released.  The 2013 is expected to be very similar to the current 2012 model. Its the 2014 model that is going to be redesigned. Among the many, many changes expected in the 14 are a CVT transmission replacing the current, old-reliable 4 speed,  and a more aerodynamic shape. Both of these changes are for better fuel economy.
The Forester has always had a very useful utilitarian, boxy, functional shape, easy to load gear into and for dogs to jump into etc. It also has the best rear visibility of any of the small SUVs. Now there are a few early 2014 model spy photos around (a lot of photos of wjat looks like the same car). Its hard to tell exactly what it looks like under all the plastic wrap,  false panels, rear spoiler (off a Forester XT?) etc, but at least this early test model seems to still have retained some of the squared rear, though it does look more sloped,  At least it doesn't look like it has the hard to see out of rear windows of the Toyota Rav or sales leader Honda CRV.  Again, its hard to tell. 
Check it out-  here are some articles with photos. Since Subaru hasn't released any specs or details on the 14s, much of the articles below are supposition, but the photos are interesting, and this is just the start of the 2014 Forester rumor mill....
> from Car and Driver.  "Caught testing on public roadways in the U.S., the pending fourth-generation model was running with a Honda CR-V and a Ford Edge, which indicates the expectations Subaru has for the newest Forester.
Why It Matters: Subaru has long been the go-to brand for wagon- and crossover-driving members of the crunchy elite. With entries from nearly every brand impinging on its territory, however, Subaru’s ability to update and adapt one of its bestselling vehicles without compromising its core attributes will be crucial for the brand’s success.
Platform: Expect the Forester to continue to use an adapted version of the Impreza platform with conservative increases in width and length. The previous Forester was one of the first Subarus in decades to utilize fully framed windows, and that will carry forward to the 2014 model. A small quarter window is now located at the base of the A-pillar where the mirrors previously resided; the mirrors have been moved to the doors. The row of spines on th
e hood is likely (we hope) part of the disguise...
Given that it was just launched, the new Forester surely will carry over the current naturally aspirated 2.5-liter FB-series flat-four, likely with the addition of direct injection. We expect a turbocharged model, too, but probably of a smaller displacement; the 2.0-liter FB engine in the Impreza is a good candidate for forced induction.."
this article and photos
> from Motor Authority.  "Subaru is in the midst of an ambitious new strategy dubbed “Motion-V” that will see the automaker’s fuel consumption and emissions cut 30 percent by the middle of the decade. However, cleaner running vehicles is just one pillar of the all-encompassing plan that will also see the launch of safer, more advanced, and more refined vehicles.
The good news is that the first of these new models will be on sale before the end of 2013.  The first two have already been revealed in the form of the BRZ sports car and Outback Sport-replacing XV Crosstrek.
The third is likely to be the next-generation Forester, which has been spied testing in prototype form. Due in time for the 2014 model year, which means we may see it launched by late 2013, the new Forester will stick to the proven formula of a practical SUV-crossover with strong off-road performance and efficient powertrains.
This fourth-generation of the popular nameplate will once again be based on the Impreza platform, and it appears to have grown slightly in length and width. In terms of design, the prototype appears to be wearing a similar grille to that found on the Impreza and we can clearly see that the side mirrors have been attached to the side of the doors rather than at the base of the A-pillar....  Subaru has stated that it will launch its first hybrid model in 2013 as well, with the car initially launching in Japan though arriving in the U.S. by the end of that same year. It will be based on an existing model, possibly this new Forester, and will feature Subaru’s own proprietary hybrid design rather than technology borrowed from part-owner Toyota." this article and photos


3/14 recall on 2009-2012 Foresters  built between November 26, 2007 and March 13, 2012
The rear center seatbelt might not work correctly with some child safety seats (CRSs) that require a short belt routing configuration. The center seatbelt has an Automatic Locking Retractor that may not lock with those seats.  It is necessary to replace the rear center seatbelt. New unsold models must be checked and fixed prior to sale. Recall code WQA-37


3/1 All Foresters and Imprezas to have PZEV emissions starting with April 2012 production. No Fed spec Impreza or Forester orders will be accepted after March 1st. Outback and Legacy will continue to be available with both specs, available depending on where you live. PZEV currently is MSRP $300. 
About PZEV: PZEV is an acronym for Partial Zero Emission Vehicle and used to be known as California Spec or Cal Spec.  Impreza, Forester, Outback and Legacy 4 cylinders (non turbo) have been available in either Fed or PZEV emissions for many years.
PZEV cars are less polluting,  with tune-up specs designed for faster engine warm-up, and revised more effective catalytic converters and air flow systems resulting in cleaner exhaust.
It has been required in some of the states with strongest Subaru sales, the list currently includes CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI, PA, VT, WA.. PZEV emissions currently adds $300 to the MSRP, no word on if this will change now that all Impreza and Foresters will have it.
-

XV Crosstrek  news and reviews
2012 calendar year news

articles edited for length, content
.

THE ALL NEW CROSSTREK IS EXPECTED LATE SUMMER 2012 STARTED ARRIVING LATE SEPTEMBER 2012


12/10 Crosstrek and Impreza - new remote engine start and interior illumination kits are now available.
Remote start factory/port installed MSRP $469. uninstalled part MSRP $399.95 (CVT required) Interior illumination footwells, either red or blue, factory/port installed MSRP $202, uninstalled part MSRP $149.95
. Crosstrek specs, options photos and Impreza specs, options, photos

11/17 Crosstrek review- 
"This car troubles me a bit. On one hand, I love it, but on the other, I can’t help but feel like Subaru is trying to steal sales away from themselves.  See, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is really just a hatchback Impreza that has been lifted and given some minor visual upgrades. That aside, I love how this car looks.
On the outside, you are going to see an Impreza that has been lifted up a couple inches, given new bumpers, and wheels. That being said, it caught my eye and held it there for some time. I have always been a sucker for Subaru’s and the XV Crosstrek is a perfect example why this is a good and bad thing.
It is bad because this really isn’t that new of a car, nor is it that amazing. It features a flat-four that leaves you begging for more, and an exterior that has been given a minor facelift. But, I will say that this car is functional and gorgeous.
That 2.0-liter flat-four that I mentioned is one of this car’s greatest downfalls. It only gives you 148hp, and 145 lb-ft of torque. If you are looking for a powerhouse, look elsewhere. But, there is a silver lining to this engine. Thanks to the CVT system and smaller engine, you are looking at 25/33 mpg.
Inside the car, you get a bare, yet functional interior. Its not luxurious, not is it outstanding, but luxury is not what Subaru is about. They are about giving you a car that is going to get you through rough terrain and look awesome while its doing so. The 8.7-inch ground clearance is one of the features that is really going to get you through that rough terrain and its very sturdy chassis is going to give you a great ride at the same time. While body roll is apparent, that is expected with the XV’s clearance.
Overall, the XV Crosstrek is a great Subaru. Priced at $24,000, it is a great deal and has a lot to offer. Some will scoff at its power, while others will say its just an Impreza with a facelift.  To me, its a great looking Subaru that will get the job done. If you are looking for a 5-door crossover that is great on gas and looks stupendous, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek may just be what you are looking for." read the original article


10/25 Factory Orders-  Subaru fesses up, announces that ordered cars are going to take longer and longer to arrive.
With Subaru riding a wave of popularity and cars selling quickly, there's been a shortage of cars
available on lots for a while now. This is especially true of the Japanese built Impreza, Crosstrek, BRZ and WRX/STI. This is a good/bad problem. The good part is Subarus are selling. Once known as a mostly functional car for skiers, hippies, campers and dog lovers etc in the northeast, northwest, rocky mountains and other frosty, wet areas, and widely unknown everyplace else, Subarus are now the It Car and selling everywhere.  Even where it's warm and dry all year round.
As a result of the reduced inventory on lots, more and more people are either putting deposits down on
already scheduled incoming cars, or are factory ordering if what they want isn't on the horizon.
This even further reduces the number of cars available on lots because more arrivals are pre-sold and spoken for. And with Subaru trying to expand into every market, they now have a whopping total of 1,209 possible model, trim and color combinations and that doesn't even include individual options.
As a result of the increase in orders, the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of factory ordered cars is getting pushed back. This is the bad part.  Its like your favorite neighborhood restaurant getting a glowing review, all of a sudden it's 'discovered' (like it hasn't been there for years and years),  and there's a line to get in on weekends. Then reservations are recommended, then required, then its 4 weeks out to get in and so on.
Meet Subaru, the little car company showing everyone how to make consumers fall in love with a car.
Previously orders usually took 6-10 weeks.  Now Subaru has announced a longer wait time for orders. These ETAs are not fixed. They're
are a guide as to how long the wait could be. Of course some cars will arrive sooner and others later but it can take months for a car just to be matched to the order and a future ETA released.
how can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, trim and color combinations

> according to Subaru if you order a

Impreza, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Crosstrek, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
WRX/STI, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Forester, the ETA will be around - oops.. no orders accepted. The redesigned 2014 is expected late winter/spring.
Outback, the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Legacy, the ETA will be around  3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Tribeca,  the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order (is anyone ordering a Tribeca).
BRZ, due to the way BRZs are allocated, the ETA is estimated to be 4-7 months out, but Subaru will back-fill as model and color is available. There's no ETA until shortly before the car arrives.


10/24 Crosstrek review- its starts out the unloved 97 pound (148hp) weakling but in the end saves the day, gaining the respect of the skeptical driver. Of course, the driver still wouldn't buy a CVT, but that's another opinion that will surely change.
"The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek was warmly received by many of us at The Fast Lane Car, but the lack of power from its 2.0-liter, boxer engine was disconcerting. With 148 horsepower making its peak power at 6,200 rpm, we had to rev its lug-nuts off to make it move. Most of our testing is done at over a mile up in elevation, this change in air pressure lowers the power on all internal combustion vehicles. Up here, up to 30% of your horsepower can go bye-bye.
I immediately felt the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek struggle when going up steep grades, climbing mountains and picking up the kids. It had a five-speed manual, I thought I could keep it in the power-band longer and compensate from some of the sluggishness by using what was left of its 145 lbs-feet of torque. I thought it was going to be as trying as the regular Impreza which the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is based on.
Then, thanks to my little-one’s bladder – something happened turning my irritation of the usurped power into praise for the 2013 Subaru XV.
Driving home from a pumpkin patch with my rug-rat in the very kid friendly back seat of the  2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek, I was in the midst of an argument.
No! You are NOT allowed to kick the pumpkins!” was my reply as to why we were zooming home with no pumpkins.
You mean daddy!”
Indeed. Not only was I a mean daddy, I was a forgetful one as well. The bag holding my kid’s change of clothing, wipes and trainers (pull-up diapers) was still at home. I realized this when I heard, “Uh-oh daddy.…”
That’s the indicator that not all is well. My kid’s bladder control was still in the programming faze and holding things in is a challenge. “Uh-oh daddy” means: time’s up.
Knowing that a side road would get me to my side of town quickly, and looking at my kid’s near cross-eyed expression, led me to an off the highway excursion. It was here that I found salvation and adoration for the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek,
I learned that: if you keep your foot in it and let the tachometer go an extra 1,000 rpm over where you would normally shift, the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek (with the five-speed manual transmission) comes alive. Rounding corners, the 50/50 split of power, courtesy of the all-wheel drive’s (AWD) viscous coupling, kept the traction constantly moving forward – no matter how poor my positioning.
On dirt and mud, nothing felt as secure and stable as the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek did. Having 8.7-inches of ground clearance, did nothing to upset the 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek’s ride. I’ve driven other Imprezas and, despite being several inches higher, there is no discernible difference in handling. The 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek is well dampened, smooth and compliant while maintaining great road grip. This is Audi and BMW levels of ride control people.
Okay, it’s a bit noisy inside and the standard radio is crap – but this is a $22,790 vehicle. You can upgrade the speakers and even add a $499 subwoofer. If you really rev the horizontally-opposed boxer engine, you get a pleasing growl. If you’re a fan of old, air-cooled Porsche engines, there’s a hint of that above 5,000 rpm.
The car grows on you.
Outward visibility is quite good and the added ride height is nearly ideal for loading kids, lazy bottoms, mountain bikes and is a boon for shorter drivers. Rear cargo room is slightly tight at 22.3 cubic-feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 51.9 cu-ft seats down. It’s less than a Honda CR-V, but more than a Nissan Juke. Rear passenger space is good, with squishy seat-bottoms and acceptable leg room for average-sized adults.
“Hurry Daddy!”
That was my two-minute warning. I knew that the liquid would soon be followed by solid. Man… I truly WISHED this thing had a turbo. One attribute to this new-ish 2.0-liter engine was its impressive economy. The  2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek with the five-speed manual transmission is rated at 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. That’s mighty impressive for an AWD car and the automatic/CVT equipped  2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek gets up to 33 mpg highway… but I would never recommend the CVT –  never recommend I any CVT.
Finally home and I managed to avoid the dark and messy tide of stinky injustice by mere moments.
Had my kid’s bladder help change my perception of the  2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek? The answer is – yes; yes indeed. I went from disliking it to admiring it. For folks who need a lifted ride to conquer snow and dirt, this is an excellent machine." read the original article.

10/19 about factory orders on hard to find models, the Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX STI, and BRZ.  These are some of the hottest cars around and demand is greater than supply. Factory orders of these hard to get models can take longer than the 8 weeks of previous years. This is especially true in Subaru's traditionally popular areas where dealers have to order cars exceeding their normal allocation because there aren't enough cars on the lots to sell.
"...Due to the supply limitation of our fast-selling carlines, effective October 4th, sold orders that are above and beyond a dealers earned allocation by carline will carried forward to a future allocation and will be marked with HOLD.... HOLD orders will be released from HOLD once the dealer has earned enough units of the carline in question..."


10/10 crash test, safety- Crosstrek is an IIHS.org Top Safety Pick
"The Lexus ES, a midsize luxury car; the Hyundai Santa Fe, a midsize SUV; and the Subaru XV Crosstrek and Dodge Dart, both small cars, earn the Institute's top award for good performance in moderate overlap frontal, side, rollover and rear impact evaluations.
The redesigned Lexus ES models, the ES 350 with a V6 gasoline powered engine and the ES 300h hybrid, outperform the outgoing ES 350 model that earned only a marginal rating in the rear test.
The Santa Fe was also redesigned for the 2013 model year and joins the previous generation model as a Top Safety Pick award winner. Subaru's XV Crosstrek is new for 2013 and a twin to the Subaru Impreza, also a Top Safety Pick. The Crosstrek will only be offered in the wagon body style." IIHS.org Crosstrek crash test results
9/27 Crosstrek and Tribeca brochures now at dealers Crosstreks are starting to arrive, many are pre-sold. The brochures are 20 pages long.
The 2013 Tribeca brochure is almost identical to the 2012 brochure, it has the same photos and text pages, except for the model and specs. All 2013 Tribecas are the Limiteds.


9/26 Crosstrek financing announced. Subaru/Chase financing is now available at 2.90%, on approval of credit. The Crosstreks are slowly trickling in. Many of the cars are pre-sold so they won't show up in inventory searches. Some of the reserved or sold cars will be for sale however, as folks who pre-ordered don't complete the purchase. More cars are expected in the first few weeks of October. Many dealers are only getting a few of each model per month. This relates directly to production being spread out over the 237 Impreza variants (the Crosstrek is based on the Impreza).


9/23 Crosstrek review by Dan Neil at the WSJ. He has nothing good to say about the car- thinks its loud, underpowered and slow, has a unfortunate CVT, doesn't get the rated MPG, and basically says it like a dead octopus and or a car with square wheels- everything short of calling it an Edsel, but he offers up a few redeeming features in the looks and Subaru's great all wheel drive...
"Did you know that in an automotive market as huge and diverse as ours (around 14 million annual U.S. new-car sales), you could build a car that smelled of dead octopus and had square wheels and it'd still sell? It's a fact.

Not a lot, sure. But a few. To somebody. Somewhere. Like those saints who go to the pound and adopt the ugliest dog on the lot—saints, I tell you!—there are cadres of the American car-buying public who will, rather mysteriously, buy the worst vehicles on the market, rather than the best. And yet, this is only probability distribution rearing its head. This is the weird end of the bell curve.
Subaru of America calls this week's vehicle the XV Crosstrek 2.0i. In other markets it's known as the Impreza XV, named after the famous nerve gas. It's essentially an Impreza five-door hatchback, the Sport, with a lift kit, the body raised 3 inches to allow 8.7 inches of ground clearance. These extra inches are plainly visible in the distance between the top of the car's tires and the fender wells, a part of a car that designers call the "dead cat" space. Again, the message here is, spay and neuter.
The Crosstrek has much to recommend it. It is a clear win aesthetically over the donor Impreza Sport—a low bar, to be sure—with dark composite lower-body cladding on the rocker panels, on the front and rear valences and around the wheel wells. From the color-coordinated roof rails and tinted window glass to the murdered-out alloy wheels, the Crosstrek has a nicely tough, bandy, unpaved look. This thing is missing kayaks on the roof like Venus de Milo misses arms.
Its additional 3 inches of ground clearance could be useful, too, I suppose, but I recommend not challenging any car-based compact-ute to standing snow. And I wonder how many Subie shoppers, unmoved by the ruralized styling, will simply take the $1,500 price difference between the Impreza Sport and the Crosstrek, and divide by the additional ground clearance: $500 per inch.
The Crosstrek is, says Subaru, the most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive crossover on the market, with highway mileage of 33 miles per gallon. That test car must have been filled with helium, because I did not see anything like that kind of highway mileage. Still, the Crosstrek is thrifty. The Crosstrek also qualifies as a partial-zero emission vehicle (PZEV), as per California rules.
The Crosstrek is therefore, and succinctly, a small, handsome soft-roader, with a great AWD pedigree from Subaru and best-in-class fuel economy. The Limited model ($24,495) I drove came with an all-weather package (heated front seats, wiper de-icer), HD radio, rear center armrest, auto climate control and a few other enticements. The test car's final tally ($27,290) also included $2,000 for the optional navigation and moon-roof package.
Sounds nice, doesn't it? And it would be, except for the huge hole below the waterline in the form of the engine and transmission. The key to the Crosstrek's big fuel-economy numbers is the continuously variable transmission, what Subie calls the Lineartronic CVT. The advantage of CVTs is that, unlike conventional transmissions with stepped gears, a CVT tranny can match engine revs to throttle demand and speed more efficiently. With the five-speed manual tranny, the Crosstrek returns a rated 23/30 mpg, city/highway, as compared with 25/33 for the car with the CVT.
The disadvantages of CVTs are twofold: One, the engines they are connected to often have to rev in long and unrelieved stretches to meet demands for acceleration. Compared with the crisp upshifts of a conventional automatic or manual transmission, a CVT can make a car sound unhappy, a sort of mournful bleating. CVTs oblige auto makers to work harder to muffle powertrain noise. Subaru doesn't seem to have done that work.

Under hard throttle the Crosstrek sounds like somebody needs to call the large-animal veterinarian.
The other pitfall for CVTs is that they tend to swallow horsepower and torque, neither of which the boxer four has in abundance (148 hp/145 pound-feet). Adding to the power/weight issue, the Crosstrek weighs 3,164 pounds—about 100 pounds more than the donor Impreza Sport. The Crosstrek's CVT has "sport" mode in its transmission programming, allowing drivers to select preset ratios that mimic those of a conventional six-speed gearbox. It even has paddle shifters, with which you can actually wind the thing out.
And yet the slowness is breathtaking, a torpid, complaining pace-gaining that is almost Skinnerian, with the bellowing a negative reinforcement punishing over-aggressive acceleration. Maybe that's the whole point. It might be that I'm peevish. It might be that some particular resonant frequency, some faint over-note in this dirging chorus, is unusually upsetting to just me. Or it might be that the Crosstrek is slow and noisy, as I initially suspected.
And as long as I'm banishing myself from Subaru's good graces, let me just say the audio/navigation system that's plunked down in the center console is an affront to the good name Pep Boys. Subaru must do more to be competitive in the realm of cabin amenities and electronics.
The Crosstrek looks great outside, has real ground clearance, serious AWD credibility and excellent fuel economy. The additional 3 inches of legginess doesn't seem to have adversely affected handling. The suspension does feel firmer than the Impreza's, in order to help quell body roll caused by a higher center of gravity. But the electric-assist steering response is crisp and affirmative. The chassis feels settled and predictable. Overall, it feels like it wants to go faster.
And—who knows?—it might yet find an audience outside the natural distribution of Subie fanatics. But for me, I need more horsepower, rounder wheels and somewhat fewer octopi."
read the original article 



9/20 Why is it hard to find Imprezas or the coming Crosstrek, why aren't there more on car lots?
The answer is Subaru sells between 4500-8400 Imprezas each month (8545 was an Impreza record, set in May 2012), and there are so many models and dealers that no dealer gets enough and there is always a shortage.
How many Impreza and Crosstrek models and packages are there?
There are 27 Impreza models, various combinations of  4 door sedan and 5 door hatchback in 2.0i, Premium, Limited, and Sport trim, with manual or CVT transmission, and many Option Packages including combinations of moonroof, All weather Package, 17" wheels, and/or Navigation. And there are 7 colors. So 27 models x 7 colors = 189 possible Imprezas that a buyer might want.
Then add Crosstreks
to the assembly line in Gumna Japan and there are fewer and fewer of any one model. A Crosstrek is an Impreza 5 door with some body and mechanical upgrades, and 8.7" ground clearance.
There are 6 Crosstreks- Premium manual, Premium CVT, and Limited CVT - and there are 8 colors, for a total of 48 possible cars that a buyer might want and Subaru has to ship to dealers every month.
Add them all together and there are 237 Impreza variants to build each month, and that doesn't include individual options like rear bumper appliques, splash guards, security upgrades, fog lights, stereo upgrades, multiple cargo nets, side moldings and etc etc.  And with around 625 dealers asking for cars, no one dealer will get very many. Its possible but unlikely that Subaru will pare down the number of models to a manageable figure.

9/10 Crosstrek - some exterior photos are now online at the Cars101.com Crosstrek photo page #1
 
8/21 Crosstrek competitors, and small sedans
"An array of all-new small cars and crossovers are hitting the streets for 2013 with impressive performance and top-level sophistication.
With gas prices fluctuating between $3 and $4 the past few years, it’s no surprise that automakers rushed to develop what amounts to an entirely new fleet of fuel-efficient compact and subcompact cars and crossovers. What might surprise some car shoppers who still equate “small” with “shoddy” is how sophisticated the latest crop of small cars have become, both in terms of performance and interior accommodations.Here’s a look at nine top-notch small cars and crossovers that are all new for 2013:
> Acura ILX. Acura’s more luxurious and formal looking version of the compact Honda Civic sedan...
> BMW X1. This sporty subcompact crossover SUV features a choice of a turbocharged 240-horsepower, four-cylinder engine or a faster 300-horsepower turbo inline-six...
> Buick Encore. Mechanically related to the Chevrolet Sonic...
> Cadillac ATS. The ATS is a compact rear-drive luxury sedan that borrows styling cues from the larger Cadillac CTS...
> Chevrolet Spark. The Spark is a small, four-door “micro car” hatchback...
> Ford C-Max Hybrid/Energi. The hybrid-powered C-Max is a compact wagon with a tall roofline that maximizes interior room. ...
> Dodge Dart. This attractive compact sedan is built in the U.S., but with styling and engineering that comes via Italy’s Alfa Romeo....
> Mazda CX-5. This curvy compact crossover replaces the Tribute in Mazda’s line. Its 2.0-liter “SkyActiv” four-cylinder engine generates 155 horsepower and gets good fuel economy at 26/33 mpg, with handling that’s a notch sportier than the norm. Powertrain choices include a six-speed manual or automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel-drive.
> Subaru XV Crosstrek. This crossover SUV version of Subaru’s compact Impreza features a 2.0-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and drives all four wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or gearless CVT automatic. Available amenities include a rear-view camera and a voice/touchscreen controlled navigation system with real-time traffic information." read the entire article


8/20
Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX, STI, and BRZ factory orders could take longer than in previous years. Subaru will be supplying 2013 Japanese built models that are in short supply for dealer inventory first before special orders. Some orders are showing up with November-December delivery dates, 3-4 months out. Though they could be filled sooner, this is longer than the app 2 month window of previous years.  Subaru will get you the car of course, and your dealer can always check for a car that's close to what you want either in stock or already scheduled for inventory if you don't want to wait.

8/16 Crosstrek prices announced. Destination is $795 ($945 to Ak).  MSRP price including the $795 destination and PZEV emissions: Crosstrek Premium manual $22,790, Premium CVT $23790, Limited CVT $25290

7/18- The 'don't-call-me-an-Impreza' Crosstrek is due in September, and Subaru is starting the push now with reviewers visiting Hawaii for a first test drive
There's also a new 2 page Crosstrek handout with a some specs and details available at dealers.
Expect more online articles and reviews on the Crosstrek in the coming weeks. Prices are reportedly starting at $21995, plus $770 destination, for the manual transmission Premium.  Full specs and price to be announced and orders available in August.
> from Jalopnik, where they score it at 55/100:   "...Subaru wanted us to drive the XV Crosstrek so bad they sent me all the way to Hawaii, put me up in the hotel where they shot the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, took me to the location where they filmed Lost and Jurassic Park and fed me dinner on a secluded beach. They even gave me a paddleboard to try out. I fell, a lot. And I cut my toe on coral. I also wore a particularly precious pink flower necklace, and may, or may not, have consumed too many Mai Tais.
Looking at the all-wheel-drive XV Crosstrek you'd be forgiven for mistaking it for an Impreza. By all accounts it is very similar. Subaru expects to sell 12,000-15,000 Crosstreks per year and questions arise as to whether the sales of models like the Forester, Impreza and even the Outback will end up becoming diluted with the introduction of the XV to US markets. This question had been of concern to Subaru too, but extensive consumer testing apparently showed people were able to distinguish between the Impreza, and that this younger, hip demographic would open up a whole new line of customers.... The XV Crosstrek delivers its goals of being a stylish compact crossover. The black fender cladding and new bumpers give the car a more rugged appeal.... A fetching bright orange paint is available and while that might sound putrid, it actually looks great. The car enjoys 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is a sizeable chunk higher than the Impreza at 5.7". The grille is unique to the Crosstrek and dark-tint privacy glass is standard, so you can change your wet swim shorts in the car, with total confidence that the old lady walking her dog outside can't see your buttocks plastered to the window....
... Well, it's an Impreza inside, basically. If you opt for the limited edition you will be granted heated leather seats, which are decently comfortable. The cabin is not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination, but nor would you expect it to be. It is functional and cost-effective... The car really is rather slow. When you attack the throttle the little engine feels like a woman reading 50 Shades of Grey; she ignores you while she finishes reading the page. But even when the engine does respond, it doesn't deliver much....
It is a machine that competently gets its job done on the road, but was it fun to drive? No. Although I am sure most of this is due to the powerless engine. Perhaps a bit of extra torque would have allowed the handling to present itself a little more prominently. I did a lot of tough off-road in the Crosstrek and here (as mentioned in the Ride section) it performed extremely well. The additional ground clearance was welcome over some of the tougher, rockier sections, making the Crosstrek more than capable of handling some wild adventures. But capable isn't everything. I enjoyed the drive immensely, but that was because of the magnificent Hawaiian scenery. Not because of the car I was driving.... It's a good car. A solid car but it doesn't leave you wanting more. It's like having an attractive girlfriend (or boyfriend) who looks after you and cooks a delicious meal every night. But in the bedroom she lies on her back, expressionless and doesn't make a sound. You are content every now and then for a quick ride, but eventually you're going to get bored." read this entire article  
> Here's a review from Aurora Colorado Sentinel: "... Yes, I know it looks like a taller Impreza, and according to its skeleton, it mostly is. The Crosstrek, however, is two inches wider (track), three inches higher, four inches taller and seats five adults. The idea for the Crosstrek is similar to the idea for the Outback Sport that was discontinued in 2011. According to Subaru spokespeople, the nameplate wasn’t discontinued due to flagging sales, rather it was changed to avoid any confusion with the bigger Legacy-based Outback....
Consider this: The Crosstrek’s ground clearance is 8.7 inches, higher than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a Land Rover LR2 and the distance I can jump.... The Crosstrek features the same 2.0-liter, horizontal four-cylinder engine found in the Impreza.... 148 horsepower, 145 ft.-lbs. of torque and 3,150 lbs. of curb weight.... Acceleration happened at a leisurely pace at sea level and, considering that the engine doesn’t benefit from forced induction, some of that horsepower will likely be sapped in mountain states like ours....  the Crosstrek’s impressive fuel economy figures may be put to the test when it comes to driving in and around foothills.... Therefore, the Crosstrek is built to occupy a sweet spot for Subaru: not too big, not too fast and not too expensive. Starting in at a five-spot under $22,000, the Crosstrek is probably the most affordable all-wheel drive compact ‘ute on the market...." read this entire article  
> And here's a review from The Car Connection out of Portland, Oregon: "...That slower pace, and the rugged landscape, proved well-suited for finding the Crosstrek’s place in the now-crowded crossover market. In short, we found that the Crosstrek might not be for an impatient, hurried lifestyle; but it does have the chops for the trail, for hauling gear, for keeping you comfortable along the way, and for not breaking the bank in any way. Think of it as a solid multi-purpose tool to have at the ready for all your transportation needs--and oh yes, they can involve lots of mud and snow.
Before we extol the virtues of the Crosstrek’s trail prowess and versatility, we must tell you a bit about what it’s like to drive on roads and highways: In short, the Crosstrek isn’t underpowered, but its performance on pavement is rather ordinary and unspectacular.... And the Crosstrek is quite good at scrambling well off the beaten track. The loop of rocky, gravel, and sand ranch trails, with a few shallow creek crossings, never seriously challenged the Crosstrek’s traction, but it did serve to show off its very impressive ground clearance (more than many unique-design crossovers), and also its good approach and departure angles (of 18 degrees and nearly 28 degrees, respectively). We think it might be one of the best vehicles yet for snowy driveways... Ride quality, ranging from choppy two-lane roads and some expressways, remained impressive—and seldom pitchy or jarring off-road. The front strut suspension is essentially carried over from the Impreza, while the rear double-wishbone setup comes with pillow-ball bushings, which Subaru says helps ride comfort, stability, and agility.
There’s one exception, and that’s when you step down on the brakes firmly, or even moderately; there’s noticeably more nosedive than you’ll find in nearly all normal cars—and even some other crossovers—and the body tends to ‘whip’ back to center when you reach a full stop, unless the driver has finessed the last few feet. Stops are very confident nevertheless (Subaru installed larger front discs versus the Impreza), and pedal feel is reassuring.... If you don’t have the space for a garage full of specialized vehicles, the Crosstrek is a solid, economical, and very capable way to get wherever you want to be." read this entire article

7/6 an English reviewer doesn't like The XV Crosstrek, or any current Subaru..
"A week with the new Subaru XV might sadden the stoniest heart. No story in the modern car industry is more tragic than that of Saab (curses on the smug, overpaid General Motors incompetents who ruined that company), but that of Subaru comes close – as the XV bears witness.
The deeply unimpressive, uninteresting, anonymous XV – a compact SUV, like Nissan’s Qashqai, for the suburban yummy mummy – makes you wonder if it was only 20 years ago that Subaru was a byword for quirky brilliance, unbreakable reliability and blazing performance. Canny farmers used to buy four-wheel-drive Subarus rather than Land Rovers, because they knew them to be better value. Swanking lads coveted them, because no car made them look more cool. Contemplating the Subaru XV today, it’s almost impossible to believe that, little more than a decade ago, my then teenage son – a connoisseur of cool – named the Impreza Turbo one of his top five most desirable cars.
How can a mass-production company, with so many hard-earned advantages (three times winner of the World Rally Championship in the mid-Nineties), have been reduced to the point where, in 2011 , it sold barely more cars in Britain than Tracey Emin sold works of art? What went so depressingly wrong?
Subaru lost its head and lost its way, is the answer. It invested in new models with no connection with its established commercial strengths (such as the pointless Tribeca). At the same time, it cynically tried to wring out yet more sales for the Impreza long after it was as dead as El Cid, by pumping it up and mounting it on grotesquely oversized wheels so that it looked, in the end, fit only for robbing post offices.
It didn’t take kindly to criticism. Years ago, Subaru’s then chief press officer wrote to say that, on the instructions of his managing director, I was to receive no more test cars and be invited to attend no more launches because they didn’t care to submit to my “lacerating invective”. I replied that I looked forward to the day when Subaru would again make a car that deserved praise" read the original article  

6/15-17 The 2013 XV Crosstrek  is due September/October. The first West Coast showing is in Long Beach, at the SoCal Test Drive Expo, June 15-17. It will be a display car only, no test driving, see testdriveexpo.com/index.php/news

6/14 why is a Subaru a Subaru, a review of the XV Crosstrek, due here in October but already available in New Zealand, Au, UK etc
"My wife asked me the other day why is it that driving a Subaru feels different. She said the latest to come out of the Subaru factories feel solid, strong and more connected with the road than other cars.
I explained that a lot of that has to do with the way the chassis is set-up, but more importantly, it is the four-wheel-drive system which, in turn, imparts a firm feeling of control, grip is high and information in respect to behaviour on the road is relayed directly to the cabin providing an involving driving sensation.
Subarus have long had that feel, well, for as long as I can remember the four-wheel-drives have anyway, and it is a feel that has commanded a lot of respect.
Subaru are in the midst of a new model roll-out, there's a couple of facelifts and a couple of completely new models. I'm due to evaluate the brand new Impreza soon, but preceding its launch was the release of the XV, it is a car loosely based on the Impreza but modeled on the Outback.
The XV is described as a crossover vehicle, it's the happy city slicker but with 220mm (8.7") of ground clearance it also has the ability to tackle the cross-country or gentle off-road tracks. Subaru also say the XV as a compact SUV and that's a fairly accurate way to describe it, it's not a big car but there is adequate room for five, and given the underhatch proportions (340-litres to 1230-litres), there's enough room to pack the tent and camping gear for the high-country fishing trip.
And it must be said that the XV is a stunning looker, it is chunky, bold and almost aggressive. It has an in-your-face wheel design which promotes a can-do look, and it has a wilful driving feel....  Like my wife, I enjoy the way the XV feels on the road, it has presence and solidity, and it's a very functional mini-SUV...." read the entire review  

3/22 XV Crosstrek will be at the NY Auto Show April 6-12 (4th-5th are press days)The 2013 XV Crosstrek is the Impreza that won't be called an Impreza. Its expected to arrive late August/September.
Based on the Impreza 5 door, it has the 148hp 2.0L Impreza engine with the 5 speed manual or CVT transmission with paddle shifters. Just like the Impreza Sport, the Crosstrek is available in 2 trim levels, Premium and Limited.  The Crosstrek has 8.7" ground clearance, black side moldings, rocker panel, and wheel arch moldings, dark tinted privacy glass, and a slightly larger 15.9 gallon gas tank instead of the 14.5 gallon tank in the Imprezas. The grill, 17" alloys, front and rear bumpers are slightly different from the standard Impreza.
There are 2 models- Premium and Limited. The Premium come standard with the 5 speed manual, the CVT is optional, and standard on the Limited model. MPG is expected to be 25/33, 28 combined which is the same as the Impreza 5door manual. Remember that MPG estimates are based on a mix of driving, and your mileage may be less.
Standard equipment includes
roof rails, power windows, locks and mirrors, tilt/telescoping wheel, manual height adjustable drivers seat,  immobilizer system with alarm, hands-free bluetooth, wireless audio streaming, USB, cargo tray and cargo/luggage cover. The All Weather Pkg is and CVT with paddle shifter is optional on the Premium. The Limited adds leather, CVT with paddle shifters, All Weather Pkg, Climate control, upgraded stereo with 4.3" screen, HD radio, and rear view backup camera (probably the Forester Limited/Touring stereo). rear seat armrest.  Optional on both Premium and Limited is the moonroof and 6.1" navigation/gps system.


2/20 The XV, or XV Crosstrek, is currently at the Canadian International Auto Show, at the Metro Toronto Convention Center February 17-26. It hasn't been shown in the US yet... will it be at the NY Auto Show April 5?

1/20  XV Crosstrek review. In the UK it is available with a 1.6L, 2.0L, and a turbo-diesel. Only the 2.0L is expected in the US (no diesel).
It’s not particularly pretty and it’s a bit too expensive but the XV is a good move for struggling (in the UK) Subaru. Once it soared higher than the sun, its Pleiades badge affirmed rally championships, promise and, as it turned out, the hubris of Icarus. The portents were there. From a reliable farmers’ vehicle to a design ethos that lost its way, with each new model more lividly repulsive than the last.
These days, not many people want a Subaru. Last year’s sales were half those of 2010 and Porsche sells twice as many cars in Britain. These days a Subaru seems to be driven by young men whose necks have felt both a policeman’s and tattooist’s hands. A Subaru has become, like the old Jaguar Mark 2, an uncouth getaway car.
Perhaps the fightback for this 57-year-old car maker owned by Fuji Heavy Industries starts with the BRZ, an old-school, great-handling sports coupé built by Subaru in co-operation with Toyota (which calls it the GT-86), or with the XV, a crossover SUV claimed as the company’s first foray in this sector – as if we’d forgotten the Tribeca, the Forester or the Outback.
The marketing random-word generator left us knee deep with “City Style” and “Urban Adventures!” Look beyond this folderol, however, and the XV is the sort of compact sports utility aimed mainly at young suburban mums. With a body style that eschews capacity and ground clearance for style, and with no transfer box in the transmission, the XV is unlikely to trouble the Darién Gap or Rubicon Trail, but it should have the gumption to tackle light snow flurries in supermarket car parks....
Start it up and you get that flat thrumming “boxer” beat, although the horizontally opposed Subaru engine doesn’t “box” in the strictest sense, as each bank of pistons moves outwards from a common central crankshaft....
The ride feels quite stiff at first and the XV batters away at road seams and potholes, which report through the bodyshell like distant gunfire. There’s stiff roll resistance built into the MacPherson-strut front and wishbone rear suspension and that, together with the low centre of gravity and ride height, means the XV turns into corners well, with none of the lurching weight transfer of some of its contemporaries.
The cabin is large and airy and there’s plenty of room in the front and rear seats for the claimed five-adult carrying capacity, although at 380 litres without a spare wheel the boot is rather small (even the standard Qashqai’s is 410 litres) and the false floor is fiddly to use, although it does provide a useful hidden suitcase-size cubby hole. 
Careful attention to the design of the B and C pillars and the low ride height means the XV is an easy car to get into and out of, especially the rear seats, which can be something of a mantrap on rivals. The trim might be a big advance for Subaru, but the opposition has moved on again. On a vehicle that will see lots of family abuse, durable plastics are perfectly acceptable on the bottom of the doors but not on the dashboard.... 
For all its deficiencies, there’s something quite likeable about the XV. Where almost all the rivals place you in some sort of suburban pecking order, the XV keeps you out of that nonsense. Plus it’s actually quite fun to drive and has an aura of toughness and longevity.  The trouble is, it’s built in Yen and that’s really not good news for Subaru. While the range will start at about £21,000, the diesel will be about £24,000 and that’s too much" read the entire article


1/16 Impreza XV Crosstrek expected to be for sale in China mid February. The US version of the Crosstrek, a 5 door Impreza with 8.3" ground clearance, fender flares etc, is scheduled as a 2013 model in the fall 2012.

12/30 Crosstrek marketing - The Impreza Bigfoot Crosstrek  sure is getting a lot of press even though its not due here in North America until the fall (but will be available much sooner in many other countries). Since the 2012 Impreza 2.0i has been long anticipated, rumored, leaked, guessed about, talked about, delayed, and finally reviewed approaching repitition, the Impreza Backwood Crosstrek is a new subject for the reviewers and writers- including me. And people like the Alta Crosstrek, this is what some Impreza buyers have been waiting for (also includes me). It should always have been part of the 2012 lineup..
But what is the Stomper Crosstrek, where does it fit in the lineup? This Subaru fan says the 2013 TrailCutter Crosstrek should rightly be viewed as a replacement of the of the 2012 Impreza Sport.  Comparing the 2013  HillClimber  Crosstrek directly to the 2012 Sport or 2011 Outback Sport misses misses the point. The RoadJumper Crosstrek is expected to further build on, to enhance the Sport but should simply replace it. Many shoppers will opt for either the 2.0i models with normal ground clearance or skip over the Sport directly to the high-sitting Rhino Crosstrek. And anyway, does the Impreza really need seven or eight 5 door hatchback models - 2.0i base, Premium, Limited, Sport Premium and Limited, Redwood Crosstrek base, Premium, and Limited?  Maybe Subaru will smartly just add the roof rails to the 2.0i Premium and Limited 5 doors, and drop the Sport Premium and Limiteds altogther.  Now that makes sense.



Impreza news and reviews
Crosstrek info is above
2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
m


Crosstrek news is above, WRX STI news is below


12/14 WRX, STI, and Impreza in the UK have been dropped due to slow sales! Since the WRXs were hugely popular rally winners in the past, its surprising sales have sunk that low, but their loss could be our gain -  this could mean more inventory for the US where Subaru is scrambling to meet demand. Subaru will continue to sell the Crosstrek (called the XV), Legacy, and outback
"The Subaru WRX STi and Subaru Impreza will cease to be a feature on UK’s roads from next year. While an all-new Impreza was launched in Japan and the US last year, a spokesman for the brand confirmed that there isn’t enough demand for cars like the Impreza in the UK, so the new model will not be added to the UK line-up.
He said: “The new Impreza has been under evaluation in the UK for 12 months, but the decision has been taken not to bring that car to the UK because of insufficient demand.”
The decision also means the end of the line for the WRX STi. Subaru split the Impreza and WRX STi nameplates into two separate models in 2007, when the third generation Impreza arrived, and demand has dwindled as the performance model can no longer compete with more modern rivals in terms of design, interior quality, performance and emissions.
The spokesman said: “Currently we have no plans to bring in further [WRX STI] stock after the current stock sells out – which should takes us to early summer depending on demand.”
Instead, Subaru will focus its UK efforts on its XV, new Forester and Outback SUV models: “Subaru is concentrating on what it’s really good at – so we’re concentrating on SUVs and the BRZ – we’re hoping to get more [BRZs] next year to satisfy strong demand for that car.” He added that he “could not confirm what happens to the Legacy after the end of 2013”.
read the entire article

12/10 Crosstrek and Impreza - new remote engine start and interior illumination kits are now available.
Remote start factory/port installed MSRP $469. uninstalled part MSRP $399.95 (CVT required) Interior illumination footwells, either red or blue, factory/port installed MSRP $202, uninstalled part MSRP $149.95
. Crosstrek specs, options photos and Impreza specs, options, photos

10/25 Factory Orders-  Subaru fesses up, announces that ordered cars are going to take longer and longer to arrive.
With Subaru riding a wave of popularity and cars selling quickly, there's been a shortage of cars
available on lots for a while now. This is especially true of the Japanese built Impreza, Crosstrek, BRZ and WRX/STI. This is a good/bad problem. The good part is Subarus are selling. Once known as a mostly functional car for skiers, hippies, campers and dog lovers etc in the northeast, northwest, rocky mountains and other frosty, wet areas, and widely unknown everyplace else, Subarus are now the It Car and selling everywhere.  Even where it's warm and dry all year round.
As a result of the reduced inventory on lots, more and more people are either putting deposits down on
already scheduled incoming cars, or are factory ordering if what they want isn't on the horizon.
This even further reduces the number of cars available on lots because more arrivals are pre-sold and spoken for. And with Subaru trying to expand into every market, they now have a whopping total of 1,209 possible model, trim and color combinations and that doesn't even include individual options.
As a result of the increase in orders, the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of factory ordered cars is getting pushed back. This is the bad part.  Its like your favorite neighborhood restaurant getting a glowing review, all of a sudden it's 'discovered' (like it hasn't been there for years and years),  and there's a line to get in on weekends. Then reservations are recommended, then required, then its 4 weeks out to get in and so on.
Meet Subaru, the little car company showing everyone how to make consumers fall in love with a car.
Previously orders usually took 6-10 weeks.  Now Subaru has announced a longer wait time for orders. These ETAs are not fixed. They're
are a guide as to how long the wait could be. Of course some cars will arrive sooner and others later but it can take months for a car just to be matched to the order and a future ETA released.
how can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, trim and color combinations

> according to Subaru if you order a

Impreza, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Crosstrek, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
WRX/STI, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Forester, the ETA will be around - oops.. no orders accepted. The redesigned 2014 is expected late winter/spring.
Outback, the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Legacy, the ETA will be around  3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Tribeca,  the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order (is anyone ordering a Tribeca).
BRZ, due to the way BRZs are allocated, the ETA is estimated to be 4-7 months out, but Subaru will back-fill as model and color is available. There's no ETA until shortly before the car arrives.
10/23 2012 Impreza and Forester navigation system update process announced


10/23 2012 Impreza and Forester navigation system update process announced
Please note: updates to 2012 model year Impreza and Forester vehicle navigation systems are now available from Nokia via the following link: www.navigation.com/subaru-na
Although ’12 systems are the first to go live on this new update system, additional carlines and newer model years will soon be available for updates as well. Customers interested in updating their navigation systems can do so through the following process:
1. With vehicle on, eject SD Card (see pg. 18 in Navigation System Owner’s Manual for SD card ejection procedure)
2. Insert SD card into computer SD card reader
3. Open web link: www.navigation.com/subaru-na
4. Click “ Buy Updates or Extras”
5. Register a user ID and password
6. Select head unit (currently only 12MY Impreza and Forester head unit available)
7. Select update for purchase
8. Download Naviextras Toolbox to computer
9. Use Naviextras Toolbox to download update to SD card
10. Replace SD card in vehicle navigation head unit with vehicle off
11. Turn on vehicle to confirm update

For additional questions about the update process and the Naviextras Toolbox software, please visit the FAQ on the Subaru Navigation Update page: https://subaru-na.naviextras.com/shop/portal/howto-guide?guide=Toolbox (May require user registration or logging in as Guest to access FAQ.)


10/19 about factory orders on hard to find models, the Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX STI, and BRZ.  These are some of the hottest cars around and demand is greater than supply. Factory orders of these hard to get models can take longer than the 8 weeks of previous years. This is especially true in Subaru's traditionally popular areas where dealers have to order cars exceeding their normal allocation because there aren't enough cars on the lots to sell.
"...Due to the supply limitation of our fast-selling carlines, effective October 4th, sold orders that are above and beyond a dealers earned allocation by carline will carried forward to a future allocation and will be marked with HOLD.... HOLD orders will be released from HOLD once the dealer has earned enough units of the carline in question..."

10/16 Impreza 2.0i review- nothing great and nothing terrible
"Our favorite Impreza logbook entry so far: “It’s like going to the grocery store in your sweatpants.” This analogy is apt. The car is roomy, comfortable, oddly enjoyable at times, but not necessarily something you want to experience on a daily basis. Roominess was confirmed when your author was able to fit twelve tires and a set of 14-inch wheels into the Impreza, with only one of the rubber circles riding shotgun. This deceptive capaciousness is the result of a huge back seat and a pretty ample cargo hold behind it: a great reason to opt for the hatch over the sedan...
We noted the car’s comfortable seats when it was introduced to our fleet. They continue to receive handwritten props, although some drivers don’t fit between the bolsters as well as others. Along with the seats, the suspension tuning has been called out for its coddling state of tune. Just imagine how reposeful you’d be if you drove this car to the grocery store while wearing sweatpants. Frighteningly, we think.
What we don’t find comforting are the sounds the Impreza makes at highway speed. There’s a whistling of some sort coming from, well, somewhere; a drivetrain whine that one staffer’s musical spouse has identified as an F-sharp; and tire noise that only gets worse as speed builds. It seems that perhaps some of the weight trimming done from the last generation to this one involved reducing sound-deadening materials...
Many have noted that the Impreza doesn’t like to go into reverse. Sometimes it takes a couple of jabs to get the shifter to slide into the gate, and when it does pop in, it’s usually accompanied by a clunk and some gear gnashing. It’s most difficult to engage when the car is cold. On the subject of the transmission, we’ve had another logbook entry call for another forward gear. The five-speed would benefit from a sixth pal on the highway. Plus, the ratio spread is such that low-speed parking-lot maneuvers and some slow turns require a downshift to first. And some patience. Often both.
That said, you won’t hear us complaining about the Subaru’s fuel economy; somehow, our running average has ratcheted up from 25 mpg to 28....
One staffer, who drove the Subaru about 2400 miles in a few days (he happens to be the only one to have done anything so ambitious in the Impreza), concluded that the car is itself almost a nonentity. The engine doesn’t love to rev, nor does it hate it. It handles okay, and the ride is great. At the halfway mark, we struggle to find anything exceptionally negative or positive to say about the car—all praise seems to be tempered. That might not be such a bad thing for someone looking for simple transportation. ...." read the entire article.


10/15 small cars, like the Impreza, sales are climbing
"Sales of small cars account for almost 20% of the market this year, the highest since 1993, according to Autodata, turning a long-term trend toward big SUVs finally on its head.
A combination of high gas prices and a great selection from many automakers is behind the surge.  "Traditionally small cars were purchased by people who couldn't afford anything else," Jesse Toprak, an industry analyst for TrueCar.com, told Bloomberg. "Right now, that's not the case. We see people choosing them because they find them more appealing."
Last month, subcompacts and compacts rose 50% in sales and the smallest cars account for 20% of them. Sales of a wide range of small cars are busting records: Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, Chevy Sonic - which quintripled sales last month - Ford Focus and Fiesta, Dodge Dart, Fiat and Kia Rio, and VW Bug.
"These cars that a while back were perceived as econo-boxes now come standard in some cases with 10 airbags and all the other features available in bigger, more expensive cars," Tom Libby, an analyst at R.L. Polk & Co., told Bloomberg. "Whether it's the Civic or the Focus or the Sonic or whatever, everybody agrees these are much, much better cars with more integrity than their predecessors."
"It's cool and hip right now to be frugal," says Tamara Darvish, of Darcars Automotive Group, which owns a nunber of dealerships in Maryland. "Consumers are thinking much more logically than emotionally compared to how they did in the past."
Among plug-ins, the Chevy Volt leads with a record 2,851 sales last month and 16,348 for the year. It's followed by 7,734 Prius plug-ins and 5,212 Leafs. GM is offering a sweet price to lease the Volt - just $299 a month - and the Leaf can be leased in certain markets at $199 a month.  Toyota doubled sales of its Prius hybrid family to 18,932 last month and expects to sell 230,000 cars this year. It's now the third top selling car in the world." read the original article.

9/20 Why is it hard to find Imprezas or the coming Crosstrek, why aren't there more on car lots?
The answer is Subaru sells between 4500-8400 Imprezas each month (8545 was an Impreza record, set in May 2012), and there are so many models and dealers that no dealer gets enough and there is always a shortage.
How many Impreza and Crosstrek models and packages are there?
There are 27 Impreza models, various combinations of  4 door sedan and 5 door hatchback in 2.0i, Premium, Limited, and Sport trim, with manual or CVT transmission, and many Option Packages including combinations of moonroof, All weather Package, 17" wheels, and/or Navigation. And there are 7 colors. So 27 models x 7 colors = 189 possible Imprezas that a buyer might want.
Then add Crosstreks
to the assembly line in Gumna Japan and there are fewer and fewer of any one model. A Crosstrek is an Impreza 5 door with some body and mechanical upgrades, and 8.7" ground clearance.
There are 6 Crosstreks- Premium manual, Premium CVT, and Limited CVT - and there are 8 colors, for a total of 48 possible cars that a buyer might want and Subaru has to ship to dealers every month.
Add them all together and there are 237 Impreza variants to build each month, and that doesn't include individual options like rear bumper appliques, splash guards, security upgrades, fog lights, stereo upgrades, multiple cargo nets, side moldings and etc etc.  And with around 625 dealers asking for cars, no one dealer will get very many. Its possible but unlikely that Subaru will pare down the number of models to a manageable figure.

9/15- 2013 Impreza finance rates announced for the Seattle area, 1.9%x36 months, 2.9% 48-60-72 mo, oac, through October 1,

9/12- Impreza brochure error. The 2013 Impreza brochure, on page 17 under Optional Equipment, does not indicate that the All Weather Package (awp) is now standard and included on the 2013 Premium manual transmission model. This is new for the 2013 Premium manual model. The brochure also doesn't indicate that the AWP option on the Premium with CVT is available as Package #02 ($500 MSRP), or as Package #27 with AWP, 17" alloy wheel upgrade and moonroof ($2000 MSRP), or Package #28 AWP, 17" alloy wheel upgrade, and Navigation ($2200 MSRP).

9/1 - 2013 Impreza and WRX STI brochures now at dealers. Both are 20 pages and almost identical to the 2012 brochure photos and text.
The 2013 Impreza brochure has
all the exact photos taken in front of the Candle Cafe on the beach in Venice Beach, Ca., and the same various car and scenery photos. The inside rear cover with the colors has been changed.
The WRX STI brochure is also the same as the 2012, with the same photos. The double page photo on the inside cover and on page 1 is identical to the 2012, except the car has been edited to be gray instead of the discontinued Lightning Red used in the 2012 brochure. The text blurb on page 5 has been changed to one from automobilemag.com, replacing one from Popular Mechanics. The STI 5 door on the model description page #16 has also been changed to gray from the red that's not available this model year.

8/31- 2013 Imprezas arriving at dealers


8/20 Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX, STI, and BRZ factory orders could take longer than in previous years. Subaru will be supplying 2013 Japanese built models that are in short supply for dealer inventory first before special orders. Some orders are showing up with November-December delivery dates, 3-4 months out. Though they could be filled sooner, this is longer than the app 2 month window of previous years.  Subaru will get you the car of course, and your dealer can always check for a car that's close to what you want either in stock or already scheduled for inventory if you don't want to wait.

8/19 Mitsubishi Lancer SE all wheel drive sedan review-  it's a competitor to the Impreza, but falls short
"Subaru has, for years, pretty much owned the market for basic, mass-market small cars with all-wheel drive. Looking back, while other automakers have brought out crossovers, minivans, and larger sedans and wagons with all-wheel drive, mainstream AWD offerings that are genuine passenger cars (or close to it) have been few and far between—and limited to models that tease high-utility niche appeal, like the Toyota Matrix and Suzuki SX4.
Enter the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer SE, an all-wheel-drive version of Mitsubishi’s Lancer small-car family that’s neither performance-focused, nor priced high. It’s surprising that Mitsubishi didn’t catch on to Subaru's game any sooner. The Japanese automaker’s Evolution and Ralliart have for years chased (and at times passed, enthusiasts might say) the Subaru WRX and STI, respectively, and yet it hasn’t offered an affordable all-wheel drive passenger car in the U.S. in many years.
Just looking at the window sticker, the Lancer SE doesn’t give those who’re looking for better mileage than four-cylinder crossovers much reason to consider this small sedan instead. Its 22/29-mpg EPA ratings seem borderline pathetic next to the Subaru Impreza's 27/36-mpg ratings (or 25/34 with a manual gearbox). And unfortunately, just as with the Outlander Sport crossover that’s also built on the Lancer platform and uses this more bourgeois all-wheel-drive system—it’s only offered with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
As you might guess, this AWD system should be fine for the snow, but it forgoes all the dynamic prowess, subtle transitions, and brute-force finesse (paradoxically, yes) of the Evolution’s system. It’s more of a simple AWD system that does allow the front wheels to spin from a standing start (okay, when you’re on a grittier surface) and otherwise seems to bog down for a moment and take a breath before moving quickly.
The AWD system also requires you to switch it on—or at least click it into the 4WD Auto mode (there's also a 4WD Lock mode)—but while we had dry summer weather the entire time with the Lancer SE we only clicked into 4WD momentarily to make that full-throttle traction check. All of the week except for a mile or two, we drove in 2WD, and noted no significant difference in the dry in 4WD Auto....
While the 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter four that's under the hood is perkier and has more torque than the 2.0-liter in the Impreza, the CVT here simply doesn't work as well as Subaru's in making the most of it.... During our week and just under a hundred miles with the Lancer SE, we averaged just 22 mpg—matching the EPA city rating—and based on the kind of (mostly light) driving we did, we don’t think you’ll be able to manage much better than that. Again, kudos to Subaru, even if the Lancer is a bit quicker....
Against Subaru, can this Mitsubishi measure up? The Lancer SE starts at $20,195, but with the navigation system—packaged with music-server media storage and real-time traffic—our test car had a bottom-line price of $23,285. To compare, a Subaru Impreza Premium with navigation, a moonroof, and the alloy wheel package adds up to about $700 less.
So is the Lancer SE any threat to Subaru? And would we even seriously think of getting this instead of an Impreza? Let there be no doubt: Absolutely not. Feature-wise it adds up, but the low mileage, the shoddy interior, remarkably bad CVT drivability, and all the noise bring a clear answer.  Meanwhile, Subaru continues to make bank from, in part, its all-wheel-drive primacy. For the sake of a free market, may a competitor please step up." read the entire article



7/28 Subaru announces 2013 WRX, STI, and Impreza prices. Orders are not yet available
Destination raised $20 to to $770 (from $750)
WRX and STI prices are up $200. No colors or options announced, and no changes expected to any of the models. 2013 WRX, STI
MSRP including destination:
4 door WRX $26,565, Premium $29065, Limited $30,065.  5 door WRX $26,565, Premium $29,065, Limited $30,065.
4 door STI $35,065, Limited $38415. 5 door STI $37,065

Impreza price increases vary by model
MSRP prices including destination:
4 door: 2.0i (now includes bluetooth) $18665, CVT $19665. Premium (manual now includes all weather package) $20565, CVT (does not incl all weather pkg) $21,065, Limited $22765
5 door 2.0i $19,165, CVT $20,165,  Premium (manual now includes all weather package) $21,065, CVT (does not incl all weather pkg) $21,565, Limited $23,265
Sport Premium $21,565, CVT $22,565, Limited $23,765


7/13 Impreza review
"Subaru redesigned the Impreza for 2012 in hopes that the brand would gather more widespread popularity.  The new Impreza is an option for car-buyers seeking a relatively inexpensive compact car ($17,995 to $22,895) that can handle itself in snow country. If you didn't know, all Subaru vehicles come equipped with all-wheel drive.
What's not so appealing about the new Impreza is the engine. Gone is the standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that had been around for a long time. In its place is a more gas-efficient version that gets 27-36 mpg.
The improved gas mileage is the obvious upside for the 2012 Impreza. Yet what's not very impressive is the rather sluggish new engine, a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that produces a lackluster 148 horsepower and 145-pound-feet of torque.
The Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium wasn't the ideal companion for a summer trip to Lake Tahoe, where climbing the mountainous region was challenging for a five-speed manual transmission vehicle that goes 0-60 mph in just under 10 seconds. Some of the Impreza's most serious rivals can cover that same distance 3 seconds faster...
The overall handling by the Impreza is confidence inducing. The steering feels comfortable, the braking is very solid, and no doubt the traction that is provided in rainy or snowy conditions is greatly appreciated. There is wind and road noise at higher speeds, but it's at a level that won't bother most drivers.
The interior of the Impreza provides considerable room and comfort for both front and back seat occupants. One can enter and exit the vehicle with ease, which isn't always the case in smaller cars. Another positive is the soft-touch dash and doors. Cargo space has increased for 2012. The hatchbacks have 22.5 cubic feet and the sedan's trunk features a convenient wide opening. Despite the smaller engine, the 2012 Impreza remains a solid entry in the compact vehicle category. The all-wheel drive feature is a rarity for the class and the improved gas mileage is a major plus as well. However, vehicles like the Mazda 3, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra have more style and their fun factor is greater than the Impreza.
" the original article.  

6/25 from Click and Clack- to whether tis better to suffer the old Cherokee or get a new Subaru
" Please settle a marital dispute. I currently drive a 2001 Jeep Cherokee 4x4 with 165,000 miles. She ain't what she used to be. I would like to get a very zippy Subaru Impreza. My husband believes this would be a poor choice for the safety of myself and my daughters. He believes that the older Cherokee is a safer vehicle than the new Subaru because of its size and construction. I say the new safety equipment makes the newer Subaru a wiser choice. We need a 4x4 or all-wheel drive to haul our future Olympic skiers to the mountains this winter. Please advise as to which car is safer.
TOM: There's no question that the Subaru is safer, Angela. The 2001 Cherokee got mediocre safety ratings, and has only two air bags for the entire vehicle.
RAY: The 2012 Impreza, on the other hand, has so many bags, you'd think it just got back from a going-out-of-business sale. It's got front air bags, side bags, roof bags and knee bags. Plus, it's got anti-lock brakes, stability control and emergency brake assist. It's got a lower center of gravity, so it's less likely to flip over during an emergency maneuver, and it's got a modern all-wheel-drive system, which won't cause unpredictable handling on dry roads.
TOM: It's more structurally sound, too, with better passenger-compartment protection and door reinforcement. And because it's new, it'll be more reliable, so you and the kids won't get stranded in a blizzard someday and freeze to death.
RAY: Other than that, they're pretty much equivalent, Angela.
TOM: There is one danger with the Subaru, which your husband obviously has identified: That new set of golf clubs he had his eye on is in grave danger, since you're going to need that money for the down payment.
RAY: But this is a no-brainer. Between these two, you'd be safer in the Subaru. Get four good snow tires for the winter, and this Subaru ought to get you and your family around safely for years."  the original article


4/24 update- Impreza, WRX and STI cut-off date extended one day- it was Monday April 23, now is Tuesday 4/24 at 4pm

4/20 2012 Impreza, WRX and STI sold order cut-off date is Monday April 23.  So get your order in quickly.

4/10 Impreza review- a road trip through Nova Scotia with Clark Kent
'Roads of Nova Scotia: beware. There’s a Subaru Impreza on the loose and bent on having fun. Venturing off the main highways at this time of year requires fortitude. Bumps, dips, twists, potholes, frost heaves, truck damage. All conspire to beat the living daylights out of your vehicle.
But for the past two days, the 2012 Subaru Impreza I’ve been pounding the pavement with has really, and I mean really, Impreza’d me with its strengths.
The restyling of Subaru’s lineup has taken some getting used to. In fact, the Impreza is almost Clark Kent-like in its ‘superhero-in-disguise’ character. It’s one of the few compact cars to offer standard full-time All-Wheel Drive. Its brand new lightweight 2.0-litre engine paired with Subaru’s Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) means more efficiency.
I don’t mind the drone of the CVT as much as I usually do. This might have something to do with the steering-wheel paddle shifters that allow me to quench my gear-shifting thirst with the responsive 6-speed manual mode. Yee-haw!
I get behind the wheel, start driving and immediately feel the grin creeping across my face. The Impreza has that Subaru rally spirit that comes through when I take my first on-ramp and the little Dickens hugs the turn like it’s pitching itself through Targa Tasmania. Did I mention, Yee-haw!?
I see the same grin mirrored on the faces of young men in the small towns I roll through as their heads turn to watch the vehicle. They know exactly what the Subaru Impreza is.
So it ends up being the perfect vehicle to illustrate a back roads Nova Scotia winter-turning-into-spring driving extravaganza.
The Amherst Shore road that skirts the Northumberland Strait between Nova Scotia and PEI, and known as the Sunrise Trail, gives the Impreza and my eyes a treat.
There’s Pugwash, charming north shore town with Gaelic street names, salt and whimsical makers of funky pewter products, Seagull Pewter. The shore drive to Wallace and then on to Tatamagouche offers calm country vistas and wide-open ocean views.
Turning inland from Tatamagouche, Route 311 takes me through hilly, winding roads to Earltown where a sweet gem that’s all about sugar, Sugar Moon Farm, a working sugar maple farm, is closed until the weekend but I vow to return.
The four-lane highway in Truro that flows south to Halifax seems to dictate my back roads excursion is over.
But wait! There are other back road gems of Nova Scotia to be discovered and since Subaru claims the 2.0-litre, 148-horsepower all-new Impreza squeaks out the best fuel economy of any all-wheel-drive car on the market, why should I stop now?
The Glooscap Trail is an off-the-beaten route, particularly the part of the route that hugs the northern edge of the Minas Basin. This Basin joins with the Bay of Fundy, that world-renowned body of water that, every six hours, funnels about eight square kilometres of water through the Minas Channel. This is more than the daily outflow of all the world’s rivers. This huge volume of water moves at speeds of 15 km/h and raises and lowers the tide by 15 to 18 metres, the worlds’ highest.
This wild tidal activity creates the high-bluff shoreline that runs from Masstown to Advocate Harbour. The curvy strip of blacktop along the cliffs results in one twisty, turn-y drive that excites both the Impreza and me. The dazzling views, whether the Basin is full and frothy or completely empty, revealing those nutrient-rich slimy mudflats, would awe any passenger and compensate for whatever anxiety the overzealous driver may be causing.
In Parrsboro, the Fundy Geological Museum, with its collection of some of the oldest dinosaur bones in Canada, beckons but there is no time. Ahead there’s still Diligent River, Port Greville, where some 400 ships were built and launched, Spencer’s Island, with its lonely driftwood-strewn beach and Advocate Harbour, one of the only places on the planet where boats rest of the ocean floor on their hulls awaiting the tide to come in and raise them the nine or so metres to wharf height.
In Advocate Harbour, a tough decision awaits. Continue around the point of remote Cape Chignecto and take a two-lane winding road with minimal traffic through the woods of Nova Scotia or go back the same way and see what the ever-changing Bay of Fundy looks like from this direction.
Weather’s closing in and snow’s threatening. Locals in Advocate Harbour warn the road through the woods is rough and slippery. I can almost feel the AWD 2012 Subaru Impreza bristling at the suggestion that this may be too much to handle. Who am I to deny Clark Kent the chance to show his Superman strengths? Let’s do this.' the original article


4/2 PZEV goes national and is required on all Foresters and Impreza. All Foresters allocated to dealers and all Imprezas ordered or allocated to dealers starting 4/1 will have PZEV emissions which adds $300 to the MSRP.

4/1 Impreza 2.0i vs Mazda3 comparison and review in the May issue of Consumer Reports. They are both recommended. Get the May issue and read the article, also reviews of supermarkets, a few smartphones, lawn mowers etc. Its at newstands now or subscribe online at consumerreports.org

3/1 All Foresters and Imprezas to have PZEV emissions starting with April 2012 production. No Fed spec Impreza or Forester orders will be accepted after March 1st. Outback and Legacy will continue to be available with both specs, available depending on where you live. PZEV currently is MSRP $300. 
About PZEV: PZEV is an acronym for Partial Zero Emission Vehicle and used to be known as California Spec or Cal Spec.  Impreza, Forester, Outback and Legacy 4 cylinders (non turbo) have been available in either Fed or PZEV emissions for many years.
PZEV cars are less polluting,  with tune-up specs designed for faster engine warm-up, and revised more effective catalytic converters and air flow systems resulting in cleaner exhaust.
It has been required in some of the states with strongest Subaru sales, the list currently includes CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI, PA, VT, WA.. PZEV emissions currently adds $300 to the MSRP, no word on if this will change now that all Impreza and Foresters will have it.

2/18 2012 Impreza review - its faster and quieter than you might expect
"CVTs- continuously variable transmissions - are popping up in more small cars because they are more efficient and return better gas mileage. It's all about gas mileage now for carmakers that have to meet ever-stricter government regulations. By providing an infinitely variable transmission ratio to maximize use of engine output, CVTs "eliminate the fixed relationship between vehicle speed and engine speed for individual driving ranges," is how the Handbook of Automotive Engineering - available through SAE books -put it. The perfect gear ratio is available all the time, no shifting necessary.
But because sporty driving is accomplished at the expense of efficiency, CVTs traditionally are not fun--thus the eternal conundrum. This could be solved by a dual-clutch transmission or, God forbid, a manual, but the overwhelming majority of buyers in the United States wants automatics. So there you have it.
When you first get behind the wheel of the 2012 Subaru Impreza, you might not even know--if you were not accelerating quickly and maybe not paying too much attention--that it has a CVT. Even once you start pushing it a little harder it, doesn't jump out at you and scream, "I've got a CVT! Don't expect much!" The CVT does seem to take a half a beat longer to go from forward to reverse and reverse to forward, and when you really stomp on the throttle you'll notice some of the typical CVT slipping-clutch feeling, but it's not as bad as most of these generally cursed things.
This unit is what Subaru calls the second-generation Lineartronic CVT. Subaru says it is quieter and more compact than the CVTs that debuted in the Legacy and the Outback in 2010. You can knock the shifter lever over to the left to get a faux six-speed manual mode, but who are we kidding with that? Overall, this CVT seemed to slip less and connect more than any other we've driven. This is not to say that we want a CVT in all of our favorite sports sedans, just that this is the least bad of the lot.
Subaru introduced this new Impreza at the New York auto show almost a year ago, touting the car's 30 percent improvement in fuel economy. It now makes EPA numbers of 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. That's a heck of a lot considering that it's also as roomy and comfortable as the best in the class.
If Subaru put a CVT in this Impreza to improve gas mileage, it also put a smaller engine in and reduced curb weight for the same reason. The 148-hp, 2.0-liter flat-four replaces the 2.5-liter of last year's model. Curb weight varies from trim level to trim level, but it can drop by 160 pounds. Our car weighed 2,911 pounds. The drop in curb weight should equate to--let's say--about 23 hp. So the lighter car's 148 hp is theoretically 171 hp when compared with the old car. Maybe that's juggling theoretical statistics around too much.
Nonetheless, when I strapped the Racelogic timer onto the new Impreza, I got a 0-to-60-mph time of 9.1 seconds after a little brake-torquing, as much as a second quicker than published figures for the old model with its four-speed automatic. Sure, that's not performance-sedan territory, and the WRX and the STI will always rule this model line, but the 2.0i Limited can be fun.
The new car's 104.1-inch wheelbase is an inch longer this year, which should help smooth out the ride but which also points up the car's roomier interior. There are two more inches of legroom in the back seats and more room in the trunk as well.
I have always thought Subarus were a little raspier than other four-cylinder engines. So I got our expensive decibel meter out and measured sound. The Impreza got the following: 40 dB at idle, 66.1 dB at a steady 60 mph and 72.1 dB at wide-open throttle. Some recent cars I've also sounded out for comparison: Buick Regal GS: 43.7, 65.0, 71.9; Volkswagen Passat TDI: 48, 66, 69; VW Jetta GLi: 44, 66, 75. So it's quieter than I might've thought.
The week I had it was pretty busy, so I never got it on a really good twisting road or, even better, off-road or in some snow. But it felt responsive enough. It wasn't soft but it wasn't harsh. It was firm. There's no excessive lean in corners. High-tailing it over rain gutters (without scratching the air dam), I was impressed with the controlled rebound in the shocks. They take the initial jounce well then hold on just the right amount as they let the springs push the car back to normal ride height. Nice.
The base version of the 2.0i Limited sedan that I had stickers for $22,345. Mine had navigation and a moonroof for $2,000 more.
If you check out all of the players that pop up in this segment when you click on "sedans" at shopautoweek.com, you'll see that you have a lot of choices. This one is at or near the top of the class for the lower-$20,000 range as far as sporty drivers go" the article from autoweek by Mark Vaughn

2/4 2012 Impreza brochure error
The 2012 Impreza brochure 'Trim Level' page (pg 16), incorrectly indicates the rear cargo tray is standard on Sport and Sport Limited but its an option on all models. List price for the tray is $71. Click for the
2012 Impreza information research page with options, photos and much more

1/17 Impreza review from Canada
"Most car companies have a small, entry-level car in their lineups. What most car companies don't have is a small, entry-level car with all-wheel drive, and that is what makes the Subaru Impreza unique.
Based solely on size, the Impreza has a list of competitors that includes big names like the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Hyundai Elantra. But that number dwindles when you include only models that offer all-wheel drive: do that, and you're left with the Toyota Matrix, Suzuki SX4 and, if you stretch the definition of compact car a little, the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke.
For a long time, Subaru depended on the relative exclusivity of the Impreza's four driven wheels to drive sales, but changing times bring new priorities. Lowering fuel consumption is a big one across the industry right now, and so, along with new interior and exterior styling for 2012, the Impreza gets a smaller, more efficient engine...
With 148 horsepower and 145 foot-pounds of torque, the updated motor's numbers are competitive in the class, but are well off the 170 hp/170 ft-lbs that last year's model offered. A daring move, maybe, but Subaru obviously feels the much improved fuel consumption figures will make up for any loss of interest from the brand's current consumer base.
"Much-improved" is not just hyperbole, either... That's serious stuff, promising a 27-per-cent improvement across the board.
Real-world driving is always another story, though, especially in a new, not quite broken-in car with just 1,500 kilometres on it, driven in wintry conditions; my automatic-equipped tester averaged 11.0L/100 km in cold and snowy early-January city driving. I will say that result is about what I'd expect from the previous generation Impreza in city driving and warm weather, so my test car's result is more promising than it looks at first glance.
The 2.0-litre's power deficit is noticeable (though not shockingly so), particularly on the highway, where the new Impreza is not as strong in full-throttle passing situations. Throttle response at low speeds is impressive, if a bit abrupt. The thrumming vibration that horizontally-opposed engines are known for is still there, but as in other recent Subarus, has been quelled to the point where it's merely quirky, and not annoying.
Subaru's CVT is not my favourite example of its kind; it works smoothly but is noisier than similar transmissions by Nissan, whose CVTs I regard as the best in the business (even though I'd still prefer a traditional automatic). In all but the base model, the automatic gets paddle shifters on the steering wheel that allow manual control of the transmission, forcing it to shift through six set ratios...." read the entire article 




BRZ NEWS AND REVIEWS IN 2012
2012 calendar year news
click for  archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
M






 

12/20 BRZ on icy roads
"It’s early Sunday morning, something like 4:45am.  The ambient temperature hovers around 20 degrees fahrenheit and a layer of thick, icy fog hangs just above the ground.
“(Expletive), I’m going to miss my flight,” I thought, as I feverishly ridded my windows of an inch-thick layer of ice.  Sure, I’d replaced the 2013 Subaru BRZ’s stock Michelin Primacy summer rubber with a fresh set of Nitto NT-SN2s, but how stable would the BRZ prove to be during my 25-mile drive to the airport across an asphalt skating rink with zero visibility?
Perfectly stable, as it turned out.
The 2013 Subaru BRZ’s neutral handling traits even shone through on icy roads.  With sensitivity to throttle and steering inputs as well as the extra grip afforded by siped cold-weather tires, the car navigated three icy freeways while keeping up with the flow of traffic.
I made the trek to the airport in 50 minutes with an average speed of 45 MPH (including a 3-mile detour), and averaged 36.1 MPG.Further proof that when properly equipped, the 2013 Subaru BRZ will do just fine in a wintry climate.  Stay tuned, as there’s a snow storm predicted to be rolling through on Tuesday night...." read the original article


12/15- BRZ review from Automobilemag.com- its fun but not perfect
"There's no good daily driver that's also a perfect driver's car. After living with a 2013 Subaru BRZ Premium for five months, we've noticed a few problems with the car. The day after our last monthly update, we had to order a replacement right taillight because ours filled with condensation. A simple fix, right? Sure, if you can find the part, which is currently back-ordered until January. A minor problem, but our new car no longer looks so new.
There have also been sporadic problems with the navigation system. At first we spent all of our time running our favorite roads in the new BRZ to enjoy its stellar chassis and predictable handling. Lately we've been venturing a bit farther afield and discovered how poorly the navigation system performs. Everyone who tried to use navigation has reported multiple instances of the unit losing the GPS signal. A visit to the dealer was in order.
We learned the BRZ has a technical service bulletin for the GPS antenna mount as well as an SD card exchange program for the navigation software. Another simple fix, right? Again, it would be only if the parts are on hand. We're told the new mounting bracket and SD card will be available in a week or two. Such is life with a brand-new car before the bins at the factory parts depots are full. In any case, don't expect to see our new Subaru BRZ on a long road trip for a while.
While we spent our first few months enjoying the Subie as driver's car and fair weather toy, the experience of daily driving is finally putting us in touch with reality. We expected the stereo to sound much better with our new driver's door speaker installed, but the speakers still serve up "a constant stream of distortion," according to senior editor Eric Tingwall. The touchscreen interface's tiny buttons have yet to find a fan and Tingwall has gone so far as to suggest an aftermarket Sony head unit for the car. We aren't quite ready to give up on the factory unit until we test the revised navigation software, but the universal loathing for the stereo controls is difficult to ignore.
Two hatchback-owning associate Web editors find the BRZ difficult to live with on a daily basis. Over a weekend with car, Jake Holmes disliked the "middling rear visibility, thrashy engine, notchy gearbox, somewhat stiff and buzzy highway ride, and a real lack of back seat room." Donny Nordlicht took issue with the "hard, cheap plastic everywhere, the black-black-fake silver color scheme, the unusable center console (I didn't dare try to get Starbucks with this car), or the infuriating infotainment system with too-small controls (both hard buttons and on the screen) and Bluetooth system that refuses to stay connected."
On the other hand,, deputy editor Joe DeMatio found the BRZ Premium to be surprisingly practical for a run to Costco with two kids in tow, ages 13 and 11: "I was a little worried about packing it all in, but I needn't have been concerned. Anna fit nicely in the front passenger's seat, Logan was nestled in behind her, and I was able to pack a cart full of stuff into the trunk, including two 40-lb bags of dog food, a case of La Croix water, 6 gallons of apple juice and assorted other grocery items."
Another staffer put the daily driving complaints into perspective: "This is a fantastic driver's car. It's not at all surprising that it's compromised as a daily driver. There's no good daily driver that's also a perfect driver's car, so far as I know. The two missions will always be at odds with each other. But something like a Volkswagen GTI would be a better compromise daily driver than the Subaru BRZ."
Although the 2013 Subaru BRZ Premium isn't the perfect daily driver, we're not going to park it for the winter. A set of 215/45R-17 Bridgestone Blizzak LM60 performance winter tires just arrived from the Tire Rack, our official wheel and tire supplier, and we mounted them on the stock wheels. We didn't want to give up the steering feel or precision we've come to expect from our BRZ, so we opted for a little less ultimate handling capability in the snow and a bit more responsiveness on dry pavement.
There's a chance these tires won't get us through a huge snowstorm, but we're willing to park the car for a night or two if winter turns out to be especially white this year. So far we find the BRZ's steering with the Bridgestone Blizzaks to be almost as good as it has been with the stock summer tires, though we haven't yet had an opportunity to assess performance in slippery conditions. Check back next month to see if we get the White Christmas of our dreams." the original article



12/11 BRZ, rear cargo tray now available. factory/port installed MSRP $72. Dealer parts dept MSRP $69.95. BRZ specs, options, photos


11/5 Scion FR-S Fails the 'Moose Test'
"Different countries and regions have their own safety standards. In Scandinavia, one of the most important evaluations a new vehicle can undergo is the Moose Test. The procedure involves evading an imaginary elk on the road - a common issue in those northern Europe. Most passenger cars pass the test just fine, yet some SUVs have trouble performing what comes down to an emergency lane-change maneuver without tipping over. But you'd expect the Toyota GT86 to pass the test just fine, right?
With the lowest center of gravity in the industry, the flat-handling sportscar (also know as the Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S) should be able to handle just about anything you could throw at it, but this video begs to differ, in its own funny way. The clip is all of nineteen seconds long, but is sure to make you laugh." watch the video on carbuzz


10/25 Factory Orders-  Subaru fesses up, announces that ordered cars are going to take longer and longer to arrive.
With Subaru riding a wave of popularity and cars selling quickly, there's been a shortage of cars
available on lots for a while now. This is especially true of the Japanese built Impreza, Crosstrek, BRZ and WRX/STI. This is a good/bad problem. The good part is Subarus are selling. Once known as a mostly functional car for skiers, hippies, campers and dog lovers etc in the northeast, northwest, rocky mountains and other frosty, wet areas, and widely unknown everyplace else, Subarus are now the It Car and selling everywhere.  Even where it's warm and dry all year round.
As a result of the reduced inventory on lots, more and more people are either putting deposits down on
already scheduled incoming cars, or are factory ordering if what they want isn't on the horizon.
This even further reduces the number of cars available on lots because more arrivals are pre-sold and spoken for. And with Subaru trying to expand into every market, they now have a whopping total of 1,209 possible model, trim and color combinations and that doesn't even include individual options.
As a result of the increase in orders, the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of factory ordered cars is getting pushed back. This is the bad part.  Its like your favorite neighborhood restaurant getting a glowing review, all of a sudden it's 'discovered' (like it hasn't been there for years and years),  and there's a line to get in on weekends. Then reservations are recommended, then required, then its 4 weeks out to get in and so on.
Meet Subaru, the little car company showing everyone how to make consumers fall in love with a car.
Previously orders usually took 6-10 weeks.  Now Subaru has announced a longer wait time for orders. These ETAs are not fixed. They're
are a guide as to how long the wait could be. Of course some cars will arrive sooner and others later but it can take months for a car just to be matched to the order and a future ETA released.
how can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, trim and color combinations

> according to Subaru if you order a

Impreza, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Crosstrek, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
WRX/STI, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Forester, the ETA will be around - oops.. no orders accepted. The redesigned 2014 is expected late winter/spring.
Outback, the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Legacy, the ETA will be around  3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Tribeca,  the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order (is anyone ordering a Tribeca).
BRZ, due to the way BRZs are allocated, the ETA is estimated to be 4-7 months out, but Subaru will back-fill as model and color is available. There's no ETA until shortly before the car arrives.
10/23 2012 Impreza and Forester navigation system update process announced

10/19 about factory orders on hard to find models, the Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX STI, and BRZ.  These are some of the hottest cars around and demand is greater than supply. Factory orders of these hard to get models can take longer than the 8 weeks of previous years. This is especially true in Subaru's traditionally popular areas where dealers have to order cars exceeding their normal allocation because there aren't enough cars on the lots to sell.
"...Due to the supply limitation of our fast-selling carlines, effective October 4th, sold orders that are above and beyond a dealers earned allocation by carline will carried forward to a future allocation and will be marked with HOLD.... HOLD orders will be released from HOLD once the dealer has earned enough units of the carline in question..."

10/18 BRZ gets STI trim and updates at the Australia International Auto Show in Sydney. Some may find it's way to the US. The next car show is in LA, 11/30-12/9
"Though it’s not quite the new BRZ STI model we’ve been hoping for, Subaru has unveiled a range of performance upgrades for the BRZ sports car developed by its performance arm Subaru Tecnica International. The upgrades were previewed today on a concept vehicle at the 2012 Australian Motor Show taking place in Sydney, and are said to be going on sale soon.
The highlight of the new range is a sporty body kit consisting of a front spoiler, side sills, rear diffuser and trunk lid spoiler. Also previewed today were new 17-inch light alloy wheels, a coil spring set, a sports muffler, adjustable strut tower bar for the front suspension, and a few interior bits and pieces. 
So far the range has only been confirmed for the Australian market, though they do hint at some of the upgrades that may be offered to customers in the U.S. and other markets where the BRZ is sold. 
In addition to the STI-enhanced concept, Subaru also showcased a BRZ race car developed by Possum Bourne Motor Sport (PBMS) and available for order from the New Zealand-based firm. Designed for club-level competition, the race car is built to order and features upgrades such as a full roll cage, Recaro racing bucket seats with six-point Sabelt harnesses, carbon fiber interior panels, 18-inch Enkei wheels, AP brakes, Cusco adjustable suspension, and much, much more. PBMS has stated it plans to offer more extensive upgrades, including modification of the engine and transmission, though no details on these have been released yet". the original article.



10/17 2 door WRX seen in Michigan. The next WRX/STI and BRZ will certainly share components.
"High on many Subaruphiles' wish list is a new two-door WRX STI, and the Japanese manufacturer might just be working on such a model. A two-door WRX-looking, highly camouflaged mule was recently spotted testing in the Ann Arbor, Mich., area. Subaru has a research-and-development facility in Ann Arbor.
Subaru officials would not comment on the prospects for a 2014 WRX coupe, saying no such model is in the plans for the near future. The mule could have been testing an engine and suspension package for the much-rumored, but not yet official, STI version of the BRZ.  Whatever it is, there was no mistaking the boxer-engine exhaust note, which is much more difficult to camouflage than the sheetmetal car body." the original article with photo

10/13 advertising- BRZ to be in the Fast and Furious 6 movie, due May 2013
"Subaru BRZ is reportedly having a starring role in the next installment of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise. Subaru has sent five BRZs over, most of which will probably end up wrecked beyond recognition.
It is going to be great publicity for the car, especially if turns up with a heavy body kit and play a goodie role. One thing’s for sure, the Fast Six BRZ cannot have the standard 200 hp engine. It is too weak to be in a movie about fast cars. We don’t know yet is Subaru has tricked out the FF cars.
After the success of Fast Five everybody is looking forward to the next part, hoping to see more awesome cars, girls and guns. The cast isn’t half bad either. In addition to Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne ‘ The Rock’ Johnson, Jason Statham is apparently going to have cameo role. Cool.  Fast Six is set for release on May 24, 2013." read the original article


10/11 BRZ and STI comparison from an 2010 STI 5 door owner who works for automobilemag.com
"With all the hype surrounding the BRZ, you'd almost be forgiven for thinking Subaru has never offered a car that appealed to enthusiasts before. While Subaru cars may be most closely associated with Whole Foods and dog parks to the average person, the brand is widely known for its rally heritage and WRX STI model among driving enthusiasts. Sandon Voelker, our videographer and WRX STI owner, borrowed our BRZ for a weekend to see how the rear-wheel drive sports car felt in comparison to his all-wheel drive turbocharged hatchback.
Before we get into Sandon's detailed observations, it's important to note he's a videographer and an avid bicyclist - he always has his car packed with video cameras, bikes, or both. He is absolutely convinced no other car on the market could beat the STI for his specific needs: cargo capacity, above average performance, and a sticker price under $50k. Even if the BRZ was on sale last year when he bought an STI, he wouldn't have seriously considered buying one.
Sandon instantly noticed the BRZ's more supportive seats once he sat behind the wheel, which is admittedly covered in lower quality materials than his STI's steering wheel. He is asking his dealer if the BRZ seats will fit his car because: "performance wise, the BRZ seats are miles ahead of the STI's. I never slid into the door when going around a turn." Sandon prefers the pedal placement in the STI because heel-toe shifts are much more natural, but he was able to adjust to the BRZ's position with "deliberate preemptive foot placement." Unfortunately that also meant spending more time with Subaru's less-than-desirable touchscreen infotainment system, which can't hold a candle to the standard buttons and knobs that control the stereo in his STI.
When it comes to design, the two cars are worlds apart due to their different body styles and Sandon admitted his bias right away: "Not everyone loves wagons like I do." He digs the look of the BRZ and complimented everything from the moderately aggressive stance to the roofline, although he'd like a bit more bulge in the fenders, especially when compared to an STI. Unfortunately the clean lines and tiny footprint of the BRZ don't leave enough room inside the car for a bicycle or two and the roofline that looks so good doesn't offer factory mounting points for a roof rack like the STI's. Well, at least his video equipment fit inside with the rear seat folded flat. Voelker sees his hatchback in a new light: "My STI is kind of a Sport Utility Vehicle in comparison."
Of course interior quality and styling are minor considerations for either the STI or BRZ. Sandon spent lots of time driving the two cars over the same loops to explore the differences in their character. It doesn't take long to determine southeastern Michigan's roads favor the STI's more potent engine and more aggressive summer tires. Voelker still had fun in the BRZ, for which he credits the trifecta of "great chassis setup, the appropriate amount of power, and those low rolling resistance tires." That's right, the same tires that have been chastised by other drivers get praise here. Sandon goes so far as to say he thinks stickier tires would make the BRZ "downright boring" because they would no longer match the amount of power the engine produces.
As far as the rumored turbocharged BRZ goes, Sandon isn't sold on the prospect: "a sudden surge in power (once the turbo provides boost) would likely be more difficult to balance with a rear-wheel drive car." In Sandon's eyes the very balanced BRZ makes for a better track toy than his STI, but he prefers the STI for daily driving because it offers all-wheel drive for Michigan's snowy winters and the cargo capacity he needs to move bikes and video equipment. We'll be living with our BRZ as a daily driver for the remainder of our Four Seasons test, so our next move is likely choosing a set of winter tires with help from our friends at the Tire Rack to prepare for the possibility of an early snowfall. Be sure to check back next month to find out which snow tires we are testing and how they change the BRZ's demeanor." read the original article.

10/9 BRZ low idle vibration on a few early production vehicles- the fix is a reflash of the ECU.
"Just to clarify, this is a simple ECU mapping issue that is fixed using a re-flash of the ECU and it is an extremely rare condition found in a small number of US Subaru BRZ vehicles. Customers will be alerted to the issue by a check engine light.
The condition causes no damage to the engine and a TSB is in-process.  It is not related to mileage and no replacement of the ECU is needed at any mileage to rectify the issue, the ECU re-flash is the fix. The issue is caused through the ECUs reaction to normal mechanical variations and is statistically very small. There has already been a fix at the factory level and it was an ECU mapping change, not an engineering process or mechanical modification. The ECU mapping was too restrictive in the original mapping set up." read the entire article on Jalopnik.com


9/28.  A BRZ XT concept car was shown at the Paris Auto Show. There are a few new models coming in the next year- the redesigned Forester, a hybrid is hoped for, a Tribeca replacement concept is possible. We'll have the wait for the big US auto shows for the start of the information flow-  at the LA auto show 11/30-12/9, 2012, NAIAS Int't Auto show in Detroit 1/19-27, 2013, the Chicago auto show 2/9-18, or the  NY auto show 3/29 - 4/7, 2013. 
"The Subaru XT was a small coupe from the '80s that offered all-wheel drive and a turbo engine, and now, Subaru is revisiting the designation on its 2012 BRZ XT Line Concept. While we would love to imagine a day with a turbocharged Subaru BRZ driven by all four wheels, we'll have to wait until later to learn the true details of this car. The XT moniker has also been used more recently to denote the turbocharged models of the Subaru Forester, so there's that, too.
For now, though, all we have to work on are pictures of the car, and from what we can tell, Subaru's definitely injecting more attitude into the much-loved rear-drive coupe. Visual changes include carbon fiber (or at least a carbon fiber look) on the roof panel, decklid spoiler and mirror caps, while the blacked-out 11-spoke wheels expose red-painted calipers at all four corners. XT Line Concept badges adorn the front fascia, fender vents and the C-pillars.
Inside this mysterious concept, the BRZ gets some bright red leather seats with embossed XT logos and some added carbon fiber trim on the gauge cluster brow and door panels.
Honestly, the XT Line Concept looks more appropriate for SEMA rather than today's Paris Motor Show reveal, but hopefully Subaru will release a press release with additional information later. Until then, enjoy the live images." click for the article and photos


9/7 Crash tests- BRZ and FR-S rated a Top Safety Pick in IIHS crash tests. "The Acura ILX, a small luxury car; Ford Escape, a small SUV; and Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, both small two-door cars, earn the Institute's top award for good performance in the moderate overlap frontal, side, rollover and rear impact evaluations. All are 2013 models. BRZ Top Safety Pick

8/30 BRZ convertible in 2014? The rumor is still alive
"Scion may be passing, but Subaru is gearing up to chop the top off its celebrated new sportscar. We recently reported that, while Toyota was developing a convertible version of the GT-86, American buyers would not be getting a drop-top version of the Scion FR-S. North American enthusiasts may rejoice, however, at the latest testimony from Automotive News: the Subaru BRZ will be available as a drop-top starting in the 2014 model year.According to lead engineer Tetsuya Tada, the sportscar co-developed by Toyota and Subaru was designed to be a convertible from the outset, so the conversion shouldn't be too difficult." read the original article

8/20 Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX, STI, and BRZ factory orders could take longer than in previous years. Subaru will be supplying 2013 Japanese built models that are in short supply for dealer inventory first before special orders. Some orders are showing up with November-December delivery dates, 3-4 months out. Though they could be filled sooner, this is longer than the app 2 month window of previous years.  Subaru will get you the car of course, and your dealer can always check for a car that's close to what you want either in stock or already scheduled for inventory if you don't want to wait.

8/13 Subaru gives Edmunds.com a long term BRZ test car. Edmunds bought a FR-S and will modify and drive it to the limit which is why they bought it (so they don't have the give the beat-up car back to Scion). The BRZ will be used as a daily driver and Subaru will take it back in 12 months- so there will be at least one used BRZ available.
"The 2013 Subaru BRZ (and its mechanical twin, the Scion FR-S) represent a new era in small, light, rear-drive performance, and this means different things to different groups of people. On the one hand you've got the tuner crowd. The minute it hits their driveway, they're thinking about upgrading the wheels, tires, suspension and engine as soon as they can. We're down with this mentally and so, back in June, we bought a 2013 Scion FR-S with the intention of modifying it to see exactly what this little car was capable of.

Tuning, however, isn't everybody's bag, and the twins represent a return to simple, easy-to-drive cars that are rewarding beyond their numbers. That's why some owners aren't going to touch a thing. They're not going to ruin the ride in the hopes of more Gs. They're not going to ruin the in-cabin noise levels in hopes of gaining a tenth here or there. They just want a basic sports car that does extraordinary things when called upon.
This test is for them. We'll be leaving our BRZ alone for the duration of this test. If it needs tires, we're likely to replace them with similar ones and not super-sticky rubber — that's what the FR-S is for.
When we first tested the 2013 Subaru BRZ, illuminated by the experience we said, "Perhaps there's a lesson here. If this is all that's required to make a sports car with elegant control, engaging feedback and enlightening limits, we have only one question: Why isn't every manufacturer doing it?"
Will we still feel this way after a year without real power, without adjustable suspension, without the creature comforts that dominate the automotive landscape today? Without the current mantra of "more, more, more!"?
We've been impressed with the Subaru BRZ each time we've driven it. Now we've got 12 months and 20,000 miles to see if that feeling holds up when the BRZ is put to the test of being a daily driver. Follow along with our Long-Term Road Test blog for more on our 2013 Subaru BRZ..."  the entire article 

8/10 BRZ review
"On Tuesday, I finished an 800-mile New England trek in a black-on-black BRZ, Subaru's first-ever rear-wheel-drive sports car. I hopped out on the side of Route 107 in Gilmanton just long enough to snap a few photos, and not a moment more.
That's because Route 107 is brilliant. Route 107 makes your ears compress and pop. Route 107 is the reason lightweight cars like the Subaru BRZ exist. And it goes on for miles upon miles, where the entire road was seemingly all mine.
The BRZ, when it's not on the road side, is a man-magnet. Teenage boys and 40-something fathers couldn't take their eyes off the little Subaru. I stopped counting the amount of caveman-like head nods and open mouths along my drive. As one boy told me while I left a gas station in Holderness, the BRZ is "f$#$ng sweet." Apparently, this car completely sells itself. I like how it looks, too. It's simple and pure. It's under $30,000 and not at all fast. It feels fast, thanks to a high-revving flat-four with a slightly lumpy idle that's like nothing else on the market.
The steering and brakes are Porsche-worthy in their response (and dare I say, the BRZ has a more responsive electric steering rack than the new 911, which now is a little numb on-center).
As I write this after hiking for three hours and spending another three hours behind the wheel, I don't feel tired or sore, which says a lot about the BRZ's comfortable driving position and supportive seats.  Check this space again for more "Overdrives," where I'll occasionally post what I'm driving and where I'm driving it. This time, I admit, I got lucky."  the article


7/20 BRZ/FR-S ancestor swung from a different branch on the same tree
Stop me if you've heard this one before...Two automakers that hail from the same country get together to build a new car. But it's not just any car – it's meant to be a true sports car. It is to be rear-wheel-drive, lightweight, powered by a boxer engine, and most of all, affordable and accessible to the masses. Building this car together would satisfy the needs of both automakers and cut down on costs.
If you think I'm talking about the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, you'd be wrong. Those cars have been written about pretty extensively lately (and rightfully so, because they're fantastic), but they've also made me think about a sports car joint venture from another era: the Porsche 914.
The trouble is, while the Toyobaru twins seem to be largely successful as far as reviews and sales go, the 914 was, well… not. Today it has gone down in history as an odd and unfortunate bastard child in the torrid, everlasting romance between Volkswagen and Porsche...
It was small, weighed a smidge over 2,000 pounds, and had its engine behind the cabin like a proper race car. Other goodies included a fully independent suspension, a targa top, a five-speed manual transmission and fuel injection — a very impressive package for its time. It even had two trunks! How many trunks does your stupid car have?
Plus, with a price tag of about $3,500 when it was introduced in 1970, the 914 would be quite affordable (that's only about $20 grand in today's dollars). AND it had a Porsche badge! If such a car were made today, people would be stabbing each other's faces in the streets for the chance to buy one.
Alas, like in-car record players and the movie Prometheus, many things that seem like great ideas on paper don't work out so well in real life.
Here's how the 914 came to be, according to Classic Motorsports: In the late 60s, Porsche needed a replacement for the 911's low-rent four-cylinder cousin, the 912. At the same time, VW needed a replacement for the Karmann-Ghia that would ideally be more than just a fanciful-bodied Beetle. Perhaps over some hefeweizen and sauerkraut (these are the only things I know about Germany besides the fact that they blew up Pearl Harbor to avenge the death of the Kaiser), Ferry Porsche and VW executive Heinz Nordhoff hammered out an agreement where their respective companies would build the car together. The car would be designed by Porsche and powered by a VW engine, and under their original plan, both manufacturers were to get a version of the car. But after Nordhoff died, a new executive mandated that the car be sold in Europe as the "VW-Porsche 914." In America, it was simply sold as a Porsche.
As one might expect from the car's size, weight, and mid-engine architecture, handling was pretty sharp. Acceleration was not. The problem was that the engine they went with was the air-cooled 1.7-liter, 80-horsepower flat four from the Volkswagen Type 4 sedan. This was in no way a performance engine, and it showed. Even in the 914's lightweight body, 0-to-60 mph came at a lofty 13 seconds, giving the driver plenty of time to wonder if his or her purchase was really good idea.
But perhaps the 914's biggest problem was one of perception. With all of its VW components, many enthusiasts refused to accept it as a "real Porsche." It also suffered from a poor shift linkage, somewhat awkward styling and cut-rate quality that reflected its low-cost, parts bin origins. The car was not well received by the motoring press at the time.
Porsche attempted to up the ante by selling a six-cylinder version called the 914/6. But that car's price tag put it within close reach of the superior 911, which made it an even bigger flop than its less-powerful sibling.
In the end, as Ate Up With Motor tells it, the 914 was put out to pasture for good in 1975, bested by more competent sports machines like the Datsun 240Z. The Vo-Po didn't fare too badly in auto racing, securing a win in its class at the 1970 24 Hours of LeMans. It was even successful enough to sell about 120,000 copies. Many can still be found on the roads today, driven with the top open by a quirky and attentive owner or doing battle with a Fox-body Mustang or a Dodge Neon in some Lemons race. It's interesting to see how far Porsche has come since the days of the 914. The bargain sportster is a pretty far cry from the luxobarge Cayennes and Panameras we see today. The company would have a great deal more success at mid-engine convertibles when it unveiled the Boxster in the 1990s. Since then, enthusiasts have been clamoring for a less-expensive, sub-Boxster sports car that could be a successor to the 914 - perhaps even built with VW's help. Now that the two companies are properly married and not just living in sin, who knows?" read the original article 

7/19 smoking hot BRZ ad in Canada
"Can your car make paint bubble, heat a puddle of water, and burn a hole through a Styrofoam cup? Neither can mine, but apparently the 2013 Subaru BRZ is that hot. “Scorched” takes place in a parking garage, where an alarm is blasting, signaling an unknown heat source. Where’s the fire that’s melting cups, boiling a puddle and bubbling paint from the walls? The answer comes when the sprinkler system activates and water hits the BRZ, creating a steam-filled garage that the smoking hot BRZ drives through. Watch it here, created by DDB Canada‘s Toronto office and directed by Radke’s Common Good."

7/13 In Australia, the BRZ will only be sold online, and there are only about 200 of them for 2012. Online sales... this is a car maker's dream- dealerships for test drives, trade-ins and service, while the company sells the cars so no salespeople, no rebates or incentives, no price haggling...
"The new Subaru BRZ that will become the brand’s only non-all-wheel-drive model in Australia will also be its only vehicle not to be sold in dealerships. 
Subaru Australia has announced it will sell its new rear-wheel-drive sports car exclusively online from Monday (16th July) as a result of severely limited BRZ supply.
The company says global demand for the coupe means it anticipates only about 200 BRZs being available in Australia in 2012. It believes only about 80 to 100 vehicles will be available by the time its online BRZ section goes live on Monday...
The company believes the plan is unique for the automotive industry. “This may well be a world first in terms of being able to complete the entire new car purchase process online,” said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior.  “We knew we wouldn’t have sufficient BRZs to supply our entire network immediately following the launch.  “High demand with short supply gave us some challenges on how to give our customers the best possible purchase experience.”  Demonstrator versions of the Subaru BRZ, however, will be made available at a selected number of showrooms from its network of 105 dealerships." read the entire article

6/26 BRZ at the track- autoweek compares 7 fun drives: Fiat Abarth, Mini Cooper S, Civic Si, VW GTI, Genesis coupe, V6 Mustang, Subaru BRZ
"...If Mazda produced a coupe version of the MX-5 Miata, we'd imagine it being similar to what Subaru has created with the BRZ. The two cars share the a philosophy based on rear-wheel drive, low weight and affordability—an ethos that has helped the little Mazda thrill drop-top enthusiasts and club racers for more than two decades. Expect the BRZ (and its Scion FR-S cousin) to follow a similar path and become a staple at road courses all over America.
Why? Because after two days of track testing, Autoweek editors walked away in agreement that the Subaru was the most driver-focused car of the seven-car bunch. The feedback and response through the steering wheel, tight chassis and sensational fade-free brakes entertained us lap after lap.
The 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder uses port and direct injection to produce 200 hp. Unfortunately, Subaru could only provide an automatic model for our test. On the plus side, the auto offers a decent paddle-shift mode with rev-matching for downshifts. And in speed tests, it helped return a respectable 7.21 seconds to 60 mph and covered the quarter-mile in 15.65 seconds.
Where the engine shines is at the top end of the rev range. Staying in the power is easier with the six-speed manual that we've experienced on previous drives of the BRZ, making the auto box maddening at times. We definitely recommend the three-pedal BRZ if you're shopping one.
Is more power needed? No. Would it be welcome? Absolutely. But when a car is designed from the start to have a low curb weight and a low center of gravity like the BRZ, having adequate power is all you need to make it fun.
Through the track's winding infield, cranking the well-weighted steering wheel loaded up the suspension, and the BRZ held a tight line. Changing directions happened quickly, with little body roll. If you want to kick the rear out, turn off all of traction aids and goose the throttle. There's enough grunt to rotate the back around.
The package is completed with a simple cabin, supportive seats and a comfortable driving position. And for weekend racers, Subaru says there's room to haul a set of wheels and a small toolbox with the rear seats folded down to give the coupe a practicality argument.
Simply put, the BRZ is the affordable, fun-to-drive, rear-wheel-drive sports coupe that's been missing from the market for so long. With only 6,000 coming to the United States during the first year, we predict demand easily eclipsing supply. read the entire review



6/23 BRZ and FR-S shortages. They're the fastest selling cars, off the lot in 4-5 days.  Many of the cars have deposits on them before they even arrive. A lot of people have ordered a BRZ (model, color etc) and Subaru is supplying very little information regarding delivery dates, not even a future delivery month. Starting this week dealers can at least search current and scheduled BRZ inventory
"Michael McHale, a spokesman for Subaru of America, was quoted as saying, “The BRZ being rear-wheel drive, we made a conservative production request. We pegged our allotment roughly to sales of the WRX,” he said, referencing the brand’s rally-oriented all-wheel-drive sports car. That conservative approach has led to gripes from every market where the BRZ would be sold. “There are only so many that can be built in the year, and if you want more, you have to take from another market,” Mr. McHale added. “And nobody wants to give up their allocation.”
It generally takes dealers about 53 days to sell a showroom model. The Subaru BRZ is selling in just four days and the Toyota Scion FR-S is selling in five days. It looks as if both automakers will need to rethink their strategy and produce more cars as the supply is going much quicker than the demand can accommodate." the rest of the article

6/22 BRZ current and incoming inventory can now be searched locally and regionally by dealers.

6/15 BRZ brochures now arriving at dealers. If you're in the Seattle area and want one, let me know. I also have a few Crosstrek brochures.

6/8 BRZ- racing around in a BRZ and 7 of its competitors, from Motor Trend
" Cheap Thrills: Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Face Off Against the Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Mazda Miata, and VW GTI
.... The launch of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins has poured a double shot of buzz into the bang-for-the-buck tumbler. For well under 30 large, these two 200-horse coupes offer the tried-and-true formula of front engine, rear drive, and low weight, but add to that a limited-slip, summer Michelins, and a Nuerburgring-tuned suspension. Any questions?But rather than compare just the Scion and Subaru, we gathered today's hottest two-doors -- the refreshed 305-horse Ford Mustang V-6; the 274-horse Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T; the 2500-pound Mazda Miata, the benchmark for fun; and our front-drive champ, the twin-clutch VW GTI -- to crown the best driver's car, with stipulations that each start at around $25,000 and cash out below today's average transaction....
To set fast laps at the Streets of Willow Springs, we put hot-shoe Randy Pobst behind the wheel of each. And after the tires and brakes cooled, we evaluated the six on our demanding circuit in Malibu. When the dust settled, one two-door left us cleaning out our garage.
....The Subaru BRZ is a special car. This much is obvious after just a few turns on a curvy road, where a delicate balance between the steering, throttle, shifter, and tires emerges. It offers a pervasive sense of control, allowing you to place the tires within millimeters of your intended target. The engineers' focus on a low center of gravity is evident: Every movement the BRZ makes seems to start below ground level....

Why the BRZ Beat Its Twin... The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ are built in the same factory in Gunma, Japan, and are far more alike than different. They share every major component, but differ in bumper fascia, bits of exterior and interior trim, and, most critically, in suspension tuning. At the end of the day, the BRZ's handling edge gave Subaru the win over the FR-S...."

The results: 6th: Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec, 5th: Volkswagen GTI, 4th: Ford Mustang V-6,  3rd: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring, 2nd: Scion FR-S, 1st: Subaru BRZ Limited.
read the complete article with speed tests and all  

6/7 BRZ updates
> BRZ accessory pamphlet now arriving at dealers.
> Premium model- fog lights are on hold. Adding optional fog lights to the Premium is temporarily hold due to an issue or problem installing them in conjunction with the LED or driving lights. More details to come.
> owner's manual correction- revised owner's manuals will be sent to BRZ owners who took delivery before June 4th. This will replace manuals that have incorrect details on the passenger airbag on/off status. There is no problem with the car or airbag system, its an owner manual replacement only.

6/4 another BRZ review.. its a time machine to a dusty corner of your brain: it makes you want your youth back, the devil may care car of days long gone that would cost a fortune to rebuild today or just risk driving a tired old survivor. Or for one writer, the BRZ is a new ticket to his past...
 "Somewhere between three to four thousand rpm: This story isn't about the Subaru BRZ. This story is about what it did to my brain. There are probably a handful of minds out there better qualified to answer which part of the grey goo held this memory.
This moment.  When it comes to cars, there's millions of dollars being made each year in the sale and acquisition of memories lost. If you had a big block Chevelle, or a Fox-body Mustang, you can practically spec your Total Recall-mobile right down to the colour of the rally stripes it had. There's plenty for sale.
What if you didn't have to go back to get the memory? We're not talking about getting the latest retro wagon. It's not a fender, or a curve, or an instrument panel homage. It's the soundtrack.
The one thing that very few manufacturers have been able to achieve in the creation of the tribute vehicle. They've certainly tried, like the MG-esque burble of the first-gen Mazda Miata exhaust.
Add these tones to the right throttle pressure, the right thrust, and way-higher-than-usual redline's, and you create a time machine.
There has been quite a selection of personal, affordable sports cars in the past forty-odd years that realized that not everyone was interested in V8 power, rock-crusher 4-speeds, and the straight line.
The new cool was dynamics. Cars like the Datsun 240Z, Mazda RX-7, and the Toyota Corolla GT-S all had their respective hey-days. The Fairlady got fat, the Rotary is dead, and Toyota hasn't had anything car-cool since the mid-’90s. This certainly explains the creation of the Scion FR-S, a badly-needed fun bolster for the Toyota-proper camp. The Subaru BRZ? It is by no means WRX, nor STi in nature.
We're still trying to remember the last model year when a Subaru only had a pair of drive wheels. As for remembering the 1980s, even Subie had some weirdness they'd probably prefer to be fuzzy with on details.
Already, the questions are arising as to who's car this really is. Toyota contributed the exterior skin, interior, and a very healthy infusion of cash to make the cars a reality.
The Subie is skin deep, with chassis and powertrain think borrowed from the best of the current boxer bin.
Both BRZ and FR-S are built on the same Subaru assembly line. It's a Subaru. It's a Scion. It's both.
The late ’80s saw plenty of seat time in various import sports for this scribe, thanks to the day job at a Toyota dealership.
From the new to the trades, there was plenty of opportunities to sample, with a two dealer location family on opposite ends of town.
They loved to swap the inventory around. Someone had to move it. That was me. The car that was on the Most Wanted move list was the Corolla GT-S, AKA AE86.
Of particular remember was the high-revving nature of the GT-S, with shift points at or near the 7,000 RPM mark.
Hey, those used cars couldn't be out of circulation for extended periods. It may be a rose-coloured memory, but it seems that all recollection of things AE86 were consistent; it didn't do anything wrong. It never felt like you could get into serious trouble.
The Moment. It happened at about four thousand RPM, pushing the BRZ onto its first on-ramp, literally a minute-thirty into the drive. As the tachometer spun higher, it was as though 24-ish years were quickly erased, peeled away like layers of an onion.
“I'm 19 again!” I screamed, as my drive partner gave a worried grin. My hair grew back. My pants shrunk from a 36 to a 30. Even optimism popped in for a visit. It was the engine and exhaust note. It was power where expected.
And after 20-odd miles of winding secondary road, it was confidence. The kind of confidence that all skills of driver can embrace. Getting bent into shape. Is it simply the return of a proper rear-wheel drive sportster? Perhaps.
Whether it's BRZ, FR-S, or a vintage GT-S poking out from some undiscovered grandmotherly garage, keep those approximate power specs in your grey matter. Add in the equations of balance and dynamics. Mix with liberal dollops of throttle, shifter stir, and brake punch.
Elevated heart rate, without the white knuckles. Now just try to keep that smile off your face.
" the article   

5/24 BRZ review  "You look fat in that. Of course I’ll be late. Your baby reminds me of Gollum’s uncle.
This is what the 2013 Subaru BRZ might say if it could talk. The all-new, rear-wheel-drive sports car starts at $26,265, and boy is it honest — perhaps more so than any other car on the market today, save for its mechanical twin, the Scion FR-S. The two were jointly developed by Subaru and Scion’s parent company, Toyota, with both assembled by Subaru in Japan.
The question about the BRZ is, can you handle the honesty? The answer may surprise you.
For starters, only an honest car would dare to tell you that you don’t need 8,756 horsepower to have a good time. This Subaru has a modest 200. Torque? A tidy 151 pound-feet. This, from a naturally aspirated (no turbos or superchargers) 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine featuring direct injection. Zero to 60 mph happens in 6.4 seconds, according to Motor Trend.
Such figures may seem quaint when minivans are creeping toward 300 horsepower and the latest Shelby version of Ford’s Mustang will have more than double that. (RIP, Carroll.) But remember that the best sports cars of yesterday raised your pulse not with acceleration that compressed expletives out of your lungs but with balance and handling borne out of the car being lightweight and thoughtfully engineered.
This Subaru continues that trend, a difficult feat in an era of ever-expanding safety equipment and crash regulations that have consistently raised curb weights over the years.  A BRZ with the standard six-speed manual transmission weighs about the same as a Toyota Corolla — a bit under 2,800 pounds. Add 50 more pounds for the optional six-speed automatic. The extensive use of high-strength steel and an aluminum hood helped keep the weight down.
Also keeping things light is the fact that this is not a particularly big car. It has the wheelbase of the small Hyundai Accent hatchback, and it’s a mere 4 inches longer. On the road, the BRZ looks larger than it really is...
...It’s inside this Subaru that its diminution is most noticeable. Although it has a pair of rear seats, consider them extensions of the trunk and not fit for anything bipedal. The front passengers sit in the driving equivalent of the attack position; hips low, legs stretched out, seat reclined. Keeping the weight of occupants as close to the ground as possible and designing the engine to be compact and low give the BRZ a center of gravity equal to that of your average coffee table. Subaru brags that at 18 inches, it’s one of the lowest centers of gravity of any production car in the world. Thus, when you throw the BRZ onto curving, sweeping roads, don’t expect the thumb-sucking pushover predicted by the naysayers who derisively scoff at its horsepower or torque output. Instead, get ready for some good, clean thrills from a vehicle not unlike a bigger, more refined go-cart. You only need moments behind the wheel to know this is a purpose-built sports car; everything happens quickly and with reason.
.. Instead, the BRZ compounds talent and skillful inputs with one of the highest dollar-per-fun ratios in the automotive landscape.  This honesty is also important to remember in daily driving. While the suspension setup is remarkably balanced and devoid of body roll during any kind of cornering, it’s a very firm ride around town. It’s also noisy. Your Aunt Gert’s 1989 Cadillac Brougham this isn’t.
Subaru has wisely kept options for the loud cabin to a minimum....  Whether that’s a good value depends on how you prioritize the fun you expect to wring out of your purchase. This car is undeniably down on power to other performance cars of its ilk. But to dwell on this deficit misses the point of the BRZ. It has a balance of old-school thrills and connectivity to the road that additional power would probably upset.  Fortunately, it’s honest about its purpose. And your waistline." read the entire article  

5/19 Texas car auto writers pick their favorite cars- BRZ is the performance compact of Texas.
"The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) held their annual Spring Roundup in Fort Worth and voted the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country as Family Car of Texas.
Second Place was awarded to the new Ford Taurus and Third Place went to the Nissan Quest.  Overall, the ‘Best of Show’ honors went to the Town & Country and the Nissan GT-R.  Previous award winners for the Family Car of Texas title have been the Dodge Journey, Ford Taurus, and others.
The event was closed to the public, so the only ones in attendance were credentialed journalists and car representatives of the various manufacturers.  As a long-time TAWA member and veteran of this annual event, I was active all day long, going from one vehicle to the next, dutifully completing my ballot..." read the entire article
The winner and runner-ups...
The Compact Car of Texas: 2013 Dodge Dart, 2nd 2012 Buick Verano,3rd 2012 Hyundai Veloster.
The Subcompact Car of Texas: 2012 Fiat Cabrio, 2nd 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, 3rd 2012 Scion iQ.  
The Green Car of Texas went to the 2012 Chevrolet Volt, 2nd 2012 Nissan Leaf, 3rd 2012 Toyota Prius C.
Full-Size Car of Texas winner was the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, 2nd 2012 Dodge Charger SXT, 3rd 2012 Hyundai Azera. 
The Mid-Size Car of Texas was voted as the 2012 Buick Regal GS, 2nd 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, 34d 2013 VW CC Sport Plus. 
The Mid-Size Luxury Vehicle of Texas was voted as the 2012 Cadillac SRX, 2nd 2012 Infiniti M35h, 3rd 2012 Audi A7. 
The Full-Size Luxury Vehicle of Texas is the 2012 Chrysler 300. 
The Minivan of Texas award goes to the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country, 2nd 2012 Toyota Sienna, 3rd 2012 Nissan Quest.
Best New Feature: 2013 Dodge Dart; Best New Interior: 2013 Ford Taurus SHO; Best Value: 2013 Dodge Dart; Performance Compact of Texas: 2013 Subaru BRZ; Performance Coupe of Texas: 2013 Ford Mustang GT; Performance Sedan of Texas: 2013 Ford Taurus SHO police package; Performance Utility Vehicle of Texas: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8; Supercar of Texas: 2013 Nissan GT-R Black Edition.


5/12 BRZ Monroney window sticker error- it might not have the correct model/code. This one below incorrectly labels this Limited (model code DZF) as a Premium. The DZF code is correct and the price is correct - Monroney window price stickers
2103 BRZ monroney incorrectly labels this Limited as a Premium


5/10 BRZs arriving at Northwest dealers! Please remember that the cars don't arrive in the same order that they were ordered.  
Note-  for delivery mid May-  black Premium, automatic transmission, with rear spoiler, dimming rear view mirror, compass, Homelink,  rear bumper applique, chrome fender trim.. MSRP $28423 Please call if interested 206 769-7821


5/7 I have a few BRZs available that are available for delivery this May- a silver limited automatic with no options, and a black Premium automatic, fully loaded. Price is MSRP. Please contact me for details.

5/3 BRZ prices in Canada, only slightly more than US.
The BRZ is expected in Canada in June. MSRP is Ca $27,295, Ca$28,495 for the six-speed automatic. The Sport-tech Package (Limited in the US) is MSRP  Ca $29,295 and $30,495 for automatic. 


4/27 BRZ. If Scion expects to sell 20,000 FR-S's per year after the initial first year rush, how many does Subaru expect to sell?
"While speaking with Ward’s Auto, Scion CEO Jack Hollis stated that the niche automaker expects to move at least 10,000 units through 2012 from when the new Scion FR-S goes on sale June 1st. Scion has only received 1,243 pre-orders for the new sports coupe but they’ve received around 27,000 requests for information on the new vehicle when it becomes available. Based on that, Hollis expects to be able to sell every FR-S that they can have shipped to the US from the production plant in Japan. Unfortunately for Scion and those hoping to get their hands on an FR-S right away, with the production facility also building the Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ – both of which will carry higher price points – Scion may have a hard time meeting the early demand.
In contrast, Subaru only plans to sell between 5,000 and 7,000 versions of their BRZ sports coupe which shares every feature shy of the badging with the FR-S. Subaru is more of a niche brand of its own, with that group having more interest in the all wheel drive turbocharged sedans that the company is more well known for so there could be less interest from the Subaru world. However, considering how much interest there is in the motorsports world from the Scion community and the fact that the FR-S will serve as the range topping sports model – the FR-S could potentially hit those goals for 2012 and 2013. While the 2012 Scion FR-S enters the American auto industry as the bargain brand’s most expensive model, it is still among the lowest price rear wheel drive sports cars on the market with a price starting just over $24,000.
When looking strictly at rear wheel drive, 2-door sports cars in the US market, the main competitors are the Ford Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro, the Dodge Challenger, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, the Nissan 370Z and the Mazda Miata. Compared to that group, the $24,000 Scion FR-S is less expensive than certain packages from Mazda (hard top Miata versions start close to $28k), all Hyundai Genesis Coupes, all Nissan 370Z coupes, all Dodge Challengers and all of the V8 powered Ford Mustang coupes and Chevrolet Camaro coupes. The open aired Mazda Miata, the Ford Mustang V6 and the Chevrolet Camaro V6 all carry low base prices than the Scion FR-S." the original article


4/26 BRZ- the lightning red BRZ Premium makes its final stop in the Seattle/Puget Sound area at Skagit Subaru in Burlington Thursday 4/26-Saturday 4/28. It was at Dewy Griffin Subaru in Bellingham (ph 360-734-8700) Monday 4/23- Wednesday 4/25. It was at Hanson Subaru in Olympia (ph 360 943-2120) Friday 4/20- Sunday 4/22,  Roy Robinson Subaru in Marysville right off I-5, 4/16-19 (ph 360-659-6236),  Carter Subaru in Ballard 4/15-16, Peninsula Subaru in Bremerton/Gorst 4/12-14 (ph 360-479-4320),  Tacoma Subaru Monday 4/9-11,  Walkers Subaru in Renton 4/5-7 (425-226-2775),  Eastside Subaru in Kirkland 4/2-4 (425-820-8993),  Puyallup Subaru 3/30-4/1, Scarf in Auburn 3/27-29 (253-737-1345),  Chaplin's in Bellevue 3/24-26 (425-641-2002),  Carter Subaru Shoreline 3/23-26 (me, at 206 769-7821).


4/25 BRZ- behind the scenes videos on behind the scene thoughts on making the BRZ sports car
"The Subaru BRZ might be most appreciated for reintroducing the adjectives "small," "light" and "fun" to those who prefer not to have a convertible top with their Japanese sports car. Yet, as has been covered before, it's a neat example of packaging, with Subaru engineers having put big ideas into the BRZ's small spaces. The Japanese automaker has knocked together 22 minutes of behind-the-scenes chats with the engineers who made the BRZ to show you how they did it, and how they managed to pack all of the handling and safety bits around the fun bits. This should come as no surprise, but the video is in Japanese with English subtitles, but it's worth the extra effort. It's in two parts and you'll find both by scrolling below.

watch the videos
on autoblog

4/21 BRZ ... it won’t turn you into an overnight drift sensation.
"Where Audi is intent on creating cars for market segments that don’t yet exist, the Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86 sports coupe twins do almost the opposite: they have a market segment all to themselves – the £25k, rear-wheel drive sports coupe market – because everyone else has abandoned it.
In decades gone by, young tearaways would have had their pick of the Mazda RX-7, Porsche 924, Toyota MR2 and GT Coupe (aka the AE86 on which the GT86 riffs), Ford Capri, Opel Manta, the Nissan 200SX and more. Now they’ve got the cheaper Mazda MX-5 soft-top (which is too soft and rolly to be good to drive), or the BRZ/GT86. Yes, Caterhams, Lotuses, 370Zs too – but they’re all quite different propositions.
Why nobody sells a cheap RWD sports coupe - until now
This means there’s a strong possibility that the target demographic will have been weaned on front-wheel drive, and are quite possibly ragging the backside off a hot hatch at this very moment. But they’ll be male and they’ll have egos, which means they’ll be curious as to what a big drift in a rear-wheel drive car feels like, and they’ll be doubly keen to master the art so they too can show off to their friends and talk local plod through the large black marks and the lingering cloud of smoke at the quite roundabout. I know, because that was me a decade ago and that curiosity led me to buy a leggy BMW M3.
So, back to these hot hatch owners. They’ll be intrigued that a big part of the BRZ/GT86 appeal – which Toyota in particular has played on – is the fact that it’s extremely sideways, and that it’s sidewaysness is said to be easily exploited by those people who haven’t gone very sideways before.
So are the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 twins sliding pros?
Here’s the rub: the BRZ/GT86 isn’t very sideways. Yes, if you pull the handbrake or give it a big Scandinavian Flick on the track the thing will adopt the kind of angles usually fleetingly glimpsed by WRC spectators just before Jari-Matti Latvala plummets off a cliff face, but then so would a Kia Picanto.
The BRZ/GT86 is a brilliant thing to drive, but it has very little power, which means you need to drive it absolutely flat out and throw it around in a way that’s often impossible out on the road, simply because you can’t see what’s coming round the next bend and therefore can’t commit to the accelerator – just like that old AE86. Ironically, it actually takes a whole heap of skill and years of experience to unlock the potential of a car that we’ve been told is perfect for rear-drive novices.
So here’s what’s going to happen: said hot hatchers will pick the car up from the dealership, turn all the traction control off and go for a blast. They’ll drive it as hard as they dare, swinging it through corners and stamping on the gas, chucking it into hairpins and willfully trying to unsettle the rear, and all the while traction will be total. And you know what, not one of those drivers will say anything about it, because they’ll be too scared to be the limp-wristed bloke that can’t even drift what they’ve been told is the most driftable car in decades.
Great car, that BRZ/GT86, and it’s a safe way to learn the basics of rear-wheel drive, but be warned: it won’t turn you into an overnight drift sensation." the original article

4/16 BRZ build your own function is available on Subaru.com. You can choose color, Premium or Limited model, and manual or automatic transmission, but no 'options' are listed yet. There is 'accessory' list but those are the part only and prices listed are without installation. Often accessories are things like ashtrays, license plate frames, cargo organizers, oil caps, battery tie downs, severe weather kits etc and are dealer items only, not available installed on the car from the factory. There are a few BRZ accessories that are also available factory or port installed like dimming mirrors, chrome fender trim, rear bumper diffuser/underskirt, and the installed price might only be slightly more. For all available installed and part only prices, check my BRZ webpage.  Click here for Subaru's build your own page 
Note- I am taking BRZ orders at MSRP with no mark-up so if you're in the greater Seattle or NW area and want a BRZ please
contact me

4/14 Aha audio forwarding will be in the BRZ but probably other Subarus in the future. Or if not Aha, something else will be because technology is changing so quickly that car companies can't keep up.  Aha eliminates that technology cliff for manufacturers by allowing cell phones to function as the receiver, forwarding audio from various sources to the car's receiver. Aha is by Harman Kardon and Subaru already uses their radio stereo audio infotainment system in Outback, Legacy, and Tribeca.
"Though Web-connected infotainment systems have become important selling points for automakers, endlessly vetting and serving apps to those systems after making the sale may not be how companies want to use their resources. Outside firms have stepped into the void, acting as middlemen between content providers and a car’s telematics system...
Essentially, Aha uses a smartphone’s Bluetooth connection to funnel content, like hundreds of streaming Internet radio stations, to the vehicle’s in-dash system for playback over the car’s stereo. The company also bundles other content for access on the dash, including audio books, news feeds from NPR and CNN, and even Facebook posts that are read aloud by a Siri-like automated voice.... Aha aggregates all the feeds under a single app, which can be updated at any time by Aha over online servers and fed directly to the driver’s smartphone, for broadcast over the car stereo. This effectively removes an automaker from the content-curation business...."
read the entire article


4/9 BRZ STI- when it comes won't be a turbo
'While the Subaru BRZ and its Toyota GT-86 / Scion FR-S equivalent are two of the most anticipated Japanese sport coupes in history, critics have complained that their 200-horsepower output simply isn’t enough.
Subaru has heard those comments, too, so the automaker has already begun working on an STI version of the BRZ. As Subaru’s global marketing manager, Atoshi Atake, advised Auto Express, “Let me say this - we will certainly satisfy our customers. We are already working on a faster version.”
The news should come as no surprise, since Subaru showed a BRZ STI concept at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s very likely that a production version will closely resemble the concept, down to the aerodynamic body kit and lowered suspension. We’re not sure the oversized rear wing will come as standard equipment, though.
Under the hood, the BRZ STI will likely go a different route than current STI models. Since there’s no room for an intercooler up front, turbocharging is out. You can cross supercharging off the list, too, as Subaru is concerned that it would impact the BRZ’s fuel economy and require a larger gas tank.
Instead, Subaru will improve the car’s air intake, add a less-restrictive exhaust, increase redline to 7,500 rpm and revise the variable valve control system for optimized performance. These modifications are expected to boost output to around 250 horsepower, a full 25-percent increase over the base model.
The STI version will be lighter in weight, too, thanks to racing bucket seats, a carbon fiber hood and, potentially, even a carbon-fiber roof. Lighter wheels will be used, and the car will further benefit from upgraded brakes and a stiffer suspension for track day use.
Unfortunately, there’s no timeline on the BRZ STI, and Subaru’s biggest problem at the moment is ramping up production to meet demand. In Japan, Subaru has sold over 3,500 BRZs in the past two months, some four times the number it expected to sell." the original article



4/7 BRZ review and why it feels so fast....  'It's Thinker Than You Fast It Is'
"How do we know when we're going fast? Generally speaking, we don't. Observers on Earth's surface rotate around its axis at 40 meters per second; Earth itself revolves around the Sun (30 kilometers/second); and the Sun rotates around the galactic center at about (220 km/s). Meanwhile, the whole kit is being dragged in a stately gyre toward the constellation Virgo at about 370 km/s
. What, you don't feel that?
We don't because we judge motion by acceleration, that is, a change in velocity. This information comes to us in several ways, including cues from our vestibular system (inner ear) and by something called proprioception, which is the awareness of our musculature bracing and flexing to compensate for our body's inertia.
This is going somewhere, I promise.
Behind the wheel of a car we mostly rely on our binocular vision to tell us how fast we're driving. The landscape peels away to either side of us at oblique angles. Our brains process this information in terms of what psychologists call "looming" and "changing disparity signals." A mailbox gets bigger as we get closer. Our brains compute the growing retinal image of the mailbox (an object of known size) and integrate the difference with the apparent trajectory of the object as perceived by our left and right eyes. This is called motion-in-depth perception.
And yet for all this formidable wetware, we're still pretty bad at judging speed and easily fooled. Honest, officer. Imagine, for instance, how a mailbox 10 feet tall would throw you off. Speed perception is also variable depending on our age, eyesight and emotional state. If we're frustrated and late, we feel like we're traveling more slowly than we are. Meanwhile, a car that is supremely quiet, comfortable and capable—let's say, a Porsche Panamera Turbo—will actually dull the vividness of speed such that we can be perfectly at ease going the speeds of small aircraft.
Subaru has turned our faulty perceptions of speed into a positive. Meet the new Subaru BRZ: 200 horsepower, 2,800 pounds, 2+2 seating, six-speed manual gearbox (an automatic is also available) and rear-wheel drive. Figure about $25,000 to start. A joint project between Subaru and Toyota (which will sell the car in the U.S. as the Scion FR-S), the BRZ is a handful of sports-coupe sunshine that does something brilliant, even revolutionary: It feels fast, even though it isn't, particularly.
The BRZ's moderate performance expectations are telegraphed by its simple design. The volumes and cab-rearward profile of the BRZ are classically sporty (the Scion will vary only in the front and rear clips and lighting instruments), but there's not a lot of surface excitement here. There are small engine vents at the base of the A pillars. The rear of the car is tricked out with a small deck-mounted spoiler—more for visual balance than aero balance—and a faux diffuser diapering the lower clip, including a very cool triangular brake light. But note the absence of aggressive, ground-hugging rocker panel trim or broadly flared fenders. Note also the amount of empty space in the wells around the wheels. This is known in design parlance as "dead-cat space"—I'm not kidding—and designers try very hard to minimize it.
The problem with a lot of sporty cars is that they are so massively overqualified for the street. Take a car like the Mustang Boss 302: 444 hp, limited-slip rear differential, race-tuned suspension and 9.5-inch-wide, 19-inch Pirelli P Zero tires. Sounds nice, right? But on the street you have to go so hard just to get the car to slide around a little bit, just to feel a little bloodlust, you're always in danger of losing your license. Fear of incarceration is kind of a buzzkill.
The BRZ, very much by design and very much in the style of the great Mazda MX-5, goes in the other direction, drawing out and exaggerating automotive cues that give the impression of going fast at wholly more sane speeds. One hugely affective cue is auditory: Thanks to resonator tubes pumping intake and exhaust sounds into the cabin, the BRZ snarls and burrs and howls like a garage-built retro rod, even when it's accelerating away from a light like an ice-cream truck (0-60 mph in about 6 seconds). This thing is a mouse with a megaphone. Subaru also cagily put most of the engine's twist up high in the rev counter, with peak torque of 151 pound-feet at an astronomical 6,400 rpm—the high, hollow, splintering engine note is what you'd hear if you crashed through a grove of bamboo.
The engine is an evolution of Subaru's flat-four boxer (code-named the FA), with Toyota-sourced direct-injection heads. Subaru says the car's center of gravity is a mere 18 inches off the ground, comparable to that of a Porsche Cayman R. And, since this is a rear-drive car, the engine could be situated well back in the chassis, more than 9 inches aft of where it would be in the all-wheel-drive Impreza. The low CG and the centralized engine placement give the BRZ an intuitive sense of mechanical leverage over the road. This thing feels like it rotates precisely around the driver's right hip.
Tires: If this car were built by, say, BMW, the designers would have packed the fender wells with no-profile tires and splendid 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels. Such footwear looks great and commands serious cornering grip. The trouble is, it raises the limits of adhesion so preposterously high that it is almost impossible—or at least highly ill-advised—to break traction on the street.
The BRZ is conspicuously under-tired, with 17-inch Michelin 215/45s front and rear—and thus the dead cat. You can goose the throttle around a corner and the rear tires will happily chirp as the car's rear end steps out entertainingly, at least until the stability control intervenes. Most passenger cars are set up to understeer, which is to say, the front tires will slide before the rear tires. But the BRZ, a rear-drive car with most of the weight on the front wheels (54/46, front/rear weight distribution), wags its fanny like a runway model. There is probably not another car on the street that can execute a rally-style Nordic flip as effortlessly as the BRZ.
The 45-series tires provide much of the compliance to soak up small road jitters, leaving the suspension (struts up front and multilinks in back) free to cope with the larger energies of body roll, pitch and yaw. The end result is a small car with decent around-town ride quality combined with a feisty, lean and taut feel.
“Clever design choices, from the engine to the tires, make the highly fun BRZ drive like a far speedier car.”
The same could be said of the other control surfaces. The electric-power-assist steering is blink-quick and sports-car heavy, with a supple precision and tactility utterly out of the Mazda MX-5 playbook. Likewise the short-throw gearshifter, which snicks through the gates with an oily heft.
Add it all up: The nap-of-the-earth seating position and long hood; the shouty engine and exhaust; the triggerfish steering response and twitch-twitch of the manual gearbox; the merry tail-swinging and the chirpy tires. The BRZ thus perpetrates a splendid and useful fraud on its buyers: a not-so-fast sport coupe that is an absolute riot to drive.
As long as we're going to Virgo, we might as well enjoy the ride." the article from WSJ's Dan Neil

4/6 BRZ destination is $770, not the $750 Subaru currently charges on 2012s. Destination will probably rise to $770 on all other 2013 models. BRZ prices are:
Premium manual $26,265, automatic $27,365; Limited manual $28,265, automatic $29,365. Destination to Ak is $920. BRZ webpage

4/5 BRZ Prices and more model details announced at the NY auto show- MSRP price including $750 destination: Premium manual $26,245, automatic $27,345; Limited manual $28,245, automatic $29,345. BRZ webpage

4/3 BRZ Prices to be announced at the NY auto show April 5th the day after tomorrow. This show is shaping up to be the biggest Subaru event of the year with the already announced introduction of the 13 Outback, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, EyeSight saftey technology, and now much looked for BRZ prices.


3/24 BRZ- the red BRZ Premium making the rounds in the Seattle/Puget Sound area is at Chaplin's in Bellevue this weekend, through Monday. On Tuesday it should be at Scarf Subaru in Auburn.

3/22 BRZ- Scion announces FR-S list prices.
Subaru remains quiet with no prices released yet. The Scion is priced at MSRP $24200 +760 destination = $24960, and for the 6 speed automatic $25300 + $760= 26,060. The FR-S will be available in Raven, Asphalt, Hot Lava, Argento, Ultramarine, Firestorm, and Whiteout. 
 BRZ info, photos


3/20 BRZ arrives for display at the NW area dealers. Sorry, its only a "sit 'n see", in other words not for test driving, but at least its around!  Its the red car on the truck in the image below. It will make the round of local dealers. The model is a lightning red Premium with automatic transmission. Its currently at Carter Subaru in Shoreline for a few days (contact Joe Spitz there for details) and then it will go on to the other local dealers. Again, its not available for test driving but at least you can see and sit in it.  Click for more photos
subaru brz arrives on a car transporter, seattle march 2012


3/18 BRZ- there's an early BRZ marketing pamphlet given to dealers.
It has the rear disc brakes at 15" but that's reportedly incorrect, it should say 10.5". 
My BRZ info page


3/3 BRZ - just when you can finally order the BRZ (due to arrive in May) comes word that Toyota is considering a future GT86 convertible. GT86 is the Toyota version of the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S triplets. No mention if the BRZ or FR-S will get this hypothetical ragtop but Subaru sure could use a convertible, especially an all wheel drive convertible (ok... now I'm just fantasizing). No doubt any drop-top would be far in the future.
"The Toyota GT 86 coupe is one of the most anticipated sports car from Japan this year (along with its siblings – the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S). According to the chief engineer behind the new rear-wheel-drive sports car, Tetsuya Tada, the Toyota GT 86 will be offered as a convertible later down the line. Now, this isn’t to say that the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S will also be offered with a drop-top – but keep your fingers crossed. In an interview with AutoBild, Tada said: “The GT 86 was designed from the outset [so] that we can build it as a convertible.”  No word on when the model will debut.
this article

3/1
BRZ  orders finally available after years of wondering, rumors and waiting. No prices yet. The Options list has been updated. Dealers won't get many each month, so early orders will avoid a longer wait. Call your local dealer. Subaru hasn't released prices yet or taken BRZs to many dealers for a display though hopefully that will happen soon so people can see and at least sit in one.


2/28  BRZ order process.
Each dealer has been given a fixed number of BRZs over the next 7 months (May-Nov 2012) which will be spread out so they don't all arrive at one time. The number of cars is based on the dealer's 2011 WRX/STI sales and overall volume. Extra orders in addition to the allotted number of cars may or may not get filled. The monthly total for the entire country is expected to be 540 cars and there are over 600 dealers so not all dealers will get a car each month. There is no VIP program available on the BRZ.
Subaru hasn't released prices yet or taken BRZs to many dealers for a display though hopefully that will happen soon so people can see and at least sit in one.
from Subaru "It is important dealers fully understand the order filling process as you  submit your sold orders. 
In summary, allocations for the 7 months May-November  have been developed for each dealer.  Fulfillment  of a dealer’s  allocation quantity will be spread basically pro-rata over the 7-month period and will not accelerate based on the number of sold orders submitted nor will it be reduced based on the number of sold orders other dealers submit.   
The most important factor is for individual dealers to ensure their sold orders are submitted in the order with which they want them filled.   SOA will look to fill the oldest sold order within a dealer’s allocation from the pool of cars available irrespective of when that order came in versus any other dealer’s order."

2/24 lower priced tuner BRZ not coming to the US.
"The 2013 Subaru BRZ that’s heading to our shores may carry a little more content than its sister, the Scion FR-S, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in England. New reports suggest the UK will also receive a new de-contented BRZ trim level, designed to appeal to budget-conscious enthusiasts located across the pond.
This stripped-down BRZ may not actually be that big of a surprise: Toyota offers the “Customize Grade” on the nearly-identical 2013 GT 86. The new base trim level on the U.K.-spec 2013 Subaru BRZ is aimed at the same do-it-yourself tuner crowd as the 86′s Customize Grade. Details on the stripper BRZ are scarce, but if its anything like its Toyota cousin, it may come with black bumpers and mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels, and an interior devoid of a sound system and air conditioning. One key item that the stripped 86 is missing (and likely the the base BRZ will miss out on too) is the helical limited-slip differential that’s standard equipment in North America. As a result, base BRZ owners abroad may have to endure “one-wheel peels” or slap on an aftermarket differential.
According to Subaru, we’ll only be getting two (well-equipped) trim levels here in the States at launch – the BRZ Premium and BRZ Limited. Subaru has decided to position the BRZ upmarket from the Scion FR-S clone that Toyota will offer here. That’s not to say a stripped-out BRZ won’t ever happen here, as Subaru did once offer a stripper version of the WRX back in 2006 called the WRX TR. When pressed on a possible BRZ TR, officials wouldn’t say that the prospect is completely out of the question here in the U.S. That said, Subaru did admit that a stripper BRZ would not attract “the buyer we are looking for in the U.S.”
read the article

2/23 BRZ details released confirming many of the rumors Subaru has trickled out over the past 6 months.  Orders accepted starting March 1 with delivery starting May. Dealers will only get a small number of cars each month (1-4?). Prices have not been announced yet.  Models are Premium and Limited. Both models get 6.1" Navigation GPS. Limited adds leather/alcantara trimmed interior, heated front seats/mirrors, fog lights, keyless pushbutton start, and climate control.  Colors include
wr blue pearl, lightning red, crystal black silica, dark gray metallic, satin white pearl and 2 new colors, galaxy blue silica and sterling silver metallic.  2013 BRZ spec page

2/13 with the BRZ/FR-S coming out, here are 4 1960s Japanese sports cars from Honda, Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan. Toyota's gorgeous 2000GT was designed by Toyota with engine mechanicals by Yamaha, which is similar to Subaru building the new BRZ/FR-S. The Datsun 240 was a game changer. Through the 1970s, Datsun was the largest Japanese car company in the US.
"From cheap and chintzy to dull and boring, Japanese cars have often battled a bad reputation among American and European enthusiasts. On the eve of the new Scion/Subaru sports car, which is neither cheap and chintzy nor dull and boring, it's worth a look in the rearview mirror at four cars from the dawn of the Japanese auto industry that were exceptional enough to catapult their makers into the ranks of the world's largest and most respected automobile manufacturers.
> Honda S800 Years produced: 1965-69, Original price: $1275
It might look small in the company of these cars, but Honda's first-ever automobile -- the S sports car -- isn't just small, it's minuscule....
> Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S Years produced: 1967-72, Original price: $4389
The S500/600/800 might have been Honda's first car, but the Mazda Cosmo was the world's first car with a truly viable rotary engine -- a twin-rotor. Its futuristic styling was the perfect complement to the Jetsons powerplant under the hood: a 110-hp thing of wonder not much larger than a basketball....
> Toyota 2000GT Years produced: 1967-70, Original price: $6611
If the Honda's engineering ingenuity and the Mazda's rotary engine blazed the trail for their makers' futures, then the 2000GT is the perfect example of why Toyota -- and Lexus -- are where they are today. In fairness, some of the credit goes to Yamaha, which assembled all 337 2000GTs and developed the DOHC cylinder head that bolted to the Toyota Crown sedan's 2.0-liter straight-six block. The car's design was done by Toyota, and styling that appears a little overwrought in photos is beautiful in person. With shades of the Jaguar E-type in its complex curves, the backbone-frame 2000GT looks much like a Lotus Elan underneath. Ironically, it's the tall Lotus-style rear suspension towers that necessitated the upward kink of the rear side windows -- and in the process created one of the most beautiful greenhouses of all time....
> Nissan 240 (Fairlady) Z432 Years produced: 1969-73, Original price: $5139
If it was the Toyota 2000GT that grabbed the attention of car enthusiasts worldwide, it was Nissan's Z that pried open their wallets. It took Chevrolet a quarter century to sell 500,000 Corvettes -- Nissan moved that many Zs in a decade. More important, the Fairlady Z, or Datsun 240Z as we knew it, was the final, fatal shot that killed the mainstream British sports car. Sized appropriately for big American frames, it was sculpted like an Italian supercar and stuffed with reliable, modern technology. It had a fixed roof in place of the leaky British canvas top, and it had the performance to brush aside all of its competition. And that's exactly what it did..." read the entire article from automobile magazine


2/6 BRZ is in good company. Here are one writers comments on some recent 2 door hits and misses 
His list includes the MG-B, Fiero, 240Z, MR2, Solstice/Sky, XKE, TT, 914, CRX, Cooper coupe.
"From the Pontiac Fiero to the poor-man's Porsche: Automakers have always tried to bring affordable fun to the masses. The hearts of auto enthusiasts everywhere beat a little faster recently with the introduction of two new sports cars: the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S. The two autos are essentially identical because they were developed jointly by the two companies. The all-new, rear-drive chassis is from Subaru, as is the engine; Toyota did the design and extra bits for the motor. As they used to say in the old Doublemint chewing gum commercials: Double your pleasure, double your fun.
The appearance of the two is notable: Affordable sports cars have been in short supply in recent years. The target market of young men isn't exactly flush with cash, insurance costs weigh heavily, and sports cars have a short shelf life. As much about fashion as they are about driving, they tend to wilt in showrooms after 18 months. Even the durable Mazda MX-5 Miata, starting its 23rd year on the market, has become a specialty item -- 2011 sales totaled 5,672 cars." read the article with his comments on the cars


1/30 BRZ, is at the Philadelphia Auto Show, along with an old XT and SVX. Check them out now, January 28-Feb 5, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Of course the corporate HQ  in Cherry Hill NJ and the operations center in Pennsauken, NJ are both a very short drive from Philadelphia just across the Delaware River and so its natural some special cars would be there.  If anyone is going to go, please send me an email.  more info here 

1/23 a brief comment on the BRZ at the Detroit NAIAS auto show

"...The Subaru BRZ has a surprisingly nice interior, with open sight lines, supportive seats, and quality materials. The interior in the FR-S is very similar, but I wasn’t able to sit in the Scion and, from what I’ve read, it won’t be available with the Subaru’s up-level faux suede trim. How did the joint venture sports car end up with a nicer interior than you’ll find elsewhere in either partner’s lineup?..." by M Karesh

1/22  Cruising Seattle in the snow in a Subaru looking for a coffee ... 
"Some days, I confess that I feel very Northwestern. Most days, I suppose. But some days, more so than others. Take yesterday, for example. It snowed. While everyone else was panicking about it, I was hopping in my Subaru and heading off to find any coffee shop situated on a decent hill. Snow is great. Snow is fun. And driving down snowy hills in an all-wheel-drive vehicle produces an obnoxious feeling of superiority. Of course, when looking for hills in Seattle, one doesn't necessarily need to look far. But for hills and coffee at the same time, the Phinney Ridge neighborhood is an excellent bet. I ended up at Cafe Bambino, most of the way down 65th, ordering an Americano and trying to determine whose coffee they were serving..."  the entire article 


1/13 Subaru adds AHA radio by Harman as an option for 2013 models, starting with the BRZ.   
Subaru already has Harman/Kardon (h/k) audio equipment in the Legacy and Outback- its optional in Premiums, standard in Limited models.
I wonder if Subaru stereos will now be AM, FM, HD, Aha, CD plus USB and 3.5mm auxilliary jacks.
Announced at CES Jan10-  'Aha, an interactive platform that makes web content safe for drivers today announced new automotive and content partnerships that will bring web connected infotainment safely to millions of drivers, right through the radio. Honda and Subaru are currently working with Aha to integrate with the Aha platform starting with model year 2013 vehicles...
Aha has become the web-connected "fourth band" of the car radio, alongside AM, FM and satellite radio. Aha's platform uniquely enables drivers to safely and easily access great audio content from around the web, and transforms non-audio web content into radio stations...
Aha announced partnerships with Honda and Subaru that will seamlessly bring Aha into Honda and Subaru vehicles to let drivers interact with web-based content right through the radio. Honda and Subaru are among the first automotive manufacturers to integrate Aha's service into their vehicles....'
What is Aha radio. It allows smart phone user to stream radio through the car stereo.
'Aha is a service that helps users safely and easily access their favorite web content from smartphones and compatible electronics devices.
Founded in 2008, and acquired by Harman in 2010, Aha was created by some of the most passionately mediocre Ping-Pong players and coffee enthusiasts in all of the Silicon Valley. They also happen to have decades of combined experience developing automotive, location-based, cloud computing, and mobile services for the likes of SiriusXM, eBay, PayPal, Amazon, Motorola, Yahoo!, Palm, Wired, Rhapsody, and more.'
http://aharadio.com
about Harman and Aha

1/10 BRZ arrives in Detroit at the NAIAS North American Int. Auto Show, and also at the CES in San Francisco.
Expect prices and specs early Spring. 
> "Take a first look at the U.S. production model of the 2013 Subaru BRZ, January 14-22 at the Detroit Auto Show. The full specs are out, adding many standard features to the lightweight design. The new 2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER® engine features 200 horsepower and sits lower and farther back in the engine well, enhancing the torque and handling while offering greater fuel efficiency and power. MacPherson struts, a double wishbone rear suspension and 17-inch wheels give the ride a smooth finish. The U.S. model also comes with limited-slip differential, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, GPS navigation system and Bluetooth hands-free technology standard. The 2013 BRZ is expected to be available stateside this spring."  from  subaru.com
> "Subaru's long-awaited BRZ sports car made an appearance at the 2012 Detroit auto show, and despite its small exterior size, there's room inside for taller folks — as long as they steer clear of the rear seats. Subaru's cars lack a consistent face, and the BRZ introduces yet another look featuring a large front intake with black plastic trim on the upper edge. The hood is extremely low — lower than the top of the front fenders at some points — and the wedge headlights lend a dose of aggressiveness. Still, something isn't quite right with the car's stance; it looks like it's sitting a little high on its wheels, with too much of a gap between the tires and fenders. I have no doubt the aftermarket tuners will rectify this in short order. Subaru added some appliques on the BRZ's front fenders. Some automakers do a nice job with these, like BMW with its M cars, but the BRZ's have a dull, tacked-on look that diminish the design. The tail matches the front-end's aggressiveness with a large rear diffuser, dual exhaust tips and an available rear spoiler.The BRZ's small, low footprint is deceiving because the cabin easily accommodates 6-foot-plus adults. Very long front-seat travel helps in this regard, and the steering wheel tilts and telescopes. Granted, with the driver's seat all the way back rear-seat legroom is nonexistent, but the backseat is marginally useful to start. With the rear seats folded, Subaru claims there's enough cargo space to carry four extra wheels and a jack for a day at the track; I suspect those rear seats will stay folded more often than not.
The front bucket seats are relatively wide so the side bolsters don't hold you too tightly, and the dashboard sits like a ledge in front of you. There are some unique interior bits like toggle switches on the center control panel, and materials' quality is decent overall. The stick shift moves with a direct, mechanical precision.  At a time when most cars — sports cars included — have grown larger and heavier, it's refreshing to see something like the BRZ enter the market. With a curb weight of just less than 2,800 pounds, the car keeps the weight down, which should pay dividends all-around as far as the driving experience is concerned." the Chicago Tribune article 
> "Powered by new generation FA-Series 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder, generating 200 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, the production BRZ boasts one of the lowest centers of gravity of any car in the world and is also among the lightest two-door coupes on the market, weighing in at a relatively bantam 2,762 lbs. That makes it some 300 lbs less than the Lotus Evora and a whopping 500 lbs less than the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. With a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions (the latter with sport and manual paddle shifts), plus pedals optimized for heel and toe downshifting, along with an optimized front strut suspension and independent rear, the BRZ promises to be one of the most fun to drive cars available in American when it goes on sale as a 2013 model." the article

1/5 BRZ  is getting close. The US version is going to be unveiled at Detroit's N. American Int. Auto Show January 9, 2012. It will also be at the CES Consumer Electronics Show January 10-13, Las Vegas.  Are you in the Seattle area and interested in the BRZ? Contact me





WRX AND STI NEWS AND REVIEWS IN 2012
2012 calendar year news
articles edited for length, content

m

click for archived news from 2011



12/19 WRX review- its good but old, fast but not pretty... and there's nothing else quite like it...
"As with any tidbit of information that may appear biased, this review needs a disclaimer. Chances are this review may turn out one-sided. During my week with the 2013 Subaru WRX Sedan, I swore to myself I would be impartial and display Swiss levels of neutrality; but deep down, my inner Subaru “fanboi” tried his hardest to make an appearance. Phrases like “this interior isn’t out-of-date, it is retro chic” would circulate inside my head before I returned to my senses and realized a spade is a spade; the interior is old. Oh, and while I am embarking on an editorial confessional, I guess I better fess up to the fact that I also use to own a WRX until less than a year ago—a 2010 Limited Hatchback model.
For 2013, the Subaru WRX is still based on the previous ‘GR’ Impreza platform and not the all new GP/GJ Impreza that debuted in 2012. Being based on a chassis that is now in its sixth model year, Subaru has made periodic improvements to the WRX to keep it relevant, like the addition of the 265 hp motor in 2009 and the standard wide-body refresh in 2011.  But it is now 2013, and it is safe to say the WRX is showing its age and an all-new version should show up in a year or two.  Until that day, we will continue to get this completely unrefined but solid, high-performing vehicle—the automotive equivalent to a 10-kg sledgehammer.
At the heart of any good WRX is a turbocharged Boxer four-cylinder engine.  The 2013 WRX continues to feature the most powerful flat-4 engine ever installed in a WRX...   Combined with the only transmission choice, a five-speed manual, the 1,455-kg WRX can rip from a dead stop to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds according to Subaru’s website, although, some U.S. magazines have been able to hit 96 km/h (60 mph) in 4.7 seconds thanks to calculated clutch abuse.
... When the WRX went wide-body in 2011, the standard single tip exhaust was replaced by the STI’s quad-tip, dual exhaust system.  This new exhaust setup is louder than the old single outlet exhaust and gives the WRX a bit more Boxer-rumble at low rpms...
The more I drove this ‘new’ 2013 Subaru WRX, the more it felt like a throwback to Japanese sports cars of the late 80s and 90s, where all the money was spent on chassis and drivetrain development with styling and interior as mere afterthoughts...  I did grind third gear a few times at first; a clear indication that I am out of practice with the WRX’s be-direct-and-forceful gearbox...
What surprised me most about the WRX was the steering.  Three years ago it felt fine; decent at best.  But times have changed and it is overly light and lacks the feel the BRZ, or even the new 2012 Impreza....
And now, time for some of my biased Subaru enthusiasm to shine through.  I really like what the wide-body did for the WRX in 2011; a lot.  It may not have made it any more modern looking, but it did make it much more aggressive compared to older models - especially the quad tailpipes.  With the flared fenders, front skirt, and rear valance treatment, the WRX looks the part of a proper performance car, which it is, and not a pretender, which it isn’t.  It’s too bad the interior didn’t receive a similar treatment in 2011.
When I bought my WRX three years ago, I did not buy it because of the interior. It felt hopelessly out of date then, and looks downright ancient in 2013.  There are hard, ugly plastics everywhere, including the center armrest. This car has been in production since 2008 and recent niceties like menu screens and modern HVAC controls are absent...
Honestly though, anyone who buys, or doesn’t buy, a WRX based solely on the interior specs is one misguided consumer; the WRX is the sum of its drivetrain parts.  By cheaping out on the interior, Subaru can keep the price low and ensure the WRX is the performance bargain it has always been at (Canadian) $32,495.  There are nicer interiors in this class, like in the Volkswagen GTI or MINI Cooper S, but neither offer the flat-out performance of the WRX.  On the flip-side, there are vehicles with a decent interior that can match the WRX in performance, like a Focus ST, Mazdaspeed3, or Genesis Coupe 2.0 R-Spec, but all are missing the WRX’s secret weapon; all-wheel drive.  The Mitsubishi Ralliart does offer all the things the WRX does, but, it may well be the only vehicle out there with an even worse interior...
So, is this car still relevant in 2013?  Yes, if for no other reason than its performance-per-dollar ratio.  Sure, Subaru’s own BRZ is more neutral, has better steering feel, is more engaging to drive, and, of course, is cheaper. But, the WRX would still be crowned the victor at most speed contests around a racetrack.  Regardless of your preference, it is amazing that a company as small as Subaru offers two dedicated performance vehicles (3 if you count the WRX and STI separately), while others, like Toyota and Kia for example, offer none.  Keep it up, Subaru" read this entire article

12/14 WRX, STI, and Impreza in the UK have been dropped due to slow sales! Since the WRXs were hugely popular rally winners in the past, its surprising sales have sunk that low, but their loss could be our gain -  this could mean more inventory for the US where Subaru is scrambling to meet demand. Subaru will continue to sell the Crosstrek (called the XV), Legacy, and outback
"The Subaru WRX STi and Subaru Impreza will cease to be a feature on UK’s roads from next year. While an all-new Impreza was launched in Japan and the US last year, a spokesman for the brand confirmed that there isn’t enough demand for cars like the Impreza in the UK, so the new model will not be added to the UK line-up.
He said: “The new Impreza has been under evaluation in the UK for 12 months, but the decision has been taken not to bring that car to the UK because of insufficient demand.”
The decision also means the end of the line for the WRX STi. Subaru split the Impreza and WRX STi nameplates into two separate models in 2007, when the third generation Impreza arrived, and demand has dwindled as the performance model can no longer compete with more modern rivals in terms of design, interior quality, performance and emissions.
The spokesman said: “Currently we have no plans to bring in further [WRX STI] stock after the current stock sells out – which should takes us to early summer depending on demand.”
Instead, Subaru will focus its UK efforts on its XV, new Forester and Outback SUV models: “Subaru is concentrating on what it’s really good at – so we’re concentrating on SUVs and the BRZ – we’re hoping to get more [BRZs] next year to satisfy strong demand for that car.” He added that he “could not confirm what happens to the Legacy after the end of 2013”.
read the entire article


10/30 300 Special Edition 2013 WRX Premium and STI sedans to be available May 2013.
Announced October 30th at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Subaru will produce 300 Orange and Black Special Edition WRX Premium and STI sedans- 200 WRX and 100 STIs. The Tangerine Orange cars will have black WRX or STI graphics, custom black alloys, black front fender badging, and black outside mirrors. The interiors will be dark with orange stitching on the seats, shift boots and door trim, and orange edged floor mats and logos. The STI sedan will include fog lights. The cars will have their standard powertrains,  no engine or horsepower upgrades were announced.  The announcement also didn't include details if the cars will be numbered. Prices have not been announced. With around 625 dealers and only 300 cars, these will go fast. Contact your local dealer soon if you want one.  2013 WRX and STI specs and photos
2013 subaru wrx and sti, tangerine orange color, only 300 sedans, spring 2013
Want to see the tangerine orange? its also on the Crosstrek

10/25 Factory Orders-  Subaru fesses up, announces that ordered cars are going to take longer and longer to arrive.
With Subaru riding a wave of popularity and cars selling quickly, there's been a shortage of cars
available on lots for a while now. This is especially true of the Japanese built Impreza, Crosstrek, BRZ and WRX/STI. This is a good/bad problem. The good part is Subarus are selling. Once known as a mostly functional car for skiers, hippies, campers and dog lovers etc in the northeast, northwest, rocky mountains and other frosty, wet areas, and widely unknown everyplace else, Subarus are now the It Car and selling everywhere.  Even where it's warm and dry all year round.
As a result of the reduced inventory on lots, more and more people are either putting deposits down on
already scheduled incoming cars, or are factory ordering if what they want isn't on the horizon.
This even further reduces the number of cars available on lots because more arrivals are pre-sold and spoken for. And with Subaru trying to expand into every market, they now have a whopping total of 1,209 possible model, trim and color combinations and that doesn't even include individual options.
As a result of the increase in orders, the ETA (estimated time of arrival) of factory ordered cars is getting pushed back. This is the bad part.  Its like your favorite neighborhood restaurant getting a glowing review, all of a sudden it's 'discovered' (like it hasn't been there for years and years),  and there's a line to get in on weekends. Then reservations are recommended, then required, then its 4 weeks out to get in and so on.
Meet Subaru, the little car company showing everyone how to make consumers fall in love with a car.
Previously orders usually took 6-10 weeks.  Now Subaru has announced a longer wait time for orders. These ETAs are not fixed. They're
are a guide as to how long the wait could be. Of course some cars will arrive sooner and others later but it can take months for a car just to be matched to the order and a future ETA released.
how can Subaru possibly have 1,209 models?
Impreza- there are 189 possible Impreza model, trim and color combinations.
Crosstrek- there are 48 possible Crosstrek model, trim and color combinations
WRX/STI- there are 96 possible WRX and STI model, trim and color combinations
Forester- there are 136 possible Forester model, trim and color combinations
Outback- there are 448 possible Outback model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Legacy- there are 240 possible Legacy model, trim and color combinations, including PZEVs
Tribeca- there are 24 possible Tribeca model, trim and color combinations
BRZ- here are 28 possible BRZ model, trim and color combinations

> according to Subaru if you order a

Impreza, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Crosstrek, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
WRX/STI, the ETA will be around 4 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Forester, the ETA will be around - oops.. no orders accepted. The redesigned 2014 is expected late winter/spring.
Outback, the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Legacy, the ETA will be around  3 months starting with the next full month after you order.
Tribeca,  the ETA will be around 3 months starting with the next full month after you order (is anyone ordering a Tribeca).
BRZ, due to the way BRZs are allocated, the ETA is estimated to be 4-7 months out, but Subaru will back-fill as model and color is available. There's no ETA until shortly before the car arrives.
10/23 2012 Impreza and Forester navigation system update process announced

10/19 about factory orders on hard to find models, the Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX STI, and BRZ.  These are some of the hottest cars around and demand is greater than supply. Factory orders of these hard to get models can take longer than the 8 weeks of previous years. This is especially true in Subaru's traditionally popular areas where dealers have to order cars exceeding their normal allocation because there aren't enough cars on the lots to sell.
"...Due to the supply limitation of our fast-selling carlines, effective October 4th, sold orders that are above and beyond a dealers earned allocation by carline will carried forward to a future allocation and will be marked with HOLD.... HOLD orders will be released from HOLD once the dealer has earned enough units of the carline in question..."

10/17 2 door WRX seen in Michigan. The next WRX/STI and BRZ will certainly share components.
"High on many Subaruphiles' wish list is a new two-door WRX STI, and the Japanese manufacturer might just be working on such a model. A two-door WRX-looking, highly camouflaged mule was recently spotted testing in the Ann Arbor, Mich., area. Subaru has a research-and-development facility in Ann Arbor.
Subaru officials would not comment on the prospects for a 2014 WRX coupe, saying no such model is in the plans for the near future. The mule could have been testing an engine and suspension package for the much-rumored, but not yet official, STI version of the BRZ.  Whatever it is, there was no mistaking the boxer-engine exhaust note, which is much more difficult to camouflage than the sheetmetal car body." the original article with photo

10/11 BRZ and STI comparison from an 2010 STI 5 door owner who works for automobilemag.com
"With all the hype surrounding the BRZ, you'd almost be forgiven for thinking Subaru has never offered a car that appealed to enthusiasts before. While Subaru cars may be most closely associated with Whole Foods and dog parks to the average person, the brand is widely known for its rally heritage and WRX STI model among driving enthusiasts. Sandon Voelker, our videographer and WRX STI owner, borrowed our BRZ for a weekend to see how the rear-wheel drive sports car felt in comparison to his all-wheel drive turbocharged hatchback.
Before we get into Sandon's detailed observations, it's important to note he's a videographer and an avid bicyclist - he always has his car packed with video cameras, bikes, or both. He is absolutely convinced no other car on the market could beat the STI for his specific needs: cargo capacity, above average performance, and a sticker price under $50k. Even if the BRZ was on sale last year when he bought an STI, he wouldn't have seriously considered buying one.
Sandon instantly noticed the BRZ's more supportive seats once he sat behind the wheel, which is admittedly covered in lower quality materials than his STI's steering wheel. He is asking his dealer if the BRZ seats will fit his car because: "performance wise, the BRZ seats are miles ahead of the STI's. I never slid into the door when going around a turn." Sandon prefers the pedal placement in the STI because heel-toe shifts are much more natural, but he was able to adjust to the BRZ's position with "deliberate preemptive foot placement." Unfortunately that also meant spending more time with Subaru's less-than-desirable touchscreen infotainment system, which can't hold a candle to the standard buttons and knobs that control the stereo in his STI.
When it comes to design, the two cars are worlds apart due to their different body styles and Sandon admitted his bias right away: "Not everyone loves wagons like I do." He digs the look of the BRZ and complimented everything from the moderately aggressive stance to the roofline, although he'd like a bit more bulge in the fenders, especially when compared to an STI. Unfortunately the clean lines and tiny footprint of the BRZ don't leave enough room inside the car for a bicycle or two and the roofline that looks so good doesn't offer factory mounting points for a roof rack like the STI's. Well, at least his video equipment fit inside with the rear seat folded flat. Voelker sees his hatchback in a new light: "My STI is kind of a Sport Utility Vehicle in comparison."
Of course interior quality and styling are minor considerations for either the STI or BRZ. Sandon spent lots of time driving the two cars over the same loops to explore the differences in their character. It doesn't take long to determine southeastern Michigan's roads favor the STI's more potent engine and more aggressive summer tires. Voelker still had fun in the BRZ, for which he credits the trifecta of "great chassis setup, the appropriate amount of power, and those low rolling resistance tires." That's right, the same tires that have been chastised by other drivers get praise here. Sandon goes so far as to say he thinks stickier tires would make the BRZ "downright boring" because they would no longer match the amount of power the engine produces.
As far as the rumored turbocharged BRZ goes, Sandon isn't sold on the prospect: "a sudden surge in power (once the turbo provides boost) would likely be more difficult to balance with a rear-wheel drive car." In Sandon's eyes the very balanced BRZ makes for a better track toy than his STI, but he prefers the STI for daily driving because it offers all-wheel drive for Michigan's snowy winters and the cargo capacity he needs to move bikes and video equipment. We'll be living with our BRZ as a daily driver for the remainder of our Four Seasons test, so our next move is likely choosing a set of winter tires with help from our friends at the Tire Rack to prepare for the possibility of an early snowfall. Be sure to check back next month to find out which snow tires we are testing and how they change the BRZ's demeanor." read the original article.


9/20 Why is it hard to find Imprezas or the coming Crosstrek, why aren't there more on car lots?
The answer is Subaru sells between 4500-8400 Imprezas each month (8545 was an Impreza record, set in May 2012), and there are so many models and dealers that no dealer gets enough and there is always a shortage.
How many Impreza and Crosstrek models and packages are there?
There are 27 Impreza models, various combinations of  4 door sedan and 5 door hatchback in 2.0i, Premium, Limited, and Sport trim, with manual or CVT transmission, and many Option Packages including combinations of moonroof, All weather Package, 17" wheels, and/or Navigation. And there are 7 colors. So 27 models x 7 colors = 189 possible Imprezas that a buyer might want.
Then add Crosstreks
to the assembly line in Gumna Japan and there are fewer and fewer of any one model. A Crosstrek is an Impreza 5 door with some body and mechanical upgrades, and 8.7" ground clearance.
There are 6 Crosstreks- Premium manual, Premium CVT, and Limited CVT - and there are 8 colors, for a total of 48 possible cars that a buyer might want and Subaru has to ship to dealers every month.
Add them all together and there are 237 Impreza variants to build each month, and that doesn't include individual options like rear bumper appliques, splash guards, security upgrades, fog lights, stereo upgrades, multiple cargo nets, side moldings and etc etc.  And with around 625 dealers asking for cars, no one dealer will get very many. Its possible but unlikely that Subaru will pare down the number of models to a manageable figure.

9/14  more on the Olympus Rally coming up next week, September 22-23 in Olympia, WA
"The Rally America National Championship season concludes with a bang with this year’s largest assembly of top national and international rally teams at the Olympus Rally on September 22-23rd in Olympia, WA. Over 70 teams will return to the gravel logging roads once used in the 1980′s World Rally Championship located just outside the Washington State capital and will extend into the picturesque Pacific Northwest peninsula.
All eyes will be on the much anticipated rematch between Ford, Subaru and Mitsubishi’s top rally drivers. The manufacturers previously met at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood last February in Salem, MO where Monster World Rally Team’s Ken Block from Park City, UT and Alex Gelsomino from Santa Clarita, CA won the event in their 2012 Ford Fiesta HFHV marginally besting Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins from Trefeglwys, England and Craig Drew from Forest of Dean, England....
Block and Gelsomino will once again face Subaru Rally Team USA’s Higgins and Drew who are expected to throw everything they’ve got at the Monster World Rally Team to avenge the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. After already locking up the 2012 Rally America National Championship, Higgins and Drew can focus solely on beating the Monster World Rally Team.“It’s great to be able to go to event without having to worry about points and looking forward to competing against Ken again,” commented Higgins, “After five weeks with no rain I think dust could be a major problem. I’m hoping for some rain in the coming week, otherwise the luck of the draw will have an even bigger meaning!
Ford and Subaru’s battle will be joined by the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team Mitsubishi EVO of Antoine L’Estage from St-Jean-sur-Richlieu, Quebec and longtime co-driver Nathalie Richard from Halifax, Nova Scotia. L’Estage and Richard actually tailed Block when he lead the 100 Acre Wood Rally and looked like the team that could beat Block until L’Estage suffered an untimely transmission failure that passed second place to Subaru.

As the top of the leaderboard duke it out, the Olympus Rally will ultimately decide the winners of the 2012 Super Production (SP) and 2012 Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) National Class Championships as well...." read this entire article, visit the official Olympus rally website 


9/1 - 2013 Impreza and WRX STI brochures now at dealers. Both are 20 pages and almost identical to the 2012 brochure photos and text.
The 2013 Impreza brochure has
all the exact photos taken in front of the Candle Cafe on the beach in Venice Beach, Ca., and the same various car and scenery photos. The inside rear cover with the colors has been changed.
The WRX STI brochure is also the same as the 2012, with the same photos. The double page photo on the inside cover and on page 1 is identical to the 2012, except the car has been edited to be gray instead of the discontinued Lightning Red used in the 2012 brochure. The text blurb on page 5 has been changed to one from automobilemag.com, replacing one from Popular Mechanics. The STI 5 door on the model description page #16 has also been changed to gray from the red that's not available this model year.


8/27 Subaru Rally September 21-23 in Olympia, Wa 
After a four year absence, the Olympus Rally, the sixth and final round of the 2012 Rally America National Championship, will be returning to Olympia and run on stage road near Shelton. Washington generally has great weather late summer-early fall. Visit the official rally website 

8/20 Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX, STI, and BRZ factory orders could take longer than in previous years. Subaru will be supplying 2013 Japanese built models that are in short supply for dealer inventory first before special orders. Some orders are showing up with November-December delivery dates, 3-4 months out. Though they could be filled sooner, this is longer than the app 2 month window of previous years.  Subaru will get you the car of course, and your dealer can always check for a car that's close to what you want either in stock or already scheduled for inventory if you don't want to wait.

8/15 all models can now be factory ordered including Crosstrek and WRX/STI. Orders of hard to get models like WRX, STI, Crosstrek, Impreza could take longer than in prior years as Subaru tries to manage inventory, balancing orders with dealer inventory.  Hopefully the wait won't be as long as BRZs, they're an especially long wait due to the small number of vehicles available. Hopefully the other models will arrive in 2-3-4 months, and with better Estimated Arrival Date even if only a 'month of' ETA. This is for fresh orders, it would be sooner if an acceptable model is already in the dealer's incoming system. Orders will now be taken from a dealers allocation rather than be added to it which could affect pricing

8/14 WRX and STI orders should be available Wednesday afternoon 8/15. Dealers can already check cars scheduled for September delivery

7/28 Subaru announces 2013 WRX, STI, and Impreza prices. Orders are not yet available
Destination raised $20 to to $770 (from $750)
WRX and STI prices are up $200. No colors or options announced, and no changes expected to any of the models. 2013 WRX, STI
MSRP including destination:
4 door WRX $26,565, Premium $29065, Limited $30,065.  5 door WRX $26,565, Premium $29,065, Limited $30,065.
4 door STI $35,065, Limited $38415. 5 door STI $37,065

Impreza price increases vary by model
MSRP prices including destination:
4 door: 2.0i (now includes bluetooth) $18665, CVT $19665. Premium (manual now includes all weather package) $20565, CVT (does not incl all weather pkg) $21,065, Limited $22765
5 door 2.0i $19,165, CVT $20,165,  Premium (manual now includes all weather package) $21,065, CVT (does not incl all weather pkg) $21,565, Limited $23,265
Sport Premium $21,565, CVT $22,565, Limited $23,765


6/28 Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team is in downtown LA for X Games 18 June 28th to July 1st.  The Puma Zombie Cat graphic is great.

5.28 2.0L turbo for next WRXs... its all about fuel economy on all the new models Subaru is planning
We recently confirmed that we won’t be seeing a turbocharged Subaru BRZ anytime soon; however, we now have a fairly good idea of what kind of power such a model will eventually bring. Subaru has dropped the first turbocharged variant of its 2.0-liter, FA-series flat-four engine—the naturally aspirated version of which powers the BRZ and its Toyota/Scion brethren—into the refreshed Japanese-market Legacy sedan and wagon.
The turbo FA20′s output numbers are impressive: 296 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. In the JDM Legacy, the engine is bolted to Subaru’s CVT, likely for fuel-economy reasons; we’d expect a turbo BRZ to offer a proper manual transmission and an auto similar or identical to the one it uses now....
Turbo BRZ uncertainty aside,  we’ll likely see this engine appear on our shores within the next year or two under the hood of the next-generation WRX and STI. We previously confirmed that the sporty models will be powered by a turbocharged iteration of the 2.0-liter FA motor, and that the STI’s engine will produce north of 300 hp. The new 2.0-liter turbo four will replace the 2.5-liter turbo in the current 265-hp WRX and 305-hp STI. Although the thought of a 296-hp WRX and an even-more-powerful STI sounds pretty good, chances are the WRX will make something less than that, while the STI will make a little more.
A big motivator for Subaru moving the WRX and STI to the smaller 2.0-liter turbo is, of course, fuel economy—the current 2.5-liter is thirsty. It goes without saying that more power and better efficiency for the next WRX and STI are good things. Now all we have to do is wait for the duo to arrive..." read the entire article


5/16 Importing JDM cars-
'... While he had owned some of the models most revered by enthusiasts, including soulful examples like the Subaru WRX and the BMW M3, not all the boxes on his wish list were yet checked. He dreamed of owning something exotic — nothing so readily available as, say, an Aston Martin.
Last year, at age 26, Mr. Collins finally landed that dream car: a 1985 Toyota Corolla. Not just any Corolla, though. His is a Japanese-market Corolla GTV, a 205-horsepower performance coupe that shares little with the generic front-drive sedans most American buyers associate with Toyota’s economy-car nameplate.

Mr. Collins is among a group of enthusiasts who covet Japanese cars configured just as they would be in a Tokyo showroom. His Corolla — in its native land, a Sprinter Levin — is equipped as home-market models were, down to the right-side steering wheel. He estimates there are fewer than two dozen such cars in the United States.
“A GTV is much more rare than having a Maserati, Ferrari or Lamborghini,” Mr. Collins said. “I know more people that have those, or Bentleys or Porsches.”
Owning a J.D.M. car demands commitment — an earlier burst of exposure waned with tightening enforcement of federal safety and emissions rules — yet there are rewards. And with the pool of cars eligible to enter the United States legally soon to include some enticing models, the J.D.M. following has the potential to grow.
Some enthusiasts go to great lengths, and often considerable expense, to find cars in Japan to import, even flouting the law to do so. Others take a similar American-market model and transform it into the Japanese equivalent part by part, even if the difference is apparent only to aficionados.
Part of the appeal that motivates these specialists is the allure of horsepower. “The engine is tuned differently, it has more power and it’s easier to upgrade than the U.S. model,” said Kirk Dunlap, who has owned four J.D.M. cars. He currently drives a special edition 1984 Toyota Sprinter Trueno with a factory “Panda Car” paint scheme. The black-and-white livery matches a car from “Initial D,” a popular Japanese animated feature and graphic novel in which a young driver becomes a street-racing champion through skills honed as a tofu delivery boy.
Although the Japanese-market engines are often smaller in displacement, they are typically higher revving. “They are way more aggressive, they put out way more horsepower, they take way more abuse,” said Paul Scott Jr., the owner of ECS Performance in Windsor Locks, Conn., who has built some half-dozen J.D.M. replicas.  It’s not only powertrain differences that collectors pay attention to. When Mr. Scott converted an American-spec 1997 Subaru Legacy into a limited-edition J.D.M. Legacy GTB, he moved the steering wheel and driver controls from the left side to the right. He also installed a thermostat-type climate-control system, a feature not offered in American Legacys until later years.
In this, Mr. Scott sees a hint of conspiracy. “I personally think they say, ‘This is our best stuff, we aren’t going to share it,’ ” he said.
It may be a bit less sinister than that. Differences in safety and exhaust-emissions standards between the United States and Japan mean that authentic J.D.M. cars can, for instance, use lighter window glass. In addition, the Japanese standards present fewer barriers to automakers wanting to turn out short runs of performance models.
“They are able to do very small batches of cars without having to recertify them the way we do here,” said Dominick Infante, a spokesman for Subaru of America.
Subaru is a popular marque for J.D.M. conversions, an offshoot of the brand’s success in rally racing and the devoted following for its hottest road models. In Japan, Mr. Infante said, factory STI versions of Impreza sedans, Legacy wagons and Forester crossovers have been produced.
While federal regulations create hurdles for enthusiasts who want to import cars that were intended for sale only in Japan, there are workarounds. Regulatory agencies make exceptions for cars over 25 years old, which is why people like Mr. Collins are now able to import mid-1980s cars...." read the entire article  

5/9- Impreza 2.0 or WRX...
"If you've ever driven the rock-hard, super-fast version of the Subaru Impreza, you know it's a car with great bones. In this hopped-up trim, the Impreza WRX is one of the most thrilling cars you can buy with four doors — and that includes much more expensive offerings like the BMW M3. The WRX is raw, exciting and total proof that this car's architecture is designed to withstand the brutal demands of a performance car.
The majority of Subaru buyers, though, don't choose the wild WRX and instead opt for the more sedate, efficient and affordable flavor — the regular ol' Impreza — which is what I've been driving for the past week.
The Impreza is a car with a cult following for its four-wheel traction and reputation for longevity. Lots of people who live in mountainous areas love it because the all-wheel drive system is perfect for navigating icy roads in the winter, but it gets much better gas mileage than, say, a Jeep Wrangler.
It's like a small, good-looking Jeep for practical people. The Impreza was totally redesigned for 2012, although it doesn't feel like a back-to-the-drawing-board kind of redesign. It's more an evolution of what the Impreza has long stood for, which is great traction and a solid driving feel.
It's tough to compare this car to anything else on the market because there's not much that competes with it directly. A typical front-wheel-drive sedan is going to get better gas mileage than the Impreza and probably come with a classier, roomier interior for the money. But it won't have all-wheel drive.
And there are plenty of big SUVs and crossovers that are available with all-wheel drive, but they generally get worse gas mileage and cost far more than the Impreza. Most would start over $30,000, compared with just $17,495 for a base Impreza.  That means if you want a small, efficient car that will make you feel confident in the snow and mud, this is pretty much your only option. Aside from the great traction on gravel, ice and mud, one of the Impreza's best features has traditionally been its fun driving feel. It was hard to see that in my test car, though, because Subaru opted to fit it with a continuously variable transmission that saps most of the excitement out of it.
Subaru is one of the few car companies to use a "boxer" engine layout, which is famously employed by Porsche and BMW, so the five-speed manual transmission would be a much better choice for drivers who want that German sports car feeling on the cheap. It's what I'd recommend. 
There's also a five-door hatchback version of the Impreza that adds to its versatility. With the hatchback, you can fold the back seats down to reveal a gigantic cargo area that's designed for carrying big, bulky things. Even with the back seats up, it comes with more storage room than you usually find in this class.  The clean, crisp styling is also an improvement over the outgoing Impreza.
Pricing starts at $17,495 for the basic 2.0i and ranges to $22,595 for the more luxurious Sport Limited model, which comes with leather seats, automatic climate control and the CVT automatic transmission. The much more exciting Impreza WRX starts at $25,595 which, for me at least, would be incredibly tempting." read the original article

4/24 update- Impreza, WRX and STI cut-off date extended one day- it was Monday April 23, now is Tuesday 4/24 at 4pm

4/20 2012 Impreza, WRX and STI sold order cut-off date is Monday April 23.  So get your order in quickly.

4/17 WRX with tractor treads? How about putting them on a BRZ...
Turn almost any car into a weather beast by replacing the tires with these treads by
American Track Truck in Michigan. This might be the slowest WRX around, but its sure to get you there in the snow or sand. According to their website, AmericanTT started making these in 2008 but I haven't seen one cruising around Seattle yet. If you're frustrated that your new all wheel drive WRX/STI has summer tires, or the BRZ is rear wheel drive, this might be the ultimate solution. No word on what it does to the fuel economy, but in this case if you have to ask, its not for you.   www.americantracktruck.com.
2002 WRX with tractor treads
From Jalopnik "This 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX is unique in that it comes with both street sneakers and snow shoes. Sure the tractor treads are of limited value if you don't live where they get more than a dusting of snow, or perhaps the Sahara desert, but they're easily removable according to the ad. In fact you could store either set of footwear in the trunk - and probably back seat, those things looking like they take up a lot of room - so you'd be prepared for any contingency. After all, isn't that what the Boy Scouts taught you to be?.."

2/3 Subaru rally, they win the first one...
"Defending 2011 Rally America National Champion David Higgins launched his 2012 title defense with Subaru Rally Team USA by achieving a decisive victory this past weekend at the Sno*Drift Rally. Higgins, driving a 5-door 2012 Subaru WRX STI rally car, dominated the rally leading from the start and winning 15 of the event's 24 competitive stages...
...The Sno*Drift Rally, round one of the six-event 2012 Rally America National Championship, challenged nearly 70 top rally teams with over 130 miles of snow and ice-covered roads in northern Michigan....  Higgins and Subaru Rally Team USA head next to the high-speed gravel roads of The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, Feb 24-25, in central Missouri." the entire press release  

1/8 STI review
"The third quarter for our long- term 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI started with a full physical in the form of a 15,000-mile service visit. In addition to the normal oil change and tire rotation, the dealership checked the electrical and cooling systems, tuned the engine and added fuel-injector cleaner and an air filter. It also checked on the Brembo brakes, which still had 90 percent of material remaining after nine months.
"Either these Brembo brakes hold up extremely well, or we're just not driving it hard enough," one editor said.
The summer softened up the interior plastics, which made less noise than in the winter months, when they tended to squeak a lot more. Their silence did leave more room for tire and wind noise to work its way into the cabin.
As refined as this car is compared with previous generations, it still ranks low on driving serenity. "The STI remains very raw," one editor noted. "There were times it sounded as if debris was falling off, and the racket this thing makes simply moving down the road is rather intrusive to passengers."
But that's not what most drivers care about with the 305-hp WRX STI. Enthusiasts like us want a snorting muffler, a gaudy wing and the lightning throttle response that the WRX STI provides. It burbles at idle with a solid bass note before working up to a high-pitched metallic wail near redline. It's an absolute terror on the road, too, shooting gaps wherever we point it. With a click of the SI-Drive control, the WRX STI goes from mild to wild, and fuel consumption seems to go from acceptable to "I can't believe we have to stop again."
The WRX STI has built quite a name for itself on the streets. Kids stop to admire, and older people curse the decibels while the pilot just smiles. The blue pearl paint gleams in the sun, striking a menacing silhouette in rear-view mirrors. People see the bugeye headlights and boy-racer wing and get out of the way immediately.
The WRX STI was solid mechanically, only requiring eight days out of service for an unidentified gouge in the front bumper. The return included a heavy wash and detail job, which almost made the body-shop visit worthwhile." the article






Baja, Bricklin, SVX, Loyale, 360, Brat etc and all other older models
and other older car related news, articles etc
2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
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11/26 about piston slap on older Subaru with the 2.5L engine
"I bought a 2003 Subaru Legacy SE sedan a little while back for my girlfriend. It has the “Phase 2″ EJ25 SOHC motor. Living in Michigan the AWD is nice, and it was a one owner car with documented service history and I got a good price. The car has 105,000 miles on it, and the previous owner had the head gaskets and timing belts replaced about 10k miles ago by the Subaru dealer.
I have no complaints other than the car really ticks on cold start, and does so until it warms up when it the sound goes away. The car doesn’t seem to burn any oil. Based on what I’ve seen online (youtube video and forums) this vintage Subaru is notorious for piston slap and its supposedly nothing to worry about, although Subaru apparently will replace the two noisy pistons for persistent customers. At this point the car was cheap and runs well and I have no desire to tear it down just to replace pistons, but want to know its reliable for my girlfriend. So what are your thoughts on Subaru piston slap: ticking boxer bomb, or nature of the flat-four beast?
Sajeev answers: Your letter reminds me why I have a love-hate relationship with Subies.  Some are quirky, illegally fun, loyal friends while others, uh, eat head gaskets, have piston slap and make the underhood’s labor intensive real estate borderline unbearable. There’s a reason why Toyota owns Subaru and not the other way around.  But let’s be clear on one thing: piston slap is just a terrible annoyance, not a serious concern for any automobile owner. It’s much like the TTAC column of the same name, son.
Now this website does a fair job assessing the situation. Piston slap is an unfortunate by-product of a manufacturer that picked the wrong piston rings for a particular motor. Your research is valid, you have very little to worry about.  It will suck on re-sale, if you sell it on your own to an unsympathetic buying public on craigslist.  But keep up with the maintenance, don’t thrash it and I predict it will last for another 50-100,000 miles.  If that’s what you really want." read the original article

9/3 1970 Subaru 360 van for sale on Ebay. The seller, in Spokane, Wa., says it has been completely restored, and it does look good in the photos. The auction ends Monday, Labor Day 9/3 at 2:50pm.  The 360 is like a golf cart, not good for driving on busy roads, ie no power and you sure don't want to have an accident in it. But its a must-have for a Subaru collector. How much would you pay for a cute little toy car that will be a hit at all the car shows and Subaru events? Currently at $7500 $9000 at 12:15pm  $10500 with 5 minutes left to bid. The bidding reached $11300 but the reserve wasn't met and the car was unsold.  Check it out

8/29 The beater SVX, Merkur and Cadillac were on featured Top Gear last night (8/28). The SVX got less time than the other models and was sold off at a bargain price of $200. Overall it was a typically entertaining episode, finished off with a double-decker demolition derby

8/26 check out the SVX, Allante, and XR4ti on Top Gear this Tuesday 8/28. Yes I remember when these cars were new and hot. The very Japanese exotic SVX which Subaru brought to market with impeccably bad timing and an inflated price, the hardtop convertible CadillacAllante/Buick Reatta with now classic 1980s and typical GM mechanical problems, and Ford's sporty German Merkur  XR4Ti, whose larger sibling, the Scorpio (both sold at Mercury dealers), had a cushy ride and even power reclining rear seats.
On Top Gear " Are there cars that were sales flops because they were simply too far ahead of their time or “misunderestimated”? Our hosts think so, and offer up three rides that they think deserve a second shot at sales success.
Rut selects the quirky and even now futuristic-looking Subaru SVX, Tanner the unpronounceable-by-Americans Merkur XR4Ti, known elsewhere as the Sierra, and Adam one of the fastest depreciating cars in the world, the Cadillac Allanté..." read the entire article about the episode, and the Top Gear website 

7/30 1969 Subaru 360 painted like a yellow cab. see it Saturday, Aug. 18, 10am-1 pm, Laguna Grande Park, 1249 Canyon Del Rey Blvd. Seaside, Calif.
More than 50 oddball cars participating in Hagerty’s Tour of LeMons in northern California on August 18 will be led by a 1970 Subaru 360 Deluxe sedan owned by Mindy Kindelberger of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Kindelberger won the opportunity after receiving more than 30 percent of votes in Hagerty’s second annual Search for America’s Sweetest LeMon contest. She and her Subaru, dubbed “Lil Cab,” will lead the tour as it departs Laguna Grande Park in Seaside, Calif., at 10 a.m.
“Everyone in our hometown of Lake Havasu knows me for my car. People honk, take pictures and wave to me all the time,” Kindelberger says. “My husband and I both love collecting cars, especially the oddballs, which are the ones that always get the most attention.”
subaru 360 taxi
Hagerty, the world’s leading insurer of classic cars, held the contest to find America’s favorite eccentric automobile. Each owners of a unique vehicle submitted photos of the car and a brief description of why it deserved to win. The top 10 candidates were posted for public vote on Hagerty.com, with the winner receiving an all-expense-paid trip to Hagerty’s Tour of LeMons.
The Tour of LeMons gives owners and enthusiasts a chance to enjoy lesser-celebrated vehicles as a counterpoint to the popular and prestigious automotive events that make up Monterey Classic Car Week every August.  “Regardless of vehicle type, the passion for automobiles is the one thing that ties all classic car enthusiasts together,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “The Tour of LeMons is a way to celebrate the unique cars that otherwise would not typically be honored.”  the original article


1/15 Searching for Japanese 4wd project cars.
Sure, the Galant VR4 is hard to find and barely rolling examples of the XT are around for cheap, and there's the Mazda 323 (I did forget about that one) and the Civic, but did there's also the Celica and Camry All-tracs and long-lasting Tercel wagon. On an American car note, does anyone else remember, or care, that the Ford Tempo was available with awd? 

"These days, it's no big deal to walk into your local car dealership and drive out in a shiny new car with a reliable, quiet four-wheel-drive system that lets you navigate those icy mall parking lots with ease. Where's the fun in that?
Back in the late 1980s, when Mazda 323 GTXs and Honda Civic 4WD Wagovans were spitting out drivetrain components on muddy fire roads and beer-bottle-strewn construction sites across the land, real men knew that nothing said "driving enjoyment" like a 19-mile trudge back to civilization after your Japanese AWD machine proved somewhat less sturdy than your buddy's AMC Eagle.Now that I've moved to Denver from Northern California, I've been shopping for something old, Japanese and all wheel drive as my winter driver--but it has to be cheap. And cool....
Remember how exciting WRC Group A was back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when Mitsubishi Galant VR-4s were out there proving that not all Mitsus were as boring as the Dodge Colt? Only a few thousand VR-4s were sold in the United States as part of the homologation effort, and—to judge by the expletive-laden tirades one hears from single-interest Mitsubishi zealots in online car forums—they are nearly impossible to find at any reasonable price today...
Racing provenance is all right, as far as it goes, but the best Japanese cars of the late-1980s/early-1990s were really all about weird gadgets and design that looked like something from hallucinatory science-fiction comic books. The Galant VR-4 was quite a car and sufficiently flaky to qualify as a true Hell Project, but Mitsubishi had turned its back on the incomprehensible digital instruments and Mars Base interior layout that made the Cordia and the Tredia such lovable puzzlers back in the day.
Subaru, however, stayed true to the futuristic program with its Alcyone line, taking advantage of the shape of its boxer engines to create a vehicle with all of the most confusing best elements of the Triumph TR7, the Toyota MR2 and the Space Battleship Yamato. Those who wish to add a Subaru XT—as the North American Alcyone was called—face a dilemma from the outset: Do you get the XT6, with its heavy and troublesome powerful boxer-six, or do you go for the XT Turbo, with its Delysidic instrument cluster.
In this case, we've decided that the XT Turbo is just too simple, even with the amazing cockpit, and we've dredged the Lake of Fire for this pair of 1988 Subaru XT6s (go here if the listing disappears) in California's Gold Country for a just-barely-over-scrap-price of $850.
Yes, my friends, that's two reasonably complete-looking XT6s in a nonrusty region for a mere $425 apiece! The seller had planned to make a 24 Hours of Le Mons car out of them, but "decided to go Mustang instead" (and when I, in my role as Chief Justice of the Le Mons Supreme Court, find out which team ditched an XT6 racer in favor of a so-boring-I-can't-even-type-its-name-again Ford . . well, it won't be pretty).
But, hey, making a race car out of these cars would be too easy! You'll want to restore the least horrible nicer of the two to showroom condition and then drive it year-round. Hey, how hard would it be to swap the big EZ36 out of the current Outback into that cramped engine compartment? And while you're at it, you might as well transfer that digital instrument cluster from the XT Turbo to your XT6, finding some way to make the loony bar-graph tach display correctly with two additional cylinders. As for XT interior parts, you'll develop some long-lasting friendships with shut-in Subaru parts hoarders interesting Subaru aficionados around the country as you search for missing bits for your car." the entire article by Murilee Martin



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Subaru Hybrids and Concept cars

2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
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12/8 Subaru concept law enforcement drone wins the LA auto show design challenge
"Part of the festivities that encompass the LA Auto Show is the annual LA Design Challenge. This year's winner was the Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept, or SHARC. It envisioned automated, zero-emission highway patrolling. The 2012 edition of the challenge was to envision the future of highway patrol in the year 2025. The goal was to conceptualize a vehicle that would account for the needs of "dynamic urban environments." In addition to Subaru's participation in the contest BMW, General Motors, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all took part in the challenge.
The SHARC is essentially a law enforcement land-drone. It is entirely automated and runs on renewable energy. Subaru envisioned a future where the Hawaiian Islands are connected to each other by a large highway system. Such an expansive area would require considerable manpower to patrol. The concept of an autonomous patrol vehicle would eliminate the need for a good number of full-time personnel.
Given the proliferation of UAVs and the ongoing development of autonomous cars, this notion of an automated patrol vehicle could be a reality in years to come. For this vision of the future, Subaru was awarded as the 2012 LA Design Challenger winner...." read the entire article with many more photos
Subaru winning entry at LA design competition, 2012 LA auto show
Subaru's
Highway Automated Response Concept winning entry at the 2012 LA auto show design competition


12/5 about a diesel Subaru in the US - is it coming was one of the questions chosen for the 2014 Forester Q&A online session with SoA's Michael McHale and Dominck Infante at the LA auto show
I think Mr. Infante gave an honest answer, which is 'maybe'- ie no one has said "No it will never happen", and no one has said yes its in the works.
A diesel CVT would sell in the US but its not an easy question, and its not up to SoA alone- mothership FHI would have to decide.
The good news is the new Forester turbo's high-torque CVT could be the one to use, which means a diesel CVT is one step closer.

SoA is a cautious company and diesel is a risk- would it sell at $30-32000 (that's a wild guess on my part)?
Is there enough demand to push costs down on the engine?
Other models are in need of attention (SoA, say... how about a diesel replacement for the Tribeca?)
The real question facing SoA is do they really need a diesel with the hybrid around the corner.  I think they're going to wait and see how the hybrid does.
And its really important to remember that Toyota is the hybrid sales king and owns a chunk of FHI, and they don't do a diesel here in the US.
Its interesting to note that in the
they chose a question about a possible diesel in the distant future instead of one about what model the long-promised hybrid will arrive in. Now that would have been an answer many people are waiting to hear - will it be an Impreza ? There were thoughts it would be a 2014 Forester but that no longer seems to be a valid rumor. Or will it be a new, un-named model?


2/27 Diesel automatic - an Outback diesel CVT is going to be available next year in Australia. Now that a diesel CVT is available, will the US get one or will the cost of the diesel engine and higher US diesel fuel prices be a deterrent?
from Australia: "Subaru will start to fill a significant hole in its model lineup when it launches an automatic version of the turbo-diesel Outback soft-roader in 12 months. And further down the track the company expects to add auto-diesel Forester and XV models to its SUV range. However, they won’t arrive before 2014. Passenger car models with diesel would be further out than SUVs.
The auto in the Outback will be a high-torque version of the Lineartronic CVT which is gradually spreading through the Subaru range, replacing traditional torque converter autos.
“Next year at this time we’ll have an Outback CVT diesel on sale,” Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior confirmed at last week’s Impreza launch. “We sell about 70 Outback diesels per month and once we add the auto we will double that quite convincingly,” he said.  He said auto was more crucial to boosting sales of the Outback, rather than the Forester, both of which offer the same 350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel boxer/six-speed manual alongside petrol manual/auto options in the range. “We take Outback to a lot of field days and motor shows and the message from people is ‘once it has an auto we are interested’,” Senior said.
“The Forester diesel is a little different. We sell around 180-200 per month with the manual and we don’t get the same feedback with the Forester in terms of an auto as we do with the Outback.” The new generation Forester is due next January, and Senior indicated it probably wouldn’t have a diesel at launch, and when it does arrive it won’t initially be with an auto.
He said that was simply due to engineering projects taking their place in a bulging Subaru development schedule. Intriguingly, Senior said the arrival of a high-torque Lineartronic in Outback indicated its potential suitability for high-performance models such as the next generation WRX and STi due in 2014. “If you’re able to put that sort of torque through a CVT it then opens up the possibilities of it being in our more performance variants.  I think that’s the future direction for us.”  the article
 


1/19 an electric Forester cruises around Bozeman, Montana
"Folks puttering around Main Street the past week or so may have noticed a particular Subaru Forester rolling around the past couple weeks.
It’s decorated with decals from the Wild Joe’s (coffee shop), lacks a tailpipe and runs on electricity.
The car is the recently completed pet project of Ron Gompertz, owner of Wild Joe’s. It became roadworthy late last year and in the last couple weeks was pressed into service as a grocery vehicle for the local coffee shop.
Gompertz got the car about six months after starting Eco Auto, a boutique electric car dealership that closed in 2008 after about two years in business. Seemingly everyone that stopped by the dealership would ask how far the small cars would go and whether the vehicles were safe.
So he decided to convert a Subaru — what some consider the quintessential Bozeman car — into an electric vehicle.
“I thought of it as a Trojan horse,” Gompertz said.
Building the Trojan horse proved to be a challenge, as it took about three years of waiting for the car to go from an idea to a reality.
After he bought the Subaru Forester from a Denver dealership at a corporate rate, Gompertz drove the sedan to Bozeman. It went straight to Intensive Car, where he had the engine, gas tank, air conditioning and exhaust system pulled out. All the parts were boxed up and later sold for about $2,500.
The car was then trailered across town to Autopilot, where the car was fitted with an aluminum mounting for the soon-to-be installed electric engine. It waited around in a garage for about six months before the next step in the process — actually converting the car to an electric vehicle.
It was trailered over to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to the garage of a man that converted gas-powered vehicles into electric hot rods, Gompertz said.
There it sat for the better part of about three years while the battery technology improved to where the lithium batteries were efficient and cheap enough to install into the car, a job done by a Spokane, Wash.-based Patriotic Motors. The car holds 100 batteries that give the engine about 320 volts, with a range of around 60 miles.The electric car dealership closed down before the car could be completed, however (the heating system was finished last week). But Gompertz is using the car as a grocery buggy and commuter vehicle, ferrying groceries from Town & Country to Wild Joe’s and going from home to work each day.
“It’s really the ultimate science project,” Gompertz said." read the article 



SUBARU FUEL ECONOMY, EPA AND CAFE' NEWS  
2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
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12/5 about a diesel Subaru in the US - is it coming was one of the questions chosen for the 2014 Forester Q&A online session with SoA's Michael McHale and Dominck Infante at the LA auto show
I think Mr. Infante gave an honest answer, which is 'maybe'- ie no one has said "No it will never happen", and no one has said yes its in the works.
A diesel CVT would sell in the US but its not an easy question, and its not up to SoA alone- mothership FHI would have to decide.
The good news is the new Forester turbo's high-torque CVT could be the one to use, which means a diesel CVT is one step closer.

SoA is a cautious company and diesel is a risk- would it sell at $30-32000 (that's a wild guess on my part)?
Is there enough demand to push costs down on the engine?
Other models are in need of attention (SoA, say... how about a diesel replacement for the Tribeca?)
The real question facing SoA is do they really need a diesel with the hybrid around the corner.  I think they're going to wait and see how the hybrid does.
And its really important to remember that Toyota is the hybrid sales king and owns a chunk of FHI, and they don't do a diesel here in the US.
Its interesting to note that in the
they chose a question about a possible diesel in the distant future instead of one about what model the long-promised hybrid will arrive in. Now that would have been an answer many people are waiting to hear - will it be an Impreza ? There were thoughts it would be a 2014 Forester but that no longer seems to be a valid rumor. Or will it be a new, un-named model?


11/3 oops- Hyundai and Kia get caught with their hand in the fuel economy race cookie jar misstating their fuel economy ratings. And you thought it was just your driving. They will refund the the difference between the real and overstated economy ratings to owners
"EPA has announced that Hyundai and Kia will lower their fuel economy (MPG) estimates for the majority of their model year 2012 and 2013 vehicle models as the result of an EPA investigation of test data. Cars currently on dealer lots will be re-labeled by the auto company with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates. The mileage on most vehicle labels will be reduced by 1 to 2 MPG, and the largest adjustment will be 6 MPG highway for the Kia Soul. Here is the EPA chart http://www.epa.gov/fueleconomy/labelchange.htm
"The mileage on most labels will be reduced by 1 to 2 miles per gallon, with the largest adjustment being a 6-mpg highway reduction for one version of the Kia Soul, the EPA said. "The findings were a blow to the two carmakers who have centered their marketing campaigns on superior fuel economy. About 900,000, or 35 percent, of the cars sold in the United States through October 31 were affected by the changes in addition to 172,000 cars sold in Canada, Hyundai and Kia said in joint statement on Friday. 
"Given the importance of fuel efficiency for all us, we are extremely sorry for these errors," said John Krafcik, head of Hyundai Motor America. "When we say to Hyundai owners, 'We've got your back,' that's an assurance we don't take lightly.
The South Korean automakers said the changes will result in the 2012 Hyundai-Kia fleet fuel economy level being reduced by an average of 3 percent, to 26 mpg from 27 mpg.
Customers will receive a debit card that will reimburse them for the difference in the EPA fuel economy rating, based on the fuel price in their area and their miles driven. An extra 15 percent to the amount will be added to acknowledge the inconvenience and owners will be able to refresh their cards for as long as they own their vehicles, the companies said." read the entire article


10/27 fuel economy standards in 2025, and why changes and redesigns are viewed through the gas tank.
By 2016 model the fuel efficiency standard is 34.1 miles which is why Subaru is using CVTs, and 2.0L engines. This most going to affect performance cars like the 2.5L WRXs and STIs that will be designed around smaller engines.
But last August 28 (2012) the EPA announced regulations requiring new models for 2025 to have an average fuel economy rating of 54.5 miles per gallon.  These new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) rules cover models released from 2017 through 2025, and increase the average MPG each year. Cars that don’t meet the standard in a particular year are subject to the “Gas Guzzler” tax.

5/29 diesel CVT in the next Outback set for Australia
"Subaru will take the next step in its dynamic diesel story by with the introduction of its first automatic transmission diesel variant.

The Outback 2.0 diesel with Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) will build on the significant success of the manual diesel variants of Outback and Forester.
It will be the first time Subaru has offered an automatic diesel in Australia.
Nick Senior, Subaru Australia Managing Director, said: “Diesel Foresters and Outbacks represent up to 20 per cent of sales of those models, so the addition of the diesel auto Outback for Model Year 2013 is significant news for Subaru. “We know there’s massive pent up demand for auto diesels, particularly in rural and regional areas, so it’s a great opportunity for us to meet the needs of those customers. “The CVT transmissions in our petrol cars are a huge hit, typified by new XV and Impreza, so we can only see good things for Outback auto diesel.”
Mr Senior said engineers from Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) have been working with Subaru Australia engineers.
“FHI engineers have just returned to Japan after extensive testing of the pending Outback diesel CVT.  “We’re very excited and we suggest customers pre-order with dealers to ensure early delivery.” Pricing and specification are yet to be announced.  Outback 2.0 diesel with CVT is expected to be on sale in quarter one of 2013." the original article

3/1 All Foresters and Imprezas to have PZEV emissions starting with April 2012 production. No Fed spec Impreza or Forester orders will be accepted after March 1st. Outback and Legacy will continue to be available with both specs, available depending on where you live. PZEV currently is MSRP $300. 
About PZEV: PZEV is an acronym for Partial Zero Emission Vehicle and used to be known as California Spec or Cal Spec.  Impreza, Forester, Outback and Legacy 4 cylinders (non turbo) have been available in either Fed or PZEV emissions for many years.
PZEV cars are less polluting,  with tune-up specs designed for faster engine warm-up, and revised more effective catalytic converters and air flow systems resulting in cleaner exhaust.
It has been required in some of the states with strongest Subaru sales, the list currently includes CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OR, RI, PA, VT, WA.. PZEV emissions currently adds $300 to the MSRP, no word on if this will change now that all Impreza and Foresters will have it.

1/28  California to require ultra-clean burning cars by 2018.  More than the coming fuel economy standards, this means an focus on non-gas cars.
"California, long a national leader in cutting auto pollution, pushed the envelope further Friday as state regulators approved rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and put significantly more pollution-free vehicles on the road in coming years.
The package of Air Resources Board regulations would require auto manufacturers to offer more zero- or very low-emission cars such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles in California starting with model year 2018. By 2025, one in seven new autos sold in California, or roughly 1.4 million, must be ultra-clean, moving what is now a driving novelty into the mainstream.
The board also strengthened future emission standards for all new cars, making them the toughest in the nation. The rules are intended by 2025 to slash smog-forming pollutants from new vehicles by 75 percent and reduce by a third their emissions that contribute to global warming. "Today's vote … represents a new chapter for clean cars in California and in the nation as a whole," said Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols.
Auto manufacturers are uneasy with some of the provisions but generally support the package, which took three years to develop. "We know the board wants to push the automakers," said Mike Love, national regulatory affairs manager for Toyota Motor Sales. "We said we're willing to go along with you and do our best."
The requirements are expected to drive up car prices. The board staff predicts that the advanced technologies needed to meet the new standards will add $1,900 to the price of a new car in 2025. But that would be more than offset by $6,000 in estimated fuel savings over the life of the vehicle, according to the board's staff...
.. Nichols said she has seen "a real change in attitudes on the part of auto companies that have seen the handwriting on the wall.... The reality is that companies see the future is going to be in electric drivetrain vehicles. They're moving there as fast they can." But automakers do still have concerns, particularly whether consumers will buy the ultra-clean cars.
"Automakers are mandated to build products that consumers are not mandated to buy," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which includes Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co...
A zero-emission mandate is not new in California. It dates from 1990 but was progressively watered down over the years. The state's ambitious goals to slash its greenhouse gas production renewed focus on the role that super clean cars could play. "The steady drumbeat of the need to get off the dependence on petroleum is really what is driving this," Nichols said. "It's taken longer than we've hoped."
Starting with model year 2015, automakers will have to meet tougher standards for smog-forming emissions and, in 2017, greater limits on pollutants that contribute to global warming.
By 2025, the standards are designed to reduce the average smog-forming emissions of new cars and light trucks by 75% compared with those sold today.....
"I hope the oil industry will get on board rather than dragging its feet," said board member Hector De La Torre." read the entire article 




SUBARU SAFETY,  CRASH TESTS, AND RECALLS 
2012 calendar year news
click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content
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12/22 IIHS crash test give the new Top Safety Pick+ rating to the 2013 Legacy and Outback built after August 2012, and 11 other cars.
Its interesting that Camry and Prius don't make the new Top Safety Pick+ grade, but the Suzuki Kizashi does though Suzuki announced recently that is pulling out of the US market.

"IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor based on performance in a moderate overlap frontal crash, small overlap frontal crash, side impact and rollover, plus evaluations of seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.
To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick+ award, vehicles must earn good ratings for occupant protection in at least 4 of 5 evaluations and no less than acceptable in the fifth test. To qualify for the 2013 Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn good ratings in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their rating in the small overlap frontal test.

"To reward 2013 models with superior crash protection, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is awarding the new Top Safety Pick+ accolade to 13 cars. All earn good or acceptable ratings in the new IIHS small overlap test as well as top marks in other IIHS evaluations.
Winners include the Acura TL; Dodge Avenger and its twin, the Chrysler 200 4-door; Ford Fusion; Honda Accord 2-door; Honda Accord 4-door; Kia Optima; Nissan Altima 4-door; Subaru Legacy and its twin, the Subaru Outback; Suzuki Kizashi; Volkswagen Passat and Volvo S60. The Acura TL and Volvo S60 are midsize luxury cars. The other models are midsize moderately priced cars.
"Of the 29 models evaluated so far in our small overlap frontal crash test, these 13 cars offer the highest level of all-around crash protection," says Adrian Lund, IIHS president. "We're pleased to recognize them with our new Top Safety Pick+ award for 2013."
...For 2013, 117 additional vehicles earn Top Safety Pick. To qualify for Top Safety Pick vehicles must have good ratings for occupant protection in the moderate overlap frontal test, side impact, rollover and rear tests, regardless of their small overlap rating.
"Models that earn Top Safety Pick also offer outstanding protection in many crashes," Lund says. "These vehicles are much safer choices than most vehicles on the market just five years ago."
IIHS introduced the small overlap test in 2012 to further improve occupant protection in frontal crashes. Luxury/near luxury midsize cars were the first group of vehicles evaluated, followed by midsize moderately priced cars. IIHS will announce additional Top Safety Pick+ winners as it continues to test models. Results for small SUVs are expected in the spring.
The small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a car's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A Hybrid III dummy representing a 50th percentile male is belted in the driver seat." the complete list of Top Safety Picks

11/10 Winter tires- are you getting new wheels or tires? Its illegal to disable a required safety device like an airbag, seatbelt, or tire pressure monitors. If your car came with tire pressure monitors, they're required and the tire dealer has to install them when putting new wheels or tires on the car
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), clarified provision 49 U.S.C. 30122(b) within the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010. 
The provision exactly states:  "A manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business may not knowingly make inoperative any part of a device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard...."
In other words, if your car came with tire pressure monitors, the tire dealer is required to install them when putting new wheels or tires on the car.



4/30 Congress passes new or updated regulations, and studies for future ones,  including standards for Event Data Recorders (EDRs);  brake override systems;  pedal  placement;  electronic components;  pushbutton start systems;  childseat LATCH systems; entertainment systems; rear seatbelt reminders;  child seat crash standards; unattended occupant warning systems.  Subaru is ahead of the curve on many of these features- they are installing brake override systems and event data recorders in new models.
Here is a very brief summary...
> The 112th Congress, 2nd session. March 14, 2012. Bill # S 1813. "An Act To reauthorize Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, and for other purposes
Subtitle D--Vehicle Electronics and Safety Standards..."
Sec. 31402. Vehicle stopping distance and brake override standard
... mitigates unintended acceleration...
Sec. 31403. Pedal placement standard. ... consider a safety standard that would mitigate potential obstruction of pedal movement in passenger motor vehicles,
Sec. 31404. Electronic systems performance standard .consider a safety standard that requires electronic systems to meet minimum performance requirements including the interaction of electronic components; security needs to prevent unauthorized access; and the effect of surrounding environments on those electronic systems.
Sec. 31405. Pushbutton ignition systems standard...  consider standard for pushbutton ignition systems that establishes a standardized operation, including for drivers unfamiliar with such systems, and in an emergency situation...
SEC. 31406. Event data recorders (EDR). Subarus already have these. Require beginning with model year 2015, an
event data recorder to store data covering a reasonable time before, during, and after a crash or airbag deployment, including a rollover ... data stored on such event data recorders should be accessible with commercially available equipment...
(e) ... require the owner’s manual to disclose and explain that the vehicle is equipped with such a data recorder
.  Data is the property of the owner.. and may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner unless a court authorizes it or the owner consents to it for the purpose of studying, diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle etc
Sec. 31407. Prohibition on electronic visual entertainment in driver’s view. ...  prohibit displaying TV, movies, video games etc to the driver while driving...
Sec. 31501. Child safety seats. ... establish front and side crash protection requirements for child restraint systems for children weighing more than 65 pounds.
Sec. 31502. Child restraint anchorage systems. Improve the visibility and access of lower anchors and tethers
Sec. 31503. Rear seat belt reminders...  to warn when rear seat belts are not being used
Sec. 31504. Unattended passenger reminders ...research into warning that a child or other unattended passenger remains in a rear seat after the motor is disengaged.
Here's a link to the complete text with full details

3/11 safety-  advanced driver assistance technology is coming.
Subaru Eyesight is an advanced, computerized, driver assistance system with multiple functions that will be available on some 2013 Outback and Legacy models.  The Eyesight system
 uses 2 small, forward facing cameras on either side of the rear view mirror to create an image of the road immediately ahead of the car.
> It warns you if the car is wandering out of the lane (lane departure warning).
> It
if it detects an object in front the car, it helps stop the car by activating the brakes or increasing brake pressure, and uses engine management to reduce RPMs and lower the speed.
> It has smart Adaptive Cruise Control that helps maintain a set distance from the car in front.
> It lets you know if, when stopped at a traffic light for example, the car in front has started moving.


3/2 unintended acceleration...
" Automakers Blame Drivers, But Settle Unintended Acceleration Cases
. Two recent settlements in Unintended Acceleration (UA) cases remind us that while Toyota has sucked all the oxygen in the room over this defect, other automakers’ products equipped with electronic throttle controls are also getting their share of complaints, causing their share of injury and property damage and winding up in civil court.
In the last month, Thomas J. Murray & Associates, a law firm based in Sandusky, Ohio, reached confidential settlements against Kia Motors America and Subaru for seriously injured plaintiffs who claimed that their vehicles suffered an unintended acceleration event.
The first case involved Mary McDaniels, a visiting nurse from Norton, Ohio, who was returning to the office after seeing a patient, when the throttle of her 2006 KIA Amanti suddenly opened, as she crept along in stop-and-go traffic. With vehicles in front of her and oncoming traffic directly to her left, McDaniels chose to steer her rapidly accelerating sedan off the road.
... The second case, against Subaru America, settled well before trial, but not before the plaintiffs were able to conduct extensive discovery. On December 16, 2008, Cheryl Schmidt of Rockland County, New York, was at the wheel of a 2009 Subaru Forester, a dealership loaner vehicle, when it experienced an unintended acceleration. Schmidt was entering a parking area on the campus of the State University of New York, the vehicle  accelerated and did not respond to braking. The Subaru crashed through the brick façade of the library. Although Schmidt was restrained, she broke her back in the crash. A sculptor and artist of large works, Schmidt has been unable to continue her career as an artist due to chronic pain.
Lawyers from the Murray firm found numerous UA complaints in NHTSA’s data. In addition, the lawyers located one consumer who complained to the dealership of two UA events in his 2009 Forester. Murray lawyers also found that Subaru’s ETC is functionally identical to the Toyota system."...  the entire article

2/21 Is it  'ooo that new car smell' or 'eww that new car smell...'
'... the Ecology Center released its fourth consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars at HealthyStuff.org, finding the Honda Civic at the top of this year's list, and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport at the bottom. Over 200 of the most popular 2011- and 2012-model vehicles were tested for chemicals that off-gas from parts such as the steering wheel, dashboard, armrests and seats. These chemicals contribute to "new car smell" and a variety of acute and long-term health concerns. Since the average American spends more than 1.5 hours in a car every day, toxic chemical exposure inside vehicles can be a major source of indoor air pollution... Our testing is intended to expose those dangers and encourage manufacturers to use safer alternatives." read the entire article
How do Subarus fare? 2011s were rated Low to Medium, and none were High.  The 2011 Impreza and Tribeca were rated Low, while the 2011 Outback, Forester, and Legacy were rated Medium.  Check out all the Subaru ratings


2/15 recall- 2012 Outbacks and Legacys for side airbags that might not deploy.
A total of 387 new 2012 Outbacks and Legacys - that's 381 cars in the US and 6 in Canada - have been produced with one or both side curtain airbags that may not inflate during a side impact collision.  The recall calls for replacing the defective air bags, and dealers will know which ones to replace on a car. Recall #WVZ-36.
NHTSA says "These vehicles may be equipped with side curtain airbags that contain an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator component used, resulting in insufficient output of compressed gas," said NHTSA in its recalls summary of the problem. "The side curtain airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury."
Subaru told the federal safety agency that it has not received a technical report of the problem from any market, including the U.S. Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries received an initial report of the problem through Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. from component supplier Takata U.S.A. that the side curtain airbags had not deployed during their sampling inspection. Letters to owners will be mailed in February.
The recalls has already affected more than 2,700 Toyota, Honda, Subaru and Nissan vehicles, but that number could grow if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines that more automakers used similar defective parts. All four companies with recalled vehicles told NHTSA that the Americas unit of Swedish safety parts maker Autoliv Inc. made the propellant for the side air bags...

2/7 a first car- advice for choosing a teenager's first car 'Safety, dependability, purchase price and body repair cost are the top four priorities.
Your head and your heart appear to be in alignment with what matters most with a teenage driver, and we hope your teen driver is on the same page. Rather than steer you toward one particular vehicle, we will suggest options that are safe and dependable and let you decide what is the appropriate amount to spend based on your finances.
First, size matters in safety, so we recommend at least a compact-size vehicle or a midsize model. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that small vehicles have higher death rates than larger ones, which benefit from their greater size and weight in collisions. You should also check IIHS' list of 2012 vehicles it has named as Top Safety Picks for receiving the highest scores in four types of safety tests. More than 100 vehicles are on this year's list, including some moderately priced (by today's standards) compact and midsize cars and SUVs, such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox, Ford Focus and Fusion, Honda Civic and Accord, and Hyundai Sonata and Tucson, among others. J.D. Power and Associates' Vehicle Dependability Study should be another stop on your search. This study measures problems on 3-year-old vehicles and among the top performers in 2011 were the Toyota Matrix and Prius, Hyundai Elantra, the Fusion, the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Forester — all of which would be worth considering. As far as body repair cost, avoiding luxury and exotic brands should help keep costs down, but the biggest wildcard in insurance is the age and driving record of your teenager...." the original article 


1/18 safety-  more sophisticated and newer electronics means NHTSA needs to increase its focus in that direction. Also recommends black boxes (EDR) to record data. The  2012 Impreza has one.
"A branch of the National Academy of Sciences reported Wednesday that federal safety regulators lack the expertise to monitor vehicles with increasingly sophisticated electronics.

In a widely anticipated study, the group called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to add technical help, refine its investigative techniques and push for automakers to install “black boxes” that record data in car crashes.
It also recommended that the federal agency form an advisory panel of specialists who can assist both in regulatory reviews and specific vehicle investigations.
With electronics systems becoming more complex, the agency needs to “gain a stronger understanding” of both the hardware and computer software that automakers are installing in their latest models, the group said.
The National Academy of Sciences was asked to review procedures at N.H.T.S.A. after the agency’s investigation of unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles and a possible link to electronic-control systems.
The Japanese automaker recalled more than eight million vehicles worldwide in 2009 and 2010 to fix sticky accelerator pedals or replace faulty floor mats that Toyota had claimed could cause unintended acceleration. In a statement, the safety agency said it had “already taken steps to strengthen its expertise in electronic control systems,” but added that it would review the recommendations by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences to do more.
The agency said it would “continue to evaluate and improve every aspect of its work to keep the driving public safe, including research to assess potential safety concerns and help ensure the reliability of electronic control systems.” Members of the science committee said that despite its shortcomings, the safety agency had done all that it was capable of doing to determine why Toyotas were suddenly accelerating out of control and causing serious accidents. They concluded that the agency had correctly closed its investigation after failing to find evidence of defects in Toyota’s electronic throttle systems.
..."  read the entire article 

1/1 master cylinder recall hits China
'Subaru brand will recall 7,133 units of imported Legacy and Outback vehicles in China due to flaws with brake master cylinders, said China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
The Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles have design flaws in the brake master cylinders that could lead to traffic accidents by adding to the vehicles' stopping distance, according to the statement. The recall will take effect beginning Saturday.' the article

More car news from China possibly affecting Subaru's joint venture with Chery. 
"China’s Ministry of Commerce and the National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC) issued a cryptic statement today stating that support for foreign capital in the auto industry will be with drawn in 2012... The cryptic ‘withdrawing of support‘ message is actually quite clear – its saying that China is closed to foreign auto companies for the time being, so if you’re not already in China you maybe locked out for the time being. Unless of course substantial contributions will be made to the furthering of the Chinese auto industry in terms of technology transfers or the establishment of joint R&D centers in China. Who will be affected the most by this turn of events? Renault, Subaru and JLR are all eager to enter into the Chinese market but haven’t yet done so. Subaru’s deal with Chery was scuppered by a lack of tech transfer and the NDRC pointing out that Toyota’s 16% share of Surbaru’s parent company, Fujitsu Heavy Industries, was somehow unacceptable in the face of Chinese rules that state foreign auto companies can only have two partners in China  (The Subaru JV with Chery would have made this Toyota’s third JV), an alteration to the agreement may see Subaru’s being produced as Chery’s in the Chinese market to get around rules and regulations." the whole article


 
 
SUBARU ADVERTISING and SPONSORSHIP NEWS IN 2012
articles edited for length, content, subject to change, correction
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2012 calendar year news. click for archived news from 2011


12/30 2012 Share the Love Event #5 runs through 1/2/13.

12/24 advertising - a review of Subaru Love Love Love campaign
"Subaru surpassed even its own sales expectations this year. The automaker can thank a chocolate Lab for that — and a 6-year-old holding the car keys.
While some of the world’s top car manufacturers struggled through bankruptcies and abysmal sales, Subaru was building momentum. The maker of the funny-looking cars was the only major automaker to experience five consecutive years of sales increases from 2008 to 2012.
If love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, then a smart marketing strategy is what turned the company’s unexpected sales spike during the worst years of the recession into an annual event.
Since launching in 2008, the “Love” campaign has rallied dog lovers, outdoorsy folks and families who already loved their Legacy or Outback to support the entire Subaru brand.
The carmaker’s tendency to cater its marketing collateral — print advertisements, TV commercials, digital campaigns — to niche audiences and tug at consumers’ heartstrings helped carry the brand through the recession.
It’s what Michael McHale, Subaru of America’s chief communications expert, calls “heart-based” advertising — the core of Subaru’s Love campaign. Marketing experts say commercials like “Baby Driver” (child with the car keys) and “Best Friend” (man with the chocolate Labrador) have been so popular because they’ve connected the Subaru brand with life moments as pivotal as sending your 16-year-old daughter on her first solo drive.
As Dad watches the most precious thing in his life grow up, we watch her drive away in a Subaru. It’s a brilliant spot, says Jonathan Baskin, a branding expert, author and former Nissan executive. Subaru still uses it more than two years after its release. “What they’re doing is trying to attach Subaru to these emotional moments that have integrity and exist on their own,” Baskin said. “It’s not that if you think Subaru you should think safety. It’s that when you think Subaru, you think fondly. It’s love.”
... Baskin said. “....  Subaru’s emotional trigger is not about a guy and his libido. It’s about family, safety, love. They’re not running with the pack.”
Subaru didn’t always pull at consumers’ heartstrings, a reality that became painfully obvious to the executives at Cherry Hill, N.J.-based U.S. headquarters when sales began to flatten in the years leading up to the recession. So in 2007 the company ditched its advertising agency and decided to give Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch a chance. Losing the Subaru account cost agencies DDB and Prometheus $150 million that October, according to some reports.
“We were selling on a factual basis rather than on any kind of emotion behind the brand,” McHale said. “But when we talked to Subaru owners, they were telling us, ‘I love my Forester. I love my Outback.’ We needed to reflect that in our advertising.”
With Carmichael Lynch holding the reins of Subaru’s creative, brand development and media strategy needs, the “Love” campaign was born. The automaker has built on that campaign ever since, trying to engage consumers’ hearts first, then their wallets.... Subaru’s frequent appeals to its niche markets may have translated into sales, but were a few 30-second TV spots enough to insulate the automaker from the recession? The company seems to think so, and experts agree. (Executives also credit the 2009 redesign of its 2010 Legacy and Outback models, which Bob Rohrman Subaru manager Ryan VanScoyoc says made the vehicles roomier and more attractive.)
“Subaru is an interesting player in the U.S. market,” said Janell Townsend, an associate professor of marketing and international business in the School of Business Administration at Oakland University and a visiting associate professor at Michigan State University. “Staying mostly in the niche market allowed them to be successful even in times when there have been challenging market conditions. They haven’t focused on being trendy. (They chose) all-wheel drive. They’re very dedicated to those attributes.”...
.... The company also is stepping up its social and digital presence to expand its core market and to keep up with consumers who crave interaction.The carmaker leveraged Facebook several times in 2012 to launch digital campaigns, including its virtual travel resource “Subaru Guide to Everything,” animated nostalgia promotion “First Car Story” and now, the “Love all you can do” Facebook tab....
...The best thing Subaru can do now, said Baskin, the former Nissan executive and brand expert, is to make sure it manufactures great cars. “Great marketing can’t sell bad cars. The only way they can get away with it is to make sure the performance really lives up to it. I’m presuming they’re all over it.”
And since the automaker announced weeks ago that it achieved — for the first time in company history — selling its 300,000th vehicle this year, Subaru’s next big challenge could be topping itself." read the entire article


11/21 - Buy a car and Share the Love, runs through 1/2/13
During this 5th Share the Love event, Subaru will again donate $250 to the buyer's choice of five charities.
The charities this year are Alzheimer's Association, The ASPCA- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Make-A-Wish, Meals On Wheels, and the USO

12/3 LA auto show $250 off coupon. Go see the all 2014 Forester, BRZ, Crosstrek, Outback, Legacy etc and while you're there, get a coupon good for $250 off a new Subaru. The LA show coupon is good 11/30/12-1/29/13. Its not good on BRZ, WRX, or STI but if you get any other model, you can save $250. Enter your info in the Subaru kiosk and they'll email you the coupon. There's a place to opt out of being contacted by dealers or salespeople. Here's a photo of my coupon from the Seattle car show. The LA car show runs 11/28-12/9

11/27 advertising- its all about 4 magic letters.... 6 years ago, Subarus tagline was "It's what makes a Subaru, a Subaru" referring to the engineering qualities of a Subaru. Then I think it was ad wizard Tim Mahoney who adding those 4 magic letters to make it "Love, its what makes a Subaru, a Subaru". They completely reshaped Subaru advertising around 'love' and the ads are again as popular as they were in the mid 1990s when actor Paul Hogan was the star. Sales really took off. The current advertising focused on the heart more than the mind, but this compliments Subaru's reputation for engineering and makes the car both a solid logical choice as well as a feel good one.
"Subaru is growing fast. The brand has seen 78% growth in sales over the past four years, and has over a million fans on Facebook. The company, which has focused strategy on social media, in recent years built a strong brand identity around a theme -- love -- that at first glance seems absurdly vague and sentimental, especially in a sector that sells expensive, engineering-driven things like cars. Love? Maybe for Chanel, but for cars? 
Yet, it works, says Michael McHale, who heads both corporate communications and social media at the Cherry Hill, N.J., company. After all, he says, owners say that's how they feel about Subaru. At a recent meeting of the International Motor Press Association, he gave a history lesson and explained how the campaign, "Share the Love," has put wind in the sails -- and sales -- of a once-stagnant brand.
McHale recounts how the company, on deathwatch in the ’90's, pulled itself out of the ICU with Forrester, Outback, and Legacy, but hit a ceiling because it lacked brand identity. "Driven by What's Inside," launched in 2008, didn't help. "It was too subtle and clever," said McHale. 
The problem: survey respondents said they had no opinion of Subaru. "They said 'it's not for me,' and that Subaru wasn't relevant to them." But owners "saw us as ready for anything, and progressive, and adventurous. And unless the heart's engaged, you aren't going to buy."
Research also showed that the Subaru owner base is three times more likely to hike and bike, three times more likely to be cause-oriented, volunteer-oriented and 3.5 times more likely to own a pet. Which, he said, led to the new, highly emotional brand positioning that also tried to promote Subaru as virtuous and transparent. Ads have real owners talking about their cars, and focus on the brand sponsorship of things like the ASPCA, a rally and performance team, the Geological Society of America, and the science-education foundation AAAS. 
The brand also tends to eschew traditional marketing tactics and sports. Instead of the Super Bowl, Subaru did a "puppy bowl." It prefers to sponsor things like PBS' "Antique Road Show," and markets around South by Southwest, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia, and fall festivals at organic farms, per McHale. He said Subaru's social strategy on places like Foursquare, Facebook, and Pinterest is to engage influencers, podcasters, commentators, opinion leaders, citizen journalists, social-media mavens, bloggers, and forum gurus. 
The latest effort was the fifth iteration of "Share the Love" on Facebook, where users could vote to select two charities to join a roster of three organizations -- the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Make-A-Wish, and the Meals on Wheels Association of America -- that Subaru sponsors. In a yearly fourth-quarter program, Subaru donates $250, up to a total of $5 million, for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased. "Instead of advertising, we try to provide valuable content." read the original article


11/21 lower finance rates announced for 11/21 through 12/3 on Forester, Legacy, Outback and Tribeca
Outback and Tribeca rates now 0.90% 24-36-49mo, 1.90% 60-63-72 mo
Forester and Legacy rates now 0.0% 24-36 mo, 0.90%48mo, 1,90% 60-63-72 mo
finance rates webpage


11/19- advertising
David Eiben joined Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, as managing director for the Subaru of America account, a new post. He had been account director at Sid Lee, managing and leader the Dell consumer account for North and South America. from the NYT


11/15 Seattle Auto Show runs 11/14 through 11/18, 2012
(As expected, there wasn't a 2014 Forester. Ah well, it will be at the LA auto show in a few weeks.)
The Subaru display  had a BRZ, 2 Crosstreks, 1 Outback, 2 Foresters, 1 Tribeca. They had blue Subaru grocery bags and the little 2013-model Subaru Life mini brochure.
There's a kiosk in the Subaru display at the Seattle Auto Show and if you enter your name, they email a coupon good for $250 off a car purchase if you buy and take delivery of a new Subaru between 11/4/12 and 1/13/13. You must have an original coupon, no photocopies, which means you have to go to the Seattle auto show. Its good on any car except WRX, BRZ and STI.  Not sure if they will continue to offer the coupon though the end of the car (the 18th) but its a great deal if you're going to buy a new Subaru in the Seattle area. And if you want to buy a Subaru in the Seattle area, contact me.... (of course).
 
2012 seattle car show subaru coupon

photo of the $250 coupon from the Seattle Auto Show. You have to have an original...

11/4 Subaru likes ®. Jalopnik.com points out Subaru is ®'ing BOXER, as in the the BOXER® engine. Hmmm... I'm concerned. Hey Jalopnik, its lawyer time. If its written as BOXER, Boxer, or boxer, can it be used it in reference to the engine, or Bowser the Boxer® dog, or a guy who boxes things at the warehouse, or even the briefs (and not the legal ones)? 
"If you look at Subaru’s website, you’ll notice something. They have lots of information on the site about the kind of engines they produce— horizontally-opposed ones. They and Porsche are the only major automakers still making flat engines like this, and it’s great Subaru makes a big point about it. Hell, they’re my favorite kind of engine!
They’re nicknamed “boxer” engines because the back-and-forth motion of the pistons looks sort of like a boxer’s fists. And this nickname has been around a really long time. The first name for this type of engine was a “contra” engine, as Karl Benz called the one he built in 1897. Tatra was using them extensively in cars in the teens and ’20s, BMW used them in motorcycles in this period as well, and by the time Porsche was looking into them for his People’s Car project, they were already commonly known as “boxers.”
And it’s not just “SUBARU BOXER®” that they’ve trademarked— it’s BOXER® alone, as well.
In short, people have been calling these engines “boxers” long before Subaru ever built one. In fact, Subaru’s first boxer, the EA-52, didn’t come around until 1966. So how is it Subaru has the nickname trademarked? Probably just because they actually decided to do it. You can readily get a trademark on common words and phrases (think about “Apple”) but it seems to me that a specific nickname like this, that they didn’t even come up with, shouldn’t be trademarkable. 
Porsche, don’t you have a problem with this? VW, even if you don’t make these anymore? Someone?" read the original article  

11/1 Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) event October 1-31  Extended, now through December 3, 2012
. Subaru has their first 'Love Strikes Twice' event 10/1-31, 2012. Subaru wants you to love their new cars, that's been the tag line for years, and now they want to love their used cars too. A car can be loved twice.  Its not a reduced price sale since prices are set by the selling dealer, but the normal CPO 6 years or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty has been extended to 7 years or 100,1000 miles, and the short term 36 month financing on late model CPO (2012, 11) has been dropped to 0.90% for 36 months, on approval of credit. Certified Subarus have had a 152 pt inspection, have a clean Carfax, and are only available on US sales from US Subaru dealers. 
subaru certified pre-owned cpo love strikes twice event



10/7 advertising and unadvertising- Ok, its known that American's work too many hours Thats partly due to our shop shop shop culture fostered by advertisements wanting us to buy buy buy. So what does it say when these same companies want their potential consumers to take a vacation? Is it reverse marketing - you should take time off, have fun, live life, but oh... you'll have more fun if you buy buy buy our products? Its un-vertising.
"An all-work-and-no-play culture has made Americans desperate to hear that it’s OK to step away from their desks. Brands that find an authentic way to encourage healthy breaks can make a powerful connection with consumers.
Compared to workers in other countries, Americans don’t get that much paid vacation time – and many of us don’t even take the days we’ve got. Some brands, including McDonald’s and the Las Vegas tourism authority, have started running ad campaigns championing the idea of breaks, as the New York Times recently reported. This message is powerful because we know this deskbound lifestyle isn’t good for us. We know too much time sitting in front of screens contributes to the obesity crisis, we know stress contributes to a host of illnesses, and we even know breaks can increase productivity. In fact, some employers are starting to actively encourage breaks – the Boston Consulting Group, for example, recently pushed employees to take one night a week off from answering emails, according to the New York Times.
So why is it that 48% of Americans leave half their vacation days unused, and a third of workers eat lunch at their desks? It’s not that we don’t want to get away and play. A survey by Kelton Research found that 25% of workers would give up a promotion or even part of their salary for a few more days of vacation. The problem is we’re worried that taking a break may be bad for our careers or our finances. In a survey by Expedia on “vacation deprivation,” some of the reasons people gave for not taking breaks included worries about money and fears that bosses wouldn’t approve. The Kelton Research survey on vacation patterns found workers worried about falling behind at work or simply feeling that they had too much to do to step away....
... The successful launch of Subaru’s 2012 Impreza with a 25-city “WORK PLAY LOVE” tour is another example. The Impreza is a great fit for the work-life balance theme because it genuinely can go seamlessly from city driving to the great outdoors. We organized 57 grassroots events, partnering with other outdoor lifestyle brands to build on that theme. Connecting the Subaru brand with other brands that promote similar messages, including KEEN and REI, was a great way to strengthen that message. Consumers also want more than a simple sales pitch these days, and providing or encouraging real-life experiences can make a brand stand out. Dealership foot traffic was up after the WORK PLAY LOVE tour, and the events generated 7,000 consumer leads..." read the entire article.



10/1 Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) event October 1-31
. Subaru has their first 'Love Strikes Twice' event 10/1-31, 2012. Subaru wants you to love their new cars, that's been the tag line for years, and now they want to love their used cars too. A car can be loved twice.  Its not a reduced price sale since prices are set by the selling dealer, but the normal CPO 6 years or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty has been extended to 7 years or 100,1000 miles, and the short term 36 month financing on late model CPO (2012, 11) has been dropped to 0.90%, on approval of credit. Certified Subarus have had a 152 pt inspection, have a clean Carfax, and are only available from Subaru dealers.
subaru certified pre-owned cpo love strikes twice event


9/13 Subaru-Trek bike team posters. Check them out...
"Leading up to the Summer Olympics, Missoula native and U.S.A. mountain bike team member Sam Schultz earned a nickname: Uncle Sam. It was a no-brainer considering Schultz's opportunity to represent his country, and the patriotic uniform that came along with the honor.
Colby Waller, a graphic designer at Thor Design Studio in Washington, D.C., does some work for Schultz's professional team, Subaru-Trek. More than anything, he's a fan of the sport and has followed Schultz's arrival as one America's top riders. Realizing that Schultz had just won a national championship and was about to head to London, Waller got the idea to produce a one-off poster playing off of Schultz's newfound nickname.
"I asked Subaru-Trek, 'If I produce this, will you take it to London?' and they were all for it," he says. "It came together pretty fast."
About 100 posters were printed, along with a stack of companion posters for Schultz's Subaru-Trek teammate and Canadian Olympian, Emily Batty (see below). The posters traveled to London with the Subaru-Trek team manager and were handed out along the Olympic race course. Waller says a few also made their way back to Subaru-Trek headquarters in Wisconsin. But that's it — nobody else has really seen them, they're not available for fans to purchase and Waller isn't aware of any plans to reprint additional posters them in the future.
"It was completely unofficial and completely for fun," he says. "It was one of those things you do just to flex your creative muscle, and to create a collectors item for fans."
It's been about a month since Schultz donned red, white and blue in London and finished a solid 15th out of 50 riders, but it's not too late to appreciate this rare piece of memorabilia and Waller's work." see the posters. The Subaru-Trek webpage
 
9/6 advertising
. Some Saturn and Saab owners, and also owners of  cars that compete with the Legacy, will be sent an offer to test drive a new Subaru and get free pre-paid gas card.


9/4 Share the Love charities selected. The two open spots have been filled, completing the roster of 5 charities for the 2012 Subaru Share the Love event where $250 is donated to the customer's choice of charity when they buy a car from 11/21 to 1/3. The 2 new charities this year are Alzheimer's Association and USO. They join ASPCA, Meal on Wheels, and Make-A-Wish, which return from last year. Each group should get around $1m. The voting for the 2 new groups was done on Facebook. The groups not selected were Leave No Trace, Special Olympics, First Book, and American Forests.

8/22 the marketers are trying, but with wages down, tuition up, banks continually being caught in scandal, and companies and politicians with no appreciation or loyalty for workers, is it any wonder that Generation Y isn't flocking to dealer lots to sign up for $20,000-30,000 cars? They have come of age in a country fighting two wars overseas and political one at home, and they struggle to find a confident path to the future that doesn't involve dragging an anchor from the past... Here is an article about that...
"The Cheapest Generation... How do you sell cars to Millennials (a k a Generation Y)? The fact is, today’s young people simply don’t drive like their predecessors did. In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985. Miles driven are down, too. Even the proportion of teenagers with a license fell, by 28 percent, between 1998 and 2008. In a bid to reverse these trends, General Motors has enlisted the youth-brand consultants at MTV Scratch—a corporate cousin of the TV network responsible for Jersey Shore—to give its vehicles some 20-something edge. “I don’t believe that young buyers don’t care about owning a car,” says John McFarland, GM’s 31-year-old manager of global strategic marketing. “We just think nobody truly understands them yet.” Subaru, meanwhile, is betting that it can appeal to the quirky eco-­conscious individualism that supposedly characterizes this generation. “We’re trying to get the emotional connection correct,” says Doug O’Reilly, a publicist for Subaru. Ford, for its part, continues to push heavily into social media, hoping to more closely match its marketing efforts to the channels that Millennials use and trust the most. All of these strategies share a few key assumptions: that demand for cars within the Millennial generation is just waiting to be unlocked; that as the economy slowly recovers, today’s young people will eventually want to buy cars as much as their parents and grandparents did; that a finer-tuned appeal to Millennial values can coax them into dealerships. Perhaps. But what if these assumptions are simply wrong? What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits? It’s a question that applies not only to cars, but to several other traditional categories of big spending—most notably, housing. And its answer has large implications for the future shape of the economy—and for the speed of recovery....
Needless to say, the Great Recession is responsible for some of the decline. But it’s highly possible that a perfect storm of economic and demographic factors—from high gas prices, to re-­urbanization, to stagnating wages, to new technologies enabling a different kind of consumption—has fundamentally changed the game for Millennials. The largest generation in American history might never spend as lavishly as its parents did—nor on the same things. Since the end of World War II, new cars and suburban houses have powered the world’s largest economy and propelled our most impressive recoveries. Millennials may have lost interest in both....
The typical new car costs $30,000 and sits in a garage or parking spot for 23 hours a day. Zipcar gives drivers access to cars they don’t have to own. Car ownership, meanwhile, has slipped down the hierarchy of status goods for many young adults. “Zipcar conducted a survey of Millennials,” Mark Norman, the company’s president and chief operating officer, told us. “And this generation said, ‘We don’t care about owning a car.’ Cars used to be what people aspired to own. Now it’s the smartphone.”....
Subaru’s publicist Doug O’Reilly told us, “The Millennial wants to tell people not just ‘I’ve made it,’ but also ‘I’m a tech person.’ ” ...

Ultimately, if the Millennial generation pushes our society toward more sharing and closer living, it may do more than simply change America’s consumption culture; it may put America on firmer economic footing for decades to come." read this entire article


8/18 advertising- Support the one you love ad campaign
"Subaru has launched two new ads to support its new campaign, "Support," that shows people giving a literal or moral hand to others, using Subaru vehicles. The effort, via Carmichael Lynch, touts the 2013 Subaru Impreza and Forester vehicles with a eight TV spots, four of which are now airing.
One of the new ads shows a husband cheering on his wife during a bike race, jumping in his Impreza to drive to spots where he can cheer her on in imaginative ways. The ad references Subaru's off-road capability, as the guy has to find a remote spot to hold a sign she can see.
The other new ad, "Take Your Daughter to Work Day," shows a real-life mother and daughter who take time off in a Forester. The ads tend to use real couples rather than actors, per a spokesperson for the agency, who said upcoming creative includes a spot focusing on a dad and his kids washing their car together, and a dad sending his daughter to school on the school bus for the first time. Another forthcoming ad in the series will be a through-the-years montage of a guy and his dog and the Subarus in which he and his dog have travelled.
This week, the company also launched its fifth iteration of donation-on-purchase platform "Share the Love," which donates $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased, but this time consumers choose the charity, via a Facebook tie-in. Consumer votes determine which two charities will be added to the current roster of three under the "Share the Love" retail banner.
The Cherry Hill, N.J.-based U.S. retail arm of Subaru says it has donated nearly $20 million since it launched the program four years ago and that based on past sales this year, $5 million in donations will go to the five charitable organizations.
The other recipient organizations that will benefit from this year's program include the ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, and Meals On Wheels Association of America. On the Facebook voting list are The Alzheimer's Association, American Forests, First Book, Leave No Trace (an outdoors organization), Special Olympics, and the USO." the article


8/7-26 vote for the Share the Love charities, through August 26.
Subaru want fans to select two charities to join three returning charities from 2011 for the 2012 "Share the Love" event. For the second year in a row, Subaru asks you to vote on Facebook, from Aug. 6-26. The choices this year Alzheimer's Association, Special Olympics, Leave No Trace, American Foresters, USO, and First Book. Two of these will join returning groups ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, and Meals On Wheels. Subaru donates $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold from Nov. 21 through Jan. 2, up to $5 million, and has donated $20 million since the Share The Love event started in 2008. You do not have to be a Facebook user or sign up with Subaru to vote, though of course the marketing people really really want you to. You can even vote daily on www.facebook.com/subaruofamerica The top two charities with the most votes will be announced August 27th.

8/3 advertising- The yearly 'Lot to Love Event' runs August 1-31. Its a happy, happy advertising 'event' with no real sale behind it. The emotional message is that it feels good to get a a new Subaru. There's no end of model year close-out advertising or rebates since most of the 2012s are in already short or dwindling supply.
subaru lot to love event

7/29 advertising. North is the name of the ad Portland, Oregon company behind Subaru's Impreza "Work Play Love" tour, this past spring
North was born in 2006, when Cole & Weber vet Rebecca Armstrong and Arnold alum Mark Ray bought into and rebranded ad agency Johnson Sheen. They didn’t set out to pursue crunchy clients, but since shoemaker Keen hired it in 2010, the shop has added assignments from brands with a green hue or those looking to play one up. North helped launch Subaru’s 2012 Impreza with a 50-company tour that lured workers outside for “fresh-air therapy.” Other recent clients include Clif bars and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Driven by that and other business, the agency’s staff has doubled to 24 in the past two years, according to Ray.  The original article

7/22- good will marketing: later this year, Subaru's Share the Love Event will contribute $250 to the buyers choice of pre-selected charities. Now Ford will contribute 40 meals to the hungry for each person that goes to a special Ford Escape event...
"The combination of cause marketing and product marketing is fairly common in the auto business, but typically the cause is the caboose on the campaign train, not the engine. One exception is Subaru's "Share the Love" campaign, where charitable donations are the driver. The company is prepping its fifth iteration of that campaign, which launched in 2008. When you buy a Subaru, you get to choose among a short list of charities and the automaker makes a $250 donation. 
Now, Ford is also hitching cause to the locomotive for the new Escape, with hunger as the issue. The 2013 Ford Escape Hunger Drive ties to U.S. hunger relief organization Feeding America. The Dearborn, Mich.-based  automaker says people can host special parties at which Ford provides an Escape, along with an expert to explain the attributes of the new sport utility vehicle. Ford will provide 40 meals per guest to people at risk of hunger for a total of 1.2 million meals. Participants will also receive a Ford backpack and automatic entry into a sweepstakes.
These drive-for-charity events could take place anywhere within a supporter’s community. An event could be tied to already scheduled events at churches, community centers or other civic organizations. The first events are slated to kick off later this month. The program, at www.escapehungerdrive.com, is part of Ford's cause-marketing strategy around hunger, that includes a Ford Motor Company Fund partnership with Newman’s Own for Partnership for Hunger Relief with Ford refrigerated trucks delivering meals.  Ford and Feeding America are touting the new program via social media, per a Ford spokesperson. "Once we have the volunteers that are needed to host the parties, they will be inviting their family and friends. We will then help to get the word out." She says the automaker has hired event agency Xperience to handle the program on the ground.  Ford expects to do about 1,000 parties, "and there is potential that we will hold more," says the spokesperson. "Event attendance may vary, but on average, we would like to see about 20 attendees at each event." the original article 

7/19 smoking hot BRZ ad in Canada
"Can your car make paint bubble, heat a puddle of water, and burn a hole through a Styrofoam cup? Neither can mine, but apparently the 2013 Subaru BRZ is that hot. “Scorched” takes place in a parking garage, where an alarm is blasting, signaling an unknown heat source. Where’s the fire that’s melting cups, boiling a puddle and bubbling paint from the walls? The answer comes when the sprinkler system activates and water hits the BRZ, creating a steam-filled garage that the smoking hot BRZ drives through. Watch it here, created by DDB Canada‘s Toronto office and directed by Radke’s Common Good."


6/28 Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team is in downtown LA for X Games 18 June 28th to July 1st.  The Puma Zombie Cat graphic is great.

6/28 Subaru sponsors central California Surf Festival August 11-12
The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) and the San Onofre Foundation (SOF) in conjunction with California State Parks presents the Doheny Surf Festival 2012, August 11 & 12, a fundraising event to help protect the treasured San Onofre, Doheny and San Clemente State Beaches.
Doheny Surf Fest 2012 has partnered with Subaru as the title sponsor. "We are very pleased to have Subaru and many other great sponsorship partners onboard. This year's event will certainly be the highlight of the summer," says DSBIA President, Bill Brooks.

The two day event is an expanded version of the summer surf event that has been held for the last 4 years. As one would expect--it will include all things Surf: exhibits, art, surf demonstrations, music, environmental and ocean education, surf apparel, memorabilia, current and past surf star autograph signings along with tandem, Outrigger Canoe and SUP exhibitions and much more. Beer and wine will be available in the Kona Brewing Co. beer garden; great food fare will be served by top food vendors who have supported surfing through the years, among them Serena Mexican Grill, Daphne's California Greek, and Nalu's Island Grill.


6/24 SubieSport magazine plans an expansion into television.
"MediaSpigot LLC announced the re-launch of Subiesport Magazine as multi-platform television series making its debut this Fall. The reborn Subiesport will contain magazine-style video content and follow a traditional print publication schedule. To help fund this innovative new show, MediaSpigot is holding a pledge drive at the series’ official web site, http://www.subiesport.tv.
Launched in 2004 as a print publication, Subiesport began with a similar fundraising campaign. Due to its enthusiastic base of readers, the magazine rose quickly to become the world’s largest independent Subaru enthusiast magazine with 70,000 readers in 68 countries worldwide.
“Subaru owners are uniquely passionate about their vehicles and they demand nothing short of the best. Like the magazine before it, with Subiesport TV we aim to deliver a show that is nothing less than the best car show around that will be enjoyable by enthusiasts of all makes and models.” Said Ryan Douthit, founder of Subiesport Magazine, producer of the new series and himself an owner of six Subarus. “That isn’t going to be cheap.”
“Subiesport TV’s combination of broadcast quality production, instant online distribution and magazine-style content makes Subiesport TV a truly groundbreaking series,” Douthit continued. “Subiesport TV is taking print magazines to a place they’ve always wanted to go... they just didn’t know it. And, thanks to the proliferation of mobile video devices like the iPad, iPhone and Android tablets and phones, distribution of a hybrid series like this is no longer a problem. I firmly believe that within five years, many magazines will transition to a similar format.”
When the first episode makes its debut, viewers will have the opportunity to watch the full-length show online for free at several online destinations including Blip.tv, Blinkx and YouTube. For a commercial-free viewing experience, viewers can optionally become a member of the show’s official site, http://www.subiesport.tv. The new series will be represented by John McLean Media to international broadcast markets." check out SubieSport.com,  and here's the press release   

6/24 more about the Baby Driver ad...
"Q. This is about that popular spot for Subaru with the dad talking to the little girl who is at the wheel of his car, as if she’s about to drive it, and then you see that it’s actually his daughter, of driving age, behind the wheel, meaning that to him she will always be his little girl.
I noticed that the girl’s top or T-shirt has red and white stripes and when she is replaced by the young woman, it has blue and white stripes. I was wondering if there is a reason for that or was it just an oops.
A. The commercial, called “Baby Driver,” was created for Subaru of America by Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. The commercial “is unique,” Maria Hileman, communications and marketing manager at Carmichael Lynch, writes in an e-mail, “because it features the real-life father to both the 6-year-old, in red stripes, and the 16-year-old, in blue stripes.”
So “having to portray the complex emotions of a protective father was not a stretch for him,” she adds. “Similar to ‘Baby Driver,’ the newest Subaru spot, ‘Looking for Gold,’ is also played by a real-life father and daughter who use their Subaru Legacy to chase down an elusive rainbow,”  Ms. Hileman says.
As for the wardrobe question, dear reader, Ms. Hileman sought an answer from Randy Hughes, executive creative director at the agency.
“We wanted to tell this story as real as possible and rely on a classic film technique in editing to say that ‘Oh, we were seeing how dad sees his little girl for that moment’ rather than use special effects of morphing or have her change before our eyes,” Mr. Hughes says.  “So we felt that two shirts that were similar but not exactly the same kept it from being ‘too tricksy,’ ” he adds. “It also was another subtle cue that change has occurred in a split-second edit.” “The question has come up before in YouTube comments,” Mr. Hughes says, “and in hindsight may have been over-think on our part.”  “I personally like the jolt of change that it helps convey as the girl puts the car in gear and dad is instantly brought into the reality of the moment,” he adds. “But it was a conscious, although perhaps flawed, decision." the original article..

5/31 Subaru partners with, and supplies Outbacks to, clothing company United By Blue to help clean waterways
"Subaru of America, Inc. announced a new partnership with United By Blue, the ocean-friendly apparel brand.  United By Blue (UBB) removes a pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product sold.  The all-wheel-drive Subaru Outback will serve as the official UBB cleanup vehicle. 
“A partnership with Subaru goes beyond cleanups and cars: it drives home the fact that other companies are as committed to protecting our oceans and waterways as United By Blue,” said Brian Linton, United By Blue Founder and Chief Trash Collector.
During a cleanup season, UBB hosts an average of 25-30 ocean and waterway cleanups throughout the country. To date, UBB has removed 105,955 pounds of trash from oceans and waterways in 12 states during 70 cleanups. UBB organic t-shirts, canvas bags and jewelry can be purchased online or from over 200 retailers throughout the US and Japan.
"There is no better vehicle for cleaning up waterways than an Outback,” said Mike Cangi, United By Blue Director of Cleanups. “The roof cargo carrier holds all of our cleanup gear, the comfortable seats are perfect for transporting eager volunteers and the open hatchback and collapsible seats make it easy for us to move thousands of pounds of trash in a matter of minutes.”
“Subaru is proud to partner with businesses that make the world a better place, so United By Blue is a natural fit,” said Todd Lawrence, Sponsorships and Promotions Manager for Subaru of America. Subaru will co-host a total of four waterway cleanups along the East Coast.  Select items from UBB’s 100% organic apparel line will also be available for purchase through the Subaru Gear.
“More than 100 volunteers collected over 7,000 pounds of trash at our first clean-up near the Subaru headquarters in Cherry Hill, N.J.  That’s the equivalent weight of two Subaru Outbacks!  We are looking forward to a successful cleanup season with United By Blue,” added Lawrence." read the press release

5/21 Mud Run in Seattle June 2nd-  at Remlinger Farms, Carnation, WA 98014-6104
 "... test your ability to run, climb, jump, crawl, & muscle your way through the most extreme 5k Mud Run Created! As a Survivor you will have to conquer whatever obstacles get in your way and test your all around toughness, strength, stamina, fitness, and mental determination. Upon your victory you will have earned your place in the Survivor world. Then you can celebrate with friends, food, music, beer*, and a muddy fist in the air!"  Sponsored by Carter Subaru, Les Schwab tires, radio stations KZOK, JackFM, KMPS, and 1090 AM, ZICO water, Clear Chropractic, Seattle Athletic Club, Fit Body Boot Camp, Washington State Fire Chiefs, Washington State Firefighters Assoc., NW Infant Survival and SIDS Alliance.
The webpage with full information


5/18  Trail tune-up grant....  the winning group will receive a follow-up visit and technical assistance from one of the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews.
"USA Cycling and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announced that, beginning on May 15, the application period will open for the annual USA Cycling/IMBA Trail Tune-Up Grant.
Each year, the Trail Tune-Up Grant is awarded to a mountain bike group seeking to jump-start trail improvement projects. These grants are completely funded by USA Cycling members through an optional land access check box on USA Cycling license applications and renewal forms.
For 2012, one $2,000 grant will be awarded. Additionally, the winning group will receive a follow-up visit and technical assistance from one of the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crews. Following is a timeline for this year’s Trail Tune-Up Grant application process: The grant application period is May 15 to Aug. 15, 2012. The winner will be chosen on September 1. The winner will be officially announced during Interbike, September 19-21.
For more information on the Trail Tune-Up Grant, including information on how to apply, visit the Trail Tune-Up Grant webpage.
"


4/22 advertising- running through the mud in California. Sound like fun? Subaru sponsors the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud and Obstacle Series to benefit Operation Gratitude.
"...Thousands turned out at Castaic Lake Sunday to get down and dirty.  About 4,000 runners donned racing bibs for the Merrell Down & Dirty National Mud and Obstacle Series only to get their runner numbers covered with mud and barely readable.
A sunny, breezy day at the lake served as a picturesque backdrop to filth, grime, sweat and mud. Men, women and teenagers competed. Children as young as 4 tackled "tike-sized" obstacles, and adults with gray hair, white hair or no hair shared one thing in common - mud.
"It's amazing, it's muddy, and it's fun," said Lisa Costello, of Lancaster. "I run marathons, but this is more fun because of the mud and the obstacles."
... Heather Rowland, of Westchester, had so much fun getting muddy last year, she came back for more
... "Make friends with the mud," runners were told by race volunteers sporting official yellow mud-splattered T-shirts. At the mud pit, runners were forced to drop, bellies to the muck, and then crawl under ropes stretched just a foot from the sloppy wet surface.  Some plunged in - face, hair and all - emerging caked in mud....
"I am having a great time. This is fun," said 18-year-old mud pit volunteer Andrea Carrejo who hosed runners down with water as they emerged from the mud pit. "This encourages them to go longer," she said, soaking mud-covered participants. "I mean, that's all they need is a little encouragement."  Her official job Sunday was to help rinse mud out of the eyes of runners temporarily blinded by layers of muck.  "Because when they get in the mud, it gets in their face," she said. "I came here thinking I was going to stay clean. Look at me. I'm very dirty," she said. "But, it's all for a good cause."  Money raised for the Subaru-sponsored event is set aside for the charity Operation Gratitude, which sends personalized care packages to military personnel overseas." see photos and read the entire article
Want to participate? The rest of the events for 2012  are  Miami on May 6,  Chicago on May 20,  Dallas on June 3,  Denver on June 24,  Philadelphia on July 15,  Detroit August 26,  New York on Sept 30,  Atlanta on Oct 14,  Sacramento on Oct 28 and a night run on Oct 27.  Go to www.downanddirtymudrun.com for info and to register

4/15 advertising- Subaru is once again a sponsor of Dining Out For Life,  a fundraising event for AIDS service organizations.  Eat out April 26th for breakfast, lunch and dinner at a participating restaurant. A percentage of sales will benefit an HIV/AIDS service organization in your community.  Reservations are encouraged at most Dine Out locations. Let your restaurant know that you will be dining with them because of their support for HIV/AIDS services in your community.  Click here - DiningOutForLife.com - for a list of restaurants and other businesses in your area. Here is the list for the Seattle area http://www.diningoutforlife.com/seattle/restaurants
click for dining out for life

4/13 advertising- who is she...
Q. The young lady who does the Subaru commercial where her boyfriend has lost his sunglasses: What other work has she done on TV or stage? She looks familiar.
Actress Eleanor Seigler has made several appearances on The Office as Jessica, the girlfriend of Andy (Ed Helms). She has also been seen on I Met Your Mother, among other series.

4/11 Subaru and Costco
"In a partnership that could potentially help bring shoppers out to the lots, the Costco Auto Program — which provides members with savings on vehicles at more than 2,500 participating dealerships throughout the country — has teamed up with Subaru of America for a promotion that rewards Subaru buyers with a Costco Cash Card.  The Subaru Limited-Time Offer provides customers with a $500 Costco Cash Card for completing a member satisfaction survey after the purchase of an eligible Subaru through the program, officials explained. The offer includes all new Subaru models, except for all BRZ, Impreza WRX and WRX STI models and is available through June 15...."  read the entire article
from autoremarketing.com
Note: any Costco member who purchases a qualifying Subaru from any Subaru dealer can download a redemption form at http://www.costcoauto.com/Subaru/Default.aspx


3/15 advertising, and the adverticle- Brian Johnson, Subaru National Advertising Manager,  in an interesting, frank video, talks about social/digital media vs print/old school media,  and about 'seeding'  websites or blogs to hopefully create viral interest. Subaru likes to dole out (ie seed), information to a certain websites and car magazines to keep the level of gossip high, and the sites are hungry for the info and the hits that follow.  As corporate owned, ad driven social media or other websites get fed info on future models, think of the articles more as adverticles similar to the pimpatorial. And sites - this one included- are always searching for bits.
> the article and video "As with many other major brands, Subaru is shifting from broadcast and print to the digital and social spaces. At Subaru, this is being driven from the top, according to Brian Johnson, the company’s National Advertising Manager.
Subaru is creating a stronger presence on Facebook and Twitter, as well as shifting from online banners to more content-oriented digital assets. In the past, production may have been complex and expensive. Now, content for channels such as YouTube may be created more on-the-fly, be a bit grittier and contain more humor.
Seeding information to blogs has shown to be effective for enthusiast products. Other shifts by the brand include moving away from sales events based on dealers “yelling and selling” and seeking more natural product integration on programming that fits Subaru’s demographics."  the article
, the video of the interview 



3/5 advertising- Subaru is sponsoring the "Work Play Love" tour to introduce and promote the redesigned Impreza to hard working people.
updated 3/13 This traveling roadshow will visit more than 50 businesses around the country, including REI, offering employees a chance to see the Impreza and imagine how it could change your life (for the better of course). Partners in the Work Love Play program are Keen shoes, Trek bikes, Prana clothes, REI and other companies that are "..recognized for having a positive work-life balance," according to Todd Lawrence, SoA promotions and sponsorships manager. "Our 'Work Play Love' tour is a recognition of those efforts and an invitation to come out and play."  There will be more information online soon (a schedule?), in the meantime check with your local REI. Here in the Seattle area, the Redmond REI will host it Sunday March 31st from 10-6. Here is the store's site on the event. Stay tuned here for more info.
the official website is http://play.subaru.com but it doesn't have many of the events listed yet...

3/2 advertising- Love Spring Event March 1- through April 2, 2012.  Spring starts March 20th and the Love Spring Event is a reason to visit your dealer because a Subaru is great in all seasons.. you can carry a lot of yard supplies and plants in a Subaru. Get ready for Spring with Subaru gardening gloves.
visit your subaru dealer March 2-April 3, 2012


2/19 advertising. new top guy at agency Carmichael Lynch
Carmichael Lynch has promoted Executive Creative Director Dave Damman to chief creative officer which was an unfilled position. Mr. Damman will oversee creative for all Carmichael Lynch clients, including Subaru of America, Jack Link's Beef Jerky and Newell Rubbermaid. Mr. Damman began his work in advertising over 20 years ago at Saatchi & Saatchi , New York, where he served as an art director. Following art directing roles at Dallas' Tracey-Locke and Minneapolis' Initio, he moved to Carmichael Lynch in 1996.

2/14 Happy Valentine's Day
In the past Subaru has had a 'True Love Event' with candies - chocolate hearts, red lollipops etc- or other small give-aways but not this year.

2/9 Subaru sponsor the 2012 NW Flower and Garden Show, February 8-12
Its a popular, big event, so wear comfortable shoes. There are award winning gardens, 100s of booths selling everything for the gardener- from supplies to home made yard-art, work benches to exotic plants. There's a Subaru on display, a camellia red 2012 Impreza 5 door. This is one of the only events Subaru sponsors in Seattle, but don't go looking for a BRZ.  There was a BRZ at NADA in Las Vegas last week, it didn't make it to Seattle,
guess they figured that gardeners are more practical and would like to see an Impreza hatchback they can load up with gardening supplies. Bring your Subaru key to the booth for a free key Subaru keychain and bag. The NW Flower and Garden Show 

2/7 advertising- Subaru continues as a sponsor of the 2012 Merrill Down and Dirty Mud Obstacle race series where participants get real dirty playing running a 5k or 10k very muddy course, to benefit Operation Gratitude.
The 2012 dates are LA, April 14th; Miami, May6; Chicago, May20; Dallas, June 3; Denver, June 24; Philadelphia,  July 15;  Detroit, August 26; NYC, September30;  Atlanta October 14; Sacramento,  October 28.   the website for registering and updates 


2/5 advertising- Super Bowl Sunday- Subaru returns as one of the sponsors of  Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl VIII on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th at 3pm. Last year the show was very popular, and a lot of people signed up to walk their dog instead of sitting on the couch and every once and a while throwing a hail-mary cheeto to the dog or cat...
 
The Ads: Dog Tested. Dog Approved. "The campaign is designed to resonate with Subaru owners and like-minded consumers. Subaru drivers are two times more likely than the average car owner to have a pet. In fact, seven out of ten Subaru drivers have a pet, and Subaru owners are also more likely to engage in skiing, camping, boating and other sporting activities. To reflect these passions, those activities are depicted in the four new Dog Tested commercials.
"The Dog Tested spots have always been about highlighting funny and interesting car situations by using dogs instead of people. This year we continue that theme with a focus on the lifestyle of Subaru owners starring an amazing pack of dogs."
the 2012 Campaign Commercials:
"Camping" - The dog pack discovers that camping isn't all it's cracked up to be.
"The Beach" - A ragtag pack of dogs find out that sun, surf, and sand make for an epic day.
"Jackknife" - Backing up a canoe trailer proves difficult for a dog and his buddies.
"Ski Trip" - Furry friends spend a day on the slopes.

2/2 advertising- columnist Dave Inman names that tune in the Subaru hockey ad
"Dear Dave: I hope you can help me with some music in a Subaru Forester commercial. It’s the one with the mom driving the kids’ hockey team around. I was wondering if it is the Pogues or another band. — Jim, via email.  Dear Jim: The song is “If I Should Fall From Grace With God,” by the Pogues."  the original article

1/29 advertising- Share the Love 2011 results
For the 4th year, Subaru generously donated their maximum $1,000,000 to each of the 5 charities this year- ASPCA, American Forests, Make a Wish, Meals on Wheels, and Special Olympics. 
The 2011 Share the Love program ran from 11/19/11 -1/3/12. In December alone 33,701 people bought Subarus and at $250 donated per car, that would be $8,425,25 but the donation is a generous $5m total.  The total for the Share the Love over 4 years is now $20,000,000!  Thanks Subaru.  Click for 2011 Share the Love images

1/25 Mark your calendar for the Subaru sponsored Zombie race Run For your Lives
Reed Street Productions, creators of the zombie-infested 5K adventure race, Run for Your Lives, announced today that the race will expand beyond its inaugural location outside of
Baltimore into 12 cities across the country, starting with the Atlanta area on March 3, 2012. The inaugural race launched in Darlington, Md., last October with more than
10,000 participants and spectators.
Atlanta - March 3; Boston - May 5;  Minneapolis - June 2;  Indianapolis - June 23; Denver - July 14;  Seattle/Portland - Aug. 4; St. Louis - Aug. 18; Pittsburgh - Sept. 1;
Toronto - Sept. 15; San Diego/Los Angeles - Oct. 20;  Baltimore - Oct. 27; Austin - Dec. 15.
Run for Your Lives will take participants through a series of obstacles over a 5K course, all while being chased by zombies. Racers, wearing a flag football-like belt with three flags, must make strategic choices to find the quickest route to the finish line with at least one flag to complete the race as a survivor. Survivors and newly-created "zombies" - those who finish without flags - will be able to celebrate following the event at the Apocalypse Party, which will feature live, local entertainment, music, vendors, food, beverages, and of course, zombies... A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to the American Red Cross. Athletic apparel company, Warwear is the title sponsor for Run For Your Lives, and Subaru of America has signed on as a presenting sponsor of the race. To register for Run For Your Lives or for more information regarding how the race works, please visit: www.runforyourlives.com  


1/16 advertising-  what makes a campaign work. Here's an article about advertising that works and that doesn't, and how an ad campaign revitalized Subaru.
"Brand USA, a partnership of the travel industry and federal government, plans a $200 million campaign to attract visitors to the country. The theme: "United States of Awesome Possibilities."
Suppose Brand USA spent $200 million in each of the next five years promoting its "awesome possibilities" idea.
Five years from now, how many people are likely to associate "awesome" with the United States? Not very many.
That's the problem with marketing today. Almost every campaign starts with a press conference and a blaze of publicity about a new logotype (the letters "USA" spelled out with multicolor dots), a new website (discoveramerica.com) and an inspirational message (United States of Awesome Possibilities)....
Here's the paradox. Even if massive advertising programs were successful in associate these slogans with the companies' brand names, so what? Would you buy an Audi because you thought the company told the truth about its engineering? 
And no slogan will work for a brand that covers a wide range of products or services. Before you can bring your slogan down to Earth, you need to bring your brand there so it stands for something.
What's a Subaru? "If you asked a Subaru dealer or an employee or the press what Subaru was all about, it was pretty confusing," George Muller said in 1993, when he took over as president of Subaru of America. He chose to focus on four-wheel-drive vehicles. Advertising theme: "The beauty of all-wheel drive." (What the auto industry calls "all-wheel drive," people call four-wheel drive.) It was an exceptionally bold decision because at the time four-wheel-drive vehicles represented 48% of Subaru's sales. But the company had lost $250 million the previous year, so something had to be done. It didn't take long to turn the brand around. Three years later, Subaru was essentially a four-wheel-drive brand, and sales were up 16%, to 120,748 units. Subaru registered a sales increase in 12 of the 14 years between 1996 and 2010. It sold 263,820 vehicles in the U.S. in 2010, more than Volkswagen, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Mazda, Chrysler, Buick, Cadillac, Acura and, of course, "Truth in engineering" which moved only 101,629 units. (If Subaru had a better name, it would probably have been even more successful.) read the entire article
 

1/14 advertising. Subaru returns as one of the sponsors of  Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl VIII on Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th. Last year the show was very popular, and a lot of people signed up to walk their dog instead of sitting on the couch and every once and a while throwing a hail-mary cheeto to the dog.

1/11 advertising- Subaru sponsors SIA Snow Show but its not the same SIA as Subaru Indiana America. Its SnowSports Industries America. The SIA Snow Show is January 26-29, 2012, Colorado Convention Center, Denver.
'This week, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) announced a new sponsorship agreement with Subaru of America, Inc. Through the sponsorship, Subaru will be the Official Vehicle of SnowSports Industries America (SIA), the 2012 SIA Snow Show and On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest. Subaru was also the sponsor for the Winter Trails events held across the country last weekend, January 7, 2012. A reliable vehicle is essential for navigating snow covered and icy roads that get skiers/riders to the slopes, so a sponsorship agreement between SnowSports Industries America (SIA) and Subaru of America, Inc. seems like the perfect fit.
2012 SIA Snow Show and On-Snow  Demo/Ski-Ride Fest',  The Snow Show website


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SUBARU SALESPEOPLE AND DEALER NEWS
2012 calendar year news. Updates and news wanted.

click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content

unofficial information, edited for length and content. subject to change, correction
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an unofficial list of the Top 50 New Subaru Salespeople in 2012

this list is totally unimportant - a lot of people work hard to sell Subarus and don't make the list,  so contact your local dealer for a salesperson who will know the cars and make a deal
.
this list subject to change, updating. corrections welcomed. * new to the list
-
#1  Desiree Farey, 644 cars,  Irvine Subaru, Lake Forest, Ca (note- she is listed as the General Manager on Linked-in, and as 'leading the sales team' on her dealer website).
#2  Craig Parsons, 462 cars, Groove Subaru, Englewood, Co.
#3 Daniel D'Andrea, 461 cars, Grand Subaru, Bensenville, IL
#4 Andre Tocci, 355 cars. Rafferty Subaru, Newtown Square, PA.
#5 Harold Gosnell, 314 cars, #1 Cochran Subaru, Monroeville, PA.
#6 Aleksey Petrushkin, 309 cars.  Ramsey Subaru Ramsey, NJ.
#7 Mir Masood, 304 cars. Stevens Creek Subaru, Stevens Creek Ca. 
#7 Vincent Rizzo 304 cars. Metric Subaru, Huntington, NY
#9 Lawrence Fung, 295 cars. Carlsen Subaru, Redwood City, Ca
#10 Vincent Bovenzi,390 cars, Van Bortel Subaru, Victor NY
#11 Margaret Walsh, 287 cars. Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY.
#12 Reid Ferris, 282, Colonial Subaru, Danbury, Ct
#13 Jeff Miletta, 265 cars.  Liberty Subaru, Oradell, NJ;
#14 Joe Khattar, 277 cars. Goldstein Subaru of Albany, Colonie, NY
#15 Robert Mantell, 273 cars, Ramsey Subaru, Upper Saddle River, NJ
#16 Paul Solko, 272 cars, Flartirons Subaru

#17 Shawn Pies, 269 cars. Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#18 Ronald Hall, 267 cars, Shortline Subaru, Aurora Co
#18 Ahmad Rahimzadah, 267 cars. Livermore Subaru, Livermore, Ca.
#20 Michael Reed, 265 cars, Wagner Subaru,  Fairborn, Oh
#21 Joe McAvoy, 256 cars, Roto Subaru
#22 Zhou Kan, 235 cars, Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg, Gaithersburg, Md
*#23 Patrick Corbett, 242 cars, Minooka Subaru
, Scranton, Pa
#24 Jack Berkowitz, 241 cars. Manchester Subaru, Manchester NH.
*#25 Tommy Quach, 240 cars, Capitol Subaru,
San Jose, Ca
*#26 Paul Bushnell, 238 cars, Lithia Reno Subaru, Reno, Nv
#26 Ronald Kula, 238 cars. Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, OH
*#26 Tom Shields, 238 cars, Minooka Subaru, Scranton, Pa
*#29 Luke Gunther, 234 cars, Walkers Renton Subaru, Renton, Wa
*#29 Scott Obst, 234 cars, Wilde Subaru, Waukesha, Wi
#31 Jeffrey Barkan, 231 cars, Competition Subaru of Smithtown,
#31 James Smith, 231 cars, Stivers Decatur Subaru, Decatur, Ga
#34 Karen Berval, 230 cars, Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, Oh
*#35 Stephan Szagbo, 229 cars, Stohlman Subaru, Vienna, Va
*#36 David North, 228 cars, Carter Subaru Shoreline, Shoreline, Wa
#37 Karl Lindemuth, 227 cars, Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#38 Theresa Ali, 226 cars. Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY.
#39 Jamie Cassidy, 223 cars. Capitol Subaru, Salem, Or
*#39 Christopher Garchitorena, 223 cars, Subaru of Glendale, Glendale, Ca
#41 Jeremy Vitale, 222 cars, Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#42 Shelly Catanzano, 221 cars, #1 Cochran Subaru, Monroeville, PA.
*#43 Andreas Beckman, 220 cars, Steven's Creek Subaru, San Jose, Ca
*#44 Peter Marconi, 219 cars, Subaru of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY
*#45 Anna Johns, 216 cars, #1 Cochran Subaru, Monroeville, Pa
*#46 Saeed Farahani, 214 cars, Bertera Subaru of Hartford, Hartford, Ct
*#46 Wes Guthrie, 214 cars, Go West Subaru, Golden Co
*#48 James Rutledge, 213 cars, Gillman Subaru, Houston SW, Houston, Tx
*#49 Ann Marie Givigliano, 212 cars, Go Subaru Arapahoe, Centennial, Co
#49 Chris Ledoux, 212 cars, Betera Subaru of Hartford, CT
*#49 Chris Ledoux, 212 cars, Bertera Subaru of Hartford, Ct
-
-
an unofficial list of the Top 50 New Subaru dealerships in 2012
since bigger dealers aren't always better and since all dealers pay the same for the same car, always contact your local dealer

this list really is irrelevant. contact your local dealer.  list subject to change, updating. corrections welcomed.  *new to the list
-
#1 Heuberger Subaru, Colorado Springs, Co
#2 Shortline Subaru, Aurora, Co
#3 Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#4
Groove Subaru, Englewood, Co
#5 Lithia Reno Subaru, Reno, Nv
#6 Carter Subaru Shoreline, Shoreline, Wa
#7 Go Subaru Arapahoe, Englewood Co,
#8 Capitol Subaru, San Jose, Ca
#9 Manchester Subaru,  Manchester NH
#10 Continental Subaru, Anchorage, Ak
Wentworth Subaru, Portland, Or
Carr Subaru, Beaverton, Or,
Patrick's Subaru, Shrewsbury, Ma.
Colonial Subaru, Danbury, Ct
Bill Kolb Jr Subaru, Orangeburg, NY,
Stevens Creek Subaru, San Mateo, Ca,
Becker Subaru, Allentown, Pa
Cityside Subaru, Belmont, MA
#1 Cocharan Subaru, Monroeville, PA
Flatiron's Subaru, Boulder, Co
Bertera Subaru of Hartford, Ct

Liberty Subaru, Oradell, NJ
Irvine Subaru, Lake Forest, Ca
Carter Subaru Ballard, Seattle, Wa
Chaplins Subaru, Bellevue, Wa,
Walkers Subaru, Renton, Wa
Hannah Subaru, Vancouver, Wa
Stohlman Subaru, Herdon, Va
Mike Scarff Subaru of Auburn, Auburn, Wa,
Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, OH
Ramsey Subaru, Urbandale, IA
Goldstein Subaru, Colonie, NY
Nate Wade Subaru, Salt Lake City, UT,
Go Subaru West, Golden, Co
Mike Shaw Subaru,  Thornton, Co
Burlington Subaru, Burlington, VT
Bruce Titus Eastside Subaru, Kirkland, Wa
*Ganley Subaru of Bedford
, Ohio
Baierl Subaru, Pittsburg, Pa
Bloomington Subaru, Bloomington, MN
*Curry Subaru, Cortlandt Manor, NY
Sommer's Subaru, Mequon, WI
*Carlsen Subaru, Redwood City, Ca
Rafferty Subaru, Newtown Square, PA
*Patriot Subaru, Saco, Maine
*Mid-Hudson Subaru, Wappinger falls, NY
*Ganley Westside Subaru, North Olmsted, Oh
John Howard Subaru, Morgantown, West Va
*Grand Subaru, Besenville, IL
*Dan Perkins Subaru, Milford, Ct

-
12/12 Eastside Subaru in Kirkland, Wa. has been sold.   Bruce Titus' Eastside Subaru has been sold to Gee Automotive of Spokane, owners of GMC, Porsche, Buick in Spokane, Wa. and Kia and Cadillac in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Bruce Titus will continue to own Tacoma Subaru. The new Eastside Subaru has previously been Kirkland Subaru, Melody's Kirkland Subaru, and Eastside Subaru, before being bought and renamed Bruce Titus' Eastside Subaru. Its now Eastside Subaru again. The Gee website www.goseegee.com/

 
7/15 whoo-whoo, toot-toot, blowing my own horn...
Not sure how or why SoA selects the Subaru 'salesSTAR' of the month that they do, but I am it for July 2012!  Thank you, it's an honor. This is announced on the sales and training website for Subaru salespeople.

7/2 about Tom Gibson, at SoA 1981-1992.
On June 25th,
Tom Gibson joined TrueCar's board of directors. He had previously been an adviser to the board.
Thomas R. Gibson (b 1941), came to SoA in 1981 from Ford and Chrysler.  He was President & COO from September 1990 until July 10, 1992 when he left the company. He had been the #2 executive at Subaru of America when in September 1990, chairman and SoA co-founder Harvey H. Lamm, was asked to resign in a reorganization after Fuji Heavy Industries bought the remaining 51% of the publicly traded SoA stock and took the company private.
Mr. Gibson stayed, however, carrying out many duties, including the highly publicized selection of a new ad agency that was the subject of  the book 'Where Suckers Moon' by Randall Rothenberg. The $70 million ad account was won by Wieden & Kennedy replacing Levine, Huntley, Vick & Beaver, the agency of record for 17 years.
That was an important time for SoA - the all new SIA factory opened for 1990 Legacy production in September 1989, and the cult favorite SVX was introduced. 
Until 1990, Fuji owned 49% of SoA, when they bought the remaining 51% of publicly traded stock, and took SoA private. The remaining independent US distributorships include Subaru of New England, Subaru Distributors Corp in the NY/NJ area, and Schuman Carriage in Hawaii.

6/27
Adventure Subaru moved from 2781 N College, Fayetteville, Arkansas to 2269 N Henbest Dr, Fayetteville, 72703  on June 23rd. Dealer list, by state A-M, N-W

5/11 new dealer open in N. California, in the SF Bay area-
Serramonte Subaru in Colma
, dealer list here

5/3 great PR article for an internet manager in Las Vegas
"During a time when employee turnover is a huge issue, Findlay Automotive Group's director of Internet operations, John Taylor, is a breath of fresh air.  A retired U.S. Air Force veteran, Taylor has been with the automotive giant since February of 1989 when he joined Pete Findlay Oldsmobile Subaru Daihatsu as a sales consultant on Boulder Highway.
"I had been dropping off resumes to get a job as a weather forecaster on either television or radio since that's what I did in the service," Taylor said. "I stopped by to see someone at the RV lot and the person asked me if I wanted to go into the car business. The next thing I knew, I was being interviewed by Findlay Oldsmobile General Manager Rich Abajian (now of Findlay Toyota) and the rest is history.
"My intent was not to go into the car business. When I learned about the possibility of (a) a good income and (b) the health benefits, I decided to give it a try."
...Taylor took over as director of Internet operations in October 2000, opening a new world for himself.  "There was a very small percentage of people shopping for cars on the Internet back in those days," Taylor said . "However, now you can figure that 95 percent of the people walking through the doors have done one to six hours of research online. People today are very schooled when it comes to the car business, so we need to be prepared, for sure." ..."Needless to say, the car business has changed dramatically from the day I first walked onto the lot. As an example, Findlay Automotive Group had 101,129 hits in March of 2011. A year later, that number went to 154,811 hits. The Internet correspondence changes daily," he said. Taylor travels long distances covering 25 stores in Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and Utah. "I love working here," Taylor said. "Quite a few of the Findlay employees have been working for the company for more than 20 years. The company promotes from within and it's a great family atmosphere." read the entire article


3/13 Subaru dealer of the year according to dealerrater.com.
Dealerrater.com is a website where you can post comments about dealers. There were 5 finalists- Cumberland Valley Motors VW Subaru, Mechanicsburg, PA;  Hudson Subaru, Jersey City, NJ; Lakeland Toyota Honda Mazda Subaru, Sheboygan, WI; Nate Wade Subaru, Salt Lake City, UT that made the cut, and the Subaru Superstore, Chandler, Az..  As announced Feb 5th in Las Vegas, the dealerrator Subaru dealer of the year is Subaru Superstore in Chandler, Arizona.  “Our family-owned and operated dealership takes great pride in being awarded with this outstanding accomplishment,” said Richard Cvijanovich, Subaru Superstore of Chandler owner/GM. “It further demonstrates our family’s and employees’ commitment of providing exemplary customer satisfaction throughout the entire sales, service and parts experience.”

1/27 Subaru dealers like being Subaru dealers according to a NADA survey
"New-car dealer satisfaction with their respective auto manufacturers continued to increase in 2011, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) latest
Dealer Attitude Survey.
The survey, conducted twice a year, measures dealer sentiment in three key areas: franchise value, automaker policy decisions that affect the dealership and the automaker's field staff who visit dealerships. Nearly 54 percent of new-car dealers nationwide,  representing more 14,700 franchises, responded to the 2011 summer survey.
Hyundai finished in the top overall spot for the third consecutive survey period, with affiliate Kia finishing fourth. Subaru climbed back to second place for its fifth consecutive Top 3 finish. Lexus dropped to the third spot. Mercedes-Benz finished fifth. Toyota and Volkswagen improved to sixth and seventh place, respectively. Porsche, Audi and Cadillac/Honda rounded out the Top 10.
Early next month, thousands of the nation's dealers will have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with top automaker executives at 26 franchise meetings to discuss the outlook for  sales, marketing plans and product launches during the 2012 NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas
Feb. 3 to 6 ...
The NADA story began in 1917 when 30 auto dealers traveled to the nation's capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity..."   the entire press release   


-
-
an unofficial list of the Top 50 New Subaru dealers in 2011
since bigger dealers aren't always better and since all dealers pay the same for the same car, always contact your local dealer
this list really is irrelevant. contact your local dealer.  list subject to change and correction.
-
#1 Heuberger Subaru, Colorado Springs, Co
#2 Shortline Subaru, Aurora, Co
#3 Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#4 Manchester Subaru,  Manchester NH
#5 Groove Subaru, Englewood, Co
#6 Cityside Subaru, Belmont, MA
#7 Patrick's Subaru, Shrewsbury, Ma.
#8 Capitol Subaru, San Jose, Ca
#9 Bill Kolb jr Subaru, Orangeburg, NY,
#10 Lithia Reno Subaru, Reno, Nv
Liberty Subaru, Oradell, NJ
Colonial Subaru, Danbury, Ct
Carter Subaru Shoreline, Shoreline, Wa
#1 Cocharan Subaru, Monroeville, PA
Stohlman Subaru, Herdon, Va,
Carr Subaru, Beaverton, Or,
Stevens Creek Subaru, San Mateo, Ca, 
Becker Subaru, Allentown, Pa
Goldstein Subaru, Colonie, NY
Go Subaru Arapahoe, Englewood Co,
Continental Subaru, Anchorage, Ak
Chaplins Subaru, Bellevue, Wa,
Carter Subaru Ballard, Seattle, Wa
Bertera Subaru of Hartford, Ct
Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, OH
Wentworth Subaru, Portland, Or
Ramsey Subaru, Urbandale, IA
Walkers Subaru, Renton, Wa
Bruce Titus Eastside Subaru, Kirkland, Wa
Irvine Subaru, Lake Forest, Ca
Hannah Subaru, Vancouver, Wa
Flatiron's Subaru, Boulder, Co
Nate Wade Subaru, Salt Lake City, UT,
Mike Scarff Subaru of Auburn, Auburn, Wa,
Bloomington Subaru, Bloomington, MN
Burlington Subaru, Burlington, VT
GeorgeTown Subaru,
Norwalk, CT
Baierl Subaru, Pittsburg, Pa
Mike Shaw Subaru,  Thornton, Co
John Howard Subaru,
Morgantown, West Va.
Evanston Subaru, Skokie, IL
Rafferty Subaru, Newtown Square, PA
Bill Rapp Subaru, Syracuse, NY
Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg, Md
Fitzgerald Subaru, Kensington, MD
Sommer's Subaru,
Mequon, WI
Northtown Subaru, Amherst, NY
Go Subaru West, Golden, Co
Bob Rohrman Subaru, Lafayette, IN
Metro West Subaru,
Natick, MA
-
-
an unofficial, unimportant list of the Top 50 New Subaru Salespeople in 2011

this list is totally unimportant - a lot of people worked hard to sell Subarus and didn't make the list so contact your local dealer for a salesperson that will know the cars and make a deal
this list subject to change, correction.
-
#1  Desiree Farey, 490 cars,  Irvine Subaru, Lake Forest, Ca
#2  Craig Parsons, 370 cars, Groove Subaru, Englewood, Co.
#3 Clayton Earle,  335 cars, Liberty Subaru, Oradell, NJ
#4 Andre Tocci, 320 cars. Rafferty Subaru, Newtown Square, PA.
#5 Vincent Rizzo 319 cars. Metric Subaru, Huntington, NY
#6 Vincent Bovenzi, 315 cars, Van Bortel Subaru, Victor NY
#7 Daniel D'Andrea, 303 cars, Grand Subaru, Bensenville, IL
#8 Mir Masood, 303 cars. Stevens Creek Subaru, Stevens Creek Ca. 
#9 Charles Gianakis, 286 cars, Cherry Hill Subaru, Cherry Hill, NJ.
#10 Jack Berkowitz, 284 cars. Manchester Subaru, Manchester NH.
#11 Shawn Pies, 270 cars. Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#12 Jeff Miletta, 265 cars.  Liberty Subaru, Oradell, NJ;
#13 Lawrence Fung, 264 cars. Carlsen Subaru, Redwood City, Ca
#13 Harold Gosnell, 264 cars, #1 Cochran Subaru, Monroeville, PA.
#13 Ahmad Rahimzadah, 264 cars. Livermore Subaru, Livermore, Ca.
#16 Michael Reed, 256 cars, Wagner Subaru,  Fairborn, Oh
#17 Ronald Hall, 254 cars, Shortline Subaru, Aurora Co
#18 Theresa Ali, 253 cars. Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY.
#19 John Hughes, 252 cars. Sheehy Subaru, Springfield, Va
#20 Margaret Walsh, 239 cars. Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY.
#21 Joe Khattar, 238 cars. Goldstein Subaru of Albany, Colonie, NY
#21 Aleksey Petrushkin, 238 cars.  Ramsey Subaru Ramsey, NJ.
#23 Zhou Kan, 235 cars, Fitzgerald Subaru of Gaithersburg, Gaithersburg, Md
#24 Michael Nelson, 231 cars, Cityside Subaru, Belmont, Me
#25 Abe Baraka, 227 cars. Bruce Titus Eastside Subaru. Kirkland, WA
#25 Jamie Cassidy, 227 cars. Capitol Subaru, Salem, Or

#27 Ronald Kula, 225 cars. Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, OH
#27 Alix Plaster, 225 cars. New to the list. Walkers Subaru, Renton, Wa
#29 Glen Dalton. 222 cars, Cityside Subaru, Belmont. MA.
#29 Todd Gerry, 222 cars, Steve Lewis Subaru, Hadley, Hadley, Ma
#31 Robert Mantell, 221 cars, Ramsey Subaru, Upper Saddle River, NJ
#31 James Smith, 221 cars, Stivers Decatur Subaru, Decatur, Ga
#33 Kevin Suchora, 220 cars, Boardman Subaru, Boardman, OH.
#34 Jeremy Vitale, 216 cars, Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#35 Derek Bogdan, 214 cars. Cityside Subaru, Belmont, MA
#36 Mark Lidano, 212 cars. Cityside Subaru, Belmont, Ma
#37 Chris Ledoux, 211 cars, Betera Subaru of Hartford, CT
#37 Karl Lindemuth, 211 cars, Van Bortel Subaru, Victor, NY
#37 Mark Moore, 211 cars, Stevens Creek Subaru, Steven's Creek, C
#40 Theocharis Mochlas, 205 cars, Subaru Stamford, CT
#41 Michael Rhoads, 204 cars, Bob Rohrman Subaru, Lafayette, In
#42 Jeffrey Barkan, 203 cars. Competiton Subaru of Smithtown,  St James, NY
#42 Thane Kreager, 203 cars, Beardmore Subaru, Bellevue, NE
#44 Karen Berval, 202 cars, Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, Oh
#45 Nick Cancelliere, 200 cars, Brunswick Subaru, Brunswick, Oh
#46 Michael McAvoy, 199 cars, Roto Subaru,
Arlington Heights, IL
#47 Marc Debenedictis, 198 cars, Curry Subaru,
Cortland Manor, NY
#48 Thomas Quinn, 197 cars, Liberty Subaru, Oradell, NJ
#49 Robert Pavone, 196 cars, Becker Subaru,
Allentown, Pa
#50 James Bozza, 195 cars, Koeppel Subaru,
Long Island City, NY
#50 Shelly Catanzano, 195 cars, #1 Cochran Subaru,
Monroeville, PA.
#50 Donald DJ Dougherty, 195 cars, Penninsula Subaru, Bremerton, Wa
#50 John Myers, 195 cars, Grayson Subaru,
Knoxville, TN

 Ferris Reid- would have been one of the top but he's now a manager, Georgetown Subaru, Norwalk, CT

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SUBARU SALES IN 2012
and related car sales news and statistics

click for archived news from 2011
articles edited for length, content

unofficial information, edited for length and content. subject to change, correction
-




1/3/13 2012 sales totals. Subaru breaks all their previous year records.
336,441 for the year. Thats up 26% over 266,989 for all of 2011.  Even with some models in tight supply, like the Impreza and its new Crosstrek cousin, and the low production BRZ, Subaru exceeded their own sales predictions that just 12 months ago seemed just a more dream than reality
The Outback is the star, selling 117,553 for year.  Forester is #2 with 76,347, and Impreza is #3 with 68,175, and they're almost tied if the Impreza and its sibling Crosstrek are combined, with 75,571 total.
The Legacy sedan
The Tribeca is still with us despite on-going rumors regarding its immanent demise, though its on life support with only 2075 for the entire year.  Thats less than the high dollar, glamorous Bentley.
The question will be if Subaru can maintain the growth. With its first hybrid and a redesigned Forester due in 2013, its possible. First they'll have to solve the inventory problems that have left customers waiting months and months for some models. And with growth, can they maintain the quality- note the recent recall of vehicles with optional puddle lights.
> Here are the 2012 totals by model
Outback 117,553 in 2012, up 12.6% over 104,405 in 2011
Forester 76,347 in 2012, up .2% over 76,196 in 2011
Legacy 47,127 in 2012, up 11.2% over 42401 in 2011
Impreza 68,175 in 2012, up 148.9% over 27391 in 2011
Tribeca 2,075 in 2012, down 25.7% from 2791 in 2011
WRX, STI 13,624 in 2012, down 1.3% from 13805 in 2011
BRZ 4,144 for 2012
Crosstrek 7,396 for 2012

> December 2012 sales totals
Outback 12,072, down 10.1% from 13430 December 2011
Forester 8764, up 1.9% over 8601 December 2011
Legacy 4217, down 8.8% from 4625 December 2911
Impreza 5863, up 7.3% over 5464 December 2011
Tribeca 189, down 41.7% from 324 December 2011
WRX, STI 1,642, up 30.6% over 1257 December 2011
BRZ 497
Crosstrek 3409

12/3 November sales total 28,206 which is 59.7% more than November 2011 17,657.
The YTD total through November is 299,788. Subaru management must have been watching the computers until late Friday night (Nov 30th), eagerly hoping for last minute sales reporting by dealers to push them over the 300,000 mark for the first time in SoA history. Alas, that didn't happen until December 1st. But regardless of the date, Subaru is now in record breaking sales territory and it's now widely accepted that they will exceed their own once admittedly optimistic goal of 320,000 for the year. The previous sales record was 2011s 266,989.
A big reason for the large increase this November (2012) is that in November 2011 there were no Imprezas for sale, they were non-existent due the earthquake/tsunami postponing availability of the 2012s.
Outback 10,124, up 38.8% compared to 7293 11/2011
Forester 5,703, down 2.2% compared to 5,829 11/2011
Legacy 3,723 up 28.7% compared to 2,892 11/2011
Impreza 4,552 up 2401% compared to only 182 in 11/2011 when there were none available
WRX, STI 1,353 up 10% compared to 1,230 11/2011
Crosstrek 2,060. This is the 2nd full month for Crosstrek sales. So fate the total is 3987.
BRZ 527 for the month, for a total of 3647 for the year.



11/28 Subaru announces is has sold its 6,000,0000th car in the US. It took 44 years, from 1968-2012. The car was a Crosstrek sold at Subaru of Georgetown, in Georgetown, Texas, near Austin.


11/2 October sales total 26119. This is the best October ever, beating the previous record of 22,720 set October 2010. Last October (2011) Subaru sold 20,081.
By car line for October 2012
Outback 10,153 vs 8,891 October 2011
Forester 5,309 vs 5,385 October 2011
Legacy 3,598 vs 3,546 October 2011
Impreza 3,638 vs 486 October 2011 (this was a lost month between the end of the 11s and the late start of the 12s)
WRX STI 1,100  vs 1,507 October 2011, a dramatic decline for Subarus halo models.
Tribeca 184 vs 266 October 2011
Crosstrek 1,735
BRZ 402
Subaru is selling more cars than ever. Outback and Impreza/Crosstrek  carried the increase for the month. Outback was up 1,262.  If you add together the current models built at the Yajima plant, the Impreza, Crosstrek, WRX STI, and BRZ,  the October 2012 total is 6839 which is a considerable increase over the 3676 Imprezas and WRX STIs sold in October 2010.  But the WRX STI was down 407 cars and factory orders are taking a long time to get filled.  Perhaps they're shifting production to the Impreza/Crosstrek? The October 2012 sales for  Forester, Legacy and Tribeca totals were almost identical to their 2011 sales.
Subaru outsold all of 2011's 266,989 on October 29th. This is a repeat.  They outsold 2009s 216,652 on November 3, 2010. Ok, so they were 6 days earlier this year.
Canada sales total 3,035, their best month ever. Crosstrek 529, SCI YTD total is 25,462



10/31 10 months into the year, 2 months left to go and Subaru has already outsold all of 2011. In fact, the cars are selling so fast that some dealers in traditionally strong Subaru areas are running low on cars.
The press release: "Subaru of America, Inc. has reported it has broken its previous yearly sales record with more than two months of the year still remaining.
Sales for 2012 have now surpassed the previous sales record of 266,989 vehicles which was set in 2011 and mark the company’s fifth year of sales growth and fourth successive sales record. Sales in 2012 have been driven by the all-new 36mpg Impreza, and the addition of the all-new XV Crosstrek small CUV as well as the BRZ sports car.
“Subaru is celebrating yet another record,” said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America, Inc. “Our brand is poised to exceed sales of 320,000 vehicles for 2012 and with a full year of sales for the XV Crosstrek and other new models on the way, we expect 2013 to be yet another record year for Subaru.”


11/1 October 2012 sales total 26,119
On October 29th, Subaru outsold all of 2011s 266,989
Total sales for the month 26,119, up 30% from 20,081 October 2011
BRZ 402
Impreza 3,638
Forester 5,309
WRX, STI 1,100
Legacy 3,598
Outback 10,153
Crosstrek 1,735- the 1st full month for this model
Tribeca 184


10/2 September sales- another new record with 27,683 cars sold compared to 20,934 units in September 2011. That's an increase of 6,749 units (32%)
Its a record for September and 4th best month ever
YTD total 245,463 which is an increase of 49,913 (26%) cars over 195,550 YTD 2011
Sales by model
Outback 10,583, a 39% increase over 7607  9/2011
Legacy 4,124, a 31.38%% increase over 3139 9/2011
Forester  6,066, a 8% decline from 6592 9/2011
Impreza 4991, a 211% increase over 9/2011 when there were no 2011s left and the redesigned 2012s were still 2 months away
WRX STI  1079, a 38% decline from 1739 9/2011
BRZ 508
Crosstrek (the first month for any sales)  192 were delivered
Tribeca 139, a 45% decline from 256 9/2011

9/5 August sales total 28,293. The total for August is up 36% over 20,837 August 2011, and is the 2nd best August ever. #1 was August 2009 with 28,683, That was due to the Cash For Clunkers explosion.
YTD through August 2012 is 217,780, up 25% over 174,616 2011 many models are in short supply, selling quickly off the lots.
Subaru is the little engine that could, and won't be little for long. The goal for the year is 320,000 cars, unthinkable number just a few years ago, and Subaru might exceed it
Outback 11,285, up 49% over 7572 2011
Legacy 3,872, up 18% over 3271 August 2011
Impreza 4,719, up 84% over 2,559 August 2011
WRX STI 681, down 15% from 801 August 2011
Forester 6,956 up 8% over 6429 August 2011
Tribeca 157 down 23% from 205 August 2011
BRZ 623
Subaru Canada; 2,680 cars, up 43.9% over August 2011 and a record for August.


8/1 July sales - total 25,183, another record breaking month, up 16% over 21,730 July 2011
The previous best July was 2010 during the Cash For Clunkers frenzy with 23,983. Inventory last July (2011) was starting to get tight due to the earthquake/tsunami.
Year to date total is 189,487, which is 23% over 2011s 153,779.
Totals for July 2012
BRZ 498 for the month
Outback 9,282, up 11% over 8.373 July 2011
Forester 6,451, up 4% over ,6,218 July 2011
Impreza 4,553, up 111% 2,162 July 2011
Legacy 3,321, down 9% 3.644 July 2011
WRX, STI 925, down 16% from 1098 July 2011
Tribeca 151, down 36% from 235 July 2011
 
7/3 June sales- total 27,702. YTD total 164,304.

The June 2012 total is up 40% and the YTD total is up 24% over 2011 which is no surprise since the 2011 inventory was severely diminished due to the March 2011 earthquake in Japan.
Forester 7233, +32% over June 2011.
Mid year total 37,096, -0.12% from mid year 2011
Outback 9254, +16.325 over 7914 last June. Mid year total 54,054, +5.49% over mid year 2011
Legacy 3894, +12.91% over 3471 last June.
Mid year total 24,272, +14.04% over mid year 2011
Impreza 5181, +146.71% over June 2011. Mid year total 39,858, +166.84% over mid year 2011
WRX STI 1138, +71.64% over June 2011. Mid year total 6,844, +10.87% over mid year 2011
Tribeca 184, +2.22% over 180 June 2011. Mid year total 1,091, -14.36% over mid year 2011
BRZ 818. YTD for the BRZ is 1089.

6/1 May sales total 29,724, up 48% over tsunami-impacted May 2011. Thats the 5th record setting month in a row.
This is the first month with BRZ results and the total is 271 which means that fewer than half the dealers received one, indicating just how tight the supply is and why some - not all -  dealers are marking up the price on a BRZ that is available.
Tribeca is -10% from May 2011 but continues to sell despite rumors that the end is near.
Subaru's  YTD total is 136,602 which is up 21.69% over YTD 2011. In post-Tsunami May 2011, the Japan-built Impreza, WRX STI, and Forester were already in short supply.
May totals:
BRZ 271 for May 2012
Forester 7323, +41.02% over 5192 May 2011
Outback 9192, +9.03% over 8431 May 2011
Legacy 4462, +23.33% over 3618 May 2011
Impreza 6768, +235.77% over 2021 May 2011
WRX, STI 1515 +158.91% over 589 May 2011
Tribeca 165, -10.33% from 184 May 2011

Canada sales:
2,802 for the month. Impreza: 974


5/1 April sales total 26,310, +6% over 24762 in 2011, and the best April ever. The Impreza is the big gainer this month, up a 124% over the dwindling sales on the final old style 2011s last April. Impreza numbers should only increase as Fuji produce more 5 doors, especially the new Crosstrek later this summer. Forester takes the volume drop this month but is still a steady seller and excellent value. 2013 Foresters can already be ordered, its the 2014 Forester next year that gets the big redesign. WRX and STI hold their own as always and would sell more if they were available. This time next month we should have the first monthly sales total for the BRZ. We might see the first 2013 Outback, Legacy and Forester in June, so the push this month, the best deals, should be on 2012 Forester and Legacy. 
April 2012 by model:
Forester 5,666 -16% from 6714 in 2011
Impreza 6,701 +124% 3029 in 2011
Outback 8,548 -10% from 9465 in 2011
Legacy 3,799  -4% from 3975 in 2011
Tribeca 154 - 36% from 241 in 2011
WRX/STI 1,352 +1% over 1338 in 2011


4/3 March 2012 sales.  The 2nd biggest sales month ever, exceeded only by 33,701 sold last December 2011.
Sales Total for the month is 32,387 which is up 20.33% over 26,916 March 2011
Impreza and Legacy had their best sales month ever. 
Perennial favorite Forester is down for the month and the year. 2012 orders have already been cut off months before it would usually happen so perhaps some changes are coming sooner than expected. 
Impreza 8545 is up an amazing 214.17% over 2719 March 2011, and YTD +170.96% to 21,100
Outback 10,998, +3.70% over 10,498 March 2011, and YTD +6.41 to 25429
Legacy 5383, +20.99% over 4450 March 2011, YTD +18.56% to 12,117
Forester 6192, -18.84% from 7629 March 2011, YTD -14.64% to 16,874
WRX/STI 1197, -12.76% from 1372 March 2011, YTD -21.04% to 2829
Tribeca 183, -26.21% from 248 March 2011, YTD -12.11% to 588
YTD total is 80,568, +19.44% over 67457 YTD 2011.

The terrible earthquake and tsunami of last March will have an impact on and skew comparisons of 2012 sales to 2011's but the inventory drops didn't start until May. All new model year introductions were pushed back 2-3 months.


3/2 February sales- total 25,374, up 17% over 216833 in Feb 2011.
The redesigned 2012 Impreza is up a whopping 125% over February 2011, which indicates how much people like the new 12s, especially the new fuel economy, and also how dated and the previous versions had become.  Outback and Legacy are also up. The Forester is down even with lower finance rates. And the Tribeca continues to hovers around 200+/- a month.
YTD the total is  for January and February is 48181 +18.85% over 40541 2011.
Subaru's goal for 2012 is 320,000, which means they need to average 26,667 cars per month. These slower winter months will lead to stronger spring sales, with the new BRZ in May bringing a lot of publicity, and mostly the new going-to-be-very-popular Impreza that won't be called an Impreza, the Impreza VX Crosstrek will be here late summer.
Outback 8762 +10.20% over 7971 in 2011
Legacy 3614 +11.47% over 3242 in 2011
Forester 5565 -12.14% from 6334 in 2011
Impreza 6334 +125.41% over 2810 in 2011
WRX, STI 992 -17.90% from 1123 in 2011
Tribeca 177 - 20.63% from 223 in 2011

Canada sales- total for February 2012: 1,902 car sold, a record record month. Impreza 684, up 54.8% over February 2011, WRX/STI +18.4%.

2/1 January sales- 22807 total, + 20.94% over 18,858 for January 2011
Outback, the volume leader for the month with 7412 sold, up 6.19% over 6980 January 2011
Impreza a solid 6221, which is a up a phenomenal 175.51% over 2258 January 2011. And once the inventory improves that number should go even higher!
Forester 5117, down 11.87% from 5806 January 2011. Still has the best visibility and utility of any small crossover.
WRX, STI 710, down 34.74% from 1088 January 2011. No surprise as they build more Impreza 2.0Ls they would produce fewer WRXs
Legacy 3119, up 23.38% over 2528 January 2011. Its a great value and under appreciated
Tribeca 228, up 15.15% over 198 January 2011. Continues to sell around 200 each month with almost no advertising.


1/12 top selling cars for 2011 
>  Top  car companies- Subaru is #12 in the US for 2012 with 2.1% of the US market.
#1 GM 2,503,797. #2 Ford 2,143,101. #3 Toyota 1,644,161. #4 Chrysler 1,349,345. #5 Honda 1,147,285. #6 Dodge/Ram 708,650. #7 Hyundai 645,691. #8 Kia 485,492. #9 Jeep 419,349. #10 GMC 397,986 #11 VW 324,402. #12 Subaru 266,989. #13 Mercedes 261,808, #14 Mazda 250,42. #15 BMW 247,907. #16 Chrysler 221,346. #17 Lexus 198,55. #18 Buick 177,63. #19 Cadillac 152,389., #20 Acura 123,290, #21 Audi 117,561. #22 Infiniti 98,461. #23 Lincoln 85,643. #24 Mitsubishi 79,020. #25 Volvo 67,240. #26 Mini 57,511. #27 Scion 49,271. #28 Land Rover 38,099. #29 Porsche 29,02. #30 Suzuki 26,618. #31 Fiat 19,769. #32 Jaguar 12,276. #33 Saab 5610. #34 Smart 5208. #35 Maserati 2321. #36 Bentley 1877

> Top car brands -  #1 Ford 2,057,210. #2 Chevy 1,775,802. #3 Toyota 1,446,109. #4 Honda 1,023,986. #5 Nissan 944,073

> Top car models - #1 Ford F series 584, 917 #2 Chevy Silverado 415,130. #3 Camry 308,510. #4 Nissan Altima 268,981. #5 Ford Escape 254,293. #6 Ford Fusion 248,067. #7 Dodge Ram 244,763. #8 Toyota Corolla 240,259. #9 Honda Accord 235,625. #10 Chevy Cruze 231,732
Canada- Top Cdn car companies: Subaru was #15 with 26,984 total for the year
 #1 Ford 267,788. #2 Dodge/Ram 167,636. #3 Chevy 150,540. 34 Toyota 144,176. #5 Hyundai 129,240. #6 Honda 107,849. #7 Nissan 77,731. #8 GMC 72,989. #9 Mazda 69,186. #10 Kia 65,123. #11 VW 52,604. #12 Jeep 42,909. #13 Mercedes 31,063. #14 BMW 29,773. #15 Subaru 26,984

1/4 December 2011 sales and 2011 total sales- what an ending to a troubled year for SoA, with the best month ever and best year ever!
December total was a record 33,701 cars sold, thats the best month ever for SoA. The previous best was August 2009, Cash for Clunkers month, with 28,683 cars sold, and December 2011 beat that by 5018 cars.
The December 2011 33,701 total is an increase of 26.25% over 26,694 during December 2010. 
Subaru did a great job fast shipping cars and the 0% financing announced 12/10/11 - through 1/3/12- helped for the last 3 weeks. 
> Outback- the big seller for the month with 13,430, an increase of 30.95% over 10,256 Outbacks in December 2010.
Outback is #1 seller for the year, its SoA's volume leader for 2011 with 104,405, up 12.09% from 93,148 in 2010
> Forester- there were 8,601 purchased in December 2011, an increase of  6.61% from 8,068 Dec, 2010.
Total Foresters sold for 2011 was 76,196, down 10.44% from 85,080 in 2010. The Forester is due for a redesign and a fuel economy increase with a CVT, and perhaps even hybrid technology. Stay tuned for more info. 
> Impreza- the total for the all new Impreza 2.0i was 5,464 sold for December 2011. Thats a very strong debut, and  a good month by past Impreza standards. Its even more impressive considering the 2012 models had just started arriving in November and were quickly stopped for a few weeks by the parking brake recall.  The response to the new models has been very favorable. December 2011 was a 86.68% increase over 2,927 in 2010. 
For the 2011 year, Impreza was down to 27,391 from 36,072 in 2010. Thats a drop of -24.07% which isn't suprising given the successful 2011 model closeout followed by the 2012 model earthquake/tsunami and later recall delays. There were almost no Imprezas for sale for 2 months, October and November. 
> WRX, STI- 1257 for December 2011, down -5.63% from 1332. 
2011 WRX STI total 13805, up a suprising 65.87% from 8323 in 2010. There is no individual model count for WRX  or STI. 
> Legacy- December 2011 total 4625, up +19.08% from 3884 December 2010.
2011 Legacy total was 42,401, up 9.49% from 38,725 in 2010. The Legacy is an excellent value and under-appreciated in the crowded family sedan market. An almost 10% increase in a rough year is a notable success. 
> Tribeca-  324 for the model, up a  +42.73% from 227. 
2011 Tribeca's total was 2791 for the year, +12.90% from 2472 in 2010. Will there be a 2013 Tribeca?

2011 Subaru sales total
for the year was 266,989, a slim but very important 1.20% increase over the previous record of 263,820 set last year, 2010. Subaru has now had record sales for three years in a row and is the only in the US car company to have four successive years of sales growth. It was a troubled year for Subaru though and even matching 2010s record could have been considered a success. Sales through September were actually up. The March earthquake/tsunami catatastrophy had, is still having, a huge human toll.  Subaru was fortunate however that their factories were not damaged, though it cost at least 2 full months of new 2012 Impreza sales, the 2012 Outback and Legacy would have been available in June instead of September, and there would have been no inventory shortages through the summer. Then the November recall on Outback, Legacy and Impreza slowed the long-awaited inventory rebound. So any increase is a testament to Subaru market strength.

Canadian sales
December total 2,493 units, up 6.2% over last December 2010. 2012 Impreza 991, 2012 WRX STI  170 
2011 total.  26,984  for the year,  the second best year in Subaru Canada’s history.

1/3/2012 final days for 2011 sales, 
0% financing ends 1/3. New rates will be announced Wednesday 4th.
Also ending,  Share the Love v 4.0  Buy a new Subaru 11/19/11 -1/3/12 and Subaru donates $250 to your choice of  American Forests, ASPCA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Meals On Wheels, Special Olympics.  More information, images


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the end