Archive for category Subaru Magazine

Subaru Outback – Redefining the Concept of Ruggedness

The Subaru Outback is an American idea. Subaru of America was suffering from lagging sales because they had nothing with which to combat the emerging plethora of “sports utility vehicles” from their North American competition. In the mid-nineties the American division pushed their Japanese parent to come up with their own sporty SUV model.

Fuji Heavy Industries lacked the capital and time to develop a whole new model so they added exterior cladding to their Legacy Wagon, raised the ride height via a suspension lift kit and began an aggressive advertising campaign offering the Legacy Outback as a sensible, sporty, powerful and less-costly-to-operate alternative to heavy, truck-based sports utility vehicles (SUVs). The Legacy Wagon already offered powerful engines and all-wheel-drive, so the dress-up was all that was needed.

Australian actor and action star icon, Paul Hogan (aka Crocodile Dundee) was hired as the spokesperson for the new model. The action television ads featured Hogan and a companion driving an Outback and escaping or evading pursuers who were lumbering along in their huge SUVs. The ads were clever and attention getting. Sales in North America skyrocketed, so the model began to be offered in other markets with much the same success.

The Legacy Grand Wagon was the model name for the vehicle outside of the USA, but in 2004, the name Outback was adopted for use worldwide. Subaru is credited with creating the crossover segment of the market with the Outback, one that has since been copied by every automobile manufacturer in the world. However, the American Motors Eagle Wagon, introduced in 1979, was the first compact with all-wheel-drive. AMC’s effort was short-lived and did not make any impact on the market. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sneak Peek at the 2012 Subaru Impreza

Subaru’s smart compact Impreza is being updated and will be released in Fall 2011 for the 2012 model year. Available in four door sedan and five door hatchback, the all-wheel-drive Impreza offers impressive handling, a decent ride and if forecasts for the upcoming model year are correct, exceptional fuel economy.

Smallest Subaru

The Impreza is the smallest model sold by Subaru, a niche maker of all-wheel-drive cars. Every model Subaru makes is powered by all four wheels, giving its vehicles an edge that few other vehicles have. That edge, however, comes at a slight price premium and reduction in fuel economy, the latter though not as pressing an issue for 2012.

Indeed, Subaru estimates that the 2012 Impreza will deliver 36 mpg highway, about the same amount delivered by some of its front-wheel-drive competitors including the Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta and Chevolet Cruze.

Global Debut

The 2012 Subaru Impreza makes its global debut at the New York International Auto Show in April and will be built in Japan. Subaru production has been curtailed since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami affected a slice of the country, but the Impreza’s introduction isn’t expected to be delayed.

Details about the all new Impreza are sketchy, but based on press reports and previous concepts and model introductions, the car is expected to be powered by a 2.0-liter four, probably paired with a six-speed automatic. The current Impreza has been criticized for its tight rear passenger room, a problem Subaru may rectify with the new model. Subaru is tight-lipped about the car’s introduction, knowing that several of its competitors are ready to unveil new models of its own. Read the rest of this entry »

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