2010 Subaru Legacy Review

Monday October 19th, 2009 at 12:1010 PM
Posted by: bclark

2010 Subaru Legacy

By Bill Clark

Pros:

  • New styling looks great
  • It’s big
  • Very well-appointed – even in base trim
  • All things Subaru – affordable, practical, all-wheel drive
  • Very comfortable road car

Cons

  • Lethargic engine – especially at freeway speeds
  • Leans like a wet noodle when pushed hard around corners

Don’t tell the Editors, but let’s just say I was less than enthusiastic when I was told I would be testing the new 2010 Subaru Legacy sedan. While I reluctantly waited outside the house for the demo vehicle to be delivered, a number of cars drove by, including a very sharp, muscular, modern-looking sedan. The sedan slows in front of me while I am taking a long look at it – ‘nice’, I think to myself. Then I notice the Subaru emblem on the front grille. Wait… What? Is that it? That’s a Subaru? Well, things are looking up! Let’s just say the word ‘new’ does not do the car justice – I’d say transformed!

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Toyota FT-86: The Toyota/Subaru Sports Coupe Breaks Cover

Wednesday October 7th, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Toyota/Subaru FT-86

The on again/off again/on again for real Toyota/Subaru sports coupe is certainly on for real now. Official pics and specs of the upcoming two-company joint venture are out, and it looks to be a pretty impressive car on a number of fronts.

The rear-wheel drive coupe that will be badged as a Toyota was co-developed with Subaru (who provides the engine) and will make its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. The name FT-86 is a nod to the popular RWD Corolla AE86 of the mid-1980s. The production version of the 2+2 FT-86 sports coupe, is due to go on sale towards the end of 2011.

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Top Gear goes for a ride with Ken Block

Monday July 6th, 2009 at 1:77 PM
Posted by: Derek

James May (Top Gear) visits Ken Block

Ken Block has achieved Internet fame with his gymkhana drifting practice videos. For guys (and gals) who aren’t afraid of having a little grease embedded in their fingerprints, Ken Block’s videos are simply visual artistry in motion.

Well, it seems that the producers at Top Gear were impressed with Ken’s skills and promptly send James May across the pond to the U.S. for a lesson in drifting – Ken Block style. Unless you’ve been camping out in Outer Mongolia or are still using a 56k dial-up Internet connection, you’ve probably seen Ken Block’s gymkhana practice video. As an added bonus, Ricky Carmichael (10 time motocross champion) literally jumps in and “BAM!”, kicks it up a notch Emeril-style.

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Diesel Subarus On Their Way?

Monday June 15th, 2009 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Subaru

According to reports in the green blogosphere, Subaru, maker of fine, boxer powered all wheel drive cars, will soon be adding diesels engines to its range of engine choices, at least in the home market. Odd really, because Japan was never that into diesel cars. Sure, delivery trucks, but very few private individuals buy diesels.

Subaru introduced its first diesel engine in Europe in 2008, naturally, a boxer, and has sold over 30,000 examples, but that makes sense since oil burners are very, very popular there. So popular in fact that 54.1 percent of Legacy sales in Europe have been diesels.

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Subaru Gets WRX STI into New Fast & Furious Film

Thursday April 2nd, 2009 at 9:44 AM
Posted by: m35man

Subaru WRX STi from Fast and Furious 4Getting a car in a big movie is a huge deal. Films like Transformers and Fast and Furious have contributed to the publicity machine surrounding several vehicles. And now Subaru is thrilled to have a car (their WRX STI) in the new Fast and Furious movie.

The exposure a top-rated film can offer to a car manufacturer is enormous. Car companies are anxious to get their hottest, newest vehicles on the big screen, because consumers are just as much into image and style as they are into performance and reliability. The young demographic that will flock to see Fast and Furious will undoubtedly be attracted to the new Subaru.

It ends up being a mini infomercial within a film—something that would have cost Subaru a pretty penny if they had tried to produce it on their own.

“Fast & Furious” is directed by Justin Lin, the man behind the third installment, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Gal Gadot, Shea Whigham, Tego Calderon and Liza Lapira is set for a April 3, 2009 release.

Portions of an article and a related video that appeared last week on www.edmunds.com after the jump:

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2009 Subaru Outback Review – the car that loves the outdoors, no matter the conditions!

Thursday March 5th, 2009 at 9:33 AM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2009 Subaru Outback
By Holly R.

Pros:

  • Really decent acceleration in “sport” and “sport sharp” mode
  • Lots of room in the seats and back of the car
  • Drives great in off-road type conditions (grass, gravel, dirt), and handled a terribly stormy day (wind and sideways rain) with aplomb
  • Tinted windows were a nice touch both for security and curb appeal

Cons:

  • No built-in Bluetooth®
  • Tinted windows limit outward vision

Introduction:

I’d rented an Outback on an out of town trip before, but that was before I started writing car reviews! I was curious about how it would stand up to a real test, and knew that if the weather sucked, the car would certainly not let me down. It was like the weather knew too… So I was able to test this car in some pretty crappy conditions. Excellent!

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2009 Subaru Forester Review – The right tool for the job

Tuesday February 10th, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2009
By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Boxer engine provides plenty of torque
  • All-wheel drive traction
  • Lots of interior room
  • Huge panoramic sunroof

Cons:

  • Dated 4 speed transmission
  • Suspension is a bit soft
  • Bland interior/exterior design
  • Too many rattles and buzzes

Step into some cars these days and you think you’ve entered some high tech penthouse, with LCD screens everywhere, more buttons and knobs than a recording studio, and leather upholstery as far as the eye can see. With all this technology and creature comfort it is easy to forget that a car is still fundamentally a tool. We use them to do a job, whether it be driving to and from work every day, or hauling a bunch of gear to the game, or navigating safely through a nasty storm. Preferably they do these jobs efficiently and reliably, with little fuss or muss.

Subaru has long made cars that are meant to be more practical than posh. With lots of interior room, all-wheel drive standard on every model, and gutsy boxer engines, Subarus are the go-to choice for hikers, mountain bikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. One of Subaru’s best selling and most practical models is the Forester, a car that can’t quite figure out if it is a station wagon or an SUV. Revised for 2009, we took the new Forester out for a week of bike hauling, back roading, and even grocery getting to see if this practical car would be the right tool for the job.

Driving Impressions

2009 Subaru Forester - Subaru symmetrical AWDLike every Subaru, the Forester comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive, which is fully active and provides power from the engine to all four wheels simultaneously. Due to a week of sunny skies and record warm temperatures, we weren’t able to drive the Forester in conditions that would put the system to the test, but a few hard launches in a dirt lot did demonstrate its ability to distribute thrust to all four wheels without even a hint of wheelspin. Although the Forester still drives more like a car than most small SUVs, the new model rides taller than before and provides outstanding ground clearance, a plus for those who plan to take it off-road.

Performance

Like previous model years, the Forester comes with 2 engine options: base X models come with a 2.5 L boxer 4 cylinder that produces 170 hp and 170 lb-ft torque, while XT models feature a turbocharged version of the same engine that ups the power to 224 hp and 226 lb-ft torque. Our tester came with the regular engine, which although not a powerhouse, still provides plenty of thrust for driving around town. The torque curve is also nice and flat, so much of the power is available at low RPMs. The engine does come up a bit short when accelerating hard (0-60 takes over 10 seconds) or driving in the mountains, so speed freaks should definitely order the turbo.

2009 Subaru Forester - 2.5-liter SOHC Subaru Boxer engine

Unfortunately, Subaru decided to also carryover the 4 speed automatic transmission from last year. Although this is a functionally competent slushbox, the dated design definitely limits the potential of the engine. Driving in the mountains means lots of lurching between 2nd and 3rd gear, as the engine tries in vane to respond to the inputs from the gas pedal. Even on flatland the lack of available gear ratios means that at certain speeds the engine will be caught flatfooted if you need to accelerate suddenly, such as when merging onto the freeway. The transmission does feature a sport mode that allows for manual shifting, but this does little to make up for the lack of gears.

Handling

Take the Forester out for a spin and it’s immediately apparent that the suspension has been tuned more for ride quality than handling. The rear shocks are especially soft and almost wallow in their travel, causing the car to pitch back and forth a bit after hitting larger bumps. Once you get used to the soft suspension, the Forrester will reveal itself to be a fairly capable car in the twisties. Grip from the 17” all-season tires is quite good and braking is solid, but steering response is vague, which makes it hard to precisely position the car through a corner. Although the Forester is not as top-heavy as most SUV’s and is definitely more agile, those looking to tear up the backroads would probably be better off in a WRX.

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Subaru Boom Boy Ya!

Thursday January 8th, 2009 at 7:11 AM
Posted by: goofshow

Subaru badgeWhen it comes to the auto industry you got to look for the smallest speck of sunshine–no matter how miniscule it might be. Subaru of America has just announced a 0.3% sales increase for full-year 2008 sales over 2007. That’s right, you heard me, A 0.3% INCREASE, making Subaru the one and only full-line brand with positive sales through November 2008. The firm-Subaru-pat-on-the-back goes to the Impreza, Legacy and Forester lines who have brought home the record results. Thank god for Japanese cars for keeping the American auto industry somewhat afloat. On the other hand, this year most automakers posted “sizable” decreases. Former industry leader General Motors sales fell 23 percent from last year, while previous second in the U.S., Toyota saw a 15 percent drop. (No need to mention other precedent decreases as Ford Motor 21 percent; Chrysler 30 percent; and Honda 8 percent.) If this were the Olympics, Subaru would be standing alone at the medal platform without the benefit of any other medalists. So hats off to you Subaru, and remember, it’s lonely at the top!

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WRX STI N-Spec by Ings

Tuesday January 6th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Ings N Spec Bodykit Subaru Impreza WRX STIThe march of the aftermarket carries on, it would seem. What we have pictured here is another offering from the Japanese home market tuning house Ings. Essentially it’s a body kit constructed to N-Spec rules. N-Spec being a Japanese endurance race series titled the Super Taikyu racing series (yeah little overblown, but that’s par for the course for Japanese names, isn’t it?)..

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