• Dec 23rd 2007 at 7:50PM
  • 20

In Subaru's probably several-year-old video above (I'm basing the age on changes in car availability, fuel and mileage), the Subaru Legacy is compared to its "very direct competitors" the Toyota Camry hybrid and Honda Accord hybrid when it comes to the price of the car, fuel use costs and time of payback for the price hybrid price premium. Subaru presents the price and mileage as showing a "pretty big advantage to the Camry and Accord. Right? But wait, lets look at what these numbers really mean." After some number crunching, we find it will take 10.8 years ("that's a long time") and 32.4 years ("that's certainly no bargain") to make up for the "cost penalty" of buying these hybrids and not the Subaru Legacy.

The video also points out hybrids can go "at very low speeds" on electric power alone but "it is no easy task to coordinate the efforts of the electric motor and the gasoline engine." Batteries, the video notes, are "heavy and expensive" and hybrids require "complex systems" to shut off at stop lights. Subaru says they "are not trying to make light of the fuel economy achievements of the these hybrids vehicles. But we are also not convinced that they are worth the price premium as these numbers illustrate."

Has this video convinced you the Subaru Legacy is better than the Toyota Camry hybrid and Honda Accord hybrid? How will today's arguments for and against hybrids look in five years?

[Source: YouTube]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is obvious to me that this is an internal video aimed at providing Subaru Sales Staff an angle to use with any customer that comes in and talks about hybrids. This is not a commercial - its a training video.

      While each manufacturer adjusts to current market conditions and consumer demand, they have to make sure they can unload what they have in the showrooms - so it is inevitable that these types of videos will surface.

      Subaru is definitely looking at the future of hybrid and fully electric cars/trucks - have you all forgotten about the G4e?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Joseph, You are correct, under two years is possible but I really hope Subaru did not produce this as gas prices went up last year. As Andrew mentioned, they are using very low gas prices. Domenick is right about resale but I think they could have mentioned tax breaks too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Subaru's claim to fame is AWD, but AWD has a major negative impact on gas mileage.

      And their top trimlines have turbos that require premium fuel!

      I drive an old Legacy now but won't be buying another Subaru unless they offer a thriftier diesel engine option here in the U.S.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Wait they were quoting American dollars but forgot to factor in the tax rebates available to the hybrids into the costs savings?

      Well, seems like all the hybrid naysayers do that..... How convenient.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Clearly a case of marketing executives not having anything good to say about their products, so trashing the competition. The marketing branch of Subaru Of America are a bunch of clueless gits, the products sell in spite of their efforts.

      Now that said, I hate my Forester's mileage in the summer, so mostly I ride my (fuel injected & catalytic converter equipped) motorcycle, but it sure is nice to have in the winter. AWD + studded winter tires in a relatively lightweight vehicle (3300lbs, give or take) lets you stride like a god among puny mortals through salty, slushy, inconsistently covered highways. I've had rental 4WD Ford Escapes and Jeep CG's, and there is just no comparison in road manners when things get slippery. (Oh, and it actually FITS down a 4-wheeler trail, try that in a Grand Cherokee!)

      If Subaru brings the R1e (or some variant) electric car, will we forgive them their Tribeca & Turbo Outback sins?
      • 7 Years Ago
      This video is just repeating the same old hybrid myths, trying to stifle hybrid sales to improve their own meager market share.

      Maybe Subaru hasn't figured out how to coordinate gas and electric drivetrains, or how to run air conditioning and power steering on electricity, but Toyota has.

      I note that they didn't compare against the Prius, considering that might just eliminate their price advantage and Prius gets even better milage. Nor did they mention resale value. Of course, the figures are out of date now that gas is over $3 a gallon and rising.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "How will today's arguments for and against hybrids look in five years?"

      The same, only better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      2.23 for regular, ya....right! Maybe they should factor in the increase in fuel cost and how they estimate will rise over the next few years. Then see how long it will pay off.
      • 7 Years Ago
      And then there's the PLUG.
      The plug changes everything. The 3rd gen Prius will be the Killer. Cheap fuel for most, if not all, of a daily commute and more time driven by electricity alone.

      But, didn't Toyota buy a piece of Subaru?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Isn't subaru the same company that had its entire fleet listed by the EPA as light trucks in order to escape passenger car CAFE standards? I think we've seen a lot of car companies taking aim at hybrids, diesels, evs, and hydrogen vehicles at one time or another, but in the end they'll probably all end up experimenting with everything just so they're not the company that missed the boat on the new hit technology of the 21st century.

      Benjamin Jones
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about your standard 4 cyl. Camry or Accord? Where is the cost analysis on those two fine vehicles. The majority of Legacy's boxer engines will not outlast those other Japanese guys. My 98 Accord still takes me camping, fishing, and snowboarding without issue. I do not need a crunchy Legacy..
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have one work for Subaru: PRIUS

      All of the sudden their argument doesn't seem to make much sense. Subaru, if you can't compete, then join the hybrids. That is of course, if you are capable. Which might explain the reason for this whole video.
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