"We like producing cars that are different." That's the company line trumpeted by several Subaru executives during the launch of the 2015 Outback – one of Fuji Heavy's most successful vehicles to date. Managing Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski accurately noted that while Subaru has never really found salvation with its mainstream sedans, it's the higher-riding, butcher offerings like the Outback and the Impreza-based XV Crosstrek that have been sales stars for the Japanese company. In 2013, for
"As far as street-legal rally cars go, there's still nothing better than a WRX." I wrote that line following my first drive of the 2015 Subaru WRX late last year – one of the better motoring experiences I had in 2013. Sure, a particularly involving drive route helped, but I don't want to sell the new Subaru short: it's a seriously good car – easily one of the sharpest, best-driving little turbos available today.
Subaru has a problem on its six-starred hands, but you wouldn't know it at first glance. Sales are up; in fact, the Japanese automaker has recorded 28-straight months of increased sales in the United States, leading to the best first-quarter Subaru has ever recorded, and 2014 will almost assuredly be the seventh straight year it has posted improvements. So, what's wrong? The answer is simple, though clearly complicated to resolve. Sedans – specifically, midsize examples – have proven
In December, I put the 2015 Subaru WRX through its paces along some incredibly challenging roads in northern California, and to say I walked away impressed wouldn't really do my feelings justice. Say what you will about the way it looks, the new 'Rex is an awesome car, full stop. When it comes to all-weather sports sedans that won't break the bank, it's very tough to beat the WRX.
Every time I drive a Subaru WRX, I wish one of my parents had taken some weird, top-secret spy job that would have forced us to relocate to Finland when I was a kid. I could have learned the art of rally-style car control as a young lad, and in my adult life, sought out a dangerous/rewarding/awesome career as a professional WRC driver.
The butler announcing arriving guests to the hybrid party has just called Subaru's name, at long last. The XV Crosstrek wasn't even supposed to come to the US, but the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid endows it with a suit tailored for our regulatory dress code, adding all that weighty battery goodness to the Impreza-turned-compact-crossover.
Despite my best efforts to convince myself otherwise, I think I'm finally getting too old for this car. I remember the days when I would go ga-ga over the winged Subaru WRX STI sedan, my inner boy racer caring only about its turbo thrills and not taking into account things like price, packaging or interior quality/comfort. Even now, as someone who generally appreciates offbeat color choices, I'm having a hard time getting behind the Tangerine Orange paint of this Special Edition tester, a unique
Subaru has given the 2013 Outback a host of detail changes and updates, though you'd hardly know from looking at it. The mild exterior changes mostly go unnoticed, and if you're comparing on a numbers basis, the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is bang-on what the old engine would do. The biggest news is EyeSight, Subaru's new stereo camera-based system that drives lane-departure warning, active cruise control, automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert functions.
Two other cars kept coming to mind during my week with the 2013 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. The first was the 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT that we tested for a full year in our long-term fleet, and the second was the new-for-2012 Toyota Camry, the indisputable best-selling car in the US and assembly line sibling of the Legacy. The two cars are built side-by-side at Subaru's assembly plant in Indiana.