April 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Balance is a relative skill and while it’s easy for most of us to stroll down a flat road walking a tightrope is something we leave to the professionals. Creating a successful modern four-door family sedan is another balancing act with pitfalls on either side. Styling should be distinctive but not ostentatious, handling should be dynamic but the ride comfortable and the engine needs strength but to still offer decent fuel economy. Like most carmakers Subaru has at times struggled to perform the balancing act required to appeal to the masses and has instead been viewed as a niche automaker. Now for 2010 Subaru has a new model Legacy that is attempting to appease badge fans while attracting new buyers. Car and SUV spent some time with the Legacy Sedan Sport to take in the show.
What’s immediately noticeable with the 2010 Legacy is the increase in size over its predecessor. Length, height, width and wheelbase have all seen varying increases resulting in a completely new profile. A raked character-lined bonnet pushes into the arched roofline, ending out back in a short, high boot lid. A strip of chrome trim accents the roofline and matched up well with 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels on our tested base-model Sport. Pumped out wheel arches, a chrome grille and XL-sized light clusters finish an exterior look that’s stylishly modern but still rather generic. in fact, it shares little resemblance to the Legacys of old and is closer aligned to the Nissan Maxima. That said, it’s a handsome machine especially considering it’s the base-model and has features often reserved for higher-spec versions like front fog lamps, colour-coded side mirrors and tinted rear security glass.
Continue reading “Subaru Legacy Sport CVT 2010 Review” »
April 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Due to cost running above the feasibility of development, Subaru has ended developing an AWD version of the co-joint Subaru/Toyota FT-86 Platform based sports coupe also known as the 216A.
Between the Toyota and Subaru versions, the only variances will be aesthetic as both stables will be running the same driveline and engine package. So the focus will turn to exterior and interior styling as to which will be the favoured vehicle purchased by consumers. The focus for the Subaru designers and engineers will be the area forward of the A pillars and rear of the C pillars, as a simple re-badge and grill conversion would not suffice. Early speculation would also see that the 216A Subaru would fit into the STI lineup as a special edition similar to the R205.
The estimated price for the 216A when it hits the Japanese market will be around $60000 NZD, while Toyota’s version of the vehicle may prove marginally cheaper.
March 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Toyobaru (Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 086a) test mule in testing at Nurburgring
February 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Across various media and product forms there are occasionally cases of an unlikely oddball gaining a cult following and then reaching major commercial success. The film that cost 300 grand to make and then grossed 150 million at the box office or those rubber shoes that look ridiculous but are sold by the truckload. If this notion were translated into the car world the most title for the most unlikely success story would belong to Subaru. Once a fringe player, Subaru is now an automaker making serious sales in many markets including our own. Its Outback model has played a major role in this transformation and has now reached its fourth generation. Car and SUV had a private viewing with the new diesel powered Outback to see if it’s strictly for Subaru fans or if it has a much broader appeal.
While the Outback doesn’t depart from Subaru’s trademark symmetrical all-wheel-drive and boxer engine combination a main change comes with the inclusion of a diesel engine option for the first time. It’s not just any diesel engine either, the 2-litre unit is the first time a horizontally opposed diesel engine has been used in a passenger vehicle. It’s by no means a rough first effort and took more than a decade to fully develop. The end result is 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque that’s delivered smoothly and quietly. It’s an advanced motor that is surprisingly petrol-like and revs freely, pushing past 4500 rpm. But it does have a tendency to lag slightly lower in the rev range before the turbo kicks in and can’t match the low-rpm gusto of some competitors. That said, the Outback will hit 100kph in under 10 seconds and is brawny through the mid-range enabling worry-free open road overtaking.
Continue reading “Subaru Outback D 2010 Review” »
February 8th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The big premiere for Subaru at next month’s Geneva Motor Show will be its new Impreza VX. The all-wheel-drive specialist hasn’t released any images of the car yet, but it’s touted to be similar to the North American Outback Sport model (pictured).
A unique grille, wheel arches and roof rails will visually set the VX apart from standard Imprezas. Motivation will likely come from a 2.0-liter boxer-four, fueled by either gasoline or diesel. The Impreza VX will go on sale in Europe mid-year.
Joining the Impreza VX on the stand will be the Hybrid Tourer Concept that was first revealed at last year’s Tokyo show, as well as the plug-in Stella.
December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
A couple decides to buy the newly-redesigned Forester and make room for it in their lives, and garage. But rather than sell their old Forester, they decide to sell their boat and keep both Foresters
December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
The all wheel drive car – Subaru Forester
December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Subaru Legacy with Robert De Niro