Et tu, Subaru?

My favorite car manufacturer, my bitterest automotive disappointment.

I said nothing as you slowly deformed the Forester from a slightly goofy, boxy, utilitarian carry-all into an ugly, bloated athletic-shoe of a “crossover”. What was it to me? I wasn’t planning on buying one.

I groused a little when the Outback changed overnight from a practical wagon version of the Legacy sedan into an ugly, bloated athletic-shoe of a “crossover”. It stung a bit, finding out that the Outback-in-name-only was a North American market vehicle, while the rest of the world still got the real thing. Still, I wasn’t in the market, so thems the breaks.

But now you’ve done it. You’ve announced that the new 2015 WRX, that most Subaruish of Subarus, will only be available as a sedan. No hatchback. Also, it doesn’t look weird enough to be a Subaru, but that’s beside the point. Where do we go for that perfect triangulation of cheap/fast/practical? Hell if I know.

But wait, there’s a glimmer of hope: a new wagon! It’s a few inches longer than the 5 door WRX would have been, but that’s OK, more room for bikes and luggage! It’s called the Levorg, which is a stunningly fucking stupid name, but that’s beside the point. It will be available with the same 296 HP turbocharged boxer as the WRX, and there will be an STI version with God-knows-what under the hood! Holy shit, it goes on sale this Spring! Rapture! Bliss! Shut up and take my money!

It’s only available in Japan.

What the fuck, Fuji Heavy Industries?

Looks like I’ll drive my 09 WRX until it falls apart. Which, because it’s a Subaru, will be never.

Subi owner here, as well. My 06 Outback is the “middle” generation of the bloating of that model line. It’s not as basic and stripped down as the early generation, but it’s also not as barge-like as the newer generations.

Why does every car line/model do this? They take a successful model and add a few more inches/pounds/stuff every year until the car no longer looks anything like the original successful car.

Subaru has a corporate law that no two of its vehicles can look the same - and that includes year to year variants of the same nominal model.

Try to really define what an Outback is, some day you’re bored and at loose ends.

Grovel spelled backwards??

I recently traded in my '08 Forester for '14 Forester, mostly because I’m getting old and it was time to finally give up the clutch. Despite the fact that the styling now looks like every other midsize SUV, I have to admit that it’s a great car. I’m still amazed that the CVT transmission gets better mileage than a manual.

Not a Subie owner (although I do like them), but I just got a 2014 Corolla S and it has a CVT transmission in it as well, and I have to say…it’s weird. I’m used to manuals also, and the mileage from the car is very good, but that tranny, man…it hangs and HANGS onto revs seemingly forever before it finally “shifts” into the next “gear”.

Apparently the only way to avoid this is to put it into Sport mode (which is kinda funny having, along with paddle shifters, on a 137hp Corolla, but I digress…), but then that kills the eco mode and along with it, the fuel economy.

This has been a very big transition for me, having come from a 5-speed Mustang GT with rear drive and over 300hp.


The biggest drawback to this forum is that you cannot see the look of utter dumbfoundment that this comment brought to my face. It’s like you just pointed out the emperor’s sartorial deficiency.

They really are fucking with us.

My experience with the Forester CVT so far is that it doesn’t pretend there are gears. It just matches the rpm to speed as needed, depending on what you’re doing. I’ve always preferred a manual because I want the car to do what I tell it to, not make up its own mind. This is the first car that I feel comfortable handing that control over to.

Really? To me, all their models seem to be converging on the same look (e.g. bloated athletic shoe). To the point where I can’t tell at a glance whether I’m looking at a Forester, an Outback or the discontinued Tribeca.

I really miss my old Outback. The new one is better in some ways, but the old one was much more fun to drive – it was more responsive and had vastly better road feel. And what’s the deal with the new seat covers? The old one had this funky tweed that showed almost zero wear after 15 years. The new version (2011) has a flimsy white(?!) fabric that shows stains if you get * water * on it. That’s not hyperbole, either. My rough, tough, outdoor activity car has upholstery that can’t handle getting wet. And roof racks that you can’t tie anything to.

I share your outrage.

ETA: My outrage started when they eliminated the Legacy Wagon. Not the “Outback,” with its unnecessarily stiff suspension, higher center of gravity and so on, all changes that perhaps make a smidgeon of sense for an off-road vehicle (though never went quite far enough in the Outback to be really truly off-road), but made the car worse for its vastly more common purpose, driving on roads. The Legacy Wagon. I owned a 2001 Legacy Wagon, what a terrific car: practical, reasonably nice to drive (5-spd manual), comfortable, affordable. The Legacy Wagon, gone.

The WRX losing the hatch is the nail in the coffin for me as far as Subaru is concerned, not mention their elimination of manual transmissions in the higher trim lines.

Just leaning in to say: Fuji Heavy Industries. Coolest company name ever.

I quite like the, uh, XV Crosstrek, is it? If I were in the market, I’d be considering that.

Still have a 2001 Impreza wagon that I bought new. Runs flawlessly with 180K miles, although the paint has faded badly and the clutch is showing signs of wear. Love that little thing.

I can’t stand the current Outback, with its bloated useless stupidity of a class, “Crossover.” Crossovers are cars that do nothing well.

The Crosstrek XVs aren’t bad, and I don’t dislike the new Imprezas.

But Subaru is dead to me. DEAD. Bring back the Legacy Wagon and WRX hatchback!

There’s something weird going on with wagons and the American market, and not just with Subaru. However, since I don’t need a wagon, I haven’t bothered to figure out if that’s a demand thing, or just car companies jerking Americans around.

I agree that Levorg is a ridiculous name, even, as you say, stunningly fucking stupid. All Google can tell me about it, other than it being the reverse of “grovel” is:

… to which I say, huh? No, it’s not.

Uh…LEgacy reVOlution touRinG. Levorg.

Re: Crossovers, that pox on North American roads

A quick peruse of reveals what I have long suspected.
The Crosstrek, is inferior in every way to the Impreza wagon upon which it is based.

Bigger on the outside, but it has a shorter wheelbase.
Has less cargo space, with the seats folded or not.
Has +/- the same passenger space. Both vehicles are within tenths of an inch of each other and both are smaller in some ways and bigger in others.
Is nearly 200 pounds heavier. That’s most of an American.
Is, unsurprisingly, slower in every way.
Of course, it goes without saying that it also suffers from the more difficult to quantify dynamic deficiencies common to all “crossovers”, that come from being a bloated athletic-shoe on stilts.

Ahh, marketing. You miserable bastard. The dark art of making people want things they would be better off without.

You’re welcome.

Sure. That’s exactly how I would abbreviate it.

I currently own my first Subaru, a 2012 Impreza. I’ve poured more oil into it than any car I’ve ever had. Ok maybe not more than the BMW that I owned when I was stationed in Germany. But that car was beaten like a rented mule long before I got it. My Subaru was brand new. I don’t have high hopes for it to last long. I doubt I’ll get another.

It feels like they should make mecha or something. The company logo is the freaking Pleiades. Maybe I’m driving to work, maybe I’m off to fight giant aliens.

The what from what? So, even if they came to their senses and sold the right cars on the right continents, we’d be deprived of the unique combination of a leg-crushingly stiff clutch with a bizarrely long, wobbly 1940s truck shifter and its trademark “Why the hell is 5th inside the glove compartment?” How else am I supposed to get abruptly way too intimate with the passenger?

That explains a lot. And I did try, it made me question my own sanity.

That’s strange, I’ve never had to add oil to mine, but different engines, so apples and kumquats.

No, that would be

Overcaution to gruelingly

Which would be the best car name ever!

Meh, given enoUgh letters, you caN make anything Come out rigHt.

I’m about to go from a 2004 Outback 5-speed to a 2010 Outback with the CVT. I’m actually looking forward to an automatic after years of driving the manual in heavy traffic.