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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
This past week, AutoGuide headed to the 2014 Chicago Auto Show to catch all the new debuts and unveilings. Topping the list of this week’s most watched videos is our first look at the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, while the 2015 Subaru Legacy and the new Toyota TRD Pro off-roaders garnered plenty of attention as well.
Watch the videos below and subscribe to the AutoGuide YouTube channel here.
More interior space, more miles per gallon, more technology than before, the list just goes on and on for the 2015 Subaru Legacy.
Compact/Subcompact Cars: Toyota Prius IV
Just because a car is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a good value. Taking into account the five-year owner cost of a vehicle which factors in depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, interest on financing, sales tax and cost for maintenance and repairs, a better picture is painted on whether or not a vehicle is a good bang for your buck.
Consumer Reports has revealed this year’s best new-car value winners, which also takes into account the publication’s evaluation of the car. The less a vehicle costs to own over time, the better value it is.
Headlining the list is the best value car in the compact/subcompact category, the Toyota Prius IV. The Prius also takes home the accolade of being the best overall value for the second straight year.
According to Consumer Reports, the Prius costs just 47 cents per mile to own over five years. Of course there’s also the fact that the Prius gets 44 mpg overall, offering the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that the publication has ever tested. And though it’s not exactly the cheapest car on the market, its depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over five years than its initial MSRP. The Toyota Prius IV has a starting MSRP of $29,245 including destination.
Bland Like Unsalted Popcorn
Are you self-conscious? Don’t like to stand out in a crowd? Would you rather blend into the background than be the center of attention? Well, when it comes to the automotive world, you are in luck. Some vehicles seem to have skipped class when it came time for their styling lesson. This is not to say they are ugly, but more that they lack any style whatsoever.
We’ve all heard the clichés to describe these anonymously styled cars; plain vanilla, beige, white bread, etc. We like to think of them as stylistically-challenged. Regardless, if you don’t want to draw any undue attention towards yourself, here are ten vehicles that are guaranteed to blend into the landscape.
After several announcements of various models that were awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick Plus” rating, the IIHS has released its full list of its safest cars for 2013.
10. Toyota Avalon
Sometimes it’s pretty difficult to determine what makes a vehicle reliable. But one sound way is to look back and see how much the average repair cost was for a vehicle over three to five years, and seeing which ones suffered the least breakdowns.
Data was studied using 100,000 auto warranty policies linked to family cars by Direct Buy Warranty in order to determine this top 10 list of most reliable family cars, listed in no particular order. It’s worth noting that not a single American vehicle made it onto the list.
The first on the list is the Toyota Avalon, the Japanese automaker’s flagship sedan in the United States. According to the data, the Avalon was one of the cheapest vehicles to maintain over the past five years with typical Toyota dependability and safety ratings. Larger than the Camry, the Avalon is a perfect fit for those looking for size and dependability.
That update will occur in Japan, we might add, but these days with increasing pressure on automakers to reduce fuel consumption and emissions output, plus an increasing need to standardize powertrains and features around the globe, there’s probably a chance we’ll see similar changes to our Legacy and Outback down the road.
Both cars will be offered with two engine choices, either a new double-overhead-cam FB series 2.5-liter Boxer engine that makes 173 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque in the 2.5i models, or a larger 256-horsepower 3.6-liter 6-cylinder Boxer engine in the 3.6R models. The small engine will be offered with either Subaru’s second generation lineartronic CVT transmission or a six-speed manual. The larger engine will be offered with only a 5-speed automatic.
The 2.5 liter engine paired with the CVT will get the Legacy 24 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway which combine for an average 27 mpg. The Outback with the same package will get 24 mpg in the city, 30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.
Subaru’s new EyeSight driver-assist system will be offered on both models, which incorporates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and vehicle lane departure warning.
The exterior on both vehicles gets a newly tweaked front grill, new headlights and a new front bumper, making the front end of the car easily the most distinct new change to the look. The chassis has also been stiffened for 2013 to improve the handling and responsiveness of both vehicles.
The update for 2013 discontinues the driving focused turbo models, which is a bit disappointing but probably stems from lack of demand.
Watch AutoGuide for live coverage from the 2012 New York Auto Show.
GALLERY: Subaru Outback, Legacy
NHTSA issued out a recall for 2012 Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles due to an issue with the side curtain airbags. According to the report, an incorrect propellant mixture for the initiator component was used that can result in an insufficient output of compressed gas.
As a result, the side curtain airbags may not deploy. The vehicles impacted by this recall are those that were manufactured in between December 1, 2011 and December 23, 2011. Subaru will be contacting owners of the affected vehicles, 381 in total, and will replace one or both side curtain air bag modules for free. The safety recall will begin during or before early April 2012. Concerned owners can reach Subaru at (800) 782-2783.
Subaru announced today that they’re stopping sales and issuing out a recall on 2012 models of the Impreza, Legacy and Outback due to complaints about increased brake pedal travel. Around 3,000 cars will be recalled with notices being sent to vehicle owners within the next couple of days. A stop-sale was also put into affect on November 25th with Subaru making it a priority to fix the 3,000 recalled vehicles and those still in inventory.
Those that own the vehicles have no serious reason to be concerned, as the brakes do work but the pedal travels farther than it should due to a faulty master cylinder. There has been no failure issues or accidents as a result, and the fix will take about an hour at a local dealership.
Subaru also believes that the production line in both Indiana and Japan’s plants have already been fitted with the new brake cylinders. Subaru expects the sales freeze to be lifted by early next week, once they’re assured all vehicles affected on the lot are fixed.
Subaru has recalled 69, 590 2011 Outback and Legacy models over defective sunroofs. Vehicles manufactured between August 3, 2010 and July 1, 2011 can have the sunroof’s glass panel detach from the sunroof entirely.
This could understandably cause a serious safety hazard to owners and occupants, as well as other vehicles on the road. Owners can contact Subaru at 800-782-2783, and owners will be notified in October. Dealers will carry out necessary repairs free of charge.
Whether intentional or not, Subaru seems to be labeled as a “progressive” brand, and while their website contains the usual corporate gibberish about supporting and embracing “…the communities in which we live and work,” the company tends to put its money where its mouth is, openly supporting the LGBT community as well as motorsports and outdoors enthusiasts.
Now a group of women’s rights activists is challenging Subaru to stay consistent, by petitioning them to withdrawn from the Saudi Arabian market. The Middle Eastern nation is currently facing protests regarding their ban on female drivers, and the activists are admonishing Subaru for selling cars in the Saudi market, especially when a significant portion of Subaru drivers are female and their vehicles tend to be marketed towards women.
To its credit, Subaru has a history of making morally courageous but unpopular choices. One long forgotten instance was in the 1960s, when Arab nations threatened Japanese companies with a boycott if they chose to do business with Israel. Subaru ignored the ban, and the company has built up immense goodwill among Israeli motorists, with vehicles like the Impreza and Legacy have been wildly popular in Israel for decades. We wouldn’t hold our breath for Subaru to pull out of Saudia Arabia, but given the company’s history, we could be wrong.
In this interesting new advertising campaign, Subaru’s American division targets the Chinese-American Market with the 2011 Legacy.
The ad called “Sweet Tomorrow” features a young Chinese-American couple, running errands and preparing for their home for the birth of their first child. It emphasizes safety and reliability of the Subaru brand preparing the couple for the next chapter of their lives.
“Making the right vehicle choice is a big decision for expanding families,” said Alan Bethke, director of marketing communication, Subaru of America, Inc. ”In fact, other than the arrival of the child itself, a car purchase is one of the biggest costs involved for new parents. It’s important that families choose a vehicle that provides safety and versatility and we wanted to show that in a unique and emotional way.”
Subaru seems to be on a roll lately, with this latest ad spot an emotional appeal, much like the teen driver’s “first time out” ad that first aired last August.
The “Sweet Tomorrow” ad is scheduled to run through October 2011.
Check out the video after the jump!
Tommy Kaira may be more popularly known for their Nissan GT-R accessories and their Toyota Prius styling kits, but they are also extremely popular among the Subaru Legacy crowd. While most Subaru enthusiasts are seen rolling around in an Impreza WRX or STi, there are quite a few that opt for the Legacy’s more elegant appearance while retaining the same performance a WRX or STi has to offer.
The new Subaru Legacy may be a tad too tame for some, opting more to be a family sedan than a sporty sedan. But Tommy Kaira is looking to change that entirely, current working on a styling kit and wheel package for the new Legacy. The render reveals a much more aggressive rear bumper and diffuser, fully complemented by an STi-inspired trunk spoiler. The final product looks to retain the Legacy’s true form without going too aggressive or out-of-the-box, which Tommy Kaira is sometimes known to do with their styling kits.
GALLERY: Tommy Kaira Subaru Legacy
[Source: The Real JDM]
We’ve all needed a tow one time or another, and for those who like off-roading, it seems to be inevitable. One unlucky Chevrolet Silverado owner found himself stuck in some not-too-deep mud, and the vehicle that was up for the job was none other than a Subaru Legacy GT, a family sedan with a pretty peppy turbocharged engine.
Conventional wisdom says that this situation should be reversed. But as the video shows, the little Subaru had no trouble hauling the big pickup out of the mud. Hit the jump to see the video below.
Subaru will re-start their large car production plant, nearly a month after an earthquake caused parent company Fuji Heavy Industries to shut the factory down.
The factory builds the Legacy, Impreza and Forester, which comprise the bulk of Subaru’s U.S. lineup. The plant will only be running at 50 percent capacity initially. Subaru claims that they have an adequate supply of parts on hand, but admits that the situation is still not yet concrete and production may stop again if necessary.
Subaru recently cut production at its Indiana plant by 50 percent due to a parts shortage. The factory makes the Legacy and Outback, two popular models in North America.
[Source: Automotive News]
A shortage of parts means that Subaru‘s Indiana plant will have its production cut in half through the end of the week, and the company will assess the situation on a day to day basis to examine whether a continuation is necessary.
Each of the two shifts will have 4 hours cut from their length. The plant builts the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca models, strong sellers for the brand. Toyota also builds the Camry at the same plant but said that its production was not affected. Subaru was attempting to set a sales record in 2011, after a strong year in 2010 which saw it make substantial gains. But Subaru’s status as a smaller automaker and a smaller supplier base to draw on means that it could be more vulnerable to disruptions than larger automakers like Honda and Toyota.
[Source: Automotive News]