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It may not be perfect but the United States is a great country. America has her share of problems, both past and present, but for the most part this nation is pretty sweet; when it comes to being awesome we’ve done better than most.
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.
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
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.
Subaru of America has announced the lauch of its new iPad applications based on its 2011 model digital brochures. The free apps allows users to explore the 2011 Outback, Forester and WRX/STI through the iPad utilyzing videos, interactive demonstrations and 360-degree views.
Apple has had tremendous success with its iPad, selling 4.69 million units alone in the second quarter of 2011. This success prompted Subaru to decid they coulde attract potential buyers by allowing them to learn about Subaru products through interactive means.
Alan Bethke, Director, Marketing Communications, Subaru of America, Inc. explained “Car shoppers are researching everything from financing to auto insurance on their mobile devices. Making these apps available gives car shoppers a convenient and interactive way to explore Subaru vehicles and technology, and it also aligns with our environmental efforts.”
The Subaru app encourages consumers to learn about the company’s zero-landfill manufacturing plants- by minimizing paper usage, energy consumption, inks and production wast. As well as Subaru’s green outlook, the app will enhance the auto research experience by offering trim simulators along with engineering and Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive feature demonstrations. App users can compare vehicle models and generally get a better understanding of what Subaru is and what the company is striving for with its new generation of vehicles.
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]
We’ve lost track of how many recalls have been issued for the Subaru Legacy and Outback, so much so that we had to check and make sure that this story was recent and not run within the previous couple weeks.
While this currently recall, affecting 809 vehicles is relatively minor, the consecutive recalls on Subaru’s bread and butter models is a terrible PR display for the company.
The current recall only affects Outbacks with the manual transmission, a very small percentage of sales to be certain. But the recall, which is designed to correct the lack of an oil lubrication hole in the gearbox, could mean that some vehicles need third through sixth gear replaced, a very costly and time consuming procedure.
What’s worse is that the Outback and Legacy are great vehicles, so much so that Autoguide staffers have recommended them to family members looking for a new family car. This recall, as well as previous ones, like the fluid leak in the CVT gearbox, puts a damper on encouraging people to look at a good car at a good price.
[Source: Inside Line]
Subaru is adding in-car wi-fi to the 2011 Outback, similar to Ford’s 3G Internet system with their SYNC telematics technology. A $499 dealer installed option, the Wi-Fi will work within 150 feet of the car, and can be used while the vehicle is in motion. Subaru will pick up the first three months, but the service will cost $29 a month after that.
Considering that a lot of Subaru owners take their cars to a summer home, ski cabin or far out area without high-speed web access, it’s a somewhat compelling option that is likely cheaper than an internet connection or exorbitant smartphone data plans.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Osamu Namba, Subaru‘s new design chief wants to help move the company from a cult brand adored by outdoorsy types, Snowbelt buyers and performance enthusiasts into a mainstream brand capable of competing with offerings from major automakers.
“We want to broaden the appeal to make it accessible to more than a small, loyal crowd,” Namba said in an interview with Automotive News. According to Namba, form has traditionally followed function at Subaru, as their design was dictated by the low-mounted boxer engines, tall roofs (designed to help haul large items like bikes and other lifestyle gear) and sometimes outlandish wings and air scoops, necessitated by the rally-inspired performance items like big brakes and turbochargers.
Namba, who previously ran an independent design studio, was hired by Subaru after previous attempts at developing a unifying design language, faced a strong negative reaction from consumers. One review for the Subaru Tribeca famously called the new winged front fascia a “flying vagina”.
Using the current Legacy and Outback as a template, future Subarus will be more accessible, but also bolder, with fewer soft curves and more muscular styling, eschewing the understated and functional designs of the past. “I don’t want it to be just something serious and boring,” Namba says. “A lot of people don’t know that Subaru brand. If we can make styling more accessible, it will bring them in.
[Source: Automotive News]