Rare Rides: This Vintage 1981 Subaru GL is a Charming Desert Fox

Your Rare Ride today is a quite old 1981 Subaru GL wagon. It comes complete with a manual transmission, brownish paint, 4×4 drivetrain, brougham Desert Fox trim, and plaid seats. I figured you wouldn’t be too interested in seeing it.

Oh, who am I kidding? You all clicked through as soon as you saw the headline image, and you’ll be glad you did.

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No Fixed Abode: Quo Vadis, STi?

Earlier this week, I fielded a question regarding German hot hatches. A few commenters suggested that I had made a mistake by not recommending the Subaru WRX or STi as an alternative to the Golf R and Focus RS. After all, I’d been perfectly content to recommend a Subaru as an alternative to a Volkswagen just a week before. So why not suggest an STI in place of an RS? Was it the long-dormant Euro-snob in me surfacing unexpectedly, like a Kraken slouching up from dark water to terrify the innocents on shore with its repugnant and vicious countenance? Or had I simply forgotten about the mere existence of the twin turbo compacts?

With regards to the first of these two scenarios, I can only assure the readership I’ve repented of my youthful Euro-snobbery to a degree that would make a post-Room-101 Winston Smith weep over his Victory Gin. With regards to the second scenario, I will only say this: somebody has forgotten about the WRX and STi, and that somebody is the corporate person known as Subaru of America.

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Subaru Incentives? Maybe You'll Soon Get A Deal On An Outback Or Forester

Although Subaru is selling more new vehicles than ever before, particularly in North America, the automaker’s run of record profits came to end in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. Subaru made money, no doubt, but Subaru’s operating profit was down 27 percent compared with the prior year.

Subaru’s revenue grew 3 percent while global volume rose 11 percent to more than 1 million vehicles, according to Automotive News. That’s the kind of information that matters to investors.

As for consumers, it’s the information from Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga that matters most. Saying the U.S. market has peaked, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga claims, “The market environment has increasingly become tougher.” In a tougher market, Subaru’s largest market, an automaker must either give way or make way.

Subaru’s decision? “We will carefully examine the situation and will take the necessary steps to maintain our sales, including incentives,” Yoshinaga says.

You heard right. Subaru, notorious for limited supply and limited scope for deal-making, might just offer you a bit of a discount on your next Outback or Forester.

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Subaru Profits Slip Despite Steady Sales; Self-Betterment and Currency to Blame

After several years of record growth, a combination of increasing costs and exchange losses forced Subaru’s operating profit to fall by 27 percent in its recently ended fiscal year. No longer Fuji Heavy Industries, and now focusing primarily on automotive product, Subaru Corporation announced its operating income had dipped to $3.69 billion in April. Net income also took a hit, falling by 35 percent to $2.54 billion.

Considering the company finally surpassed the one million annual sales mark for the first time in its history, it is surprising to see the brand faced with anything other than glowing praise. However, improved sales and continued revenue growth doesn’t tell the entire story. Subaru’s European sales declined by 2.6 percent — matching the trend in China and Japan. North America, which accounts for the majority of the brand’s sales, maintained its interest but the overall market has slowed.

“U.S. demand has peaked out,” Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga explained. “The market environment has increasingly become tougher. We will carefully the situation and will take the necessary steps to maintain our sales, including incentives.”

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Subaru Keeps 2018 WRX Pricing Sane as It Waits for a New Platform

The manual transmission might be on its last legs, but you’d never know it by browsing through Subaru WRX equipment lists. A six-speed manual comes standard on all five trim levels, helping make the all-wheel-drive compact a perennial favorite among driving enthusiasts of reasonably modest means.

For 2018, the WRX and WRX STI offers more standard equipment and a face that’s cleaner — and ever so slightly meaner — than before, though one feature seems notably absent. That, of course, would be the stiffer global platform found under the new Impreza. Oh, and add “extra horsepower” to that list.

As Subaru fanboys wait for a next-generation model, at least the updated version won’t cost them much more.

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The Subaru Ascent Will Cannibalize Outback And Forester; Even Subaru Thinks So

Still nearly eight months away from being revealed in final production form, it’s already assumed inside Subaru HQ that the 2018 Subaru Ascent will generate the bulk of its conquests from inside the Subaru family.

Subaru expects to sell approximately 60,000 Ascents on an annual basis in the United States. But according to statements made about the long-awaited three-row Tribeca replacement by Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, the Ascent won’t be stealing many sales of the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse, and Nissan Pathfinder.

Hey, Outback and Forester: Subaru’s looking at you for donations to the Ascent’s cause.

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NYIAS 2017: Subaru Goes Big - Real Big - With the Ascent

The Subaru Ascent concept SUV unveiled today at the New York International Auto Show heralds a very real vehicle with similar proportions, styling, and name.

While the model’s name aptly describes the automaker’s sales performance, the Subaru brand hasn’t fielded a large-ish utility vehicle since the slow-selling, second-generation Tribeca disappeared after 2014. With the Ascent, due to appear in production form in 2018, the brand delivers a three-row, seven-passenger vehicle with a wheelbase that’s longer than a Chevrolet Tahoe.

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2018 Subaru Outback Barely Messes With a Good Thing

It’s just slightly easier to notice the changes made to Subaru’s 2018 Outback compared to, say, next year’s radically refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

Though subtle, the Outback’s 2018 styling tweaks brings the all-wheel-drive wagon’s design more in line with its corporate siblings, each of which tries to emulate the brand’s endless parade of Viziv concepts. If you were hoping for a power boost from the vehicle’s stalwart 2.5-liter flat-four, well, dream on.

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Subaru 'Invents' Automotive Bobsledding 53 Years After Ford Did It With a Cortina

Most automotive advertising has little to nothing to do with the actual car. It’s usually about presenting an image or hawking brand identity and then loosely associating it with a vehicle — Mercedes’ current “Grow Up” campaign is a perfect, cringeworthy example. However, enthusiasts know that the best car ads feature incredible shenanigans and loads of life-or-death action.

Dave Chapelle mocked Mitsubishi for its pop-and-lock Eclipse spot, while Top Gear honored Land Rover for winching a Defender up the side of a dam. Keenly aware of this is Subaru, which, after sending Mark Higgins and a WRX STI around the Isle of Man TT course in 2014, brought both man and vehicle to the world’s oldest bobsled run in St. Moritz, Switzerland to record another automotive spectacle.

Unfortunately, Subaru is more than 50 years too late for this particular publicity stunt. Ford filmed an identical feature in the Italian Alps with the Cortina GT way back in 1964. It even named the car after the Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort, where it later held the event. Subaru may be calling it “boxersledding” today, but it’s really just a rehash of Ford’s classic “auto-bobbing.”

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Subaru Is Way Too Reliant On U.S. Market, Needs A New Market, Chooses Sweet Land Of Liberty

“Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go South, young man, go South and grow up with the country.” —Not Horace Greeley

Subaru generates 60 percent of its global sales in the United States. For a Japanese brand that still relies on imports for half of its volume in its largest market, Subaru knows that 60-percent reliance on America is way too high.

Subaru needs strength in other markets. Subaru needs to diversify its portfolio. Subaru needs another America.

Unfortunately for Subaru, history suggests the brand won’t quickly find strength in other markets. History suggests Subaru’s attempts to diversify its portfolio won’t succeed.

Fortunately for Subaru, however, there is more America.

“It’s true we want to increase sales in other countries, but in terms of the place with the best chance to increase sales, it has to be America’s Sun Belt,” Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, CEO at Subaru’s Fuji Heavy Industries parent company, told Bloomberg.

In other words, Subaru wants to add some New Orleans to its order of New Hampshire; Burlington with a side of Birmingham; Kennebunkport supplemented with a dose of Port St. Lucie.

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Geneva 2017: Next-generation Subaru Crosstrek Stands Tall, Blends In

Unveiled in Geneva today, Subaru’s Crosstrek undergoes a top-down revamp for 2018, bringing the compact, lifted five-door in line with its Impreza stablemate.

Called the XV overseas, the Crosstrek soldiered on with its old bodystyle and platform in 2017, even after the model it shares its body and mechanics with went in for a makeover. With new skin, bones, and a thoroughly reworked powerplant, the model no longer has to live in the new Impreza’s shadow.

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What Models Will Safeguard Your Wallet Over Five Years?

It’s normal for many new car buyers to fall out of love with their vehicles once the honeymoon is over and the thrill is gone, though the majority stick with their vehicles for the long haul — well, until the lease period is up, anyway.

The jilted romantics will run to tell Consumer Reports and anyone else in their immediate vicinity about how unsatisfied they are with their car’s finicky infotainment unit and herky-jerky transmission, but their complaints fail to shed any light on costs. Initial quality and customer satisfaction are nice things, but what about the impact on the buyer’s wallet over time?

Kelley Blue Book can provide some advice, as it tallies up the top brands and models based on ownership costs over a five-year period.

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2016 Subaru WRX Long-Term Test - 15 Months and 27,000 Miles

The WRX passed the one year mark a few months ago and the odometer hasn’t stopped rolling. It’s been on a few road trips, a track day or two, and racked up another 12,000 miles since the last update in August.

The new car smell might be fading, but it feels just as new as it did 15 months ago. I’ve mostly kept my urge to modify it at bay, but it’s received a few tweaks for comfort along with a few parts to make it perform a little better on track.

Our last update ended with a plan to attend some competitive driving events and, as luck would have it, SCCA offered a demanding multi-day event that would put the car through its paces.

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2018 Subaru Legacy Refresh is a Game of 'Spot the Changes'

Subaru has refreshed its Legacy for 2018 and the updated sedan will make its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show.

It’s tough to spot all the 2018 Subaru Legacy’s updates, but the Japanese automaker assures us they exist. Subaru has revised the Legacy’s sheetmetal, front and rear, for a sportier appearance, while upgrading the interior with more premium materials. Subaru’s engineers have also focused on making the Legacy’s ride smoother and quieter.

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Subaru's Rebooted Crosstrek Could Be Sleeker and Sexier Than Expected

Subaru decided to show a little leg last week, teasing an image of the upcoming 2018 Crosstrek. Despite expecting it to have roughly the same sex appeal as a ham sandwich, the glimpse hints at some unexpected curves and the possibility of an intentionally attractive design.

The next-generation Crosstrek makes use of the Subaru Global Platform currently sitting under the bodywork of Subaru’s redesigned Impreza, which will eventually become the basis for the brand’s entire fleet. The new architecture is designed to achieve “the world’s highest levels of collision safety” via high-strength steels and a 70- to 100-percent boost in stiffness. It also incorporates Subie staples like all-wheel drive and a boxer engine — likely a 152 horsepower 2.0-liter four coupled to a CVT.

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2017 Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i Limited - You're the Warrior Now

The 2017 Subaru Crosstrek has the bad luck of living in the shadow of a vehicle that doesn’t yet exist. That phantom would be the looming 2018 Crosstrek, which borrows the new-for-2017 Impreza’s modular platform and, no doubt, enough technological, mechanical and appearance upgrades to make the old model look ancient overnight.

So, if you’re stuck living in northern climes and counting pennies is your idea of a thrilling good time, now’s a great time to sit back and wait patiently for a killer deal on the outgoing model. Because, replacement or not, it’s popular for good reason. And no, not just because of Subaru’s newfound status as the go-to conveyor of the nonconformist middle class.

With little changed since its 2013 model year debut, save for the elimination of the “XV” prefix, a minor 2016 facelift, and the disappearance of a short-lived hybrid variant, the Crosstrek enters the last year of its first generation with confidence. This jacked-up Impreza 5-door has a life ahead of it and a fan base behind it. Anyone who questions the reasons for the model’s popularity had best pack their bags, head north, and experience a month where it snowed at least every other day.

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2018 Subaru WRX Appears With More Gear, Less Moonroof, and No Extra Power

Break out the vapes. Subaru has released details on the upgraded 2018 WRX and WRX STI, both of which gain new hardware, but not the new global platform found under the 2017 Impreza.

In a bid to keep the models fresh until a fully revamped version arrives, Subaru has tweaked the WRX’s styling, upgraded its drivetrain and braking components, and eliminated a mandatory “option” many Performance Package customers didn’t enjoy paying for.

For those expecting more power: sorry, not this time.

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Prodrive - A Manufacturer of Championship-Winning Speed

The name Prodrive isn’t one you’ll stumble across every day, and sounds a bit like a company that might offer teen driving courses. However, it’s one of the world’s most successful race car shops, and bests many individual manufacturer efforts.

How successful?

How does six World Rally Championships, four Le Mans wins, five World Endurance Championships, and four British Touring Car Championships victories sound for a start?

But while “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” is the parable that motivates many marques in motorsport, Prodrive sells no road cars.

How does a small, generally unheard of firm compete against the likes of Porsche, Honda, and Ford? Simple — those companies hire Prodrive to run their race programs.

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Conflicting Information Leaves Subaru BRZ Future In Doubt

The Subaru BRZ has been struggling along since hitting its sales peak in 2013, and its recent refresh hasn’t done much to help it rebound on the sales charts.

Now, thanks to conflicting information from Subaru itself, the future of the rear-drive coupe is as clear as San Francisco Bay at 7 a.m.

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2017 Subaru Impreza First Drive Review - Riding the River to Mainstream

The Impreza has been the oddball of the economy car bunch since its inception, so it’s fitting that Subaru launched the next-generation compact at the unique and peculiar Pantai Inn in La Jolla, California.

The Pantai Inn features rooms decorated with Balinese art and other luxurious features, but those rooms lack some basics, such as digital TV reception and usable electrical outlets. Old Imprezas were similar to the Pantai Inn, with high-value features like all-wheel drive provided as standard, yet missed some staples — like fuel economy.

But this is a different Subaru, and an even more different Impreza, which the company has transformed thanks to its new Subaru Global Platform. The new car is more Kimpton than Pantai, as it still retains unique characteristics — like the aforementioned all-wheel drive — but refocuses on mainline amenities, such as fuel economy and comfort. Additionally, the new platform brings a significant change to how the Impreza drives, which provides a nice preview of what’s to come for the rest of the automaker’s lineup.

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2017 Subaru BRZ Review - Better, Not Best

Back in May of this year, TTAC reported the list of changes coming for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and asked if what amounted to a rather modest workover would get consumers excited enough to reverse the sports coupe’s declining sales trend.

Having spent a week acting barely responsible in Subaru’s only two-wheel-drive offering, my belief is no, the BRZ will not buck the trend. After commuting in it, doing school pick up duty and grocery runs — all in a most irresponsible way, revving the little four-cylinder boxer engine to redline again and again — I expect there will be a blip on the sales radar this year. Sadly, I also expect the BRZ (and its Toyota 86 twin) to slowly slip into automotive obscurity.

This terribly depressing thought has mostly to do with declining overall consumer interest in fun, driver-oriented cars, and it does nothing to celebrate what a wildly fun machine this is.

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Subaru Viziv-7 Concept Revealed: Subaru's New Three-Row Flagship Is Huge

Subaru has perched a three-row crossover atop its lineup before.

It didn’t work. (And not just because of some things TTAC may or may not have said about the general appearance of the B9 Tribeca.)

Set to be revealed today at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Subaru Viziv-7 Concept previews the arrival of a genuinely large Subaru family crossover. Don’t expect the Viziv name to carry forward – that’s merely how Subaru tags its concepts. Do expect a production version loosely based on the design of the Viziv-7 Concept in the early stages of 2018.

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Subaru Steps Up Quality Control After Embarrassing Growing Pains

Remember the I Love Lucy sketch when Lucy gets a job at a factory where she has to wrap chocolates? She’s feeling pretty smug over how well she is performing until they accelerate the line and candies begin spilling out onto the floor and she scrambles around trying to save them all.

Well Subaru is suffering from a similar, less hysterical, problem right now with its own quality control.

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Mainstream Religion: Subaru Of America Smashes All-Time Monthly Outback Sales Record In October

Is it still a cult following if only six, undeniably mainstream utility vehicles are more popular?

Honda, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford…

Subaru? While the U.S. auto industry dropped 6 percent in October 2016, losing nearly 90,000 sales compared with October 2015, the Subaru Outback soared to new heights.

If the Subaru Outback is the leader of a cult, as Dan Neil wrote in the Wall Street Journal earlier this fall, the cult is now big enough that we ought to call it a mainstream religion.

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Subaru's Parent Kills Industrial Division, Plans to Coddle Its Overachieving Child

It was a bombshell decision that Fuji Heavy Industries describes as “extraordinary.”

Subaru’s parent company announced today that its board of directors has decided to eliminate its industrial division to free up resources for its car division. FHI built its empire on small industrial powerplants, spawning a quirky car company in the process, but that car brand is now the corporation’s main focus.

What does the new love mean for Subaru?

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Subaru Announces 2017 Impreza Pricing, Gives Six-Speed Manuals the Finger

Subaru has coughed up how much the all-new 2017 Impreza hatchback and sedan will cost.

The new Subies offer a few surprises in regard to pricing, especially on the higher trims, and a shocking loyalty to the five-speed manual transmission — an increasingly rare beast in the automotive landscape.

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Ready to Sail: Here's Your Japanese Class of 1992 Eligible for Import

Since the 1980s, draconian federal importation laws have meant enthusiasts in the United States must wait a full 25 years before some of their favorite brand’s models are legal on these shores. And every year, groups of enthusiasts take to the internet to contemplate what cars will be available for importation with the turn of the new year. The arrival of each new calendar year then becomes a celebration of the past, a revisit of forsaken models, a festival of other-market obscurity.

The Land of the Rising Sun is becoming more than just a source for tuners looking for their next drift car. That’s right, Japanese cars are now collectible.

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TTAC News Round-up: The Acura NSX is No Halo Car

The halo effect isn’t working for Acura with its NSX.

That, governments in Canada and those of states in the U.S. are still looking to make Volkswagen suffer for crimes against nature, Ford decides to stop producing the F-150 for a bit, Subaru reconsiders its headquarters in New Jersey, and VW could be forced to buy back all its vehicles sold with defeat devices … after the break!

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Crosstrek Hybrid DOA: Subaru Cuts an Underperformer From Its Lineup

It may have replaced Volvo wagons and Saab 900s in the driveways of the middle to upper-middle class, but Subaru couldn’t get its growing customer base to cosy up to its lone hybrid model.

Amid slow sales, Subaru has decided to cut the Crosstrek Hybrid loose, Cars Direct reports. The slightly greener variant disappears for the 2017 model year, meaning the automaker’s lineup returns to strictly gas-only offerings.

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Subaru Reports Record U.S. Sales In August 2016 With Industry's Lowest Incentives As Other Automakers Tumble

Sales of new vehicles declined by nearly 4 percent in the United States in August 2016, a year-over-year drop which followed flatlining sales over the previous three months. Bucking the trend to no small degree in August was capacity-constrained Subaru, which earned 4 percent of the market by selling more than 60,000 new vehicles for the first time in the company’s history.

Making Subaru’s achievements even more impressive: according to TrueCar, discounts in Subaru showrooms in August were 78-percent below the industry average.

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2016 Subaru WRX Long-Term Test: Hitting 15,000 Miles

My 2016 Subaru WRX crossed over the 15,000 mile mark after only nine months of ownership. While some of its new car smell has worn off, my affection for it only continues to grow.

The WRX has received scheduled maintenance and begun a journey into competitive driving to bring out its full character. I also gave in to the urge to modify the WRX with some small tweaks.

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Subaru SiriusXM Censorship Uncensored - Think of the Children, Alright?

An article entitled “ Subaru to SiriusXM Subscribers: Stop Listening to Comedy” from a website called automotiveitnews.org has been making the rounds on social media lately. It talks about an oddity with Subaru-vehicle satellite radios, where they sometimes default to Channel 001, the preview channel, upon starting the car, even when the subscription is paid up.

That may sound like simple software glitch — but it isn’t. It’s actually a Subaru-specific “feature”!

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Can Volkswagen Outback The Outback With Alltrack?

We don’t yet know the exact price of Volkswagen USA’s 2017 Golf Alltrack.

We are certain, however, that Volkswagen, a company with a brand image severely tarnished in the United States, will be able to do no better than slightly undercut the basic price of the Subaru Outback.

And that might be a problem.

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Subaru Hopes BRZ Design Tweaks, Power Bump Get Buyers Hot and Bothered

Are modest improvements in looks and power enough to revive consumer interest in the Subaru BRZ? The automaker sure hopes so.

A host of small changes were just announced for the rear-drive coupe’s 2017 model year, which sees its sister car (the [s]Scion FR-S[/s] Toyota 86) switch identities. Every change aims to nudge the BRZ closer to what the public feels it should be — a performance car worthy of special status.

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Priceonomics Details Subaru's Lesbian Marketing Love Affair

Subaru didn’t always enjoy the recession-beating success it’s famous for today. In the ’90s, sales at Subaru were in the tank, and marketers in the company needed to do something different.

After identifying core groups interested in its cars, Subaru found something curious: lesbians, for whatever reason, loved Subaru. For our edutainment, Priceonomics has detailed the history of Subaru loving those lesbians right back.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Subaru Justy DL

You can’t talk about the miserable econoboxes of the 1980s without talking about perhaps the most miserable of them all: the irresistibly cheap, irredeemably terrible, front-wheel-drive Subaru Justy (the all-wheel-drive Justy could be a lot of fun, of course).

You won’t see many of these cars today, but I was able to find this 28-year-old survivor in a Silicon Valley U-Wrench-It yard.

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Taking Names: That's 'Mr.' Subaru Corporation, to You

Subaru’s parent company plans to change its name from Fuji Heavy Industries to, simply, Subaru Corporation. Why? Because #branding, of course.

In an effort to leverage the recognition of its Subaru brand, the transportation giant says the move away from its long-winded company name will help grow Subaru as a distinctive global presence in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Fuji Heavy Industries currently has four divisions: Automobile, Aerospace, Industrial Power Products, and Eco Technology.

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Want Your Vehicle to Retain Its Value? Make Sure It's Big, or Bigger

If you’re looking to get the most money back when you drop your car onto the used market in five years, better get into something large and utilitarian.

Large and midsize trucks and SUVs grab the top five-year resale values in Edmund’s 2016 Retained Value Awards, with conventional and luxury midsize and large cars depreciating the most.

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NYIAS: 2017 Subaru Impreza - A Refined Scrapper Straight Outta Indiana

It’s longer, lower, wider, and yes, more global than before.

Subaru has unveiled the next generation of its perennially popular Impreza, adopting a more contemporary style while placating purists who worried their fun compact could become too beige.

Revealed at the New York Auto Show in sedan and five-door guise, the 2017 Impreza brings tasteful, flowing lines to a body that once delighted in being chunky. There are more subtle curves here than a coastal highway.

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Subaru Grows a Better Backbone

Subaru’s next generation of models will ride atop a platform that is stiffer, less prone to body roll and can incorporate a variety of propulsion sources, Motor Authority reports.

The new modular platform will underpin all future Subaru vehicles except the BRZ, starting with the Indiana-built 2017 Impreza.

Besides its adaptability to a range of models, the company says the key selling point of the Subaru Global Platform is a greatly increased stiffness that lends itself to safety and handling.

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru Loyale, Colorado Stereotypes Edition

I moved from California to Colorado in 2010, and the stereotype of the stony Subaru driver who snowboards/hikes/camps/rock-climbs, has some sort of retriever dog, and drinks super-hoppy craft beers turns out to be based on reality.

Everyone here drives Subarus — hell, even I have an Outback in the fleet — but we’re talking about the beat-to-hell, 15-to-30-year-old cars here, and not shiny new Crosstreks in the REI parking lot. Last week, I saw the perfect example of that type of Subaru in a Denver self-service yard: this rusty, crusty, 200,000-mile, Pleiades-badged Colorado veteran, which spent its long life driving to trailheads and brewpubs, is now set to donate its metals to the global commodities markets.

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Piston Slap: Of Cost and Axle Differentials?

Sajeev,

We have three cars in our household that see regularly use, but we are considering going down to two vehicles in an attempt to save some money. However, instead of just getting rid of one of those three cars, we are trading in two of them toward a newer vehicle that we plan to keep long term.

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Super Bowl 50 Commercial Round-up

Like those who only read certain magazines for the articles, the Super Bowl brings millions of people together in front of TV screens to, ostensibly, watch a football game. Many will watch the event strictly for the commercials, which have become a cultural phenomenon in their own right. Others will watch for the halftime show, hoping for glimpses of nipples and/or sharks.

Car manufacturers have taken advantage of the massive number of eyeballs focused on the screen, and target them with high-priced, cinematic advertising loaded with celebrities and inspirational messages.

Check them all out … after the jump!

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Digestible Collectible: 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS

Few people get dressed up for a test drive, but I had to be convincing and look respectable. I was an occasional college student at the time, somewhere between my freshman and sophomore years on the 10-year plan. I walked into the local Subaru dealer and waited to be approached.

I can’t tell you how I did it, but I ended up taking a new Impreza for a test drive, solo. Thank goodness, as my early-20s self had long dreamt of sliding a Subie around some gravel, with a handbrake pull to get the car to rotate. The polyester-clad salesman would have stopped the fun entirely too early.

If you bought a slushbox-equipped Impreza wagon sometime in 1998 from a dealer in Columbus, I’m sorry.

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2016 Subaru WRX: Five Thousand Miles Later

You may remember my decision three months ago to replace my aging Cadillac STS with a brand-new 2016 Subaru WRX. The “avoid highways” option has been selected on Google Maps ever since, as evidenced by the WRX’s above-average odometer reading. It’s not my fault that the Subie commands a twistier route every time I start it up.

However, this relationship between the WRX and me has not been without its quirks. After making a few payments and driving 5,000 miles, I’ve emerged from the honeymoon period to take a step back and evaluate this new marriage. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the annoying.

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Subaru Dropped The 'XV' From Its 2016 Crosstrek Because You Did Anyway

If an “XV” drops off a rear liftgate in the woods of Colorado, Oregon or New England and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

Even if you’re in a bright blue 2016 Subaru Crosstrek, apparently not. Last month, Subaru announced it’s slightly different Crosstrek — complete with new front bumper, grille and headlights — and many people didn’t notice the XV is now gone. The car gets the same Series.HyperBlue treatment as the BRZ and WRX et al., and blind-spot detection.

(Oh, and you can probably still get a screaming deal on a Hybrid Crosstrek.)

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LA 2015: Subaru Should Just Put Bigger Mirrors on Its Impreza Concept Already

You’re looking at the 2017 Subaru Impreza.

I mean, you’re looking at the Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept with skinny mirrors, quasi-ridiculous tires, no door handles and a few front bumper throwaways. But you’re looking at the 2017 Subaru Impreza.

Subaru unveiled its Impreza Sedan Concept on Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show and everything appears to be in order. The headlights get a a little touch, the wheels look a little sharper and the roof line seems a little more aggressive, so let’s build this thing already.

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What Is This Performance BRZ/FR-S and Where Can We Get One?

Our friends over at AutoGuide have a juicy story about a patent filing from Toyota that details a decidedly BRZ STI-looking drawing that may signal a performance variant on its way.

According to AutoGuide, the patent, which was approved in Japan, was filed by Toyota, but named Subaru-parent company Fuji Heavy Industry as its owner. The patent was approved so let’s get them on the lots already.

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A Tale of Two Dealers

The Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX were the two finalists in my new car search and the Focus ST seemed to be winning out due the extra incentives that were being advertised. I emailed a few Ford dealers in my area to negotiate an ST2 and a few Subaru dealers to see if they were offering any discounts that were not advertised.

The 2015 Focus ST might appear to be the best deal if you go by the advertised prices, but the 2016 WRX ended up being a great deal after talking to a few dealers. I was interested in the ST2 model of the Focus and got quotes of about $24,800 on a 2015 and around $26,700 on a 2016 based on all the discounts for which I qualified.

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Taking The Hard Road To Buying A New Car

The time has come to replace my Cadillac STS with a newer ride, so I have spent the last couple of weeks narrowing down the potential replacements. I have bought and sold enough vehicles that my evaluation process for resale vehicles is somewhat cut-and-dry, but buying a new personal vehicle seems to bring more questions and answers.

The Cadillac STS came from an auction like many of my previous daily drivers. It was a purchase of opportunity, due to low cost at the time. Profitability trumps emotion for many of my car-buying decisions; I care more about how much it costs to buy and recondition a car — and its subsequent profitability when I sell it — than I care about how it feels.

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Tokyo Motor Show 2015: The Next-gen Subaru Impreza, or #SaveTheWagon

At least we know that Subaru is planning on keeping the five-door through 2017.

Subaru showed off it’s cleverly named Impreza Concept in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Or was it Wednesday? With the international time travel line, I always get mixed up.) It will preview the next-generation Impreza when it arrives — probably around 2017.

The car sports a more angular face and rear end, alongside shoulder and hip flares that are connected through the car’s high belt line. If you place your hands over the front and rear wheels in the side profile picture, you’ll probably get a good look at Subaru’s next Impreza, I’m betting.

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2016 Subaru Forester XT Review - More Isn't Always More

According to my nephew and me: If one is good then 100 is a good place to start.

My nephew is 11. I’m 33. Hopefully his gene pool is deeper than mine. But excess is extra good in my life. I appreciate a larger-than-I-need TV most nights and not one, but two, cheeseburgers in my value meals sometimes. If a Forester is good then a turbo Forester must be great according to my juvenile definition of the world.

Already one of the best crossovers on the market, the Forester actually benefits from Subaru’s glacial powertrain pace: flat-four up front, all-wheel drive underneath — and they’ll check back sometime during the next decade. The naturally aspirated, older 2.5-liter flat four does work in pedestrian Foresters; its 170 horsepower is competent like gas station coffee. Force feeding 80 more ponies — to a total of 250 for the turbo XT — should make the Forester better. It could, right?

I’ll put it this way: Does gas station creamer make gas station coffee better?

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Toyota, Honda Dominate List of Cars Kept for More Than 10 Years

Nearly 30 percent of buyers who purchase a Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Prius car will keep that car for more than 10 years, according to data from iSeeCars.com.

Data from 400,000 car purchases was analyzed for the poll, according to the study group. The industry average for owners keeping their cars 10 years or longer was 13.5 percent.

Of those top 15 vehicles whose buyers keep them longer than a decade, nine of them were Toyotas; 5 were made by Honda. The Honda CR-V was tops at 28.6 percent of buyers who kept that car for 10 years or more.

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Subaru Impreza 5-Door, Viziv Future Concepts Ready for Tokyo

Subaru may have taken away our hot hatch goodness with the WRX and WRX STI, but the down-market Impreza looks to continue with all five doors intact.

In a release on Wednesday, Subaru announced they would show off the next Impreza in hatchback form at the Tokyo International Motor Show.

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Subaru Can Paint Cars Any Color They Want Now

Subaru in Japan released Tuesday details on its face-lifted Forester, which will likely make its way to the States for 2017.

The slightly revised Forester sports an updated fascia, additional safety tech, improved interior materials, and two trim packages that may make the ride over. The Forester S-Limited and X-Break trims will be available in Japan, including the X-Break’s wild-ass* Quartz Blue Pearl, Tangerine Orange Pearl and Desert Khaki colors, lifted from the Crosstrek/Impreza/WRX.

A spokesman for Subaru in America didn’t comment on whether the cars would make their way to the U.S. (They probably will.)

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Subaru Investing $140M More in Indiana Plant, Not Buying Normal Plant?

Subaru said Monday it would invest $140 million at its Lafayette, Indiana plant to expand production and add 1,200 more jobs at the facility. The announcement is only two years after the growing Japanese automaker said in 2013 they would spend $400 million at the plant to build its Impreza in the U.S. by 2016.

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2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek Manual Review - Field Manual

In 1919, then-Army Major Dwight D. Eisenhower embarked on a transcontinental journey with a military convoy to show off to the country the mechanical might used to conquer the Kaiser.

From Washington D.C. to San Francisco, Eisenhower traversed the Lincoln Highway over 62 days. The going was relatively easy until Kansas, but the hardest part, he wrote, came in Utah.

“Aug. 20 (1919) Departed Salt Lake City, 6:30 am. … Last 6 miles was natural desert trail of alkali dust and fine sand up to 2 (feet) deep, with numerous chuckholes. No rain for 18 weeks and traction exceedingly difficult,” Eisenhower wrote in his journal.

“Aug. 22 (1919) Departed Granite Rock (Utah) 6:30 a.m. … Personnel utterly exhausted by tremendous efforts, and will rest at Black Point. … Reduced morale.”

Admittedly, my journey in a 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek would be less dramatic. In Utah, Eisenhower reported the convoy of 80 vehicles took 7.5 hours to do 15 miles in near-biblical sand in lieu of bad roads. I could manage 80 miles an hour in the diminutive hatchback with 148 horsepower — which likely has more horsepower than the entire 1919 convoy. Resemblance? I have a few.

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2015 Subaru Legacy Rental Car Review

In my youth I was a vital, virile, male Manly Man. So manly that when I got a new ’86 GTI as my first “nice” car, I left off not only the automatic transmission but also the power steering. Mind you, it drove great — when it drove at all.

One night my parents tossed me the keys to drive them home from the restaurant. Mom’s whip was a mid-trim, 4-pot ’88 Camry. Yes, its limits were low, it was gutless, and it was tailored to bourgeois tastes with pastel upholstery here and fake stitching there. However, it was up front about its limitations, pridefully built, civilized in all its moves, and driving it was just so…easy. I one-fingered steered all the way home and made an earnest mental note.

Fifty VW defects later, I went Japanese and never looked back.

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Reuters: Subaru Success Fueled By Marginalized Foreign Workers

Reuters Investigates has a scathing report on foreign workers in Japan at some of Subaru’s most important suppliers. According to the news agency, due to the combination of a booming “Abenomics”, Japan’s 2010 asylum seeker program, and manufacturers looking for cheap sources of expendable labor, foreigners are taken advantage of and treated as second- and third-class workers. Another program meant to help Chinese citizens learn manufacturing skills in Japan is also implicated in helping Subaru take advantage of marginalized immigrant workers.

Subaru isn’t the only automotive manufacturer named as the same suppliers also feed parts to Honda and Toyota.

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Subaru of America COO: BRZ Needs 'More Performance'

It seems enthusiasts aren’t the only folks looking for a little more performance from the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ. Subaru of America COO Tom Doll would also like a little more performance — in terms of sales — from the sports car co-developed with Toyota.

Thankfully, he sees the best way to increase interest in the BRZ is to give us what we want.

Maybe.

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  • KOKing I car-sat an A32 while its owner was out of the country, and the then whiz-bang VQ motor was great, but the rest of it wasn't any better than a XV10 or XV20. Definitely the start of its downward slide, unfortunately.
  • Norman Stansfield Why are leaf springs still a thing on this truck?
  • Syke The expected opening comments. Have had mine for two years now, the car has done exactly what I want out of it, and a little better. I'm quite happy with the car, haven't had to adjust my driving style or needs in the slightest, and . . . . oh, did a mention that I don't give a damn what today's price at the pump is?Probably going to go for a second one in the coming year, the wife's happy enough with mine that she's ready and willing to trade in the Nissan Kicks. Eventually, the not often used van will end up getting traded on a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, basically ensuring that we don't use gas for anything except the occasional long trip.And the motorcycles.
  • Bobbysirhan I've never found the Allegro appealing before, but a few years of EV rollouts make it seem downright desirable.
  • Scoutdude I know that dealership. Way back when my friend's grandfather was that Turner that owned the Chrysler Plymouth International dealer, in MacPherson. Of course the International was dropped when they didn't deem the Scout reason enough to keep the franchise. I moved from there in late 1978 so it is possible I saw this running around town way back when.