2015 Subaru Legacy

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Subarus used to be such an easy sell.'15 Legacy lead

If you were a buyer looking for an AWD car, Subaru was one of the few that sold them. And pretty much the only one that wasn’t also an expensive German brand.

Subarus – including the 2015 Legacy reviewed here – still come standard with all-wheel-drive. But several competitors now offer it, too – including the 2015 Chrysler 200 I reviewed recently (see here) and also the Ford Fusion.

That makes life tougher on Subaru.

So does the government – whose fuel economy fatwas have succeeded in killing off one of the Legacy’s formerly available (and fairly uncommon in this class) features – a six-speed manual transmission.

It’s gone now – replaced by a more economical (but less entertaining) CVT automatic.'15 Legacy shifter

This, by the way, is “trending” across the industry; manuals are on the way out because automatics (CVT automatics especially) can be programmed to squeeze out an extra MPG here, another MPG there. That matters a lot when there are hefty fines dangling over the heads of automakers whose cars don’t make the cut. And that cut is going to notch up to 35.5 MPG on average a little more than a year from now (2016).

So, bye-bye six-speed manual.

But, the Legacy – like all Subarus – still has its unique (and inherently better-balanced) “boxer” horizontally-opposed engines. Well, they’re unique if you’re looking to pay less than $50k to start (the base price of the least expensive Porsche, the only other new cars on the market that come with an engine design of this type).

And the just-updated Legacy can also tout an impressive suit of safety technologies – as well as a roomier-than-previously interior.

The already Subaru-inclined will probably be very happy with it. The Final Jeopardy question is whether Toyota/Honda (and Ford/Chrysler) leaning buyers can be swayed by it.

WHAT IT IS'15 Legacy several views

The Legacy is Subaru’s “big car” – the roomiest (and most luxuriously fitted out) sedan in the lineup. It goes up against mid-sized rivals such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry sedans (neither of which offer all-wheel-drive) as well as the Ford Fusion and Chrysler 200 sedans  (both of which do offer AWD, but as optional equipment).

It is distinguished by its standard AWD and unusual-in-this-price-range boxer engines, which sit flat rather upright and which are naturally balanced (and so, smooth) by dint of each pair of pistons (two on each side) “boxing” one another on opposite sides of a centrally located crankshaft

Base price is $21,695 for a 2.5 with AWD and the now-standard CVT automatic transmission.   A top-of-the-line 3.6 R (with a larger, more powerful, six-cylinder version of the  Subaru boxer  engine), the CVT automatic, leather interior, sunroof, navigation and Subaru’s EyeSight suite of safety technologies stickers for $29,595.

WHAT’S NEW'15 Legacy side shot

The ’15 Legacy is extensively – but subtly – updated for the 2015 model year. The body is slightly longer (and wider) and the interior is a bit roomier than previously.

As mentioned earlier above, the formerly available six-speed manual transmission has been dropped from the roster, but gas mileage is a couple of  MPGs better than previously – with the 2.5 liter/CVT combo now posting a very good (for this class) 26 city, 36 highway vs. 24 city, 32 highway for the 2014.

The mileage delivered by the optional six (which is also now paired with a CVT instead of the formerly available five-speed automatic) is slightly better, too: 20 city, 28 highway vs 18 city, 25 highway last year.

WHAT’S GOOD'15 Legacy CVT

Fuel efficiency is now class-competitive.

Affordable AWD (to get AWD in the Chrysler 200, you must buy the optional V-6 and the base price climbs to $27,890 – $6,195 more than the base price of an AWD-equipped Legacy).

The “latest” in safety systems, including a bundled-together package (EyeSight) that includes adaptive cruise control, collision warning and automatic braking. Seat cushion air bags are standard, now, too (bringing the total standard airbag count up to eight).

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD'15 Legacy interior 1

Mediocre acceleration with either engine.

Interior’s not as lush and high-end looking as are the cabins of several rivals, most notably the new Chrysler 200 and the also-new Toyota Camry.

Ride quality may be a bit too firm for a car marketed mostly on the merits of its efficiency and safety.

UNDER THE HOOD

The Legacy comes with either a four or (optionally) six cylinder engine – which is not unusual in this class. But the layout of the Subaru’s engines is unusual.

Instead of four in a row – and standing straight up – the Subaru’s 2.5 liter four (175 hp) lays flat, with the cylinders laid on their sides, one opposing another across the crankshaft in the middle.

The optional 3.6 liter six (256 hp) is laid out the same way.'15 Legacy 2.5 engine

Why is this a desirable layout? Two reasons. First, the engine’s weight sits lower in the chassis,  which is helpful in terms of the car’s handling. Second, this type of engine is naturally balanced, the push-pull of one piston acting as a counterbalance on the one opposing it, canceling out vibrations.

Upright (inline and “v”) engines typically need to have counterweights installed on the crankshaft – or externally – to balance the engine’s rhythms and tamp down vibration. The Soobie boxer engines do this without such weight-adding crutches.

The boxer layout has also proved to be immensely durable  – and this has been a Subaru selling point for decades.'15 Legacy  boxer

Both engines are now paired with a continuously variable (CVT) automatic. The previously available six-speed manual (with the 2.5 liter engine) and five-speed automatic (with the V-6) have both been retired. Chiefly, for the sake of upping the Legacy’s MPG stats, which are now – with the base four –  slightly better than some rivals (e.g, the Ford Fusion, which rates 34 highway with its base four).

The  Legacy’s optional six is still fairly thirsty, however – especially given its middling output/performance. The new Chrysler 200, for instance, offers an available 295 hp V-6 that’s capable of shooting the car to 60 in under 6 seconds (about a second sooner than the 3.6 Legacy) and still manages 18 city, 29 highway with AWD – virtual dead heat vs. the AWD-equipped 3.6 liter Legacy’s 20 city, 28 highway.'15 Legacy 3.6

The Legacy 3.6  stacks up better against the Ford Fusion equipped with its optional 2.0 liter turbocharged “EcoBoost” four – which is a mandatory option if you also want AWD. So equipped, the Ford can get to 60 in just under 7 seconds (about the same as the Legacy 3.6) and its EPA city/highway numbers (22/31) are only slightly better than the six-cylinder Subaru’s 20/28.

But the big disparity is that neither Ford nor Chrysler offer a lower-cost AWD version of their respective sedans.

Only Subaru does.

It might not be the quickest thing around, but it’s not the most expensive thing around, either. And it’ll get you through almost anything. Or at least, through conditions that would likely leave the cost-equivalent FWD competition foundering like the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

Trust me on this. I live in a rural (and white scheisse-prone) area. Subarus abound – and abide. Because they rarely get stuck – and seem to last almost forever.

ON THE ROAD'15 Legacy road 1

To appreciate the Legacy’s virtues, wait for a snow day. That’s when you’ll be grateful you bought an AWD car.  Subarus are legendary for their capabilities as street-bound, four-wheeled ice breakers – going even where some 4×4 SUVs dare not tread. Fit one with a set of Blizzaks and you are ready. Bring it on.

On other days, the Legacy’s personality is kind of like the elevator man in a nice NYC high-rise apartment. He’s friendly, but not in your face. A kind of calming part of the everyday routine. The Legacy shares this quality – highly desired, if sales figures are any guide – with best-sellers like the Camry. But it has that extra measure of capability the Camry (and Accord) lack and which the 200 and Fusion insist you pay a small fortune for.

The AWD system is sophisticated (Subaru being an AWD pioneer, this is not surprising) but very “background.” There’s no setting to select, no lever to engage, no knob to turn. The only AWD-related item inside the car is an LCD display that shows all four wheels are turning. But they can turn individually, at varying rates, to maximize the car’s grip – in a straight line on wet/snow-slicked pavement as well as in a dry curve at high speed. Unlike truck-type 4WD, which is designed for traction rather than handling, AWD gives you both in the same car.'15 Legacy AWD 1

The now-mandatory CVT is not a bad box – and is programmed to mimic a conventional automatic’s stepped gear changes (these can be engaged manually, up or down, if you wish) but without the shift-shock of transitioning from first to second and second to third (and so on). Instead, the engine speed varies as you proceed; it’s more of a spooling-up effect, not unlike a turbine.

Interestingly,Subaru elected not to ape the others and offer various driver selectable “modes.” No “sport,” “normal” and “eco.”  Put the transmission in Drive – and drive. I like that. It’s less pretentious.

Also – big cheer here – no obnoxious auto-stop/start. The last five cars in a row I tested had this system, which automatically kills the engine when the car rolls to a stop in order to save gas (the engine restarts automatically when the driver depresses the accelerator). It doesn’t save much fuel, though. These systems exist chiefly to boost a automakers’ fleet average fuel economy numbers. But they do waste your time (it takes a moment for the engine to re-start, delaying your forward progress) and may very possibly waste your money down-the-road, when something breaks. Subaru – so far – hasn’t aped the others here. either.

Bless them.

'15 Legacy road 2

Some reviewers describe the Legacy’s ride as overly firm. I didn’t feel that way. But the truth is that “ride” is a highly subjective thing – hence the importance of a test drive. What I can tell you for certain is that all new cars ride “firm” relative to what was common 10 (let alone 20) years ago. Part of the reason why is that current new cars typically come with what’s known inside the business as “low aspect ratio” tires. It means short, stiff sidewalls. Necessary to fit the currently common 17 and 18 inch wheels one finds fitted to most new cars. This includes the Legacy, which comes standard with 17s (though surprisingly, these are steel 17 inch wheels; alloy 17s are also available) with 18s optional.

The upside to these short-sidewall tires is much faster steering response and road feel, as well as generally more athletic handling.

That said, I’d rank the Legacy as being among the softer-riding cars in this class. More so than the Accord, definitely – and the newly macho’d up Camry, too. The only one I’ve driven that’s noticeably plusher-feeling is the new Chrysler 200 – which rides like the previous (2014) Camry.

AT THE CURB'15 Legacy curb 1

How do you tell how much your 13-year-old has grown over the last year? He looks pretty much the same, after all. Well, you break out the tape. Same deal here. The ’15 Legacy looks at first glance a lot like the ’14 Legacy –  but it, too, has grown.

The new model is 1.3 inches longer (188.8 inches vs. 187.2 previously) and about three-quarters of an inch wider (72.4 inches vs. 71.7 before). It’s not a difference your eyes can pick up, but it’s one you’ll notice when you climb in. Especially in between. While legroom is increased slightly, hip room has been expanded hugely. There’s 55.5 inches up front now – and 55 in the second row – vs. 54.5 up front and 53.9 in the second row in the ’14.'15 Legacy back seat 1

By this measure, the Legacy trounces the otherwise uber-plush Chrysler 200, which only has 52.7 inches of second row hip room (and about an inch less legroom, too). The other AWD-available car in this class – the Ford Fusion – meets or beats the Legacy on most measures of interior space (it has 1.4 inches more front seat legroom, slightly more second row legroom – and nearly an inch more backseat headroom) but this expansiveness is tempered by the expense of this car when it is equipped with AWD.

And of course, the other players in this class don’t offer AWD at all.

Styling-wise, the Legacy is on the nondescript side. Not ugly. Just not memorable or turn-your-head-what-was-that? This is not necessarily a bad thing. The Camry made hay for decades being the car no one much noticed.'15 Legacy LCD 2

But the interior may be an issue. Not because it’s awful. But because the bar has risen so high in this segment.

I’ve mentioned the new Chrysler 200 several times. Go see it and see what I mean. Also the new Camry. Everyone’s been upgraded from coach to business class.

Well, except the Legacy.

Its dash is hard plasticky and austere; the touch-screen monitor’s a little late 1990s Star Trek Next Generation-looking. Trying to change radio station channels was also a little exasperating. You need to turn the knob (top right) slowly. Turn it too quickly and there’s a lag between your input and the channel changing … while the system thinks a little. Often, it jumps ahead too far. Then you have to dial it back… slowly. Granted, once programmed, with your favorites inputted, this problem goes away. But I think it’s too sensitive, nonetheless.

On the plus side, the rotary controls and related buttons for the AC and heater and fan are direct, their operation instantly comprehensible and usable by feel, without having to look at the same time. The available seat heaters (standard in Premium trims) do a good – but not excellent – job of getting warm and staying warm. If you want hot, try a German car. They seem to be the only cars on the market with seat heaters that actually heat rather than merely warm.

The Legacy’s seats themselves are, however, excellent. Not too squishy – not too confining. Very comfortable for short hops and long road trips.

THE REST'15 Legacy eye sight 2

Subaru’s EyeSight pedestrian-detection and collision avoidance system differs from other such systems in having the cameras it uses to detect pedestrians and potential collisions mounted up high, near the upper edge of the windshield, rather than down low in the front bumper – as is usual practice. Subaru says this increases the system’s field of vision – putting it on the same plane as the driver’s actual eyes (hence the name). All these systems are the leading edge of the not-far-off-now autonomous/self-driving car. Some will cheer its arrival. I will mourn the passing of a time when drivers were expected to pay attention to their driving – and know how to drive.

For now, the system remains optional – bundled with Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control (it maintains the speed you set, slowing – and accelerating – as needed automatically).'15 Leegacy seat air bag

As mentioned earlier, eight air bags are now standard in this car – including a pair in the seat bottoms (driver and front-seat passenger). These are meant to keep the occupants in place during a crash to minimize injury potential.

Here again, I’m a little leery. Eight air bags. Wow.

One might save your life, granted. But if two (let alone three or four) go off, the car will probably be a total loss, even if it’s otherwise fixable. Because the cost to replace those bags is killer – and can push the total fix-it cost after even a relatively minor accident too close to the 50 percent-of-pre-wreck-market value threshold – at which point most insurance companies will crush rather than fix the car.

Now you know why it costs so much to insure these things.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Despite some competition on the higher end, the Legacy remains the go-to choice for an affordable AWD-equipped family sedan.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. The 2010 Subaru Legacy has 12 TSBs

    http://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Legacy/2010/tsbs/

    6 recalls and 62 complaints.

    http://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Legacy/2010/

    complaint breakdown:
    Seat Belts / Air Bags ProblemsNHTSA: 13
    Steering ProblemsNHTSA: 11
    Engine ProblemsNHTSA: 7
    Transmission ProblemsNHTSA: 6
    Suspension ProblemsNHTSA: 5
    Interior Accessories ProblemsNHTSA: 3 + 4
    Lights ProblemsNHTSA: 3
    Brakes ProblemsNHTSA: 2
    Fuel System ProblemsNHTSA: 2
    Drivetrain ProblemsNHTSA: 2
    Clutch ProblemsNHTSA: 1
    Body / Paint ProblemsNHTSA: 1
    Electrical ProblemsNHTSA: 1
    Wheels / Hubs ProblemsNHTSA: 1
    – – –

    Why not start the world’s leading independent motorcycle complaints website? Might be a $ maker?
    – – –

    CarComplaints was named a Top 100 Website of 2009 by PC Magazine.
    Its a privately held site w/ HQ in Vermont
    Its Founder: Michael Wickenden
    Services : Automotive Complaint Info
    Employees: 10
    Slogan: What’s Wrong with YOUR Car?

    Car Complaints Website on wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CarComplaints.com

  2. When I looked at the article on the 2015 Subaru Legacy and saw the end button “throw it in the woods,” I thought to myself that I wish I could.

    I have a 2010 Subaru Legacy that I have put 60,000 miles since purchasing it in 2012. It has 100,000 miles on the clock.

    During that time, I have found the car to be less than rewarding and satisfying to drive. I should have been on the lookout for the things I found during the road test, but I was comparing the car with cars that were even worse than the Subie, so my decision making was clouded.

    There were several issues that I found within the first two months of driving.

    Excessive rear sway, dangerous cornering
    A noise coming through the cabin that sounds like a water pump beginning to fail
    Excessive body roll

    After about 5,000 miles, I replaced the rear sway bar. At a cost of $109.00 and an hour of my labor, I replaced it and corrected the dangerous sway and swerving around corners and a yawing motion on the freeway. Subaru placed a 16 mm sway bar on the rear, which is dangerously small. In a better society, they would be sued for that. In 30 years of driving, I never had a vehicle exhibit low and high instability like this car.

    After correcting the dangerous yaw motion and sway from the rear sway bar, a persistent body roll was noticed. The 2010-12 Legacys have a 23mm sway bar. The 13 has a 26 mm front sway bar which largely corrects much of the body roll in the newer models. With the 23 mm sway bar, the car exhibited extremely poor cornering. I haven’t drive a car with such lousy handling since I driving a 1972 Chevrolet Concours Wagon. To correct the issue, I had to install the larger sway bar. The probelm was not fully corrected since the car still had the OEM springs and struts, but was largely better. I shouldn’t have had to do anything, for I had paid good money for this car.

    After much research, I found a TSB from Subaru on an engine noise at 1200 rpm coming through the interior is due to a defective timing belt tensioner bracket. Subaru timing belt changes are due at 105,000 miles, so this will be addressed at that point.

    Back to the suspension, the car exhibits excessive noise when hitting bumps, mainly due to control arm bushings and possibly subframe mounts.

    The bottom line, these problems shouldn’t be an issue on a car with 100,000 miles.

    Subaru makes cars with crappy parts for some reason. The 5th generation legacy is plagued with suspension issues and weird noises. I hope that the new one is better, although I’m not going to wait to find out. I will never purchase one of these cars again. Due to the fact that I have so much skin in this game, I’m going to keep mine. Hopefully, the problems will be corrected shortly.

    If the CVT fails, I’m driving this bastard in a lake… or I’m gonna throw it in the woods.

    • Hi Swamp,

      That’s pretty awful. But – unfortunately – this sort of thing seems to be fairly typical. Not major problems. But annoying nits. Some of which can cost a lot of money.

      The handling issues are not uncommon, either. You ought to try a recent Yaris.

      Ask Dom.

  3. 66 tripower goat anyone?I never consodered myself a GM man,but when they were at theirselves they were something.I loved the older divisions with corparate identity.the old GMC straight sixes and v6 engines the buick ,olds and pontiac torque monster V8s after the early 70s Fords truck V8s lost something,then the decline started hitting the Chevys as well,I have fond memories of a 3/4 chevy suburban(69 model-350 SBC)with unbelievable power and durability(flogged mercilessly) even in the 60s old smallblock Ford sedans(the little ones) ran like a striped ape and could get mid 20s gas mileage,Kids nowadays will never experience the freedom we had in the sixties before UncleSugar,started using us for cannon fodder and saving us from ourselves(if you could time travel back 50 years you wouldnt recognize it)
    Anyway got this unbelieveable offer from Shelor motormile on a 2014 150 reg cab 4x with a fair amount of options(around 27K) well breadwinner wife nixed it-doesnt bother me,just put a little more money in the Dak.
    Any way while in Waynesboro and Staunton town it seemed like every third newer model car was a Subaru.So MikeLL,they have solved the headgasket problem and the timing belts are not a bear now? Good they are definitely on my probable list now(if I had a economical AWD car now,I wouldnt even consider a huge 4wd pickup-so maybe things are starting to pick up a little(but bye-bye”sniff” old axle popper gas V8s)-Kevin

  4. Too bad Subaru dropped the GT and Spec B versions of the Legacy. Those were among the nicest-looking cars they’ve ever made and were pretty hot on the road too (if you didn’t mind replacing the turbo every so often, that is). Now all cars, especially sedans, look like they’ve been pressed out of the same mold: boring boring boring!

  5. OK Eric,you win,time to put my money where my mouth is,it would be a dang shame if you had to quit your service to this great nation of ours(people like you are the salt of this nation)When clover assumes His rightful place in the scheme of things and the Randian thinkers at least have parity,we can all breathe a great sigh of relief.
    When my daughter and I stood on the deck of the Normandy over the missile tubes,it sort of put things in another context for me,as a nation we have great power,but I pray to God the Father we dont misuse it.
    Now back to Subies,I drove a Legacy wagon home in the late 90s and was impressed by how well the auto transmission behaved,Subaru has some very good things as far as quality,I would rank them with Nissan,in other words pretty good-Kevin

    • Thanks, Kevin!

      I respect Subarus. There are a lot of them – in particular, older ones – in my neck. That speaks well. I even see ’80s-era Brats every now and then. And that really speaks!

      PS: Clover stickers will be yours!

  6. Suburu has more attractive and competitive offerings in the smaller end of its model lineup. I’d never opt for this Legacy. But in its class, the Forrester might be my first pick. Then there are the WRX and the BRV, that each have a strong presence in their respective niches (if you care for those sort of cars.)

    Fortunately, Subies have their own dedicated fans, who will stick with them through thick and thin….and especially through rain and snow. This is partly due to their unique engineering virtues. And partly due to their almost iconic cultural ambiance.

    • Hi Mike,

      My only quibble with this car is the conflict between sportiness/performance (the 3.6 model especially, but the base car’s ride is also a bit firm) and practicality/safety/value. I think it’d be a more coherent – and appealing – car if it delivered say 40 on the highway, was a bit more on the soft side of the aisle, ride-wise and throw the six in the woods. People who want performance will find more of it elsewhere – and for about the same or less money (e.g., Chrysler 200 V-6/AWD).

      • Not a bad car at all. Just too much of a compromise. No outstanding virtue in any one area.

        This however, will not stop many Subie fanatics, when they get a little older and more affluent, and want to buy at the apex of the Subaru pyramid.

      • I disagree. I like the firm suspension that I have made from mine. Only if I can fix the damned bushing issue, this car corners like a BMW. If these damned car companies could figure out how to really market their cars, knowing and expressing what they can do, they would improve their sales. Subaru sucks, though. I hate mine for a variety of different reasons. See my posts throughout.

        • I’d like to see them choose one of the two forks in the road. Either go left – and soft (and economical). Or go right – and sporty (and up the power/performance).

          The current car is very nice, but it’s a compromised car. Neither very luxurious nor particularly sporty.

          Just my 50!

  7. Try those knobs again after leaving the car in a heated garage for a few hours.

    I noticed on my old Audi that the knobs acted in the way that you describe, but only in cold weather.

  8. From Eric’s article:
    “But they do waste your time (it takes a moment for the engine to re-start, delaying your forward progress) and may very possibly waste you money down-the-road, when something breaks.”

    Also, when you realize the MACK truck isn’t going to stop in time…
    You’ll die, because the f*ckin’ vehicle won’t MOVE.

    So if it saves just one life…?

    Why is EVERYONE so passive? Like the Soma addicts of Brave New World…

  9. Shame on Subaru for bowing to Uncles Pablum,I intensely dislike those maiming bombs called airbags,Why does it cost so much more to get an engine upgrade and did they finally resolve the head gasket issues on this old VW based design?Some people have excellent service out of Subarus,but they are a favorite of the mechanics around here due to engine problems-which arguebly could be caused by owner neglect,thats one reason I wouldnt consider a used one,but that being said the rest of the car seems to be bulletproof and no nonsense
    PS that commercial on the side is very annoying-Kevin

    • Hi Kevin,

      Subaru aggressively touts the “safety” of its vehicles – and its customers seem to want all that.

      I’m sorry about the ad. I’d prefer to have no ads at all. But that’s impossible unless direct reader support reaches an adequate level and maintains that level.

      I have to pay the bills, you know?

    • kmccune, from what I understand the head gasket problems were resolved in the early 2000 models. I don’t recall what the cause of that problem was. Since then Subaru has made very long-lived engines (except now I think you void your warranty if you don’t use Subaru/Fuji engine oil cough cough).

      • They need to bring back the (non-functional) hood scoop, like the one on my 1997 Legacy GT sedan.

        So the CVT isn’t too “rubber-band-y” on the 2.5L?

        • Hi Bill,

          CVTs continue to get better and better; they’re much less “thrashy” (and rubber bandy) than they were say five years ago.

          It will be interesting to see how long-lived they are, though.

          • i hate the CVT in my 2010. To get the car to move, I have to keep the foot to the firewall. After a 2 second delay, it starts to move smartly.

            • Hi Swamp,

              Yup; the early CVTs are pretty much all like that. They have gotten much better. Most now behave very much like a conventional automatic, mimicking the stepped gear changes but without the shift shock. I used to hate ’em. Now I think they’re ok. My chief concern is longevity – and the expense to replace. No one really knows yet how they’ll perform after 10 years and 100,000 miles or so….

      • My first band teacher, an old NO jazz guy who had to get away from the booze and everything else, bought a new one. Then he bought a ’62 I think, the really tall, thin fins. It was a behemoth but always looked fine. In a way the old Caddy’s were technological wonders at the time. I don’t remember Cadillac ever having an issue of too much reliability. And that was always the rub. And now it’s the rub for every car, too much crap to go wrong so some thing always will…..go wrong.

        Somebody was lamenting not being able to get a GM pickup with leather seats and nothing else. The company just picked up an older model, maybe 2001 Chevy(not a thing on the outside to denote it’s model)with leather seats, a/c, stereo and nothing else. It’s just a straight crewcab work truck, 4WD, gas engine. The company has new Dodge Cummins pickups but I noticed the boss was driving it the other day and had someone else in his new Dodge. Hhhhmmm. Couldn’t be the comfy seats, the superior handling or the nice ride and best in class 4 WD. Naw…..

  10. Actually it’s not quite true that all Subarus have boxer engines if you’re taking into account used/older models. The Subaru 360 used an inline two-cylinder mill, the Subaru Justy an inline three-cylinder. (Both models were sold in the U.S.)

  11. I bought my first Subaru in 2001 because I moved to central Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands: a mountainous place that gets snow. I now own a 2003 Outback with 140+ miles…and aside from a few signs of 12 years of wear and tear, it looks and runs great. My next car will definitely be a Subaru.

    IMNSHO, a Subaru or Audi with Quattro (if that’s what you want) makes so much more sense as a snow day vehicle than a SmoooVee. That’s because, for one thing, the Subaru and Audi AWD systems are optimized for on-road use vs. off-road use. Also, many SUVs are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity, which makes for poor handling no matter what the weather. And if ground clearance is a problem, the Outback/Allroad have as much as many SUVs out there.

    PS: Is it still true that Subaru’s vehicles have, over the last few years, outscored much more expensive brands like Mercedes in overall quality and reliability?

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