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March 20, 2007

Would you miss Subaru?

Continuing my “would you care” series

Does Subaru provide such a unique product and customer experience that we would be saddened if it didn’t exist? Does Subaru treat its employees so astonishingly well that those workers would not be able to find another employer to treat them as well? Does Subaru forge such unfailing emotional connections with its customers that they would fail to find another car company that could forge just as strong an emotional bond?

What say you?

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At least here in Brazil we´d miss Subaru. They make great rally/race cars such as Impreza.

We'd miss the products Subaru offers-- 4x4 cars-- but not the company. If Honda, Toyota, or Nissan consistently offered 4WD in sedans, hatchbacks, and station wagons then there'd be no tears for Subaru.

I find it fascinating that so many of my answers are no. Putting aside the economic impact of losing high $ manufacturing jobs I have absolutely no opinion which means my answer is no I wouldn't miss it. I can't help but wonder how many "brands" an individual really does have a relationship with? This will definately be a conversation to explore.

Great question.

I agree with Chuck. My wife and I owned an Outback and loved it, that is except for the fact that I am 6'8" so there was not much in the way of leg room. That aside though we enjoyed the car very much but if the company was gone tomorrow I don't think we would miss it.

Are we talking Subaru the company that manufactures vehicles or do we mean Subaru dealerships, because I think that opens up another area of thinking and evaluation. Personally I would miss my Subaru dealer who has always charged fair prices, does little things for free, keeps a good record of what I need to do to my car, always has loaners and is flexible about when I bring them back. They also have Saturday hours, which is nice.

Interesting that you are picking on some very niche companies. Subaru has a very small market share; but my understanding is very high loyalty amongst the 4x4 drive group. This is typically in the northern climes.

The value of Subaru may be hidden within this blog; not enough of their market wanders by?

I'd miss Subaru.

My wife and I own one and love its combination of AWD, durability, practicality and reliability. I agree that if Honda and Toyota started producing AWD wagons again (instead of SUVs), it might take some of the sting out of losing Subaru... but they don't.

Yeah, the world would miss Subaru. This company has a lot of reach and relevance especially in a global sense. A better question would be if Kia went out of business, would anyone care?

Clint ... I have no agenda with this "Would You Care" series. The companies I list will all be loved by some and loathed by some. I'm just curious as to how much folks love and loathe the companies I mention.

Clint, please share more specifics on why you think the world would truly miss Subaru. Yes, the company has reach and relevance but WHAT IS IT ABOUT SUBARU that would cause YOU to miss if it didn't exist? Please share so we all can learn. THANKS.

Yes! I would miss Subaru. In fact, though no longer in the car business, if I were to ever sell cars again, Subaru is the only brand I would sell. Furthermore, I learned firsthand selling Subarus for a year in a high-volume dealer in Colorado, that Subaru has one of the highest owner loyalty rates in industry. Also, Subaru owners are the highest educated of all the mainline marques...or at least they were a couple years ago. As a company, Subaru takes a more techie approach to sales training than other brands. They have a product that is second to none in safety. The horizontally-opposed boxer engine is awesome. This is the engine style that made VW what it is today and their biggest mistake was abandoning it. In fact, I believe Subaru was the refuge that die-hard VW buffs found when VW abandoned the air-cooled motor and focused on Rabbits, Sciroccos, Foxes and other worthless pursuits.

Subarus have a low center of gravity, their balance and handling characteristics are phenomenal - hence, their success in the rally racing circuit. But you may not consciously reap the benefits of all these features unless you live in a locale that lends itself to winding, curvy roads and/or ice and snow. That's when you discover why the Subaru all-wheel drive system is amazing. Only Audi's is comparable. Oh yeah, and the system in the Lamborghini Gallardo. The point is, Subaru is a niche marque, but like most niche products, if it meets your needs there's nothing better. Is it the most comfortable car if you're 6'5"? No. Do they make a truck for hauling big stuff? No. Do they possess the exotic lines of a Pininfarina body style? Nope. Are they establishing new frontiers in fuel economy? I don't think so. But, for enthusiasts - and that's what a Subaru owner is - there is no other car that combines the handling, safety, economy, reliability, mechanical simplicity, and sheer fun that a Subaru provides. This sounds like a commercial, but I think it proves the point....Subaru afficionados will go on and on about them, and that's why Subaru is one brand that would be sorely missed.

i don't miss subaru. audi and volvo has replaced them for my automotive needs.

I imagine the folks just up the road in Lafayette, IN, at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) would care a lot. That's the only Subaru auto assembly plant in the United States. That's probably one reason the car's pretty popular around here. And the dealerships are known for being straight up with their customers.

Would I buy one? No. Saturn is a much better vehicle, which is why I own two of them. But as Mark says, people who are fond of them go on and on about them... much as I do about my Saturns. I think the only people who would miss SIA are those whose lives are impacted by the vehicle in one form or another: Through employment or as a form of transportation on some level.

Interesting series, John. I wonder if the bigger question here is, exactly how self-centered is our culture that we truly miss superficial material aspects of it?

Funny but Subaru is the "official second car" of Lake Tahoe. (The first being the Ferrari that doesn't go out in the snow). I don't own one, but the reputation is pretty solid for all wheel drive, very dependable cars. I personally wouldn't miss them, but there would be a whole lot of very unhappy billionaires up in Incline Village.

I do believe that Subaru would be missed, by myself and others who are Subaru enthusiasts. Subaru deals very well with their customers, and the customers are very loyal to the brand. However, I do not think that the customer base is growing enough to foster a relationship with the brand. Maybe Subaru should take some steps to increase awareness and marketability so that their brand will not die out with the times.


I absolutely wouldn't miss it. People here in NL and in Germany tend to go for the suped up WRX because of the autobahn and snow driving. The problem is, there's no autobahn and hardly any snow in Holland. Subaru SVX was one of the coolest cars ever in production and to me, the only cool thing Subaru ever really did (except the BRAT, which the Baja is NOT. Subaru = ugly cars forever to me.

Would "I" care? No. I've never been attracted to the Subaru style and have no need for their specific functionality, BUT I can tell you this much. I have been living in Seattle for a couple years (temporarily before I head back to California) and in our densely populated neighborhood (Wallingford; near the University of Washington for those who are interested) I walk my dogs every day and have noticed that there are more Subaru wagons than any other single vehicle. My wife and I have laughingly commented to each other that the wealthiest guy in Seattle is NOT Bill Gates, but rather the guy who owns the Subaru dealership.

It's rather stunning when you see it.

Meek Speaks

Maybe it's not so much about Would you miss the product, or Do you like/dislike the product.

I find myself wondering, If I like the product, would I still like it from another company? Is a "brand relationship" based on functionality or faith? Can you separate function from brand?

Boy, some hackneyed thoughts. Good series though.

I would really miss Subaru, I have a Legacy and it is the best car I've ever had. It's a very reliable car and I would like to buy a newer one.

In a word, NO! I owned a WRX and while it was fun and fast it was super cheap inside and out...and not that great in the snow! The air conditioner quit at 5 years/49,000 miles and it was like pulling teeth to get Subaru to even pay a portion of replacement; I had to threaten litigation to get them to offer me anything. I bought a Subaru thinking they were up there with Toyota and Honda. But after my experiences and reading about other issues with engines etc with Foresters and I believe Outbacks as well, I researched further and found Subaru was quite a bit further down the line in terms of reliability. When I was looking for new cars I kept thinking "if only Toyota or Honda made an AWD car." Well Honda does, its called the CR-V and it is a well put together car, offers great gas mileage, decent all wheel drive and is solid as a rock. Every time I drive that car I think "now this is what Subaru should be like" and "if only Honda made a line of AWD cars, they'd be eating Subaru's lunch. Add reliability issues to questionable styling and attempts to move upmarket by overpricing their cars and Subaru is a "definitely not buy" in my book. Subaru's traditional buyers have been school teachers and engineers...I guess both groups value the implication of safety, ability to get to work in snow, and gas mileage and engineering of Subaru. It seems these groups have chosen these things over styling and luxury to a certain extent. I wonder how they feel when they find that they have sacrificed build quality and product longevity as well.

I would miss Subaru. Not just because it is truly AWD... which make no mistake- just because you slap AWD on the back of a Honda, does not make it an AWD vehicle. Subaru cares about the environment. Zero landfill status at the Indiana plant, and the outside of the factory has been deemed a wildlife refuge. It has a hybrid in the works... but even the other vehicles have great mpg, and PZEV, or ULEV II emission levels. You can buy the most inexpensive Subaru and you still get great safety, whereas so many other companies make you pay for side airbags. I live in southern CA, and I've never seen a Subaru spin out in the rain, and since I am born and raised here I have the right to say that no true blooded Southern CA driver knows how to drive in the rain. The true AWD in Subaru keeps me safe in the rain. Plus it's one of the few automotive companies not to have any sludge problems coming up in their engines. Audi is the closest to the Subaru AWD, but too many sludge problems, and it's a hit or miss on reliability.

i would miss subaru.i have had nissan pathfinders and several c style jeeps.this is my first small car. i am 6'4" and have extendedthe seat mounts by 4" and it fits me fine. i can pull my small boat at 80mph.i can go 90mph on my commute no proablem. i have pulled the raer seat and can sleep in back just fine. the car is inexpensive and are easy and cheap.i would miss all of that.what a great car. i will buy another.hybrid???

I'd miss Subaru. I also live in the Seattle area, and they are very popular vehicles. As mentioned, their AWD system is great, which is important in hilly, curvy, rainy and snowy areas, like here. Audi has a comparable AWD system, but Subarus are considerably less expensive to purchase and maintain than an Audi. I have family members that are loyal to the Subaru brand, and they each have purchased a variety of Subarus over the last 20 years. Could you slap another badge on a similar car and sell it just as well? I'm not so sure. There are plenty of Subaru loyalists around here, so it would certainly take many years to build up the brand equity that Subaru possesses in the Pacific Northwest.

I have driven Saab cars for thelast 14 years and at that time was of the opinion that their vehicles were fantastic.I have had a numbe of their models which I have enjoyed driving and have run up large milages on them all, usually exceeding 150,000 with no major problems. Saab is also a company that enjoys brand loyalty with customers throughout the world. That said however I believed that the brands quality was not what it was a few years ago and I have now changed brands and purchased a Subaru Legacy.
Would I miss it if Subaru no longer existed? The answer would have to be no, I would simply find another manufacturer that produced a model that would fill my needs as an individual. No brand is indispensible.

Who wouldn't miss Subaru! I always loved its design and impressive parts like its Subaru oxygen sensor. It's been quite long that I haven't heard any from them...

Having grown up in the pacific Northwest and Alaska, I can honestly say that yes I would miss Subaru. It seems to be the de facto second vehicle of every other household in Anchorage, and for good reason, in conditions that would put your Lexus/Cadillac/Infiniti into a ditch, the Subaru will get you where ever you need to go. Perhaps its not the most stylish or luxurious of vehicles, but for those of us who enjoy the practicality of a vehicle that will go anyplace at any time, a Subaru (any of them) just can't be beat.

I love 4WD and i don't care if its SUBARU, MITSUBISHI, TOYOTA or whatsoever. It doesn't matter if what brand is it. All i want is a 4wd and put some suv and truck accessory to it.

I worked on the Subaru business for nearly eight years. And what is clear to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time with their loyal customers is that Subaru is, for this small group, an anti-brand brand. It's a favorite of iconclasts who, through their very ownership of these quirky, offbeat, All-Wheel Drive vehicles, are making a non-conformist statement in response to the onslaught of monster SUVs and badge car brands. These people gravitate to the brand for the same reason small, niche audiences prefer Peets or Community Coffee to Starbucks: it says to everyone, "I do not follow the crowd. I am smarter than the crowd. I know something they don't." So for these people, who include such subgroups as the environmentally conscious, the outdoor sports enthusiast escaping the city for the weekend, and the gay and lesbian community, Subaru would definitely be missed. And as a niche brand with modest ambitions in the US versus the bigger imports, they can be relatively unconcerned if anyone else - including you - misses them in the least.

I work for subaru in a factory where we produce legacy, outbacks, tribecas, and even toyota camry's. I have noticed that the subaru side is treated so much better that the camry side. Subaru takes care of the enviroment and its customers. not only that but the cars they produce are very reliable and possibly some of the best engineered vehicles on the market. so yes i think subaru would be missed. even without my biased thinking.

I would miss Subaru for sure. I just purchased my seventh since 1982. I still own four of the seven. They have been getting better every year. I own three Legacy Outbacks, a 96, 03, 08. Everyone of them cost within $500.00 of each other. I will always own a Subaru.
My father is on his sixth, and my brother is on his second.

Subaru is a 1 of a kind car, there are some other awd cars out there,, (like a ford 500,or even small suv's) To me they can't come close to how a subaru is set up, and built. The engines are great, the cars over all balance is nice, unlike top heavy suv's.. Even the Forester is very solid on the road, (( because under that suv body is a outback chassy) good on gas,,,safe at highway speeds. Sometimes I think about how safer the roads would be if people would think what kinda car they realy need, and how there going to drive day to day,,, Alot of folks have large suvs,,but drive them like a sports car. (((A suburban isn't made to go 95 mph safely on a highway)) sorry I don't care what anyone says. There are endangering everyone on the road. I've had three subarus,,and I've bought my mother a used 89GL back in 94...its still going. I like my outback,,If I could buy the car company I would. Walk into a dealership,,>the shop part< and see for yourself...theres not many major repairs going on. MMMM? wonder why?? Go into a ford or chevy dealer you'll see engines apart on the floor, rear ends on jacks getting least a few angry customers. I love it in the winter to see a BMW 750 slip in slid try'in to take off a set of lights..$75,000 just stuck in the road. haha..

eh yes i would, my 2000 legacy is very reliable at 160,000 miles and i don't know of anything else that handles and hauls like it for the money

I just can't resist offering my opinion, especially as I have been a loyal Subaru customer since 1985. I am currently pleased to be driving number seven, a fourteen year old model.
Subarus aren't necessarily the best value, the most reliable, the nicest looking, the fastest, the most advanced, etc.;actually, they excel in few areas. However, if you look at these cars from the perspective of a combiination of these attributes, as well as, many others, then, Subarus consistently rate well.
For example, one outstanding attribute is power delivery. The Boxer engine is mounted longitudinally, aligned on the same plane as the transaxle, with equal length shafts, the consequence being a smooth transfer of power. Of course, All Wheel Drive is another attribute. Combine just these two and you have only one other competitor, the Porsche Carrera 4.
On a smaller scale, if you look at the parts or better yet, ever have to work on them, then you can't help but notice how well they fit together and disassemble and reassemble without drama or breakage. The quality of materials down to fasteners and grommets is outstanding.
I've owned thirty cars, working on all of them and found them all to be fine machines as I pick them carefully and try to avoid obvious dogs. My Subarus have been, by far, the cheapest to purchase and to own of any of the others and have been amazingly enjoyable. Of my top five favorites only one wasn't a Subaru, an XJ6, a beautiful car which I sold to buy my present Subaru, without regrets. Subarus rarely look beautiful, but all are beautifully made.
Finally, I have been looking for another car. I made a list of my dream cars wanting my next one to be something spectactular in every way. After more than a year of looking, I had to concede that my present Subaru would not be suitably replaced, the new car only being supplementary to it. Even with the consolation of keeping it, one of the top contenders is still another Subaru, the 2009 WRX STi. The only thing better than a Subaru is two or more. My friend owns fourteen, all running superbly.
I worry that Subaru may not continue indefinitely as a car manufacturer, at least, not independently owned. The demise of this astounding company wouldn't just be missed, but mourned. I hope that my fears are without warrant.


I think the 07 Tribeca to be one of the ugliest car on the road. However, the 08 is a big improvement and it runs on regular fuel.
The Subaru is the only true Four WD on the market other then Audi. The comment earlier by the guy (Ralph)who says he bought a Honda CRV with AWD is an idiot if he thinks he got a comperable drive system. That system is front wheel drive with a viscous coupling that provides limited power to the rear wheels in case of wheel slippage. Don't loose traction on a high speed curve Ralph, the CRV system feeds dominating power to the front wheels which will cause the car to push and you have to get off the gas or go straight ahead off the road or into a barrier. The Subaru system is true Four WD as I said and drives all four wheels all of the time.
The only downside I can think of in a Subaru is the fact that after a certain amount of tire wear, if you blow one tire you need to replace all four tires to balance the drive system. I verfied this with a Subaru dealer.
That is a big negative. The engine is out in front of the front transaxle and would get wiped out in the event of a firm frontal collision. Get the bottom shield option to protect the egine from rocks and other road objects that could crack the aluminum block.
I am seriously considering a new Tribeca.
Subaru has improved their quality fit and finish year after year. The world would miss Subaru as would Saab.

well, i would have to say that i really wouldn't miss Subaru if it was gone. i still remember the first subi i bought in 1998(it was a RS), and couldn't wait to get the wrx in 2002. but i feel now that my needs have been met by Audi. i like to think of Subaru as more like your first cycle, Crush or even your first love, you just grow out of it..reminisce a little and continue forward.
For a company that has such a strong if not large following, it just shows how much they care about their customers by the ridicules advances they have made in their styling and performance with their current line up.
For a company that doesn't mind loosing customers, i don't think customers mind loosing a company.

Indiana let Suburu build a car factory in a WILDLIFE REFUGE?!?!
Is Indiana THAT Greedy???
Maybe they'll let me drill for OIL nextdoor!

Yes, I would miss Subaru. But not only would I miss their cars, which are ideal for my lifestyle, but I would also miss their partnership with the outdoor sports that I participate in. Of which some of these less popular events would not be possible without their financial support. Any manufacturer can pay for tv ad time during a ball game, but Subaru's committment to events such as cycling, skiing, snowbarding, kayaking, dog trials, etc., is why I enjoy arriving at the event in my own Outback.

Yes. I would miss Subaru. Being an engineer and car guy myself, I can understand why some people would not. They seem outwardly dull. But under the skin, they are as sophisticated as any car on the road. They deliver economy and absolute reliability.

Check out the 4-speed automatic transmission in the service manual. They have over 100 sensors within the transmission. The sensors monitor speeds, clearances, and pressures. The ECU uses this data to constantly adjust everything. Is it the smoothest shifting tranny in the world? Nope, but only because Subaru set it up for economy (They minimize slippage between gears). It is one of the few automatics that delivers gas mileage as high as the manual transmission models.

I married into a Subaru family, and I was shocked how much better the HO-4 really is than in-line 4's (Subaru > VW). They are as smooth as a Lexus V-8.

It's interesting to see someone asking questions about the brand, because in my view, Subaru has a following almost in spite of their lame merchandising/marketing. But people see through it. They know that it's the engineers that run the company, and they buy Subes in spite of the poorly managed brand identity.

Look through their brochures and marvel at their ineptitude. On the Impreza, higher quality stereo speakers are an option? What makes them better? They look just like the standard speakers. No clue is given other than they are $100 more. Hint to Subaru: just make the good speakers standard; or don't bring them up.

LL Bean? Who cares about LL Bean? They might as well be partnered with, I don't know, Borden's milk for all its relevance.

And have you examined the model/color/interior/Vehicle Dynamic Control/ Navigation System availability matrix? If you don't know what I am talking about, let me be specific. Try to buy a four cylinder model with stability control AND navigation system without a sunroof. People who buy Subarus are fairly conservative. They see a sunroof as a weak point in the car's structure. My mother-in-law put off buying a new Sube for two years because she didn't want a sunroof. Now add color into the mix. You want white? Too bad. White is only sporadically available.

And what is with the 6-cyl Boxer engine? Why does this engine exist? It's not enough engine for the Tribeca and its redundant in the Legacy/Outback.

Maybe they have fixed this problem, but for years they sold all Subarus with the lowest line, 3-ply Bridgestone tire available. They had the puncture resistance of a bare inner tube. And they were squirrley. I couldn't believe the improvement when I replaced them. My wife even noticed. A great car on crappy tires? A bad move when one considers that the wheels are the base and the essence of the car concept.

I would definately miss subaru. For someone my age (17) who can obviously not afford to fork over the money for a audi or volvo, my 96 legacy limited is all i could want in a car. more than enough power out of the horizontally opposed 2.5 flat 4, great sound system, great handling, fair fuel economy for an awd vehicle, and lots of room to go camping. I would definately miss subaru. If you are interested to see how much better subaru awd is than its competitors. search subaru all wheel drive vs everyone else. it kicks volvos butt.

If Subaru keeps heading the way they're headed, no, I won't miss them. They used to be quirky cars with personalities, but Subaru is aiming for the mainstream now, and will lose the purists in the process. And that includes me.

Yes i would miss the hell out of subaru as they are like apple is to computers and ben&jerry is to ice cream.
As a law enforcement officer that is so non trusting of the world i live in i do serious homework on sales people im going with on a major purchases,granted serious crooks slip through the cracks and are in fact subaru dealers coast to coast but subaru at least has a balance of incredable
caring dealerships to counter the slime.
In addition ,the subi manufacturer [ fuji heavy industrys]
make cars that save us when hit on the street.
What i wouldnt miss are the these so called gurus of subarus' that do nothing but bitch every year a new model comes out that looks more and more different than the dinasour they bought in 01/02[ ''bug eyes'' ]and believe me they were bitching when they bought that before the current attitude of defending it to the death.
just a bunch of bitches really.Just look at the front end on the 08 as it looks like john forces drag car i.e. super tough
with the scoop and front end spoiler.
but you should here the babys cry over something they cant buy anyway as they do nothing but kill the trannys in the old subis they have now and all the money they have goes to replace parts and no dealer wants the trade with one of these riced pos as all the after market crap they put on renders the car scrap metal.

I'm an employee of Honda of America, Most of my techs have subaru's mine being the oldest. I might own other cars but my daily driver is always going to be a subaru. my current subaru is a 1981 Subaru... still going strong 985K as of today.. ALL ORIGINAL.. (except for the Alternator...)

I would miss it. Their products are reliable and long lasting. The Subaru cars have always performed extremely well in the safty tests, especially when compared to their US and Japanese counterparts.

During winter storms, there are times when only 4wd/awd and emergency vehicles are permitted on the highways here. For anyone that lives in a rural area, like Appalachia, you need something 4wd/awd to guarentee you can get home in the winter.

Also as a woman, I can get in/out of my Forester in a short skirt and not flash the world (as I have done when driving american made trucks/SUVs several times.)

I know there are other awd/4wd cars available, but Subaru has the history behind them. They have been making a successful and mechanically sound 4wd/awd car for years longer than other manufacturers. Do you remember the awd Ford Tempo? No? Not surprised. They were only made for 1 year for a reason, a mechanical reason. What about the Eagle? Most of us remember those, but they were ugly and almost as high off the ground as a truck/suv.

Subaru has a loyal customer base because most of us NEED them and want a CAR. They have catered to that niche very well over the years. And I can tell you this, at one point, all of the trauma surgeons at the hospital here in WV owned them because they are so reliable/dependable when winter weather is harsh and you MUST get to your destination.

Some of the several car I have owned are BMW, Saab (ex had 6 of these)
THE FAMOUS LIMITED TYPE R (Got Stolen) (miss that car)
MADZA TOURBO 626, (back in the days)
While I loved the Saabs I do not care for BMWs.
3 yrs ago I left the city life and moved to the Mountains
I needed a good winter car and started exploring the VOLVO truck. I was even planning a trip to Germany to buy it there on Volvo's buy drive and ship program, for which they give you a discount. Don’t get me wrong Volvos are great cars, and boy was I hot for that truck,Today
I am thankful for a wise coworker who had me read all the specifications on Subaru. The car I ALWAYS HATED. (horrid looks).
(but always knew it was a well built car) just proves beauty sells crap
needless to say today I am a Convert. I bought a Subaru and have been preaching Subaru ever since.
WHILE THE MANAFACTURES ARE TRYING TO STEAL A PART OF THE AWD MARKET SHARE BY PLACING AWD ON THEIR JUNK NOTHING COMPARES TO A SUBARU… Whould I miss it? Yes it has been one of the best cars I have owned. I am buying a Mercedes AWD next year but the Forester stays. All hail the Subaru.
Now when you see a black chick driving a Subaru your FIRST thought is
“What the hell”
Guess it only happens in the snowy mountains…….with people with brains.

I would miss it. I already miss the 3 main bearing versions as you would find in a vanagon syncro for example (just facing the other direction). If american were take the design as a standard and make all the buggies that became icons bigger, I would not miss subaru. As a mechanic, there is too many retarded things done to a fantasticALLY WORLD CLASS GENIOUS DRIVELINE.The flat four and four wheel drive is exactly beyond coincidence mathematically phenomonal. That is all there is to subaru and thier boxer games, like the old beetles etc etc.Missed if non-replacable, like a maine hardwood tree that made it to 100 years.

I currently own a 06 Honda Civic. After a great deal of research between VW Rabbit, Mazda 3 and Subaru Impreza. I am now ready to write a check for a new Subaru. My Honda has been nothing but trouble and recalls. AWD Honda ha! can't get a single wheel to work! This will be my first Subaru, my other car is a Volvo XC70. Thinking out of the boxer uhum!! Yes I would miss Subaru.

I've owned Subaru's since the mid-1970's. They once were simple, maintainable, and economic vehicles to own. I lived in the intermountain west and NEVER needed AWD or 4WD in the snow. With today's gas prices, why would I want to loose mileage for AWD? And why would I want a car with 100 sensors in the transmission? My 82 5-speed hatchback gets better mileage today than any current new model from Subaru.

>>>With today's gas prices, why would I want to loose mileage for AWD? And why would I want a car with 100 sensors in the transmission? My 82 5-speed hatchback gets better mileage today than any current new model from Subaru.<<<<

My sentiments precisely! I want a well made car with very good gas mileage and little to no maintenance and/or one I can do most of the maintenance myself. No whistles and bells thank you!

I have a 99 Forester and its a piece of junk as well as gets poor gas mileage. Just about every gasket on it is leaking and I have already replaced a number. Now the transmission is giving grief. (Only slightly over 100,000).

That said I do like the style and the all wheel drive is a blessing in the snow.

What can we do to get well made products besides try to get rid of the profit motive?

If you work on your own vehicles...DO NOT buy a Subaru! You'll be totally frustrated trying to not only find the right parts, but in getting help from Dealerships because they don't want you cutting in on their business and they don't care about you because you're unnecessary to them as a business. Their whole attitude is, if you'll bring it in we'll fix it for you. This is the "Dumbing Down" effect. If you ONLY drive the damned thing by all means, drive an AWD Subaru... If you've got a little more grease monkey in you...leave them at the dealership...look at VWs or Hondas

I believe that Subaru would be missed greatly. They fill a gap in the auto market. That is to say that they create a product that no other car company can really duplicate. Sure other companies offer AWD, but none combine the dependability, practicality, and fuel economy that Subaru does. You can most certainly get a more competent vehicle for off road use that is very dependable as well, such as the Jeep Cherokee or Toyota Land Cruiser, but both of these options get abysmal gas milage. Of course there is also the issue of price, the Land Cruiser will run you a whopping $60K plus and the Jeep properly equiped for snow and off road will run you around $35-40K. You might be wondering why I only mention these two vehicles other than a Subaru...the answer, many companies make dependable cars and trucks that are horrible off road or in inclement weather (i.e. Honda, and Toyota RAV4). Many companies make vehicles that are great off road and in inclement weather, but are not dependable at all (Suzuki, Hummer, Ford...) However the list of vehicles that fit the catagories of dependable, off road capable, and economical, and pleaserable to drive is very short, in fact only one come to mind, and that is Subaru. So yes, the global market would miss this company quite a bit.

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