Category Archives: Subaru WRX

Subaru is KBB Top Brand for Resale Value – Mid Hudson Subaru

Subaru Forester



Top Brand: Subaru

Retained value: 39.0 percent
Subaru bests perennial winner Toyota as the top resale brand for 2011. According to Eric Ibara, KBB’s director of residual consulting, this is because Subaru has a newer model lineup and its cars don’t sit on dealer lots for long. The perception of limited supply creates a high demand and, thus, higher resale values.

Our take: Subaru’s vehicles are capable and reliable, offer useful space and provide the security of all-wheel drive. The automaker is well worthy of this top honor.

Subaru Outback 3.6R



Wagon: Subaru Outback

Retained value: 41.3 percent
A wagon segment was added to KBB’s rankings for 2011, and Subaru took the class title with its all-wheel-drive Outback. That’s impressive, given that it went up against entries from AudiMercedes-Benzand Volvo, and it beat them all by at least 6 percentage points.

Our take: Redesigned for 2010, the Outback received new styling and a powerful new 6-cylinder engine. We are impressed by the ride quality and the responsive engine. Plus, its raised ride height helps the Outback avert the stodgy image suffered by other wagons.

Subaru Impreza WRX




Sports Car: Subaru Impreza WRX

Retained value: 42.7 percent
The Subaru Impreza WRX supplants the Nissan 370Zas the champion in the sports car class. While the WRX has always been a contender, Subaru‘s sales surge and a consistently strong track record catapulted it to the top this year.

Our take: Both WRX trims are fun to drive, with 265 horsepower available in the base WRX and 305 horsepower packed in the tricked-out WRX STI. The STI may be a bit too high-strung for some tastes, though. Both offer useful space, especially in the hatchback body style, and can be driven year-round thanks to standard all-wheel drive.

Subaru WRX and STi to split from Impreza – Mid Hudson Subaru

New Subaru WRX Illustration

That’s right, the Impreza and famed WRX — joined at the hip since 1992 — are going their separate ways.

While the new production Impreza debuted at this year’s New York Auto Show, the next WRX will take a completely different path of development and will not surface until 2014. We know this because Subaru president Ikuo Mori said at a recent shareholder’s meeting: “We will launch a new sporty car in 2014.” The WRX is that car.


New Subaru WRX Illustration

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Illustration by Holiday Auto…
  read full caption

In the past week, we have learned from a source just how different the new WRX will be to the Impreza, employing totally different components.

This image, revealing how one artist sees the new WRX, depicts a new coupe model with a shorter wheelbase and heavy-duty bodywork It’s important to note that this is just one vision of the new car, it may turn out to look much different. Our source also tells us Subaru bosses haven’t decided if the WRX name will survive. For the time being, we’ll refer to it as WRX.

“Apart from a few nuts and bolts, every part on the WRX will be unique. Even the engine and body. Obviously the WRX’s platform will be inherited from the new Impreza, but it will be radically modified and significantly shortened,” says our source.

From now on, the Impreza will be the company’s core model, boasting a fuel-efficient, naturally aspirated 2.0-liter boxer engine. The car’s wheelbase has been slightly lengthened, while the A-pillar has been brought forward to maximize interior space and comfort levels. At this point, it is unclear if Subaru will attempt an Impreza-based performance model to bridge the gap until the new WRX arrives, but it appears unlikely.

“Up until now, the Impreza and WRX used many common parts, which translated into entry-level Imprezas that were over-engineered,” the source continued. The basic chassis and suspension had to employ certain parts needed for the WRX. That drove costs up, and many entry-level customers did not want or understand the significance of such high-tech parts, stresses our insider.

The WRX, on the other hand, will employ the very best from Subaru’s parts bin, starting with an updated version of the company’s rally-proven AWD system and a turbocharged boxer engine.

“The first thing you must understand about our all-new WRX is that we have developed it from the ground up to win in motorsports events. That’s why we have focused so heavily on weight issues, not to mention a shorter wheelbase that permits faster, more precise turn-in. Marry that to our proven AWD system, and we think we have a winner,” explains our source.

If you look at the Sebastien Loeb’s multiple-championship-winning Citroen C4 in the World Rally Championship, you can see where Subaru is coming from — or going to. They want to build a WRX that can beat the Citroen while still offering driving enthusiasts something special for their garages. The company has pulled out of WRC, but with the new WRX, a return looks possible. Above the WRX, Subaru will still offer a low-production flagship STI, a model our source calls a “race car for the road.”


1998 Subaru Impreza 22B

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A coupe WRX is not unprecedented…

“Obviously the rally model will be based on the top-of-the-line STI car, but unlike previous Impreza WRXs, this new WRX will be more hard-core and less forgiving on bumpy road surfaces,” adds our source. Collaboration with Toyota on the FT-86 project also seems to have something to do with the direction of the new WRX and STI. “If the truth be known, we were able to focus so deeply on the motorsports element with the new WRX because we developed a sister car with the Toyota FT-86. Bosses gave us permission to go all out because that car exists,” says our insider. 

Our source also revealed what is going on in the bowels of Subaru’s R&D. On the short list for the WRX’s powerplant is a turbocharged 1.6-liter boxer pumping as much as 270 hp, and a twin-charger system involving a supercharger is being tested as well. The car’s body is rumored to be a little bigger than a Toyota Yaris, while its tread width is said to expand significantly. As for the STI, we are told that the flagship will also employ the WRX’s 1.6-liter boxer turbo, but that the engine will be reworked to generate upwards of 300 hp for motorsport competitiveness.

Subaru bosses see the new WRX initially competing in domestic rallies and gymkhanas, but they are also targeting Europe’s World Touring Car Championships as well as the long-awaited return to the WRC.

Bottom line? Get used to saying Subaru WRX (most of us enthusiasts do, anyway). Expect unprecedented levels of AWD handling and performance at a bargain price — the vehicle should land in showrooms in roughly two years in the $26,000-$29,000 range.

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Subaru has high expectations for rest of year – Mid Hudson Subaru

With six months of sales results in the book, and the effects of a parts shortage in Japan behind them, the second half of 2011 will bring increased production and additional hiring to Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette.

“During the first six months of the calendar year we built about 115,000 (Subaru and Toyota) units,” said Tom Easterday, executive vice president at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette. “That’s less than what we originally forecast, because of the parts shortage. We really needed to be running overtime.”

A March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan disrupted parts production and exporting from that country. It also impacted sales results for some vehicles, including Subaru models and the Toyota Camry which are built at SIA.

With the parts problem solved, SIA is planning to ramp up production soon by returning to daily and Saturday overtime hours for some associates at the Lafayette plant where the workforce numbers approximately 3,550.

“We’ll have about 150 new people added by mid-July to the end of August,” although a breakdown of additional Subaru and Toyota associates hasn’t been made, Easterday said. “We’ll also have a Subaru line speed increase in the first week of September and a model launch of the 2012 Camry in the first part of September.”

A report released Friday by Subaru of America Inc. shows the company sold 19,794 vehicles last month. That’s 8 percent fewer than were sold June of last year.

“Customer demand hasn’t let up and our dealers did a terrific job selling cars as soon as they arrived at their stores,” said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president for sales at Subaru of America. “We continue to outperform our initial expectations for this period thanks to more production arriving than we first anticipated and better efficiency in getting our cars to dealers and out to customers.”

Among vehicles built at SIA, June results showed:

• Sales of the Legacy increased by 15 percent, to 3,471 units.

• Sales of the Outback rose by 21 percent, to 7,914 units.

• Sales of the Tribeca gained 3 percent, to 180 units.

Among the company’s Japanese-made models, sales of the Forester fell by 28 percent, to 5,466 units; while sales of the Impreza line dropped by 35 percent, to 2,763 units.

Through the first six month of 2011, Subaru sales totaled 132,049 — an increase of 5 percent over the January-June period of last year.

Six-month sales figures for vehicles built at SIA show customer acceptance of the Outback grew by 25 percent, to 51,239 units, while the Legacy posted a 12 percent increase, to 21,284 units; and the Tribeca lost 3 percent, to 1,274.

“We still have record demand for our product in dealerships, however we are still working through a low inventory period after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” said Thomas Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Subaru of America.

“Our dealers managed to be incredibly efficient with the inventory available and the situation is improving all the time. We expect 2011 will still be the second best year ever for Subaru in the U.S.”

Synthetic oil is now recommended on all 2011 Subarus – Mid Hudson Subaru

Synthetic oil is recommended for optimum engine performance and protection.

Conventional oil may be used if synthetic oil is unavailable. Conventional oil may be used if replenishment is needed, but it should be changed to synthetic oil at the next oil change.

Note- your owners manual might not indicate this depending on the printing date. This change was made around March 2011.

Now all 2011 Subarus should use Subaru synthetic oil since the 2011 Forester 2.5Ls and all turbos ( WRX, STI, Forester XT, Legacy GT) have required it since the start of the model run.

All 2011 models use Subaru 5w-30 except the Forester Xs which uses Subaru 0w-20.

2011 Subaru WRX & Subaru STi at the Arctic Circle! – Mid Hudson Subaru



I was traveling with my partner Kate Seaver and, upon arrival in Portland, we met with Brian Scotto, the editor of 0-60 magazine and the third member of our four-person team. Brian had arranged for us to use two vehicles from the Subaru press fleet – a WRX Sedan and WRX STI – for an unbelievable 6,000-mile road trip to the edge of the earth.


Brian informed us the cars were still being prepped at Paul Eklund’s shop in Tigard, Oregon, where Paul was assisting with the installation of Hella 4000 Motorsport High Intensity Discharge (HID) driving lights – an absolute necessity for this trip. The Arctic in the winter is a dark place with no shortage of lurking dangers, and good driving lights are essential for avoiding peril. Snow tires and full-size spares also had been arranged, and we had with us what seemed to be an endless supply of survival gear: axes, saws, fuel cans, bright LED flashlights, radios, air compressors, camping gear, a huge aluminum grain shovel, plus delicious Norwegian candy!


As daylight faded, we finally started north toward Seattle, Washington, where we met up with Brian’s co-driver and buddy Mark Williams. Brian and Mark would drive the WRX STI, and “Snack-master Kate” and I would steer the WRX. I could barely see past my smile as we merged onto I-5 North.




The U.S. border disappeared in our rearview mirrors as our adventure began. After a quick fuel stop and some trunk-lid salami sandwiches, we found ourselves at a casino in Prince George, British Columbia. It was New Year’s Eve, but our main focus was on reaching the ice roads and the remote village of Tuktoyaktuk in the far Northwest Territories of Canada. That would be no small feat because the destination was a staggering 1,900 miles away from our starting location.


We awoke to the new year to find the WRX and WRX STI lightly dusted with snow. With coffees in hand, we hit the icy tarmac.



Hundreds of miles passed. We flew by “AVALANCHE AREA – DO NOT STOP” signs and laboriously slow snowplows. Blissfully ignorant of British Columbia’s size (the Canadian province is as large as the entire West Coast of the United States), we pushed on.


After covering the distance equivalent of Washington, D.C., to Denver, Colorado, we stumbled upon what can only be described as a frosty mirage called Liard River Hot Springs. The time was around 1 a.m., and our SUBARU BOXER engines cooled quickly in the silent -20-degree-Fahrenheit night. Dressed in down parkas, long underwear, and classic Sorel winter boots, we looked like modern-day explorers.


Frosted trees and a huge natural hot spring pool beckoned to us from below. The only problem? Getting back up the icy steps at 3 a.m. and the quarter-mile walk back out to the road.


The next day, after a few hours of sleep and a hearty trucker’s breakfast, we were once again wheels up and pushing for the still-distant north. Finally a sign saying, “Welcome to the Yukon Territories” marked measurable progress and, a few hours later, we arrived at Whitehorse, Yukon Territories – our last chance to stock up on supplies.



We fully checked and topped off the vehicles with the last drops of super unleaded gasoline they would get for more than a week. Then we were ready to head into the Arctic.


Helpful tips from the locals included:

  • Drive with your winter coat and boots on so, if you crash, you won’t immediately freeze to death
  • Carry candles for warmth in case of a breakdown or storm
  • Pack canned dog food (or whale meat) for high-energy-content food


Instinctively, driving became more survival than fun. In the event of a mishap – an animal impact or, worse, a rollover – we would be in serious trouble with help potentially hundreds of miles away. There were other cars on the road each day, but you never knew when the last truck passed, when the next storm would hit, or when a brake caliper might freeze up.


The Arctic is not cheap, and our budget was starting to be stretched thin. Our destination still loomed somewhere over the horizon, and we had a challenging road ahead.



We left the last fuel stop at Eagle Plains and confidently headed north – the only direction we knew by now. As the WRX was hit with an arctic blast of ice, the words, “Should we turn back?” crackled through our two-way VHF radio. The cars rocked with each gust, and our pace had dropped to 5 or 0 mph. “Is this when we light the candles and eat the dog food?” I barked into the radio.


Twilight was fading fast, and the arctic night had a firm grip on our team. The four members of our group – Brian, Mark, Kate, and I – sat in our separate vehicles tethered only by a radio wave. With both directions equally terrifying, we followed the compass north like all good explorers. We were driving powerful all-wheel drive Subaru vehicles, after all. Once we realized we had almost 600 horsepower between us, the decision was even more obvious.


The next couple of hours were intense, to say the least – mostly high revs in first gear, creeping along what we assumed was the road.


The words “ARCTIC CIRCLE” came into view, and we pulled over. It was a shockingly cold -20 degrees with high winds. Yet a stop was mandatory. After a few clicks of the camera’s shutter, we ran back to the cars for cover. We only had about 200 miles left and, after seven days on the road, 200 miles seemed like a quick drive to the store.


It was late when we finally reached Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and we forked over full retail price for a room at the Mackenzie Inn. The WRX had a frozen fuel fill vent and balked at being filled with gas. The only remedy was a heated garage for the night. Meanwhile the WRX STI bravely stared down the arctic night with the howl of sled dogs in the distance.




The next day, we reached our final destination and were greeted by the townspeople of Tuktoyaktuk dressed in the popular apparel of wolverine skin jackets. Visitors are rare, and word had traveled fast. They were a friendly bunch who immediately offered us beer, beds, and cab rides.


Our absurdly priced “house” for the night came complete with a full internal water system. The permafrost makes buried pipes impossible, thus water is delivered weekly and stored inside for domestic needs. We had just sat down to take it all in when there was a knock on the door. It was the cab driver inviting us for beers in her boyfriend’s garage. Having no other plans, we agreed. After a night of beer and kokanees (salmon) and a hilarious but freezing trek home at 2 a.m., we hit our beds for the night.


The next day we were treated to raw whale cubes served with Heinz 57® steak sauce, homemade doughnuts, and reindeer stew. It was awesome … and odd – just like Tuktoyaktuk!


On the way back, Brian flew out of Inuvik to New York City, leaving the three of us to return the cars. Another friend joined us in Whitehorse to help drive back to Oregon. Altogether, our 6,000-mile round-trip journey took 17 days to


Lars Gange usually graces the pages of this magazine with his photography rather than his written word. Besides images of Subaru Rally Team USA, he has photographed the subjects of a number of other articles as well.



Subaru Models Awarded Four ‘Top Picks’ From Kiplinger’s

— Forester, Outback, Impreza Rack up “Best in Class” and “Best Resale” Awards —

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recognized three Subaru vehicles for excellence in four areas:

  • The Forester 2.5 XT Premium AWD was designated “Best in Class” for Small Crossovers.
  • The Outback 2.5i LTD AWD won “Best in Class” and “Best Resale” in the Wagons category.
  • The Impreza WRX AWD four-door was named “Best Resale” in the $25,000 to $30,000 category.

Kiplinger’s evaluates “Best in Class” winners on performance, value and safety.  “Best Resale” winners were selected using the Kelley Blue Book’s estimated trade-in price.

“We are very pleased that consumers who do their research will notice that Subaru vehicles stand out in several categories,” said Tom Doll, COO, Subaru of America, Inc.  “We strive to bring unparalleled performance, value and safety to consumers.  We know that all three are important in the decision-making process, especially with big ticket purchases.”

Kiplinger’s notes that the Forester — also recognized by the publication in 2009 as the “Best New Crossover” — boasts “agile handling, high resale values, [and] loads of cargo space.”  The Forester, like all other Subaru models, is also a 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick.

2011 is the second year that the Outback was awarded “Best in Class.” In addition to “stylish design, strong resale values and heaps of utility,” the publication calls the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine “powerful without pushing down fuel economy.”

Kiplinger’s also explains that the “turbocharged version of the Impreza boosts the three-year resale value from the base model’s 51% to 55% — and bumps up horsepower by 95 to 265 horses. That’s a feat few in this category can achieve with only four cylinders.”



Subaru of America, Inc. Reports 20% Increase in Sales

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced continued record-breaking sales for February, up almost 20% compared to the previous year.

February sales records were set by Forester, Impreza, Legacy and Outback. Impreza WRX volume more than doubled compared to the prior year and helped lead the Impreza carline to an impressive 40% increase.

Feb ’11 Feb ’10 % chg
Forester 6,334 6,315 0.3%
Impreza 3,933 2,804 40.3%
Legacy 3,242 2,615 24%
Outback 7,951 6,189 28.5%
Tribeca 223 175 27.4%
21,683 18,098 19.8%

“This is by far the best start to a year we’ve ever had,” said Timothy M. Colbeck, senior vice president of sales, Subaru of America, Inc. “We have been working to get more units to our dealers, but every time we think they will build some inventory, they increase sales instead.  With the exception of the Cash for Clunkers comparison in August, this is our 12th consecutive record month.