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2005 Outbacks to be Light Trucks


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11 replies to this topic

#1 RodA2003

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 06:13 PM

Anyone notice this?

See http://www.sfgate.co...1142EST0537.DTL

#2 Guest_lothar34_*

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 07:03 PM

I don't think I like that Sierra Club guy.

The engines will be the same as the regular Legacies, so I don't see why emissions or gas mileage would even matter. I doubt Subaru would tune the Outbacks any different than the Legacies.

What's the deal with the tint on the side windows?

#3 calebz

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 07:29 PM

http://usmb.ultimate...&threadid=10096

http://usmb.ultimate...&threadid=10099

#4 WagonsOnly

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 09:26 PM

Side window tinting doesn't meet Federal safety standards for passenger cars. So now OB wagons and sedans can have tinted windows, Legacies cannot.

The deal is that the Legacy fleet will be averaged in with the more-fuel-efficient Impreza line to determine the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) for passenger cars, and the equally-htirsty OB line will be averaged in with the less-thirsty Forester on the light-truck side.

#5 newsooby

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 09:35 PM

Yes, the 2005s may use the same engine, but here's the potential problem: Strictly from a "business" perspective, if Subaru took the time and expense to get the Outback reclassified as a truck, you can be sure they'll eventually start building them like trucks.

Trucks and SUVs typically cost less to build, hence the profits for auto makers are larger. Subaru (or GM) is doing this to capitalize on the success of the Outback name which they'll probably cheapen by producing substandard vehicles -- cheap "ladder" frames instead of the safer unibody construction, heavier (lower gas mileage), etc.

I bought my OBW because I wanted AWD without the stigma of driving a gas guzzling SUV. Note: I don't like the Sierra Club guy either -- 'cause they don't like mountain bikers. :moon:

Looks like my next new (used) Subaru will be a Brighton wagon. That's not a bad thing y'know! IMHO they are a pretty sexy-looking vehicle :brow:

I love my Outback, because, unlike an SUV, it really CAN do it all (except for maybe the most extreme stuff).

I just hope Subaru doesn't screw up a good thing!! :-\

#6 calebz

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 09:57 PM

ALl they have to do is bring out a hybrid to balance out the fleet MPG average, and the OB can go back to being a car.:D

#7 Smarty

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 02:41 PM

I really think they are trying push the turbo with the OB line and their engineers couldn't figure out how to get the fuel mileage and emissions to meet federal guidelines with the turbo so they are looking to sell them as a 'light truck'.

The legacys will keep the normal aspirated engine and will be able to meet federal guidelines so they can be a car.

#8 flash

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 04:30 PM

I don't blame Subaru for classifing the Outback as a truck. It's the smart thing to do as long as the government allows it. It allows the manufacturer more flexability in design and less regulation/certification problems, giving us, the consumers what we want for less money. Is it morally right? If your competitors are doing it, then you must follow. Only government can make the playing field level by not allowing this to happen across the board.

The rules are retarded, but welcome to the realm of government regulation! Why can't my Outback legally have dark tint in the back, yet a Chevy Trail Blazer can? What the hell is the difference between the two vehicles concerning tint? I asked my local state inspector that exact question as he was failing me for tint a prior owner installed, after I just watched him finish his lunch break and get out of his Trail Blazer with legal black tint. He didn't bother to answer.

As far as Subaru setting a precident... NO WAY. Extremists on both sides of these types of debates tend to make untrue statements. I invite anyone to look on the government's own fuel economy web page and see how vehicles are classified. SUV's are classified as trucks. Forester (car), PT Cruiser (car), Chrysler Pacifica (car), Pontiac Aztec (minivan), Audi Allroad (Audi's answer to Volvo's Cross Country which is Volvo's answer to our beloved Outback), and Nissan Morano (grey area) are all classified as SUV's! This is the same catagory hosting vehicles such as Chevy Avalanche (pick up truck), Dodge Durango (truck based SUV), Jeep Wrangler, and Cadillac Escalade!

I believe the PT Cruiser set the precident in recent times of being the most ridiculous vehicle to be classified as a truck.

#9 WagonsOnly

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 06:39 PM

The Forester is a car. The Outback is a car. They're being classified as trucks to get around Federal guidelines for window tinting, blah blah blah---not fuel economy. Sure, turbos are thirstier. But did GM ever have an answer to the Justy? Ford? Chrysler? No. They either outsourced (the Metro, Sprint, Aspire, Festiva, Colt) or cheated on the mileage ratings (Horizon, Escort, Reliant) or used even dirtier power plants instead of getting better gas mileage (anyone remember the Lynx/Escort diesels?)

I wish people would stop picking on a company that at this point is trying to cater to the mainstream AND be environmentally friendly. I don't see the Sierra Club going after people with Avalanches or Escalade pickup trucks---but doesn't Subaru donate, rather heavily, to Leave No Trace, among others?

#10 Snowman

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 09:04 PM

"Trucks and SUVs typically cost less to build, hence the profits for auto makers are larger. Subaru (or GM) is doing this to capitalize on the success of the Outback name which they'll probably cheapen by producing substandard vehicles -- cheap "ladder" frames instead of the safer unibody construction, heavier (lower gas mileage), etc. "


Subaru would never start producing vehicles with ladder frames and such, because of principle and that is just wouldn't make sense economically. It might be cheaper to make vehicles that way, but not for subaru because they would have to re-tool everything specifically for that model because all of their manufacturing facilities are already set up for making cars with unibodies, which is still the way that they would continue to make all their other cars. Subaru has always been and always will be a CAR company.

As has been said already, I don't necessarily agree with classifying the outback as a truck, but I'm not angry about it for two reasons: Nothing is really being changed from the way the outback was when it was classified as a car. They are adding window tinting and maybe a couple of other nitpicky things. The fuel economy and emissions aren't going to get worse. And subaru is doing this sort of thing to a VERY small extent compared to other manufacturers. That doesn't necessarily make it right, but what makes it okay in my book is that overall, subaru is a much "greener" company than most.

#11 WagonsOnly

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Posted 18 January 2004 - 09:46 PM

Have hope in that Subaru refused to rebadge the Saturn Relay/Buick Whatever minivan for US sales because the AWD and boxer engine setup wouldn't fit. =)

#12 newsooby

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 12:59 PM

This has not gone un-noticed by the mountain biking commmunity, which has enjoyed Subaru sponsorship:

http://www.dirtragma...p?threadid=2229

Snowman, I agree that economics will keep SOA from building them cheaper (for now) since they are tooled up for unibody construction, etc. But if sales of GM SUVs ever decline, maybe they'll retool one of their truck assemply plants to build Subies (regardless of the configuration).

Regarding the role of "principles" in this issue: Apparently the faction within SOA with principles and who cares about the environment (marketing?!) is being pushed aside by the accountants. Principles are the first thing to be thrown out when the potential for higher profits comes into play. It's not right, but it is real.

Let's face it -- if SOAs accountants were "principled" there would have been a head gasket recall years ago. ;)




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