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Subaru sacrifices towing for mpg


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10 replies to this topic

#1 The Dude

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:23 AM

The 2010 Legacy has the 2.5L engine and the new CVT transmission. 31 mpg highway!!!!!!! But wait, there is a downside. Towing capacity has been reduced to only 1,000 lbs. People needing more towing capacity will have to opt for the 3.6L engine. Also, the US won't be seeing the Subaru 2.0 turbo diesel anytime soon. Reportedly, it won't pass US emission standards.

Something had to give. At $4 gas Subaru's 26 mph highway was not competitive. Removing AWD would have increased mph, but the whole marketing concept of Subaru is based on AWD.

Still, I bought my 2006 Forester expressly for it's 2500 lbs towing capacity. I may have bought my last Subaru. AWD, badly needed in Maine
In South Carolina, not so much.

#2 davebugs

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:44 AM

Wondered how the turbo diesel was doing. I drive a VW TDI everyday now. Actually I have 2 right now an auto that gets 40 mpg and a 5 speed that gets 50 mpg (that's for sale).


I'm with those that can't wait to get a Subaru diesel with the torque, AWD, and longevity of the diesel.

Emissions - well, sore subject. My VW exhaust STINKS since VW put a cat on it. I'd much rather smell regular diesel exhaust.

By the time the diesel gets here I wonder how effective GM and Mopar will be with all the gov't and union involvement. I would suspect protectionist measures since I doubt our native vehicles will be competitive in 5-10 years. They will be designed with the interests of the gov't and unions rather than the consumer. I see "foreign cars" becoming the method to fill the gap of what customers really want even more than now. For the first time in over 25 years I'll actually evaluate a Ford for my next new vehicle (truck/van).

#3 Subaru_dude

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:15 PM

Now why in the hell would Subaru have trouble getting the 2.0TD to pass emissions? Are they idiots? Volkswagon did it with an inline 4. Surely to The Powers That Be, the boxer design (which from my understanding is naturally cleaner running) would make it even easier to get it to pass emissions. This is BS.

#4 Rooster2

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:49 PM

VW spent a lot of money with direct injection for diesel engines, plus lower sulfur content in the diesel fuel to meet emission requirements. Perhaps VW has proprietary patents on their injection system that Subaru diesel can't use to lower emissions.

As soon as the US economy revives a bit, I fully expect to see rapid inflation hit the country. All that government stimulus money that is being thrown around, and mounting national debt will cause foreign countries to not want our currency, therefore inflation. Expect to see gas prices at the pump over $3.00 soon, with $4.00 pricing not unexpected. The next ten years of auto production is going to be very interesting. What will cars be powered by, as alternatives to petroleum become economically feasible?

#5 Scoobywagon

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:41 AM

Personally, I've never bought a Subaru because I needed a tow vehicle. Ever. They're cars. If I need to tow something, I'm MUCH more likely to use a truck even if I have to rent one. So I don't see this as a downside. Frankly, I suspect that most Subaru owners aren't using them that way so its a safe bet for Subaru.

#6 nipper

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:31 PM

only 1% of customers tow, so some one had to loose out. I can't really see why subaru would gear a car to that 1%, who if are towing really should go for the biggest engine they can get anyway.


This is about bragging rights, and in this market Subaru needs all the points they can get.

As far as calling subaru idiots, i guess no one reads the trades or the automotive gossip. Also do you honestly think VW is going to aid a competitor in how to pass emissions. Every one uses a unique engine and vehical, it is not just "well we will just use Vw system" it does not work that way. Also the issue is NOT emissions, but transmissions that will fit the american driving standards. If you watch a european drive, they try to get up in the highest gear possible as soon as they can for best mileage, where us americans like to wind out gears. We also have a very three dimmensional country with alot of different driving styles. A car can see easily a 7000 foot differnce in altitude daily or weekly and be expected to perform flawlessly at all altitudes. Right now the diesels manuals are geared towards europeans, and even they complain somewhat about first gear. Next the majority of cars sold here are automatics. bringing over a new engine is very expensive, just to have it work with manuals, of which maybe 10 % of your customers want. It is easier to have people settle for an automatic when they want a manual, then the other way around.

As much as i love subaru, I am holding out untill the CVT gets some miles on them. I can see how this transmission would have a lighter tow rating. Many cars reduce the towing capability of the base models.

#7 Subaru_dude

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:26 AM

More than half the Subarus I've seen were manuals. I've heard emissions, the gearing of the manuals, not being able to make an automatic that can handle that kind of torque... so many reasons. I hope they can work it all out.

The 2010 Outback (according to a brochure) has a towing capacity of 2,700lbs. But it does not specify which transmission. Seems to me like a CVT would be an excellent transmission for towing being that the gear ratios are infinite.... but there's alot more to a trans than ratios.

#8 The Dude

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:01 PM

More than half the Subarus I've seen were manuals. I've heard emissions, the gearing of the manuals, not being able to make an automatic that can handle that kind of torque... so many reasons. I hope they can work it all out.

The 2010 Outback (according to a brochure) has a towing capacity of 2,700lbs. But it does not specify which transmission. Seems to me like a CVT would be an excellent transmission for towing being that the gear ratios are infinite.... but there's alot more to a trans than ratios.


The 2010 Outack still has the 4EAT or 5EAT. Obvioulsly, the CVT is a potential weak link, and probably the reason for the greatly reduced towing limit. Another thing, most other car manufacturers use a CVT with a pulley belt. The Subaru CVT has a pulley chain. That means metal to metal contact in what might be the highest wear area of the CVT. I'll let someone else be the guinea pig.

#9 subaruplatt

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:18 PM

I started thinking about lightweight trailers and found this.

Surely one could tow this?

I myself would also always opt for the optional trailer brakes if there are ones for these.

Anyhow neat eh?
http://www.golittleg...ls/4-wide-econ/

#10 nipper

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:01 PM

Since people seem to think this is some mystical number picked out of hat to make our evil lords happy (pick your overlord), there actually is a SAE standard for tow ratings. up to 2009 its been a soft number, but SAE just updtaes the standards this year to "even the playing field" between mfgs. The scary (but not surprising thing) is that they may have been overly generous in the past to begin with.

So don't go blaming subaru.

http://www.reuters.c...009 PRN20090408

http://trailer-bodyb...standards_0509/

http://www.airforums...lies-31559.html

http://www.pickuptru...wing/page1.html

The last one talks how it applys to pickups, but it applies to ALL motor vehicles.


#11 carfreak85

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:44 PM

VW spent a lot of money with direct injection for diesel engines, plus lower sulfur content in the diesel fuel to meet emission requirements. Perhaps VW has proprietary patents on their injection system that Subaru diesel can't use to lower emissions.


I was reading an article on this subject and it appears that VW is also building each TDI powered vehicle at a several thousand dollar loss per vehicle in an effort to corner the U.S. diesel market. Plus we have tons more sulfer in our gas than they do in Europe. I think the 2.0TD would be a hit in this market (I would buy one, after a year to let Fuji work all the bugs out) but it is sad they aren't bringing it.

On the other hand, they have responded to our complaints in the past, 2002 WRX=too ugly2008 WRX=too soft, etc. So there is still hope.




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