TechnoFile
 

 

 

 


TechnoFILE is copyright and a registered trademark © ® of
Pandemonium Productions.
All rights reserved.
E-mail us Here!

TechnoFILE's
Automotive Section


SUBARU

Subaru Impreza PZEV - surprising fun despite lack of oomph

It's no STI - or even a WRX, but the 2015 Subaru Impreza PZEV can still be a reasonably compelling drive despite its uninteresting power plant. 

The PZEV moniker means it's a "partial zero emissions vehicle," and though I know they're trying to differentiate themselves from "dirtier" engines, you could say that every other car that isn't all-electric is also a "partial zero emissions vehicle" - because "partial" does not mean "is" zero emissions. In fact, Subaru describes PZEV as producing "zero evaporative emissions, offering extremely clean emissions" and making "the most of every drop of fuel" and the company claims the car can get up to 8.5 L/100 km in the city and 6.4 L/100 km on the highway, even with its all-wheel drive configuration.

I can only imagine how much fun it would be to drive in a manner conducive to getting those figures… more...


Subaru enhances its Legacy and upgrades its Outback for 2015

Love 'em or hate 'em, Subarus have earned a loyal following for their tradition of offering all wheel drive vehicles that can take you virtually anywhere at any time. And for 2015, two of the company's top models have been tweaked to make them an even better choice for those susceptible to the brand's charms.

That has never really included me - though I like the Forester quite a bit - but I can certainly see why people love their Subarus. They're built well, offer most - if not all - of the technology a modern car should, and they'll probably perform yeoman's service for their owners virtually forever. more...


Subaru Forester XT

If the temperature falls in a Forester, and no one's there to feel it, does it still get cold? It's a question for the ages.

Ages three to five undoubtedly – or maybe IQ's in that range – but if nothing else a unique way to get into a review of the 2014 Subaru Forester, the Japanese marque's entry into the "cute ute" segment of the market.

For 2014, the Forester is supposedly all new from the ground up and the company says the new version is "ready to put even more distance between itself and the competition." Subaru wasn't specific on the point, but they undoubtedly mean more distance ahead of the competition. So does it leave such worthy competitors as the Honda CR-V, Toyota Rav4, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, VW Tiguan et al in its dust? more...


Subaru Impreza aims for four wheel economy

Subaru made its name in part by creating a niche made up only of all all-wheel-drive vehicles, and the 2012 Impreza continues that commitment in a reasonably priced car that will undoubtedly appeal to Subarufionados. more...


Subaru Legacy, Nissan Rogue – Affordable All-wheel Drive

All-wheel drive can come in a handy if you're looking for the most traction or flexibility in where you can take your vehicle – such as in snowy climes or to off-road locations.

Nothing is free, of course, and all-wheel drive technology also adds weight and complexity to a vehicle, and any time you add something to a basic vehicle you can assume the price is going to go up as well. Fortunately, all-wheel drive doesn't have to break the bank, as witnessed by the two vehicles under discussion in this column: the Nissan Rogue and Subaru Legacy. more...


Entry Level Subaru Still "Impreza-ive"

The 2010 Subaru Impreza sports a few upgrades and enhancements designed to make it more attractive to its base of loyal customers – and others – while remaining true to its "rally-bred" roots.

And why not? The Impreza 2.5i I drove may not be the most refined vehicle on Earth, but it still has a lot going for it. Chief among these is Subaru's famous symmetrical all-wheel drive system coupled with the "boxer" engine that sits low up front, pistons moving horizontally toward each other (hence the "boxer" moniker), helping give the car a very, well, down to earth center of gravity. Both features come in very handy in climates that experience stuff like snow and ice. more...


Subaru Forester Remains Tree-mendous for 2010

The Subaru Forester is a nice blend of wagon and SUV, a vehicle that's comfortable and attractive and which does its job well.

Now in its third generation, the Forester received a major makeover for 2009, and the minor tweaking it receives for '10 should help it remain competitive in a rather crowded market niche.  more...


Subaru Impreza WRX Turbocharged Fun

Subaru's hot little WRX is back, with new clothes but the same impertinent attitude, and fans will probably be pleased.

For 2009, the Impreza has been given a new body (sedan or 5 door hatch) that I happen to like quite a bit. The old Impreza looked okay, but the new one is more modern in appearance, with a bold new front grille and aerodynamically-sculpted profile. The WRX version comes with a ground-effects body kit, a functional hood scoop, and a rear spoiler sSubaru says was derived straight from rally competition. more....


Subaru's Enduring Legacy a Strong Statement

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary describes Legacy as, among other things, "anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor".

Considering that, Legacy might seem an odd name for a car Subaru undoubtedly wants to be thought of as up to date, especially since the test unit I drove for a week and a bit included the company's PZEV technology, an eco-friendly move that's decidedly modern in its "greenness". more....


2009 Subaru Forester - a Clear Cut Choice

The '09 Forester looks quite a bit bigger than the retired lumberjack whose job has just been outsourced to it. Actually, it's only about three inches longer and less than two inches wider, which makes Forester Nouveau just a tad smaller than the Toyota Rav4 and a bit longer, but narrower, than the Honda CR-V. And that feels about right. Forester feels more like a car to drive than those other two fine competitors, though, and that's okay. more...


2008 Subaru Tribeca Gets Rhinoplasty, Refinement

The new schnoz is the first thing you'll notice about the 2008 Tribeca (assuming you approach it from the front!). Gone is the weird, supposedly aviation-inspired triple grille, replaced by one that looks decidedly Chrysler Pacifia-ish. It's a little bland compared to the older grille (proving that you just can't please some people), but it works.

There are new headlamps, taillights, rear spoiler and liftgate this year, too, as well as a redesigned rear quarter and rear quarter windows. The taillights look a tad larger than the more B9 ones from last year's model, and the headlamps are more horizontal than the previous triangular-ish ones. Other than the grille and maybe the more squarish rear quarter windows, the differences are subtle but effective and make the Tribeca a little nicer on the eyes. Not that it was an ogre before…. more...


Subaru Creates a “B9” SUV

Subaru has jumped into the so-called SUV market with both feet, offering a terrific new vehicle that’s at least as nice to drive as any other SUV I’ve tried.

Subaru has been marketing its Forester as an SUV for several years now, but I’ve always found it more of a tall wagon than an honest to goodness SUV. And that’s fine! I’ve always liked the Forester, and prefer it to most SUV’s; along with the old Mazda Protégé 5 it has been one of my favorite such wagons, though the Subaru has had the advantage of the company’s traditional all wheel drive.

But Subaru is trumpeting the B9 Tribeca as the real SUV deal, though they’re calling it a “Crossover Utility Vehicle”. And it does look a little like a cross between an SUV and a minivan, without the minivan’s traditional sliding side doors. It drives like a cross between a minivan and an SUV, too, and while that may sound like the B9 Tribeca has a split personality, it drives very nicely regardless of what you want to want to call it. more...


Subaru’s Outback Comes Back Out Front?

One of Subaru’s "legacies" is its self proclaimed “world’s first sport utility wagon,” the Outback. Basically a beefed up version of the Legacy, the Outback is newly redesigned for 2005, a freshening that keeps what made earlier versions popular, but ups the styling and technology ante to reflect the current state of the art better.

I’d never driven a Legacy or an Outback before this review, though I’ve driven most other Subarus from the past couple of years, so I was extremely interested to try this top-of-the-line 3.0R VDC model. I like Subarus, especially the Forester, but on the whole am of the opinion that they don’t come off quite as refined in their feel and appointments as some of the Japanese competition I’ve driven.

This obviously doesn’t matter to Subaru owners, who find many other things to love including their four wheel drive stability and all around driving prowess (as well as a good “fun to drive” quotient). more...


Forester Branches Out

In theory, if you take a nice vehicle and add a turbocharger to it you’ll up the driving fun ante.

In practice, at least as far as the Subaru Forester is concerned, this is exactly what happened. Yippee!

The Forester is Subaru’s SUV, though the company likes to say it has the functionality of an SUV with the driving experience of a sports car. And that isn’t a bad description, because it really does balance both tasks – though that also makes it come off as not quite master of either.

It’s close enough for me, though. Not only is the Forester, especially this Forester, my favorite Subaru, it’s one of my wife’s favorite cars of all the vehicles we get to review – probably the one she’d run out and buy first if the Lotto Gods were to smile upon our family. more...


Subaru's Little Pickup Serves Lifestyle Warriors

Subaru thinks it has the answer for people with lifestyle toys to haul but who don’t want to own an honest-to-goodness pickup truck to haul them.

It’s the Baja, a version of the company’s Outback from which Subaru’s engineers have sliced the rear end, replacing the station wagon's bum with a small pickup bed. The result is an odd kind of hybrid vehicle – not in the gas/electric power plant hybrid vein but in its blend of comfortable car and utility hauler.

Subaru has the courage to march to its own drum, and you can’t fault a company for showing gumption. That said, the Baja’s unique appearance led me to muse that the “AWD” badge on its rear was a new kind of phonetic spelling for “odd.” more...


Forester, simply “Treemendous” - Subaru SUV a Nice Ride

If a tree falls on a Forester and no one’s around to see it, does it still leave a dent?

Undoubtedly - and I apologize for the lengths to which I’ll go to make a bad joke.

Fortunately, Subaru’s Forester SUV is no joke; rather, it’s a very nice vehicle to drive and is nimble enough that it may be able to avoid said tree, as well as other road hazards such as snow and the like.

In fact, the Forester is my favorite Subaru to date. I’ve driven a few other models all, unfortunately - including this Forester - shackled with automatic transmissions, and despite my leanings toward sporty offerings the Forester left me really impressed. more...


Subaru Impreza Impresses

Subaru's entry level Impreza may be the most affordable in the company's Impreza line, but that doesn't mean it's stripped bare.

The Impreza 2.5 line ranges from the TS of this review to the pocket rocket WRX. The TS doesn't feel particularly entry level, however, and its performance is more than adequate for reasonably spirited every day driving and its features are comparable to other cars in its class.

Available in sedan and "Sport Wagon" configuration (I drove the wagon), the TS is powered by Subaru's 2.5 liter "flat four" engine. This is the only engine available, but that's okay; it puts out 165 horsepower @ 5600 rpm and 166 lb-ft of torque @ 4000 rpm, buzzily winding up to its just-past 6000 rpm redline when you wind it out. more...


Subaru's Road Rocket Cries for a Manual - Slushbox, Turbo Lags

Subaru's Impreza WRX is being hailed by many as a legitimate road rocket. Inspired by the marque's championship rally vehicles, the 2002 WRX' secret weapon is a turbocharged, two liter four cylinder power plant that cranks out 227 hp and 217 foot pounds of torque.

The result is supposed to be a Really Fast Car - and with its five-speed manual transmission it probably is. Unfortunately, the Subaru Impreza WRX Sport Wagon I drove was hamstrung by the optional four-speed automatic transmission and, off the line, that and a case of turbo lag has turned this projectile into a bit of a brick.

To be fair, once you get the revs up past 3000 or so, the afterburner kicks in and you're sent hustling with remarkable abandon. Until then, however, one is tempted to get out and push.

That's a shame, because there's plenty to like about this car, especially if you view yourself as any kind of enthusiast. more...


Reviews by Brand

Acura Audi BMW Cadillac Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Dodge Ford GMC Honda Hummer
Hyundai Infiniti Jaguar/Land Rover Jeep Kia Lexus Lincoln Mazda Mercedes-Benz Mini Mitsubishi
Nissan Pontiac Porsche Saab Saturn Scion Subaru Suzuki Toyota Volkswagen Volvo

Jim Bray is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. His columns are available through the TechnoFile Syndicate.

We welcome your comments!