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6 Years ago
News

subaru
Long Term Update 7: 2010 Subaru Legacy GT
I recently took the Legacy over to Ladin Subaru in Thousand Oaks for its 22,500-mile maintenance, a $155.99 job that included an oil change, tire rotation, and full inspection. Thus far, over 23,000 miles of reliable service, the Legacy has visited the dealer three times, racking up a total maintenance tab of $487.30. Cheap? Not exactly. Our dearly departed long-term 2009 Acura TL SH-AWD, another high-horsepower all-wheel-driver (from a “premium” brand, mind you), amassed a three-visit maintenance tab of $434.92.

The Legacy GT’s Achilles heel, I must say, is its transmission. For those not in the know, the GT – the Legacy line’s high-performance iteration – comes exclusively with...

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6 Years ago
News

subaru
subaru legacy
Long Term Update 6: 2010 Subaru Legacy GT
Copy chief Emiliana Sandoval noted that the Legacy, while well-received, has a few small flaws. "My go-everywhere water bottle is 9 inches tall. When I place it in the cupholder, my arm bangs into it every time I shift. With the awkward way of setting the parking brake (press it, not pull it) and the creaky sound it makes when it engages, I don't feel like the brake is secure, even though it probably is. But who wants to worry about your car's parking brake?" Online production manager Kirill Ougarov was pleased with its daily performance. "I've generally enjoyed commuting in the Legacy. The powertrain is great for navigating through traffic, and the engine is a blast once the boost kicks in."
.hdr...

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6 Years ago
News

subaru
subaru outback
First Test: 2010 Subaru Legacy GTk
Allow me to break down the intriguing mechanical cocktail you see here: Take one U.S.-spec Subaru Outback chassis, add a dash of JDM-inspired nose, an ounce of custom roof racks, two teaspoons of tinted taillights, and a measure of extended rear spoiler. Bolt in a single mildly tuned U.S.-market Legacy 2.5GT powertrain and a JDM Legacy tS suspension, shake vigorously for six months, and, VOILA!, you have yourself a bona fide Frankenwagon fit for SEMA's Las Vegas Convention Center floor.

Easy enough, right? Maybe not...

As the story goes, Subaru commissioned Specialized Vehicles Inc. to create a 2009 SEMA show car that would demonstrate the versatility and coolness of sport wagons. Executives...

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6 Years ago
News

volkswagen
mitsubishi
mitsubishi lancer
subaru
First Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Golf R
The questions start almost as soon as the 2012 Golf R presentation begins.

Why doesn't it have more power?
Why target the Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?
Why does it cost so much?
And why do the Euros get all the fun stuff (again)?

Let's take it from the top.

"This will be the most powerful Golf ever offered," says Andres Valbuena, VW's Golf product manager. "The last was the 250-horsepower Golf R32 [released in 2008]. The 2012 Golf R will have more power and greater fuel efficiency."

How much power? The exact output has yet to be determined, but the Golf R should make around 260 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque for North American markets. That's a huge bump in output...

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6 Years ago
News

subaru
subaru legacy
Long Term Update 5: 2010 Subaru Legacy GT
Editor-at-large Ron Kiino brought the Legacy in to a local dealership for an upgrade. "I took the GT to Timmons Subaru to have a short-throw shifter kit installed. The kit cost $444 and installation ran $210, for a total of $654. So far, I haven't noticed a big difference. Subaru claims the kit 'significantly reduces shift-throw lengths.' Nope. Shift lengths do seem shorter, but it's very minor.

That said, the gearbox does feel a bit more precise, not quite as rubbery as before. I'm still having trouble, though, on the 5-4 downshift; I always get resistance when entering fourth from neutral.

For an owner, I would recommend this kit, as it isn't terribly expensive and its minor benefits will...

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6 Years ago
News

subaru
subaru outback
Verdict: 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
Long before taking the keys to our Azurite Blue Pearl 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (our 2010 Sport/Utility Vehicle of the Year, by the way), we decided to forgo ordering its 3.6R flat-six sibling packing 256 ponies and a traditional five-speed auto. At first, it was a move that had some staffers wishing for more Boxer might.

Once we received the Outback, doubters quickly changed their opinions. Entries praising the crossover's 2.5-liter flat-four and its smooth Lineartronic continuously variable transmission poured into our logbook after only a few days in the fleet. "The four-banger has plenty of grunt," wrote associate online editor Kirill Ougarov. With steering-wheel-mounted paddles...

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6 Years ago
News

ford
subaru
First Drive: 2011 Ford Falcon FPV Boss 335 GT
Ford Austrailia had an embarrassing problem with its high-performance six-cylinder Falcon sedan: The Ford Performance Vehicles F6 was, er, faster than its V-8-powered counterpart, the FPV GT. The F6's 4.0-liter straight-six might have had the same bore-center spacing as the straight-six fitted to the first Australian-built Falcon a half century ago, but like Grandpa's axe, everything else had been replaced or renewed over the years. With its twin-cam, four-valve cylinder head and Garrett GT3540 turbocharger, the F6's all-Aussie six delivered 415 horsepower and 416 pound-feet of torque. The U.S.-built 5.4-liter V-8 that powered the GT boasted just 7 more horses -- and 10 pound-feet less torque....

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7 Years ago
News

mitsubishi
mitsubishi lancer
subaru
subaru impreza
Comparison: 2011 Subaru WRX STI vs. 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Special Edition
"WOW!" says photo intern Mike Shaffer. Our young photographer just unbelted from a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI after a spirited run on some of Southern California's most curvaceous paths. While the STI is capable of giving Munich's best sweaty brows and malodorous armpits, Shaffer's exclamation of surprise stems from the vast differences between the STI and another car he had just driven. Prior to jumping in the STI, he drove the same path in the Subie's well-established archrival: the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Special Edition.

 "Compared to the Evo, the STI just feels sooo much heavier," Shaffer notes. "It understeers more than you'd want. But it makes up for slower cornering speeds...

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7 Years ago
News

subaru
subaru forester
First Drive: 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5x Touring
Soon after the highly revised 2009 Subaru Forester arrived in 2008, it took top honors in our Frugal Five comparison. A few months later, we crowned it our 2009 Sport/Utility of the Year.

Last year, however, its luster began to wane. We again compared the Forester against other cute-utes, and it finished dead last. Why? In a nutshell, we were disappointed with its less-than-frugal powertrain, composed of a languid 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter flat-four and archaic four-speed automatic.

Fast-forward two years, and a new, naturally aspirated flat-four cylinder motivates our top-tier 2.5X Touring, though it still has a four-speed auto. At 2498 cc (versus the older 2457 cc), the boxer is truer to...

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7 Years ago
News

subaru
subaru legacy
Long Term Update 4: 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5GT
If you've followed the Legacy since it joined the Motor Trend long-term fleet, you may recall that at first, most of the comments were positive. Editors praised the ride/handling compromise, noting that the suspension absorbs ruts and irregularities, and that it handles well in turns. As time has passed, though, little flaws are becoming more noticeable.

Copy chief Emiliana Sandoval found the navigation and satellite controls counterintuitive. "I drove to dance class from work and needed directions how to get home. I entered the address, then the nav asked me for a city, and I chose Show 5 Nearest Cities. It replied that there were no cities near me-while I was sitting in a parking lot in...

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