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Old 01-14-2014, 04:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, they are a very minor player in the grand scheme of things...

Subaru sold about 336,000 cars in the USA in 2013. (this was a record high, up a lot over the past 3 years!)

It takes Ford about 7 weeks to sell that many F-150s. Yes, just that one model.

Honda sold about as many CR-Vs in 2013 as Subaru sold cars (all types)

Nissan sold almost enough Altimas to be able to say the same thing.

We may have a lot of love concentrated into a few pages here, but the fact is that Subaru doesn't have anywhere near the same resources to bring to bear on anything- including marketing communications.
But they have the better product so I will forgive any "trade show" shortcoming.

And their marketing folks are pretty darn good.
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Subaru should have gone through the trouble of releasing a two-sentence statement that the OB will be revealed at....
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Old 01-14-2014, 10:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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But they have the better product so I will forgive any "trade show" shortcoming.

And their marketing folks are pretty darn good.
I agree FutureDoc and rasterman. I'm curious, but also can wait. I get weary of all the hype and advertisements for the 'major' brands. That's one reason I'm considering a subaru.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:42 AM   #14 (permalink)
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But they have the better product so I will forgive any "trade show" shortcoming.

And their marketing folks are pretty darn good.
their commercials are good.

I'm just curious and disappointed as to why they let everyone believe that a new 2015 Outback was going to be revealed in January.

I was pretty excited about it and now i'm kind of let down. I'm shopping Toyota (RAV4 and Highlander) and Honda (CRV, hate the Pilot).

Are you sure the Subaru product is better? One of my big concerns is the 4 cylinder boxer engine, many (even on these forums) will still say the head gasket issue hasn't been fully resolved and it is still an inherent problem/issue with the 4 cylinder boxer engine.

I really want to try Subaru but am slightly concerned that the 4 cylinder boxer isn't the best for high mileage long term reliability. (Yes, I know some of the older Subarus have a great reputation for reliability but I'm not convinced the newer ones are as good).

It seems to be there is a reason why Subaru is the only major manufacturer using a 4 cylinder boxer....Toyota and Honda 4 cylinders are generally bulletproof and don't have head gasket failures.

In any event, I really hope they announce something soon about a redesign for interior/exterior.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I really want to try Subaru but am slightly concerned that the 4 cylinder boxer isn't the best for high mileage long term reliability. (Yes, I know some of the older Subarus have a great reputation for reliability but I'm not convinced the newer ones are as good).

It seems to be there is a reason why Subaru is the only major manufacturer using a 4 cylinder boxer....Toyota and Honda 4 cylinders are generally bulletproof and don't have head gasket failures.
Toyota and Honda don't have full-time symmetrical AWD systems (which the boxer engines are well-suited to) either in their Rav4/Highlander and CRV/Pilot.

Perhaps being a smaller player with a different engine configuration has hurt them in being able to learn from other's design mistakes, but it also distinguishes them in areas that are important to me for winter driving.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:08 AM   #16 (permalink)
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their commercials are good.
And all produced by 3rd parties for cash on the barrelhead.

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I'm just curious and disappointed as to why they let everyone believe that a new 2015 Outback was going to be revealed in January.
I was pretty excited about it and now i'm kind of let down.

I'm shopping Toyota (RAV4 and Highlander) and Honda (CRV, hate the Pilot).
I think the internet created this idea and distributed it without any help from Subaru. Yep, it's a bummer they didn't notice it and correct it but we have only got ourselves to blame for getting caught up in the excitement.

Quote:
Are you sure the Subaru product is better? One of my big concerns is the 4 cylinder boxer engine, many (even on these forums) will still say the head gasket issue hasn't been fully resolved and it is still an inherent problem/issue with the 4 cylinder boxer engine.
The EJ25 engine head gasket certainly isn't a selling point, no argument there. That said, Subaru produced hundreds of thousands of other boxer engines which didn't have statistically significant head gasket problems. Namely the entire EA & EZ series engines, and smaller versions of the EJ block. It's strange and confounding to me that they had so many problems specifically with the EJ25 with so many other successes- but here we are.

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I really want to try Subaru but am slightly concerned that the 4 cylinder boxer isn't the best for high mileage long term reliability. (Yes, I know some of the older Subarus have a great reputation for reliability but I'm not convinced the newer ones are as good).
Now that the sun has set on the EJ series altogether, we must pay attention to the new FB series, used in all 4-cylinder USA Outbacks since the start of the 2013 model year. That's a whole new engine from the ground up. I haven't heard of any gasket failures at all, but they're so new we probably wouldn't know anyway.

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It seems to be there is a reason why Subaru is the only major manufacturer using a 4 cylinder boxer....Toyota and Honda 4 cylinders are generally bulletproof and don't have head gasket failures.
I think Subaru sticks with the boxer because you can cast & machine these blocks using smaller, cheaper (long since paid for) factory tooling. Smaller molds, smaller milling robots etc. Technically each boxer 4 is two 2-cylinder engines mated together. There are substantial savings which they can either pass on to the consumer or pocket as profits if they can build a modern engine in a factory that was built & paid-for 40 years ago. For a tiny car company, that kind of flexibility is priceless.

Toyota has certainly had its share of head gasket problems. If anything they've had more failures- but those disappear as background noise because Toyota has sold so many more engines overall. 50,000 head gasket failures sounds like a nightmare when you've sold 200,000 engines. It's a minor annoyance if you've sold 3 million. But every one of those customers is (rightfully) ticked off.

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In any event, I really hope they announce something soon about a redesign for interior/exterior.
You & I both. I love my XT to pieces, but it's not going to last forever.
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Old 01-15-2014, 12:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tagheuer View Post
their commercials are good.

I'm just curious and disappointed as to why they let everyone believe that a new 2015 Outback was going to be revealed in January.

I was pretty excited about it and now i'm kind of let down. I'm shopping Toyota (RAV4 and Highlander) and Honda (CRV, hate the Pilot).

Are you sure the Subaru product is better? One of my big concerns is the 4 cylinder boxer engine, many (even on these forums) will still say the head gasket issue hasn't been fully resolved and it is still an inherent problem/issue with the 4 cylinder boxer engine.

I really want to try Subaru but am slightly concerned that the 4 cylinder boxer isn't the best for high mileage long term reliability. (Yes, I know some of the older Subarus have a great reputation for reliability but I'm not convinced the newer ones are as good).

It seems to be there is a reason why Subaru is the only major manufacturer using a 4 cylinder boxer....Toyota and Honda 4 cylinders are generally bulletproof and don't have head gasket failures.

In any event, I really hope they announce something soon about a redesign for interior/exterior.
Hands down, no question that Subaru is making the better 4wd product at THIS moment. Really, it is down to Subaru, Mazda, and Toyota for the best 2013-2014 overall cars. Honda has been cost-cutting. Their current products are not as good as it was a few years ago and as someone who does own a Honda (wife's car) it is a shame to see. In addition, Honda's "Head Gasket" issue black mark is their transmission failure problem. An absolute issue paired to their V6 but their transmission problems are widely noted. Honda's Tranny issue has been continuing since the late 90s and while it is better with their new fluid, there is still a big issue lurking. Toyota's issue is their crash safety. Shame on Toyota for getting caught with their 2012 and 2010 designed Camry and Prius being exposed in 2012 IIHS test... it is completely inexcusable for their 2013 and 2014 Rav4 and Corolla to test poorly when the test was known before 2012 and implemented in 2012... that tells me there is some serious issue with Toyota management.

Toyota and Honda are not bullet-proof. My "used and abused" OB's interior has lasted better than my 2001 Toyota MR2. I am replacing the center console because the plastic has cracked. Still, the Toyota MR2 is an extremely reliable car but I have to watch for pre-cat failures as it will literally eat my engine if the ceramic fails. I wish it had a HG issue compared to that flaw. There is no such thing as a bullet-proof car. And this is what I would consider a car from Toyota's best era (mid 90s-mid 2000s). Toyota work because they used old tech (a Toyota is not revolutionary engineering underneath save for the hybrids) but they their manufacturing is down tight. Honda engineers themselves into issues but avoid others. The Honda automatic is not like other autos... it is more akin to a manual than an automatic... and problems result. With Honda cost cutting and moving manufacturing to Mexico (new fit) the quality will drop.

Since the recession, most automakers have cut corners... Subaru has seemed more resistant to that trend but they have "adjusted" in other ways (such as framed windows....uggg). Keep in mind that Subaru was the only auto company to grow during the recession. So despite higher fuel costs, the 4wd company was still in demand. Yeah, they stayed in the black for a reason... the full package.

The Boxer design is a good design and ingenious for a 4WD layout (keeps the weight low and vehicle stable). The boxer can be extreme tough, go searching for information about the 2.2L and they will likely outlive cockroaches. The problem for the older design EJ25 engine is that it was an brand-new design from a small auto-maker. Subaru being a smaller company means it has to use one engine in every model (outback, legacy, impreza & forester) and if a problem arises like a bad HG, then it can be a bit more pronounced. Toyota did not use their 2.4 or 1.8 in every car so "issues" with the respective engine like the 1.8 oil consumption or the pre-cat failure is model specific and not associated with the overall brand. The reason why a boxer design is not use by more manufacturers is that 90% of all passenger cars are FWD and a trans-mounted I4 makes more sense with that configuration.

Porsche still uses the boxer design... FWIW Can't be all bad.
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hands down, no question that Subaru is making the better 4wd product at THIS moment. Really, it is down to Subaru, Mazda, and Toyota for the best 2013-2014 overall cars. Honda has been cost-cutting. Their current products are not as good as it was a few years ago and as someone who does own a Honda (wife's car) it is a shame to see. In addition, Honda's "Head Gasket" issue black mark is their transmission failure problem. An absolute issue paired to their V6 but their transmission problems are widely noted. Honda's Tranny issue has been continuing since the late 90s and while it is better with their new fluid, there is still a big issue lurking. Toyota's issue is their crash safety. Shame on Toyota for getting caught with their 2012 and 2010 designed Camry and Prius being exposed in 2012 IIHS test... it is completely inexcusable for their 2013 and 2014 Rav4 and Corolla to test poorly when the test was known before 2012 and implemented in 2012... that tells me there is some serious issue with Toyota management.

Toyota and Honda are not bullet-proof. My "used and abused" OB's interior has lasted better than my 2001 Toyota MR2. I am replacing the center console because the plastic has cracked. Still, the Toyota MR2 is an extremely reliable car but I have to watch for pre-cat failures as it will literally eat my engine if the ceramic fails. I wish it had a HG issue compared to that flaw. There is no such thing as a bullet-proof car. And this is what I would consider a car from Toyota's best era (mid 90s-mid 2000s). Toyota work because they used old tech (a Toyota is not revolutionary engineering underneath save for the hybrids) but they their manufacturing is down tight. Honda engineers themselves into issues but avoid others. The Honda automatic is not like other autos... it is more akin to a manual than an automatic... and problems result. With Honda cost cutting and moving manufacturing to Mexico (new fit) the quality will drop.

Since the recession, most automakers have cut corners... Subaru has seemed more resistant to that trend but they have "adjusted" in other ways (such as framed windows....uggg). Keep in mind that Subaru was the only auto company to grow during the recession. So despite higher fuel costs, the 4wd company was still in demand. Yeah, they stayed in the black for a reason... the full package.

The Boxer design is a good design and ingenious for a 4WD layout (keeps the weight low and vehicle stable). The boxer can be extreme tough, go searching for information about the 2.2L and they will likely outlive cockroaches. The problem for the older design EJ25 engine is that it was an brand-new design from a small auto-maker. Subaru being a smaller company means it has to use one engine in every model (outback, legacy, impreza & forester) and if a problem arises like a bad HG, then it can be a bit more pronounced. Toyota did not use their 2.4 or 1.8 in every car so "issues" with the respective engine like the 1.8 oil consumption or the pre-cat failure is model specific and not associated with the overall brand. The reason why a boxer design is not use by more manufacturers is that 90% of all passenger cars are FWD and a trans-mounted I4 makes more sense with that configuration.

Porsche still uses the boxer design... FWIW Can't be all bad.

Still waiting for someone at Honda to get fired for their current Marketing program in the US. Michael Bolton? The first time my wife saw one of the TV Adds she asked me if Honda was an old persons car? I told her that I thought maybe something was lost in the cultural translation between the Marketing director and the US marketing firm because the Bolton adds seemed more like a "HEY don't buy our cars given we can't even do a good marketing program let alone keep up with Auto trends"

LOL

Subaru was small during the recession and they built a cheaper better quality product as a result in the past 3yrs Subaru is up over 45%! where most auto makers were scrambling to just show they weren't loosing piles and piles of money. Ford got smart early and started the long process of their 1 Global concept where their sexy fairly respected Euro cars were introduced to the US market after lots and lots of restructuring and business changes to make the smaller higher content sexier euro models work by the numbers as a result Ford is doing really well on the sales #'s but its next challenge will be addressing Quality and reliability with those content loaded vehicles.

The Subaru shift from frameless windows was due to new Crash standards BTW
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default 2015 Outback - Detroit Auto show

As of 1/14/15, the 2015 Outback was not out on the floor. They had a 2014 White Limited with the SAP sitting there. I'm going back tomorrow, I'll let you know.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Still waiting for someone at Honda to get fired for their current Marketing program in the US. Michael Bolton? The first time my wife saw one of the TV Adds she asked me if Honda was an old persons car? I told her that I thought maybe something was lost in the cultural translation between the Marketing director and the US marketing firm because the Bolton adds seemed more like a "HEY don't buy our cars given we can't even do a good marketing program let alone keep up with Auto trends"

LOL

Subaru was small during the recession and they built a cheaper better quality product as a result in the past 3yrs Subaru is up over 45%! where most auto makers were scrambling to just show they weren't loosing piles and piles of money. Ford got smart early and started the long process of their 1 Global concept where their sexy fairly respected Euro cars were introduced to the US market after lots and lots of restructuring and business changes to make the smaller higher content sexier euro models work by the numbers as a result Ford is doing really well on the sales #'s but its next challenge will be addressing Quality and reliability with those content loaded vehicles.

The Subaru shift from frameless windows was due to new Crash standards BTW
You mean the same Honda that won the Advertising Award?

Granted, I think the Michael Bolton ad was bad.

Actually, most new car buyers are older. I did work for a consulting firm for one of the big 3. It was fun telling them that if they wanted to attract younger buyers, they need to make better used cars. The rational was lost on at least one exec but a few got it. Basically, we told them that most young folks would get hand-me-down cars or buy used car as their first car experience and often that relationship (and other friends cars) will help steer buyer to different brands down the road. So basically those bad 90s-00s car this domestic brand was known for hamstrung their brands perception when that generation came into the new car market. Thus that $15K "entry level rebadged" option car stood no chance with folks if they could get a mid-level used (lets say Legacy) sedan for the same price. Worse was when they had $25K to spend and did not even consider that domestic.

I agree that the frame-less doors were a crash-test issue... really it was too expensive to keep them and pass crash safety standard but it was possible. However, Subaru was lean before the recession but there was not identifiable dip in their quality during that time as you can see in other brands.

Ford got really lucky with their structure and loans... they could have easily have been in GM's boat if they leveraged their financial options at the same time. They pulled the inside straight. Brilliant business and some outstanding luck.
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