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Wife's Car - 2005 LL Bean Outback, Daughter's car - 2005 Impreza RS Sedan, Son's Car 2011 Outback 2.5 Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
This has probably been discussed before but thought I would throw it out for folks to comment on anyway.

I think Subaru is missing a HUGE OPPORTUNITY in the market place. If they were to combine a direct injected diesel engine with all of Subaru's attributes -- WOW! This could be a real winning combination! Think about it :
-- Gobs of torque
-- Great Fuel Economy (probably EPA ratings in the mid-40s)
-- Alternative in their international markets where petrol (gasoline) is much more expensive than diesel. (Do they already do this?)
-- An alternative to the Hybrid route while the battery and control technology matures.

When we were in the market for a new car recently (and ultimately decided to go the Subaru route), one of the disadvantages of the Subaru offerings was the fuel economy.

At least in this part of the country, VW can not keep their TDI's on the lot (most are pre-sold before they ever reach the dealer -- some with a 6 month waiting list). This for a car/company that does not rate very well for quality/reliability. I know that Subaru likes the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) with only 2 platforms, limited power train options, .... But this is sort of a good extension of their current offerings. Subaru already has the Turbo technology down (granted there are differences in dealing w/ a diesel engine). Could the AWD systems and Trans take the torque coming out of a diesel? (Dodge trucks have had tons of problems because their drive train couldn't handle what the Cummins was delivering to it)

I think that Subaru could take a big chunk of market share and win in numerous ways.

Comments ? ?
 

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08, 2.5i
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26 Posts
I absolutely agree. I'm looking at getting a new Outback rather than a regular SUV (ie 4runner), not only because the Subaru is more fun to drive, but GAS Mileage. I like the standard 4 cylinder because it gets higher gas mileage than the turbo and h6, using lower octane gas. It's a joke that gas is $2.50 a gallon in CA and it's not going down in the future. I was listening to NPR several weeks ago and a gas exectutive said the price of a barrel of gas will sooner go to $50 than return back down to the average of $30. (A barrel was $35 at the time of the interview). So the price of gas is not going down any time soon.
Your absolutely right about a diesel however. Good torgue for off road and great mileage. They are also simplier engines that often require less maintenance and last longer (I rode in a Mecedes Benz Taxi in Kenya with over 700,000 miles.) In England I used a VW Golf TDI and it averaged over 50 miles to the gallon (both city and highway driving.)
I think Subaru is also missing an opportunity to market their cars as a more effective off roader than a majority of SUV's on the road. They sould offer an off road package like Toyota's TRD which would include more agressive off road tires with a higher profile (65or 70), stiffer springs to load the car with gear, and a low range (which is offered in Australia) or a center locking differential like on the 4Runners. This way a person could buy a Subaru ready for slightly more extreme off roading and not violate the warrenty. Hope other people agree. I already posted this idea on the Subaru website.
 

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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
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6,684 Posts
I heard that interview, too.

I hadn't thought about the torque advantage of a diesel off-road, but you guys have a point. Plus, the improved mpg would be nice because the OB doesn't have a particularly large fuel tank.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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YES! the only other car i considered besides a Sub was a TDI, as my fiancee lives 250 miles away in Albuquerque. lamenting abt having to choose between mpg and groundclearance. if they'd make a TDI-AWD, i'd probably even buy a new car.

and i agree 100% on TDIs being the way to go until hybrid technology is further developed. i could do a brake job on a TDI in abt an hour. i shudder at the thought of doing brake work on a hybrid.
 

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Friendly Subaru Dealer, ,
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47 Posts
Hmmm...maybe in the future. But it's far more likely thatSubau will go hybrid before diesel.

In the near future, the entire line is going to Variable Valve timing in all the engines. It will bring up the fuel economy, and increase the horsepower in the 2.5L to 180 into the 06MY.

I've heard rumors of hybrid Subs. They've toyed with them in their concept vehicles, and Subaru is seriouw when it comes to concept development.

I wish we had a really fuel efficient car-the civic hybrids and the Prius sell like hotcakes. It would make me a lot of money.

I do, however, have a client who has the ear of the VP of SIA (the manufacturer). She managed to obtain the only willow green outback sedan in existence, so she might have some pull. I'll bring it up.
 

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2005 L.L.Bean Wgn
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I would trade for a good diesel Outback tomorrow. My other car is a Dodge Ram with a Cummins. 7000 pounds, pulls like a tractor and gets an honest 21 highway mpg so long as I keep my right foot out of it. Diesels are a great alternative for high gas prices. MHO
 

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Formerly 04 Outback 3.0R VDC, now 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS DiD
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Given the H4's tendency to over stress the cylinder head gasket I doubt they could make a diesel based on that. That would mean a rather radical re-engineering effort which I'm sure would be very costly and hard to get right given the whole dynamic of the Subaru's is based on a horizontal engine.
 

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2005 L.L.Bean Wgn
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I absolutely agree, Jondalar. It would have to be a new design from the ground up. The GM boys learned that the hard way in the early 80's when they tried to retrofit a gasoline V8. That's why I said I would trade tomorrow for a "good" diesel. The H4 configuration is viable. It just has to be engineered from the beginning as a diesel. Upon further thought, the Outback is a natural for a diesel because of all the formerly mentioned attributes. Abundant torque in a broad powerband is appealing because of its terrific versatility. Add a turbo to make it work at all elevations. Any Outback owners out there who would like eminently tractable power and 35+ miles to the gallon?
 

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Formerly 04 Outback 3.0R VDC, now 2011 Mitsubishi Pajero GLS DiD
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1,617 Posts
Yeah a good turbo diesel would be excellent and I am sure would broaden the Outback's appeal to new market sectors. Now if they could just make is sound better than most diesels do it would be perfect :D
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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no reason an inline four laid over horizontal a la BMW K-bikes couldn't be made to fit where HO6 does....minimize driveline reconfiguration? just idly dreaming.
 
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