Subaru started their car life after they realized their flat opposing piston airplane motor configuration offered a great way to lower the center of gravity of a car, while giving the engine a quick and high revving factor. Known for their flat four and sixes, the boxer engines help keep the cars lower and even allow for higher ground clearance, perfect for off-road racing. While Subaru has a fierce and loyal following, it still lags behind in sales and barely registers on the radar bleep for most. In fact, the serious foothold it has found in the US is in mountainous regions where four-wheel drive and reliability is a necessity. It has a small but loyal and fierce following, which the Consumer Report rating could now propel to the limelight.
What You Might Not Know. Winning top carmaker honors at the coveted Consumer Report couldn’t have come in at a better time for the company. Introducing its BRZ a few months ago, the company took a wild leap of faith with its first rear-wheel drive, 2 liter front engine going back to something sorely lacking in the current crop of modern cars, a fun somewhat sporty car to drive. And according to the first test drives, the BRZ doesn’t fail to satisfy. Nonetheless, one number captures it all for me, 98% of Subaru ever made are still on the road today, period.
Subaru’s Famous Racing Career. One thing we might not know Subaru for the most in the US is its stellar international racing career. It’s four-wheel drive configuration and sturdy underpinning has made it a constant up and coming winner in the early years and a force to be reckoned within the international world of rally racing. The tried and tested technology on dirt roads has made its way into their everyday car, making it one of the most car reliable currently available. So when Subaru went to Toyota for a concept they had, we wondered how would they differentiate its BZR from Toyota’s version? Subaru does what it does best, simply enough by slapping on a big turbo, putting big wings on it and going racing in the Japanese Super GT.
Consumer Report’s High Colors. Why Consumer Report’s awards means a lot to the company and good news for you is that CR rates products according to the best bang for your buck. In other words, a more expensive car with the same performance will not rank as well and neither will the opposite. Or to put it in clearer words still, Subaru offers you a solid car at an affordable price. By earning the top overall score in the magazine's report cards for 2012 out of 13 major automakers, Subaru strikes a very high note. CR’s survey is based on performance, comfort, utility, and reliability, something the company is well known for. What this also means is that Subaru struck higher ratings than the other bigger carmakers, Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Will it surprise you to guess who was number 2? Also another smaller carmaker, Mazda.
Design Will Win You Over Or Leave You Feeling Blah. Still, with all the qualities we can give Subaru, design hasn’t always been its strongest. While one year might captivate your interest, the obligatory next year face lift often leaves you feeling frustrated. It’s hard to latch on a brand’s design when it changes every year. Somehow, the 2011 and 2012 models struck a higher interest in consumers and the latest designs are more in line with what people come to expect.
What does this mean for us in the end? Often time it’s not the loudest, the biggest and the richer manufacturers that have the best cars. The smaller players eager to jump in the competition often have more to offer. In Subaru’s case, the choice makes sense. The company’s hidden, yet well-known reputation is built on a sturdy endurance, great reliability, fantastic performance and an all-around solid base for a great racer. It’s not very uncommon to see those 2.5 liters push over 300 hp. Subaru’s Consumer Report’s high ratings are finally give Cesar his due, that this little car maker has a lot to offer at a reasonable price.