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2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid Wins AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award

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The all new 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is the highest scoring Hybrid/EV Truck in AutoPacific’s 2014 Ideal Vehicle Award research. The product development team at Subaru developed a Hybrid/truck that provides the attributes the target buyers want.  Owners want very little change. The XV Crosstrek was at the top against some impressive Hybrid/EV Trucks including the Lexus RX 450h, Toyota Highlander HEV, Toyota Prius v, and the Toyota RAV4 EV.

2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid owners are satisfied with their vehicle and did not want much change. Of the fifteen categories in the Ideal Vehicle question battery, the 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek leads in seven categories and is within three percentage points of one more.

The top five highest ratings by Subaru XV Crosstrek owners are: the ease of getting in and out, same exterior size, same tires, same exterior styling, and the same wheels as now.

No vehicle is perfect. Subaru XV Crosstrek owners would like a more advanced information and entertainment system.  Owners would also like more cargo space, more interior storage, and better visibility from the drivers seat.

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Subaru Legacy – AutoPacific’s Most Ideal 2012 Mid-Size Car

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

Subaru Legacy Dominates Dodge Avenger in IVA Win: The all-new 2012 Subaru Legacy comes closest to the ideal of any Mid-Size Car.  The Legacy dominates the second place Dodge Avenger by 51 rating points to win its class.   Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of Legacy owners rate exterior size and passenger roominess ideal.  Eighty-percent or more of Legacy owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  interior lighting, driver’s seat visibility, cargo space, wheels and tires, driver’s seat comfort, ride and handling, ease of getting in and out, interior storage compartments and safety features.

The Subaru Legacy also was Best In Class in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.

A Few Shortfalls – Selecting the 6-Cylinder Option Would Offset Desire for More Power and Acceleration, but at a Cost. About 29% of Legacy owners want more power and acceleration.  Only 6% would trade off power and acceleration for better fuel economy.  Owners could have opted for the Boxer 6-cylinder engine that yields 83 more horsepower than the 173HP Boxer 4 that is standard equipment.  This would have sacrificed 6 miles per gallon in city driving and lowest cost 6-cylinder would be about $5,100 more than the base 4-cylinder.   About 32% of Legacy owners want more infotainment technology in their car.  About 22% of Legacy owners want more daring styling than now.  While the conservatively styled Legacy is handsome, it does not turn heads.  Pushing the styling envelope in the next generation Legacy would yield benefits in future IVA results.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/consumer-s-ideal-cars-revealed-in-2012-iva-awards-112116/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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Subaru Legacy Wins AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award for Mid-Size Cars

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Legacy is the top rated Mid-Size Car based on owner ratings of changes they want in the car in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research.  As the class winner, Legacy owners want very little change in their car, but there are a few exceptions.  About 30% want more infotainment technology and power.  Legacy owners like the size of their car, its ride and seat comfort.  For these owners, it interior roominess is about ideal.  The Legacy came in well ahead of the second place Subaru Outback. 


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2009 Subaru Forester Wins AutoPacific 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award

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“The all-new Subaru Forester delivers what its owners want, proven by winning AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award in the Mid-Size Crossover SUV class. Helping Forester’s ratings is that all Subarus have standard all-wheel-drive, making them ideal for the snow belt,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “Owners rate the Forester best in class in five of fifteen rating categories and very competitive in the others. Clearly Subaru understands what the Crossover SUV buyer wants and have designed the Forester to hit that target.” Among the Forester’s leading characteristics:
Sub_09_Forester_IVA.jpg* Safety features
* Ride and handling
* Passenger room
* Visibility


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AutoPacific Announces 2008 Ideal Vehicle Awards

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Tustin, California, June 30, 2008 – An “ideal” is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2008 model year cars and trucks by how close they come to their ideal, as measured by 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.


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2008 Subaru Tribeca: New York Auto Show

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Facelift Brings Toned-Down Look and Tweaked Name
Introduced at the 2007 New York International Auto Show and due on sale in summer 2007 is an important facelift for Subaru‘s top-of-the-line crossover SUV. At the same time, Subaru is wisely dropping the “B9” portion of its name, choosing to simplify life by just calling the model the Tribeca.
EDITOR’s Note: Apparently Subaru couldn’t take the heat from flacks referring to the vehicle as the “benign Tribeca”. Some wags, referring to its unfortunate nose styling referred to the Tribeca as the “malignant Tribeca”. Those of us here at AutoPacific and VehicleVoice had divided opinions on the styling of the Tribeca’s nose. Some liked it others thought it abhorrent. I was on the side of liking it. It showed Subaru was brave enough to take a chance with distinctive style.

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The exterior changes dramatically quiet the Tribeca’s previously expressive styling, for better or worse. Subaru may find themselves in a situation where changes intended to help improve sales and make the product more palatable to more people have taken out too much of the Subaru personality. Though the B9 Tribeca was polarizing in its first couple of years on market, and sales have yet to meet the initial internal targets, it had Subaru character. Subaru goes into the 2008 model year with a freshened lineup including a facelifted Outback/Legacy (of which we brought you news from the Detroit show in January), new Impreza, and facelifted Tribeca. All carry more subtle looks than prior versions, and the Subaru badge is about the only common element among them.
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Subaru Expands B9 Tribeca Options

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New Grille and Special Edition Package Unveiled in Chicago
Though this Subaru flagship is not quite a full year old, there are some improvements for 2007 that Subaru introduced at the 2006 Chicago auto show. AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents were on hand to take a look.
The 2007MY changes include more safety options, new convenience features, a revised standard grille, and an optional Special Edition package. These changes are relatively minor, as one might expect for a vehicle this fresh. The new features make the B9 Tribeca safer as well as more convenient to have in your fleet.

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Subaru Concepts Retain Environmental Spirit. Make North American Debut in Detroit.

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Subaru presented two concepts illustrating their continued commitment to preserving the future of the environment while creating fun-to-drive vehicles. VehicleVoice and AutoPacific correspondents review the Subaru concepts seen at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Subaru B5-TPH – for the Environmentally Conscious with Active Lifestyles
The first was the Subaru B5-TPH. The B5-TPH is a two door, multipurpose coupe that features a clamshell hatch. The B5-TPH reflects Subaru’s Think, Feel, Drive campaign, yet retains the DNA of an authentic Subaru. Its design is rooted around environmentally conscious individuals who have active lifestyles.
The exterior of the B5-TPH is sporty and sleek yet reflects a rugged image. It could very well provide hints toward the design characteristics of the next generation Outback. The B5-TPH set out to achieve two design themes. One was joy, for versatility, and the second was sustainability, for performance.
The B5-TPH fuses Subaru’s four-cylinder turbo engine with hybrid technology. TPH stands for Turbo Parallel Hybrid and is a strategically important technology for the power source of clean-energy vehicles. The TPH powertrain will be incorporated with Subaru’s Boxer Engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive systems. The TPH powertrain will be test-launched in Subaru vehicles within the Japanese market beginning in 2007.
An electric motor provides smooth power at low speeds, and the four-cylinder turbo engine provides powerful performance in the mid- and high-revolution ranges. The powertrain in the B5-TPH places a thin, 10-kw motor generator between the vehicle’s engine and its automatic transmission. The combination of the motor-generator and the turbocharged Boxer Engine creates a system which will deliver excellent acceleration and fuel economy. For even greater efficiency, the TPH gasoline engine adopts the Miller cycle concept.
The Miller-cycle engine is an improved version of Subaru’s Horizontally-Opposed four-cylinder turbo engine. To achieve Subaru’s level of sporty performance, the engine and automatic transmission torque converter have been linked by means of the motor generator creating a simple powertrain. The Miller cycle engine leaves the intake valve open during part of the compression stroke, effectively shortening the compression stroke to avoid detonation. With assistance from the turbocharger, the cylinder is able to pack a larger “charge” than a conventional-cycle engine. The Miller cycle turbo boxer engine in the B5-TPH operates up to 30 percent more efficiently that a conventional gasoline engine, and reduces CO2 emissions. To further enhance driving performance Subaru plans to equip the system with high-performance manganese lithium-ion batteries. The technology for the manganese lithium-ion batteries was showcased in Subaru’s second concept, the R1e.


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Let's Talk Cars: GM, Fuji and Toyota

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Welcome to “Let’s Talk Cars.”

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The premier episode of Let’s Talk Cars covers the purchase of General_Motors‘ stake in Fuji Heavy Industries by Toyota Motor Corporation. Is GM finding ways to streamline it’s operations? How does Saab fit into the picture?
Noted industry analyst Jim Hall speaks with AutoPacific founder and VehicleVoice editor George Peterson to give you the inside scoop on this hot automotive topic.


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Traditional Premium Mid-Size SUVs: Do They Still Have LIfe?

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VehicleVoice (http://www.vehiclevoice.comhttp://www.autopacific.com) pay close attention to the the dynamics in one of the largest and most dynamic product segments in the North American auto market – the Premium Mid-Size SUV market. This VehicleVoice blog (http:/.vehiclevoice.com) delves into the dynamics between Traditional SUVs and Post-Modern SUV entries.
Are Traditional SUVs Based on Trucks on Their Way Out?
Some say traditional SUVs are on their way out, but their implied death is exaggerated at best or at worst will come only after a lengthy illness that has just begun to take root. That the playing field is changing there is no doubt, but traditional SUV entries will be an important part of the mix well into the next decade, despite the amount of chatter that Post Modern SUVs (some refer to them as crossovers) are generating and the speculation that the product configuration will take over the world. Though segmentation is subjective and a constantly moving target, but a close look at the Premium Mid-Size SUV segment as currently defined indicates that it is not quite time to write off traditional SUVs.

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Ford Explorer Versus Toyota Highlander: Which is the Way of the Future?
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