Subaru Oil Consumption: There’s a Lawsuit for That

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek


Two weeks ago, we wondered if Subaru is flying too close to the sun. Of course, that was in reference to the company’s reliability problems that are stemming from its growth in the United States. One of those problems is excessive oil consumption in the 2011-2014 Forester, 2013 Legacy, 2013 Outback, 2012-2013 Impreza, and 2013 XV Crosstrek. The offending motors are the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter 4-cylinder mills.

This is a serious problem that can lead to engine failure, but has quietly escaped the wrath of the mainstream media. The good news is that Subaru has taken steps to make sure its customers are well taken care of.

I know, because I’m one of them.

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Is Subaru Flying Too Close to the Sun?

XV Crosstrek Zoom

In Greek mythology, Icarus attempted to flee the Island of Crete using wings made of feathers and wax. Despite Daedalus’s warnings, Icarus flew higher and higher until the heat of the sun melted the wax binding his wings, and he fell from the sky. The story warns against hubris, arrogance, and how care and precaution remain paramount when moving onward and upward. Thousands of years after the story of Icarus was first told, is Subaru now threatening to fly too high?

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New Cars *Are* Getting Safer – Don’t Believe What You Read

Ford safety technology

The news is full of gloomy stories these days when it comes to automobiles. It might even be enough to make make you think driving an automobile is becoming more dangerous.

There is, for instance, the recent fatal collision between a Tesla Model S and a semi trailer. And the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said last year was the deadliest on the nation’s highways since 2008.

It’s enough to make you want to swathe yourself in plastic bubble wrap and never leave the house.

But new cars are getting safer, thanks to a host of new technologies. The best part is you’ll probably never have to consciously use most of them, but you’ll nevertheless be glad they’re there.

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Subaru BRZ Won’t Become a Classic… Yet

2013 Subaru BRZ

Sometimes the best things in life don’t last long.

Puppies turn into dogs, fireworks last only about 20 minutes, and our favorite cars typically last only a generation or two.

When a new car comes out and people freak about how great it is, there’s always a chance the automaker will pull the plug and end the love affair early. That was the fear with the Subaru BRZ, which some people thought might exist only to satiate a niche and then disappear forever.

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In Defense of the Forester, and Other Automotive Oddities

2002 Subaru Forester

I ran that car ragged.

In virtually all the western states, I experienced plenty of big-city traffic, wide-open freeways, epic snowstorms and countless trips to Costco and Home Depot. Through it all, I can’t remember a single problem.

Purchased new in 2002, my Subaru Forester delivered perfect reliability for over a hundred thousand miles. I sold it only because I have a compulsive need to drive something new, or new to me, every few years. The Forester performed so well, in fact, that I’ve kept the model on my short list of cars to look for when it’s time to acquire a different vehicle.

In those quick searches it’s not uncommon to find the same model with over 200,000 miles on the clock. So why would a used Forester make a do-not-buy list?

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New Car Shortage! Real or Imagined?

2014 Honda Accord

Remember when Twinkies went extinct? There was a mass panic, and stores sold out immediately when news broke that the spongy yellow cake was about to be gone forever.

Fast forward to last weekend and I’m at a convenience store somewhere in the middle of Oregon, and there’s a stack of Twinkies at the cash register, with a label on the packaging that said something like, “Best comeback story ever.”

Right. Anyone else think the Twinkie panic was nothing more than a marketing ploy to sell more Twinkies?

I feel something similar might be happening in the auto industry at this very moment.

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Super Bowl’s Over, Let’s Move On

Chevrolet Corvette

Congratulations to the Ravens and Baltimore fans everywhere!

While the game was electrifying, I thought the advertisements overall were severely lacking in energy this year. It’s like the power went out on all of them even before the Superdome went dark. My favorite car ad was the Audi prom spot. The Chrysler/Ram Paul Harvey spot almost made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. The others were just mediocre.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to cars rather than the outlandish, extravagant attempts to sell them. Yes, we need vehicles to serve the mundane and much-needed transportation services of daily life, and I find irony in the fact that we often buy them based on some perceived emotion or extreme experience marketing people promise they will provide.

True car enthusiasts can look past overly produced TV commercials and buy based on other, more meaningful, factors.

One of those factors might be the car’s future collector value. Make it affordable and fun to drive as well, and the deal closes itself! What 2013 cars could be future collectibles?

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Cars Coming Soon: Toyota FT-86, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ

Scion FR-S concept

Scion FR-S Concept

Toyota is like an old man.

“Stodgy” might be a good word to describe the company’s driving dynamics lately. Yes, its rock-solid reliability reputation seems to be intact, but there’s not a lot of spunk left in the ol’ company. Its cars have gained weight. They don’t move very fast. There may be some bloat in certain places.

So what should an aging company do to reignite the feeling of youth?

Grab a bottle of wine, play some Jay Sean music and seduce a young, fun partner. That’s what Toyota did, essentially, with Subaru, and the result of the long courtship between the two is the Toyota FT-86/Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S triplets.

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