Despite the fact that Subaru has always been an outstanding brand, its often fallen in the shadow of larger Japanese-brand vehicle manufacturers. However, within recent years these other manufacturers have fallen on some tough time, which have allowed Subaru to really shine has a producer of top-quality vehicles. This article by Forbes magazine gives a little insight into Subaru’s growth as a brand of excellence:
Subaru has always been the well-regarded, but often overlooked runner-up to big Japanese names like Toyota, Honda and Nissan. But with the big players stumbling over the past few years, Subaru has darted around them to take a big prize.
This week, Consumer Reports named Subaru as the top-quality brand in its list of the best vehicles for 2012. That not only brings bragging rights, but can also lead to sales.
Through the years, Consumer Reports’ praise has boosted vehicles like the Volkswagen Passat, which many boomer buyers never considered until the magazine gave it a top rating in 2000.
Consumer Reports rates companies according to comfort, performance, utility and reliability (although many people look mostly at the latter). As the magazine wrote,
“Subaru’s score of 75—two points higher than last year—reflects better test scores for such redesigned models as the Impreza, Legacy, and Outback over the last few years. The 2012 Impreza, which Consumer Reports just tested, now tops the small-sedan class and is the Consumer Reports Top Pick in that category. Subaru’s average road-test score of 82 is the highest in Consumer Reports analysis.”
Even before it won the title, Subaru had a good February. Its sales of 25,374 were up 17 percent over February 2011, figures showed Thursday, and its sales for the first two months of 2012 are up 19 percent over 2011.
To be sure, Subaru is never going to challenge the big Japanese players for sales, but its new title will give import minded buyers an alternative to the cars they’d automatically shop for.
Its vehicles’ symmetrical all-wheel drive capability is especially important to buyers in New England, once the top market for Saab, and in Northwestern and Midwestern states where dramatic weather can make driving treacherous. And, its Impreza has given the lineup a younger, gutsier image than its wagons and crossovers.