Subaru of America has reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that after examination of returned parts, it showed that some brake lines were susceptible to rust after several years of exposure to salt water,  common to areas where heavy salting is used in winter conditions.  Further testing revealed a gap in the shielding around the fuel tank which allowed the salty brine to seep in and corrode the area, which had the potential to compromise the line and allow brake fluid to escape.

Subaru will recall approximately 660,000 vehicles in 20 states that use road salt on a regular basis.  The vehicles involved are the 2009-13 Forester, the 2005-9 Legacy and Outback, the 2008-14 Impreza WRX/ WRX STi, and the 2008-11 Impreza.  The 20 states include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia — or in the District of Columbia.

No accidents or injuries have been reported or attributed to the potential corrosion.  Subaru, a unit of Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc, has said that they will contact owners directly, and those customers can schedule service with local Subaru dealerships.  If a repair is necessary, it will be done free of charge, and if it had been repaired previously, the customer is entitled to reimbursement.   The service center will check for any corrosion and brake fluid leakage, and if none is found, an anti-corrosion wax will be applied.  If leakage is detected, the brake line will be replaced, and rustproofed with the anti-corrosion wax.

Subaru noted that if there was any brake fluid leakage, a warning light would turn on, alerting the driver.  The driver would not lose braking power, but the driver would notice a sluggish response and the car would need a longer distance to slow down or bring the car to a stop.  This could lead to an accident, so as in any recall, do not ignore it.  You may not have symptoms now, but don’t find out the hard way!

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2015 Subaru WRX and WRX STi Kick It Up A Notch

by Tom Talbott on April 27, 2014

2015 Subaru WRX STi

Subaru continues it’s impressive roll of refinements and upgrades that have brought successive years of increased sales to the manufacturer.  Between the success of the Outback, Forester, Impreza, Legacy, BRZ, Crosstrek, and the WRX/WRX STi…..it’s hard to say which vehicle is the “flagship” of the line.  At your Maine Subaru dealer, it depends which customer you’re talking to!  Each vehicle roll0ut is fun, so for right now, it’s the 2015 WRX and WRX STi that are in the spotlight.

Essentially the base WRX is fully redesigned. This includes some new styling with foglights, sunroof, a trunk lid spoiler, heated mirrors, wiper de-icer, and heated front seats.  The 2.0 liter turbocharged engine is smaller than what it used to be at 2.5, but the horsepower is up to 268, and the gas mileage has improved.  The AWD is a new torque-vectoring system that improves traction and control in the turns. 6 speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The manual version will go from 0-60mph in 5.4 seconds – excellent for this class.  5.9 in the CVT.

The STi keeps the 2.5 liter engine as it has been using. Disappointed?  Don’t be. Subaru made the refinements in handling, with stiffer suspension tuning, a more responsive and communicative hydraulic-assist steering system, and an adjustable center differential that the driver can fine tune the traction.  Word is that the turns feel sharper and more balanced than ever, which makes the driving an even greater experience. New items include an Brembo brakes, 8 way power adjustable driver’s seat, 18 inch BBS wheels, leather upholstery, and….a 9 speaker premium Harmon Kardon audio system.   0-60 in 5.1 seconds.  The only downside on the STi is that it is a stiff ride – it’s made for performance – so if you have bumpy roads, it might be too much for some.  But if you want to kick it up, the WRX STi is unmatched in it’s class.

For a more detailed review, check out Edmunds , Car and Driver, or Jalopnik.

 

 

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Subaru Stellar Care Award

by Tom Talbott on March 8, 2014

Patriot Subaru 2014 Stellar AwardThe Subaru Stellar Care Award is something special, not only for the dealers who earn the coveted award, but for the customers. That’s because Subaru dealers know that when you put the customers first, they’ll put the dealership first. Ultimately it is a win-win-win scenario, with the Subaru customers having a great ownership experience, the Subaru dealer earning repeat business, and the Subaru brand gaining recognition and value.

So earning the award is not a simple task. To receive the award, the dealer must attain a defined list of performance measures by year’s end. The list is long and expectations are high. They are under continual review and consistency counts.  A thumbnail review of the criteria include:

  • Facility – exceeding standards for cleanliness and comfort for guests.    
  • Sales Operations – from meet and greet to test drive to delivery, the experience has to be exceptional. 
  • Service Operations – Repair equipment and diagnostics state-of-the-art.   
  • Training – Up to date, current, and complete.   
  • Finance Department – Specialists in the field, educated to handle all needs.  

Each area is covered in great detail, set to the highest standards of excellence. Patriot Subaru in Saco, Maine has earned an unprecedented 10 consecutive Subaru Stellar Care Awards.  What’s more, that’s 10 for the 10 years that this Maine Subaru dealer has been in business.  That is one of the best, if not the best, in Subaru dealer history.

For a detailed pdf of how the Stellar Care Award is determined for a Subaru dealer, click here.

 

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Subaru Tops List of NADA Used Car Value Retention

by Tom Talbott on March 1, 2014

nadalogoYou’ve heard the expression that as soon as you drive your new car off the lot it’s value drops dramatically. Ouch!  It’s a fact that time and mileage reduce the value, simply known as depreciation. Some cars  have a slower rate of depreciation, which leads to better retained value, or “retention”.  It’s a combination of being built better at the beginning, as well as the overall demand to buy that car even though it is used.

The NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association)  has just released it’s 2014 report on the value retention of current passenger cars on the road today. The report is divided into categories: Subcompact (smallest size),  Compact (standard),  Mid-Size (Upgrade), Large Car (aka boats!), and Luxury (highest price).  Retention value was calculated were based on 3 year old cars, trim level 2011.  Numbers were based on 3 month average of NADA average trade in value divided by the MSRP.

Out of all the categories combined, the 2008-2011 Subaru Impreza was the #1 Car in Retention Value, with a score of 63.5%.  In it’s individual category of Compact Car, the Impreza was an impressive 4 points higher than the 2nd best, the Hyundai Elantra.

Not to be outdone, Subaru scored another #1 in the Mid-Size car, with the Subaru Legacy topping that list with a retention value of 60.9%, well ahead of #2 the Kia Optima at 58%.

NADA summarizes by saying, “While economic factors can have a similar effect on depreciation across different makes and models, top retaining models possess a unique combination of superior characteristics- rock solid quality and dependability, an impressive balance between performance and fuel efficiency, and eye-catching design – that slow the annual rate of decline.

For the full NADA Review from February 2014. click here.

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Patriot Subaru Earns 10th Consecutive Stellar Care Award

by Tom Talbott on February 23, 2014

Patriot Subaru Stellar Care Award 2014Subaru of America has announced the 2014 recipients of the Subaru Stellar Care Award, designating an elite group of dealers who have shown their dedication to customer experience throughout the year.  Patriot Subaru, Saco, Maine is once again very proud to receive this award of recognition, understanding that this award does not come easily, and is highly coveted by Subaru dealers across the country.

What’s interesting, is that this Maine Auto Dealer has earned the award for 10 consecutive years, every year that it has been in business.  Since opening in November 2003,  Patriot has been recognized every year, from 2004-2014.  That record is unprecedented in the halls of Subaru.

Award recipients meet the high Stellar Care benchmarks for customer satisfaction, brand representation, and operational excellence.  The Subaru brand has enjoyed record sales for the past four years and this success is in large part due to the excellence of the Subaru retail body. Stellar Care Award winners excel in the way they take care of their customers and represent the Subaru brand.

Performance measures for the program range from participation in all customer focused Subaru programs to maintaining a customer-friendly, inviting facility.  Dealers must also attain outstanding satisfaction scores for all key areas in sales and service.

 

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Travis Pastrana Back With Subaru Rally Team

by Tom Talbott on February 22, 2014

One of the most popular and successful motorsports racers, and renowned stunt performer, Travis Pastrana, has rejoined the Subaru Rally Team, the team where he started his career back in 2004.  Pastrana will join with defending five time Rally America Champion, David Higgins.

travis-pastrana-subaru-rally-car-front-dirt-trail

Rob Weir, Subaru’s Motorsports Marketing Director announced that “Subaru is very excited to bring back both of our former rally champions. Between David and Travis, Subaru Rally Team USA has won the Rally America Championship seven times in the last eight years. Having them together this season will give us our best chance at defending our title.”  David Higgins teamed with Craig Drew to win the last three Rally America title’s, plus the Manufacturer’s Title.

Pastrana earned four straight championship titles with the Subaru Rally Team from 2006 to 2010.  “I’m so happy to be back with the team I’ve been most successful with in the past. Rally racing is where my heart is and it’s a privilege to do it in a Subaru. The competition is stronger and our cars are faster than they have ever been here in the USA. It won’t be easy to get back to the top, but I’m looking forward to the challenge!” stated Pastrana.

The Pastrana/Higgins duo will race in a 2014 Subaru WRX STi’s,  with both cars managed by Vermont SportsCar, sponsored by Subaru of America.  The word is that by the latter part of the season, the team will switch into the 2015 model of the STi.   For more information on the Subaru Rally Team, click here.    Follow the team on twitter: @srtusa.

Check out the WRX Sti at your Portland, Maine Subaru Leader!

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Subaru-Share-The-Love-Thank-You---Patriot-Subaru

The Subaru “Share The Love” program is an opportunity for the company, the individual dealers, and the customers, to join together to provide a donation to an array of charitable organizations.  For the past six years, between approximately Thanksgiving and New Years, Subaru has donated $250 for every new Subaru sold to charity, with the choice of the charity being made by the buying customer. The customer can choose from one of five national charities,  or for the first time this past season, to a local charity that joined with the local dealer.

This year’s program raised $10 million dollars, bringing the 6 year total to $35 million dollars.  The five national charities this year included the ASPCA, Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels, National Park Foundation, and Teach For America. With the local dealers coordination, approximately another 250 local charities received funding.  Incredible!

Your Maine Subaru Dealer joined forces with the ALS Association Northern New England Chapter, to help the families and those afflicted with Lou Gehrigs Disease.  A special fundraising BBQ was held to kick off the event, and the program was supported with a television campaign.  Of note, the TV ad brought attention to the fact that military veterans are twice as likely to be affected by ALS as those in the general public. For more information on the ALS Association of Northern New England,  click the link or call toll free 1-866-257-6663.

Subaru has prepared a short video to commemorate the 2013-2014 program, and you can watch it here:  Subaru Share The Love: Thank You.

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Take A Walk Around the Subaru Impreza 2.0i

by Tom Talbott on January 21, 2014

For the 6th consecutive year, Patriot Subaru is giving away a brand new Subaru Impreza 2.0i on Valentines Day.  That’s some love!

Well, it sure would be fun to get that call saying you won the car, so it only makes sense that you learn a little more about it, just in case any one asks!  So lets take a closer look at the Subaru Impreza 2.0i.

The base model comes with manual 5-speed transmission, and of course the Subaru All-Wheel Symmetrical Drive transmission. 25/34 city/highway mpg.  4 wheel ABS brakes, dual front side-mounted airbags, daytime running lights, and numerous seating features add up to a vehicle that emphasizes safety. Comfort and convenience is represented by audio controls on the steering wheel, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, extra lighting, door pocket storage, and 12v outlets in the front and back seats.  For entertainment, check out the many extras  including an in-dash AM/FM/CD/MP3 player,  auxiliary audio input and iPod integration, and USB connectivity.  Basically, the Impreza 2.0i is a fun car to drive, and an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Pick, all rolled into one great vehicle.

In the accompanying video, sales associate Mike MacDonald provides a brief walk-around of the vehicle.  He had to use a green car that day, even though the actual car being given away is red.  Problem – the red one in stock was sold the day before the video shoot! Well, the car is the same, and more red ones are on the way. Very popular color!

For more information on the 2014 Subaru Impreza 2.0i, visit your Maine Subaru Dealer!

 

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2014 Subaru Crosstrek XV Hybrid Tested

by Tom Talbott on January 13, 2014

When Subaru introduces a new vehicle, they like to go all out. Such was the case of inviting a crew of the top industry automotive magazine writers in the world to a place where a car can truly be…tested.  In this case, Iceland. In November. Warning, this is not Pasedena!

Subaru says the new Crosstrek XV Hybrid is the most capable small hybrid on earth, and to back that up, they subjected the cars to places where, frankly, many of the writers didn’t want to be. For example, when the XV plunged into waist deep, moving, freezing water, more than one journalist wondered if they were going to make it out. We’re pleased to report that both the writers, and the car, lived to tell a great story.

Your Portland Maine Subaru dealer suggests that you check out some of the articles from Motor Trend,  Edmunds, Car and Driver, or Popular Mechanics, to hear their tales.  It’s not your typical review. Gale force winds of 90mph, visibility at times zero due to volcanic ash and sleet. Best line from Motor Trend:  “A Prius in the same situation would have swallowed a cyanide pill.”

Subaru gave magazine writers really something to write about!

Subaru gave magazine writers really something to write about when they took everyone to Iceland to test drive the new Crosstrek XV Hybrid.

About the car itself, Subaru made a number of refinements on the Hybrid to upgrade it from the regular version. Liquid filled engine mounts, increased sound deadening material, revised suspension with dampers, stiffer springs, and a thicker anti-roll bar all create a quieter and more solid feel to the frame.  The weight of the car is 304 pounds heavier, primarily from the nickel-metal hydride battery. The combined city/highway MPG increases from 28 to 31.

After the experience of Iceland, that challenged both car and writer, the Motor Trend writer summed it up by saying, “After three days of both pushing the electrified CUV to its limit and living through the most harrowing conditions of my career (I ate horse), I can say the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid is indeed gifted. Nearly ever one of the Icelandic monster-truck driving support crew expressed some variation of, “I can’t believe this car made it here.”

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2015 Subaru WRX STi To Debut At Detroit Auto Show

by Tom Talbott on January 6, 2014

Is this how the new 2015 Subaru WRX STi will look like?

Is this how the new 2015 Subaru WRX STi will look?

It may be frigid cold in the midwest right now, but the heat is coming in the form of the new 2015 Subaru WRX STi.  The highly anticipated reveal will take place at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13th, 2014.

What is the talk of the town is the “giant wing”, a new signature rear spoiler. There are expected to be a number of key upgrades to the suspension, brakes and chassis to improve the handling.  Rumor has it that it might feature sportier seats.  More power? The 2014 WRX STi brought 305hp from the 2.5 liter turbocharged flat-four engine, so one would expect that the performance will be tweaked.  At your Portland Subaru Dealer, we’ll have the updates the second they hit the presses!

The Detroit show will be open to the public from Jan 18-26 at the Cobo Center. The Press Preview will be Jan 13-14, Industry Preview, Jan 15-16, and the Charity Preview, January 17.

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