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Monday, February 28, 2011

What can your Scoobie Do?

I've seen some odd ones over the years. Especially while living in Alaska before vehicle inspections were required.

This one appears to able to plow while under water. Pretty handy, eh?

What is the strangest car you've ever seen/owned?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crested Butte to host Subaru Freeskiing World Tour...

Crested Butte, Colorado was the first ski resort in the lower 48 to have an extreme skiing competition.  Lots of history with guys like Seth Morrison , Dean Cummings and Shane McConkey tearing up the slopes in these parts.  I'm pretty sure Senor Morrison is still pissed he didn't win this event.  These days, the good folks at the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour run the show and what a show it is.  You can watch a live feed of the event everyday, from qualifiers to the finals right here on the ski channel.  How cool is that!  While you're working you can catch the action and witness the insane level of skiing going on these days. 

Part of the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour (FWT), a Mountain Sports International (MSI) series, the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships in Crested Butte is the longest running event of its kind, hosting male, female, junior and masters competitors. Bragging rights and a cash purse totaling $20,000 – the largest on the freeskiing circuit – ensure a talented field and edge-of-the-seat excitement as competitors descend steep, technical lines in CBMR’s legendary Extreme Limits terrain.

 “We’re very excited about the continued growth and success of freeskiing. The U.S. Freeskiing Series is the first major U.S.-based freeskiing tour, and we’re honored to have Subaru step up as title sponsor. Locations like Crested Butte, combined with huge increases in prize money, will bring the sport to a whole new level,” says MSI founder and president Adam Comey.

“This is an iconic event for CBMR,” said Daren Cole, vice president of sales and marketing for the resort. “Many of the best-known freeskiers in the world have carved out a place in history at this competition. The Extremes are such a unique aspect to the resort and this week they get the spotlight.”

Subaru is proud to be the title sponsor of both the U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Skiercross series,” said Rick Crosson, vice president of marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “These tours bring the top Big Mountain and Skiercross competitors in the world to center stage at some of the best resorts in North America.”

Over the years, these competitions have helped launch the careers of skiing legends such as Shane McConkey, Kent Kreitler, Ingrid Backstrom, Seth Morrison, Hugo Harrison, and Reggie and Zach Crist.

For results, photos, athlete profiles and more  you can always go to

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Subaru Partners With KICKER® for Performance Audio Upgrades

Northend Subaru is pleased to announce that Subaru of America, Inc. will partner with KICKER Performance Audio, a 30-year industry leader in mobile audio, to supply Subaru customers with original equipment (OE) upgrades for specific models.

The high-performance Subaru audio upgrades made by KICKER are compatible with all 2008-2011 Impreza™ sedans, Impreza WRX™ sedans, 2011 WRX STI™ sedans, and all 2008-2011 Impreza, Impreza WRX and WRX STI 5-door™ vehicles with navigation or non-navigation audio systems.

"KICKER has been providing the industry with quality after-market audio accessories for many years," said Jay Gelletly, Subaru Accessories Marketing Manager. "We are pleased to offer another high quality upgrade for our vehicles that our enthusiasts will enjoy."

The audio system includes a 10-inch powered subwoofer in a molded enclosure made to fit in the trunk or cargo area of the specific model leaving plenty of trunk cargo space available. The subwoofer is powered by an integrated 100-watt, high-efficiency digital amplifier that is tuned to specifically match the size of  the enclosure; resulting in deep, powerful bass from a small space, enhancing overall performance and accuracy system-wide.  The amplifier connects into the existing Subaru audio system using a true plug-and-play wire harness.

The audio upgrade kits are now available through Subaru dealerships. The upgrade kit may either installed at the factory port processing facility, or at the dealership prior to delivery.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Subaru Offers 1.9% Financing Incentives for February

During February, Subaru is offering 1.9% financing incentives and low cost leases on the whole lineup of all-wheel-drive cars and SUVs. If you’re still fighting snow where you live, a capable Subaru is probably looking very good right now.

The 2011 Subaru Impreza is available during February with 1.9% financing for 24 months. The 2011 Impreza can also be leased for $179 a month on a 42-month lease with $1,178 due at lease signing.
During February, the turbocharged 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX is available with a $299 per month lease incentive on a 42-month lease with a down payment of 1,998. The WRX is also available with 1.9% financing incentive for 24 months
2011 Subaru ForesterThe 2011 Subaru Legacy comes with the choice between a 1.9% interest rate for 24 month loans or $199 monthly lease payments for 42 months with a $1,498 down payment due at lease signing.
This month, the 2011 Subaru Outback can be leased for $279 a month with a $1,979 down payment on a 42-month lease. The 2011 Outback can also be bought with a 1.9% interest rate incentive on 24-month car loans.

The 2011 Subaru Forester is available with a $229 per month lease incentive with a down payment of $1,929 on a 42-month lease. The 2011 Forester is also available with a 1.9% financing incentive on 24-month loans.
During February, the 2011 Subaru Tribeca is available with a 1.9% interest rate incentive for 24 months. The Tribeca can also be leased for $359 a month on a 36-month lease with $3,269 due at lease signing.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Subaru dealer sells sumo wrestler-damaged Forester...

Subaru of Canada made the ad I featured in my last blog with sumo wrestlers lounging on the hoods of new Foresters. Funny, but not as much to a customer who bought one of the Foresters and found sumo-related dents after he took it home.

The owner told a Subaru forum that he didn't even know his car had been used as a sumo sofa until he complained, "So I picked up my new 2011 Subaru Forester last weekend. Drove it home, parked in the sun to get a good look, and much to my dismay, noticed small imperfections in the hood... as if someone placed something heavy on the hood. Not really dents... just areas where the light reflections show up shallow imperfections. At first I wasn't going to complain, thinking "it's not noticeable unless you really look..." but every time I looked...there it was."
He continued, "I drove back to the dealer (Don Docksteader in Vancouver), and they said, "no problem, we will take care of that for you... must have happened when we shot the latest Sumo Wrestler Ad...","

The estimates for traditional repair run $2,500, thanks to that magical body-work inflation where one dent ripples across several panels; apparently the dealer had six other vehicles that will need fixing due to the shoot. Maybe Subaru Canada should always try animation first.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Subaru Lampoons Supermodel Ads With Sexy Sumo Wrestlers

 NORTHEND SUBARU — In a hilarious volley that appears to be aimed at Nissan and Lexus, Subaru of Canada has debuted a 2011 Forester ad populated by thong-wearing sumo wrestlers. The ad lampoons the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue automotive tie-ins featuring supermodels launched earlier this week by Subaru's Japanese competitors.

The Subaru ad is being met with praise by online auto observers. "Unlike the bikini-wearing models in other ads, you're not left wondering where the car is," wrote Motor Authority on Thursday. "If anything, your eyes seek out the Forester, if only for aesthetic relief." It notes that the hood of the Forester appears to be "surprisingly strong," bearing up well under the tremendous weight of the sumo wrestlers.

With "Boys Wanna Be Her" from the 2006 album Impeach My Bush by Peaches pounding in the background, the Subaru ad shows the sumo wrestlers in a variety of seductive poses. They frolic on the hoods of the Foresters, eating ice cream, nibbling on strawberries and assuming the lotus position while the car is parked on a beach.

"Sexy Comes Standard" is the advertisement's tag line.

Earlier this week, Lexus unveiled a much more serious video showing a Lexus LFA facing off against a bikini-clad Dutch supermodel in a tie-in with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Nissan also partnered with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, debuting a tongue-in-cheek video pitting supermodels wearing heels and bikinis in a comparison test with the Nissan Juke.

Just the Facts:
  • Subaru of Canada debuts a 2011 Forester ad populated by sexy sumo wrestlers, lampooning the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue tie-ins at Nissan and Lexus.
  • The sumo wrestlers are shown on the hood of the Forester, seductively eating strawberries and being hosed down with the car at a car wash.
  • "Boys Wanna Be Her" from the 2006 album Impeach My Bush by Peaches provides the spicy musical accompaniment to the commercial.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2011 Subaru Forester 2.0 First Drive

Boxer engines? You can't call them an oddity — not when a top-10 brand in the U.S. uses them — but they're not exactly mainstream, either. The closest the boxer engine has come to that was back in the '60s, when the VW Beetle was the country's super-dominant import and GM offered a larger-scale alternative to the Bug in the elegant shape of the troubled Chevrolet Corvair.

But with Subaru coming off a record year, having sold 263,820 vehicles in the U.S. during 2010, the horizontally opposed engine is enjoying a modest 21st-century renaissance. Now the Japanese automaker is launching its third-generation boxer engine — the first of the company's flat-4s appeared way back in 1966. Designated FB (for "Fuji future" in parent company Fuji Heavy Industries' native tongue), this engine will eventually supersede the outgoing EJ engine, which has been around since 1989.

The FB boxer engine actually debuted last fall in the 2011 Subaru Forester, which uses a 2.5-liter version. Subaru chose not to make a song and dance about it, though, because it produced only modest mpg gains despite providing a broader power band. However, for the smaller 2.0-liter version we're sampling here, the automaker is promising more significant mileage advances. Although we won't be getting this engine in the Forester, this engine is definitely U.S.-bound. Subaru will show a car at the 2011 New York Auto Show that uses it, and the 2.0-liter will see duty in the next-generation Impreza.

Cleaner Breathing, Reduced Friction, Low-Weight Reciprocation
Subaru's wish list for this all-new FB-series engine included improved environmental performance (it claims best-in-class CO2 emissions for the 2.0-liter installed in this European-spec 2011 Forester), better fuel efficiency and enhanced drivability. And the key to all of this is a longer piston stroke, which Subaru was keen to achieve without increasing the physical size of the engine, which would force costly changes on its cars' body structures. And that's no small challenge.
This feat has been achieved by designing more compact cylinder heads (of which a boxer engine has a pair, of course) and redesigning the cylinder block. Shallower pistons, fracture-split connecting rods and amazingly tight clearances between the crankcase help, too, as does a new chain-driven cam drive whose cam sprockets are smaller, further reducing the engine's width. Chain drives reduce maintenance requirements, too.

The longer stroke results in an engine whose bore and stroke are now undersquare in contrast to the very oversquare EJ it replaces. This approach is all about improving efficiency and low-speed torque, as the resulting combustion chambers are more compact and thus suffer less heat loss. In other words, during combustion, a greater proportion of the fuel's energy is converted to useful work in the cylinders. Reducing the size of the heads has forced narrower valve angles and the use of roller-rocker cam followers, and they're aided by a comprehensively rethought variable valve timing system.

Internal friction has been reduced by 28 percent, thanks in part to mass reductions in the rods and pistons. Cylinder distortion has been reduced by an improved manufacturing process, and revisions to the cooling system include independent circuits for the block and head which provide more even cooling, particularly around the cylinder liners. This ensures that the bores remain cylindrical when the engine reaches operating temperature, improving the piston rings' sealing characteristics. The roller-rocker cam gear and an oil pump that more closely matches the engine's lubrication demands further reduce friction and parasitic power consumption.

The combustion process has been sharpened through the introduction of unusual flaps in the intake ports, which induce tumble flow as the air makes its way to the combustion chambers. These flaps work in concert with tumble-generator valves that intensify charge motion during part-load conditions for increased combustion efficiency. A new, water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation system increases EGR density to reduce pumping loss.

All this and plenty of detail work produce a 148-horsepower, naturally aspirated engine that's said to be 10 percent more fuel-efficient than before (Subaru has been selling 2.0-liter Foresters in Europe and Japan for years). Mind you, the fractionally increased 146-pound-foot torque peak still doesn't appear until a lofty 4,200 rpm. And direct injection, increasingly a feature of gasoline engines, is still to come.
The redesign has provided a chance to reduce weight. The intake manifold is plastic rather than aluminum, and the new pistons are 20 percent lighter. The upshot is that this more complex engine is only fractionally heavier than the outgoing EJ unit.

Slick Shifts Produce Smooth Power
We got to try the new FB boxer engine in a Euro-spec 2011 Subaru Forester 2.0 XS, which also gets a fresh grille for 2011, along with new side mirrors and revised 17-inch alloy wheels. Subaru has also fiddled with the suspension tuning to improve cornering stability while calming the ride.
On the road, the discovery that the 2.0 Forester feels pretty similar to the 2.5-liter version is good news — you don't sacrifice a huge amount of pulling power for a worthwhile improvement in fuel consumption. That said, our test vehicle's solid acceleration in the five-speed manual transmission's first two gears is somewhat undermined by rangier gearing in 3rd — the Forester 2.0's performance is flaccid unless the engine is pulling 3,800 rpm or more. Acceleration in 4th and 5th is often leisurely enough to require some slick downshifting if you need to overtake; although the boxer engine's lightly eager warble is compensation. Annoyingly, revs tend to hang when you've released the accelerator, so you need to lift off earlier than you'd expect during gearchanges or while coasting to a stop. This quirk aside, though, the Forester 2.0 is an easy drive, and power delivery is noticeably smoother and more civilized than with the older EJ engine.

They Built a Better Boxer
You need to carry your momentum with you as you drive the 2011 Subaru Forester 2.0, and the compact crossover's well-tuned chassis makes that easy. This year's suspension tweaks allow it to round bends with surprisingly little sway. Factor in steering that's unusually precise for an SUV, quietly confident turn-in and sure-footed all-wheel-drive traction, and you can make rewardingly brisk cross-country progress. The impressive body control doesn't come at the expense of comfort, either, as our Subaru Forester 2.0 took on ice-damaged roads with a calm pliancy.

By the same token, the FB engine brings a new level of sophistication to the Forester without completely muting the endearing boxer soundtrack. We still wish the engine's torque curve peaked at a lower rpm, and we await the day when Subaru releases a direct-injected version that should undoubtedly deliver even more horsepower and torque, while further reducing fuel consumption. And of course, we're curious whether the economy-slanted FB architecture can be successfully tailored for the inevitable turbocharged variants.
For now, though, there's no denying that this is a better boxer engine than the aged EJ engine still found in most U.S.-market Subaru's — and credit is due to the FHI engineers who packaged these improvements within the same mechanical envelope.

By Richard Bremner, European Correspondent | Published Feb 7, 2011 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Subaru Named Heal the Bay Corporate 'Superhealer' of the Year

Northend Subaru is proud to announce that Heal the Bay, a nonprofit that uses science, education, community action and advocacy to improve water quality and protect marine life in the Santa Monica Bay. Subaru, a company that already utilizes zero-landfill plants for all of its car production, has worked with the group in a number of ways to promote clean water programs in Southern California.

Subaru recently sponsored the group's fourth annual "A Day Without a Bag" program to encourage use of reusable totes in place of single-use plastic bags. Also, in conjunction with Heal the Bay's "Coastal Cleanup Day," Subaru donated $50 from consumer test drives at various Southern California dealerships to the nonprofit. The company also recently donated a new 2010 Subaru Outback for live auction at Heal the Bay's annual gala fundraiser, "Bring Back the Beach."

"We enjoy helping our community and are really dedicated to maintaining an environmental policy that extends beyond just meeting environmental laws and regulations," said Mike Campbell, Subaru Western Zone Director. "We work hard to integrate sound environmental practices in all of our business decisions. We are honored to be chosen as Heal the Bay's Corporate Superhealer."

Subaru of America, which recently announced a record sales year for the brand with 263,820 units sold in 2010, an increase of 22% year-over-year and 50% in two years, through programs such as Heal the Bay and its Share the Love campaign, is dedicated to giving back to its communities.

About Heal the Bay
Formed in 1985, Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean. They use science, education, community action and advocacy to protect the ocean for the people who play, swim and surf in it, and for the animals that make it their home. With more than 12,000 members, Heal the Bay is one of the largest environmental groups in Southern California.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Subaru Sponsors Puppy Bowl VII...

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Subaru of America, Inc. walked a different path for the face-off at Cowboys Stadium, resulting in a 500% increase in planned social and viral engagement.

In conjunction with its sponsorship of Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl VII,” Subaru invited owners across the country to walk their dogs on game day. Supporters pledged to participate on and through the company’s Facebook page. More than 116,000 people signed up for the dog walk – a social engagement record for the company. English mastiffs, huskies, beagles and more from Charlotte, N.C. to San Bernadino, Calif. to South Padre Island, Texas enjoyed game day walks. In fact, more than 250 people like Rebecca Simon of Ambler, PA posted about their walk on the Subaru Facebook page.

“It’s great that Subaru invited us to walk our dogs on game day,” said Simon, the owner of a Subaru Outback and her dog, Eli. “I like being part of a community of dog and Subaru owners across the country.”
While other car companies spent three million dollars for 30 second ads, Subaru leveraged its social community and unique brand positioning. Innovative marketing has helped the company achieve new sales heights with the Subaru brand setting yet another sales record in 2010 and giving the company the distinction of being the only car maker with sales increases for the last three years.

“Subaru owners tend to be active and enjoy the outdoors,” said Brian Johnson, advertising manager for Subaru. “The Dog Walk event was an ideal opportunity to connect the community with our new ‘Dog Tested. Dog Approved.’ campaign.”

The “Dog Tested. Dog Approved.” spots - featuring Subaru’s canine stars, Olive and Zelda, performing doggie driving stunts - aired on Animal Planet on Super Bowl Sunday during “Puppy Bowl VII.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

AAA Names Forester One of its Top Vehicle Picks for Dog Owners


With more than 80 percent of dog owners taking their canine companions along in their vehicles on errands, leisure rides and day trips, many drivers are taking the safety and comfort of man's best friend into consideration when shopping for vehicles. To aid in motorists quest to find a vehicle that meets both their needs, as well as their dogs, AAA has released a list of its top vehicle picks for dog owners.
"More than 45 million households in the U.S. have a dog, and many are taking Fido along for the ride on a regular basis," said John Nielsen, AAA National Director of Auto Repair and Buying Services. "There several vehicles with features that can help keep pets safe, comfortable and easy to clean-up after while also addressing other driver desires such as sportiness, adventure or luxury."
AAA Auto Buying's team of experts, who test drove and reviewed hundreds of vehicles for  AAA ,  have compiled a list of their top vehicles picks for dog owners based upon a wide variety of factors such as crash test ratings, safety features, fuel economy, ease of animal ingress and egress, cargo area size, availability of tie-down hooks and easy-to-clean interiors.
The list is divided in six categories to help motorists with a variety of lifestyles identify a vehicle that best meets their needs.

BMW 3 Series Wagon – This wagon offers handling and agility that rival some sports cars along with a comfortable, if firm, ride and quiet cruising. Owners will find a wide range of accessories available to make the car more suitable for pet transport including rubber mats for the cargo area and sturdy dividers that can keep a dog comfortably confined to the cargo area and away from distracting the driver. Some available dividers even have an added division to transport two dogs while keeping them apart. The interior is cozy, so the BMW 3 Series wagons may be a better choice for medium to smaller breeds.
Volvo XC60 – In addition to refined and well-performing engines, this is the first vehicle in the U.S. with "City Safe," a safety feature that will compensate for driver inattention by automatically applying the brakes in traffic situations at speeds up to nearly 20 mph in an effort to eliminate or mitigate a rear-end collision. The Volvo XC60 has a roomy cargo area ideal for transporting most canines in comfort and a nicely finished interior. Accessories include rubber mats for the cargo area and a pet barrier that fastens securely above the raised rear seats to keep pets from distracting the driver.

Active Lifestyle
Subaru Forester – This Forester offers roomy, comfortable accommodations for people and their pets. The ride is stable and comfortable, the handling is predictable, and the all-wheel drive delivers reassuring traction under all conditions. This wagon is even up for mild off-roading treks that can get the dogs into the country. The Forester's cargo capacity with the rear seats folded is an impressive and inviting (for pets) 68 cubic feet. The floor, at just over 27 inches off the ground, also is lower than many sports utility vehicles making it easier for many dogs to get in and out. There are ample tie-down points to secure a kennel.
Hyundai Santa Fe – This SUV features a nicely finished interior, a choice of new engines for 2010 and competence both on and off road. The third row seat option is no longer available, but the cargo space is good for even some larger breed dogs. Buyers will find that both Hyundai and aftermarket suppliers offer many accessories to make rides with the family pet easier and more comfortable. These range from sturdy rubber mats for the cargo area to beds and pet dividers that will keep the dog in place. As an added the bonus, the ride and handling should be agreeable to both people and their canine passengers.

Kids, Dogs & Everything Else
Honda Element – Originally designed for males in their late teens and early 20s, the Element seems ready to handle anything. The interior features surfaces and upholstery that can be hosed out, if necessary. The clamshell side doors also can make getting pets in and out easier. The Element offers a pet lovers' accessory group that includes a ramp, which is ideal for helping older dogs get in and out, second row seat covers that are even easier to clean than the standard upholstery and a soft-sided kennel that can be secured to the vehicle. It features a spill-resistant water dish and an electric ventilating fan. Debits include a busy, choppy ride and higher than average noise levels. Handling is good, however, and the utility factor, including the height of the cargo area, makes this relatively small car suitable for larger breeds, even those dogs that like to get muddy while romping in the wild.
Toyota Venza – Somewhere on the team that developed the Venza is at least one pet lover. Consider the long list of pet accessories that Toyota offers for this cross between a station wagon and a crossover utility vehicle. Among the items are a ramp to ease getting in and out through the rear tailgate, waterproof seat covers, an adjustable harness/booster seat pet restraint system, an adjustable pet barrier and a dog tether to keep canines from jumping into the passenger area.
For the driver, Toyota offers a choice of V-6 or 4-cylinder power and front- or all-wheel drive. Handling is predictable and cruising is quiet, though the ride can turn busy in the V-6 model with its 20-inch tires. Also, styling takes a toll on rear visibility. A backup camera is available and recommended.

Efficient and Fun
Mazda3 5-Door: Among compacts, the Mazda3 is a standout. Handling is sharp, the ride is very good and the interior, if on the small side, is very nicely done. The hatchback is exceptionally flexible, though its suitability for larger breeds is in doubt. Still, the wide opening rear doors, tailgate and robust interior makes this yet another vehicle that would be attractive to many pet owners. These buyers, however, will have to go to aftermarket suppliers for many pet accessories. Fortunately, there they will find a wide range of mats and kennels that both fit and enhance the Mazda3's utility. The 2.0-liter engine is peppy and the 2.5-liter engine is even more powerful. The Mazdaspeed3, with its turbocharged motor, could well be a match for the fastest hound around, though the ride in this performance version is abrupt and noise levels are higher than average.
Mini Clubman – Consider this the Maxi of Minis, at least until the Countryman arrives. The longer body structure, foldable rear seat and rear barn doors all contribute to making it easy to get even a larger breed in and out of the vehicle. And once in, dogs will find more than 33 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded. Most kennels will fit with ease and, once in, can be secured using the factory-installed tie-down points. As for the driver, this maxi Mini is great fun to drive. Its handling is crisp and immediate, acceleration is brisk and braking secure.

 Ford Escape Hybrid – The large and squared-off SUV cargo area is perfect for dogs of nearly all sizes, while the hybrid drivetrain delivers fuel efficiency that few SUVs are able to approach. Ford actually promotes the cargo area as being ideal for "…a big, wet dog…" and offer photographic evidence that even the largest canines fit here comfortably. The company goes on to note that the hybrid's battery pack is completely sealed, so there is no need to worry about wet pets or wet cargo causing a problem. Accessories are available from many sources, including Ford. Floor mats and a pet divider head the list of items that make the Escape more "pet friendly." The ride is a little choppy but, for overall practicality, the Escape Hybrid is hard to beat.

Kia Soul – It's roomier than its exterior dimensions suggest, which makes the Soul a good choice for transporting smaller and mid-size breeds. Aftermarket accessories to make the trip easier on both the pet and its owner are also easily acquired. These include thick, heavy-duty mats and pet-resistant seat covers. Some owners also have gone for vehicle-specific pet cages and dividers, often imported from Europe. The ride is decidedly firm, but the handling is good and the engine is both reasonably responsive and economical. Noise levels are higher than average, but the larger than expected windows make for a good view to the sides.
Nissan Cube – This vehicle casts a small shadow at noon, but its height and boxy design more than compensate. The interior is surprisingly roomy and should be good, with the back seats down, for even larger breeds. Note, however, that when folded, the rear seat does not form a flat load floor, so owner supplied padding to level the cargo area would probably be necessary. Buyers will find many aftermarket accessories that can be used to enhance this car's utility as a pet hauler. These range from cargo area mats to hair-shedding seat covers. As you would expect from an entry level vehicle, the ride and handling won't equal true sports and luxury cars but, its ride is comfortable and secure.

As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 51 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Subaru Owners Generate Nearly $15 Million for Nonprofits

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru of America, Inc. today announced that with the help of new Subaru owners, the company generated $5 million for charities across the country during its third annual "Share the Love" event.

Subaru is donating $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased (up to a maximum of $5 million) from November 20, 2010 through January 3, 2011.  Customers who purchased or leased during this time determined how the charitable gifts would be invested by designating one of five nonprofit organizations ranging from animal cruelty prevention to youth mentoring to environmental protection:
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Meals On Wheels Association of America
  • Ocean Conservancy
The Share the Love event has generated nearly $15 million in donations over three years for the company, which celebrated record sales in 2010 and is continuing the trend in 2011. "We are proud to have once again maximized our budget for the event," said Tim Mahoney, senior vice president and CMO, Subaru of America, Inc.  "We are excited to continue a program that engages our customers in giving back to the community." 

About the Charities

For more than 143 years, the ASPCA has been dedicated to helping animals live better lives, whether it's rescuing animals from abuse, introducing and enforcing more humane legislation, sharing resources with shelters or making advances in veterinary medicine.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters
For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life.  Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are in single-parent and low-income families or households where a parent is incarcerated.  As the nation's largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers ("Bigs") and children ("Littles"), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country.

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization that welcomes to its work all people, regardless of religion, race or ethnicity, to build simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with those who lack adequate shelter.  Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built or rehabilitated more than 350,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 1.75 million people in nearly 90 countries around the world.

About Meals on Wheels Association of America
Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) works every day with thousands of local Meals On Wheels programs and hundreds of thousands of volunteers who all share in the mission to end senior hunger. The organization provides the tools and information its programs need to make a difference in the lives of others. It also gives cash grants to local senior meal programs throughout the country to assist in providing meals and other nutrition services.

About Ocean Conservancy
Since 1972, Ocean Conservancy has promoted healthy oceans by informing, inspiring, and empowering people to speak and act on behalf of the ocean. Many people don't know that the ocean is the source of much of the food, water, and oxygen we need to live—it's the life support system for our planet.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of approximately 600 dealers across the United States.  Subaru boasts the most fuel efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards.  All Subaru products are manufactured in zero- landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Subaru Competition Winner Collects His Subaru WRX STI...

Subaru UK, in conjunction with PistonHeads, has given away a brand-new four-door Subaru WRX STI as part of an attention-grabbing online competition.
2011 Subaru WRX STI
rants were invited to submit a written article detailing the vehicles that would make up their 'Dream Garage'. The judges were looking for passion and knowledge, as well as interesting photography. A 30-word explanation as to why they wanted to win the Subaru WRX STI was also required.
The winning entry came from 41-year-old Project Manager, Rob Ellis, from Oxford. He said: "I absolutely love it to bits - what a driver's car! The short-throw gearbox, the seats; it's just fantastic. I've got two young children, so the practicality of the four-door is very welcome, but the car still looks great and I can utilise the performance when the chance presents itself. I'd like to thank Subaru UK and PistonHeads for this superb prize."
He collected his new pride and joy from Cross Roads Subaru in Shipston-on-Stour. The keys were handed over by UK Marketing Director, Kenyon Neads, and General Manager of Cross Roads, Ben Shimmin.
Neads commented: "Rob's submission was chosen due to his sheer passion for all things automotive, including Subaru. It stood head and shoulders above the rest with insightful, well-rounded observations about his current and dream cars supported by stunning photography. Well done Rob."

Subaru Offers its Low Auto Loan Rates and Lease Deals Again in February

North End Subaru is once again featuring low auto loan rates on new and certified pre-owned vehicles and discounted lease deals through the month of February.
2011 Subaru Forester

North End Subaru is continuing to offer its 1.9 percent auto loan rate incentive on all six of its 2011 Subaru models for qualified buyers. Subaru says on its site that the length of the auto loan is limited, and there is no down payment required to receive the discounted car loan rate.

Now's the time to take advantage of the historic President's Day sales pricing AND get 1.9 percent financing.