Subaru, Seattle’s Unofficial Car Maker!

Category: New Cars. Written by Cameron Wong 

You’ve seen them in parking lots of your local PCC, packed with two car seats on the east side, or in traffic around Safeco field after a Mariners game…the Subaru nation of Seattle.

The versatile AWD vehicle captures the essence of the northwest driver. Versatility, handling, and capacity are just some of the words that appeal to local drivers about Subaru.

“We have the perfect go anywhere vehicle,“ claims Jim Pernas, Subaru’s regional VP. “People can drive from downtown to the passes for skiing and not have to worry about it. We fit into their active lifestyles. People who buy Subaru engage in life.”

According to Pernas, Seattle is the number five Subaru market in the entire country, with three of the top 20 Subaru dealers in the nation as well (Carters, Chaplins, and Eastside).

“It’s been a top Subaru market since the mid 1990’s” he says.

But the real question is why? There are certainly more Civics and Camry’s on the road, other vehicles get better gas mileage, and the other larger automakers have a bigger selection, so why is a smaller car maker like Subaru taking such a large bite out of the Seattle pie? It could come down to individuality.

“The people in Seattle and the Northwest as a whole don’t follow the masses,” explains Pernas, who’s based in Portland. “We’re more rugged individuals, and our cars make a statement about our lives. It fits our lifestyle.”

But with a half dozen of these multi faceted vehicles to choose from, which one fits the Seattle driver best?

“The Outback is a mainstay in Seattle,” claims Jim Pernas, Subaru’s regional VP of sales and marketing. “Since the mid 1990’s the Outback just took off. From the first generation Outback till now it’s always been a mainstay in Seattle. Although the Forester is starting to outpace it.”

In fact, the sales of Forester’s in the US helped Subaru become the only major automaker to make a slight profit in 2008. While the big boys like Ford, Chevy, GM, and even Toyota have been losing billions per quarter, Subaru saw a 115% increase in Forester sales in the first month of 2009 alone. With sales numbers to prove it, maybe Seattle drivers have figured out what the rest of the country is still wondering about.

“Loyal Subaru owners feel they have the best kept secret in the car industry,” claims Pernas.

Maybe the only left to decide, is which one to buy. Outback or Forester?

Forester 2.5X Specs

  • 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed (Boxer); aluminum cylinder block and heads with forged steel cylinder liners
  • 170 hp@ 6,000 rpm
  • Automatic- Active All-Wheel Drive with electronically managed continuously variable
    hydraulic transfer clutch
  • Brakes-Power-assisted 5-wheel disc with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and 4-channel / 4-sensor ABS and Brake Assist
  • Cargo Capacity- Rear seatbacks down: 68.3 cu. ft.
  • Fuel Economy-Automatic-2.5X models: 20/26HWY

Outback 2.5i Specs

  • 170hp @ 6,000 rpm (PZEV: same)
  • Drive Train- Automatic- Electronically managed continuously variable hydraulic transfer clutch
  • Brakes- Power-assisted 4-wheel discs with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and
    4-channel / 4-sensor ABS
  • Cargo Capacity- Rear seats down: 65.4 cu. ft.
  • Fuel Economy-AWD-Automatic 2.5i 20/26 HWY

See the full specs and other models at

Outback vs Forester video feature coming soon.

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