Subaru produces vehicles that excel in a variety of conditions: off-road, on the track and in everyday driving. To demonstrate the capability of its vehicles, Subaru Canada invited Canadian journalists to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Clarington, Ontario. Utilizing the driver development track, off-road coarse, and the surrounding roads, journalists tested the entire Subaru line up.
While the full line of vehicles were available to test drive, a particular focus was on the Legacy and Outback models. The Legacy, in its sixth generation has been a IIHS Top Safety Pick for 11 straight years, as well as being the 2015 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year.
For 2018, Legacy offers PZEV-rating for all 2.5 litre models, EyeSight as standard on Limited models, and the discontinuation of the manual gearbox, due to only three per cent of buyers choosing it in 2017. Exterior refinements include new front fascia with updated grille, and new LED fog lights, new halogen headlights, available LED headlights on Sport and Limited, and standard LED DRLs. The side door mirrors as well as rear bumper also get a refresh. On the inside the A/C system and panel have been improved, steering wheel has been redesigned, as well as other enhancements. Infotainment systems now offered in 6.5-inch and eight-inch screen size, with addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a graphic user interface, and improved connectivity.
Outback models see much of the same changes as Legacy. Outback has been a Top Safety Pick since 2010, and a Top Safety Pick Plus since 2013. It was also named AJAC Canadian Utility of the Year in 2010.
Subaru took three models on the off-road track created at CTMP, Outback, Crosstrek and Forester. The course put Subaru’s renowned all wheel drive system to the test and all vehicles handled the trail without issue. The Outback was the most at home in the environment, not a surprise, given its reputation.
The Crosstrek has many changes for 2018, with a new 2.0L BOXER engine offering 152 horsepower and 145 foot/pounds of torque mated to a six-speed manual or CVT transmission. Now all CVT models offer X-Mode. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is torque vectoring. Rear combination taillights are now LED. New available options are: LED headlights, power driver’s seat, eight-inch infotainment system, heated steering wheel, Harman Kardon audio system, aluminum pedals, and premium cloth seats.
Those who wanted to see what Subaru’s lineup of vehicles could do on a track were invited to test it on CTMP driver development track. Some of the vehicles available included: WRX, STI, BRZ, and Legacy. A wet skid path was also set up in the parking lot to demonstrate the vehicles handling on wet pavement. Finally, a variety of vehicles were on hand to take on the roads in and around CTMP.
If Subaru’s goal of the event was to show that it’s a car company that’s competent, capable and confident, it did so with flying colours.