You might or might not have noticed that I am a Subaru fan boy. I have dropped little hints here and there in support of Subaru mainly due to the fact that a WRX will be in my garage before the end of the year (don't worry you will hear all about my adventures in finding one) but no matter how hard I try, no one seems to bad mouth Subarus! Its always "Oh its soo reliable" or "its been so good" (please do tell me otherwise if you have had bad experiences). However Subaru reliability has so far been just a word of mouth from lucky Subaru owners to other 'to-be Subaru owners' but now there is proof!
A survey in Germany has found Subarus are the least likely vehicles to break down. Subaru placed top, ahead of Mini, Mazda, Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi in Germany’s ADAC AutoMarxX survey, in which long-term quality was the key focus. In 2005 Subaru drivers had the lowest number of breakdowns among all brands, with an average figure of 7.12 per 1000 vehicles.
Not bad! Given that it was in Germany and Subaru is going up against the likes of BMW, Audi, Mercedes and the like! Says a lot about the Japanese brand that reinvented it self with the All Wheel Drive (AWD) Impreza and Liberty. So what about safety? Well, apart from the AWD system (more information about Subaru AWD at the end of the article), seems like the ring-shaped reinforcements around the passenger cabin of Subarus has proven it self in real life test crashes:
According to witnesses, Shona’s Impreza was hit with such force it spun full circle, was rammed into the concrete central reservation then rolled three and-a-half times, ending up on its roof. Police and Ambulance officers were amazed when they opened the driver’s door to hear Shona urging: “I can’t undo the seatbelt upside down. Can you let me out?”
I'd like to see that happen to a Toyota Yaris (or echo) or the new Holden Barina with its 2 star safety rating, I reckon the Barina would have exploded on the spot!
More on Subaru's AWD Systems:
Continuous AWD: Subaru manual transmissions use Continuous AWD, normally 50/50 front-to-back power split and use a mechanical viscous centre differential to to vary the power split when there is a loss of traction.
Variable Torque Distribution AWD (VTD). Introduced in 2001, VTD transfers powers front to back electronically. The power split is 45/55 front/rear and the rear bias is designed for a nicer, more luxury car feel as opposed to the front bias of the Active AWD system. Usually 45/55 front to back split but that varies according to wheel slippage. In 2003 VTD AWD came into use for the Outback, Liberty GT with Sport Shift automatic transmission and Impreza WRX with automatic transmission.