Featured, Modified & Tuning

One Fast Family – 2 WRX’s, 1 Goal…Speed

Recently we had the pleasure of meeting a really cool husband and wife, both owners of new Subaru WRX. Awesome people deserve awesome rides, and this couple came to the right place. Both were very knowledgeable and knew exactly what they were looking to do and what they were hoping to achieve. New WRX, low miles, stock, looking for a little more out of their vehicle, one name came to mind…COBB. We ended up going COBB Stage II on both vehicles. Here are some photos of both cars before we started the builds.

We installed the following on BOTH of these gorgeous rides…

COBB Big SF Intake w/ Airbox
COBB Resonated J-Pipe
COBB AcessPORT (Stage II ECU Flash)
TurboXS Cat-Back Titanium Tip Exhaust System
WedsSport SA-72R Wheels
Check out the differences between the stock exhaust that comes on these cars and the aftermarket TurboXS we installed. Not only are these exhaust systems sexy, they produce a really nice sound while cutting down on in-cabin drone.

Here’s a look at the COBB Big SF Intake System that we installed on both vehicles.

And just like that, all the performance upgrades were complete. Next step was getting rid of the sunken in stock wheels that come on the new WRX. We happened to have the perfect matching set of WedsSport SA-72R in stock, it was almost meant to be! One set black and gunmetal, the other black and blue to match their cars! Check out the wheels below…

The calipers on the Gunmetal WRX were also painted in Brembo Red to give the wheels some extra pop.

Overall we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of BOTH of these awesome rides. Both husband and wife both left with a MUCH faster, and better looking car. More than deserving of their new and improved rides, enjoy guys! I will say it again, these were awesome people and look forward to seeing them back at the shop! Check out some pictures of their cars after the upgrades were completed…

If you have any questions about anything you see here or anywhere else on the blog feel free to give us a call or stop by the shop! We can be reached at (561)395-5700 or you can just stop by, we are located at 980 N Dixie Highway in Boca Raton FL. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10 A.M. until 6:30 P.M. and Saturday 12 P.M. until 4:30 P.M.

Source: Velocity Factor

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Car Culture, Featured, Modified & Tuning

5 Colors Subaru Should Add to The 2017 WRX and STI

With the next generation of Subarus slowly making their way to production, we decided to put together a list of our favorite Subaru colors and fire up the ole’ Photoshop and see what they’d look like on the new batch of cars. Here are our top 5 colors we think Subaru should add to the mix.

#5 Acadia Green. This color on the 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, aka The Unicorn, is among the rarest. It’s even on our list of the rarest Subarus ever.

#4 Plasma Green. As seen on the 2014 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. This is one of my favorite colors Subaru has come up with in recent years. On the 2016 STI, it looks even better.

#3 Tangerine Orange. This color was seen recently on the Crosstrek and WRX, but was retired with the release of the latest models.

#2 Sonic Yellow. One of the biggest fan favorites among Subaru enthusiasts was last seen in 2003.

#1 Steel Blue Mica. This color was seen on the Subaru Impreza RB5 back in 1999. When the question “Which is the best color Subaru ever made?” is asked to Subaru enthusiasts, this one is usually near the top.

From : SubieNews

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Car Culture, Car Technology, Featured, Modified & Tuning

8 Reasons Why This Subaru is The Best Performance Car Just About Anyone Can Afford

For the 14 years that the Subaru WRX has been on sale in the US, it’s succeeded as an affordable, beginner, sporty, confidence inspiring, do-everything enthusiast car. It’s also used that time to grow up a little bit.

The WRX is no longer just a car for boy-racers and rally junkies. With a starting suggested retail price of $26,595, it’s an amazing performance car at a great value.

Here are a few reasons this car is such a steal:

It handles incredibly well.

Like many other all-wheel drive cars, WRXs have always been plagued with not-so great handling. But in the current generation WRX, you’re rarely reminded of that dim past.

Thanks to a very clutch torque vectoring system that Subaru has implemented in this new generation of WRX, the car corners, very, very well. Its stiffer chassis, reworked sport suspension, and well-designed Dunlop summer performance tires also play major roles in this.

It has top-notch safety features.

Wrx GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Putting aside the WRX’s active safety and handling features that’ll keep you out of harm’s way, the cabin of the WRX is also an
incredibly safe place to be if you are in an accident.

After receiving top ratings in six different safety tests given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the WRX scored an IIHS Top Safety Pick award for 2015. Models equipped with Subaru’s accident avoidance EyeSight technology were awarded with the even higher, IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

It’s got tech!

All WRXs now come standard with Subaru’s Starlink entertainment system. Starlink uses an easy to navigate touchscreen system and is designed to pair with your iPhone or Android device to help play music through the car’s sound system without issue.

When spec’d with the EyeSight safety system, the WRX can alert the driver if he or she is drifting out of a lane. If the car senses an impending frontal collision, it can automatically apply the brakes. You don’t see the Mazda Miata or the Ford Focus RS with that kind of tech!

It has a great motor.

As it comes from the factory, the WRX uses a strong motor that allows for great performance and optimal fuel economy. 0-60 in about 5 seconds and an average fuel mileage rating of 25 MPGs was once unheard of in these cars. Now it’s the standard.

There’s tons of space.

With 37.1 inches of headroom in the backseat of the WRX, it’s a reasonably comfortable place to be. Even for taller people.

If you’re looking for more of a cargo hauler than a people mover, the rear seats also fold down to extend the cargo room in the event that the trunk’s primary 12 cubic feet of storage isn’t enough. Though for most tasks, it’s pretty much perfect.

It can be decked out with insane custom modifications. (If you’re into that sort of thing.)

Though the WRX might appear a little more family friendly and mature at first glance, if you’re into tuning or aftermarket modifications, there’s still a whole world of parts and a very welcoming enthusiast community to explore.

You’re basically driving a race car.

Since their early days in the World Rally Championship and continued through today with their involvement in Rally America, Subaru has been able to grow an impressive fan base of motorsport junkies.

For these rally fans, the top choice for a daily driver is almost always the WRX. Or if not the WRX, then its slightly more track-ready sibling the WRX STI. There’s nothing like going to a racing event in the middle of nowhere and seeing a car that resembles your own car being professionally driven in ways that are almost beyond comprehension.

It comes with friends.

Owning a WRX is like joining a secret club. When passing another WRX on the road, it’s customary to wave. From experience, I can tell you that you may get a slight tingling sensation inside each time this happens. Trust me, it’s normal. And it never gets old.

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2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru’s 2017 Forester is Still One of The Best Crossover SUVs You Can Buy

My very first car was a 1998 Subaru Forester that my brother handed down to me.

It wasn’t the sexiest car in the world, but it sure was reliable. I drove it from New York to North Carolina and back again for four years with 80,000 miles already logged, and it always got the job done.

So when the opportunity to try the newest Subaru Forester presented itself, I had to get behind the wheel and see if it still presented the same level of comfort, reliability, and driving ease as its nearly 20-year-old predecessor.

The Forester is arguably Subaru’s most important car. The crossover was Subaru’s best-selling vehicle in the US last year and still holds that title in 2016 so far.

As always with the Forester, the Subaru’s main perk is that it’s a practical and sturdy ride with all-wheel drive. But the 2017 model comes with some semi-autonomous features that take it to the next level. These kinds of steady improvements are important considering how competitive the crossover segment is, with players like the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4.

Here’s what it’s like to drive Subaru’s latest Forester:

Behold, the 2017 Subaru Forester. The car arrived on a relatively rainy weekend, but I had the chance to take it on a longer trip to Fort Lee Historic Park in New Jersey once the sun came out.

At a time when most cars are getting bigger, Subaru still has a loyal following with its small crossover.

Subaru’s Forester made its US debut in 1998 with the model pictured here. It was one of the first compact crossover SUVs to hit the market at the time. It’s actually pretty remarkable how little the size of of the compact SUV has changed, though it’s lost its original boxy shape.

For a crossover, the Subaru Forester has always offered a ton of interior space, especially in the trunk…


… And that still holds true today.

As a pleasant surprise, the 2017 Forester still comes with a beautiful, big rear window.

This is probably a strange thing to harp on, but one of my favorite features of my 1998 Forester was how much visibility it got in the rear. It had a perfect line of sight for long trips involving heavy highway maneuvering, and that feature hasn’t changed.

From a design standpoint, the 2017 Subaru Forester offers the same creature comforts that many Subaru loyalists have come to know and love, with some added improvements.


Interestingly enough, the 1998 Subaru Forester started under $20,000 for the base model. Nineteen years later, the 2017 Subaru Forester begins at $22,595 — a pretty small price increase. But the Touring Version that I drove starts at $31,295 because it’s available with features like a touchscreen infotainment system and semi-autonomous driving aids.

The original Subaru’s seats were covered in this grey-and-blue cloth material that can only be described as insanely ’90s. Because I drove the premium version of Subaru’s Forester, the seats was decked out in plush, brown leather.

Here’s another look at the backseat’s set-up.

All versions of the Forester come with a center console that offers a neat and clear app selection. There’s also a digital clock above the console that will transform to show you how much gas you have left when your car is shutting down.


Subaru’s STARLINK connected infotainment system is also standard. It’s not the most detailed map you’ll ever see, but it’s easy to see your route and the relevant information when you’re glancing down quickly while driving. It also gives solid directions. For example, it will tell you “turn at the next light” instead of tossing out a road name you may not be familiar with.

The Touring line comes with features like adaptive cruise control, an alert system that will ping you if it detects lane drift, emergency braking, blind spot detection, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. It also comes with steering responsive, LED headlights.

I appreciated how fine-tuned the Rear Cross Traffic Alert was on the Forester — it didn’t beep unless you were truly getting close to an object behind you. Subaru altered its Rear Cross Traffic Alert for this model so the colored cameras provide a longer field of vision, and it’s definitely an improvement. The camera view is crystal clear, and the different colored brackets provided accurate assessments of spacing.

I was also a big fan of the key fob that will automatically unlock the door for you when you approach the car. With keyless access you simply put the fob in the center console and push the start button to get the car going.


But the blind spot detection feature was lacking. It’s supposed to light up if a vehicle is driving in your blind spot. But I drove the car on the highway and didn’t really notice it, so it’s certainly a minimalist feature that’s easy to miss.

You can control a lot of the car’s functions using the steering wheel alone, from changing the volume to entering cruise control. There’s also paddle shifters if you want to enter manual mode. All of these controls were easy to access and adjust on the highway without spending too much time looking down.

And as a fun bonus feature, the Touring line comes with a heated steering wheel, which is the first for a Forester.

For fun, here’s a look at the original Subaru Forester center console. Feel free to revel at my cassette tape adapter hook-up. You won’t be seeing a cigarette lighter in the new model…


Overall, my experience driving the Subaru Forester was pleasant. It had great pick-up on the highway and the braking was consistently smooth.

The car offers the perfect amount of lift around the road, and it’s easy to control when changing lanes.

Its compact size and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert system made parallel parking this car a breeze.

Overall, the 2017 Subaru Forester remains a solid bang for your buck option if you’re looking for a sturdy crossover.

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Car Culture, Featured, News&Reviews

9 Reasons Why The Subaru Impreza WRX STI Is Better Than The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

For about two decades, Subaru and Mitsubishi have locked horns. And while both have built incredible rally cars for the road, the Impreza will always be king. Here’s why…

1. It was Colin McRae’s weapon of choice

Colin McRae was one of the greatest drivers to ever grace tarmac, gravel and snow in the World Rally Championship. He was a hero of mine when I was little, and now he’s inspiring a new generation as his exploits are chopped up into awesome compilations and shared on YouTube. If the Impreza was good enough for this legend, it’s good enough for me.

2. It has an iconic sound

I’m a sucker for something unique, and in that iconic rumble, caused by this Boxer engine’s
unequal length headers, the Impreza has a very individual soundtrack. When an Impreza revs its engine, even part-time petrolheads within earshot will just know that a Scooby is coming into view.

3. It’s more understated

Yeah, there’s something to be said for the crazy styling of the Evo, but I’ve always preferred the subtle approach. Sure, Imprezas are famous for wearing rather shouty rear wings, but remove that and it’ll fly under the radar. It’s got the performance, and that’s all it needs to impress.

4. It has a bonnet scoop

Okay, so I know I said I liked subtlety, but come on… selling a car from the factory with a bloody great bonnet scoop is absolutely brilliant.

5. It has a better culture surrounding it

In the UK at least, you only have to spend five minutes perusing the classifieds to see the massive gulf in price between the Impreza and Evo. As such, almost anyone can afford the Scooby, so they’re much more common and easier to modify.

Exclusivity is cool when you’ve just dropped £1m on a hypercar, but at this level it’s all about finding like-minded people to share your car with. The Impreza is rare enough to be different, without being so exclusive you never bump into other owners.

6. It has its own iconic colour scheme

Throughout the ages, petrolheads have associated cars with colours; Ferraris are red, Jaguars are British Racing Green, and Lamborghinis are yellow. If you can become associated with a colour scheme, you know you’ve made an impact, and with the Mica Blue body work/gold wheels combo, the Impreza has a suitably unique signature paint job.

7. There are loads of cool special editions

From the moment the Impreza became dominant in rally at the hands of Colin McRae, Subaru began building special editions to capitalise on that success. In the UK it kicked off with the Series Colin McRae, but there were countless specials including the RB5, P1 and R205. Perhaps the most iconic of all is the 22B (above), which was built to celebrate Subaru’s 40th anniversary and its third successive WRC title. It’s the perfect blend of super saloon practicality, aggressive stance, and blistering performance, thanks to the 280bhp 2.2-litre engine. So. Much. Want.

8. It still looks badass in hatchback form

Much was made about the WRX ditching its saloon styling (and Impreza moniker) for its third generation, however once all the drama had subsided, every rational petrolhead realised that it still looked great. It’s not as subtle as some of the earlier models, but particularly in STi guise (above), it wears its chunky bodywork well.

9. It has outlived the Evo

Mitsubishi killed off the Evo this year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be making a comeback any time soon (though there have been murmurs it could return as a hybrid, god forbid). The WRX STI is still going strong, and when we drove it last year we fell in love with its hooliganistic personality. It’s a whole lot of performance for not a huge amount of cash – sure its interior would’ve been outdated in the 90s, but who cares when you’re having so much fun?

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Car Culture, Featured, News&Reviews

9 Reasons Why The Mitsubishi Evo Is Better Than The Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The competition between the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI has been going strong since the early 90s, and recently, we’ve been adding fuel to that fire. Here is the second side to the story, and obviously the truth..

Not so long ago, CT staff writer Darren Cassey wrote something that I, and many of you disagreed with. The article was called 9 Reasons Why The Subaru Impreza WRX STI Is Better Than The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and as an Evo owner myself, I had to give my side of the story. Here are my arguments for why it’s the Evo that’s in fact the better car:

1. It’s sharper to drive

Sure, Subaru has been able to make a name for itself through Colin McRae, but he drove a heavily modified STI with all the best equipment and factory sponsorship. He probably had to replace the entire chassis and suspension to make it a frontrunner. The 2015 STI has a bit of improved steering and suspension over previous generations, but any reviews and first-hand experiences say the Evo still feels sharper and grounded while still being light.

If you buy a stock Evo, you can have the better handling without spending the extra money if you can’t afford it. It is well known that the chassis is more responsive in the Evo, and the S-AWC creates the best possible traction in all scenarios. In fact, you’ll feel more of the road, and it unknowingly makes the beginner driver improve more quickly. It’s confidence inspiring.

2. The noise is better

If you’re looking for a car that always sounds like it’s trying to clear its throat, you’ve found the right one in purchasing a STI. The reason why everyone knows when the STI is coming is because they’re searching for the car that sounds like it is, in a raspy way, rapidly misfiring.

On the other hand, is the smoother, low grumble of the Evo. Even stock these cars give you the satisfaction that you’re driving a
brilliantly quick car. If you’re looking for something that lets the neighbours know your Evo is home before they see you, there are loads of aftermarket exhausts that seal the deal without annoying the entire block; or having them look for the teenagers in a riced-out Civic.

3. It’s more understated

You can’t tell me the STI is more understated. Look at the picture. Tell me that this is not a sleeper. Go ahead, I dare you.

4. Evos have a bonnet scoop too, and it’s better

Yes, the STI has a bonnet scoop. The Evo has a bonnet scoop, too (in fact, it has two more practical vents on the hood than the STI). And it’s more streamlined. As the driver you can even see across the hood to the other side of the car – there isn’t anything there to block your view!

Plus, the Evo has functional fender vents that aid in cooling the brakes and venting air normally trapped in the wheel well, and, of course, add to the rally looks of the car.

5. Evo owners aren’t snobs

This probably depends upon the country, but certainly in the US it feels as though many STI owners around do not understand that the competition between the STI and the Evo is what makes the cars succeed; they tend to be snobby and stick to their own car club. The competitiveness, though, is what has driven the manufacturers to build the best cars possible, and what has pushed them to the top for all of these years. Owners of both brands should be, even considering brand loyalty, praising each other’s work. The Evo culture here is doing exactly that.

And, although it may surprise you, the majority of STI owners I have spoken with at car meets and competitions admit they wish they had an Evo. The Evo is STI-owner approved.

6. Who cares that the Impreza has its own colour scheme?

I will admit I grew up wanting the exact iconic colour scheme of gold rims on Subaru Blue. It is iconic – I’ll give them that. Subaru has done a great job branding using that paint arrangement. However, don’t just throw the Evo out because they don’t have an explicit colour scheme. They’ve branded themselves with their overall looks; they are not hiding behind specific colours.

The body kit on the Evo X SSS package has it all – it’s sporty, sexy, and sleek. The front lip not only is a functional aid in
aerodynamics, it gives the stock Evo the lowered aggressive look. The side skirts add width and make the body flow from front to back, and the spoiler is just big enough without being over-the-top (ahem 2015 STI ahem). The newest STI just looks like an Evo and a Civic SI made a baby.

Let us not forget about those Recaro racing seats that come with the stock Evo. Oy vey those are comfortable and snug for tight, fast cornering – even for a woman’s hips! I’ve done multiple 2500-mile road trips in those seats; I know they’re comfortable. But let’s face it, why are you buying this type of car if you aren’t going to drive hard? You don’t want the no-name plush seats with somewhat functionality, you want the racing seats.

7. No limited edition Evos = a good thing

Yes, Subaru has done well by offering Limited Edition and special occasion STIs. But who has that money to throw down for one of those? And if you can buy one, you’re going to be too afraid to drive it hard for fear of it losing value! What’s a rally car without the rally?Or, buy the Evo. No limited edition. No special authenticated plaque. If you care about a special colour scheme, have it custom done. Then take all of that extra money you didn’t spend on the Limited Edition Subaru and throw it into modding the crap out of your already awesome Evo. Then it truly is a special edition.

8. It still looks awesome in hatchback form

Just in case you haven’t stepped outside your Subaru bubble recently, Mitsubishi also has a hatchback. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing, but when it boils down to it, is Subaru making the hatchback anymore? Nope. Besides, a hatchback is for practicality. It’s said that the STI is a more practical, friendlier daily driver. That may be so, but I have two points here that may make you look twice at the Evo instead.

1) My Evo is a daily driver. It’s comfortable for long treks (see my bit about the seats prior) yet track ready when I need it to be.

2) I can fit a rear-facing car seat and a stroller in my car (yes, in the ‘small’ trunk without removing the sound system). What is more practical than a family car? If you need to haul something bigger than what can fit in the car, buy a truck.

9. The STI has outlived the Evo

We all heard the news that Mitsubishi has discontinued the Evo X. Yes that means the STI is the last one standing, but is it the best one left? Or just left? From the very beginning Mitsubishi and Subaru were battling, producing the Lancer Evolution versus the WRX STI- specific rivalry in 1993. Ever since their induction the STIs have been playing catch-up to the Evo, it’s not a secret.

Subaru producing the STI with no direct competitor is only going to increase the price of your STI while limiting the pressure on Subaru to produce a better car. I mean, c’mon, Mitsubishi didn’t stop producing the Evo because it was losing to Subaru and the STI.

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2008-, Car Technology, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru recalls 26,000 Imprezas for Backup Camera Gremlins

Sure, you may not need a backup camera, but if it’s not working when it’s supposed to, it’s still a pain.

Subaru issued a recall for 26,564 examples of the 2017 Impreza in both sedan and hatchback guise. The vehicles in question have production dates between Sept. 12, 2016 and Feb. 23, 2017.

The issue isn’t actually related to any mechanical part of the vehicle — instead, it comes from Harman’s infotainment unit, which underpins Subaru’s Starlink system. The backup camera display might not show up properly.

It could be a black screen due to a memory error during the initial boot-up, or the screen might freeze if too much is happening at the same time. Either way, when putting the car in reverse, the camera might not show up on the screen when it’s supposed to, which can technically increase the risk of an injury or collision.

After discovering reports of a blank screen when putting the car in reverse, Subaru collected failed parts and sent them back to Harman, which investigated the issue and told the automaker how to fix it. Thankfully, the fix is easy — Subaru will fix the issue with a simple software reflash, which should take about an hour at any dealership.

Subaru notified dealers of the issue on February 24, and it will eventually mail out notifications to owners via first-class mail. The schedule for owner notification has not yet been established, however.

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Car Culture, Featured, Modified & Tuning

“White Bullet” – The Fastest Subaru WRX STi In The World

What’s faster than a speeding train? More powerful than a locomotive? It could only be the fastest Subaru WRX STi in the world, known simply as “White Bullet”. Built by White Bullet Racing team out of Puerto Rico, this amazing car holds the world record for fastest six speed STi in the quarter mile, running 8.46 seconds at 165 miles per hour!

Using a sleeved 2.5 liter boxer engine, the White Bullet STi is making well over 1,000 horsepower thanks to the use of extreme boost, racing fuel, and methanol injection. The entire car has been groomed to perfect the most exhilarating launch complimented by an amazing top end that would make NASA jealous. A front mounted twin scroll Precision turbo eats enough fresh air to keep the 2000cc injector, fuel cell fed fuel system happy and without remorse. When you’re at this level of power, every pull is a roll of the dice; but this team has figured out the recipe for success!

Let’s face the facts; Subaru motors are not known for holding together at this level of performance. Every quarter mile run could be certain doom for any one of the fantastic four cylinders. But that’s not a problem for the White Bullet Racing team, as they encounter and respond with the efficiency you’d expect from a world record holding crew.

VIDEO

It’s the little things that matter in the end. Instead of using a closed block design, the team chose to completely sleeve the cylinders. Rather than running extremely high compression custom CNC made pistons, they went with 9.0:1 off the shelf aftermarket pistons and made up for the compression difference with boost. Properly tuned BC coils and a well-oiled driver to car relationship provides for seamless shifting and precise time mitigation. But overall, we all know what’s really going on here. This thing has a massive turbo!

VIDEO

Overall, the car is magnificent. It’s a testament to what hard work and dedication can produce when properly combined with the ideal machine. I enjoyed my time visiting with the White Bullet Racing team, and I’m sure you will as well. I can only tell you so much about the car, so I think it’s time you see it for yourself. Enough reading… Check out the video below and learn more directly from the crew!

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2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

Why You Should Buy the All-New 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

The perfect car for outdoor lovers just got even better.

Do you like camping, skiing, biking, and [fill in any other outdoor activity here]? Do you want a car that’s affordable and economical, but still has room for all your stuff and your dogs? Do you need a car that can handle a rough dirt road and winter weather? Do you need a car that’s as good squeezing into a tight parking spot as it is on the open road? You need Subaru’s newly updated, already-excellent Crosstrek.

Based on the new Impreza, the Crosstrek benefits from that model’s increased torsional rigidity: that stiffer body delivers an improved ride, better handling, and even reduces noise, vibration, and harshness.

The outgoing Crosstrek was already one of the safest cars on the road, but the new platform is even safer. Subaru claims the car’s ability to absorb energy in a crash is up 40 percent over its predecessor—and that’s if you actually run into something. Helping you avoid doing that is a center of gravity that’s dropped 0.2 inches (a low center of gravity is a Subaru hallmark, courtesy of its unique opposed-cylinder engines), which should provide a small handling advantage. Subaru’s EyeSight driver aid technology will also be optional: it brings automated pre-collision braking to the car.

Also aiding handling is a new method for mounting the anti-roll bar, which is said to reduce body roll by a significant 50 percent. You’ll feel that, just like you’ll feel the quicker new steering rack, which moves from a 14:1 ratio to a faster 13:1. Steering speed will be further boosted by Subaru’s confusingly titled Active Torque Vectoring system. That doesn’t actually vector any torque, but it does grab a little front brake on the inside wheel when you’re turning, making the car change direction a little quicker.

Gone is the option for a manual gearbox. All Crosstreks will now be fitted with Subaru’s excellent Continuously Variable Transmission, which shifts between seven preset ratios to mimic the feel of a traditional automatic. That change will actually benefit the Crosstrek’s ability in dirt. Subaru’s X-Mode terrain response system is fitted as standard and can be turned on at low speeds. Not only is it capable of mimicking some of the advantages of locking differentials, to maximize traction, but it also operates in low gear ratios, to mimic some of the advantages of a low-range transfer case. That means the Crosstrek will never be as good as a Jeep Wrangler off-road, but it should now stand a much lower chance of getting stuck.

The new Crosstrek retains the outgoing model’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance. That figure is identical to the Subaru Forester and Outback, but the shorter, lighter, smaller Crosstrek should benefit from sharper approach, departure, and breakover angles, again improving its ability on rough dirt roads.

Unlike the new Impreza, roof rails are standard on the Crosstrek, making it easier to carry boards, bikes, and other cargo on your roof. Engine options, and the subsequent fuel economy figures for the U.S. version of this new Crosstrek haven’t yet been released, but those rails and the increased ride height will come at the expense of miles per gallon, in comparison to the regular Impreza.

My favorite example of what makes Subarus so good is their excellent outward visibility. Not only is the company totally ignoring the current trend for very slim greenhouses and tiny windows in favor of tall, spacious, airy cabins, but the engine design, with its horizontal cylinders, also improves the center of gravity and leads to a lower hood—again maximizing your vision. Good vision equips Subaru drivers with the necessary tools to drive safer, faster, and to enjoy the view.

Weight is another thing Subaru just gets right. At an estimated 3,200 pounds, the new Crosstrek will be 300 to 400 pounds lighter than something like the Toyota RAV4. That again benefits everything from handling to braking to fuel economy to even safety.

Safe, easy to drive, extremely practical, and surprising capable, the Crosstrek is an ideal car for any driver who doesn’t need the larger interior dimensions of the Forester or Outback. Subarus aren’t the sexiest cars on the market, but what they lack in headline horsepower figures or sexy styling, they make up for with the kind of smart design features you’ll benefit from every time you drive. These are excellent, intelligently designed cars that somehow manage to be incredibly affordable. Like the outgoing model, expect this new Crosstrek to benefit from cheap lease deals.

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