Adventure Subaru Follows National Trend

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Anyone in the market for a new vehicle might have noticed the Subaru Outback recently was named Motor Trend’s 2010 SUV of the Year.

Only hardcore enthusiasts, however, probably remember the fact Subaru’s Forester took the same honor in 2009. The wins mark the first time in memory the same automaker has garnered the SUV title two years in a row.

Marcus Hall, sales manager at Adventure Subaru in Fayetteville, isn’t surprised.

“The Outback kind of hits that sweet spot,” Hall said.

Hall was referencing the fact the Outback generally wins praise for its combination of a fuel efficiency, comfort and ruggedness. Motor Trend agreed.

“It boasts car-like refinement, drivability and gas mileage on the road, yet is as capable in the rough stuff as all but the most off-road focused sport utilities,” editor in chief Angus MacKenzie wrote.

Hall said the popularity of the Outback and Forester is helping Adventure enjoy a record-setting year. After selling 219 new units in 2007 and 218 last year, Adventure had moved 216 through Oct. 23 of this year. Hall expects that total to approach 260 by the end of the year.

Those numbers reflect a national trend. According to a report by Automotive News, Subaru saw a 10 percent U.S. sales gain through the first nine months of 2009, while rival manufacturers absorbed a 27 percent drop.

Hall said another factor in Adventure’s success is the fact it’s one of just two Subaru dealerships in the state and the only stand-alone dealership in the region.

“It’s a little bit of a dying breed, but we’re making it work,” Hall said.

Hall said Adventure also ranked 13th nationally last year in terms of certified, pre-owned Subarus.

Subaru is aiming to boost sales of its Legacy by changing some of its design characteristics. Hall said vehicles produced in Japan have to be retrofitted for U.S. use. The advantage of designing them for U.S. use is simple, Hall added.

“More room, but the same fuel efficiency,” he said.