Hooniverse Asks- Is Subaru the New Volvo?

Remember who it was that used to buy Volvos? Tweedy college professors and soccer moms, right? Back then Volvos were boxy and the company cultured a reputation for their products being among the industry’s safest. It was a mix of geek chic that was even parodied in film Crazy People where Volvos were touted as Boxy but Good.

And then something happened to the Swedish company. First they discovered performance, then they forgot how to make their cars efficiently boxy – including giving up on station wagons entirely – and now, while still positioning their products as safe, a recent Public Relations stunt failed to instill confidence. What are soccer moms and tenured members of institutes of higher learning to do?

Well, they could always buy a Subaru. It seems like the Japanese maker of boxer-engined all-wheel drivers has picked up the torch and is running with it. Let’s look at the facts: Subaru not only makes space-efficient wagons, they make like three of them all in about the same size and price. They also make sedans, and starting with the 2013 model year, they’ll have a pretty sweet sports coupe as well. Shades of Volvo’s ’70s line up of 140, 160 and P1800! Subaru has been advertising the company’s environmental consciousness, something important to the liberals in the teaching industry, and now they do TV ads touting how safe their cars are.

So, the question is, has Volvo lost its mojo, which was then found and usurped by Subaru? If you’re disappointed with today’s Swedish offerings, would a product from this Japanese company suffice in replacement?

Images: [NYTimes, Bebez]

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