I've become so distrusting of most companies (not just car companies) anymore that I doubt almost everything they say.
The latest case is Subaru. Their very, very popular Subaru Outback (which is a fancied-up Legacy wagon) will soon be classified as a truck, thanks to some legitimate engineering changes. Subaru claims the reasons for the change was market demand -- consumers wanted a truck from Subaru. So the 2005 Subaru Outback Legacy has been altered enough to be technically classified as a truck. I guess Subaru listens to their customers -- even though the new "truck" is based on a car design (the Legacy).
Or is something else at hand?
Hey, it turns out that when a vehicle is classified as a truck, it isn't under the same fuel standards. Here's a bit from the article:
"When it comes to CAFE - the EPA method of pressing automakers to make fuel-efficient vehicles - manufacturers must count their products either in a truck fleet or a car fleet.
Trucks still get a break from federal regulators. A manufacturer's fleet of light trucks must meet a 21.0 mpg average for the 2005 model year, while cars must meet a 27.5 mpg average, or face fines.
Bumping the Outback into Subaru's fledgling truck fleet will bolster the average of its car fleet, which is heavily populated with four-cylinder engine cars. Meanwhile, the new Outback gained fuel economy over its previous generation's ratings, which at 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, already were a comfortable fit."
So, I hate to think ill of Subaru but something here doesn't sit right with me. First, they take a car and make it a truck. Second, it turns out, the new truck isn't under the same fuel economy scrutiny as its cars. In any event, I'm sure it'll be a fine ca... truck. I just wonder what the true motivation was.