Eight years ago I bought my first Subaru. Prior to that I drove two different Front Wheel Drive vehicles through our Canadian winters and well, it was alright. The first was a Pontiac Bonneville that got stuck everywhere but it was cheap and hilarious, but one winter was more than enough time spent in that vehicle. I then had some fun in a small ’90 Celica Coupe pulling the E-brake and sliding the butt around but controlling the car once you started sliding left much to be desired. Slippery hills would also be a chore from time to time.
Then came along Subaru. The first Subaru I purchased was the best one I’ve owned, an 04 WRX. I owned that car for 4 years (longest I’ve owned one car), and I still regret selling it from time to time. If you’ve read my articles about how I became a gearhead, you’ll know this was the car that started a lot of things for me. Car clubs, modifications, road trips, traveling, etc.
After experiencing Subaru’s All Wheel Drive in the winter I was hooked. It seems these cars truly shine in those elements. They are unstoppable! It feels like they have claws when you’re climbing snowy hills in the winter. I have only ever got a Subaru stuck in the snow once: My friend had a shop at the bottom of a hill in his backyard, no road, and definitely not plowed. The snow was up to my driver’s window, and on my first attempt I got stuck. However all I had to do was back up and try a quicker run at the hill. I laughed after I did what I thought was going to be impossible.
Since my first Subaru purchase I haven’t spent a winter without one. I got close this past winter but I decided late fall that I wanted another one, and convinced myself by coming up with a few reasons why I needed one. I didn’t want my Lexus to get all salty, the ‘snow’ mode wouldn’t work because I have a check engine light, etc, etc. Molly, the last Subaru I bought (’04 Impreza Wagon) was definitely a winter beater, but actually got used throughout summers as I worked on my project car. I started the hunt for another beater, but found something twice the cost of what I was going to pay, and I just couldn’t say no to a pretty face.
Not so much a beater mentality anymore. I intend to keep Barbara clean, simple, and for the unforeseeable future. This is my fourth Subaru and actually my second Red 2000 Impreza TS I’ve owned.
So far I’ve converted four people to the Subaru Cult. Two work friends from different walks of life, an ex-girlfriend, and my mother. My mother specifically hates winter driving but this year she has raved about her car every time she goes out in the snow. I’ve even borrowed it a few times as the trunk space is much larger than Barb’s here. Just take a test drive in one in the winter and you’ll see what I’m talking about. One winter I was so cheap I ran only two winter tires on the front and still had no issues. (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU NEVER DO THIS. The AWD system will hate you, and you will be trimming years off your car’s life. But it was Molly and I was yolo-ing all over that year).