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Old 08-15-2014, 11:42 AM   #1
dennisd
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Default Will Subaru ever use quality plastics?

Ok, this is my second Subaru, and I'm still happy, but today I really looked under my bumpers of my 2 year old WRX with 21K miles. All 4 corners are flexing, there are many cracks from winter snow and the CHEAP plastic screws are stripped or cracking. The quality of the external (not even going to comment on internal) plastic components is PATHETIC and the bracing even worse. This is a rally car? I'd be afraid of hitting a weed at 10mph! Please don't tell me it's a weight thing, it's a quality thing, I've seen better quality plastics in kiddie toys. Is this just with the WRX? I don't remember my outback bumpers, and haven't check any other models. Maybe I'm used to Hondas (ok..ok ) but really, why isn't anyone critical of these issues here?
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
Jason2015wrx
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I think its a weight thing LOL.. or a cost thing
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
totallynotbeau
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No, they will not.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:03 PM   #4
iHaveTremors
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1. It's not a rally car.
2. GR's are notorious for having bumpers held on by hopes and dreams.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:05 PM   #5
Ruzty1311
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Most of the plastic (fender liners, undertray, etc.) is gone on my '12 wrx haha I don't even live anywhere harsh weather wise and somehow my right fender liner managed to completely come apart and I had to cut almost all of it away (stock susp.) I already removed the entire undertray because the clips towards the middle of the car broke off and now I have more plastic on the LEFT side coming apart so I need to cut away some of the fender liner on that side too haha!!! Oh well....gotta learn to live with it I guess
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:06 PM   #6
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It has to be a cost thing. I'm sure Subaru knows that if they increased the quality of their products either a) they would have to raise the price of the car which would equal a potential drop in sales, or b) CEO's other executives and it's employees would have to take a hit in pay.

I'd be curious to know what Subaru's profit margin is from sales of the WRX.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:13 PM   #7
cenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
Ok, this is my second Subaru, and I'm still happy,... This is a rally car? I'd be afraid of hitting a weed at 10mph!
Subaru already got you twice with their "rally" inspired marketing. They are the happy ones. CEO is doing this --->
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:17 PM   #8
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They will probably decrease the quality. Each year the MPG requirements go up. It's cheaper to make a cheap version of plastic than completely design an engine so it's lighter and puts out the same power/fuel economy/etc.

Good parts = High price
Good parts = heavy
Heavy = bad fuel economy
heavy = need more power = bad fuel economy

Basically weight changes everything. You need more power, better brakes, wider tires, better suspension, etc. Where as if you reduce weight all of those categories improve. As mentioned above, the plastics are the cheapest way to reduce weight.
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
Ok, this is my second Subaru, and I'm still happy, but today I really looked under my bumpers of my 2 year old WRX with 21K miles. All 4 corners are flexing, there are many cracks from winter snow and the CHEAP plastic screws are stripped or cracking.(Winters will do that.) The quality of the external (not even going to comment on internal) plastic components is PATHETIC and the bracing even worse. This is a rally car? (No, not even close.) I'd be afraid of hitting a weed at 10mph! (Don't hit things.) Please don't tell me it's a weight thing, (It is, but you don't want to hear that, apparently.) it's a quality thing, I've seen better quality plastics in kiddie toys. (Kiddie toys don't have to meet CAFE standards. Besides, a plastic kiddie toy has to use the plastic structure in such a manner that the kiddies don't get hurt. Your car is designed to absorb impact in a collision so you don't get hurt.)Is this just with the WRX? (No.) I don't remember my outback bumpers, and haven't check any other models. Maybe I'm used to Hondas (ok..ok ) but really, why isn't anyone critical of these issues here? (We don't have to be. We have you.)
Does that sum things up?
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:14 PM   #10
MaddMax
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I don't find the plastics (inside or out) to be any worse than those that were on my 2003 G35 and that was an entry level sport/luxury car. I've had my 2012 WRX for 2.5 years now and there isn't a single stratch on the interior panels and that's with routinely transporting a 5 and 9 y/o in the back. I do wish there were more soft touch materials; however, the quality of the plastic inself is fine, especially considering it's Subaru's entry level car.

I have spent quite some time over the past year pulling all the door panels off, the glove box, the A-pillars covers, all hatch panels, portions of the hatchback rear interior side panels, outside portions of the headliner, all panels covering the middle rail between the doors, and the trunk floor area and inserting felt tape in many places to reduce the plastic on plastic and plastic on metal contact that causes all the rattles. I've curse Subaru's engineers for their shoddy work when it comes to this. My WRX is now tighter (rattle wise) than any car I've ever owned and it's riding on a stiff GTWorx Bilstein/RCE Black suspension and 18s with low profile rubber. It sounds like a lot of work to pull all those panels, but really, I could have all those panels out or unattached within 3 hours. It's like Legos.

As for the bumper cover, I've bottomed it out on a really steep driveway twice, but that's it and no damage occured. It's been through two snowy winters and no issues. You just have to have an awareness that this car has quite the overbite. Is the front cover flimsy? Sure, but most cars have flimsy bumper covers and most all of them won't take impact well.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:13 PM   #11
dennisd
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Obvious some of you never had Honda or Toyota.. My son's old 1998 Accord didn't have plastic parts held on with double stick tape (not the lettering mind you)
My 1993 NSX has gone thru more New England winters than my 2 year old WRX. I'm not going to compare the two but it's pathetic how easily the plastic tears and cracks.
It's just I hear that commercial about how a Subaru lasts, likes it's built like an old Volvo. I'm just stating a fact with the hopes that someone from Subaru reads these.
MaddMax, I think you hit it on the head. It is a glorified Impreza model after all. It still shouldn't be this poor. My door handles are scratched just from my watch rubbing, that's pathetic and poor choice of materials. Period.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:56 AM   #12
heavyD
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The bumper covers are of the thinnest, weakest plastic I have ever seen in a car. You can pretty well collapse the plastic inwards just applying medium pressure when polishing your car. IMO it's a combination of cost and weight. Subaru for the most part has managed to keep the weight of their AWD cars competitive with it's FWD competition. That said you can definitely tell where they cut the corners to keep weight down as the paint and plastics are very thin and the doors feel like they made of paper.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
Obvious some of you never had Honda or Toyota.. My son's old 1998 Accord didn't have plastic parts held on with double stick tape (not the lettering mind you)
My 1993 NSX has gone thru more New England winters than my 2 year old WRX. I'm not going to compare the two but it's pathetic how easily the plastic tears and cracks.
It's just I hear that commercial about how a Subaru lasts, likes it's built like an old Volvo. I'm just stating a fact with the hopes that someone from Subaru reads these.
MaddMax, I think you hit it on the head. It is a glorified Impreza model after all. It still shouldn't be this poor. My door handles are scratched just from my watch rubbing, that's pathetic and poor choice of materials. Period.
You really need to check out other modern cars. I have a semi-unique opportunity to see the under workings of many different types of cars. And from Subarus to Mercedes, the outer parts of the car are not too much different.

As for Subaru's "lasting", you truly don't understand that if you are complaining about cracking plastic.

And yes, we have to compare something like an NSX(an $80K built by a luxury brand) built 20 years ago versus a car built in todays market with the requirements set upon it.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
Obvious some of you never had Honda or Toyota.. My son's old 1998 Accord didn't have plastic parts held on with double stick tape (not the lettering mind you)
My 1993 NSX has gone thru more New England winters than my 2 year old WRX. I'm not going to compare the two but it's pathetic how easily the plastic tears and cracks.
It's just I hear that commercial about how a Subaru lasts, likes it's built like an old Volvo. I'm just stating a fact with the hopes that someone from Subaru reads these.
MaddMax, I think you hit it on the head. It is a glorified Impreza model after all. It still shouldn't be this poor. My door handles are scratched just from my watch rubbing, that's pathetic and poor choice of materials. Period.
You should of seen the bumpers and fenders on my '66 Chevy II Nova SS.... See where I went with this? Sure the cars are getting less rugged as times change. Treat them accordingly if you care to keep them looking good.
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Old 08-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #15
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
Obvious some of you never had Honda or Toyota.. My son's old 1998 Accord didn't have plastic parts held on with double stick tape (not the lettering mind you)
My 1993 NSX has gone thru more New England winters than my 2 year old WRX. I'm not going to compare the two but it's pathetic how easily the plastic tears and cracks.
It's just I hear that commercial about how a Subaru lasts, likes it's built like an old Volvo. I'm just stating a fact with the hopes that someone from Subaru reads these.
MaddMax, I think you hit it on the head. It is a glorified Impreza model after all. It still shouldn't be this poor. My door handles are scratched just from my watch rubbing, that's pathetic and poor choice of materials. Period.
OK, let me ask you this, did your Honda or Toyota come with a turbocharged motor and one of the best AWD drivetrains on the market with a starting pricing point of an entry level Camry or Accord of the same year? I've owned Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, and Infinitis. I'm know all about the "quality" of those cars. In general, they are really good. My Subaru's (3 now) have been just as reliable.

I knew going in that the Impreza was Subaru's entry level car and I knew that it was going to be built with entry level materials, some of which were worse than what you might get from it's other competitors. However, the WRX has far more performance features and an AWD drivetrain that the competition does not. None of the competition comes close to the overall performance of the WRX. There's no such thing as a free lunch.

I didn't buy an STI mostly because I felt that the $7,000+ premium over my WRX Limited would have left me disappointed in the build quality. I paid $28,200 for my loaded Limited and felt that what I got for the money was reasonable. $35-38K for the STI was a bit much for what you were getting. The new WRX is a bargain as well, but a bit more expensive (same car is now about $1,000 more on average).

Last edited by MaddMax; 08-16-2014 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:01 PM   #16
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
The bumper covers are of the thinnest, weakest plastic I have ever seen in a car. You can pretty well collapse the plastic inwards just applying medium pressure when polishing your car. IMO it's a combination of cost and weight. Subaru for the most part has managed to keep the weight of their AWD cars competitive with it's FWD competition. That said you can definitely tell where they cut the corners to keep weight down as the paint and plastics are very thin and the doors feel like they made of paper.
I could "collapse" the plastic on my G35 and Maxima bumper covers. I'm not sure what this proves. It's a big piece of plastic.

The door skins on the WRX/Impreza are thin, but most door skins are especially on later model cars. It is a matter of weight savings and preserving cost especially in an entry level car. A GR/GV WRX weighs around 3,200lbs. That's damn light for a car of this size, it's AWD drivetrain, and it's excellent crash worthiness.

Would I like my WRX to be like a vault and crafted like an Audi or some other twice as expensive German make? Hell yeah, but I'm also a realist. I've spent many hours yanking panels to quell rattles with felt tape. The car is very vault like now, even on a very stiff GTWorx suspension. I'm happy with it.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:10 PM   #17
BlackDahliaInFlames
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WRX is like a souped up AWD Kia. That is why.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:25 PM   #18
thill
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I paid $26K for my brand new car. Let's think about what you get for $26K. One of the best AWD systems on the market. A modern twin scroll turbo engine that puts out very respectable hp and torque while also getting near or exceeding 30mpg on the highway. I can get a manual transmission (not many sedans have this as an option anymore). Very good handling for a sedan in this price range. Modern interior with digital gauges, bluetooth, etc. Comfortable seats. Plenty of legroom for adults in the back and front. Modest trunk size. One of the safest cars on the road.

If you look at the overall performance and features and price and then factor in resale value there are few cars out there that can even come close to touching this in the price range. Actually there are no cars. So I really can't fault for Subaru to cut some corners. The car was made in Japan. Now if I paid $34-40K? Yeah, I would expect better.
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Old 08-16-2014, 03:15 PM   #19
insistent
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Hopefully
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