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      08-04-2019, 04:19 PM   #1
adc100
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BMW and Subaru Brand Loyalty

I owned a '78 GL wagon, a 2008, Forester and currently have a '18 Forester XT, and a a '19 Crosstrek. I am on the BMW board bc a friend was looking for a "High End" SUV. She drove them all. She would discuss them with me. And we both agreed the X3 was the one for her. In the proces I got on this forum.

Anyway on the Forester Board someone asked why Subaru had a high brand loyalty. Now I know Subaru has a great track record bc of safety and the symetrical AWD system is one of the best and can only be obtained by having a flat engine.

But that does not explain brand loyalty and It seems to me that BMW and Subaru have a large brand loyalty..Why is that?
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      08-04-2019, 07:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc100 View Post
I owned a '78 GL wagon, a 2008, Forester and currently have a '18 Forester XT, and a a '19 Crosstrek. I am on the BMW board bc a friend was looking for a "High End" SUV. She drove them all. She would discuss them with me. And we both agreed the X3 was the one for her. In the proces I got on this forum.

Anyway on the Forester Board someone asked why Subaru had a high brand loyalty. Now I know Subaru has a great track record bc of safety and the symetrical AWD system is one of the best and can only be obtained by having a flat engine.

But that does not explain brand loyalty and It seems to me that BMW and Subaru have a large brand loyalty..Why is that?
BMW has always been the “drivers” car brand, making coupes, sedans and wagons primarily in rear wheel drive that drive fantastically. In other words, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” We’ll see if the enthusiasm continues with SUVs, electrification, automatics, the new front wheel drive models, etc.
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      08-04-2019, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc100 View Post
...
... Now I know Subaru has a great track record bc of safety and the symetrical AWD system is one of the best and can only be obtained by having a flat engine.
From a strict standpoint of Subaru's explanation of what "symmetrical" means, BMW's xDrive system is also Symmetrical (except in newer X1/X2 that are FWD based off the Mini platform.) That term is pure marketing, and the claim that it is "better" because of it is pure claptrap.

Subaru has a good reputation because they're well-build, generally last a long time, have a cult following in snow states. But except for the WRX/STI are not particularly high performance (along with the BRZ).
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      08-04-2019, 08:22 PM   #4
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Being from the Pacific North West, Subaru is the the area's most common car. My wife's last few cars have been Forester's. Mainly because its a well priced car for amount of options we get in it. The main thing for me is safety. I really like that its AWD. The car features like Eye-Sight and every few years they do a remodel that even better so we end up getting a new one.
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      08-05-2019, 01:37 PM   #5
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I can't speak to Subaru, except that people in the NW seem to really like them. But the draw for BMW has always been uncompromising dedication to RWD and sporty driving when everyone else went more towards luxury.

Now that BMW is now making FWD cars such as the x1, x2, and new 1 and 2 series... I'm struggling to find a reason why I should stick around. Next gen M2/M3/M4 better offer something compelling, otherwise will probably move to Porsche or Vette. The latter is something I never thought I would say.
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      08-05-2019, 02:45 PM   #6
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Our family had 2 subies. 2005 Legacy GT for me and 2007 Forester for the wife.

2 years in I learned to hate the Legacy GT. Initially, it was quick, relatively upscale (compared to the WRX) and AWD capable. Long term it was uncomfortable on long drives (didnt' have power seats, so position was limited) and the power was unrefined and non-linear, very hard to drive smoothly. I certainly had a few issues with it while under warranty. Couldn't wait to dump it and went to a used BMW and was much happier despite being in an older car.

Wife loved the Fozzy, at 10 years she wanted a new one. Problem was, 10 years later the car hardly improved. The interior tech was meh. $35-40K for essentially the same car? No thanks.

I think subaru people are largely just lazy and are not enthusiasts(save for WRX peeps). It's just easy to buy the "same thing", it's a known entity that ticks the AWD box.
They are relatively reliable, and the boxer low CG does contribute to better driving dynamics, and they aren't super expensive, so there's that. But they are noisy, tinny and unrefined. Basic transportation; great stuff if that's all your after.

BMW is a different demographic, and it's a premium brand. Some are just tools looking for status. Others are enthusiasts after the classic transverse engine, RWD dynamics.
They do drive better than 90% of the cars on the road because (up until recently anyway) they are designed with dynamics in mind (low-ish CG, near 50-50 weight distribution). That seems to be shifting, I would think the enthusiast is starting to look elsewhere...but where to go? The whole market is getting soft, big and heavy.
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      08-05-2019, 04:50 PM   #7
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I have a friend with a '06 Forrester and a ragged out '03 E46 she bought for her kid. Last year she decided she wanted to lease a new mid-size SUV. She imediatley went with the 2018 Forester. The local dealer was giving her a crap lease on a soon to be obsoleted Forester. I suggested a Mazda CX-5. She looked at it on line, far prettier than the frumpy Forester. Then she asked why she should switch. I said "Because Mazda is the BMW of the Japanese auto manufacturers." Easiast convincing a woman I've ever experienced. She loves the thing.
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      08-05-2019, 05:07 PM   #8
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i dont agree that all BMW models are ultimate driving machines.. yes may all BMW's a bit sportier than Merc' lets say but generally without at least 6 cylinders, BMW is waste of money to run, maintain or insure.. never had a non M model BMW and not willing to buy one either.. if i cant effort in future i rather go with Golf R or something.. well balanced money to run, maintain and insure..

Quote:
Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
From a strict standpoint of Subaru's explanation of what "symmetrical" means, BMW's xDrive system is also Symmetrical (except in newer X1/X2 that are FWD based off the Mini platform.) That term is pure marketing, and the claim that it is "better" because of it is pure claptrap.

Subaru has a good reputation because they're well-build, generally last a long time, have a cult following in snow states. But except for the WRX/STI are not particularly high performance (along with the BRZ).
BMW's xDrive is not symmetrical.. never been.. its rear biased.. Subaru uses 50/50 bias.. thats why they re telling its symmetrical..
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      08-05-2019, 05:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtown View Post
r.

Wife loved the Fozzy, at 10 years she wanted a new one. Problem was, 10 years later the car hardly improved. The interior tech was meh. $35-40K for essentially the same car? No thanks. .
Well I had a 2008 Forester and then bought the 2018XT. The '18 was the last year for that run ('16, '17',18) What had changed was the size (got much bigger) The AWD system got light years better. Interior certainly can't compare to a BMW. But The XT really is a drivers car and if you get with leather not a huge difference between it and the X3. But no question the BMW feels more "solid".

Yea I guess part of the BMW thing is a drivers car with RW drive.

The '19 Forester is the new world platform but I was not interested bc it is now hugely underpowered (185 HP)..no thanks.
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      08-05-2019, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc100 View Post
I owned a '78 GL wagon, a 2008, Forester and currently have a '18 Forester XT, and a a '19 Crosstrek. I am on the BMW board bc a friend was looking for a "High End" SUV. She drove them all. She would discuss them with me. And we both agreed the X3 was the one for her. In the proces I got on this forum.

Anyway on the Forester Board someone asked why Subaru had a high brand loyalty. Now I know Subaru has a great track record bc of safety and the symetrical AWD system is one of the best and can only be obtained by having a flat engine.

But that does not explain brand loyalty and It seems to me that BMW and Subaru have a large brand loyalty..Why is that?
this is not meant with any sarcasm at all, but why have you owned so many Subarus? it seems like you would know the answer to the question better than most of us...

BMW brand loyalty i think has been there because they've had something in their DNA, no matter what product they put out. which is why you had people just buying new BMW's for decades, knowing that they'll always get that 'something'. from the way Subaru owners treat their cars, i suspect that they also have something in their DNA that keeps people coming back.

BMW doesn't really have that DNA anymore, IMO. so now many of these loyalists find themselves looking at Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Alfa Romeo and others
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      08-05-2019, 08:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
this is not meant with any sarcasm at all, but why have you owned so many Subarus? it seems like you would know the answer to the question better than most of us...
No offense taken. I guess I drive subars bc
1. For the money best AWD
2. Fanboyism-I have to admit.
3. Subaru IMHO is good value.
But again that's just me

Quote:
BMW doesn't really have that DNA anymore, IMO. so now many of these loyalists find themselves looking at Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Alfa Romeo and others
Hmmm..interesting. But again I would say...my friend drove them all except Porsh and Alfa. And in the X3 class BMW was the best-period.. If something happened to my XT, I would be all over the X3.
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      08-05-2019, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yco View Post
...
BMW's xDrive is not symmetrical.. never been.. its rear biased.. Subaru uses 50/50 bias.. thats why they re telling its symmetrical..
That's not the basis that Subaru talks about in their marketing explanations. And 50/50 bias doesn't matter either, in the context of "symmetrical".
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      08-06-2019, 08:03 AM   #13
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I started BMW with the E90. A 2006 then 2009. In 2014 I jumped brands and bought a 2015 Subaru Legacy. In 2018 I went back to BMW and will probably stay here. If I think I need an SUV then I will grab a Subaru but if not, my next cars will be a M340i xDrive for daily driver and a C8 Corvette convertible for fun car.
Ok, I guess I’m lying. My plan is to give my F33 to my daughter in 3 years and buying the M340i and a Vette as retirement presents to myself.
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      08-06-2019, 08:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc100 View Post
symetrical AWD system is one of the best and can only be obtained by having a flat engine.

But that does not explain brand loyalty and It seems to me that BMW and Subaru have a large brand loyalty..Why is that?
First I had to giggle at that first line. That's just marketing hype. SAWD is just a term Subaru made up for their own cars. It's just like Mazda saying they're the only people using "Skyactive" tech. Subaru makes quality AWD cars, but it's not that special.

I think brand loyalty just gets broken down into two things: Good Quality and Good Marketing. If you buy a brand and it treats you well and still looks good to yourself and fellow consumers in future models, you're likely to buy again. People are creatures of habit and would rather stay in their comfort zone. Those habits will include features and styling from the thing they're already driving.
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      08-06-2019, 08:49 AM   #15
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My wife and I show some brand loyalty, having owned the following the last 10 years...

(new) BMW 228i
(used) BMW 328xi wagon
(used) BMW Z4M coupe
(used) Mazda Mazda3 Hatch
(new) Mazda Miata RF
(new) Scion FR-S
(new) Toyota Prius
(used) VW Golf GTI

In each case I believe we purchased the best overall car in the segment for our use-case and value $$. Frankly the interior quality, sound deadening and overall build quality feels a bit stronger in the German cars. The Scion and Toyota experienced small rattles and wear and tear as soon as 40K miles.

Certainly Subaru makes a very capable and well-optioned vehicle for the money, but I think a lot of Crosstrek/Forester buyers are not cross-shopping or really being honest about their usage. Disclaimer - we car enthusiasts are a strange bunch
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      08-06-2019, 08:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soterios View Post
I think brand loyalty just gets broken down into two things: Good Quality and Good Marketing.
I would also add a Good Dealership/Salesman. This can make all the difference in the world when it comes to repeat ownership!

I know it was a different era, but once my dad found a car salesman he liked, he bought his cars from the same guy for 20 years.
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      08-06-2019, 08:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucketfoot View Post
I would also add a Good Dealership/Salesman. This can make all the difference in the world when it comes to repeat ownership!

I know it was a different era, but once my dad found a car salesman he liked, he bought his cars from the same guy for 20 years.
Fair point. I guess dealership loyalty leads to brand loyalty for sure.

For myself, however, I've never had a 'good' experience at a dealership. I don't view them as valuable in any way. They're just an unfortunate step in the process of me getting the car that I want.
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      08-06-2019, 08:57 AM   #18
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Subaru delalerships have been pretty good, the AWD system has proven very reliable, they've worked past most of the HG issues and those that do have them are well known and relatively easy to fix due to all of the attention. The safety features are second only to volvo IMO and they have outstanding ratings on crash resistance. A few years back, there was a big deal where the jaws of life couldn't cut through the pillars because they were so strong.
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      08-06-2019, 09:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc100 View Post
Well I had a 2008 Forester and then bought the 2018XT. The '18 was the last year for that run ('16, '17',18) What had changed was the size (got much bigger) The AWD system got light years better. Interior certainly can't compare to a BMW. But The XT really is a drivers car and if you get with leather not a huge difference between it and the X3. But no question the BMW feels more "solid".

Yea I guess part of the BMW thing is a drivers car with RW drive.

The '19 Forester is the new world platform but I was not interested bc it is now hugely underpowered (185 HP)..no thanks.
The other thing that turned me off the forester is the CVT tranny. Now if wifey would have considered manual gearbox it might be different, but that's a non-starter in my house.

FWIW; she ended up with a Ford Escape Never in a million years would I have though I would EVER buy a ford, but after driving it, it's a great small suv with really good tech. Feels solid. We will see if it holds up!
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      08-06-2019, 09:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yco View Post
BMW's xDrive is not symmetrical.. never been.. its rear biased.. Subaru uses 50/50 bias.. thats why they re telling its symmetrical..
Subaru's are not necessarily 50/50 bias. It used to be 50/50 in the old days. Most models are FWD biased these days. The performance models are rear biased.
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      08-06-2019, 10:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtown View Post
The other thing that turned me off the forester is the CVT tranny. Now if wifey would have considered manual gearbox it might be different, but that's a non-starter in my house.

FWIW; she ended up with a Ford Escape Never in a million years would I have though I would EVER buy a ford, but after driving it, it's a great small suv with really good tech. Feels solid. We will see if it holds up!
The CVT thing is KILLING me. The wife wants a new Forester and the car is fantastic save that. I'm pretty confident we won't own that car to 100k though, so I'm hoping that it'll live at least long enough that we'll end up selling it before it grenades.

Many-geared autos and electric cars can't kill the CVT soon enough.
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      08-07-2019, 05:46 PM   #22
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Haven't driven a good Subie since maybe 2008? I had 3. Outback H6, STI, and a spec.B. They lost themselves in that hipster vegan image they've so carefully crafted.

Transmissions are garbage. Awd bias is fwd. Engines are fragile and underspecced. And don't get me started on how big and heavy they are now.

Gonna go Japanese? Stick to Mazda, Toyota, Honda depending on what kind of car you want.
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