Mon, 18/10/2010

Subaru has proved it has among the most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly 4WD/AWD vehicles in New Zealand.

When the Energywise Rally ended in Auckland yesterday, an Outback 2.0 Diesel Euro Spec. won the large lifestyle class and even bettered all the cars in the small lifestyle class.

In fact it was so efficient that it also beat all the cars in the Large Car class, including a number of 2WD vehicles, four 2WD cars in the medium class, and four cars in the compact class.

The Outback recorded a fuel consumption of 5.117 litres/100 kilometres over the four day, 1783 km route, which included main highways, rural back country roads and most provincial towns and cities between Auckland, Wellington and return.

At just over 10 cents per kilometre including road user charges, the Outback 2.0D Euro had the lowest running costs of any All-Wheel Drive vehicle in the rally.

With journalists Colin Smith, Dave Leggett and Subaru NZ's Marketing Manager Chris van Zonneveld sharing the driving, it was the most environmentally friendly 4WD, producing just 133.29 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Subaru's performance flagship, a WRX STI, won the award for the car improving its claimed fuel economy under the ADR fuel testing procedure, by the greatest margin.

Crewed by top rally driver Emma Gilmour, van Zonneveld and Donald Holder, the STI was 22.69 per cent better than its claimed economy figure, recording 8.118 litres/100 km.

And the car it kept in second place was a Legacy sedan (Liberty in Australia) with a CVT transmission, reinforcing Subaru's engineering expertise to produce fuel-efficient vehicles. Piloted by Subaru NZ's Business Development Manager Peter Douglas-Bell and his wife Rachel, the Legacy bettered its claimed economy figure by 22.08 per cent to finish runner-up.

The Legacy was the most economical petrol engine large class car in the event, returning 6.545 litre/100 km. The Legacy CVT had the lowest running costs of any petrol engine large car on the rally at under 12 cents per kilometre.

Subaru dominated the award for improving on its ADR tested economy figures, placing first, second, fourth and fifth and bettered its claimed fuel consumption across all Subaru cars entered by a staggering 18.66 percent on average. This was better than any other manufacturer at the rally, showing that Subaru has the most conservative claimed fuel economy of any manufacturer represented.

"It's a misconception that a modern Subaru is not economical," said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand.

"I guess that's understandable given our great World Rally Championship history but the Energywise Rally is far from the full throttle gravel racing of WRC.

"The Legacy and Outback produced some impressive figures, especially when you consider they weigh around 1600 kg. And the diesel Outback is definitely the right car for people with active lifestyles who cover large annual distances. It can go most places and do it frugally.

"And even if drivers don't use all the economy driving techniques, the Subaru diesels are still returning around 6 litres/100 km in everyday driving.

"Other manufacturers entered drivers of the calibre of former Formula One champion Chris Amon and former Guinness World Record Economy holder Donn Anderson, whereas, with the exception of Emma Gilmour the Subaru team was a collection of staff, friends and family."

Two years ago on the previous event, Subaru had the most economical 4WD vehicle in any class with a Legacy wagon, as well as the most frugal SUV with an Outback. Now they have done it again, confirming the marque's position as the most economical and efficient 4WD brand on the New Zealand market.

During the week drivers had to contend with gusting winds and driving sleet and hail in the South Taranaki and Wanganui area last Monday afternoon.

The rain and cold returned for the back country roads of southern Hawkes Bay and the traverse of the Napier -Taupo Rd on Wednesday.


Every Subaru sold in Australia features Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a horizontally opposed Boxer engine, standard Vehicle Dynamics Control electronic stability program, and a five-star rating for occupant safety from the independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). The result - driving confidence