2010 Subaru Legacy – Click above for high-res image gallery

Consumer downsizing is a term automakers use to describe the current trend in car buying. In the real world, it means searching for small, efficient cars to replace gas guzzling behemoths. For Subaru, this trend continues to lift sales up at a remarkable rate.

Subaru has witnessed a 40 percent sales increase from last year and reported 2010 first-quarter sales of 57,494 units, a three-month all-time sales record for Subaru. The company's recent introduction of the continuously variable transmission (CVT) has increased mileage ratings across most models and contributes to near best-in-class efficiency. The company doesn't credit all of its recent sales successes to efficiency alone, since miles per gallon can only get you so far (ba-da-bing!). Subaru executive vice president Tom Doll told Ward's Auto:
Our cars have always done well in the used market. Our cars have always done well in crash-testing. But now we're finally being recognized, and that's driving a lot of people to take a look at our products. And we've got cars with all-wheel-drive capability and outstanding fuel economy – what's not to like? And in this market today, when people are coming out of SUVs and trucks, we're filling that void.
Subaru has reported sales gains in eight of the past ten months and appears to have found that magic formula for success in a weakened economy – efficiency, safety, resale value and positive vehicle reviews. Mix all four just right, add a pinch of something special, and sales just might skyrocket.

Related Gallery2010 Subaru Legacy

[Source: Ward's Auto]