Like others in our field, we pride ourselves on being able to offer our readers a surprisingly comprehensive assessment of a vehicle after only driving it for a few hours (as at an automaker's first-drive event) or living with it for several days (as with a normal media vehicle loan). But even though we've got our testing methodology down, there's simply no way to learn what it's like to live with an automobile without... well... living with the automobile.
Simply put, a year's worth of the day-in, day-out grind is likely to reveal more foibles and hidden charms than any number of test-drives could ever hope to expose. How does your backside feel after an 800-mile road trip? Does the clutch pedal feel like stirring molasses in subzero temperatures? How will the seat leather and interior plastics hold up over thousands of miles? Will the gearshift feel like a trusted old friend mile-after-mile? These are questions that can only be answered with a long-term driving experience.
To that end, we're pleased to introduce the first-ever entry into the Autoblog Long-Term Garage: The 2010 Subaru 2.5GT. We fell in love with this, the most sporting of Legacy models during its Vancouver launch over the summer, but the popularity of the model and its production-line companion, the Outback, has been so great that it's been impossible to secure a 2.5GT up until now. Subaru's Indiana plant has been so busy building the necessary volumes of the brand's bread-and-butter models that production of the 2.5GT – an enthusiast's sedan, when compared to its counterparts – has only recently started to come on-stream.
We suspect our loaded-up Ruby Red Pearl Limited model has been worth the wait, but we're prepared to take a year to come to grips with our final judgment. How will we feel about this rally-bred all-wheel-drive sport sedan after 365 days of everything from daily commuting to opposite-lock dancing on abandoned fire trails? Will its assertive flat-four thrum and newfound size win over converts – or leave us wishing we had picked a more obvious, safe-as-houses alternative?
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