Chris Cieslak keeps them coming, so I’ll keep posting them. This one was a bit of a shocker, as it’s easy to forget just how big Subarus have gotten and how small they started out. It’s a bit hard to imagine, but I managed to fit in one a few years back and drove it too.
Maybe this helps put the 360 further into scale. It’s tiny. And low too, at 54.3″. Length is 117.7″.
I did manage to get situated, but my knees were mighty close to the dash and steering wheel. As to the back seat, I didn’t even try.
As to the Ascent, it’s 196.8″ long and 71.6″ tall. I’m guessing I’d fit a bit better in it.
With you standing next to it really does put it into perspective. Looks like that body would fit inside a VW Beetle.
The whole car could slide underneath the Ascent’s hood!
While admittedly an extreme example, welcome to what’s wrong with the American car market anymore.
Yes, we should all go back to driving Subaru 360s.
The Ascent is the equivalent of a Ford Country Squire of its time.
BTW, just when was the American car market not “wrong”? What decade was that?
If I had to pick between a market full of 360s and a market full of Ascents, you’d better believe I’d pick the Ascents every time. And the Ascent is way too large of a vehicle for me.
How is it “wrong” for families to want a large, safe vehicle?
The 360 almost looks small enough to fit in the cargo area of the Ascent.
One day I need to look up how the 360 compares in size to my Honda Rancher ATV. It can’t be that much larger, I’m sure.
This is not about size.
It is about sustainability.
The sustainability of your family, their lives, their comforts, their needs. If you don’t have anyone in your car, then you don’t need much car. If you are a parent, you will give them the comfort, shelter, safety and conveniences of a big vehicle. For those who always think of a single person riding alone in a vehicle, please consider that we usually have more than a single person riding in a big vehicle. So take the costs and economy and impact on the environment of a larger vehicle, then divide it by the number of people riding in the vehicle. That should take the edge off your rant about big vehicles.
That big Subaru is a good vehicle that does the job it was engineered to do. That tiny Subaru is a fun death trap. Don’t tell other people to drive death traps because you think they don’t have any other responsibilities than to themselves.
Finally, the 2021 Ascent is not a 1985 Suburban. Today’s big vehicles get better gas mileage than most subcompacts from 50 years ago. My first car, an “economical” Plymouth Valiant – got 14 MPG. My daily driver today, a Crown Victoria Sport – gets 24 MPG with three kids along with me in it.
Bigger is better. The folks at Subaru agree, don’t they?
Dividing by occupancy isn’t so great. Average vehicle occupancy rates, considering how much roomier basically vehicles have gotten in the last two dozen years isn’t so impressive in the US.
(There’s a lot more data at the Natl Household Travel Survey.)
I can’t think of the Subaru 360 without this song invading my feeble mind:
Curiously, the only other song I can think of with a Subaru in it – Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” – also notes its unsuitability for said purpose…
Big, roomy cars like the Ascent, they’re no fun…
Per Blondie’s “Rapture”, if you’re a man from Mars you go out at night eatin’ cars…including a Subaru.
Yep, he eats Cadillacs.
Mercury and Subaru.
And he don’t stop…
Back is the early ‘70’s I had a summer / part time job while in college working for a car importer at the Dundalk Marine terminal in Baltimore. At that time it was the facility that handled most of the foreign car imports for the eastern U.S. I recall that in a field on a remote part of the terminal were several hundred Subaru 360’s that had been there for quite a long time, rusting away. The word was that the enterprise that imported them went bankrupt and the cars just stayed there for years while the financial matters were sorted out. One weekend we gathered them up and took them portside (chain towed mostly, as few ran), where they were loaded onto a ship and taken to some buyer in South America.
This was my first introduction to Subaru and it wasn’t a good first impression. I recall the 360 was REALLY small, much smaller that a Smart, with suicide doors. Subaru has come a long way.
That would have been one of Malcom Bricklin’s many failed auto ventures.
Never ceases to amaze me. I own a 2015 Honda Fit EX and people are always ask why did I buy such a small car. In 1973 I purchased a new Honda Civic. That car was 20 inches shorter and 1000lbs lighter. Folks don’t know what small is.
This one’s for you.
Paul – I think we’re of similar height. 35 years ago I was in England and ran across an early Mini Cooper. Utilizing all my mid-20s limberness, once I origamied into the car I was like NO WAY.
My ‘hipster’ college kid plays this song from Hobo Johnson about the CrossTrek all the time:
As a promotion, channel 13 in Los Angeles used to give a Sue-bar-ew 360 away every week in a sweepstakes.
Fountains Of Wayne have a whole song ” ’92 Subaru”.
I cannot find the picture in the mass of Picasa files, but I did a picture of a Scion Xb facing off a 1959 Cadillac. I also recall an ad showing a VW squareback next to a Mid to late ’60s Caddy. I would love to see Chris do those comparisons.
The XB facing off the Caddy is actually Paul’s own car and the picture is from the ‘59 Cadillac CC
I would love to know the golden ratio for vehicle size, weight and safety using primarily aluminium and various strength steel. Skip carbon fiber because its not easily recyclable without burning off the toxic resin to obtain the fibers themselves.
I used to drive something smaller than that tiny Subaru, a motorcycle. I used it everyday in all kinds of weather. It was my primary transportation. I actually had several different motorcycles in that ten year period. But a 750cc bike isn’t much bigger than a 350cc model! There was limited carrying capacity, but it filled my needs for quite a while. Life brings changes and I started to use cars as my primary, though I still used bikes for solo activities. I think that most people select a vehicle that has more capacity then they normally need. This gives them a lot more flexibility in dealing with differing situations. This excess capability does increase costs, but it’s a luxury that most people seem to choose.
I saw two vintage and modern Fiat 500 parked side by side one day. Definitely a huge growth spurt here…
Forgot to resize the photo to make the file size smaller…
Same with the Mini.