We asked Alan Bethke, Vice President of Marketing for Subaru of America, for his advice on what to look for when you’re shopping for a new car.

Ask the Expert: Alan Bethke on Car Shopping
I live in a warm weather climate and it never snows so why should I consider an all-wheel drive vehicle? — Carrie Anderson, San Diego, CA Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is not just for off-road or snowy weather. It keeps you safe and secure in any weather condition. It helps to keep your vehicle planted and stable in heavy rain, making large puddles and standing water a breeze to navigate. On sunny days, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive helps maintain traction on surfaces covered in sand or loose gravel, where wheel slippage can be at its worst. All-wheel drive also adds to a vehicle’s performance in areas you may not necessarily think about–like accelerating from a stop on a busy road. In this instance, a permanent all-wheel drive system evenly distributes power and gives you the most traction possible to get where you need to go. When paired with efficient transmissions, like our Lineartronic CVT, vehicles equipped with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive achieve as high fuel economy as most front-wheel-drive vehicles on the market today. I’m in the market for a new car but I want to make sure the car I’m buying is a safe vehicle. What is Subaru doing to make their vehicles safe? — Dan Schwartz, Creede, CO Engineering vehicles for safety is not a new concept for Subaru. For over 50 years, we have been designing vehicles with both active and passive safety systems that have allowed us to lead the way in crash survival with more IIHS Top Safety Picks than any other brand. We still believe, however, the highest award we could achieve is a driver walking away from an accident. That’s why we developed our most significant advancement in crash prevention–Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. It’s an extra set of eyes on the road and an extra foot on the brake when you need it most. When equipped with Subaru EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, Subaru Outback, Legacy and Forester models received the highest possible score in front crash prevention by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). I consider myself socially conscious and I try to purchase from companies who are likeminded. What should I look for when looking at auto brands? — James Erwine, Eugene, OR A socially conscious brand should have a history of corporate responsibility (CR).  At Subaru, our CR activities and community support includes cause marketing, like our annual “Share the Love” sales event, and philanthropic or volunteer activities supporting over 175 organizations that resonate with our owners and the causes they are passionate about.  Corporate responsibility also goes beyond a company’s social activities.  It includes how the company treats and interacts with its employees and business partners, conducting all business activities with a high degree of integrity and ethics, expecting the same degree of integrity from employees, community and business partners.  This includes partner retailers.  Core to our organization is a shared belief that love is more than just a tagline.
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