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Spotlight #22, Car Companies Selling Data, Semi-Annual Buying Poll

Subie Adventures Newsletter - April 2, 2024

Hey there!

Welcome to the April edition of the newsletter! Coming up:

  • Adventurer Spotlight #22

  • NY Times: Automakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behaviors With Insurance Companies

  • Semi-Annual Buying Poll

  • Subie & YOU! Podcast Monthly Rewind

🔥 Adventurer Spotlight #22 with @asha_slaw

Adventurer Spotlight 22 featuring Asha Slaw

Welcome to the Adventurer Spotlight, an interview with a member of our newsletter community about their life with their Subaru. Here, we learn more about the person behind the wheel and get inspired to embark on new adventures.

Before we get to this month’s feature, I’d like to again thank Lawrence / @wildxtrek for being in our previous Spotlight! Remember that all Spotlights are available on subieadventures.com, so if you’ve just joined recently, you can read the previous features there.

I’ve changed things up a bit and now include the full image gallery in the email version! Before today, it was only on the web site.

Now, here’s our newest!

Introduction

Hi, my name is Asha. I am a European living in New York. In 2023 I embarked on a really long solo road trip around the U.S. and drove almost 19,000 miles while car camping in my Subaru. You can find me both on Instagram @asha_slaw and YouTube @ashaslaw.

Asha sitting in the back of her Subaru Forester.

Which Subaru do you own? What do you like most about it?

I own a 2008 Subaru Forester XT Sports with manual transmission. This particular car is considered a Unicorn as apparently Subaru produced only 240 of those vehicles for the North American market in that particular year.

I absolutely love everything about it. It’s fast, it's light, it's spacious, and... it still is a stunner - I honestly think it is the prettiest Forester ever produced!

A red Subaru Forester on a dry dirt road with trees.

Why did you choose a Subaru? How many have you owned?

I like cars with soul and old Subarus definitely have it... I also own a 1996 Subaru Impreza GT wagon and 1997 Subaru Legacy RS sedan (which I inherited from my Dad), both with manual transmissions. Those cars are super reliable and really fun to drive! I dive deeper into the topic of my unconditional love for old Subarus in this drive-through video from Glacier National Park.

Have you made any modifications?

From the mechanical point of view I haven't modified anything. However, last year I removed back seats and converted my car into a proper camper. I built a sleeping platform & storage units, but didn't drill any hole in the car, utilizing only existing bolts and mounts. So when I am done with road-tripping, the car will go back to its original, almost stock form. And again - you can find a tour of my setup on my YT channel.

Dark picture of Red Subaru Forester as the light fades.

What would you like to add to your setup?

This spring I am planning to head alone all the way to Alaska, so I may be forced to get a roof rack for a full size spare tire and a jerry can.

Favorite road trip? Or favorite thing to do in your Subaru?

My last solo road trip around the U.S. was definitely the adventure of my life. In four months I visited 29 states and 8 national parks, and spent countless nights car camping under dark yet starry skies of deserts, mountains and seashores.

Asha walking towards her Forester on a dirt road in the forest.

Have a favorite picture of your car?

I don't think I have one. My car is a bit like a chameleon - the shade of red changes depending on the surroundings, so every picture is unique and special.

Red Forester parked by an old barn under vibrant sky

Where would you like to travel to next with the Subie?

As I mentioned above, I am getting ready to embark on a solo road trip from the East Coast to Alaska (and back) really soon. Being totally honest, I am both super anxious and extremely excited about this adventure... It is a really difficult and demanding trip, but it definitely will be worth it! I will be documenting everything on my channels so be sure to follow me, if you want to see whether I make it there.

Drone shot of Forester driving along highway with water to the left.

What, if anything, would you do differently, or change, about your Subie?

I feel like it's missing a 6th gear ;)

Thanks Asha! I appreciate you being in the Spotlight and sharing your Subaru story with us! 🙌 

I’m looking forward to seeing your updates as you embark on your upcoming road trip!

Be sure to follow Asha on Instagram at @asha_slaw and YouTube for more!

😮‍💨 The Gallery

Looking through windshield with road ahead and mountains in the distance
Asha walking by her Forester.
Red Forester parked along a river in a valley with a bit of snow on the ground
Red Forester parked in a gravel lot with green hills nearby.
Red Forester parked with beautiful mountains behind it.
Red Forester parked alongside road in a hilly area.

🙄 NY Times: Automakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behaviors With Insurance Companies

Image credit: DALL-E

Auto companies have been collecting and using customer and vehicle data for years now. As our cars have become even more connected to services, more data is generated to collect, and it’s easier to do so. As you can imagine, the data they collect can be valuable and often shared with “partners.”

Last month, the New York Times ran a piece detailing how the car companies contribute to LexisNexis Telematics Exchange, which then sells the data to insurance providers.

The story mentions General Motors, Kia, Subaru, and Mitsubishi as sharing driving behavior data to varying degrees. Some GM drivers reported their insurance rates having gone up as a result.

Not long after publication, GM issued a statement that it will no longer be doing this.

What about Subaru? From the article:

Subaru shares odometer data with LexisNexis for Subaru customers who turn on Starlink and authorize that data to be shared “when shopping for auto insurance,” said a spokesman, Dominick Infante.

NY Times

It’s a good idea to be familiar with the company’s policies, which are easy to find and available on the Subaru and MySubaru websites.

You can also find them in the MySubaru app by tapping on “Menu” in the upper right of the app window. The Legal Disclaimers sections contain more information, including Terms & Conditions for MySubaru and STARLINK and options for controlling or limiting what information is shared.

📊 Semi-Annual Buying Poll

It’s time for our semi-annual buying poll! In our poll last July, the Outback came in first place. How will things shake out this time around? Please take the poll and let me know! Feel free to leave a comment about your selection as well.

Poll: Which Subaru would you buy now?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

I’ll also be running a poll on Instagram and will share the results of both polls in the next newsletter!

🎧 Subie & YOU! Podcast Monthly Rewind

Here's a recap of last month's guests on the show:

Episode 166: Subaru.Guy.11
Will joined the podcast to talk about his 2011 Impreza, about attending Subiefest California, his love for Subaru and Rally, and meeting people in the community.

Episode 165: Sherman the Forester
This episode features Brandon discussing his Forester, life in the PNW, his Subaru journey, and a bit about himself.

Episode 164: 48 Hours of Tristate The Finale
The conclusion of the Rafael’s 48 Hours of Tristate journey, including conversations and experiences during the event.

Episode 163: Circuit Demon
Jeff, the founder of Circuit Demon, shares insights about his business, its inception, challenges, and future directions.

You can subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, or listen online here. My thanks to Rafael for his ongoing support of the newsletter!

👕 Subie Adventures Merch

A variety of Subie Adventures shirts are for sale.

Warmer days are coming here in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s a great time to grab new shirts for the summer. I have a fine collection of Subie Adventures t-shirts and hoodies available for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated!

🧵 Reminder: Give me a follow over on the Threads app, and you can also find me on Facebook.

Thanks, and catch you next time!

Tom Anderson
Subie Adventures

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