Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

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TallBoy29er
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Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:39 pm

Family of four, kids ages 4 and 7. Spouse daily driver, live in a large city (Atlanta), and spouse wants maneuverability and easy to park. Daily it will be driving around all four of us due to how we carpool and drop the kids off at school and daycare. It will also be a weekend getaway vehicle for escapes and camping. For space, we have talked about resourcing either car, but especially the Crosstrek, with a rooftop box (eg Thule or Yakima). Power is not a real concern of mine (as I've heard about Crosstrek complaints).

One note: There is a bias towards the Crosstrek b/c of size and looks.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Out of scope:
Non Subarus
Other Subarus (eg Forester or Ascent)

livesoft
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by livesoft » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:43 pm

Just a note: The Subaru Outback (and probably the Crosstek) does NOT have those parking assist sensors on the front bumper. That is, you will not get any beeps as you get too close to the car/wall/structure close to the front of the car.

My other thought is just go test drive the cars yourself and do not rely on bogleheads to help you. :)
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vitaflo
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by vitaflo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:46 pm

Pretty sure you already answered your own question. If you do city driving and don't care about speed, then Crosstrek all the way. Outback is a huge car. Crosstrek is small and dog slow.

Not sure why you aren't looking at the Forester though. IMO it's the best of both worlds.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:47 pm

Yup, test driving tomorrow. The conversation has been around size. If others have had the same conversation and made a decision and have feedback, that could be useful, I suspect.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Ruprecht » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:49 pm

If by "camping" you mean tent, sleeping bags, etc., with a family of four, I can't imagine making it work with a Crosstrek. Especially once camping also includes bikes or kayak, etc.

We have an Outback and love it. Would never consider Crosstrek - too small.

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vitaflo
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by vitaflo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:06 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:47 pm
Yup, test driving tomorrow. The conversation has been around size. If others have had the same conversation and made a decision and have feedback, that could be useful, I suspect.
I had (somewhat) similar requirements as you. Needed to handle my city driving (and parking) and be a good cruiser for outings camping, etc. Tested the Crosstrek, Outback and Forester. Here's what I thought about each:

Crosstrek: Really slow and (strangely) loud. A size I could see myself driving in the city without problems. More room than I thought there would be, but it's really just an Impreza on stilts.

Outback: Huge. Way more comfortable than the Crosstrek (with price to match). No way I could drive it in the city, I'd feel like I was driving a hearse. If I needed to do a 3 week outing across the country, would prefer the Outback.

Forester: Amazing visibility. Slots between Crosstrek and Outback in size. Higher ride height with huge windows lets you see a lot of the road around you. XT version is pretty dang quick. Would have no problems daily driving or going on long outings with it.

Honestly I think the Forester is the best vehicle Subaru makes, especially the XT version (which is sadly going away next year).

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by mortfree » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:18 pm

How long will you keep this vehicle?

Before you know it your kids will be teenagers and will they sit comfortably in the back seat. (Given your username)

You should definitely sit in the backseat when you check out the vehicle..

Do these vehicles come in AWD and FWD? Just wondering since you probably don’t need AWD.

Edit: there was some sarcasm to the AWD vs FWD given that OP lives in the south. Also a little uncertainty since I do not own a Subaru.
Last edited by mortfree on Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vitaflo
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by vitaflo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:25 pm

mortfree wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:18 pm
Do these vehicles come in AWD and FWD? Just wondering since you probably don’t need AWD.
All Subaru's (sans the BRZ) are symmetrical AWD. It's why people buy them.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by mortfree » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:26 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:25 pm
mortfree wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:18 pm
Do these vehicles come in AWD and FWD? Just wondering since you probably don’t need AWD.
All Subaru's (sans the BRZ) are symmetrical AWD. It's why people buy them.
Thanks. I have only done limited research on Subaru’s and didn’t recall seeing the two models in FWD.

inbox788
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by inbox788 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:28 pm

vitaflo wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:06 pm
Crosstrek: Really slow and (strangely) loud. A size I could see myself driving in the city without problems. More room than I thought there would be, but it's really just an Impreza on stilts.
Since someone asked why not Forester, I'll ask why not Impreza? Spacewise inside, they're not different. You're only getting cosmetic changes and a higher ride with the Crosstrek and paying a few $K extra for it. The Impreza is better because it's a little more stable lower down and if you put stuff on the roof, easier to reach. With the needs you described, I would choose in order: Impreza, Crosstrek, Forester, then Outback, even though I like the Outback the most myself.

chw
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by chw » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:32 pm

Outback owner here... only thing to affirm (from what has been said) is that parking could be tricky in the city, as the Outback has a fairly long wheel base. That being said, I don't personally have an issue parking it in the city (especially with the back up camera), but if the Crosstrek is being considered, it may be easier for your wife to manuver into tight parking spots. As others have said- test driving each should give you an idea what works best for your. Love the Outback by the way...

researcher
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by researcher » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:35 pm

How long until the first minivan recommendation? :)

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by mortfree » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:47 pm

researcher wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:35 pm
How long until the first minivan recommendation? :)
His mind is already made up.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:50 pm

These are hugely different vehicles. We have a crosstrek and a 17 Legacy and have had 3 Outbacks. The outback is even bigger than the Legacy and we specifically bought the Legacy for its room and comfort. The Crosstrek (or an Impreza...mostly the same vehicle) are much smaller, so easier to park and fit into small spaces.

Go drive them both. It won't be difficult to choose, I think.

Subaru does not sell any FWD cars in the US, currently. That went away, what? 15 years ago? 20?
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livesoft
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by livesoft » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:05 pm

I bought an Outback partially because it was smaller than any car I've had since 2002.
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cheezit
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by cheezit » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:07 pm

We've got a 2018 Crosstrek along with our minivan. Very easy to park, excellent visibility, it corners much better than it has any right to given its ground clearance, the latch points and top tethers are very well placed and easier to use than those on our Sienna, and I get much-better-than-EPA fuel economy. Mounts for everything you can think of are widely available, and I see plenty of them in use on the road. The downside is that the engine has little low-end torque, a common limitation of small-displacement naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engines. I drive stick (part of the reason I picked the Crosstrek) so this doesn't bother me. I also test drove the CVT version and found the acceleration fine merging onto I-95. Be aware that if the possibility of growing from a family of four to a family of five exists in the near future, you will not fit three kids if two are in car seats - this also goes for the Forester IMO; not sure about the Outback since I've never been in one of the current generation.

The stock Yokohoma Geolandar G91F tires on most trim levels for both the Crosstrek and the Forester are pretty lousy in every regard except for rolling resistance (which is surprising, since the Geolandar G55 is a good tire). I'm probably going to replace mine at 30k miles.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by livesoft » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:42 pm

Outback with CVT has paddle shifters, so one can "manually" shift even with the automatic transmission. Don't like the gear that the transmission has for you, then shift up or down. I would even guess that on a test drive, this may not be demonstrated to you nor the reasons why you might want to do it. The Subaru employee that took me for test drive, said, "Now let's take this baby for a spin."
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researcher
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by researcher » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:46 pm

mortfree wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:47 pm
researcher wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:35 pm
How long until the first minivan recommendation? :)
His mind is already made up.
That's never stopped the minivan advocates in every other post about cars.

hmw
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by hmw » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:06 pm

Outback owner here. I haven’t found that it Is hard to park because of its size. Around where I live, everyone seems to drive something bigger than my outback.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:44 am

researcher wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:46 pm
mortfree wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:47 pm
researcher wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:35 pm
How long until the first minivan recommendation? :)
His mind is already made up.
That's never stopped the minivan advocates in every other post about cars.
If I bought a minivan, I'm not sure what DW would do to me, but it would not be good.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:46 am

mortfree wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:18 pm
How long will you keep this vehicle?

Before you know it your kids will be teenagers and will they sit comfortably in the back seat. (Given your username)

You should definitely sit in the backseat when you check out the vehicle..

Do these vehicles come in AWD and FWD? Just wondering since you probably don’t need AWD.

Edit: there was some sarcasm to the AWD vs FWD given that OP lives in the south. Also a little uncertainty since I do not own a Subaru.
Fair points w/ the info I gave. That said, we do lots of trips to the mountains, all seasons. AWD is a must for any vehicle for us. It's also useful for wet conditions.

This is a lifer vehicle, all of our vehicles sans 1 have been. Good thought on checking backseat space, thanks.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:49 am

inbox788 wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:28 pm
vitaflo wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:06 pm
Crosstrek: Really slow and (strangely) loud. A size I could see myself driving in the city without problems. More room than I thought there would be, but it's really just an Impreza on stilts.
Since someone asked why not Forester, I'll ask why not Impreza? Spacewise inside, they're not different. You're only getting cosmetic changes and a higher ride with the Crosstrek and paying a few $K extra for it. The Impreza is better because it's a little more stable lower down and if you put stuff on the roof, easier to reach. With the needs you described, I would choose in order: Impreza, Crosstrek, Forester, then Outback, even though I like the Outback the most myself.
Good thoughts w/ the info I provided. To add a bit more context, we love outdoors, and being on washed out gravel roads is not an anomaly for us. That led me to focus on the higher ground clearance models.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:01 am

Ruprecht wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:49 pm
If by "camping" you mean tent, sleeping bags, etc., with a family of four, I can't imagine making it work with a Crosstrek. Especially once camping also includes bikes or kayak, etc.

We have an Outback and love it. Would never consider Crosstrek - too small.
You are articulating my main concern. Even with a roof box, which isn't exactly convenient for loading/unloading. I'm not sure that I'm winning on this argument though. :D

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:03 am

vitaflo wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:06 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:47 pm
Yup, test driving tomorrow. The conversation has been around size. If others have had the same conversation and made a decision and have feedback, that could be useful, I suspect.
Forester: Amazing visibility. Slots between Crosstrek and Outback in size. Higher ride height with huge windows lets you see a lot of the road around you. XT version is pretty dang quick. Would have no problems daily driving or going on long outings with it.

Honestly I think the Forester is the best vehicle Subaru makes, especially the XT version (which is sadly going away next year).
You make good points. I wish the 2019's were out. I think they hit lots end of this month. It is quite honestly a look neither DW or I like, so have given almost no consideration to. That said, I am a function over form person.

cyclist
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by cyclist » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:07 am

I just helped my daughter through this process. It didn't take much test driving at all to figure things out.

The Crosstrek was cute and tiny and utterly unacceptable for her needs -- nowhere near enough cargo capacity.
The Forester was great and so was the Outback -- but the Outback was way more comfortable (seats and ride) and only a tiny bit longer.

She was concerned about parallel parking the Outback on crowded city streets... and it's utterly not a problem. She loves hers.

Roof boxes can be great, but day-to-day, easily-accessible storage is a lot more important, IMHO.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:10 am

^^ Thank you cyclist.

maroon
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by maroon » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:42 am

My goodness, just go test drive them. You don't need us. It's not like you're choosing between the Scion FR-S and the BRZ. These are two totally different vehicles. My pick is the Forester (not too small, not too long, just right) but I see you're not considering it (not sure why).

TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:45 am

^^ Less about how they drive and first impressions w/ fit, and more about getting others' experiences and learnings. Much obliged.

mmmodem
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by mmmodem » Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:48 am

We always tend to buy the smallest vehicle that meets our commuting needs. The additional expense of a larger more expensive vehicle with higher running fuels costs and higher maintenance costs just doesn't seem worth it for a few minutes of extra packing. And if it really doesn't fit, we can always rent.

Case in point, we visited the in-laws 500 miles away on a week long trip with 3 adults and 2 children in child seats with all our luggage in a small hatchback. I was laughed at by my family as I was packing for the trip and the in-laws coming home from the trip. It literally took me 15 minutes to carefully "Tetris" all our gear each way while they pointed and laughed at my frugal ways and how I should have just rented an SUV. I saved myself hundreds of $'s in renting an SUV for 30 minutes of careful packing. I get paid a lot less at work.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by DSInvestor » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:00 am

We have an 2013 Outback 2.5i Limited and we love it. No problems parallel parking in cities. Fantastic and comfortable on road trips, driving up forest service roads and camping with 2 adults riding in front, 70lb dog (softwall dog crate for dog in backseat). Our cooler fits in backseat next to dog crate, then all other gear goes in cargo area and rooftop cargo box. We have a yakima rooftop cargo box and a yakima hitch bike rack for 2 bikes. Our hitch rack folds down towards the ground to allow access to rear cargo compartment.

Note: If buying Yakima and Thule gear, be aware that many items come with locks and the keys may not be the same for each piece. Yakima has a lock core exchange program where you can send them your lock cores and they will replacement them with lock cores that match a key that you already have. This allows you to use 1 key for all of your Yakima gear. Thule may have a similar program. My wife and I have 3 cars, 2 Yakima roof racks (8 locks), 2 roof top boxes (4 locks), 2 bike racks (6 locks). It was nice to have 1 key open all of these pieces rather than dealing of 6 keys.
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by dcb » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:33 am

My two cents worth:

We have a 2017 Outback Touring and it has, for the most part, met our expectations. However, size is often in the eye of the beholder. We previously owned a GMC Envoy SUV and now find the Outback to be somewhat lacking in rear compartment storage but still workable. We waffled back and forth between the Outback and Forester before purchasing. We are glad we went with the somewhat larger Outback.

Also, the Outback is the only Subaru manufactured in the US. Soon, if not already, the tariff on the Forester will bring the MSRP up to or more than the larger and somewhat better-equipped Outback.

DCB

theplayer11
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by theplayer11 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 12:05 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:03 am
vitaflo wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:06 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:47 pm
Yup, test driving tomorrow. The conversation has been around size. If others have had the same conversation and made a decision and have feedback, that could be useful, I suspect.
Forester: Amazing visibility. Slots between Crosstrek and Outback in size. Higher ride height with huge windows lets you see a lot of the road around you. XT version is pretty dang quick. Would have no problems daily driving or going on long outings with it.

Honestly I think the Forester is the best vehicle Subaru makes, especially the XT version (which is sadly going away next year).
You make good points. I wish the 2019's were out. I think they hit lots end of this month. It is quite honestly a look neither DW or I like, so have given almost no consideration to. That said, I am a function over form person.
I'm usually function over form too, but don't settle for a vehicle you don't like the looks of...and I agree, not crazy at all about the looks of the Forester, too grandpa for my liking.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Nate79 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:50 pm

I'm surprised at those that say the Outback is "huge." We have a Forester and the Outback is only 9in longer. Both seem tiny to me but I drive a big HD truck. When I get in the Forester I can't believe how tiny it is. It parks like a dream though. The Outback is also small. I guess it all depends on your frame of reference.

The Crosstrek just looks extremely small to me and I would not want 2 kids in it.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:38 pm

dcb wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:33 am
My two cents worth:

We have a 2017 Outback Touring and it has, for the most part, met our expectations. However, size is often in the eye of the beholder. We previously owned a GMC Envoy SUV and now find the Outback to be somewhat lacking in rear compartment storage but still workable. We waffled back and forth between the Outback and Forester before purchasing. We are glad we went with the somewhat larger Outback.

Also, the Outback is the only Subaru manufactured in the US. Soon, if not already, the tariff on the Forester will bring the MSRP up to or more than the larger and somewhat better-equipped Outback.

DCB
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Morgan Dollar 1921
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Morgan Dollar 1921 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:56 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:50 pm
I'm surprised at those that say the Outback is "huge." We have a Forester and the Outback is only 9in longer. Both seem tiny to me but I drive a big HD truck. When I get in the Forester I can't believe how tiny it is. It parks like a dream though. The Outback is also small. I guess it all depends on your frame of reference.

The Crosstrek just looks extremely small to me and I would not want 2 kids in it.
Yes, the Outback is roomy and bigger compared to a Crosstrek or the Impreza I drive, but huge and hard to park, try parking a 70 Olds Delta 88.

I would think two teenagers in rear seat of a Crosstrek would be a stretch.

Crosstrek is an Impreza with more ground clearance, I love the turning radius of my Impreza, oldest daughter is an Outback owner, she loves it with EyeSight. I have not drove one.

Subaru's crush zone structure is a major factor in their safety ratings. The boxer engine low center mounting allows the powertrain to slide under the cabin, we often needed the rear trans mount it seemed like in Subaru collision repair. Seeing the results of their inherent design on passenger safety made me join my daughter in the Subaru owner ranks.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:03 pm

I have a '15 Outback (2.5 engine) and love the car but gas mileage isn't that great. I drive mostly backroads and highway and get about 24-25 mpg. So you may want to compare real world gas mileage between the two

Morgan Dollar 1921
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Morgan Dollar 1921 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:23 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:03 pm
I have a '15 Outback (2.5 engine) and love the car but gas mileage isn't that great. I drive mostly backroads and highway and get about 24-25 mpg. So you may want to compare real world gas mileage between the two
This is the one key factor I love about the 16 Impreza HB, I am running an average 36.3 MPG over 30,465 total miles tracked on Fuelly App, with best tank of 44.0 MPG & last tank was 40.0 MPG. Winter MPG drops to a range of 31.7 to 35.5. The sales guys at the dealership all want to see my latest stats when I visit for LOF's.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by stimulacra » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:37 pm

What are you guys driving now?

Rear seat legroom will probably be the tiebreaker.

Take your kids with you when you car shop, bring your child car seats and boosters with you. Have them sit behind you in the rear seats and even encourage them to kick on the back of your seat. What might be viewed as perfectly sized and tidy at first might start seeming cramp and small when growing kids are kicking on your seat during long trips. The main reason that I got a VW Passat after driving a Saab 9-2x (based on the 2nd gen Subaru Impreza wagon) for five years was that there was a huge increase in rear leg-room that became noticeable as my daughter got older.

srt7
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by srt7 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:43 pm

I would go with the Outback.
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searhapsody
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by searhapsody » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:03 pm

We looked at both in 2016 with a dog and kiddo on the way and went with the crosstrek. The outback felt too large for our daily needs and the crosstrek is cheaper and gets better gas mileage. I will say that with the infant and rear facing car seat the front passenger seat was pushed up farther than a tall person would like, but okay for me at 5'4". But your kids are older, so I don't know if that is much of a concern.

I personally couldn't stomach the length of the outback for parking in narrow garages and parallel parking, but I was coming from a much smaller vehicle and Chicago sized lots/spaces. I assume in Atlanta you have a lot more space to maneuver.

I can think of two times when I wished for more cargo room--driving back from Christmas vacation with all the toy gifts from the family and another vacation where we would have limited store access and had to pack a ton of diapers and a crib. On a regular basis though it is a non-issue.

We will likely add another child and another crosstrek in the near future. I'm sure you've read that they are releasing a PHEV version of the crosstrek later this year and I want to try to get my hands on it.

IntangibleAssets
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by IntangibleAssets » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:10 pm

My SIL has a crosstrek; we have 2 kids similar in age to yours.

If you plan to keep this car long term I would tend toward the Outback; the Crosstrek is very small and cramped, ingress and egress with kids, assume carseat for a few more years would be a PITA to me in the crosstrek, I have an older RX 330 which is roughly equivalent to a forester and even it annoys me.

rear hatch of the crosstrek can't hold as much as you'd think.

my 2cents

stoptothink
Posts: 4402
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:39 pm

mmmodem wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:48 am
We always tend to buy the smallest vehicle that meets our commuting needs. The additional expense of a larger more expensive vehicle with higher running fuels costs and higher maintenance costs just doesn't seem worth it for a few minutes of extra packing. And if it really doesn't fit, we can always rent.

Case in point, we visited the in-laws 500 miles away on a week long trip with 3 adults and 2 children in child seats with all our luggage in a small hatchback. I was laughed at by my family as I was packing for the trip and the in-laws coming home from the trip. It literally took me 15 minutes to carefully "Tetris" all our gear each way while they pointed and laughed at my frugal ways and how I should have just rented an SUV. I saved myself hundreds of $'s in renting an SUV for 30 minutes of careful packing. I get paid a lot less at work.
Yep, we just got back from a 5-day family camping trick with 3 other families. Our family of 4, tent, camping chairs, coolers full of food...everything and we had room to spare in our VW Jetta. Previously did this several times in a 3-door '09 Hyundai accent. I'll never understand what other families are commonly lugging around that we aren't or the U.S. fascination with really physically large vehicles, but people like you and I are outliers. Ironically, one of the families we went camping with (family of 4 as well) has an Outback with a roof rack and they kept talking about how difficult it was to get everything to fit.

I have siblings with both a Crosstrek and an Outback, and have driven both. Not that it means much, but my sisters Crosstrek is an absolute dog and I hardly have a lead foot. My brother likes his new Outback other than a simply unacceptable amount of electronic/tech package/stereo issues he has had with a brand new car. OP really just needs to go and test drive them and decide for themselves which one fits their family's distinct needs the best.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:20 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:39 pm
Family of four, kids ages 4 and 7. Spouse daily driver, live in a large city (Atlanta), and spouse wants maneuverability and easy to park. Daily it will be driving around all four of us due to how we carpool and drop the kids off at school and daycare. It will also be a weekend getaway vehicle for escapes and camping. For space, we have talked about resourcing either car, but especially the Crosstrek, with a rooftop box (eg Thule or Yakima). Power is not a real concern of mine (as I've heard about Crosstrek complaints).

One note: There is a bias towards the Crosstrek b/c of size and looks.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Out of scope:
Non Subarus
Other Subarus (eg Forester or Ascent)
Sounds to me like the spouse wants a Crosstrek, and you want the Outback. The Forester is the logical compromise between the two, but you’ve ruled it out, but without saying why. I predict you will buy the Crosstrek because the Outback positively will not satisfy your spouse’s requirements. If only the two of you were willing to compromise on the Forester....
Retiree with a pension and a 60/40 taxable portfolio: Total Stock + Total Int'l + Total Bond + Interm Term Tax Exempt.

outbackcountry
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by outbackcountry » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:31 pm

Outback owner (in Atlanta). I would vote for Crosstrek. For nimbleness, easy maneuverability, etc. Particularly for Atlanta type of traffic, Crosstrek will fit the bill. However you would have to compromise on the size, storage space. If this car is going to be a family hauler, it will tough. Surprisingly you wont see much difference on the gas mileage with Outback costing a shade $5K-6K more than a similar Crosstrek. The higher price tag will fetch you ride comfort, tonne of space. Its really a decision with regards to the space.

Outback and Crosstrek are in two different car segments though. If you are looking for small sized car segment (Civic, Corolla, Impreza, etc.) you will love Crosstrek. Outback can be compared with Legacy, Accord, Camry but its technically a station wagon (and not much wagons around to compare).

Other vehicles to compare/test drive:
NIssan Leaf - fully electric, similar size as Crosstrek or Honda Fit; will work fine for the endless Atlanta traffic but 8k-9k expensive for the segment
Honda HRV/Fit - smaller than a CRV, like Honda Fit
Toyota C-HR - similar to Honda HRV
Civic/Impreza - small cars but sedan (I believe there is a hatchback version of Civic too)

I would suggest to figure out the car segment/size first before taking a test drive. Otherwise you will start to love Crosstrek and it may complicate the final decision.

theplayer11
Posts: 484
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:42 am

Surprised so many think of the outback as a large vehicle. Then again, I've owned nothing but mid to full SUVs since 1992. :D

UpperNwGuy
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Location: Washington DC

Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:34 am

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:42 am
Surprised so many think of the outback as a large vehicle. Then again, I've owned nothing but mid to full SUVs since 1992. :D
The Outback is 190 inches long! Try parallel parking that rig on a crowded city street. I often struggle to park my 165 inch Volkswagen Golf on city streets.
Retiree with a pension and a 60/40 taxable portfolio: Total Stock + Total Int'l + Total Bond + Interm Term Tax Exempt.

dcb
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:44 pm
Location: Southwest Michigan

Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by dcb » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:13 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:38 pm
dcb wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:33 am
My two cents worth:

We have a 2017 Outback Touring and it has, for the most part, met our expectations. However, size is often in the eye of the beholder. We previously owned a GMC Envoy SUV and now find the Outback to be somewhat lacking in rear compartment storage but still workable. We waffled back and forth between the Outback and Forester before purchasing. We are glad we went with the somewhat larger Outback.

Also, the Outback is the only Subaru manufactured in the US. Soon, if not already, the tariff on the Forester will bring the MSRP up to or more than the larger and somewhat better-equipped Outback.

DCB
The Impreza, Impreza WRX, Legacy, Outback, Forester, and Tribeca are all made right here.

It’s good for you, the consumer, because being made in America saves in shipping costs and the supply is plentiful, meaning you get the best deal!


https://www.serrasubaruakron.com/blog/2 ... he-usa.htm

At the introduction of the 2018 Forester (threads in BH about it), it was announced that the redesigned Forester is being manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana.
Not sure the info from Serra Subaru of Akron is correct. As of very recently the following:
"Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (SIA), a subsidiary of Subaru Corporation, is home of North American Subaru production. Models built at the Lafayette, Indiana plant include the Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback and Subaru Impreza. In 2018, the Subaru Ascent will be added to SIA's production line. SIA employs over 5,600 Associates, and every Associate is committed to quality, safety and environmental stewardship." http://subaru-sia.wixsite.com/indiana/about

Sagefemme
Posts: 63
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Sagefemme » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:33 pm

I love my 2012 Outback for camping and outdoor activities. DH and I spent spring break last year in Death Valley and the Outback came through in so many ways! There were a few nights that were so windy our tent got flattened repeatedly (tent walls against my face every time there was a big gust). We abandoned the tent and slept VERY comfortably in the back of the Outback with the middle seat down (on a pretty big air mattress, that just fit). We didn't have rain on this trip but if we had I'd have slept in the back of the car again in a heartbeat.

We took one hike that involved driving in a creek bed (AKA the road to the trailhead) for several miles. Up and over huge boulders, the Outback did great.

I do find it pretty big for driving around the city but then again previous to this car I never had anything bigger than a conventional station wagon. I find the visibility out the back poor, and because we have no backup camera, parking is sometimes frustrating.

But overall I'm quite satisfied with this vehicle. It has been very reliable, no repairs have been needed, and for its size the gas mileage is respectable.

RootSki
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:52 am

Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by RootSki » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:24 pm

I really wish Subaru would offer turbocharged engine options on their suv’s again. Now, even their “sport” models are boring.

theplayer11
Posts: 484
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:48 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:34 am
theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:42 am
Surprised so many think of the outback as a large vehicle. Then again, I've owned nothing but mid to full SUVs since 1992. :D
The Outback is 190 inches long! Try parallel parking that rig on a crowded city street. I often struggle to park my 165 inch Volkswagen Golf on city streets.
I've only needed to parallel park less than a dozen times in my life :D :D

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