Page 1 of 2

Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:32 pm
by Doom&Gloom
Never thought I would be posting a car buying topic on BH, yet here I am. DW bought a 2016 Outback new but recently swapped it with DS who had been driving my old 2004 Toyota Solara. She loved the Outback and her intention was to buy a new Outback when the 2020s came out. She had selected the version, option, and on Saturday we drove by a dealer to check out a vehicle with the color she wanted. She was all set. Since then, for reasons I do not wish to go into on this board, we soured completely on Subaru. The reason is almost completely unrelated to the vehicle itself, but we will never purchase another Subaru.

Neither of us know anything at all about other SUVs (or similar). Even after driving her Outback frequently, I still have trouble differentiating Outbacks from other SUVs on the road. I don't even like SUVs, but she is dead set on buying a new one. After looking on the internet for info on suitable alternatives, I realized I was quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of models. If you folks could help me narrow the field to help us begin a search I would greatly appreciate it.

Highly desired: Reliability; comfortable (ie, not stiff) ride and seats; decent handling; safety and "comfort" features (we loved adaptive cruise control, backup warning, blind spot warning; others, not so much). DW wants remote start despite my objections. Prefer to keep it under $40k (we found a lot of value in the Outback and expect to be a little disappointed for a comparably priced vehicle).

Not needed: AWD or 4WD. Most everything not listed above is low priority.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:37 pm
by FrugalConservative
Honda Pilot
Toyota Highlander

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:42 pm
by willyt25
Look at the Buick Regal TourX. It is built in Germany is very much an European Sport Wagon.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:50 pm
by livesoft
Lexus RX 350. Probably too high in price for new though, but easily under $40K for gently used.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:02 pm
by Doom&Gloom
willyt25 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:42 pm
Look at the Buick Regal TourX. It is built in Germany is very much an European Sport Wagon.
Thanks. That is one that I would never have thought to consider.

Appreciate the other suggestions as well. I'll certainly look at all those, but I don't think I'm persuasive enough to convince DW to look at used, no matter how gently used.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:11 pm
by jeff1949
My top choices would be the Toyota RAV-4, Mazdz CX-5 and the Honda CR-V which are all top rated for reliability.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:39 pm
by kenyan
When we ended up with our Outback (2014), I also test drove a Forester (N/A for you), Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape.

Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander are nice (I have friends with each) but definitely bigger cars than the Outback. Might push out of your desired price range, as well.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:46 pm
by fabdog
When we were looking last year, and settled on Outback, we looked at/drove Pilot and Highlander (too big) CR/V didn't like the seats but they may be just fine for you, Honda safety stuff good, oil dilution potentially an issue) Rav4 and Mazda CX-5.

If she hadn't been all in on the Outback we would have been working thru the RAv4 and Cx5

Mike

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:04 pm
by theplayer11
CX-5 is the most bang for your buck and actually fun to drive. Never cared for the outback, more like a wagon than an SUV

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:13 pm
by steve roy
GMC Acadia or (the slightly smaller) Terrain.

Our son has leased both, likes both. I find them pretty slick.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm
by Doom&Gloom
Thanks, folks! This doesn't seem as bleak or as arduous as I had feared.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:59 pm
by crystalbank
VW Golf SportWagen is also another great choice.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:20 pm
by Doom&Gloom
Just showed this thread to DW. She is thrilled at you folks opening her eyes to vehicles she not only hadn't considered but had never heard of.

Thanks!

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:23 pm
by BlueCable
Walk into a Toyota or Honda dealership and tell them you want to replace your Outback. They'll show you several alternatives at different sizes.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:23 pm
by DaftInvestor
jeff1949 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:11 pm
My top choices would be the Toyota RAV-4, Mazdz CX-5 and the Honda CR-V which are all top rated for reliability.
These three! Someone mentioned highlander and pilot above but they are likely bigger than you need based upon outback (and if you want them loaded you will be hard pressed to keep them under 40k).
New RAV-4 redesign is great.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:25 pm
by tomd37
Maybe if the OP would tell us why he/they soured on the Outback we could be of more help. We and our daughter are both proud owners of the 2019 Subaru Outback in the Touring trim line. Where's the beef :?:

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:52 pm
by randomguy
DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:23 pm
jeff1949 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:11 pm
My top choices would be the Toyota RAV-4, Mazdz CX-5 and the Honda CR-V which are all top rated for reliability.
These three! Someone mentioned highlander and pilot above but they are likely bigger than you need based upon outback (and if you want them loaded you will be hard pressed to keep them under 40k).
New RAV-4 redesign is great.
Outback is bigger than those 3 and smaller than pilot. Depending on your size requirements you might need to downsize or upsize.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:56 pm
by Doom&Gloom
tomd37 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:25 pm
Maybe if the OP would tell us why he/they soured on the Outback we could be of more help. We and our daughter are both proud owners of the 2019 Subaru Outback in the Touring trim line. Where's the beef :?:
I may do that later--right now I am too enraged to do so. DW wanted the Touring trim line as well--and was really looking forward to it. She (we?) was very happy with her 2016 Outback, and we would not have given it to DS if we had any qualms about the vehicle at all. If someone were to gift DW a 2020 Outback, she certainly would not turn it down! Again, it is not the vehicle. For reasons that I would prefer not to put on a public forum at the present time, we have decided not to do business with Subaru. I wouldn't even try to talk someone else out of doing so. DW has relayed her/our complaint to our local Subaru dealer (with whom she was discussing her planned purchase), and I will almost certainly DM or email corporate in the near future. We have the hope that they can make a simple change which would prevent someone else from encountering the same problem which has a very low frequency of occurrence.

If a personal friend asked me about our reasons, I would gladly relate them but would not try to discourage them from doing business with Subaru. This is simply a decision we have made. If someone else were to post a complaint similar to the experience we had, I would probably share our experience then as it would change my assessment as to the frequency of occurrence. Please continue to enjoy your Outbacks.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:05 pm
by CULater
Highly desired: Reliability; comfortable (ie, not stiff) ride and seats; decent handling; safety and "comfort" features (we loved adaptive cruise control, backup warning, blind spot warning; others, not so much). DW wants remote start despite my objections. Prefer to keep it under $40k (we found a lot of value in the Outback and expect to be a little disappointed for a comparably priced vehicle).
Good luck with the comfortable ride part. Small SUVs just ain't got it, except maybe the Lexus (but I never have driven it). Either a mid-sized or large one or get a sedan.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm
by tomd37
Doom,
Understood and thank you for responding as you did. I hope all works out for you both.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm
by Murgatroyd
Hyundai Santa Fe was mentioned. Don’t look past it. Extremely comfortable and quiet.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:00 pm
by Wannaretireearly
Murgatroyd wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm
Hyundai Santa Fe was mentioned. Don’t look past it. Extremely comfortable and quiet.
Just got a Hyundai Palisade. Bigger than OP needs, but very happy so far with my first Hy. Has every safety bell and whistle, even on mid range model.

Also on my list was the Kia Telluride.

Happy shopping. I love all the new safety features. Getting used to adaptive cruise control...

Third on my list was a Tesla 3. Go figure....(blame me for bringing this one up ;)

Edit: please check latest reviews. Cars have/are changing quickly

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:03 pm
by chw
Toyota Highlander.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:09 pm
by EHEngineer
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:32 pm
Never thought I would be posting a car buying topic on BH, yet here I am.
...
After looking on the internet for info on suitable alternatives, I realized I was quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of models. If you folks could help me narrow the field to help us begin a search I would greatly appreciate it.

Highly desired: Reliability; comfortable (ie, not stiff) ride and seats; decent handling; safety and "comfort" features (we loved adaptive cruise control, backup warning, blind spot warning; others, not so much). DW wants remote start despite my objections. Prefer to keep it under $40k (we found a lot of value in the Outback and expect to be a little disappointed for a comparably priced vehicle).

Not needed: AWD or 4WD. Most everything not listed above is low priority.
Doom&Gloom,
I suggest you join Consumer Reports for 1 Month ($7.95). They have great video reviews of all the midsize SUVs. You can review many cars in the time it would take for one trip to a dealer. After you narrow down your choice to the top 3 or 4 cars, then you can test drive them.
https://www.consumerreports.org/join?INTKEY=I810GH0MB

Good luck.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:18 pm
by iamlucky13
One of the the closest vehicles in size and layout (being another wagon - a bit shorter in height and longer in length than a typical SUV), is the Volvo XC70. Somebody else also mentioned the Buick Regal TourX, which should likewise be similar.

The downside they are also a fair amount more expensive, but it seems like Volvo owners tend to rate their cars well.

The CR-V, Rav4, and CX-5 all may feel slightly smaller, but when considering price, they are the most popular competitors to the Outback.

In case the negative issue was the dealer, be aware that experiences can vary greatly between dealers, even those who carry the same brands.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:26 pm
by Doom&Gloom
EHEngineer wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:09 pm
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:32 pm
Never thought I would be posting a car buying topic on BH, yet here I am.
...
After looking on the internet for info on suitable alternatives, I realized I was quickly overwhelmed by the sheer number of models. If you folks could help me narrow the field to help us begin a search I would greatly appreciate it.

Highly desired: Reliability; comfortable (ie, not stiff) ride and seats; decent handling; safety and "comfort" features (we loved adaptive cruise control, backup warning, blind spot warning; others, not so much). DW wants remote start despite my objections. Prefer to keep it under $40k (we found a lot of value in the Outback and expect to be a little disappointed for a comparably priced vehicle).

Not needed: AWD or 4WD. Most everything not listed above is low priority.
Doom&Gloom,
I suggest you join Consumer Reports for 1 Month ($7.95). They have great video reviews of all the midsize SUVs. You can review many cars in the time it would take for one trip to a dealer. After you narrow down your choice to the top 3 or 4 cars, then you can test drive them.
https://www.consumerreports.org/join?INTKEY=I810GH0MB

Good luck.
Great idea! Thanks. I let my long-time subscription to CR lapse a few years ago and have not kept up with subscription options. And I certainly had no idea about the video reviews of the midsize SUVs--just their regular April Auto issue, which I presume continues.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:39 pm
by AerialWombat
I faced this exact same decision last year. I did end up buying a 2016 Outback, but my other finalists were Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Escape.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:47 pm
by CJC000
We wanted to buy our Outback from the local dealer. They add "Market Value Adjustment" to the tune of $4,000!! I told them I would not pay that and they said it was because they were in high demand so they "had to" (so they could rip off the consumers). We ended buying the same car 200 miles away with out that absurd fee. The local dealer has a great service dept and we continue to use it. We will never buy from a greedy business like that, ever...

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:02 pm
by MichCPA
jeff1949 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:11 pm
My top choices would be the Toyota RAV-4, Mazdz CX-5 and the Honda CR-V which are all top rated for reliability.
These are all one size smaller than the outback. This is more Toyota Highlander, Ford Edge. The bigger 5 person CUVs.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:04 pm
by MichCPA
DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:23 pm
jeff1949 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:11 pm
My top choices would be the Toyota RAV-4, Mazdz CX-5 and the Honda CR-V which are all top rated for reliability.
These three! Someone mentioned highlander and pilot above but they are likely bigger than you need based upon outback (and if you want them loaded you will be hard pressed to keep them under 40k).
New RAV-4 redesign is great.
These are actually all smaller than the Outback, essentially Forester competitors instead. The Highlander and Pilot are indeed better comparables in terms of size, features and price.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:29 pm
by jeffyscott
Murgatroyd wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm
Hyundai Santa Fe was mentioned. Don’t look past it. Extremely comfortable and quiet.
Agree, we bought one after test driving a dozen or more vehicles, pretty much all the compact CUV/SUVs (exc. Dodge, Jeep, and Mitsubishi) and a just couple of the smaller midsize ones (Outback and Santa Fe). Besides being too big, the Highlander and Pilot were priced above what we wanted to pay (as was the outback, until they were having deals on the outgoing 2019s).

Santa Fe has all the safety stuff and adaptive cruise, I think most of it is included even in based model. We bought the SEL trim and do not have (or want) remote start, but they do have something called blue link that they give you for free for 3 years and via an associated app you supposedly can remote start it.

The one thing we didn't like was the gas mileage, rated 22/29 for FWD. But it has far exceeded that, got around 34-35 on our first long trip.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:54 pm
by thankyouverymuch
The Outback is basically a raised and ruggedized station wagon. If (like me) you're considering a similar new vehicle, other such vehicles include the Audi Allroad, Buick Regal TourX, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, and the Volvo V60 Cross Country and V90 Cross Country.

The VW is being discontinued in 2020 and you should be able to get one of those or the Buick for around the same price as the Subaru. The Audi and Volvo will cost substantially more, but they're luxury vehicles. I test drove the 2020 V60 Cross Country last week. It was excellent, but it's expensive. They're generally $50k+ if you want the Advance Package that includes Pilot Assist (adaptive cruise + lane keeping assist.) You can get an 8% discount and a free trip to Sweden if you buy it through Volvo's Overseas Delivery program.

I recommend checking Youtube reviews on the vehicles that interest you. There are lots of very good channels that specialize in detailed reviews and road tests of new cars, including SavageGeese, TheStraightPipes, The Fast Lane Car, Redline Reviews, etc.

Happy shopping! It's not very Bogleheadish I know to be shopping for such an expensive new vehicle, but at least the Youtube videos are free! :-)

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:05 pm
by eye.surgeon
Don't allow emotions to make a big financial decision like a vehicle. Whatever hurt your feelings at Subaru, ask yourself if you're using your head, or emotions, to walk away from the vehicle you actually want. The outback is a highly rated reliable and affordable vehicle and frankly there is nothing else quite like it, whatever else you get won't replicate it exactly. Many of the suggestions here, while well-intentioned, are a far cry from an Outback.

As in investing, make logical choices not emotional ones.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:16 pm
by randomguy
thankyouverymuch wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:54 pm
The Outback is basically a raised and ruggedized station wagon. If (like me) you're considering a similar new vehicle, other such vehicles include the Audi Allroad, Buick Regal TourX, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, and the Volvo V60 Cross Country and V90 Cross Country.
No the outback is a CUV/SUV. Seriously here is the link https://www.subaru.com/vehicles/outback ... -year.html . Notice in the title what Subaru calls it? It is an Crossover SUV. The outback hasn't been a wagon for a while now:) Nobody is cross shopping against tour X (granted nobody is shopping for those period:)) or allroads. They are comparing them with passports, sante fes, and highlanders.

The OP didn't list enough requirements to narrow the list down so eventually this thread will contain every SUV/CUV/Wagon on the market. You can get just about any car with adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring these days. Reliability is subjective (hey if you are willing to consider Subarus that opens up a pretty large range of cars versus the people that stick the bar at toyota). Same thing with handling. To some extent you need to go sit in the compact SUVs (tuscon, cx5, CRV, RAv4,...) and decide if they are big enough or if you need the midsized+(Passport, Sante Fe, Edge, highlander...). Figure out the size you want and the list of cars shrinks a lot.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:35 am
by theplayer11
eye.surgeon wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:05 pm
Don't allow emotions to make a big financial decision like a vehicle. Whatever hurt your feelings at Subaru, ask yourself if you're using your head, or emotions, to walk away from the vehicle you actually want. The outback is a highly rated reliable and affordable vehicle and frankly there is nothing else quite like it, whatever else you get won't replicate it exactly. Many of the suggestions here, while well-intentioned, are a far cry from an Outback.

As in investing, make logical choices not emotional ones.
Many options listed are better than the Outback depending on what you want in a vehicle. The 4cyl Outback is slow and there are better alternatives if driveability is a priority.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:41 am
by stoptothink
theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:35 am
eye.surgeon wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:05 pm
Don't allow emotions to make a big financial decision like a vehicle. Whatever hurt your feelings at Subaru, ask yourself if you're using your head, or emotions, to walk away from the vehicle you actually want. The outback is a highly rated reliable and affordable vehicle and frankly there is nothing else quite like it, whatever else you get won't replicate it exactly. Many of the suggestions here, while well-intentioned, are a far cry from an Outback.

As in investing, make logical choices not emotional ones.
Many options listed are better than the Outback depending on what you want in a vehicle. The 4cyl Outback is slow and their are better alternatives if driveability is a priority.
3 of my siblings and my mom all have Outbacks, all have had (what I'd consider) not acceptable reliability issues...and I drive a VW. I don't get the appeal at all. Would love to know why there is "nothing else quite like it".

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:53 am
by theplayer11
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:41 am
theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:35 am
eye.surgeon wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:05 pm
Don't allow emotions to make a big financial decision like a vehicle. Whatever hurt your feelings at Subaru, ask yourself if you're using your head, or emotions, to walk away from the vehicle you actually want. The outback is a highly rated reliable and affordable vehicle and frankly there is nothing else quite like it, whatever else you get won't replicate it exactly. Many of the suggestions here, while well-intentioned, are a far cry from an Outback.

As in investing, make logical choices not emotional ones.
Many options listed are better than the Outback depending on what you want in a vehicle. The 4cyl Outback is slow and their are better alternatives if driveability is a priority.
3 of my siblings and my mom all have Outbacks, all have had (what I'd consider) not acceptable reliability issues...and I drive a VW. I don't get the appeal at all. Would love to know why there is "nothing else quite like it".
It does have a good AWD system and clearance is high..but only a small % of owners take advantage or actually need a snow vehicle.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:09 am
by jeffyscott
theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:53 am
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:41 am
theplayer11 wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:35 am
eye.surgeon wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:05 pm
Don't allow emotions to make a big financial decision like a vehicle. Whatever hurt your feelings at Subaru, ask yourself if you're using your head, or emotions, to walk away from the vehicle you actually want. The outback is a highly rated reliable and affordable vehicle and frankly there is nothing else quite like it, whatever else you get won't replicate it exactly. Many of the suggestions here, while well-intentioned, are a far cry from an Outback.

As in investing, make logical choices not emotional ones.
Many options listed are better than the Outback depending on what you want in a vehicle. The 4cyl Outback is slow and their are better alternatives if driveability is a priority.
3 of my siblings and my mom all have Outbacks, all have had (what I'd consider) not acceptable reliability issues...and I drive a VW. I don't get the appeal at all. Would love to know why there is "nothing else quite like it".
It does have a good AWD system and clearance is high..but only a small % of owners take advantage or actually need a snow vehicle.
While I don't think it makes it unique or an elevated wagon, any more than the rest of them really are elevated wagons (or minivans with hinged doors), the height is a bit less than some competitors. Outback is 66 inches (actual roof may be an inch or two less, since roof rack is included?), while the Highlander and Edge are 68 and the Pilot is 71 inches, the Santa Fe is also 66 but that's w/o roof rack.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:20 am
by scooter
Bought the wife a CX5 touring model... no turbo for about 31K with all bells and whistles

Average over 27MPG
excellent rear camera senses a car coming in plaza before you even see it in camera.


Once decided on exact car w/ options, I sent out requests to all dealers for best out the door price to include All charges including sales tax, plate transfer.. cannot do this if you are trading in car.

Got local dealer to match best price and saved additional $1500

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:24 am
by scooter
Bought the wife a CX5 touring model... no turbo for about 31K with all bells and whistles

Average over 27MPG
excellent rear camera senses a car coming in plaza before you even see it in camera.


Once decided on exact car w/ options, I sent out requests to all dealers for best out the door price to include All charges including sales tax, plate transfer.. cannot do this if you are trading in car.

Got local dealer to match best price and saved additional $1500

Use Edmunds or Kelly blue book to compare like cars/suvs

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:29 am
by jbmitt
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:56 pm
tomd37 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:25 pm
Maybe if the OP would tell us why he/they soured on the Outback we could be of more help. We and our daughter are both proud owners of the 2019 Subaru Outback in the Touring trim line. Where's the beef :?:
I may do that later--right now I am too enraged to do so. DW wanted the Touring trim line as well--and was really looking forward to it. She (we?) was very happy with her 2016 Outback, and we would not have given it to DS if we had any qualms about the vehicle at all. If someone were to gift DW a 2020 Outback, she certainly would not turn it down! Again, it is not the vehicle. For reasons that I would prefer not to put on a public forum at the present time, we have decided not to do business with Subaru. I wouldn't even try to talk someone else out of doing so. DW has relayed her/our complaint to our local Subaru dealer (with whom she was discussing her planned purchase), and I will almost certainly DM or email corporate in the near future. We have the hope that they can make a simple change which would prevent someone else from encountering the same problem which has a very low frequency of occurrence.

If a personal friend asked me about our reasons, I would gladly relate them but would not try to discourage them from doing business with Subaru. This is simply a decision we have made. If someone else were to post a complaint similar to the experience we had, I would probably share our experience then as it would change my assessment as to the frequency of occurrence. Please continue to enjoy your Outbacks.
Our local Subaru dealership is terrible. I recognize though that they are independently owned and free to operate as they wish. I was able to engage them enough to purchase the vehicle we wanted at the price we were willing to pay. I’m not really concerned about the quality of new cars they deliver from Subaru of America, but I’d think twice about buying a used car from them. The alternative dealerships are 5 hour round trips. This is also limits us on what other brands we have access to.

I have found an independent Subaru mechanic who handles all of our service. I liked living in a metro area that forced the dealerships to compete on service and price.

The products are good despite the manufacturer dealer relationship being overdue for disruption.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:32 am
by Jack FFR1846
jeffyscott wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:09 am
While I don't think it makes it unique or an elevated wagon, any more than the rest of them really are elevated wagons (or minivans with hinged doors), the height is a bit less than some competitors. Outback is 66 inches (actual roof may be an inch or two less, since roof rack is included?), while the Highlander and Edge are 68 and the Pilot is 71 inches, the Santa Fe is also 66 but that's w/o roof rack.
I'm a little confused by what you're saying. I think previous posters talked about ground clearance of an Outback, which gives it more of a chance to get through deep snow. Many SUVs, pickups and mini vans have far less ground clearance than an Outback. Something like a Wrangler beats it, but that's a very different vehicle.

When we first bought an Outback, I compared every other available AWD wagon on the market. Of course, in 2002, that was just the Audi. These days, indeed, Volvo makes the most comparable similar vehicle, but as with Audi back when I had looked, both of these are significantly more expensive and you'd expect that maintenance will also be significantly more expensive with depreciation eating far more into both of them.

If you had a crap Subaru dealer and can go to another (I have a dozen within 50 miles of me in Eastern Mass), then go to another. Most tend to be very low key, but there's always bad apples. I've had mostly very good experiences lately. Bought a new Crosstrek this summer and a year old Legacy limited last summer from the same dealer who is an hour 15 from my house, mainly because they had the exact car I was looking for.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:55 am
by researcher
You've gotten some great advice here, particularly this...
The Outback is basically a raised and ruggedized station wagon. If (like me) you're considering a similar new vehicle, other such vehicles include the Buick Regal TourX, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, and the Volvo V60 Cross Country.
I would highly recommend you test drive the Buick Regal TourX.
They are listed for $10K+ off of MSRP right now and would be a great alternative to the Outback.
The Golf is a bit small/cheap and the Volvo is a much more expensive option.

However, one thing that sticks out is your statement that AWD/4WD is not needed.
Given this, I would definitely opt for a FWD SUV (which is what I recently purchased).
This allows you to avoid the higher upfront cost, greater complexity, higher maintenance costs, and lower fuel economy that comes with AWD.

For compact SUVs, I would start with the Mazda CX-5 and Toyota Rav4.
If she wants something slightly bigger, the new Honda Passport might be a good option.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:15 am
by montanagirl
At least, they all pretty much look the same now, except for the grilles. :|

The Outback still has some of its original character anyway.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:31 am
by stimulacra
You said the decision had nothing to do with the vehicle itself… if it's a dealer specific issue, there are other Subaru dealerships you can check out.

My guess is that the same auto group that owns the local Subaru dealership you went to probably owns the Honda, Toyota, and Mazda one as well. Sales culture are usually pretty identical within dealership families.

Check out Subaru dealerships in different markets. It could be in your market Outbacks are de rigueur for your demographic and dealers can and will charge a premium for that. Also the 2020 models (6th gen) are brand spanking new (they just started rolling onto dealer showrooms), I would consider seeing if you can get a good discount on an outgoing 2019 model (5th gen). You have the benefit of having price leverage on a mechanically new car, and the final year models tend to be the most reliable within a specific model generation.

AWD wagons alternatives I would consider:
1) VW Alltrack
2) Audi Allroad
3) Volvo V60, V70, V90

5-passenger crossovers that would be worth looking into:
1) Honda CRV
2) Honda Passport (mid-size)
3) Toyota Rav4
4) Mazda CX-5

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:37 am
by unclescrooge
Murgatroyd wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm
Hyundai Santa Fe was mentioned. Don’t look past it. Extremely comfortable and quiet.
Also the sport version is quite nice. DW has one, and I'm considering down grading to one for my next car.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:43 am
by RootSki
OP can probably find a Volvo XC60 for way less than a V60. Some dealers still have new 2018’s available. Only difference styling and ground clearance. Powertrain, infotainment, all the same between them.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:13 am
by TBillT
For some reason, AWD is very popular in Japan.
So now for example 2019+ Prius has AWD in America, which is easy for Toyota since Prius chassis is built for that AWD option.

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:18 am
by livesoft
Any chance of getting the 2016 Outback back from DS?

Re: Alternatives to Subaru Outback?

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:40 am
by jeffyscott
unclescrooge wrote:
Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:37 am
Murgatroyd wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:23 pm
Hyundai Santa Fe was mentioned. Don’t look past it. Extremely comfortable and quiet.
Also the sport version is quite nice. DW has one, and in considering down grading to one for my next car.
Oh the new Santa Fe is the old Santa Fe sport, though it is also a redesign.

For 2019 the old Santa Fe carried over, with the name changed to Santa Fe XL and the old Santa Fe Sport was redesigned and named just Santa Fe. For 2020, I believe the Santa Fe XL (which was the Santa Fe in 2018 and earlier) is replaced by the Palisade.