Looking at a new Subaru or?

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TreeGuy
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Looking at a new Subaru or?

Post by TreeGuy » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:10 pm

I am shopping for a new vehicle. I currently drive a '98 Volvo V70XC (wagon) with over 200K that I purchased new. I like to keep cars a long time but want something that will not be as expensive to maintain. I have driven both the new Subaru Forester and Outback. I like both but prefer the Outback since it is closer to my Volvo.

Any Subaru owners that can give feedback on their experience would be appreciated.

D Newton
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Post by D Newton » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:33 pm

I have a 2006 Outback, 5-speed manual transmission; 89,000 miles. No problems whatsoever. Changed front brake pads first time at 80,000; still on original rear pads. I do alot of highway driving so I average about 26-27 gallon per mile per tank full. I change the oil every 3000-4000 miles...probably overkill but I am from the old school. Boxer engine is smooth and responsive.

New Outback is little larger than the previous models; not sure if I like the new styling yet.
Regards, | Doug

tjwolf
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Subaru

Post by tjwolf » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:44 pm

If you join or are a member of a partner association you can buy a new Subaru every 6 months at a 2-3% discount below invoice. I belong to the American Canoe Association and that qualifies. See VIP.SUBARU.COM for a list of qualified associations and requirements.

If not already a member of a qualified association, and you join now. you may have to wait a few months to qualify for the discount. You need a letter from the association/Subaru to present to a dealer. It only takes a few minutes on the phone with the organization to have them do the paperwork, send it to Subaru and within two weeks you get a letter. One letter comes to you, another goes to your selected dealer.

All factory installed options are included in the price. Financing was available if required. A neat, no hassle way of purchasing a unit.



[/u]
Tom

kaneohe
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Post by kaneohe » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:58 pm

I have a 2006 Outback wagon w/ AT. I have mixed feelings about it. I had a number of "infant" problems......
1)A/C worked on test drive but not 1 wk after I bought it. The dealer fixed it; it worked for a wk, then same problem; the same dealer did the same thing; it worked for a wk, then repeat; Took it to a 2nd dealer who huddled w/ factory and fixed it.
2) Small leak(P/S fluid loss); 2nd dealer replaced rack
3) Front tires prematurely worn at 7K mile, 2nd dealer aligned
and replaced tires.

Once I found 2nd dealer, problems were fixed right the first time under warranty at no cost. Since then, things have been quiet but, though I don't stay awake worrying about it, I do wonder at times what else might not have been done right in initial assembly. Made in USA.

I do like the car.

MnD
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Post by MnD » Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:36 pm

We've owned two Outback wagons (1997 and 2003) and we just test-drove the "big new" 2010 and hated it. The nimble AWD sport wagon feel is gone, what it has become is a bulky and very underpowered crossover.
Our 2003 is now our third vehicle and we still love it as do the teen drivers. If I really wanted another Outback I'd try and see if any 2009's are still around. They looked sweet.

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Peter Foley
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Post by Peter Foley » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:46 pm

I have a 2000 Forester with 65,000 miles. No problems whatsoever. I bought it used about 2.5 years ago. Good vehicle for Minnesota winters.

My only complaint is the comfort of the front seats. They are a little hard and the seat is a bit short/lacks thigh support. On a drive of over an hour, my butt and hips get sore. This had not been a problem with other vehicles we have owned so I began using a seat cushion for longer trips. It helps a lot.

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fishnskiguy
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Post by fishnskiguy » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:39 pm

We bought our first Subaru Forester the year it came out (1996?). Never spent a dime on it other than wiper blades, oil. air filter, and a timing belt at 100K miles. Sold that puppy for $3K at 175000 mi.

We now have a 2007 Outback XT with 30,000 mi. Same expenses so far. Mucho mas power. :D

Chris
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rehoman
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tjwolf: Organizations offering a subaru discount

Post by rehoman » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:11 am

tjwolf: the link you provided did not enable me to see a list of organizations offering a Subaru discount. Is there any other way I could find out.?
Vanguard investor since 1984.

Winthorpe
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Post by Winthorpe » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:42 am

I have a 2000 Outback with about 140k miles. Other than needing a new catalytic converter at about 100k miles, the car has been perfect. I bought with 18k miles and it runs as well as the day I got it. I'm thinking about sticking with the Outback when my current one dies or becomes unreliable, but I anticipate being able to get at least 300k miles on this one before that happens. I hope that there will be a gas/electric hybrid version in several years when I'm ready to update.

stevenst
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Post by stevenst » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:52 am

I moved from a BMW 3 Series to a 2004 Subaru Outback. If you go from a Volvo 70 to a Subaru, you'll be thinking 'this is not as nice a car as my Volvo'. My first couple months of ownership, I was thinking 'well this is adequate...'.
BUT, like me, you might also find that:
- I spent half as much for it :)
- Maintenance and repair for 65K miles has been minimal. Regular fluid changes and new brakes at 62K. 5K of those miles towing a teardrop trailer to various out-of-the-way places.
-One out-of-warranty repair (fuel pump), but it is has never left me stranded.
-All wheel drive is great. Subaru really knows how to do this. You'll pay a gas mileage penalty compared to other cars of similar weight.
-My next car will be a Subaru Forester (2015 Diesel, if they bring them to the U.S.)

Hope this helps
Steve

HotRod140
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Looking at a new Subaru or?

Post by HotRod140 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:19 am

On my second Subaru. Great cars, like a tank in the snow. You never see one on the hook of a tow truck. Normal maint. and you can easly get 200k mile out of it. One little tibit, you can get a Subaru credit card and get subaru bucks. I use this to pay for all my scheduled up keep and parts. Even tires.

neverknow
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Post by neverknow » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:43 am

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gd
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Re: tjwolf: Organizations offering a subaru discount

Post by gd » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:26 am

rehoman wrote:tjwolf: the link you provided did not enable me to see a list of organizations offering a Subaru discount. Is there any other way I could find out.?
A quick google search:
http://www.legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58200
Note the list is almost 3 years old, and there is a 6 month waiting period after you join.

Funny reading others' comments about engine power. I'm browsing for a new car, and the Forester would be at the top of the list-- if they sold it with a 1.8L. I don't think it's possible to buy a hatchback or wagon in the USA with 4WD or AWD with smaller than a 2.4L engine. I've had 2 Civics with 1.6L often driven packed full, and a 1.4L VW Polo wagon in Germany the same.

mikec
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Post by mikec » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:22 am

I have owned 6 Subaru's, the newest a 2002. I drive them until there ready for the junk yard.

My view is that the Subaru's have gone downhill, albeit from a very high hill, over the last 10 years. I would guess that you can be assured of about 120K trouble free miles for a new Subaru, but after that you might have some serious maintenance. Of course, you could say that about most cars nowadays. Subaru had a serious and inexcusable head gasket problem on their 2.5l engine from 97 to 02, but hopefully that's corrected now.

If you are only going to own the car for 100K or so miles, then yes, I recommend it.

Dagwood
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Post by Dagwood » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:41 am

mikec wrote:I have owned 6 Subaru's, the newest a 2002. I drive them until there ready for the junk yard.

My view is that the Subaru's have gone downhill, albeit from a very high hill, over the last 10 years. I would guess that you can be assured of about 120K trouble free miles for a new Subaru, but after that you might have some serious maintenance. Of course, you could say that about most cars nowadays. Subaru had a serious and inexcusable head gasket problem on their 2.5l engine from 97 to 02, but hopefully that's corrected now.

If you are only going to own the car for 100K or so miles, then yes, I recommend it.
Can I ask you specifically why you believe this? I'm aware of the HG issues. But what other bases do you have for the position? Curious because we'll be in the market in a few years, not for any other reason. Thank you in advance.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:38 am

Guess I'll be the guinea pig - My wife and I bought the '10 Outback last week. We test drove both the Forester and Outback. The Forester lost mainly because I sat in the back seat and did not like the feel when driven over bumps - felt more like a Jeep.
The Outback definitely has more leg room and interior space that the '08 model which felt cramped. The power is sufficient for normal driving.
I will say, there are still alot of slimy dealers out there. Some things never change. :roll:

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ddb
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Post by ddb » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:25 am

MnD wrote:We've owned two Outback wagons (1997 and 2003) and we just test-drove the "big new" 2010 and hated it. The nimble AWD sport wagon feel is gone, what it has become is a bulky and very underpowered crossover.
Our 2003 is now our third vehicle and we still love it as do the teen drivers. If I really wanted another Outback I'd try and see if any 2009's are still around. They looked sweet.
Totally agree. I was devastated when Subaru decided to discontinue the Legacy wagon (true wagon, unlike the higher-sitting Outback models) a few years back. My '97 Legacy wagon was bought with 126K miles and driven until ~250K miles during my 6 years of ownership, and sold for $1K less than it was bought for. Total unscheduled maintenance costs were less than $1K. I've never felt more comfortable driving in snow (with Nokian tires), and I had so many instances where somebody told me "You won't be able to fit so-and-so cargo in that car," and then made them eat their words! I simultaneously had a beautiful BMW 540 6-speed which was modified with a really stiff suspension and various upgrades to get to ~340hp, and I got to a point where I didn't even care about the 540 and ended up driving the Legacy everywhere I went, even in summer. The older Subarus offered a great driving experience unmatched by other similar-price-range makes (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, etc.). Doesn't seem to be the case anymore, except...

I'm actually hoping for my next car to be an Imprezza WRX hatchback, pending wife approval when one of our current cars comes off-lease in 2011. I also really like the 2005-2006 Legacy GT wagon, which had a 2.5L turbocharged engine available with manual transmission. Would be nice to get one of those for ~$10K with less than 75K miles, but they're rather tough to come by and seem to command a good price.

- DDB
"We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism in young people." - PB

tjwolf
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Post by tjwolf » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:47 pm

Sorry that the link didn't work. Gd provided a link as a starting point for the associations. You should be able to Google Subaru or the VIP program for an up-to-date listing.

I went through all of the iterations and test drove all of the units, but did not buy from Subaru. Bought a Toyota Sequoia instead. Wanted a higher towing package than was offered by any of the Subaru models and a comfortable 5-7 passenger capacity. The Tribeca was the only model that came close. However, the rear seats (3rd row) were impossible to use and that unit seemed underpowered.

My Sequoia has 9100# towing capacity, 381hp, 4-wd, low range, very usable rear seats that fold flat electrically, many standard options, etc. With the 6 speed transmission and efficient engine, I can get above 20mpg on the highway @ any speed. Since the Sequoia replaces both a full size conversion van, and 3/4 ton pick-up that each got less mileage and had less power, I am very satisfied with the choice.

The only draw-back is its' large size. Wife loves it, and has claimed it as hers. She's a lead foot! O yeah, did I say it will go 0-60 in 6.2 seconds. :lol:
Tom

Chuck
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Post by Chuck » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:47 pm

I have a '99 outback with 205,000 miles. The engine light is on and it leaks engine oil and tranny oil, and the CV joints need replacing. The butt part of the driver's seat-warmer is broken. And it drives awesome.

I'm assuming it's totaled because of the oil leaks (I certainly can't sell it), but it just won't die. I wouldn't have any reservations about pickup up another one.

Chuck
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Post by Chuck » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:48 pm

tjwolf wrote:very usable rear seats that fold flat electrically
I'll bet that's good when the kids are misbehaving.

wattyGreg
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Post by wattyGreg » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:37 pm

If you have a Subaru there is a Subaru MasterCard program that gives a 3% rebate in "Subaru Bucks" coupons that are good for Subaru purchases, including parts and service. You can find it with google.

My son is in college and has my wife's old Legacy and we just had some work done on that car for "free".

Greg

RustyShackleford
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Post by RustyShackleford » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:21 pm

I have owned three Subaru wagons in a row ('85, '97, '06) and
each is better than the last. I like them very much and will
probably get another. Here's my list of pros and cons:

+ Very sporty to drive, esp for the level of practicality it provides (no
comparison to the hideous Volvo); basically, I believe you will not find
its equal in combined sportiness, smoothness (cruising), and ruggedness.

+ You will not find its equal in ability to handle wet or snowy/icy roads;
although, perhaps, once the snow is over 2 feet or so, you'd be better
off with a high-clearance 4WD truck. Go to any town in the mountain
west (that's at all hip, i.e. everyone's not so redneck they're driving a
truck whether they need one or not), and you'll be astonished at the
number or Subarus you will see on the roads.

+ Very reliable; I believe Consumer Reports now says Honda, Toyota,
and Subaru are the top three. However, I believe Honda is THE best
built car, if that is your chief criterion.

+ Very good safety ratings on the more recent models (better even
that the hideous Volvo I believe).

+ The ultimate Boglehead car. A recent article said 40% of Subaru
buyers pay cash, more than double the industry average. Oh, and it's
THE only car make whose sales were UP in 2009.

- Gas mileage: this is by far my biggest complaint about Subaru.

- Weak clutch (in the manual transmission models); I typically need to
replace mine every 75K miles or so, although I do drive in a pretty
spirited fashion and downshift a lot.

- The ridiculous head gasket time-bomb you'll find in some used models
(I believe 97-02 was cited above, I thought it was more like 99-04, but
I'm not sure).

+/- If you are a woman, people will assume you are a lesbian :)

Obviously I like these cars. And hate Volvos. My mother had a Volvo
that needed all 4 disc rotors and pads replaced at 50K. My buddy's
Volvo is needing major suspension work at 150K or so. They drive
like trucks. Meanwhile, my friend is driving my old '97 Subaru at
something like 160Kmiles, going strong; I have replaced the front pads
twice and the rear once - no rotor or hydraulic work though. And it's
on its third clutch (did I mention the clutches DO suck ...) No oil usage.

RustyShackleford
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Post by RustyShackleford » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:26 pm

MnD wrote:We've owned two Outback wagons (1997 and 2003) and we just test-drove the "big new" 2010 and hated it. The nimble AWD sport wagon feel is gone, what it has become is a bulky and very underpowered crossover.
Wow, that's such a shame. My recently bought 2006 is even sportier
than my 1997. I actually bought a used car on purpose, because after
2006 they did not make the combination of manual transmission, sun
roof, and normally-aspirated (not turbo) engine that I wanted.

My experience and your's with the 2010, make me wonder if Subaru
has lost their way a little. Contradicting that, I also heard a few years
ago (NPR Marketplace, I believe) that Subaru "knows" their customer
base better than any other maker. So who knows.

mikec
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Post by mikec » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:08 pm

Can I ask you specifically why you believe this? I'm aware of the HG issues. But what other bases do you have for the position? Curious because we'll be in the market in a few years, not for any other reason. Thank you in advance.
Some common problems:

1. Torque Bind. This is where the adjustment of the front wheels versus the back fails on auto trans. Its like a front to back differential. Maybe this has been corrected in late model Subaru's.

2. Tube Gaskets. The 2.5l engine is prone to leak at the spark plug tube gaskets. Even if only a few drops of oil drip through the tube gaskets, it saturates the spark plug wires, cause a spark leak, and the engine misses.

3. Oil Leaks. There seem to be a lot of oil leaks. They never amount to much. They just spot the driveway. Prime places are the valve covers, the oil pump seal, and at the back engine seal. This happens at over 100K.

neverknow
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Post by neverknow » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:26 am

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Levett
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Post by Levett » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:39 am

Here's what Motor Trend has said.

http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/suv ... index.html

We've owned 4 Subies--two Foresters, two Legacy GT sedans.

Wouldn't have any other auto in MI, and the insurance rates are excellent.

On the other hand, if I had a WRX (whose drivers have a high accident rate) I'd get creamed by my insurance company. :( Bob U.
There are some things that count that can't be counted, and some things that can be counted that don't count.

jbmitt
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Post by jbmitt » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:08 am

The CVT transmission in the new Legacy improves mpg. Hopefully as other models are updated it will be available as an option.

I agree with the other posters regarding the Subaru 3% credit card. Its not straight cashback but is redeemable in 100 dollar increments. You can accumulate 500/annually and apply 2000 towards a new purchase of Subaru.

MnD
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Post by MnD » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:26 am

Chuck wrote:I'm assuming it's totaled because of the oil leaks (I certainly can't sell it), but it just won't die. I wouldn't have any reservations about pickup up another one.
Most oil leaks on Subaru's are not a big deal or expense.
The head gasket oil leak problem IS a big deal, but on a 99 the head gasket oil leak will be internal (leaking into the antifreeze) not external.

Find a independant mechanic that does mostly subarus and get an estimate.

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stratton
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Post by stratton » Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:35 pm

I've notice the 2010 Subarus are bigger and have better accident safety ratings. The problem is they are big. I thought my 1998 was too big compared to my 1987.

I won't be buying a newer one unless I switch from a Legacy s/w style to an Imprezza. The Imprezza has the problem of a 3" lip on the back hatch which makes it difficult to slide things like furniture into the rear. That's pretty much a deal breaker becauese you have to lift over the lip to get stuff out.

Paul

pastafarian
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Post by pastafarian » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:45 pm

I leased a Honda Element three years ago. I debated between the 2007 Forester and the Element. Similar gas milage (not great), love the huge sunroof on the Subaru. I was not impressed with my Element for the first couple months, but then Pow!!! I was hooked on it.

We bought a 2009 Forester for my wife back in Jan. Wife liked that it is bigger than previous years, I preferred the smaller size. Since I tend to get the "new car" bug more frequently than my wife, she offered to drive the Element and for me to drive the Forrester. I declined.

The Element is a better for hauling our dogs around, it's better for hauling my road bike (inside), and I have a slick Thule Hullavator for hauling my single or our tandem kayak. Admittedly getting our tandem bike up on the Element's roof rack is more problematic (have to lift the bike up to get the front fork in the receiver), so the Subaru is better in that regard. As far as road trips go, the Element is our choice. I do miss having a sunroof up front that I can pop open.

djmbob
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2004 LLBean Outback but Recent Problems

Post by djmbob » Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:36 am

Just shy of 100K, but have had some problems in the last month. Computer chip went out in the WV mountains... it controlled the throttle! Made it home to Alex VA... had it replaced and all brakes/rotors (2nd time)... tab $1400... but after getting it back, seemed like engine was running rougher and making more noise than it used to.

Then 2 weeks later heading home late Sun night from PA to VA, pulley and belt broke... engine light, battery light came on, and power steering went out. Made it 6 miles to moms house where I had to have towed to a dealer and take her car home to VA (fortunate to be so close to her)... two pulleys and belt replaced, and they said CV joints and transmission line leaking so replaced all those to the tune of $1600.

Now a week later, back on way to PA, drivers side headlight went out - fortunately have the high beam or fog lights as options for a short time until I can get it replaced.

Thinking the 100K "built in obsolescence" has been reached. At least with moving to PA shortly, I will use a local repair shop (found thanks to another post that referred my to the carguys site), so hoping any future work will be a lot cheaper than the dealership!

Want to hang in there a bit longer with it while I am doing a VA to PA commute every weekend, then may bail on it and get something else (but not sure I'm so pleased with Subaru anymore).

Cheers
Ray

Ping Pong
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Post by Ping Pong » Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:16 am

RustyShackleford wrote: Go to any town in the mountain
west (that's at all hip, i.e. everyone's not so redneck they're driving a
truck whether they need one or not), and you'll be astonished at the
number or Subarus you will see on the roads.
So we need to go to a town in the mountains that is hip enough that everyone drives an SUV whether they need one or not?

RustyShackleford
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Post by RustyShackleford » Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:35 pm

Ping Pong wrote:
RustyShackleford wrote: Go to any town in the mountain
west (that's at all hip, i.e. everyone's not so redneck they're driving a
truck whether they need one or not), and you'll be astonished at the
number or Subarus you will see on the roads.
So we need to go to a town in the mountains that is hip enough that everyone drives an SUV whether they need one or not?
I see your point, but I guess I don't really consider the Outback an SUV.
Of course, like I said, the gas mileage is my BIG gripe with the Subie.

popeye
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Subaru Outback

Post by popeye » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:51 pm

We purchased a 2010 Subaru Outback earlier this year. At one week and 200 miles we got hit from behind while stopped.
Totaled the auto with no injuries to anyone in car. I was impressed enough to buy another and have been pleased with it since.

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stratton
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Re: Subaru Outback

Post by stratton » Sun Dec 06, 2009 5:19 pm

popeye wrote:We purchased a 2010 Subaru Outback earlier this year. At one week and 200 miles we got hit from behind while stopped.
Totaled the auto with no injuries to anyone in car. I was impressed enough to buy another and have been pleased with it since.
That's probably one of the benefits of them making the vehicle larger.

Paul

Ping Pong
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Post by Ping Pong » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:01 am

RustyShackleford wrote:I see your point, but I guess I don't really consider the Outback an SUV.
Of course, like I said, the gas mileage is my BIG gripe with the Subie.
Sorry, I wasn't trying to say the Outback was an SUV. The difference between a station wagon and an SUV is about 2 or 3 inches in height, and the Outback qualifies as a station wagon.

You were just pointing out that in redneck towns, everyone drives a truck whether they need to or not, and I was just trying to point out in hip towns, everyone drives an SUV whether they need one or not. My post wasn't really related to the Outback at all. Though I do drive one.

metabasalt
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Post by metabasalt » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:10 am

Bought a 95 Legacy in 2000 and am still driving it at about 110K. I'd been thinking about replacing it soon with another used Subaru. But given what I've read here I may just try to keep it going for another 50K or so! Sad to hear the negative experiences on the 2010 models.

MTTrek
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I recommend previous gen. Outback

Post by MTTrek » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:07 pm

As a second owner of a 2006 6-cylinder Outback I can recommend this model. As for Subaru in general, after having experienced several models over the years, these cars are reliable, cost of ownership is low in comparison and they will not fall apart at 100K miles if maintained. Our turbo Legacy went over 250K miles before we sold it to another person, and this after an unknown history for the first 100K miles.

Having said that, I do not like where Subaru is going. I think their design for the 2010 Outback and Legacy is hideous, the new generation Impreza is very uninspiring and I hate the fact that they keep enlarging the cars with every restyling iteration. Funny how the reviews are too often about the interior not feeling cramped anymore. How did you feel about the 1989 Legacy then? Was is cramped? I'd like to see a lineup of Legacies or Outbacks across the years. We'll all be driving tanks seating 15 people in 10 years. And they'll seem to be just adequate :)

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ryuns
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Post by ryuns » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:26 pm

Not to derail this thread, but for those of your who live in places where it snows regularly, how crucial do you consider 4WD/AWD?

It seems like for most of the commenters, it's absolutely mandatory, but every time I go to a "mountain town", there are plenty of passenger cars. I've never lived somewhere that had snow regularly, but I drive in the snow/ice a couple times a year generally, and I could see it being a definite convenience having AWD. Are snow tires and chains a marginal substitute for AWD in on-road pursuits? How about traction control?

Again, I don't know...I don't live with snow and all that, but 4WD/AWD does have a serious cost (upfront, MPG, and maintenance).

Ryan
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

Ron
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Post by Ron » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:39 pm

ryuns wrote:Not to derail this thread, but for those of your who live in places where it snows regularly, how crucial do you consider 4WD/AWD?

Ryan
We do, living in the Mid-Atlantic States.

While I'm retired I still have the concern of driving my wife to work (she has a FWD) on those "bad days".

In addition, in retirement I'm expected to deliver meals (through the Meals on Wheels program) twice a week to the disabled/shut-in's.

I've been "stuck" enough times to tell you that it does make a difference.

BTW (as to this thread); my wife/me did look/test drive a Forrester in '07 (when I retired). Wound up purchasing a Cadillac SRX AWD. It certainly put the sube to shame (but of course, I understand they are two different vehicles in price, and status :roll: ).

Just to note that we did look...

- Ron

einreb
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Post by einreb » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:21 pm

ryuns wrote:Not to derail this thread, but for those of your who live in places where it snows regularly, how crucial do you consider 4WD/AWD?

It seems like for most of the commenters, it's absolutely mandatory, but every time I go to a "mountain town", there are plenty of passenger cars. I've never lived somewhere that had snow regularly, but I drive in the snow/ice a couple times a year generally, and I could see it being a definite convenience having AWD. Are snow tires and chains a marginal substitute for AWD in on-road pursuits? How about traction control?

Again, I don't know...I don't live with snow and all that, but 4WD/AWD does have a serious cost (upfront, MPG, and maintenance).

Ryan
Good snowtires can make a bigger difference than AWD.

gd
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Post by gd » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:54 am

Just went to a Subaru dealer yesterday (killing time while putting snow tires on our beater Escort). The good news was they claim the new CVT is on the Outback, improving MPG. The bad news was Subarus are so popular in new england they can barely keep stuff in stock. Read: don't expect discounts. The real bad news was that after supersizing the Forester recently, they've now done it to the Outback. I walked in the door, with a Forester and Outback directly in front of me, and thought "no, I came to see their wagons. Where are they?". Their one small car has the same 2.5L engine, making it hugely inefficient for the 360 days/year the roads are clear. The salesmen were quite pleasant.

My guess is they figured americans would flock to a small SUV-- and quibble about wheelbases all you want, but these are both SUVs for all practical purposes-- and they'd make more money going after that and abandoning their practical wagon concept. I bet they're right.

Oh, well. At least manufacturers are making hatchbacks again. I'd guess a Honda Fit with a clamp-on roof rack and snow tires is in my future. And maybe a few I-Bonds with the difference.

gd
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Post by gd » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:19 am

ryuns wrote:Not to derail this thread, but for those of your who live in places where it snows regularly, how crucial do you consider 4WD/AWD?
Ryan
I think it's worn out, so I'll derail it with a FP. I've never had a car with it, but spend a bit of time in Germany. The roads are plowed about like I recall the USA in the 60s/70s. They get the deep snow off, leave a little layer, and won't destroy the environment with salt. As a result, you are expected to both not drive like an idiot (generally ignored) and have snow tires (not generally ignored), and will be cited if you have an accident in snow without them. We were buying a used car one January, and when we started to drive off, the dealer asked about snows. We shrugged, he looked stricken and mounted snows on the car for free. He literally wouldn't let us take the car without them. I don't *think* AWD/4WD is common there even now. And they like their cars technologically sophisticated.

Ironically to my preceding posts, I just looked and the Subarus there come with 2.0L engines.

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ddb
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Post by ddb » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:44 pm

gd wrote:Just went to a Subaru dealer yesterday (killing time while putting snow tires on our beater Escort). The good news was they claim the new CVT is on the Outback, improving MPG. The bad news was Subarus are so popular in new england they can barely keep stuff in stock. Read: don't expect discounts. The real bad news was that after supersizing the Forester recently, they've now done it to the Outback. I walked in the door, with a Forester and Outback directly in front of me, and thought "no, I came to see their wagons. Where are they?". Their one small car has the same 2.5L engine, making it hugely inefficient for the 360 days/year the roads are clear. The salesmen were quite pleasant.

My guess is they figured americans would flock to a small SUV-- and quibble about wheelbases all you want, but these are both SUVs for all practical purposes-- and they'd make more money going after that and abandoning their practical wagon concept. I bet they're right.

Oh, well. At least manufacturers are making hatchbacks again. I'd guess a Honda Fit with a clamp-on roof rack and snow tires is in my future. And maybe a few I-Bonds with the difference.
Agree, very frustrating trend, which is surprising because I thought car manufacturers were shifting away from the "bigger is better" mentality, yet even a company like Subaru is packing on the pounds.

Is there any new mid-sized AWD wagon in the $20K-$30K range anymore? I can't think of one off the top of my head.

- DDB
"We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism in young people." - PB

vshun
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Use subaruoutback.org

Post by vshun » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:57 pm

In that forum , many of your questions can be answered.
[http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/for ... orumid=104].

If you are looking for reliable (Consumer Reports top reliability picks in wagon category), safe (iihs top safety pick), family or outdoor equipment mover, this is vehicle for you. If you look for more car or wagon like driving experience, VW or Volvo (which will set you back 10K) may offer more as they have less ground clearance and ride lower to the ground, while also being IIHS top safety pick.

I myself was hunting for Outback in mid Atlantic and Limited models are in high demand here. Even then, dealers are willing to deal with you, unlike the most closest competition in my book, VW Jetta Wagon TDI.

Vadim.[/url]

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ryuns
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Post by ryuns » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:05 pm

ddb wrote:
Is there any new mid-sized AWD wagon in the $20K-$30K range anymore? I can't think of one off the top of my head.

- DDB
Does Toyota still make the Matrix in an AWD? Might also consider an AWD Honda Element. Some of the styles aren't totally ugly.

After that, I think you're up to Subaru and CR-V/RAV4 size.

But considering the answers to my questions about snow tires, you might just consider a normal car with snow tires and traction control, like the Honda Fit that gd mentioned.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

RustyShackleford
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Re: Use subaruoutback.org

Post by RustyShackleford » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:48 am

vshun wrote:If you look for more car or wagon like driving experience, VW or Volvo (which will set you back 10K) may offer more as they have less ground clearance and ride lower to the ground
I doubt Subaru has messed up the '10 to the point that a Volvo would
provide a superior driving experience - at least as far as handling, for
freeway cruising Volvo's are good. A VW, absolutely better, but at a
siginifcant penalty in reliability.

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ddb
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Post by ddb » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:27 am

ryuns wrote:
ddb wrote:
Is there any new mid-sized AWD wagon in the $20K-$30K range anymore? I can't think of one off the top of my head.

- DDB
Does Toyota still make the Matrix in an AWD? Might also consider an AWD Honda Element. Some of the styles aren't totally ugly.

After that, I think you're up to Subaru and CR-V/RAV4 size.

But considering the answers to my questions about snow tires, you might just consider a normal car with snow tires and traction control, like the Honda Fit that gd mentioned.
Yeah, but none of those cars mentioned have the cargo-space length that a traditional wagon with the seats folded down offers. The Matrix is more of a hatchback than a wagon, and the Element/CRV/RAV4 all sit much higher and have more of an SUV driving feel to them. Bring back the Legacy wagon, Subaru!

- DDB
"We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism in young people." - PB

badger
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Post by badger » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:36 am

We have a 1997 subaru Legacy which is closing on 200,000 miles with no major problems. We also have a 2005 Forester with 63,000. They are great for Wisconsin winters. I prefer the Forester for the ground clearance.

Ping Pong
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Post by Ping Pong » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:13 am

Instead of worrying about 4WD vs snow tires, you can always get a 4WD with snow tires.

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