Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:01 pm

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
In 2013, we were looking to replace our 2008 Outback (which replaced a 2002 Outback) and felt the Outback had gotten too big. This is why we bought the Crosstrek (first year). Our sales guy said a lot of Crosstrek sales had Outback trade ins. To me, the Outback had become an SUV, which isn't what we wanted.

I compared an SUV I used to own, a 98 Chevy S-10 Blazer to a new Outback.

The outback is longer, wider and taller than my old S-10 Blazer. It's 100 pounds lighter. The Blazer was a full frame on body design. I mounted a Fisher Minute Mount snowplow to it.
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by arf30 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:10 pm

Crosstrek is great but really down on power, I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable merging onto the highway with 4 people and luggage in the car. They really need a trim level with the FA20T from the WRX in it.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:37 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
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
In that case, your comments are not relevant to the discussion. OP lives in a large city and spouse considers city parking to be a primary criteria for selecting a car.
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ssquared87
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by ssquared87 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:50 pm

Not sure what the concern is about driving an outback in the city. I prefer driving a small sporty car, and I'm used to cars the size of the Subaru BRZ and BMW 3 series to give you perspective on my background.

For the past year I've been driving a BMW 5 sedan which is much larger than the vehicles I am used to. it is 5 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the outback. I live in LA and frequently drive on narrow streets (in the city and in the santa monica mountains and hollywood hills where some extremely tight windy roads can only fit cars traveling in one direction at a time) and park in extremely small spaces (parking garages in LA are much tighter than Atlanta). I have no issues driving the 5 series at all and its a lot bigger than the Outback. It would be more challenging without parking sensors and backup camera, but I'm sure you can get these on the Subaru.

Also, I have a good friend who has a Forrester. He's in his mid 60s and very active. He opted for the Forrester thinking it would be a good compromise between the Crosstrek and the Outback. After having the car for two years, he regrets not getting the Outback. He says the Forrester has a cheap interior and he has trouble getting his bike and skis on the roof rack because it's too high. Before the Forrester, he had a 2001 Outback and loved that car aside from the well known mechanical troubles of that generation.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by ssquared87 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:52 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:37 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
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
In that case, your comments are not relevant to the discussion. OP lives in a large city and spouse considers city parking to be a primary criteria for selecting a car.
A Honda Accord is longer and wider than an Outback. I see plenty of Accords parked in LA, San Francisco, Seattle and other cities. With cameras or radar, it can't be that challenging to park

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Messy_Orchid_51 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:03 pm

Vote for the Outback here.

I have a 2016 Outback 2.5 premium. This is the most practical car one can buy. Tons of space, AWD, good ground clearance and value.

The Crosstrek is ok for what it is but it is a compromise. The Outback is more of the same thing only better. I would not settle. Most notably, the power (2.0l vs 2.5l) is much worse in the Crosstrek and the size/comfort is also much less.

I like in a major city (Seattle) and do not find parking any more difficult vs another car. The backup camera and display is fantastic and makes parking much easier than my 9 year old Subaru Outback I upgraded from.

Also, you mentioned a roof box. FYI the Yakima Skybox 16 fits perfectly on the factory rails of my 2016 Outback with no clearance issues on the rear tailgate. I can fit 4 adults and camping gear with this set up. Wouldn't even come close in a Crosstrek.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:08 pm

So quick update, and an admission from me (OP). I have not liked the look of older Foresters. That said, the wife and I went and checked out a 2019 Forester Sport, and thought it looked really nice. It's likely polarizing on aesthetics, you'll think it looks good and like the orange accents, or you'll think it's heinous. We happen to like it.

So to all those who naysayed me about naysaying the Forester, I stand corrected. :sharebeer


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livesoft
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by livesoft » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:20 pm

OK, but do you think those wheels/tires are capable of going off-road?
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TallBoy29er
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:27 pm

livesoft wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:20 pm
OK, but do you think those wheels/tires are capable of going off-road?
As capable as the 17's on the lower model. A Subie isn't going to tackle hardcore off roading. But gravel and some light off-roading I would expect it should be able to handle just fine.

Edited to add: In addition to the all-season tires that come from the factory, Blizzaks are available in the correct tire size for winter.

Edit #2: The 18's on the Sport (pictured above) have an A/T tire option that I did not see for the 17's on TireRack.com. It is a Yokohama Geolander A/T, which gets good reviews. Double bonus.
Last edited by TallBoy29er on Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jayk238
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by jayk238 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:31 pm

livesoft wrote:
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. :)
This is patently wrong. I just got my 2019 outback and it does this. Has been for a while.
I have a collision detector that goes off if I approach too close. The manual also describes it.

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htdrag11
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by htdrag11 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:58 pm

I leased a 2018 Outback with 11k miles now, coming from a 2012 RX350 which is shorter by 4". At the time, I also test drove a Forester. The Outback is more comfortable and quieter than the 2017 Forester which is refreshed in 2019. Daughter moved to NYC at the meantime and I found the extra length made it tougher for free street parking. It handles better than the Lexus. Being 4 cylinder, the mileage is about 26-27mpg, with a range of almost 500 miles.

I think the Forester is an OK compromise between the Outback and the Crosstek (did not test drive since it's too youthful looking for me, and possibly noisy).

Not sure whey you need 4-wheel drive in Atlanta though?

One final thing - ApplePlay or Android Auto has lots of issues, even among other car manufacturers. I was looking for the 2017 but went for the 2018 Outback since I always use Waze. Knowing what I know now, should have gone for the 2017 Outback.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:08 pm

htdrag11 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:58 pm

Not sure whey you need 4-wheel drive in Atlanta though?
Not all things are permanent. :D

livesoft
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by livesoft » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:50 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:31 pm

This is patently wrong. I just got my 2019 outback and it does this. Has been for a while.
I have a collision detector that goes off if I approach too close. The manual also describes it.
Thanks, I'll investigate and report back. I think collision detection is not the same as parking assist.
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DVMResident
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by DVMResident » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:00 pm

These are quite different models. Test drive them and figure it out.
Personally, I think the Crosstrek is too small with 4 people and gear, but you'll determine if that's true for your family quickly with a test drive.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by livesoft » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:47 am

livesoft wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:50 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:31 pm

This is patently wrong. I just got my 2019 outback and it does this. Has been for a while.
I have a collision detector that goes off if I approach too close. The manual also describes it.
Thanks, I'll investigate and report back. I think collision detection is not the same as parking assist.
I cannot find any reference to the Parking Assist that I am writing about in the manual nor on YouTube. Apparently, there are after-market Parking Assist add-ons though. Here is a youtube video of what I am writing about, but for a Lexus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5sA1__-5g

So do you have a page number in an Outback manual for this feature?

Page 30 of Eyesight manual says this: "Pre-Collision Braking Assist function does not operate when the vehicle speed is approximately 7 MPH or less .... (as it would be if slowing approaching something in front of the bumper when parking. But Braking Assist is NOT Park Assist.

Thanks for clarification because if I can get my car to beep nicely at me while trying to nudge close to, but not touch, the parked car in front of my car that would be great.
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by dcb » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:11 pm

livesoft wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:47 am
livesoft wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:50 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:31 pm

This is patently wrong. I just got my 2019 outback and it does this. Has been for a while.
I have a collision detector that goes off if I approach too close. The manual also describes it.
Thanks, I'll investigate and report back. I think collision detection is not the same as parking assist.
I cannot find any reference to the Parking Assist that I am writing about in the manual nor on YouTube. Apparently, there are after-market Parking Assist add-ons though. Here is a youtube video of what I am writing about, but for a Lexus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5sA1__-5g

So do you have a page number in an Outback manual for this feature?

Page 30 of Eyesight manual says this: "Pre-Collision Braking Assist function does not operate when the vehicle speed is approximately 7 MPH or less .... (as it would be if slowing approaching something in front of the bumper when parking. But Braking Assist is NOT Park Assist.

Thanks for clarification because if I can get my car to beep nicely at me while trying to nudge close to, but not touch, the parked car in front of my car that would be great.
I have a 2018 Outback with the top of line Touring pkg. I am quite sure it has every option available from Subaru. It does not have Parking Assist. I can not speak with 100% surety of the 2019 Outback but doubt it is an available option outside an aftermarket add-on.
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by AerialWombat » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:24 pm

I own both an '02 Forester and a recently purchased '16 Outback. I did look at the Crosstrek, but as others have already mentioned, it's just too small.

I've driven the Outback over 18,000 in the 3 months I've had it (business travel), and it's a stellar cross country vehicle. With the rear seat backs folded down and a camping sleeping pad thrown down, it's reasonably comfortable to sleep in.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by 02nz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:45 pm

+1 on the Forester - easier to park than the Outback, more space than the Crosstrek. I'd get the new '19 model, which is based on Subaru's global architecture. Early reviews say it drives a lot better than the current-gen Forester. The Crosstrek is based on the same platform, but the Outback is based on an older architecture and doesn't drive as well.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by SpideyIndexer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:31 am

The Outback has pretty good ground clearance for light offroading. We found the Forester less comfortable and I believe it has less clearance.

I agree with the poster wishing for a turbo engine. Our 2.5L is ok but a bit gutless in difficult merges , though we didn't want to suffer worse fuel economy of the 3.6L. It might be a marketing thing of Subie to not offer a turbo!

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by RootSki » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:51 am

SpideyIndexer wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:31 am
The Outback has pretty good ground clearance for light offroading. We found the Forester less comfortable and I believe it has less clearance.

I agree with the poster wishing for a turbo engine. Our 2.5L is ok but a bit gutless in difficult merges , though we didn't want to suffer worse fuel economy of the 3.6L. It might be a marketing thing of Subie to not offer a turbo!
They used to offer turbocharged engines across the range, but currently it’s onlt the BRZ and WRX. So yeah, gutless and boring.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Yukon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:35 am

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
Exact same experience. I think subaru must get their mileage estimates down hills on highways. Still like the car.
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:24 am

+1 for the Outback. Crosstrek is too small. Forester doesn't ride as nice.

I do find it funny when people say the Outback is a huge car. To me it is a mid-sized car.

Compared to Explorers, Suburbans, Armadas, Yukon XL, Pilots, Highlanders, the Outback seems small.

I tend to like a wagon style, but some certainly don't like them. Drive them and based on price/features go with what you prefer.
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by goodlifer » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:40 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:31 pm
livesoft wrote:
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. :)
This is patently wrong. I just got my 2019 outback and it does this. Has been for a while.
I have a collision detector that goes off if I approach too close. The manual also describes it.
I have a 2015 OB and it panics every time I pull into the garage, so I know the collision detector works. I also agree with the other poster that said the 2.5L is gutless. I have to actually put the gas pedal on the floor just to get out of my subdivision and onto the highway. 0 to 40 mph in about 5 minutes! But I wanted the better gas mileage. Flooring it every day kills the good gas mileage though, so I probably should have went with the 3.6.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TheAccountant » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:48 pm

My close relatives own both of these cars, and I've spent a fair amount of seat time in each.

My thoughts:

1. Both great in the snow - even on all-seasons.
2. Both extremely comfortable

Driving impressions:

Both have the 4-cylinder engines. The Crosstrek is way more fun to drive. I took it hiking on a 150-mile trip and it was a blast to drive in the mountains. I come from driving Camaro SS's and love high-HP, manual transmission vehicles, but this little Subaru impressed me. The CVT wasn't bad at all, and in fact I had more fun driving it in normal mode over the "sport" mode.

For a family of four the Crosstrek is more than enough, and like you said, for camping trips you can always throw a roof rack on it. I wouldn't tow anything with either vehicle, however, even though they are rated to tow a light trailer.

I'd get the Crosstrek. Cheaper, fun to drive, better on gas (I used hardly any gas on my trip.)

My favorite feature was the iSight/adaptive cruise control. If you drive a lot of highway this should be a priority. Best feature I've seen on a vehicle in a long time.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Vulcan » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:49 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)
I know this is not what you want to hear, but we considered an Outback and eliminated it based on reports of excessive oil consumption issues so severe that Subaru had to add a disclaimer into their owners' manual. Not sure itf Crosstrek suffers from the same problems, I will leave it to you to find out.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TheAccountant » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 pm

Vulcan wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:49 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)
I know this is not what you want to hear, but we considered an Outback and eliminated it based on reports of excessive oil consumption issues so severe that Sunary had to add a disclaimer into their owners' manual

Image
Don't they spec 0-weight oil in this thing now? No surprise that it uses a bit of oil.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TheAccountant » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:52 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:08 pm
So quick update, and an admission from me (OP). I have not liked the look of older Foresters. That said, the wife and I went and checked out a 2019 Forester Sport, and thought it looked really nice. It's likely polarizing on aesthetics, you'll think it looks good and like the orange accents, or you'll think it's heinous. We happen to like it.

So to all those who naysayed me about naysaying the Forester, I stand corrected. :sharebeer


Image
The relative I mentioned above who owns the Outback actually ordered a Forester to replace it with. I guess the Outback was too big and the Forester is easier to get in and out of.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Vulcan » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:53 pm

TheAccountant wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 pm
Don't they spec 0-weight oil in this thing now? No surprise that it uses a bit of oil.
Not sure what they spec, but Subarus had this problem for many years, and I personally will not buy a new vehicle whose manufacturer wants me to check oil level "at least" every other fill-up.

Others might find that acceptable, but they should "at least" be aware of the problem.
Last edited by Vulcan on Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by TheAccountant » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:53 pm

Vulcan wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:53 pm
TheAccountant wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 pm
Don't they spec 0-weight oil in this thing now? No surprise that it uses a bit of oil.
Not sure what they spec, but Subarus had this problem for many years, and I personally will not buy a new vehicle whose manufacturer wants me to check oil level every other fill-up.

Others might find that acceptable, but they should at least be aware of the problem.
You're supposed to check your oil at every fillup. ;)

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:56 pm

TheAccountant wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 pm
Don't they spec 0-weight oil in this thing now? No surprise that it uses a bit of oil.
The Crosstrek has always used 0W 20, or as I call it.....water. I believe all Subarus use this. Everyone has gone to light oil. My Wrangler uses 5W 20.


On the size comments.....the Outback is not huge compared to a Suburban or Nissan Armada. It is huge compared to the Crosstrek. (I own a 13 Crosstrek and replaced an 04 Outback with a 17 Legacy this summer).
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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by cheezit » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:37 pm

SpideyIndexer wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:31 am
The Outback has pretty good ground clearance for light offroading. We found the Forester less comfortable and I believe it has less clearance.
The current-gen and previous-gen Outback, Forester and Crosstrek all have 8.7" of ground clearance in stock form.

Wrt. the oil consumption issues everyone mentioned, it was worst with the FA and FB engines around 2013. My '18 Crosstrek used about 0.7 quarts during the initial 6,000 mile oil change interval (eyeballing the dipstick), and has used about 0.3 quarts in the ~3,000 miles since, but everyone has a different experience. They created a test years ago that the dealer can run if the oil consumption is excessive, and if it fails the test they replace the short block for free as long as you notice the issue during the 5 year/60k mile powertrain warranty period.

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Re: Subaru: Crosstrek or Outback?

Post by Scott S » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:20 am

Speaking as a happy Outback owner, I'll cast another vote for the Outback over the Crosstrek. My sister-in-law has a Crosstrek, and we all think it's a nice car, but Outbacks have a definite edge in cargo space. I can fold down the rear seat and lay down a whole bicycle in mine without taking any wheels off. There's no doing that in the smaller models!

Re: oil consumption. The problem isn't the "0W" number (cold thickness) as much as the "20" number (hot thickness). I run 0W30 in my old Outback, and despite a little weeping here and there, oil consumption between changes is not an issue. Switching to 0W30 is worth trying if you find your car consuming too much oil with 0W20. The thin oil spec is largely to improve fuel efficiency.

I will admit that I'm not a fan of how large Outbacks have gotten over the years, but I still think it's a better choice for a family of four that plans to go camping. Gas mileage can always be optimized through smart driving and instrumentation. :sharebeer

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