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Ted Moore

Subaru Outback?

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Ted Moore

So my Volkswagen TDI buyback date is coming up in the next couple of weeks and I have been trying to decide what to replace it with. I have a big truck so I haven't been looking at trucks. The reason I got my TDI was because I drive a lot for my work and I went from a $500-$600/month gas bill to $100-$125 a month. The TDI is very comfortable and fun to drive. I want to replace it with something that I can fit 2 crates in the back with the back seat up and something that gets good mileage and something that is somewhat fun to drive or at least comfortable for road trips. I have been test driving high end Subaru Outbacks (limited trim with leather, etc.) and I am completely underwhelmed. I have only been test driving the 2.5 l four cylinder cars as the 3.6 l six doesn't get very good mileage. I have driven 2013 and 2014 models and 2015 and 2016 models. I have to say that I prefer the 2013/2014 models as they seem to have slightly more pep (which is probably a fallacy since it's the same engine in the newer ones I think). They changed body style in 2015 and those have more interior room and get better gas mileage, but I really don't like the way I fit in the interior. It's as if the seat backs are taller or something and I can't get nearly as comfortable as in my Volkswagen. I drove the new Volkswagen Alltrack and it was awesome and I might just end up getting a new one of those, or maybe just a used gas version of my Jetta Sportwagen or the newer Golf Sportwagen. The gas Golf/Jetta gets close to 35 mpg on the highway . I haven't had any problems with my Volkswagen but Consumer Reports states that the VW's are unreliable and expensive to fix and the Subarus are completely reliable etc.. 

So I am wondering if anybody else notices a difference between the 13/14 versus 15/16 outbacks? Or am I delusional? And what else should I be looking at? I want comfortable, fun to drive, good mileage and dog crates in the  back. Help me out. 

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tut

I rented an Outback 2016 model year last July and drove it for about 2,500 miles all around Utah, Colorado, SD and Wy for vacation.  I was impressed with the tightness of the vehicle and the MPG was pretty good at 28 average and I was hammering it the entire time.  I did feel at times that it was underpowered.   More then a few times in passing situations I hammered it down and while it did get up there, it took a while.   I didn't even attempt to pass anyone if climbing a hill was part of the equation.  Regarding space, I don't know how two medium sized dog cages could fit in the back side by side.  Just didn't think there was enough room depth wise without laying the back seats down.  I left thinking that a Honda CRV or Toyota Rav would be a better choice and would get similar gas mileage and also give more storage room in the back.  

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salmontogue

Subarus are not big, powerful or particularly fast. They are very reliable.  If you stick with the base model, pricing should come in around the mid twenties.  If you load them up with options, the pricing quickly closes in on forty thousand and beyond.  At that price point an Explorer or something similar becomes more attractive.

 

Perk

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garyRI

We have a 2010 Outback and a 2015 Forester.

 

I prefer the Forestrer and think it would fit two dog boxes and do what you want to do

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martyg

Ted - I was in the same boat. Buy back on my VW TDi wagon - which was my perfect arrow. Drives like a sports car, tons of torque, 45mpg, two dog crates in back. With snows it was very snow capable - and I used to drive it daily on the snowiest road in the world.

 

Before I go on, let me say that I also own a 2000 4Runner that I use when gunk holing. It is very capable 4WD, I don't care if if gets dented. I pulled the back seat out so it is one mother of a utility vehicle. So my needs for my other vehicle open some doors with owning the 4Runner.

 

That being said, I ended up with a GTI. I'm a full-time ski instructor and drive up to the mtn 5 days per week. I have studded snow tires on it and it just goes in the snow. We also own an Outback and the 4Runner. Th GTI is by far our most capable snow car. On the way up to the hill I average 30mpg. Coming back down I average 40mpg. And it is a blast to drive. You will love your commute.

 

Subaru - I used to do marketing for them and used to get a new one every year. I've owned every model at some point, from the STI down. If I were to get a Subaru, if I were limited to owning one vehicle, it would be the Forester w / turbo. It feels like a boxy WRX - because it is a boxy WRX. But still a blast to drive. Most of the Subaru line - including the Outback - are transportation appliances.

 

I've also sen the AWD VW wagon. Looks interesting, but I just don't need AWD / 4WD. Few people do. Just don't do anything stupid and you will be fine.

 

 

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Ted Moore

Marty,

Have you driven the newer Golf Sportwagen? My TDI with snows is as good as anything I have ever had in the snow and I have the truck for when the snow is deep. I wonder if the Golf Sportwagen would be as good in the snow as the TDI? It sounds like it might be if the GTI is so good. And the Alltrack is a blast to drive. 

 

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Bede
2 hours ago, Ted Moore said:

 I haven't had any problems with my Volkswagen but Consumer Reports states that the VW's are unreliable and expensive to fix and the Subarus are completely reliable etc.. 

 

 

Seriously? They are literally legally obligated to buy it back from you should you want to sell it to them. Why reward them with future business when they have known reliability issues?

 

I think you may want to look hard at the Mazda CX5. They get rave reviews for being fun to drive. Everything Mazda builds is built to handle, acceleration may not be on par with what you are used to with the TDI, but it will handle and they supposedly are more spirited than anything in the class. AWD with 30+MPG in what should be a reliable vehicle. All new for the coming model year, so you could go with the more refined new version or take a closeout deal on an existing 2016.5 model.

 

 

 

 

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terrym

Subarus are all about reliability and good mileage. As bird hunters most of us wouldn't be restricted much if we all drove one. It will hold a couple hunters and a couple dogs nicely for day hunts. It will also get down most roads we use. It may very well be my wife's next vehicle. My brother owns 2 Foresters and my brother in law has one also. Very reliable car and if you live in the snow belt they are great daily drivers. 

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Bede
2 hours ago, Ted Moore said:

 

 

 

Another oprtion could be the Forrester with the Turbo, I think they make ~250HP. I think the Escape with the larger turbo ecoboost may be a little peppier?

 

 

 

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martyg
2 hours ago, Ted Moore said:

Marty,

Have you driven the newer Golf Sportwagen? My TDI with snows is as good as anything I have ever had in the snow and I have the truck for when the snow is deep. I wonder if the Golf Sportwagen would be as good in the snow as the TDI? It sounds like it might be if the GTI is so good. And the Alltrack is a blast to drive. 

 

 

I have not. What sod me on the GTI was a buddy of mine. He's around 70, a former Worlcd Cup downhill racer, former coach of the US Team and my ski Yoda. Mike lives in Val and teaches about 70 days a year at Vail and at camps around the US. We went out to dinner one snowy night in Dillon. He drove. Sold on the GTI. Thought about the R, but just don't need 300hp.

 

A buddy of mine is a product developer for the VW Group. He said wait three years on he new Alltrack wagon.

 

 

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martyg
2 hours ago, Bede said:

 

Seriously? They are literally legally obligated to buy it back from you should you want to sell it to them. Why reward them with future business when they have known reliability issues?

 

I think you may want to look hard at the Mazda CX5. They get rave reviews for being fun to drive. Everything Mazda builds is built to handle, acceleration may not be on par with what you are used to with the TDI, but it will handle and they supposedly are more spirited than anything in the class. AWD with 30+MPG in what should be a reliable vehicle. All new for the coming model year, so you could go with the more refined new version or take a closeout deal on an existing 2016.5 model.

 

 

 

 

 

Zero issues with several VWs here. I guess it depends if you want a transportation appliance or something fun to drive with the same DNA as Porsche and Audi. My wife tolerates her Outback and covets my GTI.

 

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Dogwood

I have a 2015 OB and my wife a 2014.  Both 2.5 L engines.  same premium trim.  My 2015 is definitely quieter and better suspension handling. My 2015 CVT is tuned to mimic the detentes of a standard tranny which I prefer.   The 2.5's are not spirited.  However my brother has a 2017 3.6L OB , has owned many spirited cars, and loves the thing.  He has a lead foot.

 

Either car will easily hold 2 medium dog crates with the rear seatback up.  

 

We live in hilly northern MI where there is no shortage of everything from black ice to nasty deep road slush.  We slap on Nokian winter tires and the things are unstoppable if driven properly. Mine is my primary hunting rig and there is not a two track in MI that I can't go relative to standard 4x4 trucks/suv's given the ground clearance.

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nobirdshere

Can't speak to the later models, but have a 2011 since new and it is still going strong. Fits two intermediate size Rufftuffs in the back with some room to spare (have a third in the back seat). Reliability has been great, as has the driving in snow. It has gotten me to any cover I have wanted to go, except one, which would be dicey even in a full size pickup. A sports car it ain't and I wouldn't say it's fun to drive, except for the sure footing in the snow. I was planning on getting another when this tanks, but depending on changes, may have to rethink it. Otherwise, been damn pleased with it.

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airmedic1

My wife and I had a 2010 Outback, it was my second Subaru.  It consistently got 27-30 mpg on the highway traveling 81 mph and we really liked it.  It had room for the dogs plus other stuff in the back.  My wife liked it so much that she told everyone we would never drive anything else.  I traded it for a 2013 Outback thinking it would be the same but it was the biggest POS car we have owned.  They both had the CVT transmission but the 2010 would stay in 6th gear at 80 mph but the 2013 always ran in 5th gear at 3000 rpm.  The mileage sucked, I don't think we ever got more than 24 mpg and often it was only 17.  I took it back to Subaru several times thinking they might be able to reset the shift points but according to them there was nothing they could do.  They told me to run premium fuel and that would fix it!  Then, at about 45,000 miles it began to use oil.  Subaru wouldn't take care of it because it only used 1 quart in 1350 miles instead of 1200.

I finally bit the bullet and traded it off for a 2017 Outback.  My wife was pissed at me for two weeks that I bought another Subaru but when she started driving the new one she finally forgave me.  The 13 must have been a lemon because the 17 is better than the 10.  I thought about keeping the 13 to hunt out of but I am glad that I didn't but I wouldn't hesitate to hunt out of one.  There's room for the dogs and while the all wheel drive isn't the same as the 4x4 on my Frontier I think it would be fine for where I hunt.

 

AM

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Dave Medema

I bought a couple subarus lately.  Boy #1 got the outback with the small engine.  Boy #2 got a forester XT with the turbo.  Boy 2 is my free spirit kid.  There is a pretty big difference in mileage but also a pretty in difference in fun factor.  

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