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Anyone own a Subaru Outback?(30 posts)

Anyone own a Subaru Outback?Spinchick
Feb 14, 2002 10:07 AM
What's your experience with it? Any complaints? Would you buy another?

I've been driving a Volvo wagon (mom-mobile) for 4 years now and frankly, I want something a little less tank-like.
Bite the bullet, get a Minivan!MB1
Feb 14, 2002 11:06 AM
Face it before long the Spinkid plus the Newkid is going to want/need to be driven around. You'll have lots of stuff too. How about carrying a few bikes and some Spinkids Spinfriends. The outback just isn't big enough for all that.

We will still respect you in the morning. ;-)
Don't (spit) get a (paTOO) minivan (shudder)cory
Feb 14, 2002 12:03 PM
If you enjoy driving at all, don't give in! There's less room in an Outback than in a minivan, but more than in (say) a Ford Explorer, and a lot of people buy those because they're "sooo roomy."
The other question is, how much room do you NEED? I hauled two kids from the birth of the first one until they were ages 6 and 2 in a two-door Toyota Corolla. Nobody says you have to take everything you own everywhere you go--a little self-discipline can't hurt you OR the Newkid--and there's hardly anything LESS fun to drive, day to day, than a van.
In addition to which, the Subaru is a pretty nice car in its own right. We put 70,000 miles on ours before it got comprehensively rear-ended and didn't have a single complaint.
more room in an Outback than an Explorer?Ted the Horseman
Feb 14, 2002 12:16 PM
Man what have you been smoking. There's WAY MORE room in an explorer than an Outback. You can fit 7 people in the new Explorers PLUS gear. Try that in an Outback. Nothing wrong with the Subaru, but let's call it straight here. The Outback is just a glorified station wagon.
yeah, but see, what I REALLY meant was...cory
Feb 14, 2002 4:37 PM
Sorry--what I meant to say was that there's more CARGO room in an Outback when the seats are up. Explorer's just got a little slit back there, unconscionable for the size and fuel consumption of the thing.
For the record, though, they're ALL glorified station wagons. I rented an Expedition a couple of weeks ago (asked for an intermediate, but that was all they had). That thing wouldn't last 10 miles out here where the men live...
no way! the explorer has way more roomBuffy
Feb 15, 2002 7:28 AM
Unless you're using the 3rd row seats (2002 explorer) you've got more than twice as much room in the back as an Outback. And way more headroom. Not to mention if you had to tow anything with the Outback...maybe a small jet ski would be about it. The Explorer can tow a large boat. And try to do any real 4 wheeling in an Outback without the low gear range. it aint gonna happen.
Minivan, minivan, minivanMcAndrus
Feb 14, 2002 12:31 PM
The minivan is the greatest vehicle innovation since Henry Ford and the Model T. The carrying capacity of a small truck and the comfort of a station wagon.

If you intend at all to take cross country trips with the kiddies you'll find how valuable a minivan truly is. You can carry all the gear you need and still have plenty of stretch out room so the kids can pretend you don't exist.
Minivan, minivan, minivan,no, no, no4bykn
Feb 14, 2002 12:43 PM
While the minivan does have a place in society, it lags behind a station wagon in ride comfort(can you say "body roll?"). And the carrying capacity of a small truck? Lets you and I hit the lumberyard Saturday morning. We'll both load 2000 pounds of bricks, you in a minivan, me in my F-150, and lets go for a drive.
Hmmm....maybe we'll violently agree hereMcAndrus
Feb 14, 2002 1:48 PM
Personally I don't consider an F-150 a small truck but I guess that's disputable. Compared to an Expedition or some such behemoth .....

And there have been countless times I've loaded lumber, drywall, 4x8 plywood, etc. into our Dodge Caravan.

My wife would love to have a pickup truck. She thinks they're cute. When she brings it up I ask her what she'd do with the kids on long trips, throw them in the pickup bed?

So as to your point about shear hauling capacity, you're right. I just think minivans are just too damn handy. Even if that does make me a middle-aged middle-class dweeb.
See, it's the middle-aged, middle class dweebSpinchick
Feb 14, 2002 2:10 PM
thing that gets me. I don't care if I look like one, I just don't want to feel like one. I LOVED driving my pickup truck (ahh, those were the days). Hubby and I switched cars after my daughter was born. Obviously, the p/u is not the practical vehicle of choice with more than one kid.
Then get an SUV...benefit of the truck w/ more passenger room (nDave Thomas
Feb 14, 2002 2:33 PM
4 door truck solves all the problemsIAM
Feb 15, 2002 12:06 AM
Seriously the Dodge Darango 4 door is awesome, I think there is an S10 now too. They have the comfortable interior of a car, four doors to get the kids in and out and the box to haul all your stuff. Put a toneau cover or a cap on it and it is the station wagon without being the station wagon( if you know what I mean )

My wife drives a mini-van and I drive an ext cab truck, but if I could only own one vehicle it would be a 4 door truck.
I'm sensing a trend hereMcAndrus
Feb 14, 2002 4:12 PM
Why would I prefer to ride a Colnago C-40 over a Trek 5500? Is it function? Well, sorta, kinda, maybe. Is it style? Well, sorta, kinda, maybe.

When you meet a new biker on the road one of the first things you do is check out her or his ride, right? You can tell a lot about the person by the bike.

Okay amateur and professional psychologists, jump on this one. Why do we put so much self-identity into the things we own (or that own us)?

And, by the way, I think you're perfectly fine to buy the SUV or pickup instead of the minivan. The only time I don't like pickups is when one of those big-butt four-wheel rear-end jobs passes me on a two-lane country road.
self identity...Spinchick
Feb 14, 2002 5:24 PM
just because I AM a middle-aged (okay not quite), middle class, dweeby soccer mom does not mean I have to drive a vehicle that screams it. KWIM? I will eventually get past this identity concern - I just haven't yet. And I'm just dweeby enough to admit it. ;-)
Hmmm....maybe we'll violently agree here4bykn
Feb 15, 2002 12:01 AM
Hmmmm....can't argue with any of your statements. Except the "cute" remark, ouch! I suppose my point was that a truck(I do consider mine small, regular cab, short bed) is a better hauling vehicle than a minivan. But for hauling people, I prefer a sedan.
middle-aged middle classed dweeb, notlonefrontranger
Feb 15, 2002 1:34 AM
We have a '96 Grand Caravan and a 3-week old '02 Subaru TS wagon.

The Suby was a screaming deal, got it for right around $15K. It's got power everything, CD, traction control, 4-wheel ABS, all wheel drive. My boyfriend wanted to get the WRX, but I couldn't see spending an extra 7 grand on what amounts to a turbocharger and suspension kit. The TS is plenty fast enough, thanks.

The Caravan has taken us to many, many, many bike races. We can stuff in 5 people, their bikes, all their gear, wheels and so on WITHOUT a rack. We don't have kids, and could care less what people think. The greatest thing about driving a minivan? Cops never give it a second glance unless we are perpetrating serious hooliganism (the only ticket we ever got with it was for 32 over). The second greatest thing about having a minivan at bike races? Privacy glass makes changing into or out of bike clothes a snap. A short person (me) can stand up in the back stark naked without drawing attention. The third greatest thing: On cold days, park down at the finish line with the heater running and suddenly EVERYONE is your friend. We've had 18 people in that van at one time (had to dump both benches out into the snow, big deal).
'02 TS wagonSpinchick
Feb 15, 2002 7:17 AM
for $15K? How did you manage that? And where can I get the same deal?
Incentiveslonefrontranger
Feb 15, 2002 8:44 AM
I guess after the x-mas rush, the car market tanked. We got the TS wagon from a local Subaru dealer in Longmont, and we were practically the only customers on the lot several times. We did our homework first, and went in armed to the teeth with invoice data and Internet deals, and yes, we did walk away more than once. We both found something on the lot we liked and could agree on, although we didn't let the car guys cotton to that - in the end they'll always give you a better deal on something they've got sitting there burning a hole in their inventory. Good credit and 2k cash in hand helped when we finally wrestled them to the table.

The TS is their base model compact wagon, but you'd never know it to drive it. We also looked at Civics and Corollas, and there's no comparison - you'd have to pay over $18K to get all the nice amenities we did on the Suby, then you still don't get traction control, AWD, 4-wheel ABS, better suspension, and the torquey little "boxer" engine. The TS is first cousin to the WRX, which is a street-legal rally car. We get the TS plenty fast and sideways on the gravel roads too, believe me ;-) The one we settled on is an automatic. I was initially looking for a stick, but I've become a believer in the modern "sport-tuned" automatics they're building now. Hell, even F1 drivers use synchronous shifting anymore. The Subaru auto has electronics that adjust the shift points to compensate for pedal input, meaning if you stomp it, it goes like nuts, and is designed so you can "auto-stick" it if you're into that kind of thing. Bonus: not having to shift through turns means you have that hand free for the handbrake! The only thing I'll miss is cruise control, but the AWD handling for winter driving around here more than makes up for it.

Did I mention we both race SCCA when we get the chance? We used to use my mom's old Celica, and can't wait to find an autocross for the Subaru.
middle-aged middle classed dweeb, notIronbutt
Feb 16, 2002 12:09 PM
Lonefrontranger-
You really hit the nail on the head. My wife and I ARE middle-aged dweebs (well, actually a little past middle age) and have driven small pick-ups, very large pick-ups and now a mini van. Best thing since sliced bread. We went to the Cross Florida ride with three singles, a tandem, and all the riders and gear inside the van. No, it's not a sports car, but thats what Porsches are for. We do have one guy in our cycling club who regularly carries his Merlin on top of his Boxster, but that's just too far for me. Besides, I don't like having my bike exposed to the elements at 70+mph. My only problem is that at 6'7", I can't stand up in the van.
check this out,lonefrontranger
Feb 16, 2002 9:10 PM
we have a deviant plan. When the '96 Grand Caravan is past prime, we'll get a 1 or 2-year old gently used one with the kiddie console - you know the one with the VCR, Gameboy plug-ins, rear heat and A/C, the whole loaded package. Why? Because used minivans are common as rats and cheap as dirt. It's a buyer's market.

I can just see us now at the Fruita Fat Tire festival: mattress in the back, Kranked vids on the console, playing Mario Bros, Doom, Winter-X Snowboarding, etc..., grabbing a cold one out of the camp fridge that you can plug into the rear outlet. My boyfriend has already figured out how to wire a DVD player into the console. Oh, yeah - ever seen the size of the subwoofer you can put in one of those suckers?

For those of you who've never taken a cross-country trip in a minivan, well - I feel sorry for you. The damn thing is a hotel room in itself. It's essentially an RV with a better stereo system and gas mileage that you can actually park somewhere.

It's all in how you use it.
No less of a tank than a Volvo wagon I'd sayTed the Horseman
Feb 14, 2002 12:13 PM
I have a Subaru Legacy and have to say it's no smaller than a Volvo wagon. Not sure what you need. Do you need to haul kids? Tow a trailer? What do you want from the Outback that you aren't getting from the Volvo? If you don't need to routinely haul more than 2-3 people, if you don't tow a trailer, and if you don't plan on any serious 4 wheeling thyen get the Outback. Otherwise get a real SUV or truck if you need any of these.
I don't see us needing to tow anything.Spinchick
Feb 14, 2002 12:52 PM
The Volvo we have now is a '92 740 - bigger and boxier than the newer Volvos. Our other vehicle is a Mazda B3000 pickup so we've got hauling room if we need it. I'm actually thinking about the Outback sedan as opposed to the wagon. We'll probably trade in the Mazda in less than a year and go for another wagon (or "GASP" an SUV).
Just don't get a Pontiac Ass-tek. (nm_Fool poster
Feb 14, 2002 3:24 PM
Just don't get a Pontiac Ass-tek. (nm_The Walrus
Feb 15, 2002 12:32 PM
Now, why couldn't it have been Pontiac that was going out of business instead of Oldsmobile? The world could've been spared that particular bit of grotesquery--so awful, you'd think it was French!
Subaru Outback now, Caravan previouslySteve98501
Feb 14, 2002 10:16 PM
Spinchick,

I've had my Outback for a little over a year. I'm very satisfied with it. I can haul bikes on the top rack (or skis) and have a trailer hitch to haul two more bikes or my small boat trailer. Used to have a Grand Caravan, which was perfectly suited to the soccer mom and dad days. I'm an empty nester now, and I wanted to all wheel drive for skiing and some of the out of the way places I go. Can't sleep in it like I could the van, but there are hotels most everywhere. I think the Outback would be fine with two small kids, but it will become limiting in a few years, maybe when it's time for a replacement. Get the minivan then. You can haul all the kids, all the places, all the time. Arduous, but it was great while it lasted. And the van was perfect for family road trips all over the western states. Both have their place, and you'll love either one, but for different reasons.
Agree--Outback great for singles...not for those with 2+ kids-nmBuffy
Feb 15, 2002 7:31 AM
re: Anyone own a Subaru Outback?netso
Feb 15, 2002 5:10 AM
Explorer Sport Trac!
Pontiac VibeStarliner
Feb 15, 2002 5:03 PM
Just introduced, this car might make people forget that Pontiac made the Ass-tek. It's a compact people hauler with a lot of versatility and decent looks. Kind of a mini-minivan that won't make you feel like a dweeb. Toyota also has a version -- both are manufactured together on the same assembly line in California if you can imagine that. So the quality of the Pontiac should match the Toyota's.
join IMBA and get a Legacy in 6 monthsgtx
Feb 16, 2002 9:42 PM
the Legacy is the same car without the silly wheels and body cladding and you'll save about $3000. Join IMBA and you'll be able to get it at wholesale after 6 months.

http://www.imba.com/news/news_releases/03_01/03_05_subaru.html
Actually the Outback has more clearance if that matters (nm)ColnagoFE
Feb 18, 2002 11:10 AM