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Old 01-29-2013, 02:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Competitors: Final List.

Here is my list of possibles as an alternative to the Outback:
- Lexus RX350.
- Volva XC60 and 70.
- (Haven't looked at the Q5 and it's the last I need to).

I'm buying within the next 6 months. I'm already choosing and debating about the options on the Outback to just make a decision. But I'm still going to look at the ones above (test drive and test with the cargo we need to haul). My budget covers all of the above. That's not really a large issue. I can't afford a Touareg TDI though.

My priorities are comfort (and the RX may be the most comfortable between all of these) and cargo space (large dog crate + room for cargo). I do want AWD that works as well. But the Outback is probably the most comfortable in its class ($35k and below) with the space we need.

Don't recommend Toyota, or Kia or Hyundai. They are NOT comfortable to the level that I need (physical for my wife).

Are there any other options (less than $40k) that I haven't checked out that would fall in the most comfortable group?

(Feel free to give me other opinions about the cars listed above).
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Everything thing I hear and read about Volvos are they are prone to electrical problems and quality is certainly not what it used to be. As far as the AWD is concerned, I do not believe any of your listed vehicles can hold a candle to the OB.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rear facing car seat? RX lacks big time in spacing between front and rear seat. Very good friend has one and hates it - he can't fit in the drivers seat 6ft tall. He has driven the Gen4 OB with the same exact car seat rear facing and can fit in the drivers seat. His comment is "Paid WAY WAY too MUCH for a car that doesn't work"

No kids the Lexus hands down regarding quality of materials - electronics and reliability.

Volvo don't even bother looking horrid electrical systems - very poor reliability not worth the headache.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sister has a new RX and MDX. Rear facing car seats fit with room to spare behind 6'2" driver or passenger.

As to the OP, the OB is quite different from those vehicles. Is luxury a priority or is value and simplicity? Answering that should make your choice easier.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The RX is incredibly soft in terms of ride/handling compared to the OB IMO... take that as a plus or minus depending on your preferences.

As someone who prefers feeling more in control I felt like the RX was suspended so softly and rolled/dived so much that I hated it. I remember feeling like the RX was going to do a forward roll if you hit the brakes hard enough...

That was a long time ago.. the RX was the first vehicle I remember seeing with reclining rear seats.. it is/was super comfy. But lots of vehicles including the OB have reclining rear seats now.

I always find threads about luxury cars amusing.. you are mostly paying for name. Versus an Outback limited with Eyesight + Nav + Moonroof practically the only difference with some of these vehicles in terms of "luxury" is appearance and feel of things you never touch and feel. Stuff like soft touch plastic on top of the dash is always super amusing to me.. no one ever touches it, how the heck does that make a car luxurious? And yet everyone thinks it's a big deal since journalists think a car with a hard dash panel is incredibly uncomfortable for some reason.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't spend time on the Q5 unless you're prepaired to pay the up charge on having that vehicle serviced.

Don't get me wrong, it is a beau-teee-ful ride. But they're pricey to maintain whether you do it yourself or pay the stealership to do it.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The RX, Highlander and Minivan all sit on the Camry platform simply dressed up with different bodies and options. Very solid platform and quality just isn't inspiring in any manner and the RX lacks the spacing you need for car seats.

Good friend turned his Q5 lease in and bought a Jetta TDI sports wagon this past year. They have two kids nearly identical age as ours 3.5yrs and 10months. He said the Q5 and the Sportwagon are more or less identical in seating room. He likes the handling of the sportwagon more and is thinking he should have leased it given the future repair costs have him thinking it was a mistake to purchase it. Q5 he had for 3yrs liked it they did have a number of issues with it. Though as a lease it didn't bother him given he got a replacement Q5 each time it spent time in the shop no cost to him.

MDX and Honda Pilot are both in the same general class as the RX regarding SUV like tall body and roughly similar size with the RX being smaller.

Gen4 OB when parked side by side with the Highlander, Pilot etc is more or less the same length/ foot print for parking. Seems to make better use of seating space though obviously has less above privacy cover space than the taller boxy SUV bodies. OB also costs less.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soon2bSubaru View Post
Everything thing I hear and read about Volvos are they are prone to electrical problems and quality is certainly not what it used to be. As far as the AWD is concerned, I do not believe any of your listed vehicles can hold a candle to the OB.
Very good tip thanks!
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subiesailor View Post
Rear facing car seat? RX lacks big time in spacing between front and rear seat. Very good friend has one and hates it - he can't fit in the drivers seat 6ft tall. He has driven the Gen4 OB with the same exact car seat rear facing and can fit in the drivers seat. His comment is "Paid WAY WAY too MUCH for a car that doesn't work"

No kids the Lexus hands down regarding quality of materials - electronics and reliability.

Volvo don't even bother looking horrid electrical systems - very poor reliability not worth the headache.
I'm 6ft and didn't have any trouble, now I didn't check the back seat for baby seat. Those will come in the next year or so.

I don't care that much about "quality of materials" except if that aids in comfort. The RX is more comfortable (seating and noise) than the OB.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatabbot View Post
Sister has a new RX and MDX. Rear facing car seats fit with room to spare behind 6'2" driver or passenger.

As to the OP, the OB is quite different from those vehicles. Is luxury a priority or is value and simplicity? Answering that should make your choice easier.
My choice is based more largely on comfort (noise and seats). I don't care all that much about luxury/simplicity etc. If I had it my way I'd probably be driving a BMW 335i.
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