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Discussion Starter #1
Wife and I + kids traversed the last nights winter storm here in the sierras of Norther California. We've had our 2011 two years this month & 27K miles and while I have taken / used the car in summer months on off- road excursions exceeding my expectations, this was my first time driving 70+ miles over the Lake Tahoe area summit, snowing in near white out conditions with more snow, slush and fresh powder on the road than the plows could keep up with.

As soon as the road went from wet to snow covered I was expecting that teeth gritting, white knuckle feeling come over me that I have been previously accustomed to with previous 4X4 trucks, and AWD cars we've owned and driven in the same or similar condition but did not feel at all with the Outback.

There has been a horse beating of many threads on this forum about which Outback, the manual, 3.6R or the CVT have the better AWD? as a '13 WRX owner as well I found the engagement or seemlessness of operation transparent during the entire trip, even as we approached nearly un-visable highway with what felt like 3" of unplowed snow.

The only time it got interesting was when the wipers could not keep the ice of the glass, I pulled off into an unplowed & vacant rest area that had what seemed like 4"-5" of snow In the parking lot. I didn't realize this was a bad idea till I had already driven into the lot, was too dangerous to just pull along the side of the highway. Anyway, after I cleared ice off the glass I got back in and tried to drive off. I the traction control kicked in instantly for the first time during the entire trip and would not allow any forward movement, tried reverse with same result. Turned off traction control and was only able to get free after backing up 15-20' and getting a run at it with my foot to the floor.

At a couple points along the trip the snow and condition were so bad, cars were pulling over along the side of the road, some vehicles like a new Highlander, a couple Acura MDX's etc..that I though would have been able to keep going as well as my Outback and the lifted Toyota Tacoma I was following, using its taillights as a sight marker.

Overall this is the most secure feeling vehicle I have ever driven or traversed such conditions with. The Outback made it feel like I was driving on a dry highway in the summer, just incredible grip and awesome performance form even the oem Contis with 27K commuting miles on them. What can be improved? I have the cold weather pkg, and this feature seemed to keep the buildup of ice and snow in the cowl but not the wipers or windscreen in general. I also wish the rear defroster would keep the feature enabled longer instead of turning off what seems like every 5-10 minutes. I also wish there was at least 20-30 more hp from the 2.5, as when I needed to plow through that snow in that unplowed parking lot, I barely got through as I had it floored but was barely moving. I got the feeling the extra grunt from the 3.6R would have surely made that situation less eventful.
 

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'15 Forester 2.5 CVT
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Overall this is the most secure feeling vehicle I have ever driven or traversed such conditions with. The Outback made it feel like I was driving on a dry highway in the summer, just incredible grip and awesome performance form even the oem Contis with 27K commuting miles on them.
Imagine with dedicated winter tires !
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Imagine with dedicated winter tires !
Unfortunately we don't drive in those conditions nearly enough to warrant dedicated snows, but when these tires finally wear out I will be getting a set of Geolanders.

I told my wife, now I get why people love these cars so much. You can be a terrible driver and the Outback is so forgiving and predictable it makes driving in such conditions nothing of it. That could be it Achilles heel though, as most people may not respect that sense of confidence.
 

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2013 OBW 2.5i, & 2002 WRX
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I was out in my 2013 Outback 2.5i CVT & the only thing I did do was turn off the stability/traction control for a little fun.
The Xi3 tires weren't too shabby either.

Seems more stable & less twichy than my 2002 WRX with snows...
 

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2013 Outback 2.5 Premium
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32 Posts
Was driving around Mammoth this weekend in the storm.

The car is dangerous - meaning, it feels *too* comfortable in the nasty conditions ;-)

It really felt like it had "track shoes" on when I was running around town, and up and down the mountain.

'13 2.5CVT
 

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2013 OB 2.5i Premium/DDD Graphite Gray Metallic OP#2 Weathertec Window Deflectors
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405 Posts
Wife and I + kids traversed the last nights winter storm here in the sierras of Norther California. We've had our 2011 two years this month & 27K miles and while I have taken / used the car in summer months on off- road excursions exceeding my expectations, this was my first time driving 70+ miles over the Lake Tahoe area summit, snowing in near white out conditions with more snow, slush and fresh powder on the road than the plows could keep up with.

As soon as the road went from wet to snow covered I was expecting that teeth gritting, white knuckle feeling come over me that I have been previously accustomed to with previous 4X4 trucks, and AWD cars we've owned and driven in the same or similar condition but did not feel at all with the Outback.

There has been a horse beating of many threads on this forum about which Outback, the manual, 3.6R or the CVT have the better AWD? as a '13 WRX owner as well I found the engagement or seemlessness of operation transparent during the entire trip, even as we approached nearly un-visable highway with what felt like 3" of unplowed snow.

The only time it got interesting was when the wipers could not keep the ice of the glass, I pulled off into an unplowed & vacant rest area that had what seemed like 4"-5" of snow In the parking lot. I didn't realize this was a bad idea till I had already driven into the lot, was too dangerous to just pull along the side of the highway. Anyway, after I cleared ice off the glass I got back in and tried to drive off. I the traction control kicked in instantly for the first time during the entire trip and would not allow any forward movement, tried reverse with same result. Turned off traction control and was only able to get free after backing up 15-20' and getting a run at it with my foot to the floor.

At a couple points along the trip the snow and condition were so bad, cars were pulling over along the side of the road, some vehicles like a new Highlander, a couple Acura MDX's etc..that I though would have been able to keep going as well as my Outback and the lifted Toyota Tacoma I was following, using its taillights as a sight marker.

Overall this is the most secure feeling vehicle I have ever driven or traversed such conditions with. The Outback made it feel like I was driving on a dry highway in the summer, just incredible grip and awesome performance form even the oem Contis with 27K commuting miles on them. What can be improved? I have the cold weather pkg, and this feature seemed to keep the buildup of ice and snow in the cowl but not the wipers or windscreen in general. I also wish the rear defroster would keep the feature enabled longer instead of turning off what seems like every 5-10 minutes. I also wish there was at least 20-30 more hp from the 2.5, as when I needed to plow through that snow in that unplowed parking lot, I barely got through as I had it floored but was barely moving. I got the feeling the extra grunt from the 3.6R would have surely made that situation less eventful.
(Push your defrost button and hold until the light flashes, then release it, it acts like an over ride)
 

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2013 OB 3.6R Limited, Black Silica
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383 Posts
(Push your defrost button and hold until the light flashes, then release it, it acts like an over ride)
That's good to know! Thanks

also, pressing the VDC button just bypasses the engine throttle control. The traction control (braking,f/r power transfer) is still active. Been snowing last few days so i have been hitting the button to have a little throttle fun too. It's boring when you step on the throttle and the vdc say's "no way". Press vdc and the engine does what i want as in 4 wheel drifting goodness!:D
 

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2012 SUBARU OUTBACK 3.6 LIMITED, ICE SILVER
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42 Posts
first Subaru winter here in Canada, it is such a boring car in winter, with my xice2 ,no matter how hard I try, never feel any slip in snow or ice. LOL!
Safer? I think it is more dangerous since I drive faster and AWD has nothing to do with brake.
 
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