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2020 Outback LDF MSRP $37,383
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Drove from Bend, OR to Reno, NV - 900 mile round trip - this week just to break the car in with some highway miles rather than day tripping around here at 55mph. This is my first Suby so I'm a virgin tester.
Following are my impressions:
I tried to keep the spedo between 60 - 70 mph. Outside temp was 100° so I traveled the last 4 hours going to Reno with the A/C on. Four cylinders unassisted just didn't have the torque to do the uphills - even slight inclines - without the tranny dropping down a gear. I played with the SS (Sport Shift) to keep in 4th lockup and it was OK but I could feel the car straining. I decided that the A/T (Automatic Trans) was smarter than I was and it did a better job of driving that I did. Also there seems to be a gear in between 3rd and 4th that you can only get to in A/T mode. I still used the SS mode to decelerate. I have some phobia about putting on the brakes so I am glad I have the option of using the SS to lose speed. The A/T did not very often go into 3rd - even of a steep uphill. It found that spot in between 3 & 4 and seemed happy. So you don't have the usual big jump in RPM's I have experienced with other makes of auto trannys when shifting down a gear.
The return trip was similar except that I left Reno around 0500 and did not use the A/C until the last two hours of driving. This time I had sufficient miles to use CRUISE. Cruise has s funny quirk - when going downhill - there is a pulse - when there is no load. Not objectionable but noticeable.
Mileage going was 32. Return trip was 34. And this is with a car with only 1000 miles on the odometer! AND REMEMBER - the i's fuel cost $0.10 less per gallon than the Turbo or 3.0.
To do over would I rather have the Turbo or the 3.0? NO! I will suffer the limitations of the 2.5i in return for the better mileage. I just have to understand that any of these import 4 cyl cars get to where they are going with higher RPM's.
The leather seat were not uncomfortable - even in the high temps. So I would buy exactly the same Suby, with the same options, again.
I did stop by Thomas Subaru on the way home to pick up a couple of oil filters. The 2.5i can also use the Turbo filter - which is a shortened version because the filter is so close to the exhaust pipe. The i's filter is a paltry 2½" long- the Turbo's is much shorter. If volume means anything in filtering ability - the Turbo is shy.
JMHO !!!!!!!!!!
 
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