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They definitely need to do something to move forward with a modern power train. A PHEV or fully electric Outback and Forester is what Subaru desperately needs.

They can get by for now, but come 2023-2025 they will be in a terrible position compared to where other automakers are going with electrification.
 

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2020 Subaru Outback xt
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No way, I just traded in a Prius V and the whole hybrid thing is overblown. We had to replace the battery on the Prius and it costs a ton. I did the math, the yearly saving on gas is a bit more than the cost of more tire replacements and a battery eventually. The car is so heavy, it is hard on tires. Does terrible in the mountains. It just isn't worth it in my opinion for the life of the car to save a bit each year.
 

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Toyota and Subaru don't know how to make a decent PHEV. The Crosstrek and Prius PHEVs are jokes; their range is puny. Have a gander at this story: https://ww.electrek.co/2020/01/20/a-subaru-toyota-co-developed-electric-suv-is-targeted-for-ahem-2025/

The comments afterward are also very interesting to read; Subaru superfans who can't bear to hear criticism of Subaru might not want to read the comments. But the fact is that Subaru and Toyota look to be in real trouble by not taking electrification seriously, and waiting until 2025 to come out with only a single BEV... Very sad...
 

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2015 OB 2.5i Ltd replaced 2010 OB; 20 mm WRX rear sway bar & Michelin LXT Premier tires; replaced 2010 2.5 OB Ltd. City car is 2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Prem
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It really depends on the specs.
If it got 25+ on plug in power, and wasn't terribly overpriced I'd be all over it. Tired of my 2015 2.5i's ~ 22 mpg on Seattle city streets. Disclosure: I have a Kia Niro PHEV w range of 26 miles. We rarely exceed that and are getting about 120 mpg summer and 95 mpg winter (uses ICE to heat interior).
 

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2015 OB 2.5i Ltd replaced 2010 OB; 20 mm WRX rear sway bar & Michelin LXT Premier tires; replaced 2010 2.5 OB Ltd. City car is 2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Prem
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413 Posts
I should have added that RAV-4 Prime PHEV slated to be released later this year is supposed to get 39 mpg on PHEV battery. Would love to see Subie adapt that tech for the OB.
 

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2005 Outback XT.
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409 Posts
I should have added that RAV-4 Prime PHEV slated to be released later this year is supposed to get 39 mpg on PHEV battery. Would love to see Subie adapt that tech for the OB.
Supposedly, it will also have an electric-only range of about 40 miles, which means I could drive to and from work without using gas and plugging in only once or twice a week. Then, for longer trips, I have the hybrid functionality with great gas mileage. And if I need to soft-road, I have the ground clearance to do so. I know it won't drive quite as nice as an OB, but I'm intrigued.
 

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2020 Onyx Edition, Storm Trooper White
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No way, I just traded in a Prius V and the whole hybrid thing is overblown. We had to replace the battery on the Prius and it costs a ton. I did the math, the yearly saving on gas is a bit more than the cost of more tire replacements and a battery eventually. The car is so heavy, it is hard on tires. Does terrible in the mountains. It just isn't worth it in my opinion for the life of the car to save a bit each year.
As a former hybrid driver myself (Ford CMax), I don't think the whole hybrid thing is overblown at all, I got pretty much great MPGs especially City with my hybrid and I drove my CMax to Mammoth in the winter months for 7 years straight (a 570 miles round trip, 800 ft to 8200 ft elevation change) with no issues except the dreaded 8-9 miles of Sherwin grade just out of Bishop. With my CMax fully loaded - that was the only tough one to climb, killed the MPGs alot.

The CMax had a little more power than the same Gen Prius & that was the reason why I got it and a bigger gas tank as well. I think I changed my tires around 55K - 60K, it was normal. As well, no issues with battery (mine is at 127K odo at the moment, 70K in EV mode) so I'll figure out when this needs to be changed (probably junk it since it's now our utility 3rd car in our family).

However, I agree a PHEV battery is extra weight is too **** heavy ala Energi - but I do think a smaller 1.4 kWh may be good such as EV starts, rolling down a grade in full EV (just enjoying the sound of wind, no engine noise, nothing) or provide EV boost (not that the turbo would need this). I think what RAM is doing with their small EV assist start/stop is worth looking at, much smoother. The start/stop is "unrefined" rough in my Outback. My 2ev ?
 

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We decided our 4th gen outback is our last car without a plug. Unfortunately Subaru seems years off from having many PHEV or EV options so we’ll likely have to buy from another manufacturer. Subaru’s main selling point has long been its excellent boxer / AWD combo, so it is surprising to watch them go from leading to lagging the industry in terms of powertrain technology.
 

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In Europe the 6th generation sold in US is not (yet) available, mainly due to emission regulations.
Furthermore, the 5th one is available only with the 2.5 liters and she will not get an e-boxer version according to Subaru Italy. The actual e-boxer is based on a 2.0 liters engine and is too small for the Outback.
In EU are available only with the e-boxer: Forester, Impreza (new entry of this year) and XV (Crosstrek in US).
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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In EU are available only with the e-boxer: Forester, Impreza (new entry of this year) and XV (Crosstrek in US).
Thanks for the tip; article on the XV is here (unfortunately, only in German, it seems). They're not jumping in very assertively with only a 12.3 kW electric motor; in comparison, my wife's non-plugin 2011 Prius has 20 kW.

 

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Thanks for the tip; article on the XV is here (unfortunately, only in German, it seems). They're not jumping in very assertively with only a 12.3 kW electric motor; in comparison, my wife's non-plugin 2011 Prius has 20 kW.

Yeah I know. The e-boxer is totally different from Toyota HSD.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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The thing about plug-in hybrids, is that IF they have a non-trivial all-electric range, then the battery pack needs to be quite a bit larger (and heavier) than a "regular" hybrid without plug-in capability. A case-in-point is the comparison between a Honda Accord Hybrid (non-plug-in), and the Honda Clarity (plug-in). The all electric range of the Clarity os 45 miles or thereabouts (from memory). To achieve this, its Li-ion battery pack has about 10x the capacity of the Accord Hybrid's. it also added maybe 700 lbs. (The Accord Hybrid is actually about the same weight as the gas-engine Accords.)

If you are going to be good about plugging in the car every night, and if the 40-50 mile all-electric range covers a fair portion of your daily use, then the plug-in hybrid makes sense. But if you're not plugging it in, it's worse at being a regular hybrid, due to lugging around the extra weight. Worse performance, worse handling, and worse mpg, when in "regular" hybrid mode.

The Subaru Crosstrek hybrid is plug-in, but with a more limited electric-only range, so it's battery pack is not that large, compared to other plug-ins. But even so, it reduces the cargo volume by a fair amount.

There are also some hybrids that are plug-in, but make no real attempt at having a useful all-electric range. An example is the Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid, which is aimed primarily at getting extra performance, by adding electric rear-wheel motors as an addition to what is the higher-power gas engine option. The base gas engine is a 2.0 liter turbo-4, with about 250 hp (called the "T5", despite being a four-cylinder). Next up is a 2.0 liter four-cylinder with both a turbo AND supercharging, worth about 330 hp (called the T6). Finally, the T8 hybrid uses the same 330 hp (or so) T6 gas engine, and adds electric motors for the rear wheels, for over 400 effective hp. My impression is that the only reason for making it a plug-in was to qualify for federal and state tax credits. Because it is not all that efficient, from an mpg perspective....
 

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If you are going to be good about plugging in the car every night, and if the 40-50 mile all-electric range covers a fair portion of your daily use, then the plug-in hybrid makes sense.
Agreed. The average American drives 30 miles a day. PHEVs with at least 40 miles of electric range are ideal for most families as the battery is big enough to last through a normal driving day and small enough to be charged overnight in the garage or driveway from a standard 110V outlet. Gas engine is there for cold days and longer trips. RAV4 Prime looks great on paper - hopefully a similar system can make its way to the Outback soon.
 
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