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Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK, I'll fire off an opening thread in this forum. How does the Outback compare to other SUVs?

IT IS NOT A TRUCK. When one parks next to you, you can see through it. When one is ahead of you in traffic, you can still see ahead.

It is a compromise, like any vehicle - and for me, it lands just at the right spot between rock crawler and ordinary car. I use mine mostly in town, running errands and hauling people and groceries. Ho hum. But I also load it with camping gear and take it off the road. No other vehicle made fits my needs better - many could beat the OB for part of my needs, though. As long as I need an all-in-one vehicle, this is it.
 

SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
5,122 Posts
I had wrote a big long thread in this forum the other day, but for some reason it didn't post and I spent so much time writing it I said fudge it I won't write it again:3:

Anyway the thing that gets me about "SUVs" is why do people really need them? I'd say about 80% of people who own SUVs will never use them how they are intended to be used. Way to many people go and buy $40k, 15MPG, mega-sized Expeditions, Yukons, Suburbans, JGC, etc and only use the 4x4 in the snow if that. An Outback will haul just as much as a JGC, it may not be as good off road though. I'd say that 95% of JGC owners will never be in any offroad situation where they will need anything more than what an Outback can do. I've had my OB in the mud, snow, sand, etc and it may not be a Humvee but it holds its own. I've even had to pull a few Jeeps out, no kidding!

The next thing that bugs me is "crossover SUVs." Do you know what those are? Two words... Tall Wagons. No joke, look at our sister sites. The Acura MDX, Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano, Toyota Highlander, etc are all labeled "crossover SUVs" but how are they different from the Outback Wagon. They have AWD systems, they haul and carry about the same, hmmm... they are taller and most have seating for 7+. So they are taller and have more seating, wow:rolleyes: I'm sure you could put a 3rd row seat in an OB if you wanted, still are these soccer moms who don't want to drive a minivan ever going to use these seats. Probably sometime, still why not just get a minivan? Well they are not cool and some don't have AWD. Thats the answer I usually get, so I guess for those types that there justifies spending the big bucks to be superficial.

I may sound kinda crude, sorry but I've had this discussion with many different people before. Its just that people don't think that wagons and minivans have this "lame stigma" and driving one makes you a loser if you will. Well you're only a loser if you think you're a loser, I'm 21 and I drive an Outback Wagon. I'm not the target Outback Wagon buyer I'd say but I'd say that my OB is the overall best car I've ever driven or even sold at that (I'm a former car salesman).

Anyway sorry for the long post, when I settle down I'll write more later. ***End of rant***

:soapbox:
 

Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
First, if you invest effort in a big reply, then either compose it in, or save it to, a plain-text editor application so you will still have your work if the forum fails.

Next - you can bet that almost all of the SUVs you see on the street will never intentionally go off-road. Well, at least not until they are old beaters bought by kids who love driving in yards ... "hear me now and believe me later" ...

Next - the Outback is not as capable as some of the SUVs such as a Suburban off the road (ignoring the question of whether most owners will ever actually do that). It has a lot of front and rear overhang that would cause it to get hung up jumping in and out of creek banks and such. But on snow, ice, sand, gravel, mud, etc., it rules. No buttons to push, the AWD is always there.

Next - the Outback is a tall wagon. but it's a plain wagon body. equivalent to the Legacy wagon, on a lift kit. It is not a top-heavy body placed on an existing car chassis. So as I said before, it does not block the view of others. Yes you lose third-row seating, but have you EVER seen all three rows occupied in one of the crossover SUVs? And if you were to seat that many people, I hope they didn't bring any cargo, because you lose that space when you use the third-row seat. If that's what you need to do, then get an AWD minivan like a Montana.

Finally, I like looking lame in a wagon, like I'm borrowing my wife's car. I'm 45 years old, reliably laid, and I don't need a babe magnet. I look like nothing. Yet I drive the thing like a fcuking hammer, and the worse the driving surface becomes, the more I like it. BIG BOZO GRIN So when it comes to driving satisfaction, I have it.

So let everyone else drive their trucks and pretend to be rugged individuals enjoying their freedom in the wilderness - err, in traffic in town. I'll cut through them like an ME109 in a formation of bombers.
 

SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
5,122 Posts
First, please don't try to skip around the naughty language filter. Its no big deal to me, I could care less we are all mature adults here. Still, we all need to maintain the propper internet standard for posting and whatnot.

Next, I totally agree that the Outback dominates in the snow, slush, sand, etc. I recently drove through a blizzard for 9 hours, afterwords I had established a complete faith in this vehicle and brand.

Pressing on, I've seen little kids in the 3rd row of a Honda Pilot, I doubt you could comfortably fit anyone taller than 5'8" back there if that. So yes a minivan would be a perfect alternative if not just an outright standard for someone who needs to seat more than 5 people. I just really don't see the need for any crossover SUV as compared to a wagon or minivan for the typical car buyer. They can't tow like a real SUV so that excuse is thrown out too.

Lasty, many of you here may not know that on average a wagon has the lowest insurance rates/costs of any auto made today. The Legacy and Outback Wagons are of the lowest cost wagons to insure. Why? It is cheap to fix a Legacy wagon, the theft rate is non-existant (the theifs want those overpriced SUV's, not wagons), the Legacy's class leading safety rating just to name a few reasons.

Going back to the blizzard story, there is nothing I liked more that day than passing Jeeps, Burbans, Exploders, etc going 70mph IN THE SNOW. I must have seen at least 60 various cars in the ditches on my trip. Most offenders were Jeeps or Hondas, I could just here them crying, "Help me Subie, help me!" or "Curse those arrogant Subaru drivers that can go the speed limit with no worries!" :22:
 

Registered
2003 H6-3.0 Wagon (non-VDC, non-LLB)
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13 Posts
OB vs. JGC

We actually looked at a Grand Cherokee, a nice one with leather and all the doodads. Probably could have bought it for about the same price as the OB. (Both were 2003 closeout models.) We even had a deal negotiated, and decided to take a night and sleep on it. We went back to look at the Subaru a second time the next day and never made it back to the Jeep dealer!

I do respect the Grand Cherokee a bit more than I do most of the other soccer-mom SUV's--with the right equipment, it can be a great off-road vehicle. But I considered how much time and expense I'd actually be able to devote to taking my nice new Jeep off-road (not much), and decided I'd rather have a reliable vehicle that could get me through our infrequent (but awful, due to a lack of plowing capacity) snowstorms here in Tennessee, while being a better on-road performer the other 360 or so days a year. That, and I really admire Subaru's engineering (though most passengers' eyes glaze over when I start singing the praises of the symmetrical layout, horizontally-opposed engine, etc., etc.).

I could go on at length about my co-worker who has a fully-loaded Yukon (successor to her 'Eddie Bauer' Explorer) as her daily driver, but can't seem to make it in to work when we have snow--but that's another thread!
 

Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Another issue with going off-road - there are a lot of places you can drive through, but your ride will not look the same. Here in Ohio we have a lot of oil well maintenance roads, usually just gravel or mud 2-tracks through the brush. The car can drive these just fine, but there is so much brush hanging over the track that you'd scratch the body up pretty badly. So you're better off using a beater for that, instead of a shiny new vehicle.

Another thing about third-row seats - a few weeks ago I was behind a Pathfinder (or Trooper?) that had two kids in the third seat. It looked like their heads were only about ten inches away from the glass, no headrests. In my mind I imagined the crash test dummies in a rear-end collision...
 

SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 105,000+ miles
Joined
5,122 Posts
Re: OB vs. JGC

tn_subieman said:
I could go on at length about my co-worker who has a fully-loaded Yukon (successor to her 'Eddie Bauer' Explorer) as her daily driver, but can't seem to make it in to work when we have snow--but that's another thread!
On the contrary, this is just the place to discuss her minature school bus. Just throw in some Subaru content and its okay with me! :D


The_Lizard said:
Another thing about third-row seats - a few weeks ago I was behind a Pathfinder (or Trooper?) that had two kids in the third seat. It looked like their heads were only about ten inches away from the glass, no headrests. In my mind I imagined the crash test dummies in a rear-end collision...
A chilling thought, sad but true :(
 

Tokyo's between my toes
2001 Wintergreen Outback 5MT
Joined
6,684 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Under the general heading of Sad But True: The more people you load into a top-heavy SUV, the more top-heavy it becomes, thus increasing both the difficulty of control and the resulting death and injury when control is lost.

ALAS BABYLON FOR YOU HAVE FALLEN
 

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Hi all! I am really glad that we finally have our own site. Great job!
Comparing my 02 OBW with my last SUV, 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, I have to say that they all have their own pros and cons.
Since I never do any off road driving, all my experience with these two vehicles is based on on-road driving.
Don't get me wrong, I really like my OBW (once weather get warmer, I will post some pics). I love how civilized my OBW behaves. It is limble and great on gas (24 mpg vs. 15 mpg).

However, the AWD system works Okay but not seamlessly. Whenever one tire is starting to slip when it hits a wet or icy spot on the freeway (i.e. 40 mph or higer), I can feel the AWD system engaging. Eventhough it only takes a fraction of a second, it is not as seamness as my old JGC (with Select-Trac AWD system). Not very conforting. When I was in my JGC, I never had the sliping sensation.

After driving a truck-based SUV for many years, driving the OBW is a breeze. :)
 

Registered
2004 Outback Wagon H4 5spd
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50 Posts
Hi all!

I'm a brand new Outback owner, took home a 2004 4cyl 5spd wagon yesterday. Interestingly enough, this is replacing a 2001 Grand Cherokee Limited.

The GC was a lease and I found I just don't need that much truck. I originally got it because I wanted something with a lot of room (but not huge) that would go anywhere in any weather, and in this it certainly delivered. Along the way I found I liked the off-road thing so much that I bought a Wrangler to go places even the Grand couldn't. Lo and behold I also discovered it was possible to cram all our camping junk into the much smaller Jeep - the law of "The stuff you take expands to fill the available vehicle".

After a while the GC began to look and feel rather cumbersome. The mileage (or lack thereof) became tiresome. By the time the lease started to run down, my wife and I decided we wanted something else. AWD was a must for winters, moderate off-road capability, something way more car-like than the big Jeep but with enough room to move a bit of stuff when necessary. The Outback won out.

If you really need a trucky SUV, then nothing else will completely work, but everyone knows most SUV buyers don't. I know I don't. It's just the wife and me, we got a REAL Jeep for going way off road and an Outback to handle everything between Wrangler duty and playtoy duty (filled by the BMW M Roadster that stays in the garage all winter.)

The 4 cyl is powerful enough (just) with the manual trans, delightfully inexpensive and I can't wait to see the gas savings over that pig of a Grand Cherokee. Gotta admit though, I might have gone for an H6 for a bit more power and the convenience of an auto (even though I generally prefer shifting and my other cars are manuals) The deciding factor? I HATE beige interiors, :28: and that's all Subaru was offering in the sixes. Gimme a gray interior any day.

See y'all around - looks like this startup here has the makings of a nice board. I'm just starting to explore Subies online.

RL
 

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I have three young kids. They all have to be in car seats for some years to come. I have an 04 Toyota Prius with 3 car seats in the back seat side-by-side. I even managed to squeeze those three seats into the back seat of my OBS once.

Granted, it's tight fit. But I still wouldn't consider an SUV just b/c of 7-pass. seating. The only one I would consider would be the hydrogen fuel cell Highlander, when it becomes available... I sometimes think even the OBW is too big..(OK, fire away, :rolleyes: )

I want my kids to know what trees are and what clean air smells like from first-hand experiences, not from the history channel.

Ban the SUV's, keep Subaru in business...:D

tbert
 

Super Moderator
2007 Outback H6 LL Bean - Champagne Gold Opal
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6,009 Posts
The_Lizard said:
Yet I drive the thing like a fcuking hammer, and the worse the driving surface becomes, the more I like it. BIG BOZO GRIN So when it comes to driving satisfaction, I have it.
Man, you took the words out of my mouth.
That's EXACTLY how I feel.
While my '97OB lacks a bit of umph, I am still shocked at how easily I can go from 60 to 80mph. That pays off when I am passing people on the highway.

There is nothing better than seeing the look on the face of a young (16-21) kid driving a "sporty" car (Eclipse, Any VTEC Honda...) as you fly past him doing 80 in a STATION WAGON.
My favorite thing is to then get far enough ahead and just wait for the kid to come flying past me in a sad effort to assert his dominance. Alright dude! Way to go! Your (much lighter and aerodynamic) car can drive faster than a Wagon! You win! (I imagine this would be even more fun if I drove an WRX Wagon, because then I probably still could beat him!)

Ehehehehehe! But we all know who the real winner is. I can drive that way in pretty much any weather, I'd love to see him try!

The more I think about it, the more I drive my car as though it was a WRX. I probably accelerate a bit harder than I should...and I definitely take corners/turns WAY faster than I should. It's all good though. 141k miles and still kicking. (New shocks next week probably. KYB-GR2s I hope.)
 
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