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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited (Venetian Red)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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2012 Outback Premium Ruby Red Pearl 2.5 CVT AWP
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401 Posts
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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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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'08 Veracruz Limited
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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. :confused:

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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2013 Outback Limited 2.5i/CVT/Graphite Gray
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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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2013 Outback - 3.6R Limited, EyeSight/Nav/MoonRoof/Kitchen Sink.
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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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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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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited (Venetian Red)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited (Venetian Red)
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited (Venetian Red)
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sister has a new RX and MDX. Rear facing car seats fit with room to spare behind 6'2" driver or passenger. :confused:

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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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...
As far as I've heard the OB isn't much better of a drivers car. That's what the second card is for. This is for my wife's comfort, that's much more important than my ability to feel the gravel through the steering wheel however much I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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.
Thanks for the suggestion about the MDX, it was too large for us. And also about the Q5. We've tried the Sport Wagon and it's not up to par comfort wise. I'd rather have an Outback even though I like the body hugging seats in the Jetta.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited (Venetian Red)
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the great responses guys. It seems I have the only options that there are already listed.

I do prefer the RX about the Volvo (hmm, european delivery...) when it comes to reliability.
 

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As far as I've heard the OB isn't much better of a drivers car.
Haven't driven one, but everyone seems to think the revisions to the 2013 OB's have really helped in that regard. The 2010-12's are wallowing marshmallows :)
 

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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.
Kids in the future?

I've done this with three couples with kids on the horizon. Borrow or steal a convertible car seat or both the seat and the parent that has it and go install it in the cars your looking at in two spots. Center and behind driver seat - then check for fit behind the wheel. This will eliminate most of the cars on your list before you even test drive them.

Our friends in SF who lived upstairs from us almost bought the old phased out Ford Escape in 2010. He even brought it home to test fit it in the garage - thats when I stopped him handed him our convertible car seat and said install it. He's 6ft 3. 10 minutes later he was taking the Escape back and reworking his ideas as to what cars to look at.

At that time our subaru was a 2001 Legacy GT Limited and we had just bought grandma the new 2010 Legacy Premium same exact car as the OB. Two days later he came home with the new 2010 Limited OB. They had our car seat for those days and test fit 7 cars the OB was the only one that fit the car seat and him with car seat riding center spot. They now have two kids and he says he can still fit in the front passenger seat though not with the seat back tipped back as far as he liked but it was workable for him.

For us we replaced our old 2001 with the larger and wider 2010 Limited OB after using grandma's 2010 a couple of times. The much improved seating space for kids car seats made it a No Brainer for us to make the change. We have two kids now and a grand parent who lives less than a mile away. So we have forward facing older kid behind the driver - smaller rear facing kid center - and can fit either grand parent or parent behind the front passenger seat for local trips and have done some longer trips this way also. Tight but still workable. Our friends with the RX and the one who had the Q5 are jealous of that seating ability given no way even close to being able to do that with their cars.

We now have about 7 gen4 OB's that do the daycare pickup today back in 2010 ours was the only one I recall ever seeing at the daycare. The OB in the new size has become a very good family wagon for the new family looking for affordable functional - roomy AWD vehicle options. Hard to pass up its space and value given there really isn't anything else that competes with it on size and cost.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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Have you considered options like the Honda Pilot, Buick Enclave?
 

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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).
Have you considered the 2014 Forester? It appears to best the Outback on almost all fronts. The fit and finish and NHV characteristics are supposedly much improved over previous generations.
 
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