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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, thanks to the posts here that allowed me to get comfortable with buying a 2018 Outback 3.6 Touring. I've rented Subarus before and liked them but I'm more of a pickup guy. However, now that my wife has embraced Montana, she wanted a car for all seasons here and the Outback was the natural choice.

We've had it for a week now and I have put the bulk of the 1,000 miles on it driving from Bozeman to my off grid cabin about 100 miles out of town and back (a few times).

Overall, I like the Outback. I've only driven the 2.5s before and the 3.6, while definitely not sporty, has just enough power to never leave me feeling like I'm trailing an anchor. It also gets pretty good MPG so far (25+ in mixed driving, with a lot of it at Montana highway speeds.).

The seats are comfortable, the dash is a nice mix of touchscreen and real dials/knobs (I still prefer knobs for some functions), it's got a ton of usable room and it is quiet on the road.

The last few miles of travel to/from my cabin are on ranch roads, then very poorly maintained single track gravel-ish trail that gets steep. Before we bought the Subaru I rented a Grand Cherokee and was not terribly impressed with how it handled the rough trails to our land. The Subaru is effing amazing. I am truly blown away by how well Xmode works on those steep, rutted trails. The car just walks itself down and I never have to touch brakes or give it gas. I drive a lot of off road vehicles and I'd go as far as saying that for this use, Xmode is the best OEM system I've used.

I also am a bit surprised at how well Eyesight works. We have a Tesla Model S with autopilot, so Eyesight is a familiar concept. While it's not autopilot, it may be better. The flaw with autopilot is that it is supposed to be driver assist, not autonomous driving, but too many people try to treat it like autonomous. Eyesight, on the other hand, really is what driver assist should be...you have to keep your hands on the wheel, there's no pretence that it is driving for you, but if you start to stray or not pay attention it does enough to get you out of trouble. So count me impressed that Subaru's system works so well.

My big complaint is the tires. In the week I've had the car, I've had two flats. The trails to my cabin are pretty tame unpaved/off road trails. I've driven them in everything from a Chevy Impala to the Grand Cherokee to Toyota and Ford pickups, and never had a single issue with tires. Both times I drove on the trails this week I got rock punctures in the OEM Bridgestones. I replaced the first one, but I'm just going to get rid of the OEM tires now and find something that can handle easy off road trails. Sorta disappointed that Subaru puts such awful tires on a car that's supposed to have off road chops.

So all in all, it's a very capable vehicle with an easily fixed, but annoying, flaw.
 

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2018 3.6R Touring
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Which direction out of Bozeman? I get to the W Yellowstone area once or twice a year and helped my friends there pick out a 2017 3.6R Touring from the Bozeman dealer last year.

Were the punctures in the tread or the sidewall?
 

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So how do you get your Tesla up and down those steep rutted roads?
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 Touring
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Discussion Starter #5
Which direction out of Bozeman? I get to the W Yellowstone area once or twice a year and helped my friends there pick out a 2017 3.6R Touring from the Bozeman dealer last year.

Were the punctures in the tread or the sidewall?
North, towards Great Falls. Each puncture was dead center in the tread, right between the tread blocks.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5 Limited
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I am also a first time Subaru owner. Eyesight is quite different from Tesla autopilot. Autopilot is smoother and has frequent software updates. If I don't keep my hands on the steering wheel, it won't let me use autopilot the rest of my trip. I haven't had that experience with Eyesight. Eyesight nudges the steering wheel back on track. Is that the way Eyesight is designed to work?
 

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I am also a first time Subaru owner. Eyesight is quite different from Tesla autopilot. Autopilot is smoother and has frequent software updates. If I don't keep my hands on the steering wheel, it won't let me use autopilot the rest of my trip. I haven't had that experience with Eyesight. Eyesight nudges the steering wheel back on track. Is that the way Eyesight is designed to work?
That is lane keeping assist, which is only one piece of Eyesight. You can switch LKA off with the button on the steering wheel, and it stays off the next time you start the car. I seldom use LKA myself, but will sometimes engage it when on a long freeway drive. I don't make such a trip often, but it's nice there. It gets annoying on narrower roads, so I never engage it off freeway.
 

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Welcome to Subaru family.

The roads you are on are obviously too much for these OE tires or you are just unlucky twice in a row. If I was on your position I think I'd avoid the possibility of having a 3rd flat and pick up a set of 17" wheels and some tougher tires. 17" is the smallest wheel you can fit over the front brakes. Maybe keep the 18's for summer / winter tires?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So to follow up on this post, I replaced the OEM tires with a set of 235/60R-18 Geolander AT GO15s and the problem with punctures has stopped. Though not the same size as the OEM tires, they fit fine and have no noticeable downsides. They definitely are good off road (where I spend a lot of time) and if they are also good in the snow, I'll be really happy with the change.
 

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Keep us posted on those tires please. I'm seeing a lot of good stuff about them and am considering them for my daughter's Fozzie in snowy Illinois.
 

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I've heard those don't wear very well, tread is not as deep as Defender LTX?
 

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So to follow up on this post, I replaced the OEM tires with a set of 235/60R-18 Geolander AT GO15s and the problem with punctures has stopped. Though not the same size as the OEM tires, they fit fine and have no noticeable downsides. They definitely are good off road (where I spend a lot of time) and if they are also good in the snow, I'll be really happy with the change.
I was considering those when I was still thinking of keeping the 18's on my car. Should those let you down and you decide to go to a 17" wheel, I can VERY HIGHLY recommend the Continental TerrainContact A/T. Quieter and smoother than the stock Bridgestones, no noticeable drop in MPG and while my references in this category are limited, I feel they do great with everything I've thrown at them off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So as an update...the Geolanders have been on the car for about a month and I'm 100% pleased. While the OEM Bridgestone's were punctured twice in two off road trips, the Geolanders have had zero problems in numerous off road trips on the same trails as the OEMs. Yes, I know, it's simply one unscientific observation.

MPG took a hit of about 2 mpg on the freeway. The tires are quiet and smooth, though. They are very grippy on rocky trails and I even had a chance to see their snow performance when we had an early snow a few days ago. Granted, there was only an inch or two with a bit of ice, but they were very stable. The real snow test looms, but overall I couldn't be more pleased with the upgrade from the woeful OEM tires.
 
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