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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Thinking out loud. In the market within the next 10-12 months (!) for a new vehicle to replace my 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited (CVT) PZEV.

Purchase cost for either of the models is at an acceptable point, but looking for pros and cons of the designs.

Took a test drive about a month ago of the 2018 Legacy 3.6 and it was really impressive. Handled more like a Luxury car, I'm sure part of this is because it's a sedan (lower), 6 cylinder vs. my present 4, and electric steering. Fast off the line, it got me thinking.

Just as a recap, I absolutely want something stronger than the base 2.5 engine. The 2.5 is perfectly adequate, but I was really impressed with the 3.6.

The infotainment and other amenities not available to me in my 2011 make this a night-and-day driving experience. I'd also like EyeSight for peace of mind, even though I've never been in an accident in just about 16-17 years (only one - was rear ended stopped at a red light)

The holdup are a few (not so trivial to me) points.

  • Legacy
First, the rear windows on my Outback are tinted. I didn't really notice that until I test drove the Legacy. Something I kind of took for granted. Second, the Legacy is lower, which is good and bad. I'd probably have to take more time to do oil changes in the Legacy 3.6 because I'd have to either ramp or jack the car and put it on stands. I don't own a floor jack, so I'd either have to invest $100 for a decent one (I like the Arcan Costco one...) but I do have jackstands. I also don't have a ramp, so that would be around $30 over at HF). Also, we do get some snow accumulations here in northern NJ, so I do have concerns over the ability to keep on truckin' in the Legacy versus something higher like Outback.

Lastly, the rear seats were very tight for me. At 6'0" and about 200 lbs, the width of the seat wasn't so much the issue as the height was. Due to the sloped back windshield, my head/what's left of my hair grazes the roof. That makes me think of problems in an accident. In Outback, I can recline the rear seats a little if needed for more room.

Cargo-wise, I don't carry much in my trunk now that wouldn't fit in a Legacy. We also have a 3-row SUV in the family that is our family vacation car, so I don't need to have something as big as Outback for the one or two trips per year that I need extra space.

The main benefit to choosing Legacy over Outback is that it's about $4000 less expensive than Outback, but both models have the same fuel economy and specs.

  • Outback
Outback has been what I've been driving for 7 years. It's a great car, a little dated on the inside now (no streaming music, no infotainment support, phone is connected via AUX connection, so wheel controls don't work, etc.) I've come to rely on the car and it's been very cool getting to do my own maintenance on it. I like that it is so roomy inside. The cargo space could be/is nice in a pinch if I need it. Again, I love the idea of the 3.6 for the Outback, despite the extra cost of fuel, difficulty of the 3.6 spark plug job, and under-mount filter (which arguably, I'm used to anyway with the 2.5 ring of fire design.)

The benefit to Outback is that I'm already familiar and comfortable with its ability and quirks, and already familiar with maintenance on it.

  • Ascent
Finally, we have the newcomer. Featuring the FA24DIT, this is also my holdup. I don't necessarily need the space, but I could see the Ascent becoming a second three-row SUV in our household. I'm almost always the driver on family trips, so I would see all of us jumping in the Ascent over the Honda Pilot for our vacations.

The FA24DIT apparently does not have port-injection. So, it's potentially victim to the carbon issues related to the DI engines across the board. I could consider the tradeoff of higher horsepower and higher fuel economy on the DI versus the PI, and therefore you're just "deferring" the money that would have been spent on fuel and diverting it to a walnut shell blasting every 30-50-60k miles (value not established). Apparently VW/Audi had some designs in their turbos regarding EGR that exacerbated the decision, but everything from Kia's to Honda Fit's all seem to have this issue.

I'm handy enough to throw a can of CRC GDI Intake Valve cleaner in every oil change or two to help keep them clean, but I'm not convinced it works. Sure, the before and after pics on the CRC site look amazing. It's the same active cleaner (PEA) that's in Techron, but as we know, GDI won't get the back side of the intakes cleaned with gasoline.

The benefit to the Ascent is that it's just about the same price point as the Outback; it has 4 cylinders (though turbo) instead of 6, making maintenance a little easier and cheaper, along with the top-mount filter. It also has the same mileage as the 3.6.

Also, the Ascent is already on the global platform, and from what we've seen with the rest of the models, they ride like a million bucks!

Just stuck on that DI problem.


SO,

What are your thoughts and opinions? If I go Legacy or Outback, it would be the 3.6R Limited trim with EyeSight added on and several options. Mostly for the LED headlight upgrades and SRH's.

If I went for the Ascent, I'd probably also go Limited with the HK Upgrade Package. Also for the availability of LED headlights and SRH's.

I'd price it out but I believe OB 3.6 and Ascent are within $1000 of each other after options and upgrades, and the Legacy is about $4000 less than that. My top choice right this moment is the OB 3.6, only because I'm stuck on the DI problems.

There's also the possibility/option of waiting for the 2020 Outback with the redesign. I'd most likely lose the 3.6 option, but I might gain the ability to get the FA24DIT in the Outback which would also put it on the Subaru Global Platform.

Thanks!
 

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Wow, how long have you been on this forum now pondering a new car?

You are making it way too complicated.

Legacy, too small
OB, boring, sorry I bought one
Accent, who knows

If the Pilot is treating you right, keep the Pilot and go buy yourself something your kids would want to see dad pick them up from school in....a nice Mustang GT convertible or SS Camaro......:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mustang or Camaro! :D :D :D I'd probably wrap myself around a tree in record time. I'm all for a manual, but for household tranquility, that's not an option at the moment.

Yeah, I think we'd keep the Pilot either way, this wouldn't be something to replace the Pilot, it would be replacing my Outback.

Haha, yeah. I originally found the forum trying to do my own maintenance and looking for tips/advice/surprises/gotchas and have been doing the research on something new for a while. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted: transmission options, engine options, etc. Once I get my mind set on a model, Subaru dangles something right in front of my face. Chomp, chomp.

Watch, they'll announce an Outback XT again.
 

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Sounds to me like you need to wait for the Ascent because if you buy one of the other Subaru models you'll probably end up with buyers remorse once you see one in person.

We test drove a lot of cars before we purchased our OB limited and we liked all of them. teh OB wasn't the one we liked the most but it was the best compromise between price, features and capability. Not the most exciting car out there but still very nice.
 

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maybe wait and check-out a '19 Forester ?

seems to me, you like the Honda so, why duplicate its utility? And, seems like the Outback has served you well, so, why consider a Legacy?
 

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I believe the Ascent will be more expensive similarly equipped than the Outback. The main issue for the Ascent will be the engine. You already know the down side of DI engines. Regardless of the EPA figures, your real world fuel economy for the Ascent will be worse than the Outback 3.6 because of the extra weight and the need to put your foot in it to get the same performance. The extra bulk of the Ascent will also make the handling worse than the Outback. All that being said, the only way to really tell is to drive both.

Regarding the Legacy, you already have described the pros and cons of the difference in ride height. Do you want a sport sedan or do you want a raised wagon?
 

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Also, we do get some snow accumulations here in northern NJ, so I do have concerns over the ability to keep on truckin' in the Legacy versus something higher like Outback.
I can give some advice on this part of your question since we have a Legacy and Outback in our house. I live in upstate NY and we get quite a bit of snow. The Legacy has absolutely zero issues in the snow and i would actually give it a nod over the Outback in snow. We don't however have usually more than 3 or 4 inches of snow on the road. Plows are out quick and often so ground clearance isn't as big of deal where we live. The Legacy is also quicker and tracks like a freight train. Love the planted feeling of that car. Very underrated car IMO. Just my .02 YMMV.
 

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good to read about the Legacy being adequate in the snow. Probably easier to maneuver/park in parking lots too.

around here, being lower could be seen as a detriment as, vehicles on our highways all seem to be tall and being in a low-ish car feels claustrophobic.

but I bet it's a fine grocery getter.
 

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I can give some advice on this part of your question since we have a Legacy and Outback in our house. I live in upstate NY and we get quite a bit of snow. The Legacy has absolutely zero issues in the snow and i would actually give it a nod over the Outback in snow. We don't however have usually more than 3 or 4 inches of snow on the road. Plows are out quick and often so ground clearance isn't as big of deal where we live. The Legacy is also quicker and tracks like a freight train. Love the planted feeling of that car. Very underrated car IMO. Just my .02 YMMV.

Couldn't agree with this post more. We also have a limited legacy and it's incredible in the snow, drives like a luxury car and is extremely comfortable. Never any issues with it in the snow and i think it does better than the OB too. The Legacy is a 2013 model and doesn't have the Xmode or eyesight system but it's a joy to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Appreciate the responses. My occupation requires me to make an attempt to go to work even if the roads are unplowed. In fact, I've actually been pulled over by local law enforcement because NJ was in a "state of emergency" and all roads were closed. I had to show them my ID and explain the situation to the officer, who was not interested in giving me an escort to work. :D :D :D

So, that's the hesitation towards the Legacy being lower. One time - in my 10 years living in this part of the state - were the roads so terrible that I could feel the snow dragging on the bottom of the car. Luckily, it was powder, and not ice, and the car plowed right on through with zero problems. But I wonder what would have happened if I had a fumoto on there... :/ I suppose I could argue that if I missed work one time in a Legacy in lieu of an Outback, it would be acceptable. AWD/4WD is certainly not a condition of employment.

@1 Lucky Texan The Honda is not my favorite, but at the time, we were starting to have some issues with her 09 Legacy, and she had been looking for a third-row SUV for a few years. Unfortunately, she was not a fan of the Tribeca, and I even admit it would have been too small in the third row for the usefulness we get out of the Pilot.

Unfortunately, being "unfamiliar" with Hondas, I didn't really do my homework. In hindsight, I think the Highlander would have been better. The Honda features a timing belt, and direct injection with its V6. So, not only do I have to deal with timing belt service, I also have to deal with walnut shell blasting. Again, it's nobody's fault but my own ignorance, and it is what it is. But, hence why the crazy amounts of research I'm doing now, trying to avoid remorse in the future.

What's your suggestion about the 19 Forester, just to see what they do with the global platform and powertrain? (They already have the FA20DIT)...

I actually looked at the Foz with a 6MT when I wanted a manual. Unfortunately, again, had to veto that because on the rare occasions I have to swap with my wife, that's not a good option.

@KenShabby Good point about more aggressive throttle inputs. I agree with you, I'd probably have to push harder on the throttle to mimic the same response from the 3.6. Do I want a sport sedan or a wagon? The jury's still out on that one. For me, initially, it was more about the engine availability. I'm no stranger to the Legacy, we previously owned a 2009 Legacy Limited. The Outback was our Family Car until she got the third row SUV, so I'm pretty sure I personally don't need the space.

Though, I do admit, I'm willing to say on weekend getaways if we're not hauling a ton of "stuff", I'd probably push to take my car over hers.

And I also reiterate: The Outback, while it is a wagon, doesn't drive like an SUV. It feels more like a sedan than it does an SUV.

Hmm, I wonder if the ventilated seats will trickle-down into the 2020 redesign of the Outback.
 

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Had a Legacy replaced it with a OB ill third the Legacy comments. Grandma
has a 10 legacy vs our 10 ob it is a great car far superior than the OB for all the same readons listed above and snow doesn’t bother it. Oh and ramps add about 1min to the oil change effort.

The Ascent per Subaru history should have a more sporty driving aspect than other SUVs but it wont be anything close to the Legacy.

If you don’t need a hatch trunks are better for city life ie cant see into them and aren’t accessible via smashed windows etc. we always take our sedan into the city when were valet parking etc.

Oh and putting bikes on the Legacy roof far easier, and the ski box can fit into the garage on the car. Oh and the tow bar is identical to the OB I towed for 12yrs with my legacy zero problems it handled better with the trailer than the ob does.
 

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If you won't need to fit anyone as large as yourself in the back seat, and you don't need more trunk space, just get the Legacy 3.6.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@subiesailor

Thanks for your insight. The selling price isn’t a big deal to me as long as I get something that lasts for a while and fits my needs. Even at the most extreme price difference - let’s say 4000 - over 10 years that’s only 400 a year, or about $30 a month. If that $30 was that important I’d be choosing the 2.5 out of necessity.

Good point on the ramps being a quick thing for the random service. I’d also still need the jacks for rotations anyway if I chose to do them myself.

Decisions, decisions. Hopefully around this time next year we’ll see what direction they went with the new 19 Foz and maybe get some leaks or spoilers about the 20 Leg/OB. There is a part of me that is hoping the 3.6 makes it in another year so I could get the global platform and a tried and true 6-cylinder.

On a side note, heading to SF for a trip with the Mrs this summer. Never been. Planning on doing the big touristy things plus Napa.
 

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@subiesailor


On a side note, heading to SF for a trip with the Mrs this summer. Never been. Planning on doing the big touristy things plus Napa.
Watch out for those tent cities San Fran is becoming famous for.

When I had the requirement to make it to work, I always had a real 4 wheel drive truck based vehicle.
 

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Mustang or Camaro! :D :D :D I'd probably wrap myself around a tree in record time. I'm all for a manual, but for household tranquility, that's not an option at the moment.
We took in on trade a 2002 Firebird RamAir Trans Am. It was perfect on the outside. We did a minor amount of work to get it ready for sale, and I actually had it sold the morning after we traded for it, without the customer even seeing it. He drove up here from 5 1/2 hours and two states away to take his car home.

Thirty minutes after he left our lot, someone tapped his right rear bumper because the roads were bad, he went into the cable barriers, and it was totaled. He's okay, but the car was demolished.

As for what you were originally talking about, we tint the windows on the Legacy all the time, it's not a big deal. The Ascent will be a bit more expensive than a comparable Outback ($42,920 for a Limited OP 23, vs. $37,895 for a Limited OP 23 3.6R Outback, no accessories on either). I think from what I've seen of the global platform so far with the Impreza (made in Indiana) versus the Crosstrek (made in Japan) is that it's a game changer - especially when the Impreza is now as quiet as the Legacy and has a more 'firm' ride than the Legacy.

Someone mentioned the 2019 Forester. The only thing I've seen on that are the same spy shots everyone else has seen. My personal thought is that it looks like a baby Ascent - which is not a bad thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@Carl Abrams

Thanks for the info. Yes, aside from the potential for DI issues, I’m wondering if the SGP is worth sacrificing (potentially) the 3.6 engine for. Crosstrek people can’t speak highly enough about it.

Yes I believe your figures for the Outback don’t include the EyeSight package which I believe adds another 1800 to the price. I would also have to look closely at the line item options on the OB that I would want to see if they are already included on the Limited trim Ascent.

What does your service department do about any DI issues? The engines have been around for a couple years now in the Foz XT and WRX and i believe the Impreza, too...) I know many places offer a recommended “induction” service but I haven’t heard of any Subaru dealers offering a media blasting (walnut Shell blasting) yet or at any specified interval.

I was very impressed with the ride on the Legacy even with it being not global platform. It really was super smooth and responsive. Then again, I also enjoy the ride in my Outback... :)
 

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Watch out for those tent cities San Fran is becoming famous for.

When I had the requirement to make it to work, I always had a real 4 wheel drive truck based vehicle.
Lol when was the last time you’ve been? Dont confuse the news in Oakland with SF
 

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Yes I believe your figures for the Outback don’t include the EyeSight package which I believe adds another 1800 to the price. I would also have to look closely at the line item options on the OB that I would want to see if they are already included on the Limited trim Ascent.
Nope.

JDK (3.6R) OP 21 has a base MSRP (with the D&D included) of $36,310.
JDK OP 23 (E/S, HBA, Navi, RAB) is a $1,585 MSRP option package add.

The OP 24 Outback (which is the 2.5i engine) is a $2,085 add.

Where it gets confusing is with accessories. Say you add Pop Pkg 2 and Body Side Moldings - that gives the car a $39,030 MSRP. Options have to be built in at the factory.
 
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