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Our 01 Forster has been the most reliable car weve ever owned in 40 years of driving. At 215k miles we figured its time for an upgrade to an Outback. Wow, what a difference. I feel like i am driving a new Buick or Cadillac with all the electronic features and interior trim moldings, I hadnt expected all this from a base model. I do like the traction control. Its still winter here and I drove home our new Subie through the remnants of a snowstorm with 12 inch drifts icy highways. On the way home I drove past a jeep 4x4 and a 4x4 truck that were in the ditch. I am not sure why but I suspect they had issues with the sudden change in road conditions and didnt get their vehicles into 4wd soon enough. The AWD subie is everything Ive ever needed to stay on the road even in severe weather. (knock on wood).

I am already dismayed by a few things in the new Subie. The external mirror adjustment is more fitting to a cheap chevrolet and feels so cheap that it might break off in the first year of driving. Same with the gas cap tether, thin and cheap looking. Biggest issue is with the seemingly small wheel wells where ice and snow build up rapidly and start binding on the tires. While this also occured on the 01 Forester it is more of a problem on the '13 Outback, especially pronounced by the presence of the splash guards.

Many of the features and "improvements of the '13 OB, I dont understand. What on earth is a Hill Holder used for?
Is the electric parking brake a real improvement and more reliable than the center console style?
The handles for the seat adjustments are hollow plastic, cheap looking compared to those in the '01 Forester.

I would love to hear some of peoples observations and experiences in these matters.

Lots of little niceties as well as some features that seem cheap gimmicks. Only time will tell. If this car treats us as well as the '01 Forester then we will keep it a long time. 200,000 miles and beyond is the goal
 
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