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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have been a lurker on these forums for a few years, but my fiance and I are about to buy a car and are very interested in the Outback and need some advice.

Our main concern is that we have two large dogs (a 110lbs Lab and a 70lbs Boxer) that always travel with us. We are in Phoenix, AZ so we have 5-6 months of hot weather and the Lab requires direct AC or he roasts. Since their is no 3rd row AC vents back in the cargo area, we are worried he won't be able to stay cool without freezing my fiance.

What are your experiences and thoughts? The alternative is getting the Ascent, but we honestly want a smaller vehicle for the daily driver in the city since I already have a crew cab truck (Nissan Titan).

Thank you in advance for your input.
 

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My first question would be is it just the two of you, and could you fold the second row seat when the dogs are in? If that works, then there's a vent between the two front seats to cool the back. Or maybe folding just one side may also work if you need to carry a third person.
If folding the second row is not an option, then it might be a tight squeeze in the back for your two dogs. We have easily carried 3 Border Collies (35 - 45lbs) in the back but they are much smaller than your dogs.
Sorry I don't have a better answer.
 

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there are things that people do to maximize a/c output, (probably typical mods in the phoenix area frying pan)

with the vehicles your dog rides in you could also run a hose off one of the center stack vents to right where he/she is.

- the item to DIY or buy is called "coolcop" used by police to grab some a/c air and put it right into the top of the bullet proof vest.

_____

and people that work outside in the heat might have a gel cooling vest that they store in the freezer/ fridge and swap on and off.

(hopefully while supervised so none of the dogs will be permitted to eat or chew on such a great thing)..

____

@MiddleAgeSubie has a Tribeca,
and just traded a 2013 outback H6 for a Toyota 4runner for offroading as a very slow careful buy,
and may have more suggestions. (he also lives in zona).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My first question would be is it just the two of you, and could you fold the second row seat when the dogs are in? If that works, then there's a vent between the two front seats to cool the back. Or maybe folding just one side may also work if you need to carry a third person.
If folding the second row is not an option, then it might be a tight squeeze in the back for your two dogs. We have easily carried 3 Border Collies (35 - 45lbs) in the back but they are much smaller than your dogs.
Sorry I don't have a better answer.
Thank you... We actually want to bring our dogs down and see if the dealer will let them jump in the back so we can see what it looks like in the real world, but we realize they will not want us to do that (which I would understand). The scenario we are thinking is we would have items stored in the back seat so we would leave the seats up and pulled forward to maximize cargo area for the pups. We can get a roof mounted carrier as well for extra storage space for items as well, but I want to plan around us, the dogs and lots of stuff all being carried at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
there are things that people do to maximize a/c output, (probably typical mods in the phoenix area frying pan)

with the vehicles your dog rides in you could also run a hose off one of the center stack vents to right where he/she is.

- the item to DIY or buy is called "coolcop" used by police to grab some a/c air and put it right into the top of the bullet proof vest.

_____

and people that work outside in the heat might have a gel cooling vest that they store in the freezer/ fridge and swap on and off.

(hopefully while supervised so none of the dogs will be permitted to eat or chew on such a great thing)..

____

@MiddleAgeSubie has a Tribeca,
and just traded a 2013 outback H6 for a Toyota 4runner for offroading as a very slow careful buy,
and may have more suggestions. (he also lives in zona).
Thank you for those ideas... Both seem very feasible and inexpensive to implement.
 

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Thank you... We actually want to bring our dogs down and see if the dealer will let them jump in the back so we can see what it looks like in the real world, but we realize they will not want us to do that (which I would understand). The scenario we are thinking is we would have items stored in the back seat so we would leave the seats up and pulled forward to maximize cargo area for the pups. We can get a roof mounted carrier as well for extra storage space for items as well, but I want to plan around us, the dogs and lots of stuff all being carried at the same time.

the biggest subaru dealers there might have a pre-production demo model like this thread has in current discussion:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/201-2019-subaru-ascent/468993-ascent-test-drive.html

and some dealer rep might flatten the 2nd or 3rd row seats to let your babies in.
 

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I just called our local dealer and they will have a demo unit May 22nd to look at... Great idea! Thank you!
 

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I just called our local dealer and they will have a demo unit May 22nd to look at... Great idea! Thank you!
beware this demo unit maybe a little "rough, loose, noisy" .

car magazines sometimes type of this when they are driving such a pre-production vehicle and they know it is just plain screwy.

such get made as a test vehicles from limited production parts, which may have been fixed from its manufacture.

like its been used to listen for "noise/vibration/harshness" and the parts and manufacturing team have made corrections.

(like bigger door gaskets for wind noise, different screws under the dash to stop the rattles,
better CKE produced rubber on the sway-bar bushings to stop the big boat feel.)
 

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Hi everyone,

I have been a lurker on these forums for a few years, but my fiance and I are about to buy a car and are very interested in the Outback and need some advice.

Our main concern is that we have two large dogs (a 110lbs Lab and a 70lbs Boxer) that always travel with us. We are in Phoenix, AZ so we have 5-6 months of hot weather and the Lab requires direct AC or he roasts. Since their is no 3rd row AC vents back in the cargo area, we are worried he won't be able to stay cool without freezing my fiance.

What are your experiences and thoughts? The alternative is getting the Ascent, but we honestly want a smaller vehicle for the daily driver in the city since I already have a crew cab truck (Nissan Titan).

Thank you in advance for your input.
Unfortunately, probably all cars that lack roof vents will disappoint you in that regard. The Outback's cooling in the back always was a problem. In the cargo? It will be unacceptable here.

The 4Runner we currently have has a little bit better cooling in the first row but the system is fundamentally identical to the Outback's so pretty bad for Phoenix.

You will want a vehicle that has roof vents in the back, which means a proper 3 row vehicle (the Tribeca is a proper 3 row vehicle in that respect while the 7 pax 4Runner is not).


In addition, the Outback's cargo area is LOW ceiling. It is deep and quite wide but the ceiling is low. So, good for cargo, not so much for large dogs.

I would say stay away from the Outback with two large dogs in Phoenix. At least the 4Runner has a rear window that opens and a very tall cargo area.

The Tribeca is our preferred town car around here, especially now that the weather is hot again. Neither the Outback, nor the 4Runner can compete with it in terms of A/C.

If that works, then there's a vent between the two front seats to cool the back. .
That vent is utterly worthless in Arizona. It is not even fully synchronized with the front; just blows a bit of air that is a little cold or a little warm. That's it.

The Tribeca is perfect for hauling dogs in Phoenix and AZ and the Ascent should be perfect as well.

By the way, there is no appreciable difference in how H6 Outbacks and Tribecas drive around town or on the highway. Both can blow the majority of vehicles away while cornering and have mpg that is too close to matter. The Ascent may burn a little bit more fuel than the H4 OB but it will also be a great deal more vehicle all around.
 

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I just called our local dealer and they will have a demo unit May 22nd to look at... Great idea! Thank you!
please name that dealer.

@MiddleAgeSubie may take a second to go and look at the demo,
...maybe out to the safeway,...or maybe out in the eastern mountains to climb with jeeps. and give us a write up of how it compares to his great old 2013 subaru.

(they are going to crush these anyway,...what a shame to not enjoy one while it exists).
 

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Btw, alongside the A/C, which is weak even for a solo driver on a commute (you do need a remote start), there is another big negative about Outbacks in AZ: the front windshield, which allows the sun to bake you for hours and hours. I am much better protected in the 4R (and the front A/C is better).

We did see an Ascent yesterday, on 101, it was Peoria Subaru branded.

Bear in mind that these are pre-production vehicles and that the interior may not be as nice as one expects.

My wife was not impressed: "small!" Not so much because it is "small" as because all the ads screamed "big!" It is no Tahoe.

There is also the fact that crossovers look small for their size while SUVs look big. The 4Runner looks like a monster next to an Outback even though pax space is about the same, a bit more width in the 4R vs a bit more legroom in the OB's second row. But on the outside, the BoF construction, the rectangular body, and the height of the 4R make it appear so much bigger.
 

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Btw, alongside the A/C, which is weak even for a solo driver on a commute (you do need a remote start), there is another big negative about Outbacks in AZ: the front windshield, which allows the sun to bake you for hours and hours. I am much better protected in the 4R (and the front A/C is better).

We did see an Ascent yesterday, on 101, it was Peoria Subaru branded.

Bear in mind that these are pre-production vehicles and that the interior may not be as nice as one expects.

My wife was not impressed: "small!" Not so much because it is "small" as because all the ads screamed "big!" It is no Tahoe.

There is also the fact that crossovers look small for their size while SUVs look big. The 4Runner looks like a monster next to an Outback even though pax space is about the same, a bit more width in the 4R vs a bit more legroom in the OB's second row. But on the outside, the BoF construction, the rectangular body, and the height of the 4R make it appear so much bigger.
Agree, It does not IMO for me bring much to the table unless I have to have that third row plus the new 2.4 looks nice with great TQ at low rpm's but A 3.6 Outback would probably be as quick to 0-60. I believe the published numbers are 7.3 for the Ascent. And yes if you where expecting a Tahoe as far a space you will be dissipointed.
 

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Agree, It does not IMO for me bring much to the table unless I have to have that third row plus the new 2.4 looks nice with great TQ at low rpm's but A 3.6 Outback would probably be as quick to 0-60. I believe the published numbers are 7.3 for the Ascent. And yes if you where expecting a Tahoe as far a space you will be dissipointed.
Couple of things:

To the OP - the Ascent will have a second AC condenser for the rear of the vehicle. I've gotten to sit back there during a ride and drive. It wasn't Phoenix, it was Tulsa, and it was only 95 degrees outside that day. Still almost froze in the back with the AC on low.

Second, regarding the power and ability of the 2.4 Turbo versus the 3.6R ... I thought I was going to miss the 3.6R. I'm not. Subaru doesn't do much by way of HP - you're talking a difference of 256 for the Outback and 260 for the Ascent. But ... the Outback torque is 244 lb ft at 4,800 RPM. The Ascent hits 277 lb ft at 2,000 RPM and keeps it all the way up to 4,800 RPM. Which means that if you put your foot in it, the engine just digs in and GOES. As in I didn't feel any slowdown in it whether I had 5 big guys in it, or we had 4 regular sized people AND pulling a 2,600 pound trailer.

Considering that the Ascent does NOT need premium fuel ... it does this on 87 Octane ... as someone who's been doing this for quite a while, i was VERY happy with it.
 

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Agree Carl, But what I really wanted is Subaru to modernize the 3.6 and put a turbo on it. Ideally HP and TQ just under 300 on 87 octane and decent FE. In todays engine tech that could of been done. This 2.4 will be the next optional engine for Outback, WRX/STI.
 

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IF your going to downsize cars, you needa downsize your pets, too. :wink2:

We've got a 8lb, and a 4 lb Yorkie. They fit just fine.

Seriously though. Unless the AC is as good as Carl says, you're going to need a mini van type vehicle. They have much better AC systems than most SUV's.

The new Subi's have changed to the new 1234yf refrigerant, also. There are a LOT of AC guys that hate this move. Sure, it takes less refrigerant in the system. But ANY small leak = no cooling. Like anything, there are pro's and cons.
 

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Thank you... We actually want to bring our dogs down and see if the dealer will let them jump in the back so we can see what it looks like in the real world, but we realize they will not want us to do that (which I would understand).
When I was shopping for my 2013 OB, I saw a salesman let a couple load their Newfoundland in the back of an Outback. I assume it was a loaner and not a new for sale vehicle.

BTW, that dog filled the back of the OB pretty completely.
 

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Agree Carl, But what I really wanted is Subaru to modernize the 3.6 and put a turbo on it. Ideally HP and TQ just under 300 on 87 octane and decent FE. In todays engine tech that could of been done. This 2.4 will be the next optional engine for Outback, WRX/STI.
Yeah, that's what we expect to happen. I don't know if it'll go into the STI, but we already had been told the 3.6R was going away.
 
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