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Every January, my friends and I drive a round trip from Long Island, NY to Columbus, Ohio for a convention (Ohayocon). This year, my group left Long Island around 4:00pm Thursday (1/10/19), and left Columbus around 10:30am Monday (1/14/19). For most of the trip we stayed on I-80, except for a detour to meet another friend that's in Penn State University. Believe it or not, this trip is one of the reasons why I purchased my 2016 Outback Limited 2.5i this past August. Instead of renting for each trip, I'd rather own a comfortable vehicle that's worthy of travel and adventure, which stems from being a Jeep owner since 2011.

First, let me say that this trip completely made me confident in my choice for a daily driver! For an average 10-12 hour trip, the ride was comfortable; it's nice to have a decent amount of legroom and space in the rear seats! Even with the 40 section down for cargo, there's plenty of room. Granted, there were only 3 of us in the Outback. In addition, there were times where we all appreciated the heated rear seats. Sometimes the cabin in the front was too hot, and so the heat was turned off or low, but there was still something for the rear passenger. That, and I always keep a travel blanket in the back. Talking about the heat, I love how the temperature system works! It's a luxury compared to my 1992 Jeep Wrangler.

As for the cargo, we each had the equivalent to 1 suitcase, 1 duffel bag, and 1 day-pack. Besides that, I had two cases of water, along with an medium sized emergency kit. Some of the other emergency and camping/outdoor gear is stored in rear seat organizers (front driver and passenger seats). Not only did everything fit, our visibility wasn't taken away. I'm very pleased! Sadly, no pictures of our setup.

I've heard mixed things from the other two, such as a "boaty" feeling when going traveling at higher speeds on I-80 (65mph-85mph). Again, compared to the Jeep, it's doesn't have the "aerodynamics of a refrigerator that's on wheels, and feels like a sailboat." I had no issues.

On the way over, drove in some light to moderate snow, along with iced over roads. I had no problem whatsoever. The Outback felt like a tank. The only other snow I encountered was our drive out of Columbus Saturday, just to get some Steak and Shake (it's a tradition). As for the city I felt a little slippage, but not much. Since this was the 2nd and or 3rd time I've driven the Outback in the snow. In the city, some spots I had X-Mode on, mostly for comfort's sake. Oh, and I have the stock 18" rims with Bridgestone Ecopia EPA422 Plus (225/60R18). They came with the Outback; no mods have been done yet. I don't have much of an opinion for the tires. Then again, I'm used to driving with LT 315/75R16 General Grabber AT2s.

The last thing I'd like to note is that despite having the heat on and having winter gas, I was really pleased with the fuel economy. I haven't taken the time to calculate by hand the MPGs, but the overall trip has cost us $126.90 for 5 fill ups. I think the Outback's computer (reset trip counter when I filled up right before we left) was at 26 even. I know that it's not the actual number.

That's all of my initial thoughts. I wanted to post them before I forget. Before this trip, I went up to Sleepy Hollow, NY for a Murder and Mayhem Lantern Tour in November. In February I'll be heading up to Kingston, NY for a night of ghost stories from Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Having the Outback is giving me motivation for planning countless day and weekend trips! And, maybe some soft off-roading, just maybe.

Oh, and here's a couple of pictures that show my nerdy side. I have a few on the Jeep as well.


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