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We recently moved into a smaller home with only a one car garage, partly taken up with entry steps, and an HOA rule that says our car has to be able to fit into the garage. Sadly, our 2017 Outback just misses fitting, although our neighbor's Forester fits in her garage because it lacks the entry steps of our garage.

Fortunately, we also have a covered outdoor parking spot, so for now, the Outback lives outside, but the next time we buy, we have to get something at least a foot shorter than her Forester.

For anyone else interested in the issue, that has narrowed our looking to a Crosstek, a MiniCooper Countryman (my wife doesn't want to have to bend down to get into the car either), and the new 2020 Kia Soul.

I realize the general trend of the industry is always to bigger and better, but for this reason, our next car needs to be more like the traditional Outbacks in size.

Fortunately, we have no immediate need for a change, and the HOA hasn't bothered us yet about our using our garage for bikes and a squat cage instead of our Outback, but hopefully by the time a newer model in introduced with real improvements in self-driving features over our 2017, there will also be a way to get it in something much shorter than our much-loved-otherwise current Outback.

Because we still travel to Baja California regularly, we still need the high curb height and the great off-road capabilities of our current Outback.

Anyone know of anything else we should consider next time, or any way to shorten a recent Outback?
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (me) 2016 Outback 2.5i Limited with EyeSight (Spouse's Vehicle) 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited (daughter's ride)
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Forester or Crosstrek are your options....you're not going to "shorten" an Outback in any practical to do way.

I'm not fond of HOAs..."say no more"... ;)
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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How about shortening your entry steps?
 
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2018 Touring 3.6R
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The Countryman and Soul are not good options. Neither have any off-road chops and the Soul is only available in FWD. You could add the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk and Jeep Wrangler 2-door to your list. Mazda CX-3 perhaps but it's not a very competitive vehicle and not much off-road capability.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (me) 2016 Outback 2.5i Limited with EyeSight (Spouse's Vehicle) 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited (daughter's ride)
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499 Posts
The Jeep Compass (current version) and the Cherokee would also be applicable size wise if you need to stray from Subaru.
 

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2019 Outback 2.5I Limited Tungsten with Ivory leather
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Toyota has been saying they are announcing a new SUV in like September. Internet chatter says it will be an off road type SUV that is smaller than the current RAV4.

I'm pretty sure the RAV4 is shorter than the outback, but not sure it's small enough for your garage.
 

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'19 Outback Touring 3.6R
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Never move into an HOA controlled property . . . Beyond that I would look into the building codes in your area. It looks like the builder might have made some adjustments to save some money? The Outback is not a large car that wouldn't fit into a normal sized garage.

I almost bought a home with an HOA once. When I read the line that I couldn't do an oil change in my garage even with the door closed, I couldn't get out of that sales office fast enough!!!
 

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Toyota has been saying they are announcing a new SUV in like September. Internet chatter says it will be an off road type SUV that is smaller than the current RAV4.

I'm pretty sure the RAV4 is shorter than the outback, but not sure it's small enough for your garage.
Sounds interesting. Got a link?
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (me) 2016 Outback 2.5i Limited with EyeSight (Spouse's Vehicle) 2011 Outback 2.5i Limited (daughter's ride)
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Neither are a foot shorter than a Forester.
I missed that it had to be a foot shorter than a Forester....my impression was it was a foot shorter than an Outback. My bad if I misunderstood.
 

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2019 Outback 2.5I Limited Tungsten with Ivory leather
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Sounds interesting. Got a link?
I don't, I tend to read articles in my Google news feed. I just remember reading about it a week or 2 ago, in articles where Toyota and Mazda were talking about what will be built at their new shared plant. Toyota said they are gonna build a new unannounced SUV instead of more Corollas.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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A new reason to dislike HOAs. It appears the builder purposely built undersized garages. Purposely for population control, no large families with large vehicles? :)
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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Ask the HOA for a waiver or deviation. The configuration in your garage is out-of-ordinary and your car is not overly large like a crew cab pickup. It would be ridiculous that you have to drive a Mini or AMC Gremlin because that is the only way to fit a car in the truncated garage.
 

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Do the stairs extend straight into the space? If so, Could they be changed to run along the wall and not extend so far into the garage?
 

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Forester maybe as its the only thing that is going to fit the bill.
tough enough for your trip, short enough for the garage, .
..and frugal without being some butched up thing without symmetrical AWD. = short length models of competitors to the Forester seem to all get a their engine jammed in sideways,...whereas subaru neatly place its H4 2.5s in nicely with plenty room to spare in the good old longitudinal way. :)
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 2.5i
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I'm amazed that they built a garage you are required to use and didn't build it of adequate size to accommodate a standard 'mid sized' car. What would they do if someone had a Yukon? Refuse to sell them a home?

I had a fight with my HOA (actually just the builder). The covenants required you garage park your cars. I was one of the early adopters in the neighborhood having bought one of the model homes. When they were building behind me they hadn't yet paved the road. I actually had workers driving up my drive way and through my back yard to get to the houses being built back there. I was fuming. The lot next to me was also being built. It was fall/winter time frame and in the southeast generally rainy with a lot of red mud. To make matters worse a broken down backhoe was parked in front of my house. I didn't garage park my cars. The garage was an extended mud room at that time. I got several letters of warning then a final one saying that legal action was going to be taken. I called the attorney who sent the letter and ripped him a new one. I was screaming into the phone. The last thing I said was 'and you can get that f...ing backhoe out from in front of my house today!!' Then I slammed the phone down not even giving him a chance to respond. (Feels good even today to 'vent' over that again!)

The next day the backhoe was gone. Over the course of the next week my back yard was being regraded and reseeded, the driveway, walkways and sidewalk were all pressure washed, and a couple of strategic fencing blocks but at the rear of my lot to prevent access to the houses behind me. They never said another word to me about whether or not I garage parked. I eventually did start doing that as the area around me filled out and I wasn't living in a sea of mud.

Now the neighborhood, 25 years later is full, the builder gone and no one pays attention to the requirement. Most of the garages in the neighborhood are just standard size, they wouldn't fit a large pickup or SUV and you see them all in peoples driveways. I do garage park to protect, but mine is a side entry garage that is hard to in and out of, even with the driveway double wide in front of the garage. The outback is the targest vehicle I've ever driven and it's tough to get in and out.

I guess the moral is, I don't understand requirements of HOAs where the building doesn't allow you to do what they require.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Our issue with a condo garage wasn't a stairs, it was a stub wall that didn't have to be there and wasn't in the plans. Even my wife's Prius couldn't be parked straight in one of the bays; forget about the Outback. Investigating the history of it, I learned that it was put in after the concrete garage floor was poured and a building inspector thought it was needed for support, ignoring that the 4x10 frame member above was properly terminated with a strong tie clip. Builder wanted to sell the place, he needs a completion notice first, completion notice is contingent upon this stub wall being put in, so in it goes.

Wife started parking straight in anyway, using said stub wall as a stop. I pad the wall to save the Prius bumper. Wall is starting to look battered, and in fact the whole thing is counterproductive to stabilizing the condominium's frame structure - if I was upstairs when the wall was bumped by the Prius, everything shook. Prii are pretty heavy for their size, of course, and they can bang a wall pretty hard.

I appealed to the condo's board of directors (helped that I was the president, I guess), and was simply told that if I verified that the strong tie clip was there and I took it all back to the approved prints that were on file for the development, it would be OK. Which it was, and I did.

Moral of the story: Builders and inspectors deviate all the time from plans to "as built", as do later modifications. And all it takes to do it by the book is to ask. So: alter your stairway, not your car.
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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For anyone else interested in the issue, that has narrowed our looking to a Crosstek, a MiniCooper Countryman (my wife doesn't want to have to bend down to get into the car either), and the new 2020 Kia Soul.
We actually call the Crosstrek the baby Outback (doo doo doo doo doo) ...

If you HAVE to have a smaller car, then get a Crosstrek. If the HOA gives you grief about being outside, ask them why they allowed a house to be built that won't hold a car?
 
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