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Discussion Starter #1
We currently have a 2018 Outback (our first Subaru), and are considering another one when the 2021 model year comes out. I've done some online vehicle comparisons, and so far the Outback is winning.

What other vehicles did you seriously consider before buying your Outback?

m
 

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2018 3.6R Limited
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182 Posts
Honda Ridgeline. I was looking for reliability, comfort for 4 senior adults and AWD. Then it came to an open storage bed or enclosed storage.
 

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7 Posts
My main criteria was a minimum 3500 lb towing capacity and fuel economy. it came down to the Toyota Rav4 TRD and the Subaru Outback. I ended up ordering the Outback Limited Xt.
 

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69 Posts
Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve. Drives very nicely, even fun! Too little cargo capacity and too little ground clearance.
 

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2020 Outback XT Touring - Abyss Blue Pearl
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107 Posts
Forester. I was coming from a moderately fast sports sedan (Infiniti G35x) and it just seemed too pokey for me. Also, the Outback interior was surprisingly plush, and I like the additional nag/nanny safety features.
 

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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium
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516 Posts
Toyota and a Forester but then found the OB and didn't look back, now with 2 kids and the dog I am glad we made this choice we use every inch of space
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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405 Posts
Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tuscon/Santa Fe, Rav-4. Almost bought a 2010 OB 10 years ago (think it was 2010) but that was when they were having that unfixable steering shimmy issue so I passed. Always thought the OB was kinda neat, so went ahead and went for one this time around.
 

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2020 Outback Onyx XT
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2,951 Posts
Knew I wanted an OB, did not consider anything else. Test drove a 3.6R in 2019 that I wasn't really impressed with how much power it had. 2020 was just around the corner so waited till the first car was at the dealership for a test drive. There was one car in the whole region that I test drove and put in my factory order right after.
 

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2020 Outback Onyx Magnetite Gray
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20 Posts
Honda Ridgeline, Honda Passport, or another F-150. Previous to my 2020 Outback I have only owned Ford Trucks. Just over a month in and I am loving the ride quality of this wagon over my trucks. Time will tell if I ever miss the cargo capacity of the F-150, but I figured it was my turn to be the guy borrowing others Pickup's.
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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693 Posts
Passport and Wrangler. Passport was bleh, the Wrangler is an fca product and I’ll leave it at that.
 

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20 Outback Premium
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998 Posts
We came from 20 years of Hondas with a few Toyotas sprinkled in. Last time we looked at Subaru was in 2012; we chose a CRV over the Outback because of our good Honda experience and the CRV interior and infotainment was better.

This time around we were downsizing from an Odyssey and wanted awd for the snow and off-road. Whereas in the past Subaru was the undisputed king of awd, in recent years Toyota and Honda have made improvements in their systems. Most reviewers and YouTube demonstrations I saw still picked Subaru's as the best, so we focused on Ascent, Forester, and Outback in that order. If cost wasn't a factor, Ascent would have won as we really like it, but for the same $$ we could just get another Odyssey with more space and better mileage, albeit without awd. We liked the seating height better in the Forester, but the Outback felt like a more substantial vehicle and has 7 inches more length in the cargo area behind the back seat, so here we are. RAV4 was eliminated because of too many negative magazine reviews. We really liked the Highlander, but the cost for comparable equipment was ridiculously higher. Funny side note: on vacation my wife tried to get in a Highlander parked next to our then 19 Outback, they did look very similar from the side.

The final decision came when test driving a 16 Outback with around 35K miles and a new 19 CRV: the Outback was smoother, quieter, and just felt better overall. If we liked a 3 year old Subaru better than a new Honda, we felt safe buying our first new Subaru in over 30 years (last Subarus we owned were an 85 and 87).

We're still getting used to the smaller size of the Outback and the feeling of sitting lower to the ground, and we do totally fill up that cargo area. For comparison, here is the list of all the vehicles we looked at before narrowing it down to one of the Subarus, along with cargo length behind the second row measured with my tape measure. There were a few surprises for us, most notably that the cargo length in the Outback is the same as the Passport, which we perceived as a much larger vehicle (the Passport is wider). Word to the wise: if you really care about cargo capacity, measure it for yourself rather than going by the numbers the manufacturers provide. Subaru really did a disservice to themselves when they changed the way they compute/report cargo capacity going from the 19 to the 20 model year because it makes it sound like the 20 Outback's cargo capacity is smaller than it really is.

Depth (in) Vehicle
42.5 Passport
50 Pilot
38 CRV
60 Odyssey

49 Ascent
34.5 Forester
42 Outback
 

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I was considering lots of avenues.. not buying one at all and continueing to drive my husbands toyota corolla, (he has a truck also) but that little thing can't even get out of it's own way... I thought about getting another Impala, I loved my previous one, (gave it to my youngest son). But, I knew that wasn't really practical for my life at this time, as I decided I wanted something I could put my kayak on, so I could go kayaking sometimes without the husband.. So I looked at the 2021 Kia Seltos, they looked great online, when I went to see one in person, it was not what I saw online, so that was nixed immediatly, I kinda liked the Mazda CX-5, but it looked like every other small SUV, then there was the Outback, a guy who rents an office in our building has one, and I really like it.. PLUS I'm short so getting a kayak off the Outback verses a taller vehicle really appealed to me, as did the space in the back for my doggos.. So I went and drove the limited, and the limited xt, and bought the later the same day...
 

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2020 Onyx Autumn Green
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106 Posts
They seem sort of worlds apart, but a Mercedes Metris. Never ended up driving the Metris - fell in love with the Outback when I drove it. It's perfect for road trips, light off roading, dogs, snow, skiing and as Gidgit mentions, easier to put stuff on top of than something larger.
 

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I was originally looking at a Toyota Rav4 and a Chevy Colorado (v6), while shopping for an Outback.

I liked the Rav4's Hybrid but wanted more ground clearance, which the Adventure trim had but was weaker than the Hybrid (better towing though). Doesn't have a huge amount of cargo space either. I dropped Colorado because the only one that interested me was the V6, but the occasional use of a bed wasn't worth the trade-off for the MPG (since it is a daily driver).

Live others I was looking at a Cross Country (V60) as well, but I needed something a little more rugged with bumps and bruises (the ground clearance and drive train scream "Take me off-road", but the styling says "Only if it's a paved mountain highway").

The Outback had the best combo of power, utility, and MPG for my needs. Haven't looked back in 6 months so far.
 

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19 Limited/20 Onyx (7TH)
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603 Posts
In the Outbacks class and price I knew of nothing else I was interested in. I now have 2 Outbacks.
 

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2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT
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For the longest time, I wanted a Toyota 4runner TRD. Loved the aggressive look, the simplicity and the reliability of a Toyota. But I just couldn't get myself to justify ANOTHER SUV and their crummy MPG (I had a 2005 Nissan Xterra which guzzled gas like Nicolas Cage did booze in "Leaving Las Vegas"). The 4runner is rated 18/20 which let's be honest, probably means more like 14-15 miles in the city and 18-19 highway. Just couldn't do that to myself again with how much I hit the road.

Then someone turned my attention to the latest Rav4s. And after doing some research and a test drive, I came this close to buying the Rav4 Hybrid XSE. With 41/38 MPG, decent ground clearance, modern amenities and a sweet sweet new design, I thought it was near perfect. BUT it lacked a couple of things: I couldn't lay out in the back to car camp which I do semi-often and it was at a price point here in So Cal that exceeded my budget ($39-41+ K). Also, they are in super high demand especially in the color/trim I wanted that I thought as long as I have to wait for them to come in, I'd give Outbacks a try.
489958

I have a TON of friends who are Outback owners but in the sport I participate in (trail running), they are almost a cliche given how popular they are. Plus, they just struck me as very middle of the road and a "safe" choice (read: boring).

Enter the Onyx XT.

489959


As soon as I saw the 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, I fell in love. Had the stylings of the Rav4 XSE but at a much more reasonable price point (~$5K less), an upgraded turbo engine and all the amenities and more that the Rav4 didn't have such as better safety, a longer cargo/back seat area, levers to fold seats down, better ground clearance, StarTek seats so I can jump into the car without worrying about sweat seeping into the seats (Xterra had cloth interior) and much more. While I do miss riding high, the other positives more than outweigh that.

Yeah obviously the hit in MPG sucks (41/38 to 23/30) but it's good enough and I'm happy with the compromise in exchange for the 260 HP 2.4L turbo engine for the giddy up needed on mountain passes and highways. Definitely not your aunt's Outback!

While it has its shortcomings (imperfect start/stop, throttle response off the line, Infotainment, etc) they haven't bothered me like it has others in here. More importantly, I LOVE driving this thing and am looking forward to post-break in driving to really open it up on longer road trips!
 

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I drove three other vehicles before I finally decided on the Outback. Main factors were the ability to haul lumber (I do a little woodworking), AWD and price. Anything shorter than about 185" in length generally puts an 8' long board a couple of inches from the dash which rules out an awful lot of vehicles. I did't want anything drastically larger than the 2011 Mazda CX-7 I was trading which left a very narrow field of finalists in my price range. The competition was:

VW Tiguan - Just barely large enough for my needs but it would have done the job. My least favorite of the four to drive.​
Nissan Murano - This was the highway cruiser of the group. Relatively quiet and comfortable. Great seats. Smallest cargo capacity even though it was one of the larger vehicles in the group. Generally much more expensive than the others but they aren't selling well and they were offering huge rebates to move them. The only V6 of the group.​
Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0t - This was my second choice. It felt bigger inside than the Outback and had more storage up front, but it also felt like it was much larger to drive even though it's smaller. Quieter on the road but you had to push it harder to get the engine to open up. More features for the money (including a pretty spectacular panoramic sunroof) and a better base warranty. It was really close but my wife had some trouble seeing out of it.​

Out the door price between the Outback Limited 2.5 and Santa Fe would have been very close once I added in the extended warranty to the OB. In the end, the Outback drove more like a car and was more responsive driving around town so it won. If I hadn't been able to make a deal at the Subaru dealer I probably would have gone across the street and bought the Hyundai. I'm pretty sure I would have been happy with any of the four.
 
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