Suburu Outbacks for Country Roads?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ana Bluebird, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My front wheel drive station wagon is stuck in my driveway. Usually it does okay around here, but when I trade it in I was thinking maybe I'd have better luck with those Suburu Outbacks that have all-wheel drive. Anyone know anything about them? I know they are expensive and hold their value as used vehicles, but what about maintenanace? Are parts expensive? How's gas mileage? Any problems with that all-wheel drive?
     
  2. MarkNH

    MarkNH Well-Known Member

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    AR
    We have a 2003 5 speed OutBack with the base engine. Love the car. We live on a dirt road in southern NH which has some steep sections and AWD/4wd is the only way to go. I think the 5 speed is better than the auto because you have more control of the car + the AWD is 50/50% versus the 95/5% split on the auto.

    Maint isn't the worlds cheapest as we keep with the recommended. On the Highway, cruising in the 65/70 range we will get ~28 mpg. Much worse in town, probably closer to 20. The awd seems to have th emost impact during accell, you won't confuse this with a mustang!

    We've had 2 previous subs, putting nearly 100K miles on both, with no real problems. In this area, they are a Very popular car with many good dealerships within a 20 mile drive.
     

  3. Surveyorwill

    Surveyorwill Active Member

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    I can’t say anything about the Outback, but I could go on all day about the Forester or the Legacy. When we moved back to snow country, we had a front wheel drive station wagon, forget trying to get up any hills in that, my DW had to walk home at lest twice during snow storms. So I bought her a Subaru Forester, she didn’t have to walk after that. We live in a very mountainous area and have 20 to 30 miles of very curvy roads through two different canyons (depending on which town you want to drive to). Her car drives so well on these roads wet, snowy, icy, and even dry that we bought me the Legacy sedan within 9 month of getting hers. :D

    Her Forester is a five-speed manual trans mission and she gets 26MPH whether she’s just running around taking the kids to school or out on the highway. My Legacy is a 4-speed automatic and I get 22MPH running around local and 24 to 25MPH on the highway.

    This last summer we moved higher into the snowline from where we were living, and now have ¾ of a mile of very rough dirt road (more like mud road or even stream bed right now), both cars do very well getting in and out. Last spring when we were looking at the house, DW was not sure because of the road. Well it snowed while we were still in negotiation, so I drove her out to the house in her car. 8 to 10 inches of snow and after we got on our road we went about 500 feet in someone’s tracts then it was all fresh trail breaking the rest of the way to the house. The Forester went right through it no problems.

    Last week we had a snowstorm, 3 to 4 inches on the roads, I drove her car to work, drove right around 4 people in the ditches, when DW took our daughter to school in my car there were lots more people in the ditches she said they all just stared at her as she drove by. :p :haha:

    Just remember four wheel drive or all wheel drive will help you keep moving in bad conditions but it takes an experienced or cautious driver to keep the car on the road and out of trouble and even then accidents can happen.
     
  4. earthship

    earthship Well-Known Member

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    The Outback looks like a terrific vehicle. Our neighbors have one and love it. We will consider it for our next passenger vehicle.
     
  5. earthship

    earthship Well-Known Member

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    The Outback looks like a terrific vehicle. Our neighbors have one and love it. We will consider it for our next passenger vehicle.
     
  6. Jo73

    Jo73 Active Member

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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    4WD/AWD vehicles are great in bad weather, especially snow *BUT* they're only as good as the tires you put on them. Don't spend so much on the vehicle that you can't afford a good set of 4 new snow tires to go with it. So called 'all season' tires may be fine in rain, but I would never drive in serious snow with them.

    Jo
     
  7. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    My sister's Outback gets slightly better gas mileage than what was quoted.

    A friend traded in a Forester she bought when it turned out to be just too small for their size (they are about 5' 10") and couldn't hold all she needed.

    We love our Legacy 4 door sedan AWD (auto) and Legacy wagon (5 speed, front wheel drive). The tires make a difference. Both vehicles are over 10 years old. No ABS. The AWD lets us go out almost anytime. We remain cautious with icy weather as nothing really makes that safe on these windy roads with inexperienced people out driving.

    I'm off to buy new snow tires for the wagon tomorrow. After talking to a neighbor who swears by studded tires, I am going to go with my mechanic's suggestion and the tire sales guys (different shop) and get regular snow tires. They seem to think studded tires perform poorly on plain wet roads, which we often have. I have never used studded tires so I will go with their experience.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have a Forester too and LOVE it. I put the back seats down and take produce, flowers to farmer's markers, just brought home a live Christmas tree in it. Goes up, over and through almost anything. This is our 3rd Sub, would not have anything else. Get about 26mpg average in town and on highway. Mine is 5 speed and it travels right along going up the hills on the highway!..Joan
     
  9. C and P

    C and P Member

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    CA
    not sure about the new ones, but i had an 89 wagon with push button 4wd when i was living in the high sierra's. i wouldn't want anything else in snow country.
     
  10. harmony

    harmony Well-Known Member

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    My name is harmony, and I am a Suba-holic. I won't drive anything else in these mountains. I will agree with everything everybody above said. My mileage is araound 25 mpg, no matter where or how I am driving. And I also vote for the 5 speed. If you don't know how to drive one, please learn. These cars are like mountain goats, and will get me out of the mountians when nothing else is moving. I don't even buy them until some of the rest of you have driven them for ten years and 100K miles. A new one would look like it was 10 years old in about 6 months on these one lane gravel roads. I have a great local mechanic, and he changes the timing belt and hoses, then I drive them for another 200K. Then I give them to my kids to run into the ground. One thing you can do to keep them lasting like this is to be religious about oil changes. These are tough little cars. I have driven nothing else for the last 15 years. Oh, one more thing. I was leery of the AWD, as I had been driving a variety of other 4WD Subarus. but once I got an AWD, they really do stay on the road better that the 4WD. Amazing.