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  1. #1
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    Best Subaru wagon for the Front Range?

    So my wife wants a new car, and is looking at an Outback. We are on the fence with regards to the 4 or 6 cylinder engine.

    Any feedback from Subaru owners?

    If I put 4 bikes and friends into a 4 cyl. Outback, how will it handle the I-70 drive up to the tunnels? Is the 6 cyl. the right call if I'm used to hauling ass around the state with bikes and friends, or will the 4 do OK?

    Thanks

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    Best Subaru wagon for the Front Range?

    Turbo preferably. The hills just kill performance.

  3. #3
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    Whatever you do, don't get an automatic transmission in it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylgeist View Post
    Turbo preferably. The hills just kill performance.
    Outback has choice of 2.5L 175 hp flat 4cyl, or a 3.6L 256 hp flat 6 cyl.

    No turbo

    That's what I'm wondering, will the 175 hp be enough?

  5. #5
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    Best Subaru wagon for the Front Range?

    If you can swing it I would definitely get the 6 if you will be in the mountains a good deal. Everyone I know with the 4 cyl doesn't enjoy the passes. If its infrequent the 4 is just fine.

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    i have a 2012 2.5 premium w the 6-speed trans.



    if the 3.6 was offered with a manual trans i would have that!... it's not

    i was concerned about the 2.5 with cvt trans and have been driving a manual trans car for a loooooong time so the 6-speed was the choice for me.

    i have read other 2.5 owners in hilly/mountain areas with the cvt to be happy with that trans... but, i'm sure they know their areas and know to keep their momentum up!

    3.6, i don't believe, has the cvt... it has the 5eat (?) auto trans. although, i do not know.

    if mpg is more of the concern then maybe go with the 2.5.

    if power is more of a concern then the 3.6 is prob the better choice.

    there is no turbo option for the 4th gen outbacks.

    visit a dealer and test them!

    good luck.

    joel

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post

    If I put 4 bikes and friends into a 4 cyl. Outback, how will it handle the I-70 drive up to the tunnels? Is the 6 cyl. the right call if I'm used to hauling ass around the state with bikes and friends, or will the 4 do OK?

    Thanks
    oh, sorry... now to answer your question!

    if this is a load that you will regularly carry... then i would opt for the 3.6.

    if you will be doing this occasionally... the 2.5 will get the job done!!

    joel

  8. #8
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    Thanks joe, the 6 has a 6- speed automatic, no choice of the cvt. my main concern is power, the wife's is mpg.


    I'm ready to test drive its just hard to get the time, and no way the dealer is going to let me haul ass up to Loveland to see how it can handle I-70 slopes at speed, with bikes.

  9. #9
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    go to subaruoutback.org and ask your question there... plenty of outback owners in mountainous areas.

    while having my oil changed at the dealer, this AM, i test drove an impreza that i'm hoping my daughter will like

    have fun.

    joel

  10. #10
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    That outback looks so monstrous compared to wrx wagon.

    If it was me I would not get a 4 banger without a turbo for Colorado driving, nobody like to have there engine set on boil the whole way up a pass or the constant having to shift or the auto tranny shifting. Just my .02

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    Best Subaru wagon for the Front Range?-sub.jpg

    Got the 3.6 last year, took it all through the mountains and you couldn't even tell it was fully loaded.

  12. #12
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    I'm sure the new 2.5 Outbacks are a little better, as they make a little more hp (173 hp vs. 165hp) and have another gear (6spd vs. 5spd) but my wife's '01 Outback is a pig when it's loaded down. I'd opt for the 3.6.
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    I have a 2002 Outback Sport with the NA 2.5 and manual trans. While I have thought about installing a turbo, it's by no means a slug. Then again, my previous vehicle was an 88 Vanagon with a gutless 2.2. Now THAT was sluggish. My wife just got a 2011 Legacy with the 2.5 and the auto trans with paddle shifters. She does not like wagons (or Vanagons) which I cannot wrap my head around. The Leggy is nice. I don't think it's sluggish on passes either but I wouldn't own a 4 cylinder auto for myself.

  14. #14
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    I would most definitely go with the 4 cylinder turbo! If my wimpy Prius can handle the passes, I think that will work just fine. In fact, my in-laws have a naturally aspirated 2000 Outback 4 cylinder which still has a better power to weight ratio than many of the oversized SUVs. Plus turbos supposedly work better at altitude and get better MPG's when driven judiciously.

    Edit: Sorry I just realized that turbo wasn't an option. How much fully loaded mountain driving do you plan to do? Weigh the tradeoff with MPG and think if it's worth it to get over the pass 30 seconds earlier.
    Last edited by mtbklutz; 02-16-2013 at 09:12 PM.

  15. #15
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    I have a 2009 Forester with the 2.5L and 5-spd manual and while it is a great vehicle, every time I head up I-70 I find myself wishing it had more power. Not a huge deal, but it does nag at me. If you don't mind coughing up more coin for the 6-cyl and the extra gas, I'd go for it.

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    Is the Outback even considered to be a wagon anymore? The latest generation looks more like an SUV to me size-wise.

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    Any naturally aspirated car/truck will loose around 3% of it's power for each 1K ft of elevation above sea level. I'll let you do the math, but it aint pretty.

    But it really doesn't matter, because even with a turbo, there will always be some knob in the left lane on the I-70 impeding your progress.
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    Get 3.6 and put a Curt Hitch yourself...you will be golden.
    Ahhh....Crested Butte...bring back good summer memories.
    Best Subaru wagon for the Front Range?-2012-06-23-19.45.59.jpg

  19. #19
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    So now the question becomes; how can I convince my wife that the 30mpg figure she wants from the 4 cyl is a myth and the 6 cyl that gets 25 mpg. will be better for her (me) in the long run?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    So now the question becomes; how can I convince my wife that the 30mpg figure she wants from the 4 cyl is a myth and the 6 cyl that gets 25 mpg. will be better for her (me) in the long run?
    Take her for a test drive up a route with a steep hill. I test drove both the 4 and 6 Outbacks on the dams west of Fort Collins, and there was no way I was going to purchase the 4 after that. Listening to that CVT rev so high on the big hills was a bit scary. The 6 was much better- great power. Would have bought one, but the Subaru dealer also had a used Volvo XC70 that won me over...
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    But it really doesn't matter, because even with a turbo, there will always be some knob in the left lane on the I-70 impeding your progress.
    And that will invariably be another Subaru - probably green with a Coexist bumper sticker. You'll be able to plug up mountain traffic just fine with either model. Might as well save some gas and get the 2.5

  22. #22
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    I test drive cars in Golden so you can drive up 70. I usually drive up to Genessee on 70 and back down the frontage road to get some tighter corners in.

    I haven't driven a newer Subaru, but I drove a 2005-ish Outback with a 4 cyl. Didn't like it at all as far as power was concerned. At the time I drove a Civic which I thought was better (probably because it's a lot lighter).

    I just picked up the Jetta TDI...that car hauls ass up the hills. No 4WD, but it's still pretty good in the snow. No problem doing 80 up Georgetown hill and would go faster if I didn't fear an expensive ticket.

  23. #23
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    sloppyart is correct - definitely go to Golden and test everything up I70... We tested just about every small SUV up I70 and down the frontage roads - you really get a good feel for power and handling etc. My wife was looking at those wagons (and small SUVs) and the difference in passing power on the hill (between 4 and 6cyl) was significant enough to make her eliminate the 4-cylinder from contention. Have her test them back to back and she'll have a better feel for the differences.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    So now the question becomes; how can I convince my wife that the 30mpg figure she wants from the 4 cyl is a myth and the 6 cyl that gets 25 mpg. will be better for her (me) in the long run?
    So you don't believe the manufacturers mpg on the 4-cylinder, but you do on the 6?
    I have a 2002 Outback wagon, 4-cylinder, and my average mileage has been 26 mpg. Doubt you are going to see that 25 mpg on a 6-cylinder, especially now that the Outback has grown larger.

    How often are you planning to drive the car up I-70 fully loaded? If it is just an around-town vehicle that goes to the mountains on the weekend, opt for the best mileage you can get and save yourself some expense on gas. It adds up. Driving in the slow lane a little on the weekends doesn't hurt, unless you are the type whose ego can't bear to let someone pass you. You may be a bit slower on the climbs, but you still get where you want to go.

    I am with Sloppyart. My boyfriend drives a Jetta TDI wagon and that thing ROCKS up hills and gives you great mileage too. It is our summer bike hauler.
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  25. #25
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    I too am looking at Subaru Outback, Forester or the new XV Crosstek. I would have to believe that a 2.5 liter with a manual transmission would handle I-70 just fine. The reason I say this is that I have a 2003 Pontiac Vibe with a 5 speed 1.8 Liter 4 and i have no problem zooming up I-70. Granted, I'm in 3rd gear doing about 5-6k RPM's but it seems these little engines thrive in those higher RPM's.

    For those of you with the manuals, do you have a problem winding the engine out when you're cruising up I-70?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    So you don't believe the manufacturers mpg on the 4-cylinder, but you do on the 6?
    I have a 2002 Outback wagon, 4-cylinder, and my average mileage has been 26 mpg. Doubt you are going to see that 25 mpg on a 6-cylinder, especially now that the Outback has grown larger.

    How often are you planning to drive the car up I-70 fully loaded? If it is just an around-town vehicle that goes to the mountains on the weekend, opt for the best mileage you can get and save yourself some expense on gas. It adds up. Driving in the slow lane a little on the weekends doesn't hurt, unless you are the type whose ego can't bear to let someone pass you. You may be a bit slower on the climbs, but you still get where you want to go.

    I am with Sloppyart. My boyfriend drives a Jetta TDI wagon and that thing ROCKS up hills and gives you great mileage too. It is our summer bike hauler.
    I could care less about mpg, I want a car that's a pleasure to drive, and not under powered. My wife is hung up on mpg figure, and personally I don't believe the posted mpg on any vehicle. Not the way I drive.

    We eliminated the VW due to no dealer support in our town.

  27. #27
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    Not sure what town you're in, but what about the Audi A3 diesel?

  28. #28
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    I live in steamboat springs, no Audi dealer, and the A3 would be too small to handle bikes, baby Chariot, and family.

  29. #29
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    I've got an Outback 2.5i and I like it a lot. My wife and I drove to Durango last summer on a bike trip and it handled the passes just fine. I felt there was enough power to pass some dweeb if I needed to. And amazingly it got about 30 mpg for the trip! I think a fair amount of credit for that goes to the CVT. It gets around 25 MPG around town.
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  30. #30
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    I have an 08 forester with the hated 4sp auto. Every one told me you have to get the turbo. The regular 4cyl is way to slow. well I not only got the regular 4cyl, I got the auto too. and Its not bad. Its not a race car but it does just fine on the mountain passes. My parents came out a few years ago for an event up in Durango and we took the long way back getting on 70 at keystone. My mom has an older Kia something. I had to keep turning the cruse off becasue they couldn't keep up with me.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    I could care less about mpg, I want a car that's a pleasure to drive, and not under powered. My wife is hung up on mpg figure, and personally I don't believe the posted mpg on any vehicle. Not the way I drive.

    We eliminated the VW due to no dealer support in our town.
    Ah, figured you were a front ranger. You def have more limited options where you're at.
    In your post, I thought you were buying a car for your wife.
    If you don't believe ANY published mpg's, then why are you trying to use it as a negotiating point with her?
    Never mind.

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    If you don't believe ANY published mpg's, then why are you trying to use it as a negotiating point with her?
    Because his wife is hung up on mpg. Duh.

    Don't forget the new Outback has gotten bigger and will carry more stuff, and therefore loaded up will weigh more and go slower. My car is smaller and not as cushy, but makes roughly twice the hp that my wife's OB does (and weighs a few hundred pounds less), and is so much nicer to drive on 2 lane highways (like sections of 285 on the way to Salida). It's not just 30 seconds longer to get to the top of a pass - it can be a much longer delay if you're stuck behind a motorhome doing 10 under the speed limit, but it's too much risk to try a pass.
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  33. #33
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    The best Subaru for the front range is a Ford Raptor. Just sayin'....
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  34. #34
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    I have a 2010 4cyl Outback. From what you've said I think it will feel underpowered to you. I do most of my driving up and down I25 from FoCo to Denver and it's fine for that. It's also fine for my occasional drives to the mountains, but I'm never "loaded down". We use our 6 cyl Honda Pilot for family mountain adventures and it has WAY more power then the 4 cyl Outback.

    You'll have no trouble holding 75 mph up I-70, but if you're wanting to make a *quick* pass you'll be wishing you had the 6cyl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    The best Subaru for the front range is a Ford Raptor. Just sayin'....
    I don't for the life of me see why people buy these for highway use... the truck is designed to JUMP, driving it on highways is just a waste. Almost as bad as little women driving lifted hummers.. /shiver

    As for the best sooby, 1984 GL wagon, red, stick. It could pull a whoppin' 50 up Mt Vernon Cyn, as long as I stayed in 3rd!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRage43 View Post
    I don't for the life of me see why people buy these for highway use... the truck is designed to JUMP, driving it on highways is just a waste.
    You don't catch air on the I-70?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRage43 View Post
    I don't for the life of me see why people buy these for highway use... the truck is designed to JUMP, driving it on highways is just a waste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRage43 View Post
    As for the best sooby, 1984 GL wagon, red, stick. It could pull a whoppin' 50 up Mt Vernon Cyn, as long as I stayed in 3rd!!
    greatest subaru ever made!!!!!!

    had 4 high and 4 low, loaded that thing up, dogs bikes, people, did 45 up a pass with the heater on full blast, got past by everyone

    then on the way down I past everyone doing 75, thing was shaking like mad, rallied on cottonwood pass all the time, the thing shredded in a snow storm, the big azz suvs would just be crawling along scared while I tore it up, I would try to get that car sideways and it wouldn't budge.

    Whatever you do, don't fall for the I just moved to colorado I need a big suv because I goto the mountains once a month and need something with power. But all I really do is drive around in circles in highlands ranch or boulder or........

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRage43 View Post
    the truck is designed to JUMP
    indeed

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  40. #40
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    Had an 07 limited Outback wagon with the n/a 2.5L and auto. The power was okay but the transmission was horrible.

    You might want to look at a TDI wagon. It will have the power you are looking for and the mileage your wife wants. That is what we did and have been happy so far.

  41. #41
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    A 4 cyl will get you where ever you want to go fine. You'll be able to keep up with traffic and go the speed limit although you won't keep up with the motorheads going 80+MPH. Personally, I'm fine letting them fly by and let them get the tickets and be the ones who end up on their heads off the side of the roads.

  42. #42
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    The Jetta wagons are nice but I'm not completely sold on TDI vs. the 2.5. I was all about the Diesels for a while until I really looked into it. It's true that the TDI records better mileage (approx 30%) but the fuel (where available) is proportionally more expensive (usually about 30%) so it ends up basically being a wash. Your carbon footprint is smaller with diesel but they emit more of the other bad actors such as NOx and particulates which negatively impact air quality on the front range i.e. the brown cloud.

    Granted the new engines are have gotten cleaner with expensive and sophisticated emissions equipment but still not as good as unleaded and they no longer are able to burn biodiesel. In addition, you'll end up paying a large upfront premium on the diesel option and get to deal with a louder engine and more difficult starts in subzero temperatures. They say diesel engines last longer but I'm thinking the engine isn't the weakest link in that vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    skiahh: Audis- aren't they just overpriced VW's?
    More or less, I guess. Sort of in the same way Lexus is an overpriced Toyota, Infinity is an overpriced Nissan, Caddy is an overpriced Chevy and Lincoln is an overpriced Ford.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbklutz View Post
    The Jetta wagons are nice but I'm not completely sold on TDI vs. the 2.5. I was all about the Diesels for a while until I really looked into it. It's true that the TDI records better mileage (approx 30%) but the fuel (where available) is proportionally more expensive (usually about 30%) so it ends up basically being a wash. Your carbon footprint is smaller with diesel but they emit more of the other bad actors such as NOx and particulates which negatively impact air quality on the front range i.e. the brown cloud.

    Granted the new engines are have gotten cleaner with expensive and sophisticated emissions equipment but still not as good as unleaded and they no longer are able to burn biodiesel. In addition, you'll end up paying a large upfront premium on the diesel option and get to deal with a louder engine and more difficult starts in subzero temperatures. They say diesel engines last longer but I'm thinking the engine isn't the weakest link in that vehicle.
    I think your calculations on diesel are off... and possibly still based on outdated perceptions of the diesels of the '80s.

    Diesel around here is at 3.95 (with some at 4.15) while regular is at 3.35. At the risk of doing math in public, 3.35*1.3=4.35. Either way, you're getting 30% more energy for less than 30% more in price. Now, I admit you won't always get 30% higher mileage, but in our diesel sedan, we routinely do - getting as high as 41mpg on the highway. And that's going 80+ mph. In my diesel pickup, I get better mileage than the same year gas engines, though I admit that modern gas engines (mine's a 2003) will match my diesel's mpg unloaded. Towing, however, my engine will kick any gas engine's butt and have enough power to pull heavy loads over high passes. But we're not talking about heavy towing here.

    As for louder engines and difficult starts, pure horsepucky. Sure, some of the pickup engines will still be louder, but standing next to my wife's car you'd probably think it might be a diesel, but from 3' away, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the gasser. And standing directly behind her car, there is no diesel smell whatsoever. Surprised me.

    As for cold starts, nope. I've started my pickup (with a big 5.9l inline 6) at 5-10 below with no problems, without having been plugged in. My wife's car doesn't have a plug in and I haven't had to wait for the glow plug light to go out down to about 10 (above) and it starts right up.

    And they can all burn some degree of biodiesel, though with the higher pressures of newer engines, 100% bio is a problem.

  45. #45
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    The Jetta is too small, the Tourig too big, truck like , VW doesn't make the Passat in a wagon. I like the Diesels, but until the US automakers ake them seriously, like the offerings in Europe, they aren't on our short list.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbklutz View Post
    The Jetta wagons are nice but I'm not completely sold on TDI vs. the 2.5. I was all about the Diesels for a while until I really looked into it. It's true that the TDI records better mileage (approx 30%) but the fuel (where available) is proportionally more expensive (usually about 30%) so it ends up basically being a wash. Your carbon footprint is smaller with diesel but they emit more of the other bad actors such as NOx and particulates which negatively impact air quality on the front range i.e. the brown cloud.

    Granted the new engines are have gotten cleaner with expensive and sophisticated emissions equipment but still not as good as unleaded and they no longer are able to burn biodiesel. In addition, you'll end up paying a large upfront premium on the diesel option and get to deal with a louder engine and more difficult starts in subzero temperatures. They say diesel engines last longer but I'm thinking the engine isn't the weakest link in that vehicle.
    The TDI, being a turbo, will actually put out close to the spec HP and TQ numbers. The n/a 2.5 will not.

    It's night and day in the mountains with a turbo vs na. It's a big deal here in CO, because of the altitude.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  47. #47
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    living in Steamboat sounds like driving lots of 2-lane highways. And lots of passing opportunities. I had a 2001-2004 gen Outback (5-speed). It was uninspiring trying to pass slower traffic on 2-lane roads, even more so w/gear on the roof (kayaks or bikes). Now i drive a 2001-2007 gen Volvo XC (turbo). Passing....easy...spool up the turbo...get 'er done, no fuss. Consider a 2009 low milage Outback w/turbo? i drove a friends 2001-2004 Outback w/H6 engine and wasn't impressed w/backroad passing power. Sure, it was fine on i70.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    indeed

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JKQdlXvbWSU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    That vid is so awesome on so many levels. "What happened to 35, man?!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71 View Post
    The TDI, being a turbo, will actually put out close to the spec HP and TQ numbers. The n/a 2.5 will not.

    It's night and day in the mountains with a turbo vs na. It's a big deal here in CO, because of the altitude.
    Truth. We've had two TDI wagons, an '05 and an '11. Neither ever lacked in the mountains and could keep up or pass traffic at will. Don't buy the TDI's because you think the diesel will give you an ROI on its fuel mileage; that's a wash at best in CO. Buy one because they're great little cars with exceptional power and excellent mileage even while flogging the hell out of it.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRage43 View Post
    I don't for the life of me see why people buy these for highway use... the truck is designed to JUMP, driving it on highways is just a waste. Almost as bad as little women driving lifted hummers.. /shiver

    As for the best sooby, 1984 GL wagon, red, stick. It could pull a whoppin' 50 up Mt Vernon Cyn, as long as I stayed in 3rd!!
    That's what the marketing department wants you to believe. 4 more inches of suspension travel & 8" of track does not make it a trophy truck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    indeed
    Thanks, that made my day. Similar to my brother's story about his friend and a newer stock Wrangler that they jumped somewhere in the woods in MI.
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    This truck jumping stuff sounds fun. I think I'll take my ranger over to valmont tonight and see what happens.

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    except for the part where VW interiors in general are about as comfortable as a sofa made out of angry bears and Chuck Norris. At least Subaru has the good sense to build a car that doesn't ruin your back on long trips.

    also everyone I've ever known who's owned a VW has spent more time in the shop with it than actually driving it. They're epically terrible cars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    except for the part where VW interiors in general are about as comfortable as a sofa made out of angry bears and Chuck Norris.
    Bastard.. I nearly just choked on my sandwich.

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    If you don't care about gas mileage a bit you can do what we did and find a used, low-mileage 2005 Outback Legacy XT manual that the prior owner heavily modified for ice racing up at Georgetown. Cobb tuned: exhaust, chipped/remapped engine, racing clutch, new gearbox optimised for close ratios and low-end torque. Damn thing puts out over 300bhp from what we were told, and the acceleration off the line is brutal. I'd like to take it to track days but it's too nice of a car (super loaded with all the frills) and my husband won't let me.

    It isn't the most gas efficient car ever (still better than basically any SUV) but holy gods it goes like stink AND you can haul 5 people and all their gear comfortably. Also, since the engine / gearbox was optimized for lower speeds, it gets over 25mpg in city driving (because you can tool along at 40mph in 5th.)

    Whatever you do, if you do get a Suby wagon, put a hitch mount rack on it. Our gas mileage at highway speeds went from ~18mpg to ~23mpg just on that change alone. We're also planning to spend a few hundred bucks at Cobb soon to install a "sport/econ" mode option on this guy too.

    IMO the 2005-2009 body style / engine combo of the Legacy/Outback Turbo XT wagon was the "greatest" generation, and the more recent models just aren't comparable in any way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    If you don't care about gas mileage a bit you can do what we did and find a used, low-mileage 2005 Outback Legacy XT manual that the prior owner heavily modified for ice racing up at Georgetown. Cobb tuned: exhaust, chipped/remapped engine, racing clutch, new gearbox optimised for close ratios and low-end torque. Damn thing puts out over 300bhp from what we were told, and the acceleration off the line is brutal. I'd like to take it to track days but it's too nice of a car (super loaded with all the frills) and my husband won't let me.

    It isn't the most gas efficient car ever (still better than basically any SUV) but holy gods it goes like stink AND you can haul 5 people and all their gear comfortably. Also, since the engine / gearbox was optimized for lower speeds, it gets over 25mpg in city driving (because you can tool along at 40mph in 5th.)

    Whatever you do, if you do get a Suby wagon, put a hitch mount rack on it. Our gas mileage at highway speeds went from ~18mpg to ~23mpg just on that change alone. We're also planning to spend a few hundred bucks at Cobb soon to install a "sport/econ" mode option on this guy too.

    IMO the 2005-2009 body style / engine combo of the Legacy/Outback Turbo XT wagon was the "greatest" generation, and the more recent models just aren't comparable in any way.
    But my wife wants a "new" car and I'm not going to talk her out of it.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbsbiker View Post
    But my wife wants a "new" car and I'm not going to talk her out of it.
    Pro tip - just let your wife go buy a car. You live with whatever it is.

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    I also have the 2.5 CVT. In the past, I've had an Outback with the Turbo, so I know how things can be...

    Anyway, my husband and I bought the 2.5 for the better gas mileage. We just drove to/from Winter Park, and averaged around 32-33 MPG. Around town I average around 27-28 MPG (a bit less in the winter)

    We regularly weigh the car down with gear, bikes, and kayaks. Although it is not as zippy up high as our turbo was, it is very acceptable. The whine of the CVT takes some getting used too, but now I just ignore it.

    To me, the combination of good gear hauling capacity, decent performance in the mountains, the ability to bounce up forest roads AND great gas mileage for a car that size makes the 2.5 the vehicle of choice.

  59. #59
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    The new TDI sportwagon Jetta has just about as much space inside as my wife's Passat TDI Wagon from 2005. It gets a little better fuel economy and may even have a tad more power. While the horsepower figure of the TDI is somewhat underwhelming, look at the Torque figure. That's the number that makes going up passes a breeze, especially when loaded down. 40+ mpg is a bonus. And to your math, Diesel is 10-20% more than gas typically so you're ahead on the fuel economy. Engine spins at 1/3rd of the gassers, so it will last 3x longer, pretty straight forward.

    And to the VWs being maintenance nightmares, that may have been the case in the past, don't know, I may be too young. I've owned quite a few and aside from a few things while the cars still had warranty (OK, my wife's passat TDI had a major design flaw in the engine but VW replaced half of the motor on their dime before any issues arose) I've had no more problems than with the Hondas or Acuras from the past.

    _MK

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    IMO the 2005-2009 body style / engine combo of the Legacy/Outback Turbo XT wagon was the "greatest" generation, and the more recent models just aren't comparable in any way.
    I drive an 09 Outback XT and it is far and away the best car for mtn road trips I've ever owned. Previously I've had Jeep Cherokee, Jetta VR6, 4 door Tacoma, and new model F150 4x4. The Outback XT will shuttle the average forest service road almost twice as fast as my F150 did, just wont carry as many people as a truck bed of course. It's also more fun to drive than the Jetta I had which was kitted out with chip and exhaust. If you can find an Outback XT or Legacy wagon turbo, I highly recommend it. For a new model, I'd probably go Forrester XT over the Outback w/V6.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Pro tip - just let your wife go buy a car. You live with whatever it is.
    yeah, this. I *AM* a wife, and from my perspective you're setting yourself up for some potential friction here. If it's her decision then just hand her the cash and let her go buy it (or let her buy it with her own damned money; that's what I would do tbh).

    I'm fortunate in that I have enough spending money and say in these things that I'll be making the decision and the payments on our next vehicle by myself. There are 3 things in a car I refuse to have:

    1) the thousands of dollars of premium spent on a new car that vaporizes the instant one drives it off the lot. Late model low mileage used is well worth the time to look for.

    2) automatic transmission. (Including CVTs. Mass market automatics suck full stop, especially if you're any sort of driving enthusiast).

    3) front-wheel drive.

    I could go on, but suffice to say that I've been a car geek since I was a teenager, and my husband is both a car geek and a mechanical engineer (and we are both bike racers). So as such, the sorts of vaguely car-shaped holes in the landscape driven by 99% of the general populace are not welcome in our driveway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    The new TDI sportwagon Jetta has just about as much space inside as my wife's Passat TDI Wagon from 2005....

    And to the VWs being maintenance nightmares, that may have been the case in the past, don't know, I may be too young.
    Do a search for HPFP (high pressure fuel pump) and Bosch CP4 pump and let us know what it says. Bosch has their hands full with a pump that doesn't quite meet the scar rating here in the US. Pump was designed for a scar rating of 460, US fuel scar rating is 520. 520 = not good for a 460 rated pump. So, when a hpfp pump grenades, not only do you have to replace the pump, you have to replace the hpfp pump, fuel lines, injectors and clean/replace the tank = very costly. Better hope that warranty is intact.

  63. #63
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    meh it is your choice but keep in mind that a Jetta is basically a tarted up Chevy Cavalier. Sticking a blonde wig and a bikini on Zelda Rubenstein doesn't somehow transform her into Claudia Schiffer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sloth View Post
    Do a search for HPFP (high pressure fuel pump) and Bosch CP4 pump and let us know what it says. Bosch has their hands full with a pump that doesn't quite meet the scar rating here in the US. Pump was designed for a scar rating of 460, US fuel scar rating is 520. 520 = not good for a 460 rated pump. So, when a hpfp pump grenades, not only do you have to replace the pump, you have to replace the hpfp pump, fuel lines, injectors and clean/replace the tank = very costly. Better hope that warranty is intact.

    Yes, there have been problems with the HPFP but let's put them in perspective. The latest Federal Government stats show the the failure rate for the HPFP among all VW and Audi TDI engined cars imported into the US during 2009 is 0.53% and for 2010, the failure rate is 0.11% of all cars. This shows that VW is aware and addressing the problem.

    Regarding the Lonefrontranger's comment about a Jetta being a tarted up Chevy Cavalier, when was the last time you drove a new VW product? If it's been a while, things have changed. My TDI Sportwagen out handles, is almost as quick as, is as comfortable as and is cheaper to maintain then my A4 and gets a minimum of 15 more miles per gallon.

    I'm not saying Diesel engines are the end all, be all or are for everyone, but there's a reason why manufacturers like Chevy, Jeep and Mazda will be introducing diesel engined cars to the U.S. market this year and why Mercedes, BMW, Audi and VW are rushing to increase the number of diesel vehicles they will be offering in the U.S. market in 2013 and beyond. Demand is up and diesels are finally being accepted as main stream.

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    Sad thing is it is less an automobile manufacturer problem and more a Bosch problem but the automobile manufacturer is the point of contact for the warranty. I do understand that the list of automobile manufacturers is far greater that Bosch is selling this pump to...BMW, Porsche, Audi, VW, Ford and GM. I am well aware of the issue and have been following the ongoing NHTSA investigation into this pump failure as my F350 6.7L has the Bosch CP4.2 version.

    However, the problem comes down to automobile manufacturers and if they will uphold the warranty and not try and claim that water in fuel caused the premature failure...which washes their hands of a warranty repair. There has been some of that happening.

    BTW, I'm not trying to scare off people of diesel. I wish North America would follow suit to how Europe has been for many years, high mileage diesel commuters. However, Bosch needs to come clean about selling a pump not quite suited for our low lubricity fuel standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    yeah, this. I *AM* a wife, and from my perspective you're setting yourself up for some potential friction here. If it's her decision then just hand her the cash and let her go buy it (or let her buy it with her own damned money; that's what I would do tbh).

    I'm fortunate in that I have enough spending money and say in these things that I'll be making the decision and the payments on our next vehicle by myself. There are 3 things in a car I refuse to have:

    1) the thousands of dollars of premium spent on a new car that vaporizes the instant one drives it off the lot. Late model low mileage used is well worth the time to look for.

    2) automatic transmission. (Including CVTs. Mass market automatics suck full stop, especially if you're any sort of driving enthusiast).

    3) front-wheel drive.

    I could go on, but suffice to say that I've been a car geek since I was a teenager, and my husband is both a car geek and a mechanical engineer (and we are both bike racers). So as such, the sorts of vaguely car-shaped holes in the landscape driven by 99% of the general populace are not welcome in our driveway.
    So Lonefrontr anger, what do you drive?

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post

    There are 3 things in a car I refuse to have

    1) New car
    2) automatic transmission.
    3) front-wheel drive.
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  68. #68
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    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  69. #69
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    So long as you aren't picky about aesthetics...
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    yeah, this. I *AM* a wife, and from my perspective you're setting yourself up for some potential friction here.
    Yeah - well it'll be less friction than if you get something SHE doesn't want.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    So as such, the sorts of vaguely car-shaped holes in the landscape driven by 99% of the general populace are not welcome in our driveway.
    But you drive Subarus? Unique choice.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    But you drive Subarus? Unique choice.
    Heh. Snap-ish.

  73. #73
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    x2 on just letting her decide. If she's a good negotiator she'll probably save you some cash. If you get the car you want and something goes awry, whose a$$ do you think will be in the blender?

    btw, anyone here have an opinion on the new xv crosstrek? I kind of like the looks of them. I don't need a lot of cargo space. Nice ground clearance, but might be a tad underpowered at only 148 hp??
    Ok, here's the deal. I have a hangover. Who knows what that means?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fcrider View Post
    btw, anyone here have an opinion on the new xv crosstrek? I kind of like the looks of them. I don't need a lot of cargo space. Nice ground clearance, but might be a tad underpowered at only 148 hp??
    i test drove the impreza sport limited, similar, this past saturday.

    it had the cvt.

    i was surprised at the peppiness.

    i'm looking at both the crosstrek and impreza for my daughter.

    i like the additional height the crosstrek has but like the better-on-paper MPGs of the impreza.

    i hope to not end up with a corolla, lol.

    and i do drive a 2012 2.5 premium 6-speed manual

    joel

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    I drive a *specific* Subaru that is one of the most well-regarded engine/gearbox/power combos of the marque and also one of the best looking designs of modern memory - a 2005 Legacy Outback XT turbo that (as I noted above) was heavily modified (Cobb tuned) for racing and makes over 300bhp. It is a 5-speed stick. It is also not technically "my" car; it is a car my husband bought 3 years ago with my blessing. It is emphatically not a "stock" outback. It's black and has been completely de-badged, which is also cool. No stickers, no indication (apart from the exhaust note) that there's anything unusual about it until you give it a boot full of skinny pedal.

    Mostly I drive my fixie, my cross bike, my Niner Jet RDO and my carbon roadie if you want to get pedantic about it.

    My husband's uncle has been pestering me to buy his Lotus Elise, but I'd have to drive it back from Cali and I'm not quite sure I want to do that in the middle of winter.

  76. #76
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    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lonefrontranger View Post
    I drive a *specific* Subaru
    Meh.. still a subaru. *insert your earlier Zelda Rubenstein reference here.* Most definitely in the "vaguely car-shaped holes" category.

    (I don't want a real 4x4 because I can't afford gas) x (I don't want a real sports car because I can't afford a second vehicle) x (I want to fit in with CO peeps and pretend I'm green) = Subaru. The ultimate in driving compromise.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    Meh.. still a subaru. *insert your earlier Zelda Rubenstein reference here.* Most definitely in the "vaguely car-shaped holes" category.

    (I don't want a real 4x4 because I can't afford gas) x (I don't want a real sports car because I can't afford a second vehicle) x (I want to fit in with CO peeps and pretend I'm green) = Subaru. The ultimate in driving compromise.
    I must spread around more rep.

    But yeah, all the hate on cookie cutter cars and she drives an Outback? Damn, I was hoping for at least GT350.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    I must spread around more rep.

    But yeah, all the hate on cookie cutter cars and she drives an Outback? Damn, I was hoping for at least GT350.
    ..and self-proclaimed car geek at that.

    I'm still waiting for this thread to take the typical "just last week my Subaru out-4x4'd a Unimog and out-cornered a 911 all in one afternoon" direction.

    Although I am pretty confident this is based on the new Subi Crosstrek offroad platform:

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GzXVLbs41Ew?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    I've had the Forester XT why not consider that? The Outback and Forester are identical in size but the Forester actually has more room in the back since its boxy. We got a new Outback with the six and it rides a bit nicer and is quieter then the forester. The mpg difference seems to be 4 mpg overall. 26.5 vs 28.5 between the 2013 Outback and 2009 Forester. I suppose its what your willing to give up for fuel enconomy. I'd prefer to lose a few mpgs so I can get up to speed and merge into traffic or have the ability to be able to move quickly. A sluggish car trying to get on the highway isn't really altogether safe but everyone has their preference. The Outback transmission is pretty good vs prior generations.

    As for VW I've also owned. I would go with this rule of thumb. Once the warranty is up - dump it. Horribly temperamental and unreliable cars once they get to a certain age and expensive to have fixed. Even more disturbing are VW mechanics who really don't know what they are doing. I had a brand new 2002 VW GTI. Drove it across the country to NY - not one issue. Took it in for the 5k service it was never the same their mechanics out in NY messed it up. It was in and out of the dealer for a year - blown clutch plate, window into the door, numberous engine issues. I spent a long time arguing with VW of America - they do not care and won't make any effort to do anything. Finally drove the car back to Colorado and Tyans the dealer where I bought it tried to fix it to no avail. They agreed to give me a 2003 model with 2k cash down and trade in of the 2002. The 2003 ran flawlessly without an issue for 3 years before I traded it in. I did like the car a lot but no I would not buy another one. Most VWs are made in Mexico - Bug, Jetta, Golf. GTIs were made in Brazil back then not sure where now. Passats used to be from Germany.

    For driving around the mountains you can easily get better mpg by downshifting and coasting the car down the hills. I'm amazed how many people here have no idea how to downshift a manual or auto and lay off the brakes.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    (I want to fit in with CO peeps and pretend I'm green) = Subaru.
    If you're going to throw this one in there, you might as well say she's a closet lesbian for owning a subaru in the first place.

    Name another company that sells an affordable, fast, awd wagon that's easy to mod. Face it, she p0wned you in the car savvy department...
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by digktialx View Post
    I've had the Forester XT why not consider that?
    New body style Forester XT = 4 speed automatic. Welcome to 1995...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    If you're going to throw this one in there, you might as well say she's a closet lesbian for owning a subaru in the first place.

    Name another company that sells an affordable, fast, awd wagon that's easy to mod. Face it, she p0wned you in the car savvy department...
    Oooh.. p0wned. Super-snap.

    *yawn*

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    Oooh.. p0wned. Super-snap.

    *yawn*
    What have you posted that's worthwhile?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    What have you posted that's worthwhile?
    What? Angry that I'm trolling in this entirely OT thread? My bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    New body style Forester XT = 4 speed automatic. Welcome to 1995...
    Didn't notice much issue with the turbo kicking in. (The turbo needs to be retuned to kick in at a lower RPM - 3,500-4,000 is too high to get real use out of it) A lot of the Subaru parts are interchangeable so you could probably get it swapped out for a manual if your that hard up.

    I would if I bought one - used and get the auto replaced. I personally dislike automatics but people in America seem obsessed with them. I believe the prior model actually had an manual option too. I drive a Ridgeline now - I miss the manual everyday but the auto does a -passable- job for my aggressive driving.

    -dx

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    Umm HE just F Up a 50+ Thousand dollar truck !! WHat a tard !
    My new Quote is "don't let friends ride old bikes on DH Trails "

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    Quote Originally Posted by YETI_Chris View Post
    Umm HE just F Up a 50+ Thousand dollar truck !! WHat a tard !
    I haven't gone rock climbing like that with a truck myself. It seemed like he was really gassing the engine - far more then necessary. That last part where he snapped his wheel off he narrowly missed ripping the wheel off the tree only to come down and snap the other one off.

    -dx

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    ..<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GzXVLbs41Ew?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    I could climb that ish way better on my 29er
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    I could climb that ish way better on my 29er
    But could you do it and "leave no trace" like that ecobuggy?

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by digktialx View Post
    Didn't notice much issue with the turbo kicking in. (The turbo needs to be retuned to kick in at a lower RPM - 3,500-4,000 is too high to get real use out of it) A lot of the Subaru parts are interchangeable so you could probably get it swapped out for a manual if your that hard up.

    I would if I bought one - used and get the auto replaced. I personally dislike automatics but people in America seem obsessed with them. I believe the prior model actually had an manual option too. I drive a Ridgeline now - I miss the manual everyday but the auto does a -passable- job for my aggressive driving.

    -dx
    My brother's got a couple year old FXT, and he likes it, but wishes it was a manual. It'd be nice if only it were just a bolt in mod, but you've gotta hang the pedals, do some wiring, and remap the ecu. I was considering it for my next car, but read a few threads on doing the manual swap, and found a good number of people with hands on experience trying to talk you out of it. Of course, if you do some research on changing wheel bearings, you find the same thing, and with the right tools, that's not such a bad job. Maybe I'll rethink it...
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  92. #92
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    TDI, sorry to echo...Didnt know there were so many bikers with TDIs on the front range. If you happen to see a white one with rhino rack system and a Banshee Rune at trailhead say hello!

    The pedal never, ever needs to come close to the floor to make it up a steep grade, loaded to the brim with a roof box is no matter.

    Comfy vehicle, since October have put 20k miles on it, sitting for 18 hours MSP to Denver with 3 fuel stops and my back had no complaints. Engine is just starting to break in .

    Had a touch of trouble with snow on top of Wolf Creek Pass but when the parking lot is ice when you drive in and it snows 10 inches of wet snow while your skiing it may be expected, especially with stock all-season tires.

    I picked up a 2013 Jetta Sportwagen 6 speed with the panoramic sunroof and nav system. around $27K.

    I understand your concerns about not having servicing near by but a test drive may change your mind. Its not 0-60 that matters, its 40-60 or 20-50 or whatever situation your in, unless your a dragster....

    people buy HP but we all drive torque!

    Have fun with whatever you get!

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    My brother's got a couple year old FXT, and he likes it, but wishes it was a manual. It'd be nice if only it were just a bolt in mod, but you've gotta hang the pedals, do some wiring, and remap the ecu. I was considering it for my next car, but read a few threads on doing the manual swap, and found a good number of people with hands on experience trying to talk you out of it. Of course, if you do some research on changing wheel bearings, you find the same thing, and with the right tools, that's not such a bad job. Maybe I'll rethink it...
    Ah forgot about the pedals that could be some pains there - a buddy of mine is always driving a Subaru and he's in touch with a bunch of guys that do loads of Subaru work. If I ever get a different job I'll be able to sell the Ridgeline and get some type of Subaru which is my preferred car. At this point if I want to avoid the auto -> manual swap it'll have to be a WRX. If not I'd have to have a serious talk with him and see what it would actually entail and how much - could be ok on a used model but who knows until you try!

    -dx

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    So long as you aren't picky about aesthetics...
    This is a thread about Subarus. Aesthetics went out the door in the title.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  95. #95
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    Best Subaru wagon for the Front Range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu View Post
    This is a thread about Subarus. Aesthetics went out the door in the title.
    +1

    I almost bought a '05 Legacy GT wagon back in 05 but the terms weren't quite right so I walked away. It was a very nice car when you could still get a proper wagon.

    I look at the current stock of Subarus and they have all been hit with a very large ugly stick. Just when I don't think they can get any worse they do!

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ithnu View Post
    This is a thread about Subarus. Aesthetics went out the door in the title.
    You don't like the BRZ? Well, no accounting for taste.

    Subaru BRZ | The New 2013 BRZ Sports Car
    Last edited by dbabuser; 02-23-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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  97. #97
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    123
    .. add 30 and it's your quarter-mile time?

    .. subtract by 2 and it's the number of Subi's that have actually exceeded 55mph in the fast lane?

    .. total number of seconds it takes to get high centered in deep snow?

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbabuser View Post
    You don't like the BRZ? Well, no accounting for taste.

    Subaru BRZ | The New 2013 BRZ Sports Car
    Oh.. look. Someone finally made a Honda S2000 hardtop! Sweet.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    Some extremely witty remarks
    We get it. You despise Subarus.

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