What's the best ski & bike wagon: Outback or RAV4?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What's the best ski & bike wagon: Outback or RAV4?

    So...who's tried 'em both, for biking?

    These cars are remarkably evenly matched in interior volume, engines, mpg, etc. I hear the Subaru handles bad for a car and the Toyota handles great for an SUV. The RAV probably has a taller cargo area, while the Subaru is probably wider and longer- total volume narrowly favors the RAV. Reliability is probably a wash.

    In the 4-cyls, the Subie wins for MPG. In 6-cyls, the RAV narrowly wins. That 6-cyl Rav is a real rocket, too.

    I live at 6000' and go up from there, so the 4's are a bit anemic up here. The power would be nice, but I have a feeling I'll appreciate the MPG of the 4's once gas goes through the roof again.

    Safety favors the Subaru, although neither are bad.

    If I were on the open market, I'd lean to the V-6 Sport RAV...but I"m an IMBA member, and the RAV is getting a complete remake in '12. It'll probably have new transmissions, improving MPG. Maybe I should just wait.

    What I don't know is what they're like to live with. So...who's used both of them ('06 or newer RAV, '10 or newer Outback)? Which is better?

  2. #2
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    It just depends man. I've spent the last 3 years in a foz and lately just grew out of it. The subarus are great if you want something sporty that handles. The toyotas are great if your back hurts or if you want your wife to go with you. If your into the hobo rack thing, I think you can actually put a whole XL bike in a RAV4 with the wheels on. Its pretty hard to do that with any subaru.

  3. #3
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    Well, I'd say it's like buying a bike... test drive 'em both. Are you only looking at the Outback? What about new Foresters?

    I own a Forester (2004) so I am biased. I really like the new Foresters.

  4. #4
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    I'm a Subaru fan so I'm biased. And after having lived with an Impreza wagon for 5 years, 93,000 miles, hundreds of bike trips, tons of camping and a few big snows, I'm sold on Subaru's for active lifestyles (I sound like a marketing guy or something). Living near Tahoe, we're surrounded by amazing biking, camping, boating, etc, so we're always carrying bikes, kayaks, going camping or whatever.

    I test drove the '10 Outback H6. I didn't hammer it but the test drive we did, up to 80-ish mph, down some city streets, through some curves, etc, it was a fantastic car. My biggest gripe about it is that it doesn't have a water temp gauge just a warning light. They did this so you could get a swinging mpg gauge to compliment the digital display Stupid. I don't need redundant mpg displays and no mechanical indicator about engine water temp.

    I've also driven the previous gen legacy wagons. The new car IS bigger but didn't feel huge when I was driving it and I would love to have one. If Subaru sticks to their typical cycle, the Outback should get a little freshening up in '12. If you dislike the handling, try to get a low mileage; the 09 LL Bean Outback is awesome.
    :wq

  5. #5
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    I don't know about those two cars but I love my BMW X5M.

    It hauls my bike on the roof, my CCR in the back for dive trips and soon my skis to the mountains.

    No complaints; well it might be a touch hard on MPG once over 100 mph or so.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    So...who's tried 'em both, for biking?

    These cars are remarkably evenly matched in interior volume, engines, mpg, etc. I hear the Subaru handles bad for a car and the Toyota handles great for an SUV. The RAV probably has a taller cargo area, while the Subaru is probably wider and longer- total volume narrowly favors the RAV. Reliability is probably a wash.

    In the 4-cyls, the Subie wins for MPG. In 6-cyls, the RAV narrowly wins. That 6-cyl Rav is a real rocket, too.

    I live at 6000' and go up from there, so the 4's are a bit anemic up here. The power would be nice, but I have a feeling I'll appreciate the MPG of the 4's once gas goes through the roof again.

    Safety favors the Subaru, although neither are bad.

    If I were on the open market, I'd lean to the V-6 Sport RAV...but I"m an IMBA member, and the RAV is getting a complete remake in '12. It'll probably have new transmissions, improving MPG. Maybe I should just wait.

    What I don't know is what they're like to live with. So...who's used both of them ('06 or newer RAV, '10 or newer Outback)? Which is better?

    If you need vestigial 3rd row seats... RAV4.

    The Outback has full-time AWD.

    The RAV4 has part time, plus some electronic goodies (Hill-start & descent control) some will never use.

    Whatever you get.... don't forget in the ski season, equip them with snow tires.

    AWD will help you get going, but they won't really help you with steering & stopping. Snow tires allows the AWD system, braking system, steering system, etc to be utilized at its maximum capabilities

  7. #7
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    I'm a bit confused as to why you'd compare a compact SUV to a mid-size SUW. The RAV4 is more comparable to a Subaru Forester. The Subaru Outback is more comparable to say, a Highlander or some Toyota a bit larger than that.

    The AWD system on a Subaru is much more superior, but I don't know if you'd need the truck-like ground clearance of a Subaru Forester/Outback.

    As for safety, I don't know about Toyota, but all of the newer Subarus have heavily reinforced unibody construction. The pillars are heavily reinforced (you'd be surprised how many layers of steel there are).

    And since you're an IMBA member, you can also get a discount if you buy a Subaru from a Subaru dealer.


    Regardless of which you pick, hope it best fits your wants and needs!

  8. #8
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    Outback, totally!

    but I guess it depends on how much you need real 4wd. RAV4 4wd only kicks in when wheels start to slip. Subie has them going all the time.

  9. #9
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    I owned a forester for 3 years and moved on to a rav4. Here's my take on the two cars

    Sub
    +handles like a sports car, fun to drive
    +AWD and very safe
    +easy swaps and upgrades
    -handling can be annoying, you feel every crack and bump
    -road noise
    -wind noise
    -low driver seating position
    Toy
    +Very comfy ride
    +Seating position is higher, better for taller people
    +Very quiet on the road and at speed
    -handles like a suv
    -not fun to drive, puts me to sleep

    I moved on to the RAV4 because the subaru got to be bothersome on long trips. My 2006 had the frameless windows and the wind and road noise were terrible. Probalby has more to do with me getting closer to 40. Both are great cars and the subaru never let me down. I would buy another subaru tomorrow if I wanted something sporty, economical, and fun to drive.

    Again, for you hobo rack types, I was able to throw my XL banshee spitfire in the back w/o removing the front wheel. I had to lay it on its side but I would think a small or medium might go in upright.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebronze
    I moved on to the RAV4 because the subaru got to be bothersome on long trips. My 2006 had the frameless windows and the wind and road noise were terrible. Probalby has more to do with me getting closer to 40. Both are great cars and the subaru never let me down. I would buy another subaru tomorrow if I wanted something sporty, economical, and fun to drive.

    Again, for you hobo rack types, I was able to throw my XL banshee spitfire in the back w/o removing the front wheel. I had to lay it on its side but I would think a small or medium might go in upright.
    As a note, the new Foresters have framed windows.
    --NC
    2008 Kona Cowan // 2005 Kona Cowan // 2009 Giant Modem // 2009 department store IronHorse // 1970s Schwinn roadie

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill
    I don't know about those two cars but I love my BMW X5M.

    It hauls my bike on the roof, my CCR in the back for dive trips and soon my skis to the mountains.

    No complaints; well it might be a touch hard on MPG once over 100 mph or so.
    It had better lick my balls too for $90K.

    Anyway, I'd favor the OB. After all the BS with Toyota lately has completely dropped them from any vehicle ownership list I will ever have.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona_CT
    As a note, the new Foresters have framed windows.
    I got out of my friends Forester and nearly smashed my eye in to the frame. I'm not used to cars with framed windows yet
    :wq

  13. #13
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    I drove a Forester when it first came out, and wasn't impressed. It felt cheap and rattly inside. And pairing the turbo with a 4-speed slushbox!? You gotta be kidding me! If they still had something comparable to the old Forrester 2.5XT I'd be interested. (BTW- Subaru REALLY needs to get direct injection on their turbo-engines. Their current low-compression turbo engines are very laggy and inefficient)

    The Outback doesn't have the handling of the Imprezza, Legacy, or even the old Outback. It's significantly bigger and floatier. I imagine the ride and handling of the current RAV4 and Outback are pretty similar, although I haven't driven them back-to-back.

    X5 is out. It's several times the cost, less reliable, sucks down as much fuel as a Tahoe, and is not something you want to throw a muddy bike in. I already have a 335i for my fun car, so an X5 would be kindof pointless. What I'm really looking to replace is my wife's old Accord AND my 200k Jeep Cherokee (although I may keep that around as a beater anyway since it isn't worth anything)

    I do like the ability to store my bike inside without a rack. More secure that way.

    TedNuget: Last year, I wouldn've agreed on getting snow tires, but now I'm not so sure. I got some Blizzaks for my 335i on a can't-pass-deal on Craigslist. The handling and traction in dry conditions, where I spend 95% of my time, was terrible. So, way safer 5% of the time, and less safe the other 95%. The main reason I got 'em was because my summer performance tires weren't very good when they got cold, but the snows weren't much better all the time- except when they were on snow, when they were MUCH better. In the afternoons, with temps in the high 40s, they were worse than my summer tires. They wore REALLY fast on dry roads, too- even compared to my performance tires. Unless you spend a large chunk of time on the snow, I think some agressive all-seasons, preferably with AWD, is the way to go, ideally with performance tires for the summer.

    AWDFreak: as I said before- the RAV4 and Outback are VERY evenly matched in cost, performance, interior volume, efficiency, and other features. The Forrester is a bit smaller and cheaper.

  14. #14
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    I'd take a new forester just about any day over a rav4... but then again I did.

    I had this decision to make earlier this year, something about the rav4 was just feminine and the design was meh. This is coming from someone who has been a toyota fan my whole life and had nothing but great experiences with toyota. I would've loved to go with a 4 runner, but the lower gas mileage and higher price pushed me to the forester. Something about the outback just didn't grab my attention like the forester did either. In addition I'm not a huge fan of being the guinea pig for the first model year.

    I've had my forester out to moab and back already... and actually ended up on a 4x4 trail (monitor and merrimac) for awhile when a road was closed. It amazed me at what I was getting through with the forester, it almost made it too easy to the point where I kept going when I likely shouldn't have. Luckily, I turned around when things got too hairy (BIG rocks) and made it out without any issues whatsoever.

    After having the forester for ~7 months now I'm very happy with it. There is a service bulletin to take care of the door baffles that can cause rattles on the 09+ models, so maybe that's what you were hearing? In terms of build quality I'd say toyota may be just slightly better, but subaru isn't far behind. Toyota has been having it's share of growing pains lately, while subaru seems to be handling everything in stride and doing great. In terms of ride quality I think the forester is very comfortable, but at the same time handles more like a car than most any SUV I've been in. The gas mileage on the non-turbo 4 cyclinder has actually been fairly impressive in town as well. I've been getting 25+ mpg with a decent amount of stop/go driving. The only place I've found myself wishing for the turbo is at highway speeds greater than 70, or when you're trying to accelerate from 0-60 as fast as possible. The non-turbo seems to have more than enough power for in town driving, it's actually fairly impressive in short bursts since the forester is fairly light.

    I'd say take another test drive in a forester. If you still don't dig it, go for the outback. Only reason I'd go for the rav4 is the toyota name, most everything else I find not so enticing. Maybe it'll be quite a bit better after the redesign in 2012.

  15. #15
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    I'd go with the Rav4 over the Forester.

    1.) The Rav4 is a higher quality product and will be more reliable (though not by leaps and bounds).

    2.) The Rav4 with the V6 is an absolute rocket and vastly superior to the Forester engine, either the standard engine or the turbo.

    3.) The Rav4 is quieter and more upscale.

    Tough choice on the Rav4 vs. Outback. Most of the three points, save for reliability, go away save for the Outback can get expensive when loaded - $33k+.

  16. #16
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    Just buy a truck and be done with it

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd

    Anyway, I'd favor the OB. After all the BS with Toyota lately has completely dropped them from any vehicle ownership list I will ever have.
    Yeah thats true, but what about all the BS subaru put us through with the headgasket debacle from 199?--2005? What was the failure rate on those, something like 90%?

  18. #18
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    I Honestly never thought I would EVER see a rav described as a rocket. Don't spend more for the sake of being ever so slightly less slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    So...who's tried 'em both, for biking?

    These cars are remarkably evenly matched in interior volume, engines, mpg, etc. I hear the Subaru handles bad for a car and the Toyota handles great for an SUV. The RAV probably has a taller cargo area, while the Subaru is probably wider and longer- total volume narrowly favors the RAV. Reliability is probably a wash.

    In the 4-cyls, the Subie wins for MPG. In 6-cyls, the RAV narrowly wins. That 6-cyl Rav is a real rocket, too.

    I live at 6000' and go up from there, so the 4's are a bit anemic up here. The power would be nice, but I have a feeling I'll appreciate the MPG of the 4's once gas goes through the roof again.

    Safety favors the Subaru, although neither are bad.

    If I were on the open market, I'd lean to the V-6 Sport RAV...but I"m an IMBA member, and the RAV is getting a complete remake in '12. It'll probably have new transmissions, improving MPG. Maybe I should just wait.

    What I don't know is what they're like to live with. So...who's used both of them ('06 or newer RAV, '10 or newer Outback)? Which is better?
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I have to ask for them to do a "Number two" on my head

  19. #19
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    Yeah, a V6 Rav4 does 0-60 in 6.5 sec and 1/4 mile in ~14.8 sec, which is faster than ~90% of all muscle cars in the heyday of the '60s and '70s, and faster than most cars made today, let alone SUVs or pickups. It is a rocket and IMO one of the best vehicles on the market today. Problem is I don't think its AWD system is up to snuff of the Subaru.

    As to the problem with Toyotas, the unintended acceleration "problem" was a hoax, which the NHTSA has all but admitted as all investigations by all parties, including the government, have yet to prove ONE instance of the car itself accelerating by itself. Each and every case has been proven to be driver error. I also know a fair amount about how such systems are programmed and built and statistically speaking it's an impossible scenario.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebronze
    Yeah thats true, but what about all the BS subaru put us through with the headgasket debacle from 199?--2005? What was the failure rate on those, something like 90%?
    The use of the MLS headgasket should remedy that issue.

  21. #21
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    Ultimate Trail Hauler - Audi allroad quattro

    I already tried both cars...but ended-up with this $8500, 355bhp beauty with FOUR adjustable ride heights! This thing blasts through snow at 75mph and climbs a 25% grade, muddy hill like its nothing. Back to topic - if I had to seriously choose between the two....I'd go with Subaru's terrific AWD:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What's the best ski & bike wagon: Outback or RAV4?-dsc00001.jpg  

    What's the best ski & bike wagon: Outback or RAV4?-25132900001_large.jpg  

    What's the best ski & bike wagon: Outback or RAV4?-audi-allroad_quattro_v6_2_7t_2005_800x600_wallpaper_06.jpg  

    What's the best ski & bike wagon: Outback or RAV4?-side5.jpg  

    Last edited by Cayenne_Pepa; 09-20-2010 at 07:32 AM.
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  22. #22
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    THAT'S more like it

    I was just about to recommend a used (but expensive to repair) Audi. I own a used A4 and it simply cannot be beat. Better cargo & hauling capacity than most SUV's, better mileage, better handling / safety and a better AWD system. Expensive maintenance and repairs are the drawback.

    I watched a Subaru Outback struggle with a lightweight aluminum fishing boat last summer at the lake. When I went to launch my 1200 lb sailboat the Subie owner warned me "It's really slippery down there - I wouldn't try that". Having launched the same boat dozens of times I showed him how it's done. Not even the slightest bit of wheelspin. Later the same week I pulled a stuck Dodge Caravan out of the same launch. The owner was in disbelief - my wife: "You have been waiting for this moment haven't you?"

    Consider yourself warned - you will find the All-road has more things to break. Part of the reason I can get away owning one of these it that I bike commute at least 3 days out of the week year-round. When it's time to replace the A4 I think I'll go even less practical and find an S4. My all time favorite car.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    I already tried both cars...but ended-up with this $8500, 355bhp beauty with FOUR adjustable ride heights! This thing blasts through snow at 75mph and climbs a 25% grade, muddy hill like its nothing. Back to topic - if I had to seriously choose between the two....I'd go with Subaru's terrific AWD:
    I like audis and many other nice cars, but would rather spend parts money on bikes. The 2.7l twin turbo engines aren't exactly cheap, there's a reason someone was willing to sell it for $8500. Have known a few people that owned one, lets just say they never ran out of parts to replace/fix. 98%+ of the time 355hp, or whatever that engine puts out, is unnecessary. Gas mileage also won't be great, especially if your foot gets heavy. I will agree that they're comfortable cars with a lot of power though... it's no surprise that value isn't the top priority with Audi/BMW/etc.

  24. #24
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    I would rather buy a $10k allroad and have to put $5k into repairs then have a brand new, boring RAV4 or Outback. Toyota products are some of the most uninspired cars to drive out there, but they are well made and reliable. Subarus are more fun to drive, but I hate the cheap feel of them. I have not driven the new Outback, but I imagine it is worse than the previous generation 2.5XT that I have driven before. The allroad is the best of everything; decently quick, handles great with it's adjustable height suspension, comfortable, luxurious, well made, and now cheap enough that anyone can buy one and not worry about getting it dirty inside. I bought a 4.2 V8 allroad at the end of last year and love it so far. And having 300 hp is not unnecessary, because when you have that kind of power it will always put a smile on your face when you floor it...so therefore it gets used a lot. Fuel mileage is somewhat poor, that is the biggest downside to them.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilonpill
    Just buy a truck and be done with it
    Trucks are next to useless for the majority of us. A P/U owner had a moment of clarity while we loaded up our vehicles side by side at the Home Depot. I had my 5 X 8 trailer loaded with twice as much and was exerting myself half as much while loading. The truck owner stated - "man, I wish I had done that, I use this truck for hauling maybe a dozen times a year. The rest of the time I wish I had a car".

    Trucks are really good for seeing over most traffic - which works for truck owners who know to look ahead. The sooner they can see what's coming, the sooner they can compensate for the crappy handling & braking.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustMtnB44
    I would rather buy a $10k allroad and have to put $5k into repairs then have a brand new, boring RAV4 or Outback. Toyota products are some of the most uninspired cars to drive out there, but they are well made and reliable. Subarus are more fun to drive, but I hate the cheap feel of them. I have not driven the new Outback, but I imagine it is worse than the previous generation 2.5XT that I have driven before. The allroad is the best of everything; decently quick, handles great with it's adjustable height suspension, comfortable, luxurious, well made, and now cheap enough that anyone can buy one and not worry about getting it dirty inside. I bought a 4.2 V8 allroad at the end of last year and love it so far. And having 300 hp is not unnecessary, because when you have that kind of power it will always put a smile on your face when you floor it...so therefore it gets used a lot. Fuel mileage is somewhat poor, that is the biggest downside to them.
    Just hope you don't wreck it anytime soon, otherwise that $5k isn't going to be worth much.

    There are benefits to both. I've had cars with all the bells and whistles, and cars with the bare minimum. After having all the bells and whistles cause problems I found the last toyota I had to be a breath of fresh air. Yeah, it wasn't fast or all that exciting, but I could guarantee very few trips to the repair shop throughout the year. It was dead reliable and got me everywhere I needed to be on the cheap. Between riding/work/etc I don't enjoy spending time running back and forth to the shop. I've found the more bells/whistles the more likely you'll be doing just that.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Self Motivated
    I watched a Subaru Outback struggle with a lightweight aluminum fishing boat last summer at the lake. When I went to launch my 1200 lb sailboat the Subie owner warned me "It's really slippery down there - I wouldn't try that". Having launched the same boat dozens of times I showed him how it's done. Not even the slightest bit of wheelspin. Later the same week I pulled a stuck Dodge Caravan out of the same launch. The owner was in disbelief - my wife: "You have been waiting for this moment haven't you?"
    All hail the quattro!!!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    I drove a Forester when it first came out, and wasn't impressed. It felt cheap and rattly inside. And pairing the turbo with a 4-speed slushbox!? You gotta be kidding me! If they still had something comparable to the old Forrester 2.5XT I'd be interested. (BTW- Subaru REALLY needs to get direct injection on their turbo-engines. Their current low-compression turbo engines are very laggy and inefficient)

    .
    I just checked the Subaru website and I am amazed that they still think the 170hp 4 speed engine is sufficient for the Forester. I drive a 2006 Impreza, with the same 170 hp 4 speed combination (not my choice) and it really doesnt have enough torque for any driving above about 70 and it struggles on hills when fully loaded. And they think it's ok to just throw that into the heavier forester? Wow.

    Subaru, wake up, it is 2010, a 4 speed crap box doesn't cut it, it didn't cut it in 2006 and it doesn't now. There is a reason everyday i drive my car, I kick myself for not getting the manual (fiancee doesnt drive manual.) Here's a thought, put a taller 5th gear or take the fairly good cvt from the legacy and make it standard in all of your cars. Or take the 5 speed you developed for the legacy and use it somewhere else besides the 3.6 dog of an engine (talk about poor fuel efficiency and outdated engines)

    My advice to Subaru:
    Your cars are torque happy machines, drop the fuel guzzling NA models as well as the 2.5 engine. Give up on winning on HP, because the Boxer engine does not lend itself to economical high HP, win on torque. Give all your cars 3 engine options, with 4 different transmission options:
    Engines:
    1. Standard 2.0L turbo with decent PSI that puts out 170-230 hp (depending on turbo used) across the board and gets 34 mpg hwy/25 city
    2. Two words: Boxer Diesel. ok, one more: Turbo.
    3. Super charged Cosworth tuned 2.0L turbo that puts out 350 hp for STI models

    Transmissions:
    1. 5 speed manual, get it right, no second gear snafu's
    2. 5 speed automatic. If the car only shifts to 5th when its going 65, thats fine, it saves gas. Just take your 4 speed and put on a taller gear so I don't have to cruise at almost 3000RPM to go 75.
    3. The CVT from the legacy, I hear its pretty good.
    4. 6 speed manual, the one from the STI, its a keeper.

    AWD - keep it, I like it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3
    I just checked the Subaru website and I am amazed that they still think the 170hp 4 speed engine is sufficient for the Forester. I drive a 2006 Impreza, with the same 170 hp 4 speed combination (not my choice) and it really doesnt have enough torque for any driving above about 70 and it struggles on hills when fully loaded. And they think it's ok to just throw that into the heavier forester? Wow.

    Subaru, wake up, it is 2010, a 4 speed crap box doesn't cut it, it didn't cut it in 2006 and it doesn't now. There is a reason everyday i drive my car, I kick myself for not getting the manual (fiancee doesnt drive manual.) Here's a thought, put a taller 5th gear or take the fairly good cvt from the legacy and make it standard in all of your cars. Or take the 5 speed you developed for the legacy and use it somewhere else besides the 3.6 dog of an engine (talk about poor fuel efficiency and outdated engines)

    My advice to Subaru:
    Your cars are torque happy machines, drop the fuel guzzling NA models as well as the 2.5 engine. Give up on winning on HP, because the Boxer engine does not lend itself to economical high HP, win on torque. Give all your cars 3 engine options, with 4 different transmission options:
    Engines:
    1. Standard 2.0L turbo with decent PSI that puts out 170-230 hp (depending on turbo used) across the board and gets 34 mpg hwy/25 city
    2. Two words: Boxer Diesel. ok, one more: Turbo.
    3. Super charged Cosworth tuned 2.0L turbo that puts out 350 hp for STI models

    Transmissions:
    1. 5 speed manual, get it right, no second gear snafu's
    2. 5 speed automatic. If the car only shifts to 5th when its going 65, thats fine, it saves gas. Just take your 4 speed and put on a taller gear so I don't have to cruise at almost 3000RPM to go 75.
    3. The CVT from the legacy, I hear its pretty good.
    4. 6 speed manual, the one from the STI, its a keeper.

    AWD - keep it, I like it.
    The NA forester is around 3300 lbs, not beyond the realm of sanity for 170hp. I find it funny that 170hp isn't enough, when there are people all over the place having no trouble with far less. If you live in the mountains I could see where extra power could be useful, but that's where the turbo option would help especially at altitude.

    I'd agree that the NA forester does fall off a bit at the higher speeds, but then again it's an SUV and that's normal. For every day driving it has more than enough power to get me around town. I also agree that a 5 speed auto would be great for highway speeds, but can't complain too much about a bulletproof 4 speed transmission. I've traveled across the country, through the colorado mountains, and all over moab (including an accidental 4x4 trail detour) with mine and had no problems... but that's not saying a 5th gear wouldn't help.

    I disagree with dropping NAs for only turbo options, until they become more bulletproof reliable and don't require premium gas. Also, if subaru drops from 2.5 to 2.0 expect more turbo lag. I've had cars with turbos, they're a blast but almost always lead to more maintenance. Diesel, on the other hand, I'd be interested in.

  30. #30
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    98%+ of the time 355hp, or whatever that engine puts out, is unnecessary. Gas mileage also won't be great, especially if your foot gets heavy.
    Just like suspension is unnecessary, or gears, or any of that. I'd much rather take a fun car that gets ok mileage then a car that puts me to sleep with great mileage.
    Speed has never killed anybody. Suddenly becoming stationary... that's what gets you.

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    i drive a VW, but i always liked SUBARU's they're amazing cars.
    when time comes that i must have 4WD at least 6 month out of they year *(once i move back to the mountains from SoCal) SUBARU is what ill be looking at, unless i make enough money to buy an AUDI A4 wagon. or even better i really hope by that time they bring A4 ALLROAD to US, they have it in EU its great, kinda like what we had here with A6 ALLROAD untill'07 but based on A4 wagon.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiflow_21
    Diesel, on the other hand, I'd be interested in.
    '10 VW GOLF TDI driver right here.. amazing amazing car, a blast to drive, great MPG's, hatchback fits ton of stuff if you dont have roof racks. cant beat that german engineering.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3
    I just checked the Subaru website and I am amazed that they still think the 170hp 4 speed engine is sufficient for the Forester. I drive a 2006 Impreza, with the same 170 hp 4 speed combination (not my choice) and it really doesnt have enough torque for any driving above about 70 and it struggles on hills when fully loaded. And they think it's ok to just throw that into the heavier forester? Wow.

    Subaru, wake up, it is 2010, a 4 speed crap box doesn't cut it, it didn't cut it in 2006 and it doesn't now. There is a reason everyday i drive my car, I kick myself for not getting the manual (fiancee doesnt drive manual.) Here's a thought, put a taller 5th gear or take the fairly good cvt from the legacy and make it standard in all of your cars. Or take the 5 speed you developed for the legacy and use it somewhere else besides the 3.6 dog of an engine (talk about poor fuel efficiency and outdated engines)

    My advice to Subaru:
    Your cars are torque happy machines, drop the fuel guzzling NA models as well as the 2.5 engine. Give up on winning on HP, because the Boxer engine does not lend itself to economical high HP, win on torque. Give all your cars 3 engine options, with 4 different transmission options:
    Engines:
    1. Standard 2.0L turbo with decent PSI that puts out 170-230 hp (depending on turbo used) across the board and gets 34 mpg hwy/25 city
    2. Two words: Boxer Diesel. ok, one more: Turbo.
    3. Super charged Cosworth tuned 2.0L turbo that puts out 350 hp for STI models

    Transmissions:
    1. 5 speed manual, get it right, no second gear snafu's
    2. 5 speed automatic. If the car only shifts to 5th when its going 65, thats fine, it saves gas. Just take your 4 speed and put on a taller gear so I don't have to cruise at almost 3000RPM to go 75.
    3. The CVT from the legacy, I hear its pretty good.
    4. 6 speed manual, the one from the STI, its a keeper.

    AWD - keep it, I like it.
    I like the spirit of your post but...

    Engines:
    1) the naturally-aspirated 2.5 is plenty for your average commuter. If you want more, the engineers could work out the engine to probably 200-250HP tops without reliability issues, but I doubt that'd happen anytime soon.
    2) I'm ALL FOR THE BOXER DIESEL!!! I would love to have a Subaru that gets 30MPG and has a crappton of torque! It would also be excellent for off-road use
    3) There's already a Cosworth STI out there. However, I don't think Subaru is going to get the stock HP that high on a turbocharged EJ anytime soon. Maybe in the far future, but I doubt anytime soon.

    But I'm not going to lie, Subaru needs to give the flat-6 more attention. If the turbocharged flat-4 makes more power and torque than the 6, and is more fuel efficient, there's no point in the flat-6 existing.

    Transmissions:
    1) they're fine as it is in terms of acceleration and for spirited driving, but I do believe 5th gear always seems too short on the freeway (3200 RPM at about 65 MPH is ridiculous, but I like the sound of the engine)
    2) I actually do hope they spread the 5-speed SPORTSHIFT autotragic, since 4 speeds does seem ancient (however I do believe 4 speeds is just right for most people)
    3) CVT is perfect for maximizing fuel efficiency, and they should keep the shiftable function just for fun
    4) the 6-speed manual from the STI is the king of all Subaru manual transmissions. There's that new 6-speed already offered standard on the 2010 Legacys and 2010 Outbacks, but that's actually a revision of the 5-speed manual.

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    Audi Allroad biturbo 2.7L is rated at 250 hp not 355 hp (at least in the US; if it's been modified to produce that much watch out). Those engines eat turbos and related hardware, and that engine has to come out for some very basic repairs (such as replacing turbos).

    Subaru does have issues with its products. The Forester drive train is woefully inadequate, the Impreza and WRX are shockingly cheap on the inside, the Legacy GT is only available now fully loaded with a starting MSRP of $32k, and the Outback is/was chasing the SUV craze and has become ponderous.

    However, overall, they do a pretty good job. There stuff is quite reliable (way beyond pretty much an other AWD automaker such as Audi). I really want my next car to be the Legacy GT but I'm worried a bit about ground clearance a bit. I'd love the 265 hp/6sp MT drive train in the Outback (akin to the previous generation's Outback XT) but that's a pipe dream now.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by AWDfreak
    I like the spirit of your post but...

    Engines:
    1) the naturally-aspirated 2.5 is plenty for your average commuter. If you want more, the engineers could work out the engine to probably 200-250HP tops without reliability issues, but I doubt that'd happen anytime soon.
    2) I'm ALL FOR THE BOXER DIESEL!!! I would love to have a Subaru that gets 30MPG and has a crappton of torque! It would also be excellent for off-road use
    3) There's already a Cosworth STI out there. However, I don't think Subaru is going to get the stock HP that high on a turbocharged EJ anytime soon. Maybe in the far future, but I doubt anytime soon.

    But I'm not going to lie, Subaru needs to give the flat-6 more attention. If the turbocharged flat-4 makes more power and torque than the 6, and is more fuel efficient, there's no point in the flat-6 existing.

    Transmissions:
    1) they're fine as it is in terms of acceleration and for spirited driving, but I do believe 5th gear always seems too short on the freeway (3200 RPM at about 65 MPH is ridiculous, but I like the sound of the engine)
    2) I actually do hope they spread the 5-speed SPORTSHIFT autotragic, since 4 speeds does seem ancient (however I do believe 4 speeds is just right for most people)
    3) CVT is perfect for maximizing fuel efficiency, and they should keep the shiftable function just for fun
    4) the 6-speed manual from the STI is the king of all Subaru manual transmissions. There's that new 6-speed already offered standard on the 2010 Legacys and 2010 Outbacks, but that's actually a revision of the 5-speed manual.
    Engines:
    1) I agree, my current 2.5i is great for commuting, just wish I got better than 20-23 mpg commuting.
    2) Yes, Boxer diesel, seems like everyone is in favor...except for Subaru. Maybe because they don't have an economical transmission that can handle that much torque?
    3) 350 seems to be the "minimum" these days for a sports sedan. I think 300 is plenty. My buddy has an STI limited (2007) at 325 whp (probably a lot more at flywheel) and did it for about $6000, so not bad.

    3.6R - It baffles me how the flat 6 on porsches could be so awesome and the flat 6 on Subaru's be so crappy. They are smooth, no doubt, but they get terrible gas mileage and I think that they should either build it to it's potential (should easily build up N/A to 270 and turbo'd to over 365) and have a flagship engine for whatever they want, or drop it, because as it is right now, I think they're turbo'd 4 is a lot better engine.

    Transmissions:
    1) Subaru's have torquey engines, let them fly with taller gears.
    2) The 4 speed is fine for commuting, but I firmly believe that, even at 170hp, the engine has enough torque to push a higher 5th gear and get better than 30 mpg highway. I think that it really is unacceptable this day and age to have what is considered almost a compact car that does not get 30+ mpg highway. Audi does it with their 4 cylinder AWD system...Subaru needs to as well.
    3) I drove the CVT last week, really surprised me, it really is a decent transmission, but no way it would stand up to the abuse the 4 spd does.
    4) STI 6 spd FTW!

  36. #36
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    The 1/2 ton 4x4 Chevrolet Suburban has more interior space than any of the above, and with over 300 horsepower standard, it won't be lacking for horsepower at 6000' (or any other) elevation. It also gets more than 20 mpg on the highway.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAL9000
    Audi Allroad biturbo 2.7L is rated at 250 hp not 355 hp (at least in the US; if it's been modified to produce that much watch out). Those engines eat turbos and related hardware, and that engine has to come out for some very basic repairs (such as replacing turbos).
    lol - yeah, same reason you can buy used e39 M5's with 80k miles on them for dirt cheap! Go ask BMW how much the next service runs! Someone quoted a $5k repair to be worth it - you may be lucky to get out of the shop for that little.

    I'm not sure if the original poster mentioned this - but any real reason for needing the ride height? I saw the altitude climb - guessing you may live on backroads?

    Re. Rav4 - I wanted to mention the one that nearly hit me the other day. I stopped a little short for an ambulance coming out of a neighborhood. Looked up in the rearview to see a current gen Rav4 (or maybe CRV, can't tell the 2 apart anymore) barrelling down on me. She hit the brakes hard at the last minute. Talk about nose-dive! It was apparent that she wasn't going to stop in time - luckily, she realized that, too! She pulled the wheel hard-left while on the brakes. I seriously looked like the thing was going to roll-over into the back of my car. The SUV managed to dart around me and stopped about even with me on the left shoulder. Now I don't know how that crazy suspension roll translated to the driver, but it was sort of first-hand evidence for me of small-SUV handling in emergency situations. Enough for me to persuade friends not to buy them.

  38. #38
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    Subaru DOES make a boxer diesel- it just isn't sold in the US. It get like 50 mpg in the Legacy. It's supposed to not be the best diesel though...kind of rough, and a weak torque curve for a diesel.

    Subaru, just the last few years, is finally starting to get some decent MPG, thanks largely to their CVT. However, I think that CVT is awful to drive. It's ponderous, slow to rev, and thrashy. Nissian's CVT in their Altima and Murano is worlds better, as far as driveability goes.

    The RAV4 V6 is the fastest vehicle in it's class, maybe the fastest in Toyota's whole lineup, and still gets decent mpg.

    I love Audi- I really do. They drive great, have awesome interiors, and they make, IMHO, the most beautifully styled cars on the road. I nearly bought an A4 Avant last year. However, reading up on the volume of repair these cars require after a few years gave me pause, as did the difficulty in implementing these repairs. You have the severe sludging due to poor crankcase ventilation design (a challenge on turbo engines), control arm bushings that wear out in 75k and cost $4k to fix, the typical VW electrical gremlins, water pumps that require taking the front end off the car to change, transmission problems, exploding timing belts and tensionrs causing pistons to crash into valves etc. They make my 335i look like a paragon of reliability and maintainability. Then, you have to deal with a direction-injection premium fuel turbo 4 that only makes 210 hp? I'm sorry, but when Hyundai is about to come out with a similar configuration that makes 270 hp on regular fuel, Audi has some catching up to do.

    Since I already have a 335i, tuned to about 340hp, I'm not looking for a toy. I'm looking for a that is go-anywhere, appliance reliable, reasonably efficient and, after all those, has decent power and handling.

    Edit: something with a little extra ground clearence is preferable in order to get to some rough trailheads, and for snow clearence when skiing.
    Last edited by @dam; 09-23-2010 at 05:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    The 1/2 ton 4x4 Chevrolet Suburban has more interior space than any of the above, and with over 300 horsepower standard, it won't be lacking for horsepower at 6000' (or any other) elevation. It also gets more than 20 mpg on the highway.
    True, but it's a massive, slow, has mediocre handling and brakes, and the most basic stripper 4x4 model starts at $44k...

  40. #40
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    I found this some time ago on thetruthaboutcars.com, and it was a repost from some other forum, but it backs up what I've heard in the past regarding Audis. It's a big reason why I shy away from Audi...

    I serviced them-both Audis and Mercedes-for 3 years and my relatives have a W221 S600. Between myself and the rest of my family, we’ve also had a W220 S600, a W220 S500, a W140 S500, two 560SELs, a 6.9, a 350SE, a 300SEL 4.5 and a W111 chassis 250SE. Nevermind the Es and SLs we have/had. The only cars that Mercedes has made in the past 40 years that have been truly problematic were the W163 M-Class SUVs.

    Anyhow. The W220 was a solid car with the exception of three issues:
    The ABC and Airmatic suspensions were both leak-prone, the 3 valve V8/V12 engines will develop oil leaks @ the oil pan gaskets, the valve cover gaskets and a small cover plate on the timing cover below the oil filter housing, and the crank position sensors have a nasty habit of failing without warning, usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles, and more often than not they do leave you stuck when they fail.

    They do occasionally lunch their airflow meters, but it’s more of a “yeah, another E320 we had in 6 months ago did that too” thing, not an “oh, yeah. No problem, we have the MAF for your A4 in stock, this is the 4th one we’ve done in the past 3 days” thing.

    The W221s that I saw had no real issues (albeit possibly because they were still newer and relatively low-mileage cars when I /quit), and our S600 has been absolutely flawless.

    Audis, on the other hand… Oh let’s see. Let’s start with the engines, shall we?
    1.8T:
    -Premature failure of water pumps leading to timing belt service intervals along the lines of 70-90k miles instead of 105k
    -Premature failure of thermostat leading to same
    -Sludge issues caused by ineffective and ridiculously complicated PCV system-which itself becomes sludged up and quits working, leading to oil leaks-and a laughably small oil capacity (4.5qts? please) and an overly long oil change interval
    -Timing chain (only one cam is driven by the belt, the other is driven by a chain connected to the first cam @ the back of the head) tensioner failure due to oil starvation caused by sludge issues even when following recommended maintenance intervals
    -Timing chain tensioner gasket failure leading to oil leaking down the back side of the head and the block due to excessive crankcase pressure caused by a failed PCV system
    -Spends more time with the CEL on than off due to MAF failures, oxygen sensor failures, coolant temperature sensor failures, and vacuum leaks
    -Oil coolers and coolant expansion tanks are both prone to leaking coolant, as is the plastic flange at the back of the cylinder head

    It’s worth noting that the tensioner gasket is usually done with the valve cover gasket, and that the job is 4.5 billable hours. The PCV system is usually done at the same time since it’s plugged and most of the rubber hoses are oil-soaked and falling apart/spongy; there are a total of 30 parts that are replaced during this service, at a cost of something like $400 (it’s been a few years) and another 4.5 hours in labor. Oh, and the timing belt service is about 5 hours, since the recommended procedure to R&R it involves removing the entire front clip on the Passats and A4s or finagling it through the passenger side wheel well in the Beetle/Jetta/Golf. All three of these issues typically come up at about 80k miles (give or take 20) and the total cost to address all 3 is in the ballpark of $3k with labor costs being what they are in this part of the country (about $125/hr, $200/hr @ the dealership).

    2.7T:
    Most of the same issues as the 1.8T; doesn’t have a coolant flange at the back of the heads to leak as far as I recall, and it doesn’t have any real issues with sludge, but other than that all of the issues are the same. And it’s more expensive to fix than the 1.8T; the chain tensioner gaskets on this are 7 billable hours.

    2.8:
    1.8T, round 3. No sludge issues as it’s not a turbo, but the PCV system is still garbage (at least on this engine it’s only a plastic hose across both valve covers and a couple of small rubber elbow hoses at the back of the intake manifold that need to be replaced), it still eats vacuum hoses and airflow meters and it still pisses oil all over the place.

    4.2:
    An’ here I go again on my own… Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known… Like a drifter I was born to walk alone…

    Ehem. It’s the same old song as the other three; oil leaks from every conceivable orifice, coolant leaks out the wazoo. Not quite the same appetite for MAFs as the 2.8 and 1.8, but they still go through them.

    Compare that to the MB engines, which suffer from oil leaks and consistent failures of crank position sensors every 60-100k. They have no other common issues of any kind; the aforementioned airflow meter issue is not uncommon, but it’s not so bad that it’s possible to predict exactly what’s wrong when someone calls and says “the check engine light is on in my 2001 E320? the way it is when they call and say “my 2002 A4’s check engine light is on again.”

    And remember how timing belt replacement on Audis is often hastened by water pump failure? In 3 years I replaced one water pump on a ML430 with 165,000 miles because it was leaking, and did one precautionary replacement on a 1987 560SL that had 140,000 and had a slight amount of dried coolant (literally, just a few drops) below the weep hole.

    And while BMW engines typically suffer from cooling system issues-and they’re arguably more severe than the Audis as BMWs like to eat their radiators and hoses as well as the water pumps and thermostats-replacing a water pump on a BMW isn’t usually a living hell of insane labor charges the way it is on the Audi engines, so it’s not really as big of a deal. And what other issues to BMW engines have? You mean besides valve cover and occasional oil pan gasket leaks? For the most part, nothing. Some have VANOS issues, but that’s about it.

    I didn’t get to see many of the 2.0/3.2/4.2FSI/5cyl VAG engines before I left, but of the handful of 2.0Ts that I DID see, all of them already had PCV issues at less than 50,000 miles. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.

    Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at the rest of the cars, shall we? Let’s start with the transmissions. In 3 years I replaced 4 Audi automatics and 3 manuals. All of the cars had less than 100,000 miles on them. I replaced 2 Mercedes 5G-Tronics; both cars had over 150k. Never replaced a BMW transmission.

    How about the rest of the drivetrain and the suspension? Try asking me how many times I’ve had to sell a rear output shaft reseal on a transmission in an A4 or A6. I won’t be able to tell you, because I’ve lost count.

    Likewise, I don’t remember how many times I sold a complete rear diff reseal, which is a labor-intensive and expensive job, and one that’s especially painful to quote on certain A4s because the ETKA diagrams that show the rear diff leave out a seal or two that you need to do the job. You try ordering a part from a dealership that you don’t have a part number for and which doesn’t show up on the factory illustrations sometime. See how far you get. Total cost is about $1500 on most Audis.

    I’ve replaced driveshafts in a couple of A4s and A6s as well; never had to do that in any of the BMWs or Mercedes we saw except for on a single 1987 535is that had 225,000 miles on it.

    And what’s up with the whole split a-arm thing on the Audi front suspensions? They use 8 control arms on the front end of the A4/6/8 because it supposedly allows for more precise control of camber angles when cornering. That’s great. Awesome. Mind you, it doesn’t help any because the cars are still godawful understeering pigs, but at least it works on paper. Problem: They fail all the damn time. I can’t recall seeing a single A4/6/8 make it to 100,000 miles without replacing all 4 front upper control arm assemblies ($1200) due to cracked bushings, loose ball joints, or both.

    Some BMWs have issues with control arm bushings as well, but they’re less common and typically less expensive to fix than the Audis. And this is mostly a non-issue with Mercedes vehicles; the W220s have a funky front suspension design of their own that does cause premature bushing failures, but it’s typically at a higher mileage (100k+ vs. 70k), it doesn’t happen as often (say about 75% of cases vs. every fecking Audi I’ve ever seen), and it’s the only Mercedes that I can think of offhand with any kind of issue with premature failure of suspension components.

    Know what else the Audis go through like a cop through a box of krispy kremes? Tie rods. 9 times out of 10, by the time your control arm bushings are shot your tie rods are ready to retire, too. Neither BMWs nor Mercedes do this.

    Oh let’s see… that’s most of the basic mechanical stuff covered, what other issues do Audis have that their German counterparts do not? Oh yes. Interiors.

    They look great when the cars are new, but between the dye or paint or whatever it is that they use on certain plastic parts like the door handles (not the lever you use to open the door, but the handle itself in the door panel) wearing off and entire lines of pixels in the information display failing, by the time they’ve seen 5-6 years they look like hell. Sure, the digital displays in BMWs and Mercedes fail sometimes too-the late E32/early E38 7 series, the E34 and the E36 are all famous for it, and it’s not unheard of in some Mercedes (particularly the W210 and W203) either. But it happens a hell of a lot less often in the Mercs than it does in the Audis, and the BMWs are going on 20 years old. What’s Audis excuse?

    And then there’s parts availability; it’s not yet an issue on the cars that the OP is looking at, but it bears mentioning anyhow. Last time I checked (a few years back), I could still order a set of brand new floor mats for an M1 from BMW. Hell, BMW rebuilt an entire 2002 using largely new or NOS parts a few years back as a publicity stunt. And I can still call Mercedes and order parts for a 1962 190SL (incidentally, one of our customers DD’d a 190SL for more than 40 years; the car has over 700,000 miles on it, the engine burns little oil, has decent compression and has the original head gasket. Find me an Audi that’s done that. I can dig up Mercedes that have all day long, all I’m asking for is one-just one-Audi that’s managed to hold its **** for that long. You won’t find one.), if not through the dealership (though some parts are still available that way) then through MB Classic. VW/Audi? ROFL. Not a chance.

    Hell, there are some parts that are NLA for the Audi 4000. The thing isn’t even 30 years old. I can buy parts for a Mercedes going on 50, but an Audi from 1985? Sorry. One of the last jobs I dealt with before I quit was an early 90s GTI. I forget what year, but I want to call it a 1991. 2.0L/8v. The car had a little switch on the throttle body to detect WOT or some such. The switch on this guy’s car had failed, causing it to surge and generally run like crap (well, crappier than the 2.0 usually runs, at least). Called VW with the part number to order a new one. No longer available. Part had been discontinued. Called Audi to see if it was used on any of their cars. Also NLA. And none of the wrecking yards I called had the correct throttle body for the car. That thing wasn’t even 20 years old and it was already unfixable and undriveable without a little bit of backyard engineering. That right there should tell you all you need to know about how VAG views their cars.

    Owning a VW or an Audi out of warranty is a mistake that most people only make one time. People that do it more than once, on purpose, are either masochists, intellectually challenged or insane.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuzilla
    I'm not sure if the original poster mentioned this - but any real reason for needing the ride height? I saw the altitude climb - guessing you may live on backroads?
    A bit of gravel road driving, but more worried about winter (I ski and live near a mountain pass).

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAL9000
    True,
    You'll find that to be a consistent feature of my posts.

    but it's a massive
    Yes, it is. Are you attempting to imply that this is a bad thing?

    slow
    "Slow" is a relative term. All of the vehicles mentioned are slow to me. And I'm not really sure that a 320-366 horsepower Suburban is going to be materially slower than a 170 horsepower Subaru Outback. 0-60 times of 8 seconds aren't too bad for a three ton vehicle.

    has mediocre handling and brakes
    What are you basing your opinion on? Have you autocrossed both? Does the OP intend to? It's got enough handling and brakes to safely haul a 8,100 pound trailer.

    and the most basic stripper 4x4 model starts at $44k...
    The most basic stripper 4x4 model starts at $43,770, less the $3,000 cash allowance, is $40,770. And in this economy, nobody is going to pay anything approaching that for this vehicle.

    The "most basic stripper" 4x4 model comes with:

    Seating for 9 passengers
    6-way power adjustable driver's bucket seat, with adjustable lumbar support
    6-way power adjustable front passenger seat
    Three seperate zones for the A/C heater system
    Three USB ports
    XM satellite radio / CD/MP3 player (with touch screen)
    Bluetooth
    320 horsepower / 335 lb. ft. of torque
    6-speed electronic automatic overdrive transmission with lockup torque converter
    11,500 pound GCWR
    Six air bags
    Stabilitrak
    Traction Control
    4-wheel ABS
    4-wheel disc brakes
    160 amp alternator
    Daytime running lamps
    Remote keyless entry
    Power door locks
    Power windows
    Heated power mirrors
    Full size spare tire
    17" alloy wheels (up to 22" available)
    Tire pressure monitoring system
    Privacy glass
    roof luggage rack
    Cruise control
    Rear window defogger
    Power rack and pinion steering
    Coil-over front suspension
    5-link rear coil suspension
    Leather-wrapped adjustable steering wheel
    Aux power ports
    Vehicle security system
    Two illuminated visor vanity mirrors

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    I found this some time ago on thetruthaboutcars.com, and it was a repost from some other forum, but it backs up what I've heard in the past regarding Audis. It's a big reason why I shy away from Audi...
    This guy should be happy! Endless supply of known problems = guaranteed income.

    Mine has had its share of issues, the average yearly repair costs were around $1200. That has dropped to zero the last couple of years, simply because I drive it less than 5000 miles per year by bike commuting, and have ignored some of the problems (alarm, gas cap lock, headlight washers). It also has been paid off (at least the loan) for 7 years - so, it's still less costly than getting another car. I might end up getting a Suburu Legacy wagon someday, but they just feel like aluminum cans after driving the A4. Also, the version that appeals to me the most (GT) has some motor issues that the NA versions don't. That'd mean having to accept so-so performance, which now that I think of it might be advantageous. Reflex performance is really starting to diminish with age.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    I found this some time ago on thetruthaboutcars.com, and it was a repost from some other forum, but it backs up what I've heard in the past regarding Audis. It's a big reason why I shy away from Audi...
    Okay - that guy is just a little over the top. It sounds like he might have gotten his junk stuck in an audi's gas filler and held a personal grudge ever since!

    I'll admit, I'm not tempted to buy many VW/Audi products again, but it has more to do with their inherent FWD driving nature, and difficulty in working on said FWD engines (I'm a BMW convert ) BUT - I did own a GTI 1.8t from 5 miles on the odo all the way to about 95k. IMO a lot of the oil/sludge issues have more to do with poor service requirements from VW and the Jiffy Lube culture many folks have. 5k mile oil change intervals and synthetic oil only prevents a lot of those sludge issues - of course, requiring owners to follow those types of guidelines tends to be a sales killer. Hence similar lax service requirements from companies like BMW (12k miles??) and Saab (15k???) and, surprise, similar sludge issues. At least BMW has the guts to recommend syn. oil. I could go through and debunk/debate a few more of his points, but I'm just not as inspired as he/she is.

    Not to completely get on VW/Audi's side - my car did have it's share of coilpack issues (fixed under warranty) and both window regulators broke (warranty) - but that poster is just pissed! My wife has a 2.0T Passat with 50k - and it still drives like new. Unfortunately, these cars are like cute blondes and a little high-maintenence. If you want an appliance, go get a Camry. Those things can go for 80k miles with no oil changes or general maintenance (yes, it's proven!)

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAL9000
    A bit of gravel road driving, but more worried about winter (I ski and live near a mountain pass).
    Since I've pretty much been off topic this entire post, I'll quickly throw out my recommendation - I'd go with the Outback. Superior awd system for the snow & gravel, better handling, better gas mileage - AND, the 4-cyl is SULEV rated which is much more important then any mph figure.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS

    The most basic stripper 4x4 model starts at $43,770, less the $3,000 cash allowance, is $40,770. And in this economy, nobody is going to pay anything approaching that for this vehicle.

    The "most basic stripper" 4x4 model comes with:

    Seating for 9 passengers
    6-way power adjustable driver's bucket seat, with adjustable lumbar support
    6-way power adjustable front passenger seat
    Three seperate zones for the A/C heater system
    Three USB ports
    XM satellite radio / CD/MP3 player (with touch screen)
    Bluetooth
    320 horsepower / 335 lb. ft. of torque
    6-speed electronic automatic overdrive transmission with lockup torque converter
    11,500 pound GCWR
    Six air bags
    Stabilitrak
    Traction Control
    4-wheel ABS
    4-wheel disc brakes
    160 amp alternator
    Daytime running lamps
    Remote keyless entry
    Power door locks
    Power windows
    Heated power mirrors
    Full size spare tire
    17" alloy wheels (up to 22" available)
    Tire pressure monitoring system
    Privacy glass
    roof luggage rack
    Cruise control
    Rear window defogger
    Power rack and pinion steering
    Coil-over front suspension
    5-link rear coil suspension
    Leather-wrapped adjustable steering wheel
    Aux power ports
    Vehicle security system
    Two illuminated visor vanity mirrors
    How much is that $40k+ hunk of metal worth once you drive it off the lot? 20mpg on the highway... how does it do in stop/go traffic?

    The last thing we need is more people driving land barges that don't really need them. I deal with enough soccer mom's thinking they own the road in those things on a daily basis. Funny when they think they're invincible in the winter too... that 5000lbs (or whatever it is) and 4wd isn't going to help you stop in the ice/snow.

  47. #47
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    Caddy Escalade 0-60 in 6.5

    TrailBlazer 6.3

    Range Rover 5.9

    Grand cherokee 4.8

    fx50 5.0

    Merc ML 4.8

    x5 4.5

    Don't kid yourselof that a Toyota SUV will be fun, they are just about as disconnected from the road as vehicles get.

    Even the ML AMG, X5 M and Cayenne Turbo aren't really fun. The American equivilents are laughable.

    How do you even have fun on a public road? The speed over the limit to have "fun", even in an SUV means you go away in handcuffs and that's just talking about the corners.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qatarbhoy
    I have to ask for them to do a "Number two" on my head

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpiel666
    Caddy Escalade 0-60 in 6.5

    TrailBlazer 6.3

    Range Rover 5.9

    Grand cherokee 4.8

    fx50 5.0

    Merc ML 4.8

    x5 4.5

    Don't kid yourselof that a Toyota SUV will be fun, they are just about as disconnected from the road as vehicles get.

    Even the ML AMG, X5 M and Cayenne Turbo aren't really fun. The American equivilents are laughable.

    How do you even have fun on a public road? The speed over the limit to have "fun", even in an SUV means you go away in handcuffs and that's just talking about the corners.
    I agree, life is too short to be driving uninspiring, boring SUVs....
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  49. #49
    RIS
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    Is there any other kind?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    You'll find that to be a consistent feature of my posts.
    Yes, it is. Are you attempting to imply that this is a bad thing?

    "Slow" is a relative term. All of the vehicles mentioned are slow to me. And I'm not really sure that a 320-366 horsepower Suburban is going to be materially slower than a 170 horsepower Subaru Outback. 0-60 times of 8 seconds aren't too bad for a three ton vehicle.

    What are you basing your opinion on? Have you autocrossed both? Does the OP intend to? It's got enough handling and brakes to safely haul a 8,100 pound trailer.

    The most basic stripper 4x4 model starts at $43,770, less the $3,000 cash allowance, is $40,770. And in this economy, nobody is going to pay anything approaching that for this vehicle.

    The "most basic stripper" 4x4 model comes with:

    Seating for 9 passengers
    6-way power adjustable driver's bucket seat, with adjustable lumbar support
    6-way power adjustable front passenger seat
    Three seperate zones for the A/C heater system
    Three USB ports
    XM satellite radio / CD/MP3 player (with touch screen)
    Bluetooth
    320 horsepower / 335 lb. ft. of torque
    6-speed electronic automatic overdrive transmission with lockup torque converter
    11,500 pound GCWR
    Six air bags
    Stabilitrak
    Traction Control
    4-wheel ABS
    4-wheel disc brakes
    160 amp alternator
    Daytime running lamps
    Remote keyless entry
    Power door locks
    Power windows
    Heated power mirrors
    Full size spare tire
    17" alloy wheels (up to 22" available)
    Tire pressure monitoring system
    Privacy glass
    roof luggage rack
    Cruise control
    Rear window defogger
    Power rack and pinion steering
    Coil-over front suspension
    5-link rear coil suspension
    Leather-wrapped adjustable steering wheel
    Aux power ports
    Vehicle security system
    Two illuminated visor vanity mirrors
    Yes, I have a fair amount of experience driving both the GMT900 Suburban and Tahoe. It is so far removed from the other vehicles mostly being discussed in this thread in context it's just not a very good vehicle as I had noted, plus most of the people who buy them can't afford them and use at best 25% of their capacity.

    Yes, though they can be ordered there are virtually no stripper Suburbans on dealer lots; they're mostly the LT and LTZ with stickers of $50k+. And yes, they're not likely going at full sticker but if someone has the time a bit of Goolism will mostly likely show the average Suburban sells for a lot more than $44k even with all discounts and bargaining factored in.
    Last edited by SAL9000; 09-26-2010 at 09:27 PM.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuzilla
    Since I've pretty much been off topic this entire post, I'll quickly throw out my recommendation - I'd go with the Outback. Superior awd system for the snow & gravel, better handling, better gas mileage - AND, the 4-cyl is SULEV rated which is much more important then any mph figure.
    It looks good but I need more performance than even the flat-6 can generate. Put the Legacy GT drive train (265 hp turbo-4 + 6sp M/T) into the new Outback and I'm sold. As it is though it's too slow for my tastes, and I loathe automatic transmissions.

  52. #52
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    In the last 5 years, I've had a new Outback ('02), a used Honda Element ('03), a used Volvo V70 XC ('01), a used VW New Beetle TDi ('03), and now a new VW Jetta Sportwagen S. Throw out the NB because it's not comparable to either the OB or the RAV that the OP is asking about. Of the other 4, I'd say all are comparable to the OB and RAV 4, and all have been used for the exact purposes for which the OP intends to use the vehicle.

    Interestingly enough, despite the lack of AWD, the Jetta is BY FAR the best all-around performer in this group for daily driving, hauling people and stuff, performance, handling - both on dry roads and wet/snowy roads, and MPG. It actually handles BETTER in snow without snow tires than the OB did with snow tires.

    OB - purchased "new" (dealer demo) with 5K on it; sold it at 35K (see below for why.) Great interior volume. AWD system left lots to be desired - horrible understeer in snow. Low MPG given the small size of the engine and total lack of power. Relatively fun to drive. High(er) clearance. Blew the head gasket at about 35 K miles. Suspect reliability.

    Element - the only 5 speed manual I had out of the 4. Not a head to head comparison with the RAV 4, but similar in size. (Obviously the CRV is the head to head competitor and the Element is a 4 cyl.) Got a used one with 18K miles. Drove it to 66K miles. Decent acceleration and awesome interior volume and configurability. Decent handling, considering its shape. Good snow/dirt handling, but low clearance. About the same MPG as the OB (in the 20 - 22 range.) HORRIBLE highway MPG at anything over 65 - maybe 18 or 19 mpg in my trips to Moab/Fruita. Loud, no sound insulation to speak of. Lots of road and wind noise.

    Volvo: Bought it used in '07 with only 56K miles (it was an '01.) Of course, the only "luxury" car in this group (comparable, on some level, to the Allroad.) Turbo 5 cyl had decent acceleration once the turbo spooled up (they changed the throttle body in '02 and later - my girlfriend's '02 XC is a freaking rocket.) Ponderous, boat-like handling. Comfortable cruiser on the highway. Capable on snow and dirt. Good clearance (best of all 4.) Around 20 MPG. Suspect reliability.

    Jetta: INEXPENSIVE - purchased new in 1/10 for $19K. Lots of interior volume despite the small exterior size. Seats 5 (four comfortably.) FUN to drive - very sporty handling, and better-than-expected acceleration with the automatic. Great handling in snow - again, better than expected, even without snow tires. I imagine it would be even better with snow tires. Sporty styling. Great stero. 25+ mpg, even with the 2.5L 5 cylinder. Heated seats in the base model (which mine is.) 3 year, 36 K warranty with "free service" (but only at 10-20-30K intervals.)

    If I had the money - which the OP clearly sounds like he does - I would have moved up to the TDi Sportwagen. Nav system, leather, and of course the new TDi engine and its 40mpg.

    But, if you're set on either the OB or RAV, and only the OB or RAV, I'd say it's likely a toss-up. OB is going to have way better off road capability, but lesser reliability. Both are, IMHO, ugly. (I especially hate the new OB - it looks like a freaking minivan.)

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    OB - purchased "new" (dealer demo) with 5K on it; sold it at 35K (see below for why.) Great interior volume. AWD system left lots to be desired - horrible understeer in snow. Low MPG given the small size of the engine and total lack of power. Relatively fun to drive. High(er) clearance. Blew the head gasket at about 35 K miles. Suspect reliability.
    The auto Subaru's have a 90/10 f/r torque split until it detects slip. You can force a 50/50 split by putting them in '1' or '2' instead of "D".

    While I hate auto's in general, I hate subi auto's all the more as they're basically FWD cars. However I think things may have changed with the newer designs.

    The manuals have a 50/50 split.
    Last edited by Steve71; 09-29-2010 at 11:29 AM.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  54. #54
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    OP - What about the Hyundai Santa Fe? Pretty similar to both the OB and the RAV when you compare the highest trim levels and biggest engines (6 cyl). Highest horsepower, but best MPG. Highest towing capacity. 6 speed automatic. $2000 less expensive than the OB; $1000 more expensive than the Toyota. Longest warranty. Definitely one I'd check out if I were looking at the OB and the RAV.

  55. #55
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    what about the ford flex or escape? both have a v-6 and good mileage.
    Ride & Smile

  56. #56
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    Subaru, Toyota, and maybe Honda are the only brands I'd consider purchasing new. Everything else depreciates too quick.

    Hyundai has come a LONG way in the past few years, & Ford has come quite a ways, too. However, Hyundai still needs to build up a reputation for long-term quality, as does Ford. I don't think the Hyundai warranty is transferable. I promised to not buy Ford after buying their last car that was supposed to change everything (the Contour) and finding it to be a complete POS.

    I REALLY like the Jetta wagon (the old one- not the new version. They're keeping the old bodystyle in wagon for another year or two though)...for all the same reasons I like Audi. However, I'm reluctant to buy one, for all the same reasons I'm reluctant to buy an Audi. The Jetta and A4 both need some serious engine modernization, too. The 5-cyl is supposed to be course and not particularly powerful and efficient, and the 2.0T is getting outclassed in every way by Hyundais new turbo 4. The Jetta and A4 are also quite a bit smaller than the Outback and RAV4.

  57. #57
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    One more option....

    Quote Originally Posted by dompedro3
    I just checked the Subaru website and I am amazed that they still think the 170hp 4 speed engine is sufficient for the Forester. I drive a 2006 Impreza, with the same 170 hp 4 speed combination (not my choice) and it really doesnt have enough torque for any driving above about 70 and it struggles on hills when fully loaded. And they think it's ok to just throw that into the heavier forester? Wow.

    Subaru, wake up, it is 2010, a 4 speed crap box doesn't cut it, it didn't cut it in 2006 and it doesn't now. There is a reason everyday i drive my car, I kick myself for not getting the manual (fiancee doesnt drive manual.) Here's a thought, put a taller 5th gear or take the fairly good cvt from the legacy and make it standard in all of your cars. Or take the 5 speed you developed for the legacy and use it somewhere else besides the 3.6 dog of an engine (talk about poor fuel efficiency and outdated engines)

    My advice to Subaru:
    Your cars are torque happy machines, drop the fuel guzzling NA models as well as the 2.5 engine. Give up on winning on HP, because the Boxer engine does not lend itself to economical high HP, win on torque. Give all your cars 3 engine options, with 4 different transmission options:
    Engines:
    1. Standard 2.0L turbo with decent PSI that puts out 170-230 hp (depending on turbo used) across the board and gets 34 mpg hwy/25 city
    2. Two words: Boxer Diesel. ok, one more: Turbo.
    3. Super charged Cosworth tuned 2.0L turbo that puts out 350 hp for STI models

    Transmissions:
    1. 5 speed manual, get it right, no second gear snafu's
    2. 5 speed automatic. If the car only shifts to 5th when its going 65, thats fine, it saves gas. Just take your 4 speed and put on a taller gear so I don't have to cruise at almost 3000RPM to go 75.
    3. The CVT from the legacy, I hear its pretty good.
    4. 6 speed manual, the one from the STI, its a keeper.

    AWD - keep it, I like it.
    6 speed dual clutch auto-manual, like VW's DSG. So I hear, amazing transmission, super reliable (except for the control module... which has been fixed), able to lay down loads of power and do it with better gas mileage than a regular manual (on paper... and in the real world still way better than any traditional automatic). There is no torque converter, which is the biggest waste of energy in a traditional automatic transmission. Instead, it has a computer controlled double clutch. One clutch engages 1,3,5 and the second clutch engages 2,4,6 and reverse.

    Yeah, I'll second that the Subie automatic is about the worst transmission I ever drove... only beaten out by the Dodge Caliber CVT. I drive a lot of rental cars, FWIW.


    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    Subaru, Toyota, and maybe Honda are the only brands I'd consider purchasing new. Everything else depreciates too quick.

    Hyundai has come a LONG way in the past few years, & Ford has come quite a ways, too. However, Hyundai still needs to build up a reputation for long-term quality, as does Ford. I don't think the Hyundai warranty is transferable. I promised to not buy Ford after buying their last car that was supposed to change everything (the Contour) and finding it to be a complete POS.

    I REALLY like the Jetta wagon (the old one- not the new version. They're keeping the old bodystyle in wagon for another year or two though)...for all the same reasons I like Audi. However, I'm reluctant to buy one, for all the same reasons I'm reluctant to buy an Audi. The Jetta and A4 both need some serious engine modernization, too. The 5-cyl is supposed to be course and not particularly powerful and efficient, and the 2.0T is getting outclassed in every way by Hyundais new turbo 4. The Jetta and A4 are also quite a bit smaller than the Outback and RAV4.
    I dunno. the 2.0t Direct injected 4 cyl not only produces a ton of HP for its size, but more importantly loads of torque down low in the RPM range where you can use it... not to mention it does it while pulling some amazing MPG figures. I know of folks getting 34+ mpg in an Audi A4 with Quattro. That is not a light car. Plus, you can easily ad another 40+ HP by chipping it. Just about all other cars out there boast of high HP numbers, but don't have any low end torque to back it up.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 10-01-2010 at 01:56 PM.

  58. #58
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    I liked the 2.0t when I drove it a couple of years ago, but it's already been left in the dust by econo cars.

    Hyundai is about to release an engine of the same configureation- 2.0t direct injection I4, that makes 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, maintaining peak torque from 1800-4500 rpm. It'll get 22/34 mpg in the 2wd Sonata. Best of all, it does it on regular fuel.

    The Audi 2.0t makes 211hp and an impressive 258 lb-ft at only 1500 rpm, while pulling down 23/30 mpg (in 2wd), all while burning premium fuel and having a very spotty reliability record.

    Audi is supposed to be a premium product. It's inexcusiable that it's engine is getting it's ass handed to it by a bottom-of-the-import-heap Hyundai.

    What's more, the Hyundai has a lower compression ratio and higher boost than the Audi. If you use premium fuel, I'm sure a lot of tuning options will be possible. The biggest shortcoming would be routing over 300hp through the front wheels.

    If only the Sonata was offered as an AWD wagon I'd know what my new car would be.
    Last edited by @dam; 10-02-2010 at 11:54 AM.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    So...who's tried 'em both, for biking?

    These cars are remarkably evenly matched in interior volume, engines, mpg, etc. I hear the Subaru handles bad for a car and the Toyota handles great for an SUV. The RAV probably has a taller cargo area, while the Subaru is probably wider and longer- total volume narrowly favors the RAV. Reliability is probably a wash.

    In the 4-cyls, the Subie wins for MPG. In 6-cyls, the RAV narrowly wins. That 6-cyl Rav is a real rocket, too.

    I live at 6000' and go up from there, so the 4's are a bit anemic up here. The power would be nice, but I have a feeling I'll appreciate the MPG of the 4's once gas goes through the roof again.

    Safety favors the Subaru, although neither are bad.

    If I were on the open market, I'd lean to the V-6 Sport RAV...but I"m an IMBA member, and the RAV is getting a complete remake in '12. It'll probably have new transmissions, improving MPG. Maybe I should just wait.

    What I don't know is what they're like to live with. So...who's used both of them ('06 or newer RAV, '10 or newer Outback)? Which is better?
    Subaru Outback or Forester....checked them and RAV4...bought FOrester....RAV4 is light duty, poor handling, uncomfortable, and the v6 version gets terrible mileage (although it is fast). I bought the Forester non-turbo, but I live much closer to sea level than you. Check out on Youtube: Subaru vs. the competition and you'll see that the Subaru is the only car that is truly made to handle real off-road and snow/ice situations. The others all "diff out" way too easy and unload all the power the the wheels that slip. Subaru is good handling to me, RAV4 much less so...I just sold my 87 Ford Ranger Supercab XLT with posi-traction, v6, and MT...it got almost as good mpg as the RAV v6 and handled about as well.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    I liked the 2.0t when I drove it a couple of years ago, but it's already been left in the dust by econo cars.

    Hyundai is about to release an engine of the same configureation- 2.0t direct injection I4, that makes 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, maintaining peak torque from 1800-4500 rpm. It'll get 22/34 mpg in the 2wd Sonata. Best of all, it does it on regular fuel.

    The Audi 2.0t makes 211hp and an impressive 258 lb-ft at only 1500 rpm, while pulling down 23/30 mpg (in 2wd), all while burning premium fuel and having a very spotty reliability record.

    Audi is supposed to be a premium product. It's inexcusiable that it's engine is getting it's ass handed to it by a bottom-of-the-import-heap Hyundai.

    What's more, the Hyundai has a lower compression ratio and higher boost than the Audi. If you use premium fuel, I'm sure a lot of tuning options will be possible. The biggest shortcoming would be routing over 300hp through the front wheels.

    If only the Sonata was offered as an AWD wagon I'd know what my new car would be.
    Nah, this is nothing new. All of the German marques' introductory motors have for quite some time been surpassed by the Asians. The Audi 1.8/2.0T, MB V6 and BMW I-6 have been playing second fiddle to Honda, Nissan and Toyota V6s for a number of years.

  61. #61
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    Now THIS is what I'd like to see (in turbo, preferably in awd form)



    While that's a photo-shop, Hyundai is testing a Sonata wagon. The only question is: will it be offered in the U.S. Odds are this will be a Japan/Euro only offering. What a shame- that's almost as sexy as the A4 Avant, and almost certainly a lot cheaper to own.

  62. #62
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    Acura TSX Sport Wagon

    I was thrilled to learn that the European Accord Touring -- a more conventional station wagon -- will be sold in North America next year as the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Acuras are solid with regards reliability and maintenance costs are low if serviced at regular intervals.

    Some pain is physical and some is mental, but one that's both is dental.

  63. #63
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    [QUOTE=bustamove]I was thrilled to learn that the European Accord Touring -- a more conventional station wagon -- will be sold in North America next year as the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Acuras are solid with regards reliability and maintenance costs are low if serviced at regular intervals.

    According to AutoWeek, it will only be available with an uninspiring, normally-aspirated 2.4L engine and ONLY in automatic!

    No thanks - I'll keep my 307hp Audi Twin-Turbo quattro...
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  64. #64
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    [QUOTE=Zachariah]
    Quote Originally Posted by bustamove
    I was thrilled to learn that the European Accord Touring -- a more conventional station wagon -- will be sold in North America next year as the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Acuras are solid with regards reliability and maintenance costs are low if serviced at regular intervals.

    According to AutoWeek, it will only be available with an uninspiring, normally-aspirated 2.4L engine and ONLY in automatic!

    No thanks - I'll keep my 307hp Audi Twin-Turbo quattro...
    To many the 'uninspiring' 2.4l engine is actually a benefit over the audi twin turbo. Less complex, less maintenance, more efficient, more reliable, etc... the list goes on. Most of us aren't racing while driving to and from the trailhead. Even if we were, I doubt many would want to race cars that are known to be a pain.

  65. #65
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    The TSX wagon looks interesting. However...
    1) The engine is weak, and mated to a 5-speed slushbox
    2) The price is knocking on Audi's door- same as starting price as an A4 Avant, but with no turbo torque, 6-speed auto, awd, or sexy styling
    3) Meh front-end styling. Look at that overhang!


    It's crazy you have to get a luxury car to get a wagon these days. I want something I won't be afraid to put a wet dog or muddy bike in. The TSX wagon should be de-contented and sold in Honda dealers.

    Compared to a Sonata wagon, the TSX will be slower (assuming you opt for a turbo Sonata), slightly smaller, worse crash test ratings, a couple hundred pounds of extra weight, will burn more gas (21/30 vs 22/33 for turbo Sonata or 22/35 for non-turbo), and will be about 1/3 more money. For all those advantages, I'll forgive the Sonatas weird grille and auto-only setup (at least it's a 6-speed). Kudos to Acura for bringing a wagon over, but Acura has had a lot to be desired lately regarding looks, performance, and efficiency. What we really have here is an overpriced Accord wagon, only narrower. I'd love it on the Honda floor starting at $22k, but it's very disappointing on the Acura floor starting at $32k. Of course, this, and the hideous looking CTS wagon will be used as more evidence that "Americans just don't like wagons".

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    The TSX wagon looks interesting. However...
    1) The engine is weak, and mated to a 5-speed slushbox
    2) The price is knocking on Audi's door- same as starting price as an A4 Avant, but with no turbo torque, 6-speed auto, awd, or sexy styling
    3) Meh front-end styling. Look at that overhang!


    It's crazy you have to get a luxury car to get a wagon these days. I want something I won't be afraid to put a wet dog or muddy bike in. The TSX wagon should be de-contented and sold in Honda dealers.

    Compared to a Sonata wagon, the TSX will be slower (assuming you opt for a turbo Sonata), slightly smaller, worse crash test ratings, a couple hundred pounds of extra weight, will burn more gas (21/30 vs 22/33 for turbo Sonata or 22/35 for non-turbo), and will be about 1/3 more money. For all those advantages, I'll forgive the Sonatas weird grille and auto-only setup (at least it's a 6-speed). Kudos to Acura for bringing a wagon over, but Acura has had a lot to be desired lately regarding looks, performance, and efficiency. What we really have here is an overpriced Accord wagon, only narrower. I'd love it on the Honda floor starting at $22k, but it's very disappointing on the Acura floor starting at $32k. Of course, this, and the hideous looking CTS wagon will be used as more evidence that "Americans just don't like wagons".
    Lots of good points comparing the two wagons. Give the Audi points for power, being fun to drive, and much more stylish. The TSX may only come out ahead on maintenance costs and reliability. If you can afford the costs of owning the Audi, I would place my vote with the German wagon.
    Some pain is physical and some is mental, but one that's both is dental.

  67. #67
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    Yeah...but I'm saying I'd rather have the Hyundai than the Acura, too.

  68. #68
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    So, I just drove a few cars back to back

    4-cyl manual Outback
    4-cyl CVT Outback
    V6 5-spd auto RAV4

    Without question, the RAV4 is the better biking car. You just can't put a bike in the outback upright. You can in the RAV4, and if you remove the little floor panel and drop the fork in the well, it is VERY easy- you could put a ton of bikes back there.

    The RAV4 had the sport package. The ride was much firmer than the Outback, but the handling was much better. It was far better handling, and far more fun to drive. The Outback felt like an old Buick in comparison. It's the most body-roll I've experienced in a long time.

    I didn't really like the way the CVT Outback drove. The 6-speed is rated at 22 mpg combined, to the CVT 24 combined. The 4-cyl/auto RAV also gets 24. However, drop down to 21 mpg and you get a 270 hp V6 (rated at 26 mpg hwy, to 27 for the 4-cyl RAV4 or Outback)! The Subaru 6-cyl is 20 mpg. So, I decided to drive the V6 RAV4, which is only 1mpg less than the Subaru I was interested in, with about 100 extra hp.

    The superior handling and power made it far more pleasurable to drive, and the dramatically increased height in the cargo area made it better for hauling bikes. Length seemed almost as long, while width was a bit narrower (overall volume is about the same).

    That said, I think the Subaru is the better ski car. The wider cargo hold is better for spreading out gear without obstructing the view, highway mpg is better (significantly, if you opt for the CVT), the ride is much smoother, and the interior of the Subaru is FAR better than the RAV. The 50/50 torque split in the manual is better for snow driving. All those attributes make it the superior road trip car, especially in the snow, and since my preferred ski area is 3 hours away, the Subaru would be the better vehicle for running back and forth to there.

    Also, especially due to the IMBA discount, the Subaru would be several thousand dollars cheaper. Toss a new Blur in the back and it begins to look more attractive.

    I drove a 5-speed Forrester in there, too. Handling was almost as good as the RAV, but power and practicality wasn't as good, and mpg was the same with 100 hp less. It felt by far the cheapest too, even though it doesn't cost that much less.

    So, I learned something- RAV4 for biking, Subaru for skiing. Unfortunately, that doesn't bring me any closer to actually making a decision.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    So, I just drove a few cars back to back

    4-cyl manual Outback
    4-cyl CVT Outback
    V6 5-spd auto RAV4

    Without question, the RAV4 is the better biking car. You just can't put a bike in the outback upright. You can in the RAV4, and if you remove the little floor panel and drop the fork in the well, it is VERY easy- you could put a ton of bikes back there.

    The RAV4 had the sport package. The ride was much firmer than the Outback, but the handling was much better. It was far better handling, and far more fun to drive. The Outback felt like an old Buick in comparison. It's the most body-roll I've experienced in a long time.

    I didn't really like the way the CVT Outback drove. The 6-speed is rated at 22 mpg combined, to the CVT 24 combined. The 4-cyl/auto RAV also gets 24. However, drop down to 21 mpg and you get a 270 hp V6 (rated at 26 mpg hwy, to 27 for the 4-cyl RAV4 or Outback)! The Subaru 6-cyl is 20 mpg. So, I decided to drive the V6 RAV4, which is only 1mpg less than the Subaru I was interested in, with about 100 extra hp.

    The superior handling and power made it far more pleasurable to drive, and the dramatically increased height in the cargo area made it better for hauling bikes. Length seemed almost as long, while width was a bit narrower (overall volume is about the same).

    That said, I think the Subaru is the better ski car. The wider cargo hold is better for spreading out gear without obstructing the view, highway mpg is better (significantly, if you opt for the CVT), the ride is much smoother, and the interior of the Subaru is FAR better than the RAV. The 50/50 torque split in the manual is better for snow driving. All those attributes make it the superior road trip car, especially in the snow, and since my preferred ski area is 3 hours away, the Subaru would be the better vehicle for running back and forth to there.

    Also, especially due to the IMBA discount, the Subaru would be several thousand dollars cheaper. Toss a new Blur in the back and it begins to look more attractive.

    I drove a 5-speed Forrester in there, too. Handling was almost as good as the RAV, but power and practicality wasn't as good, and mpg was the same with 100 hp less. It felt by far the cheapest too, even though it doesn't cost that much less.

    So, I learned something- RAV4 for biking, Subaru for skiing. Unfortunately, that doesn't bring me any closer to actually making a decision.
    Good luck getting that mpg with te V6 RAV...I drove for one day and got 17 - 18 mpg...not good. It had definite torque steer too. Torque split of the Subaru is best.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  70. #70
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    City mpg is 19. If you were driving it hard enough to complain about the torque steer, that sounds like your mpg was about right. I wasn't exactly babying it and thought torque steer was minimal.

    RAV4 V6/4WD is rated 19/26
    Manual 4-cyl Outback is 19/27

    With 100 extra horsepower available, the opportunity to waste gas in town should you want to is greater, but driven the same they should get about the same mpg in town. And, driven the same means S-L-O-W, 'cause the 4-cyl Subaru doesn't go any other way (especially at high altitude, where I live)
    Last edited by @dam; 11-14-2010 at 09:52 AM.

  71. #71
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    I've got a RAV4 V6 - for a small SUV, it hauls ass - 270 horsepower.

    I'm not so impressed with the AWD - Subaru is definitely better. Also, I've got a 2006, and there is no way to turn off the nanny system, and it cuts power and does weird **** in the snow. Nothing that makes the car not get where you want to go, just not the way I want to get there....

    The engine, however, makes the car.

    Also, the side swinging tailgate door is great - doesn't interfere with anything on the roof.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    Now THIS is what I'd like to see (in turbo, preferably in awd form)



    While that's a photo-shop, Hyundai is testing a Sonata wagon. The only question is: will it be offered in the U.S. Odds are this will be a Japan/Euro only offering. What a shame- that's almost as sexy as the A4 Avant, and almost certainly a lot cheaper to own.

    Wow, that's a great looking wagon. So sleek.

    My dad just got a 2011 Sonata Limited w/ Nav in black. He was looking at Acura's and Lexus vehicles, and his neighbor kept raving about his leased Sonata. He's pretty stoked, the car is tremendous. He's pulling 38mpg on highway trips and it's still fast. If you don't care about hood ornaments, the Sonata is a pretty solid and going to be shaking up its competition in 2011 and beyond after seeing this car..
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    City mpg is 19. If you were driving it hard enough to complain about the torque steer, that sounds like your mpg was about right. I wasn't exactly babying it and thought torque steer was minimal.

    RAV4 V6/4WD is rated 19/26
    Manual 4-cyl Outback is 19/27

    With 100 extra horsepower available, the opportunity to waste gas in town should you want to is greater, but driven the same they should get about the same mpg in town. And, driven the same means S-L-O-W, 'cause the 4-cyl Subaru doesn't go any other way (especially at high altitude, where I live)
    Yes, I drove it kinda hard some of the time and mellow and slow the rest...not enough imo that it should have been that bad mpg....but that is opinion. Yes, Subaru is slow especially non-turbo....I would like more pep and I'm sure the 4speed auto tranny is hindering it's accleration, that and the new design (2009 and newer) is a heavier slightly larger car than previous Forester, but with same engine.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  74. #74
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    OK, i've got two months on a RAV4 now and thought I would share some highlights.

    The RAV4 cargo area is immense. Its really nice to be able to open the cargo door, sit in the cargo area and suit up or even shut the door and change without even thinking about hitting my head on anything. I am 6'3". Lately i've been leaving the hitch rack at home and just throwing the bike in the cargo area. My XL spitfire fits with no wheels removed or seat lowered and theres enough room for the dog and gear. Ive been meaning to camp out in the car but havent gotten around to it. I'm pretty sure a twin size air mattress will fit in the back with the seats lowered. The difference between this and my forester is head room. I think the dimensions were similar but the 4 has the length and height. Gas mileage seems to be slightly better in the rav4 but the road noise and ride comfort is far superior in the rav4. Older guys like me with bad backs really appreciate these things after a long ride. I am discovering the rav4 4 cyl engine to be gutless .

  75. #75
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    Subaru? Their engines sound/feel like my lawnmower. How 'bout an Equinox?
    whatever...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by steadite
    Subaru? Their engines sound/feel like my lawnmower. How 'bout an Equinox?
    Equinox? If you want to pay too much for something that won't last very long. I'd rather have a lawnmower than something that's designed to stop running well at 100k miles.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiflow_21
    Equinox? If you want to pay too much for something that won't last very long. I'd rather have a lawnmower than something that's designed to stop running well at 100k miles.
    X2....not a fan of most American cars due to quality and mpg....been there done that.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  78. #78
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    I rented a RAV4 the other day- great bike hauler. 4' from the bottom of the well to the ceiling. It'll take one bike laid down with both wheels on, or a ton lined up in this well with the front wheel off. Without removing the well cover, there's a bit over 3' of height. Not quite enough for my large Tallboy to remain vertical with the seat on.



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