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If not Subaru, then what would you choose........


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23 replies to this topic

#1 sagebrushsubaru

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 10:00 PM

....from Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan or Toyota?

Hi, first post here. This isn't a joke, though it might border on heresy!

I'm starting the search for a new primary vehicle. I'm looking for something with full-time AWD that's also capable of carrying four people comfortably and towing a 1,500-pound trailer on interstate highways as well as unpaved roads, pastures, etc. (but no serious off-roading). A 6-cylinder wagon, small SUV, or small club-cab truck would be preferable to a sedan. AWD performance is a top priority, and reliability is up there, too.

I'm interested in Subaru because of its reputation for AWD performance and reliability. I like the specs on the Subaru Outback wagon w/ H-6 engine, but haven't driven one, since, unfortunately, I live two hours away from the closest dealer. I haven't ruled out Subaru on that point alone, but would be more comfortable buying locally, which means I would be limited to the manufacturers mentioned above. I do tend to keep a car for years after the warranty ends, but don't do any of my own maintenance.

So, I'm seeking comments on the following.........

1) Would the Outback 3.0 R VDC Ltd. wagon be a good match? (The H-6 engine is only offered on Outbacks, right?)

2) Is there any maintenance item that's best done by a Subaru dealer only, or can any **competent** mechanic handle everything (warranty service as well as timing belts/chains, etc., when needed)?

3) (Now for the heresy part) Is there any vehicle from one of the above manufacturers that matches the AWD capability and handling of a Subaru? Some, like the Toyota Highlander or Nissan Pathfinder/Murano have been on the market for a while. Others like the Dodge Magnum and the Ford Freestar, are relatively new on the market, but I'm hoping some of you out there may have experiences to share re the AWD capabilities of ther manufacturers.

TIA,
SS

#2 carfreak85

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 10:09 PM

I don't think the Magnum has any AWD option, although I have been wrong before. The highlander/murano/freelander are more like SUVs and have "AWD" systems that match that. They do not put power to all four wheels at once. My vote is the subaru. Your local mechanics should be able to handle anything the sube can throw their way, but if you have doubts, take it to the dealership, I mean after all, every car they touch is a sube!

#3 NV Zeno

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 10:15 PM

How about a Ford Escape? Gotta have the V-6..decent power, AWD available. Not as huge as a Pathfinder, etc. The new Freestyle is actually a Five Hundred made into a wagon, but is a little larger than the Escape.

#4 Snowman

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 10:39 PM

No escape. My friends' gets 13 mpg! Nothing is wrong with it either.

#5 NV Zeno

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 10:57 PM

I've noticed the poor mileage on the Fords too..vast improvement as the miles are racked up. I got teens MPG on a Taurus when new, and near 30 after 20,000 miles. Can't tell you after that (RIP).

#6 northguy

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 11:01 PM

(Insert Zap's signature here )


If you just can't drive a Subaru, walk. But you might look at an older Toyota extended cab pick up. It may not provide the comfort you're looking for if you have 4 adults, but if it's 4wd and gas mileage that are your priorities, the other person not in the front seat can just suffer for the few times he/she will be in the rig.

#7 DerFahrer

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 11:05 PM

I lust after old forgotten rally cars: Mazda 323 GTX, Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo, Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, etc. etc.

I'd also like to have a 91-94 Nissan Sentra SE-R sometime, as well as a Starion/Conquest.

Add a Porsche 944 Turbo and a BMW 318is in there somewhere and that will be a nice collection :)

#8 rweddy

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 11:57 PM

....from Chrysler, Ford, GM, Nissan or Toyota?

Hi, first post here. This isn't a joke, though it might border on heresy!

I'm starting the search for a new primary vehicle. I'm looking for something with full-time AWD that's also capable of carrying four people comfortably and towing a 1,500-pound trailer on interstate highways as well as unpaved roads, pastures, etc. (but no serious off-roading). A 6-cylinder wagon, small SUV, or small club-cab truck would be preferable to a sedan. AWD performance is a top priority, and reliability is up there, too.


So, I'm seeking comments on the following.........

1) Would the Outback 3.0 R VDC Ltd. wagon be a good match? (The H-6 engine is only offered on Outbacks, right?)

That is correct

2) Is there any maintenance item that's best done by a Subaru dealer only, or can any **competent** mechanic handle everything (warranty service as well as timing belts/chains, etc., when needed)?

No subarus are very easy to work on, and local shops will give you better service than dealerships.

3) (Now for the heresy part) Is there any vehicle from one of the above manufacturers that matches the AWD capability and handling of a Subaru? Some, like the Toyota Highlander or Nissan Pathfinder/Murano have been on the market for a while. Others like the Dodge Magnum and the Ford Freestar, are relatively new on the market, but I'm hoping some of you out there may have experiences to share re the AWD capabilities of ther manufacturers.
TIA,
SS

Of the above if you are want reliablity stay away from Chrysler, Ford, & GM. And the big 3 have poorly desinged AWD systems.
I would say look at toyota, I do not know much about Nissan, I have owned 3 pathfinders over the years, great trucks, somewhat hard to work on. I am not sure how good bad thier AWD system is.

Subaru and Audi/VW has the best AWD systems on the market. IMO

#9 rweddy

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 12:00 AM

(Insert Zap's signature here )


If you just can't drive a Subaru, walk. But you might look at an older Toyota extended cab pick up. It may not provide the comfort you're looking for if you have 4 adults, but if it's 4wd and gas mileage that are your priorities, the other person not in the front seat can just suffer for the few times he/she will be in the rig.

Toyota Trucks get terrible gas mileage. My buddys tacoma gets 14-16 mpg, has never gotten over 17 on the highway. Even my old hi-lux 4 cyc only got 19 mpg highway. But they are dead reliable.

#10 howards11

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:12 AM

Honda CR-V. Parts are cheaper and there is a ton of aftermarket stuff available.

~Howard
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#11 rweddy

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:30 AM

Honda CR-V. Parts are cheaper and there is a ton of aftermarket stuff available.

~Howard
:cool:

Yes great car with very great reliability, but their Real Time AWD is not even close to Subaru. It is front wheel drive until the rear slips, the VC is in the rear axle.

#12 howards11

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:38 AM

Yes great car with very great reliability, but their Real Time AWD is not even close to Subaru. It is front wheel drive until the rear slips, the VC is in the rear axle.


I'd learn to live with it.

~Howard
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#13 mtsmiths

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 11:00 AM

1967 Jeepster Commerative Edition (ours was known as the Mustang in combat boots). Buick V-6, old fashion hub switched 4WD, AT, continental kit, power convertible top, great heater, good highway car and went through unbelievable snow. Got mid-twenties on the highway at 65 mph.

Wish I had mine back.

#14 Setright

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 11:01 AM

H6 is available in regular sedans here in Europe, so it might be worth checking with the dealer if it's available stateside. Optional 6-speed manual transsmission, too!

Even so, and Outback is probably what you are looking for. Apart from Audi/VW and Volvo no-one makes anything that can compare directly to the AWD Subarus. SUV's are always gonna have bad mileage because of their XL size. Audi/VW products are expensive and the "4-Motion" four-wheel-drive is part time. And the Germans have some very annoying electrical problems that can leave you stranded.
Subarus also have quirks/problems but they rarely give up entirely, meaning you can always get home.

Volvo doesn't suffer any problems like the Germans, but it's still not cheap and only part-time 4WD.

#15 mattocs

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 11:53 AM

If I was not going to be buying a Subaru I would probably go for the Toyota Corolla S.

#16 cookie

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 11:57 AM

I've had better luck with BMWs than anything else myself. But since both my cars are 99s and I kept my last car (Mercedes) 17 years I might die first.
It does seem to me that the X3 is aimed right at the Subaru developed market.

#17 howards11

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 12:00 PM

If I was not going to be buying a Subaru I would probably go for the Toyota Corolla S.


Corolla......a sardine can with wheels ! <SORRY :eek:>


~Howard
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#18 mattocs

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 12:16 PM

Corolla......a sardine can with wheels ! <SORRY :eek:>


~Howard
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Have you seen the new ones? It seems to have as much room inside as a Impreza...which isn't to big...but its not like a Geo Metro or something.

#19 JohnnyB

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 12:32 PM

Have you seen the new ones? It seems to have as much room inside as a Impreza...which isn't to big...but its not like a Geo Metro or something.


I agree with you, I was very impressed with the room and seats in the rear of the new Corrolla we test drove earlier this year. Very comfortable, and I am 6 2.

#20 howards11

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 02:19 PM

Have you seen the new ones? It seems to have as much room inside as a Impreza...which isn't to big...but its not like a Geo Metro or something.


I'm going by my father-in-law's Corrolla which is a few years old.

~Howard
:rolleyes:

#21 Suzam

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 08:24 PM

I would consider saftey a major factor in a decision on a new purchase. I would feel better with higher saftey rating all the time (100%), and AWD when I really need it... say 15% of the overall life/use of a vehicle. Then reliability comes in to that as a close second.
Do research on these sites:

http://www.iihs.org/...ngs/ratings.htm

http://www.edmunds.com/

and buy a Consumer Reports magazine.

#22 SevenSisters

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 08:58 PM

A two hour drive to the nearest Subaru dealer?

Have you considered moving closer?

#23 Subaru X

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 02:30 AM

1st choice 2000 or newer Toyota celica

2nd choice 2004 or newer Honda civic.

3rd choice Probably the bus.

So in reality. There is only 5 cars I would actually drive daily.
The Subaru Legacy, The Subaru Imprezza, The Celica, The Civic, and of course my 88 CRX. The Imprezza and CRX are my 2 dream cars though.

But if we're talking strictly AWD vehicles. I have never had anything better then a subaru. I did at one time have a bmw. But it was 2wd with traction control. And that actually held up nicely.

#24 Sweet82

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 05:05 PM

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

Patrick Henry, :lol:




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