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Old 02-02-2013, 10:22 AM   #1
HowlingMad OP
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Subaru Crosstrek

Although it's mentioned in another underpopulated comparison about small SUV's, there doesn't seem to be much in here about the Crosstrek which seems to have caught Mrs. Mads attention.


Never having owned a Subaru before I'm curious to hear others thoughts, especially on the newer models. There's a good thread on the head gasket thing, but I don't want to clutter up that thread and it seems to focus on a problem that appears to have been solved. But what are the issues with the newer Scoobys?

Mrs Mad has a second generation CRV that has been the best car either of us has ever owned with absolutely no issues, tows well, lots of room, reasonable mileage, etc, so it's a tough act to follow. But it's also 11 years old and the Crosstrek is the first car to catch her eye.


Manual transmission is a non-negotiable requirement which limits choices greatly in this country I'd be open to other vehicles with similar capabilities, provided that it has three pedals.

Based on some of the chatter in the head gasket thread I can't quite figure out exactly how the AWD works and if there is a difference between the CVT and the manual.

So, thoughts, opinions, useless uninformed nescience simply to boost a post count? Let's hear it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:47 AM   #2
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I 'm really curious about everything from cupholders to viscous couplers, and don't want to get hung up on how off road capable this grocery getter is, but I'm not sure if the symmetrical turbo encabulator crap is just marketing or not.

In that vein, please feel free to shoot some holes in this video since its impressive, but also from a Subaru dealer. I'm no longer sure if the AWD system is the same design here vs the Crosstrek.



Although they quickly point out that comparing the Crossrek to a Land Rover is mildly comical, the video seems to present the Subaru well:
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:52 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, it's a gutless wonder.

Probably good for the Midwest and Northeast, but it will disappoint in the Mountain West.

They need to offer it with the 2.0 turbo
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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A few requirements from the War Department: (in no particular order)
-AWD
-Manual transmission
-ample cargo room for bicycles, camping gear ,etc (but don't need to as much as the CRV currently has)
->25mpg
-Enough sack and stopping power to pull a small trailer with two dirt bikes or one supertanker. (total ~1200 max)
-Balance of fun to drive but commutable without the maintenance issues of typical real driving cars.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlingMad View Post
-Enough sack and stopping power to pull a small trailer with two dirt bikes or one supertanker. (total ~1200 max).


I'd at least test drive the WRX hatchback.

The non-STi version is what I mean.

It has significantly more power and that will make towing a breeze. It also meets
all your other requirements. Sure, the lowest-power Subaru will tow a couple
of dirt bikes, but when you need to pass on an uphill you might wish for more
power than the engine has, and that can be frustrating. I tow two dirt bikes with
a hatchback which has 140hp so I know about this firsthand, and I have often
wished for more power when towing, but rarely wished for more power otherwise.



Your list of requirements makes it obvious ( to me anyway ) that some Subaru is
the car for you, and the only question is "which Subaru". If you want to stuff
bicycles inside the vehicle, a Forester might be worth a look, but I think roof racks
for carrying bicycles make more sense than stuffing the bicycles inside a vehicle,
especially if they are mountain bikes and covered with mud.


It's hard to beat the all-around utility of a small hatchback. The hatchback body makes
a lot of things easier, like pulling into a small parking spot, or making a trip to Home
Depot when you don't want to hook up a trailer but need to carry a dozen sticks
of lumber home.



.

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Old 02-02-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlingMad View Post
A few requirements from the War Department: (in no particular order)
-AWD
-Manual transmission
-ample cargo room for bicycles, camping gear ,etc (but don't need to as much as the CRV currently has)
->25mpg
-Enough sack and stopping power to pull a small trailer with two dirt bikes or one supertanker. (total ~1200 max)
-Balance of fun to drive but commutable without the maintenance issues of typical real driving cars.
You might be happier with the new 2014 Forester. It's due out in March. It has a 2.5 liter engine and will get 27-30 mpg.
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlingMad View Post
A few requirements from the War Department: (in no particular order)
-AWD
-Manual transmission
-ample cargo room for bicycles, camping gear ,etc (but don't need to as much as the CRV currently has)
->25mpg
-Enough sack and stopping power to pull a small trailer with two dirt bikes or one supertanker. (total ~1200 max)
-Balance of fun to drive but commutable without the maintenance issues of typical real driving cars.
You should go for the Forester over the Cross Trek.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Not very quiet or quick, but it scoots over snow

Quote:
I spent about a week with a Limited with the continuously variable transmission, followed by a Premium with the manual.

The manual allows more involvement, but there are two downsides. One is a mileage rating that’s 2 m.p.g. lower in town and 3 lower on the highway.

The other is noise. At highway speeds the engine — working hard just to maintain 70 m.p.h. — adds to the already considerable racket from the road and the wind. Life is quieter with the variable automatic, which allows the engine speed to drop considerably, reducing the racket. And the C.V.T. comes with some underhood soundproofing that isn’t in the manual. A spokesman said that soundproofing would be made available for installation on the manual Crosstrek.

Of course, you pay a price in performance for the good fuel economy. Acceleration is just acceptable, at best, with either the manual or the variable automatic. The testers at Consumer Reports clocked a C.V.T. model at a leisurely 9.7 seconds from a stop to 60 miles per hour.

While the manual shifter is slightly notchy, the C.V.T. works well. And because the transmission lets the engine operate at peak efficiency most of the time, it’s a big factor in fuel efficiency.
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #9
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Thanks, I had not seen this yet. It reflects today's test drive quite accurately. More on that soon.

Thanks Gatling and ItsNotTheBike for your thoughts on this so far too.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:21 PM   #10
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What? Speak up, i can't hear you

Well that was quick. Took one for a test drive today and wanted to share our feedback before it faded.

Good:
  • Great car for the money, lots of goodies (two fuel consumption gauges (vacuum style and electronic instant as well as average), bluetoof, heated seats.
  • Better appointed than I expected. Upholstery, plastics, fit and finish was better than I expected for a $21k car.
  • Fuel economy is supposedly much better than her current CRV without giving up too much space.
  • Handling was firm and fairly tight and fairly predictable. Body roll was less than the CRV and better than I had expected.
  • Brakes were impressive and considerably better than the CRV which is a bigger concern for me than power when towing.
  • Oil filter is mounted for easy access and the motor looks like it would be easy to work on with its uncluttered design.
Bad:
  • LOUD, way too loud. We drove the manual, which does not included the noise suppression in the engine compartment that the CVT does as the NY Times article points out. We verified this at the showroom. The bean-counter that convinced Subaru to do this actually cost them the sale today. Mrs Mad could have looked past the other issues, but this was the deal breaker. At low speeds its not bad unless you are winding up the motor which is all the time since it has no power.
  • Power. Mousier Racoon hit the nail on the head: gutless wonder. For the fuel economy and size it's to be expected I suppose. Frankly we could have lived with it. It's not ideal but it's all about compromise, right? I don't think I'd want a couple of bikes on a trailer merging with traffic, but for the tradeoff in fuel economy the other 99% of the time it was acceptable.
  • Minor - There was a consistent vibration that could have been tire balance or alignment, maybe nothing, maybe not.
Consensus:
If were 10 years younger, weren't as spoiled, or had a more strict budget to work with we would have driven it home today. We both thought it was a good car (maybe even great) and seemed to be a great value. (Neither of us really like the look of the Forester so we didn't compare it but on paper it actually appears the Forester might even be a better value.)
In the end, the noise was simply too much for us.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlingMad View Post
Well that was quick. Took one for a test drive today and wanted to share our feedback before it faded.[LIST][*]LOUD, way too loud. Consensus:
If were 10 years younger, weren't as spoiled, or had a more strict budget to work with we would have driven it home today. We both thought it was a good car (maybe even great) and seemed to be a great value. (Neither of us really like the look of the Forester so we didn't compare it but on paper it actually appears the Forester might even be a better value.)
In the end, the noise was simply too much for us.
I had the same experience test driving the new Impreza that this is based upon, I so wanted to buy one as a second car/runaround and yet the road noise was disheartening and killed the thought dead. I drove a legacy at the dealers for comparison and it is markedly better but then the fuel economy has to be obtained at the loss of something.

I am just about to buy (another!) Land Rover but cannot get my mind around a LR2 at $40k with only 4 way (not very adjustable) seats, I could get two Subaru's for the price and just turn the radio up. As a long time LR owner gutless engine performance is something I'm used to.

I like the look of the crossover and the orange colour is splendid. I may have to go back to the dealers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:15 PM   #12
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If that's the only issue, see about adding a bunch of sound damping material or having a local stereo shop do it for you. There are plenty of threads on the internets about people doing this on their subarus. . . . the noise bugs me a bit too, but not enough to do anything about it on my car. But there are solutions.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #13
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Those are great videos I had not seen before. I have a 2006 WRX and I am a Subaru believer. I've drunk the Kool Aid. My Subie is the best car I've ever owned and I can't see myself ever buying anything but another Subaru. I'd like to get the XV but my WRX is still running great and I see no reason to get rid of it.

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Old 02-02-2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by gatling View Post
Those are great videos I had not seen before. I have a 2006 WRX and I am a Subaru believer. I've drunk the Kool Aid. My Subie is the best car I've ever owned and I can't see myself ever buying anything but another Subaru. I'd like to get the XV but my WRX is still running great and I see no reason to get rid of it.

Beautiful. I have the 2007 2.5i that looks like yours. Love it. Unfortunately, I think our cars represent the zenith of Subaru vehicle design. With the possible exception of the Forester, there really isn't anything in their lineup that I find interesting or attractive.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:19 PM   #15
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Those are great videos I had not seen before. I have a 2006 WRX and I am a Subaru believer. I've drunk the Kool Aid. My Subie is the best car I've ever owned and I can't see myself ever buying anything but another Subaru. I'd like to get the XV but my WRX is still running great and I see no reason to get rid of it.

I continue to ingest the Kool Aid. I pulled the trigger on this one a few weeks ago...



I am very pleased with this car. It is everything I wanted it to be. It gets 28-30 mpg around town and I am eager to see how well it will do on an upcoming road trip. I have the automatic, and I have to laugh at the poster who claimed the car struggles to maintain 70 mph. This car has no problem cruising at speeds well north of that. It's comfortable, roomy, and smooth. A keeper..and another Subie success story.
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