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Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

  1. #51
    Junior Member Stevie's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs


    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Some friends recently went through the cute-utes as they wanted to downsize from a Volvo XC90 and park on the street in Boston. They wanted Honda initially but HR-V was too small and too slow. They looked at Ford, Honda, Toyota, Mazda but not Subaru or BMW X1. Also looked at Mercedes GLA (nice looking but small), and wound up purchasing a FWD CPO Lexus NX. They do a lot of skiing and will put winter tires on it. It's 182" long, so much bigger than HR-V or GLA but still compact. They didn't like the way the RAV4 drove so it seems Lexus changed a lot: First Drive: 2015 Lexus NX - First Turbocharged Lexus Vehicle


    Average on fuelly.com for 1996 Grand Cherokees: 16.4. And that's the highest of the 1990's models. So you are averaging 22-34% better than average.
    I had similar experiences with my 1998 Explorer 5.0l V-8 AWD. Fuel economy was pretty much a linear inverse relationship to right foot extension. Aggressive driving in traffic could give me 14 mpg; peaceful highway cruising as much as 28 mpg but normally in the 20-ish range. The AWD was fantastic in winter and I could tow my 5,000 lb. sailboat in summer. Died of old age @ ~200k with not much more than routine repairs and maintenance ever needed. Worst annoying repair was a broken heater blend door. A $50 part buried $1,200 under the dashboard.

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  2. #52
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Average on fuelly.com for 1996 Grand Cherokees: 16.4. And that's the highest of the 1990's models. So you are averaging 22-34% better than average.
    I have always averaged 15-40% better than published fuel economies,

    several reasons
    1. no urban or suburban or heavy commuter driving
    2. I'm pretty good at watching tire pressure, alignment, etc.
    3. I don't wear lead shoes and roll to stops rarely using brakes for more than a few feet
    4. smoothness from originally learning to drive in northern Vermont winters with a 3 on tree (maybe that is why I don't have problems riding a motorcycle in similar conditions)

    once or twice a year I have to attend a conference and get subjected to the average driver, I understand why they get shitty mileage

    last Labor Day weekend, I towed my UTV to Vermont with my Grand Cherokee, and got about 18mpg while towing

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  3. #53
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I just brought my wife an NX about three months ago. She wanted a small SUV so I got roped into that. But because she was coming from a mazda3 gas mileage was a huge concern. So we ended up with the hybrid version. Averages 29-30 all day everyday so she's happy. I would have much rather had a GS350 f sport but that whole happy wife crap.

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  4. #54
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    I have always averaged 15-40% better than published fuel economies,

    several reasons
    1. no urban or suburban or heavy commuter driving
    2. I'm pretty good at watching tire pressure, alignment, etc.
    3. I don't wear lead shoes and roll to stops rarely using brakes for more than a few feet
    4. smoothness from originally learning to drive in northern Vermont winters with a 3 on tree (maybe that is why I don't have problems riding a motorcycle in similar conditions)

    once or twice a year I have to attend a conference and get subjected to the average driver, I understand why they get shitty mileage

    last Labor Day weekend, I towed my UTV to Vermont with my Grand Cherokee, and got about 18mpg while towing
    1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee MPG - Actual MPG from 34 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee owners

    Most people with V8 GC's are averaging 13.5 to 16.

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  5. #55
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Most people with V8 GC's are averaging 13.5 to 16.
    I believe it, most people drive like idiots in urban heavy traffic commuting situations, never check the air in their tires and keep on the gas right up till they slam on the brakes at a stop

    no reason to ever have that v8 over 1600-1800 rpm, might reach 2000 if yer pulling a trailer

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  6. #56
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    We bought a 2015 CR-V for my wife. She loves it. It did well last winter. My only complaint about the CR-V is at lower RPMs it starts running rough. See Rough-Idle Complaints Roll In For 2015 CR-V: Honda Working On Fix for example. My understanding is the "fix" will impact MPG rating, so it may not be rolled out generally. I did a quick search and could not find if it is "fixed" in 2016 model year or not.

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  7. #57
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by golden chicken View Post
    If you like a Cube, check out the Kia Soul. Way better build quality and pretty reliable in my experience. No AWD, but more functional than your CX3, HRV, etc. Great on gas (like high 30s, low 40s). 1.6L is admittedly sluggish.

    Fwiw, I considered a CX3, 3 Hatch and 3 Sedan and I went with the sedan because it seemed like it had the most usable cargo space while getting the best mileage. Michelin snows cost me $400 and I mounted and balanced them at work myself.
    I really like the soul, I saw a guy in Boston with a dark blue one with a white roof, a la Mini/fj, it looked good.

    I also saw a Kia soul awd concept that looked rad... Dunno if it'll ever come to fruition.

    I can see ur thought process, I went from a civic coupe to a sedan for the same, but it turns out I really never use the back seats or anything. So while the cx3 is alarmingly small, I don't think I'd be an issue personally.

    I still think if I buy a awd/4wd again I'll try to find an 04-06 tj wrangler. Like driving in a glass box, easy to park and maneuver, awesome in the snow, fun any other time... Shit for gas mpg and they hold their value too much tho...

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  8. #58
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by jhawley View Post
    I just brought my wife an NX about three months ago. She wanted a small SUV so I got roped into that. But because she was coming from a mazda3 gas mileage was a huge concern. So we ended up with the hybrid version. Averages 29-30 all day everyday so she's happy. I would have much rather had a GS350 f sport but that whole happy wife crap.
    Are f sports common in the lot? Just curious. I am in love with lexus' new interior.

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  9. #59
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    My girfriend was leaning toward a Subaru Crosstrek, but now seems pretty set on a new Legacy.

    I however am still leaning toward the Honda HR-V (hopefully not anytime soon, I hope my current 215k Civic lasts til 340k, but since it could die any day now more so than a car with say under 100K, I need to be ready... and if that happens, I'm thinking AWD Honda HR-V)

    However, I found a dealer browsing CL in Maine called Roberts Auto that seems to specialize in... a guilty pleasure of mine... the Honda Element!! I wish they didn't stop making those. However, the age of those, with under 100K, and the price... I think would be foolish and I should just forget it and go new.


    Also, on my way home today in the smooth sailing Boston traffic, with a Nissan Cube in front of me, I had a long time to stare at it. A vehicle once hideous to me, and laughable, I must say grew on me a bit! Also not made anymore, it's not awd, and is I'm assuming based on the Nissan Versa. But it's so ugly and jacked up looking... why not? Tiny, easy to park I'm assuming, and with a roof line just high enough it looks like it'll be easy to get in and out of. But I don't think I'd ever pull the trigger on that.
    FWIW. We bought a '16 Legacy last December, it's at 17k miles and my wife loves it. No problems, decent on gas, and good in the snow.

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  10. #60
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by burnham View Post
    FWIW. We bought a '16 Legacy last December, it's at 17k miles and my wife loves it. No problems, decent on gas, and good in the snow.
    I owned a 2005 subaru legacy gt limited sedan and loved it. It had some annoyances, the dash had a lot of rattles here and there, granted I only noticed it when driving down the dirt road my parents lived on, but still...

    The steering wheel didn't have any audio controls like the nissan Altima had, instead having cheesy plus and minus buttons to shift, but the transmission would shift itself if you tried to use them and drive aggressively.

    And then I caught wind of an alleged problem with just the 2005 gt. Allegedly the oil return line on the turbo was too small, and could burn out the turbo if any debris at all was in the oil.

    I had an extended bumper to bumper warranty and was approaching the end of it, so I bailed on it at around 90k.

    Came close to buying an 08 LGT. Kinda wish I did, but paying for premium, and buying 17" low pros remind me that I didn't miss out on much.

    The redesign of the legacy, making it "bigger for bigger Americans" as I read in one magazine took me a while to warm up to.

    But now, there isn't a subaru I wouldn't own.


    No complaints or annoyances at all with the legacy?

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  11. #61
    Lifer
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    The legacy was also the balls in the snow. I had driven wranglers, an explorer, and others in the snow.... There's something to be said about having zero body roll in a sedan while handling in snow. And the legacy would literally plow out of an unplowed driveway, at in incline, if needed. Very impressive.

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  12. #62
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    I owned a 2005 subaru legacy gt limited sedan and loved it. It had some annoyances, the dash had a lot of rattles here and there, granted I only noticed it when driving down the dirt road my parents lived on, but still...

    The steering wheel didn't have any audio controls like the nissan Altima had, instead having cheesy plus and minus buttons to shift, but the transmission would shift itself if you tried to use them and drive aggressively.

    And then I caught wind of an alleged problem with just the 2005 gt. Allegedly the oil return line on the turbo was too small, and could burn out the turbo if any debris at all was in the oil.

    I had an extended bumper to bumper warranty and was approaching the end of it, so I bailed on it at around 90k.

    Came close to buying an 08 LGT. Kinda wish I did, but paying for premium, and buying 17" low pros remind me that I didn't miss out on much.

    The redesign of the legacy, making it "bigger for bigger Americans" as I read in one magazine took me a while to warm up to.

    But now, there isn't a subaru I wouldn't own.


    No complaints or annoyances at all with the legacy?

    No, no complaints at all with the car. We drove one a couple years ago with the old CVT transmission that sucked, but they seem to have it figured out now. It has Subaru's "eyesight", which does about a thousand different things that I'll never figure out, but it's my wifes car so that's OK. We had an '05 Legacy GT with the 5spd. Bought it new and sold it in '11 with 120k on the clock. Had an Infinity G35 after that, and then got a '13 Accord. The whole time my wife missed her Subaru, so that's how we ended up back with a Legacy.

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  13. #63
    Jamnuts jhawley's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Gixxer View Post
    Are f sports common in the lot? Just curious. I am in love with lexus' new interior.
    Not rare at all.
    Certain colors. Namely the white with red interior are a bit hard to find from time to time.

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  14. #64
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Anyone have a 3rd gen Honda Pilot or Acura MDX?

    We are probably going to give the kids the 2006 OBW. The new OBW has a CVT and I'm a skeptic.

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  15. #65
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Anyone have a 3rd gen Honda Pilot or Acura MDX?

    We are probably going to give the kids the 2006 OBW. The new OBW has a CVT and I'm a skeptic.
    The outback was high on my list but was written off because of the tranny. I'm with you, I wasn't gonna be the guinea pig for towing and the things durability.

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  16. #66
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    The closest Crossover I've found in size to my 2006 Outback seems to be a Chevrolet Equinox or the GMC counterpart, but they have less interior room.

    The 2010-2014 Outback 3.6's have the 5EAT transmission with VTD drive system. VTD has a planetary center differential and mechanical LSD on the rear axle. These models all have VDC as well, which is Subaru's 4WD ESC. This is a highly capable system and far superior to the systems on most Crossovers (and 4 cyl Outbacks).

    The problem is that only about 1 of 10 Outbacks sold had the 3.6, and most of the people who bought them knew what they were getting and hang onto them forever (my 2006 3.0R just passed 219,000 miles). So they are scarce as hell on the used market. I'm not helping myself by telling everyone who is looking at Outbacks not to buy the 4 cylinder. There appear to be a total of five such cars for sale in New England right now.

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  17. #67
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    I've never seen a 6 cyl Outback, despite having owned 4 2.5s and serviced hundreds of Subarus. I have laid hands on one Tribeca with the 6. Many standard transmission 2.5s came with a limited slip rear.

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  18. #68
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    After holding it in since December you just HAD to get that off your chest?

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  19. #69
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by carsick View Post
    I've never seen a 6 cyl Outback, despite having owned 4 2.5s and serviced hundreds of Subarus. I have laid hands on one Tribeca with the 6. Many standard transmission 2.5s came with a limited slip rear.
    The H6 Legacy sedan seems more common, but still only 5-10% of market.

    The 3.0 and 3.6 are much better and more powerful engines than the 2.5, quieter on the highway, much better at towing, and highway fuel economy is nearly the same (in city the 4 cyl is better). You really notice the additional power driving up skiing with 4 people and a roof box.

    The SVT had a 3.3 but I believe the 3.0 was a new design when introduced in 2000 or 2001 with the 2nd gen. They use timing chains instead of belts and head gasket problems are rare. There are tons of owners with over 200K, a fair number with over 300K, and I've heard of one still DD with over 400K. Mine doesn't owe me a thing, off the charts the best car I've ever owned.

    One of the best car's Subaru ever made wasn't sold here: the 3.0R Spec B Estate. Had the Bilstein suspension, 6 speed manual and 3.0 H6 in the Legacy wagon body. Light, simple and easy to drive fast.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 02-22-17 at 04:36 PM.
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  20. #70
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Our 2006 Outback 3.0R answered the following requirements:

    • Regular gas, 20+mpg on highway and decent range.
    • Actually accelerate and go around corners
    • Great in snow (8" is about perfect ground clearance)
    • Carry wet 85 lb Labrador Retriever
    • Drive down rocky beach to launch boat.
    • Tow up to 3,500 lbs. (Both our RIB and sailboat are around 3,200).
    • Carry four teenagers to school
    • Not too big to park on city streets, or navigate the back streets Bostonians use to avoid commuters

    But it has 221,000 miles on it and we have a 17yo hitting the streets this summer.

    The answer for me turned out to be a 2014 Outback H6, with just about every option package (Nav, adaptive cruise control, etc). It has the terrific VTD drive system, 18.5 gallon tank, more room than the older gen and most two-row SUV's. Only comparable AWD system we found was the higher-end Grand Cherokee, and those have the same size engine but weigh 1,000 lbs more. Ford Edge EcoBoost was cool but too low and bigger than needed. Equinox was just a little too small inside. Didn't consider most "luxury" brands as they attract vandals here in Dot.

    A friend of mine had similar requirements, and invented (or copied) this AWD test: he parked the vehicle facing downhill with the front wheels on ice. Then he tried to back up. Most mid-sized SUV's would not move, because their AWD systems could not transfer enough torque to the rear wheels. The Grand Cherokee, VTD Outback, and BMW X3 did so easily. Not sure what else he tested.

    First move: order WeatherTech floor liners. Second move: remove 3.6 badge. Third, replace meep-meep horn with something more persuasive: the 2006 has horns from a Buick.

    I'd post pictures but it looks just like every other Outback.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 03-23-17 at 10:25 AM.
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  21. #71
    Lifer Imbeek's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    But it has 221,000 miles on it and we have a 17yo hitting the streets this summer.
    The way I roll as a dad with limited budget and low expectations for newb drivers, if it will pass MA inspection, this is a match made in heaven.

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  22. #72
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Just drove it home in traffic and engaged the adaptive cruise control (part of the Eyesite system). It is freakin' awesome. Didn't touch the gas or brake but once* from the Route 3 split up 93 to exit 15.

    *If it brings you to a complete stop, you have to hit the gas to make it move

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  23. #73
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Meh. I set off that Eyesight thing in a parking lot last time I drove one. Too nanny ish for me.

    I guess it's a good feature for a newbie driver. Then again, balling up a car is kind of a right of passage.

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    Last edited by e30addict; 03-23-17 at 09:03 PM.
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  24. #74
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    The closest Crossover I've found in size to my 2006 Outback seems to be a Chevrolet Equinox or the GMC counterpart, but they have less interior room.
    I had my heart set on an Equinox -- good on gas, crossover but not too big, available with good trim (if you got an LTZ), modern interior.

    Then I drove one.

    Utterly underwhelming in every regard. Even with the full options (LTZ is loaded), it was.. meh. Just meh. Cheesy driving experience, asthmatic motor, just terribly bland. My search continues!

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  25. #75
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    Re: Winter feedback wanted on new and newish small crossover/suvs

    A few notes on my '08 Outback 4 cyl:

    Pros:
    - great in the snow
    - tight turning radius
    - heated everything
    - enough towing for a bike or two
    - *always* starts, even if the battery feels weak

    Cons:
    - shitty mileage
    - lots of cheap interior plastic bits to scratch up or break over the years
    - upgrading the stereo is painful enough that I'll never bother

    Overall I think if I didn't want the towing, I'd get something else. It's an inefficient but reliable appliance.

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