Pros Crash safety, Slippery road traction, comfort, smoothness
Cons Delayed response to accelerator, disappointing mileage, shifty transmission
Summary After 14,000 miles driving a 2005 3.0 R VDC, I am very pleased with the car overall. The gas mileage is pretty disappointing for a relatively small car, with 14-15 mpg in town, and up to 25 mpg on long highway trips. The power is amazing (though the Cnet review was incorrect regarding the torque: it is actually 212 ft-lbs, not 250) The transmission is constantly shifting up and down, which probably contributes to the lousy mileage. On the highway, I usually use the manual function to leave it in 5th gear, which helps. The most disconcerting feature, however is the very delayed response to stomping on the gas, which could result in an accident if you ever were counting on an immediate response to avoid being hit.
One other note about the CNET review: a navigation system is now standard for the 2006 models.
Overall a nice, comfortable, and quick car which is amazing in slippery conditions, but still needs refinement in terms of transmission and throttle response. The gas mileage is not bad compared to SUV's, and not bad considering it's a 250 HP rocket, but also not thrilling in these days of $3 gas.
Pros Great features available on ALL Subarus.
Cons Still no hybrid engine. Otherwise, no negatives.
Summary If you drive to the mountains, on snow and ice, you need a Subaru. I've owned Subarus for the past 15 years. I ski and drive all over the West, and I've never ever had to put on chains.
Subarus have the best mix of features, driveability, fun, good gas mileage, and plenty of space in the back for cargo, ... all for a reasonable price.
With some other cars, like Ford (for example), you have to upgrade to a more expensive version, spending an extra $2000 just to get a small feature like intermittent wiper blades (which are not available even as an option on their less expensive models). But, Subaru doesn't make you feel cheap. Subaru provides all the features on all their models. The main difference between Subaru models is the size/power of the engine, but even the cheapest Subarus will have intermittent wiper blades.
When I purchased the 2005 Outback, I spent the first week delighting in discovering more and more features that my older Subaru didn't have. Lots of thought went into designing this car. It now has stuff like:
- a trip computer;
- self-dimming rear-view mirror;
- heated seats;
- heated outside mirrors;
- a very accurate thermometer, showing outside temperature (to warn you of freezing temperatures);
- convenient hooks for bags in the cargo compartment;
- fog lights;
- an automatic transmission that can be converted into manual at the flip of a lever;
- hidden space for tools under the cargo floor;
- hidden space to store the cargo space cover under the cargo space floor;
- rear door open upward, providing a little protection from the rain and snow when I am suiting up for skiing in the parking lot (as opposed to the Honda CR-V whose rear door opens sideways).
- ... and much, much more.
Of course, it has anti-lock brakes too, but so did my older Subaru.
This is an excellent car! Now, if only it came with a Hybrid engine!
I have been wanting to buy an American car for the past 15 years, ... but I just can't find any American car that remotely compares to a Subaru. The new Ford Escape Hybrid comes close, but I would have to spend $10,000 more for the Ford (partly becasue of a huge markup Ford dealers are adding on). So, I said "No thanks", and bought another Subaru!
If American cars want to compete, they need to give us a car that is like the Ford Escort station-wagon, but with 4-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, fog lights, and a bit more cargo space in the back. If it also has good gas-mileage, I might be weaned away from my Subaru.
But, this won't happen any time soon, becasue American car manufacturers won't listen to their customers (I've written to them several times). They prefer building gas guzzling SUVs and pick ups.
Pros this car is great, just don't buy the vdc, buy the xt limited!
Cons none read below
Summary go to edmunds to read a review from a car review site, cnet is absurd... taking points off for not having the leather that a vehicle costing $25000 more? Absurd! Plus, this model is for the granny crowd. Subaru is selling tons of the XT and XT limiteds.. turbo baby. 0-60 in 5 seconds and buy a stick!
Pros Great AWD system, nice interior
Cons Underpowered, No Xenon Headlights, No bluetooth
Summary We are about to purchase on 06 3.0R VDC to compliment our Acura TL.
First I would like to correct the reviewer in specifying that this car makes 219 Ft Lbs of torque, the turbo charged 2.5 XT makes the 250, both however do produce 250 Horse Power.
After doing research I learned navigation is now standard, along with a price increase bring it to about 36K.
With my knowledge of this car it is somewhat sluggish and the tranny isn't perfectly timed, but it is excellent in off road conditions, and is reliable and comfortable.
What it lacks, however, is Xenon HID headlights. It does have halogen projectors, however they really don't compare to xenon HIDs(we have on our TL). Second the car lacks bluetooth wireless phone connectability. Currently offered on many cars.
If subaru was able to up the torque so it was on par with its turbocharged brother and offered HIDs and Bluetooth, this car would be much better. It is, currently, however, great for people in snowy and unpaved muddy areas. Another improvement would be road holding, unfortunatly it would loose offroad performance unless an adjustable suspension, which equals a lot of money, was added.
All in all this is a decent alternative to an SUV, is very safe, does very well off road, but is by no means a sportscar.
I hope this information was able to aid you in your decision.
Pros Handling, safety, Mercedes quality at Buick price.
Cons A bit dated nowadays (but charmingly so). I don't like temporary spare tires (will carry my own pump to avoid using it).
Summary The question should I go for the "exhilarating" turbo model or the "staid" H-6 was decided in favor of the latter - I never regret it. Both do zero to sixty in the sevens, on the way the turbo has to negotiate at least one nasty flat spot with subsequent brusque lurching (not exactly exhilarating, at least not for the passengers), while the six just pulls very strongly, if only a bit "staidly". In normal driving the six turns out to be just as fast as the turbo, it just will need to turn a bit faster. The sound of the turbo engine is always unattractively agricultural (lots of growls, hisses and pops), the six at full song lets of an almost musical snarl. The design of the 4 cylinder engine is decidedly less sophisticated with the camshafts being belt driven, while those of the six have proper chains. The hood of the six is unadorned of a redneck-baroque scoop, which draws less attention to the car and makes it more of a "sleeper", an excellent stealth car.