Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I bought a new Subaru Outback last week. So far I've only driven it about 160 miles but here's my impression.

First the interior is very nice. The materials and design are higher quality than the previous Outback. Everything is well-laid out. The 6 CD changer makes a lot of noice when it's changing discs. It has dual climate control which sounds nice and maybe I'll get used to it but for now it's just more knobs to turn. It has a great steering wheel with audio controls, including the very popular Mute button. Power seat, plenty of headroom, and I love the big-ass sunroof. Overall, more than you would expect from a Subaru.

The power is smooth but not overwhelming. There are two automatic settings: normal automatic and Sport mode. The Sport mode lets the engine rev higher before sifting gears. There's also a manual shifting mechanism but I haven't used it much yet.

There is some understeer but it's not noticable unless you are used to a rear wheel drive car.

The trip computer has a display that can let you view the gas current mileage. This is depressing as it drops to 2 or 3 when accelerating, although it hits 45 or more when cruising and 99.9 when coasting. Still, the constantly changing mileage is so disconcerning that I switched the computer to display the outside temperature. (I think the feds should make the current mileage a required feature that cannot be disabled. If everyone saw what shitty mileage they were getting in real life people might change their driving habits. I'm looking at you Escalade drivers.)

I got a good deal at the end of the month and a low interest rate. The only downer in the whole deal was that I traded-in my Honda S2000. I loved the convertible but it is completely impractical. Still, why would anyone trade a fast convertible for a station wagon? See my next post.