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Outback vs Highlander vs RAV4

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's in (pre-?) production now. Spy photographers are catching all sorts of photos, even though it has not made an auto show debut, officially.

    They may keep the 4EAT for the first year on the Forester, which IMO is a mistake. Not sure if the XT models will get a 5EAT.

    Shoot, Mitsubishi's Outlander already has 6 speeds.

    Problem is, Subaru is working on a CVT, so they may not want to invest in the auto right now.

    Here's what it looks like:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2007/12/10/yet-more-images-of-the-2009-subaru-forester
  • ...the drive train will make or break this one with me.
    Hopefully Subaru will improve it, and not just carry it over from last year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm gonna guess the base model will get 175hp and a 4EAT or 5MT.

    The turbo will stick with the same powertrains it has now, as the WRX did.

    Again, they're working on a CVT so I'd be surprised if they put in a 5EAT (though I hope I'm wrong).

    One good thing - the automatic has been reliable, so it lessens the risk on a new model.
  • Finally got to drive one but only on crowded city streets where salesperson and I had to dodge bicyclists, cars, homeless, etc.

    Observations of the Outback XT limited:

    In sport mode, it __definitely__ had turbo lag. Sport took at least 1-2 seconds before the engine decided it wanted to "go". More linear but softer response in Intelligent mode - car didn't feel particularly peppy then. Sport sharp helped the in town responses somewhat but lag still there. Noted some drive line lash (car was brand new). Seats comfortable but get too hot on maximum heat setting. Ride was euro firm but didn't notice any harshness. Seats leather and comfortable. Dash lights had a big step between maximum and the next level down, then stepped in increments. Did not have chance to try manually shifting the trans. Relatively quiet for a high revving 4 cylinder. Didn't tip much in corners.

    I'll have to try the 6 before I'll know if this will work or not. The pretty much on-off turbo is a worry given several other publications have commented on hesitation and lag with this model. A pity Subaru has not addressed it other than the 3-position switch ( how about a dual-tuned intake manifold or some other torque extending technology , Subaru? :confuse: ).
  • anyone had experience with the 6-cyl version of the Outback?

    How does it compare to the 4 cylinder models?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You may want to try test driving a used one. The transmission is adaptive and will learn your driving habits and adjust its shift map accordingly.

    I just wonder if a used one would already be adjusted, and feel any different?

    No manual for you, I suppose?

    The turbos feel a lot quicker with the manual, a good second or so to 60mph.
  • Hi everyone. I bought a 2008 RAV4 Limited last Saturday and can't find a clothes bar to fit into the holes provided. Has anybody found a fix? Thanks!
  • thnx for suggestions, ateixeria. I will be doing just that.

    No interest in manuals unless they are clutch-pedal-less, and Subaru does not offer them yet.
    VW/Audi does, but reliability and dealer issues make me very hesitant wrt those.
  • apparently the Haldex systems, per wikipedia.com , can be "trapped" if two wheels on either side can't get traction.
    Perhaps this is what the latest HALDEX system emarked for Saab's 9-3 is supposed to fix? But the Saab's out of the running (price, preceived market, etc.).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nowadays they pair up AWD with traction/stability control anyway.
  • adding, briefly, 1 more model to this discussion:

    Ford Escape Hybrid AWD. This uses the Prius Synergy Hybrid drivetrain but with an additional motor and shaft driving the rear wheels. Ford claims the drive system is intelligent (i.e., it transfers power to the wheels opposite from what are slipping ).

    This one's looking attractive as given the big hills I have to go up and down (which guzzle gas going up, and use up the brakes going down) this SUV may help save a lot of gas and brake wear and none of the other 3 in this discussion can avoid using.

    yes it's less powerful than the other three, but uses way less fuel. I have yet to drive it to see how responsive it is.

    Comments?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,268
    I would have seriously considered this vehicle as well except for my sub-arctic location. I cannot see the batteries lasting long enough to make the investment worthwhile. In a more temperate environment like Portland, why not try it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    IMHO it really, truly, depends on the price you pay.

    At low-mid 20s, it's fine.

    For a well equipped one, they get near $30k, and then the interior starts to feel cheap.

    See what sort of prices paid people are getting. At $25k or less it makes a good case for itself, higher than that it just feels too low-rent.
  • Edmunds completed its long term test of a RAV4. Interesting remarks about the V6 engine . It's first time I have heard Emunds saying a vehicle had too __much__ horsepower, but apparently the V6 RAV4 had nasty torque steer.

    By comparison, I have never seen/felt Torque steer on any '08 Subaru outback I have driven, even when two wheels were in gravel and other two on pavement. m On other hand, the Subies don't respond well to the throttle (they have good ultimate power, but you have to wait to get it).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's the difference between a part-time AWD system and a full-time one, basically.

    All you have to do is manage the throttle carefully. My Sienna has torque steer if you aren't careful, so generally I wait until the it's aimed straight before really punching it.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Posts: 252
    Note that Edmunds' comments refer to the FWD model. The AWD RAV4 is less prone to torque steer - I only notice it when nailing the pedal at speed, when it's running in mostly FWD mode. In daily driving it's a non-issue.
  • this '07 had 48 miles on it, no clunks in the driveline, and less of (but still some) hesitations when accelerating (about a second or so). The salesperson riding shotgun explains the AWD weight was responsible for some of the lag. There was no huge turbo surge. Amazing how two XT's could be so different.
    It felt very substantial, with absolutely no torque steer no matter what I or salesrep did. Although the roads were wet, I noted no brake pulsing or loss of traction on any of the wheels.

    How do the seats differ from H6 to XT? Narrower? Larger bolsters? Subaru only says the XT has "performance" seats.
  • ...as it had telescoping steering.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You should buy that exact car. Seriously.

    Some cars just seem to be blueprinted, i.e. built perfectly to specs.
  • Drove a RAV4 Limited V6 AWD today. Edmunds was right about this one - the engine almost seems too powerful for the chassis (some torque steer, for sure) and there was some hesitation from the 5 speed auto (about a second or so ..vs.. less from my existing Maxx).

    But:
    It easily out-responded all the Outbacks I have driven - almost felt like it was going to run away with itself at times. The fact that RAV4's V6 engine uses regular gas is another plus. A minus is the RAV4's throttle's hair-triggerish, like the Outback in sportsharp, but all the time.

    You sit higher in the RAV4, and the leather seats are perforated like the LL.BEAN (the XT has solid leather seats). The seats seem a bit firmer. The RAV4 interior trim's not quite as nice as Outback, but ok. There's more interior room for passengers, with a little less for cargo unless seats are folded down. The rear cargo cover was almost a copy of that used in the Subaru. Most glaring cheapness in RAV4 was mouse-fur headliner.

    I couldn't test the AWD (dry weather for a change, but was impressed the RAV4 could be locked on demand, and had various features to help with hills. It's not quite as sophisicated as Subarus, but for slow speeds such as driving on really bad roads I suspect there won't be much noticeable difference.

    A Frankenstein project might be an Outback with a toyota V6 engine... ;)
This discussion has been closed.