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Subaru Outback vs Ford Freestyle

124

Comments

  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    now the freestyle. why not name them Tweedledum and Tweedledee?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Whoa! Quite a few good changes for the new model year. Upgraded engine, no more CVT (a big plus), same presumable crummy Ford sale/resale value means they should be fairly cheap....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The engine is a big one, IMO. Should boost sales. The name change won't hurt, as Freestyle didn't have any name recognition and sounded too much like Freestar, too.

    -juice
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Ugh. Yes. Really bad name there. Taurus has a ton of name recognition, and not all bad, either. Now, if Ford decided to rename Fusion to Tempo.... I would be concerned! :P
  • >>> no more CVT (a big plus)

    That's a big MINUS, in my book.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ford Trannies were never good, can't imagine tht their CVT would be any better. I'm not completely sold on the CVT concept on a whole.

    -mike
  • I'm not completely sold on the CVT concept on a whole.

    It's what the automatic transmission should have ALWAYS been.
  • "no more CVT (a big plus)"

    "I'm not completely sold on the CVT concept on a whole"

    Armchair test drivers at their finest... You probably are still intimidated by the whole concept of fuel injection as well, what no carb under here...what gives???

    CVT in these type of vehicles is a fantastic solution, what's not to like about seamless acceleration, better mileage, less parts to break, simpler in concept, that's what's getting you, it's actually simpler...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm not sold on it due to a few reasons, mostly I don't have much experience with them, so I'm not anti-them, nor for them, just not sold on them yet.

    As for simpler, lets see how much the repairs cost when they start hitting 100k+ miles. Also note that CVT for some reason has been dropped by most folks who had them burst onto the market in the past few years most notably the Saturn and Ford CVTs have been canned. I think only the Nissan CVT is still widely used.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Yes, I am not against them either, but, as with ESP, they can be a drawback in the crertain situations. I saw a Freestyle get "stuck" once on a hill simply because it just could not overcome gravity. The driver put his foot to the floor at one point and the car just sat there. Score one for CVT. That might just be the Ford implementation, though, or the unit could have been defective. Cannot say for sure, but the only time I had my 4EAT do that to me I was trying to tow a 3/4 ton pickup with a pallet of bricks in the back up a steep, extremely muddy driveway. Ended up backing down and giving it another go with no further problems.

    As for seamless acceleration, no thanks. I think that would just put the driver one step closer to removal from the driving experience. But, I might change my mind as I age.
  • I saw a Freestyle get "stuck" once on a hill simply because it just could not overcome gravity. The driver put his foot to the floor at one point and the car just sat there. Score one for CVT.

    And you know that this is an inherent flaw in the CVT how? :confuse:
  • Actually, there are many current vehicles that have CVTs. Toyota has the Hybrid Camry, Highlander and Prius along with the Lexus RX400h and GS450h. Honda has the Element and Civic Hybrid, both with CVT. Of course Nissan has several vehicles (Murrano, Maxima, Altima, Sentra) available w/CVT. Way back in the 80's (I think) even Subaru produced the 'Justy' which had a CVT. Even Audi produced the A4 w/CVT in the early/mid 90's. CVT's provide a different (some say strange) driving experience and most drivers are used to feeling the transmission 'shift' from one gear to the next while the CVT provides seamless acceleration with no shift points. I had hesitations about buying my 2005 FS due to the CVT, but have come to prefer it over my other vehicle (2002 Lexus ES300). As smooth as the Lexus tranny is, the CVT in the FS is even smoother. Maybe if consumers were better educated about the workings and benefits of the CVT, more would come to like them.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Like I said not many vehicles out there with CVT (except the hybrids). Nissan is the only one using them in non-hybrids (and the former Saturn and former FS)

    -mike
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "Honda has the Element and Civic Hybrid, both with CVT."

    Sorry, there is no Element hybrid. Honda doesn't make an SUV hybrid at this time.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ok sorry, so Honda Element and the Nissans, still not a lot of CVTs out there in the grand scheme of things.

    Anyone have % of cars sold with CVTs overall? I'd hazzard a guess less than 5%?

    -mike
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "Anyone have % of cars sold with CVTs overall? I'd hazzard a guess less than 5%? "

    I would also be interested to know. They have been available in Europe for a long time. I remember a friend having a Volvo with CVT back in the early 1980's.
  • I was commenting that the Element and Civic Hybrid had CVT's, not that both were Hybird. The 2006 Accord Hybrid also had a CVT but not sure if that model is available in the 2007 model year. Of course CVT's are more prevalent in Europe than in the USA. Not sure what percentage, but that info is available via the WWW.

    As usual -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • So naturally because there is no (insert % here) number that means they are less effective than a traditional AT. I love the story of the CVT not being able to go up a hill,

    "The driver put his foot to the floor at one point and the car just sat there. Score one for CVT. That might just be the Ford implementation, though, or the unit could have been defective. Cannot say for sure..."

    You admit that you cannot for sure say what the issue was or even that there was one as fact yet you offer it up as such on a forum questioning the effectiveness of a CVT.

    Have you driven one, do you own one, do you KNOW the benefits on a day to day basis. My guess is no, I do, I wrote the check and bought one, I know MY Freestyle was never meant to tow, I know it was built as a people/stuff hauler which it does exceptionally well despite being "underpowered"(another inaccuracy).

    As I noted opinions of armchair test drivers need not apply as they are pointless and a waste of bandwidth. Do the homework, drive one, live with one, then tell me what you think after you have an opinion that is based in experience rather than hyperbole.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No one said they were bad. "not being sold on it yet" does not constitute a negative. So I guess we should all go out and buy everything we are interested in?

    Why don't you inform us as this is a discussion group, rather than just spout out how we are downing it.

    -mike
  • I have "informed' here and on other forums. I get a little tired of constantly hearing that the FS being underpowered and the CVT being a weak link by people who don't own one or would not consider one soley based on the fact that the FS has a CVT or what they read here.

    The seamless aspect of the CVT is a nice suprise, combine that with the improved mileage the CVT imparts, the fewer moving pieces therebye providing less opportunity for failure and a winner of a gearbox. I have seen 28mpg with 7 people up and a steady 65mph cruise. Combine that with the safety ratings, the fact that it has all the power a vehicle of this type needs and you have a great package.

    I have only criticized one aspect of the FS and that is its interior material selection. We have been spoiled by our 98 Passat and the quality of its interior and know that quality can indeed be provided at a price point.

    It gets a little old coming to these forums for information, insight and advice and then have to sift through all the opinions implied as fact more often than not based in nothingness, not even a test drive in most cases.

    But hey, what do I know...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    So here is a questions for yah on the CVT, how is the MPG v. non CVT on the FS? I'm not sure if there is a non CVT to compare em, but just curious. I haven't driven one yet so I can't comment on the pickup or smoothness of the CVTs. I wouldn't buy a Ford personally just due to very bad past experience with an Escort, Crown Vic and Lincoln Town Car.

    I did see a FS in front of me at the car was a week ago, it is pretty darn big. Kind of reminded me of the 1980s Chevy Caprice Station Wagons that my parent's friends owned in terms of the dimensions. Not a bad thing as I'll be they handle way better than those Caprices did!

    -Mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aren't all Freestyles CVTs?

    The Five Hundred came with both, though. The CVT got 20/27 EPA mpg, and the 6 speed auto in the same car got 21/29.

    That's one factor, there is also acceleration, plus many others.

    FWIW, Consumer Reports rates the CVT on the Freebie as "worse than average" in terms of reliability.

    The Five Hundred scores better there and overall, and that's the main powertrain difference.

    I think paisan's "not sold on it yet" is a valid concern.

    -juice
  • Dodge Caliber also has CVT.
  • Good to know there is another vehicle with CVT. I understand the upcoming Lexus LS600h will also have a CVT. Obviously Toyota is aware of the CVT's merits since they will be offering it in their flagship model as well as several current hybrid vehicles. Too bad Ford is dropping the CVT - it is much more expensive than a conventional transmission and Ford probably doesn't want to invest the money in adopting the current CVT for the new 3.5 engine that will go into the D3 trio for 2008.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    "I was commenting that the Element and Civic Hybrid had CVT's, not that both were Hybird."

    Nope, the ICE only Civic and the Element have conventional 5 speed automatic (or manual) transmissions. So far as I know, only the Hybrid has a CVT.
  • Sorry to have provided erroneous info about the Honda Element having a CVT when is doesn't. I do know the Civic Hybrid has a CVT as my brother owns a 2006. The favorable experience I've had w/my 2005 FS has made me somewhat of an advocate regarding the CVT - too bad Ford is doing away with a great transmission.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you think about it, the engines can be tuned for a narrow range of high performance since the CVT keeps it in a narrow power band. Similar to but opposite my boats that have only a 1 speed transmission. The good thing on those is with a BBC you have torque from 1100rpm up to redline at 5500-5600.

    -mike
  • Obviously Toyota is aware of the CVT's merits since they will be offering it in their flagship model as well as several current hybrid vehicles.

    In a hybrid, you pretty much HAVE to use a CVT. Whatever tranny you use, it has to work in reverse as a generator.

    I'm not aware of any hybrids without a CVT (are there any?), and I would assume that's because it's much simpler to use the CVT in this kind of application.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, the Insight came with a manual.

    I realize CVTs are becoming abundant, but I'd judge each particular one on its own merits.

    After all, Ford builds several wonderful and reliable 4 speed automatics, but the CD4E shared by the Contour and some Mazda models was just a lemon. It was a matter of when, not if, they would fail.

    All transmissions of the same type are not created equal, so we should not expect the same from CVTs.

    -juice
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,784
    I too, am a proponent of the CVT. Great idea. The Nissan Murano has a high horsepower / torque with a CVT, so I suspect it was possible for the 2008 FS to use a modified CVT. I imagine they cut it for budget reasons.
This discussion has been closed.