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Subaru Crew Cafe



  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    I hate the idea of another overly complex substitute for something basic that works and didn't need fixing.

    Agreed. Another reason to buy the Forester rather than the Outback. I have also used a hand brake on older cars to provide a crude limited slip rear differential!

    The CVT might be prone to failure starting up with a fully applied handbrake...hence the system on the Outback.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I've driven a lot of miles in automatics and never ever used the parking brake except on very steep inclines. To date, I've never had a parking pin break on any of them.

    As for "emergency brake", I'm not certain that one could modulate them as most cars have gone to the auto-locking down style where you need to push it to the floor to release it.

    Interestingly enough, my CTS-V has a foot activated parking brake with a manual release, and it's a 6MT! It's very weird doing a foot brake for the parking brake on my V.

    On a side note, do most of you guys who drive MT cars park it in gear? I never do and always use the parking brake on those cars. Only time I put it in gear is if I'm parked on a hill.

    As for "another reason to buy an Outback over a forester" I don't think they really compare in terms of what they are. I was just in a brand new forester and since it's built on the Impreza chassis it's got the similar road/tinny sound that the Imprezas have. The Outbacks are considerably more refined/quiet IMO.

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I hate the idea of another overly complex substitute for something basic that works and didn't need fixing.

    The same could be said for things such as:

    GPS (Maps work real well)
    Power Windows & Door Locks (No need for them at all)
    Auto Start (That's what children are for!)
    Heated Seats
    Air Conditioning
    Power Seats
    Automatic Transmissions
    Power Steering
    Dual Exhaust pipes in the rear (I mean that's 2x the mufflers)
    Keyless Entry
    In Glass Antennas
    Leather Seats
    Power Mirrors

    The list could go on and on and on...


    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Well, I will agree and disagree at the same time Mike.

    GPS (Maps work real well) - no question
    Power Windows & Door Locks (No need for them at all) -yep laziness
    Auto Start (That's what children are for!) - we use our kids to do that for the truck which lives outdoors all the time!!
    Heated Seats - sorry, couldn't disagree more. What do they replace? As a guy who regularly drives vehicles in -30 temps, heated seats are the greatest invention EVAR!
    Air Conditioning - ever get stuck in traffic on a 90 degree day in a car without A/C?
    Power Seats - yes, but only if they don't have memory. A vehicle which resets the seat of the family vehicle where I want it when I use my keyfob is pretty cool
    Automatic Transmissions - yep
    Power Steering - no power rack and pinion is my fave. Do they exist anymore?
    Dual Exhaust pipes in the rear (I mean that's 2x the mufflers) - form over function 95% of the time
    Keyless Entry - yes
    In Glass Antennas - yes
    Leather Seats - Ever try to get milk, melted crayons, melted lollipops or dog hair out of cloth seats? Leather or pleather rules.
    Power Mirrors - with more than one driver, they are a blessing IMHO

    After all that, I still want a manual hand-brake. You can't optimize rally turns or winter do-nuts without them.
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    Actually I would not at all be surprised to learn Subaru is using the electronic e-brake to prevent center differential damage caused by people overly aggressive with the handbrake...
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    edited February 2011
    Yes the parking brake saves the transmission pawl wear and tear and the debris from clunking it out on hills will go into the fluid. Owners who trade up every 3 years probably never realize that that transmission likely didn't last as long for some later owner down the road. And parking lot bumps can exert a lot more force than a steep hill but I suspect few people think of that aspect.

    I think baby boomer aged drivers resist using the park brake because in the old days they were not built with as much resistance to freezing on in the cold. I leave my car in gear also in my present car as the p brake isn't as strong as others I have had. I have found that cars with rear brake drums seem to have the strongest p brake without having to test the strength of the cable every time you apply it.

    Someone mentioned the CVT and p brake consideration. I had never thought of that. Are CVT's that prone to damage if not turning? When they first came out in the Audi's they had torque limitations. I think they still do because in the flat six cylinder it has a normal 5 speed automaytic. They don't impress me with much long term confidence if torque considerations are that limited.

  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    The Outbacks are considerably more refined/quiet IMO.

    My test drives of the 2.5i CVT compared very unfavorably with the XT Forester. The normally aspirated engine Forester is as you describe...with an exhaust rap even more annoying than the exhaust drone and transmission whine of the CVT in the Outback. Plus the Forester's inadequate power without rough downshifts. The 3.6R Outback was great on a test drive, however. The 3.6R's price was several thousand dollars more when similarly equipped to my XT.

    It will be interesting to see if the 2011 normally aspirated engine changes in the Forester make a significant difference.
  • Broke the parking brake release cable on the Suburban last year, and we were the last car out of the ski area parking lot. Head in the footwell, flashlight in one hand, trusty Leatherman in the other, I was able to trip the release. My point: I wonder if such a 'field fix' procedure would even be possible on an electronic brake? Pull a fuse?

    I use the hand brake to park the Subaru (MT) all the time, and park it in 1st gear. Don't usually use the parking brake on the Suburban (AT) unless it's on a slope.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Off on a slight tangent, I was watching Ultimate Factories and they said power windows can actually weigh less than the hand-crank type. Wonder if that's true or not.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    On a side note, do most of you guys who drive MT cars park it in gear? I never do and always use the parking brake on those cars. Only time I put it in gear is if I'm parked on a hill.

    I park my MT in gear and use the parking brake. Is that bad? I've done that for over 25 years.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,223
    MT always in reverse, and with parking brake on.. I think the original thought was reverse was a lower gear, and more likely to hold the car on an incline.. but, as time went on, it was always good to hop in, and know what gear you are starting in...

    Automatic... always use the parking brake. I was a commercial driver for quite a few years, and every place I worked required it. Now, it's just habit (a good one).


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  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    DW & I still use the parking brake. Both the MPV and my Fusion Hyrbid have hand parking brakes. The MPV one seems much easier to modulate with rear drums, the Fusion is more touchy. I'll still sometimes use the ol' e-brake steering while parking in the snow, LOL.

    We're both avid users of the parking brake on hills, even with my hybrid having the CVT. We both also always parked our vehicles that had MT's in gear (1st usually) and also the brake.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My guess is the electronic parking brakes as someone else mentioned above, is to prevent folks from using it to "get the back out" which is VERY bad for the center diffy.

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    A few weeks back during the ABS discussion, I mentioned that while the use of the e-brake is an effective way to shut down the ABS system on many cars, it is probably hell on the center diff. It is fighting to overcome the difference in torque distribution that you've induced. I've limited my use to real emergencies, and not just for the convenience of quick turns on snow pack.

    If that is the only reason that they went this way - protection of another system, it's possibly understandable but extremely unfortunate.

    Good engineering practice dictates that we look at multiple competing factors in our choices. A change in form or functionality should address a specific need, while considering & balancing a wide range of issues. These typically include regulatory rule changes, cost reduction, safety enhancement, reliability, protection of other systems, user convenence, enhanced appeal, serviceablity, general complexity reduction, weight & materials reduction, ease of use & effort reduction, standardization, etc.

    If you go back to your list of changes from yesterday, most (not all, but one can make an argument for anything....) meet sufficient criteria to be adopted (at least as a purchase option) without serious objection.

    Ultimately, it is the marketplace that decides. We 'vote' with our dollars.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,868
    Unless I am parked on a slope (more than a couple degrees) or idling, I don't use the hand brake. My cars rest in first gear. I once used the brake religiously, but living in the subarctic quickly taught me to re-think that practice. After nearly fifteen years, I can't figure a practical reason as to why I ever did it the other way.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    We've begun the process of shopping to replace our 9+ year old Odyssey EX that now has around 137k. We occasionally get 'tranny early warning signs', and the prospects of dropping $4k into her isn't particularly appealing. We've been lucky as others on the Edmunds Ody board are on their 3rd or more unit at this mileage. We're on #2, which I guess is pretty good. Tranny issues on larger Honda vehicles is like HG's on Subaru - their Achilles' Heel.

    This would be our 4th minivan, so we have certain priorities and expectations. We really don't like the new body & interior styling of the 2011 Ody. It seems as though they've tried to make it more appealing to the SUV buyer and it's lost some of the minivan character that we've grown to appreciate. Outward visibility from the drivers seat was simply awful given the higher beltline and thick D pillars.

    We were equally disappointed with the Sienna. I thought maybe it would grow on me, having rented one in Florida last month for the drive between Cocoa Beach & Orlando. Unfortunately it hasn't. Wallowy ride, detached steering, poor rear visibility (again, a smallish rear window & larger D pillars), poorly shaped 2nd row seats. Our two adult mid row passengers were happy to get out after only 50 miles! The only thing Toyota has going for it is a low price on the LE series that is quite well equipped - if you can live with the detractors. We looked at an AWD LE, but they come with runflats and no spare. I haven't heard much positive about them.

    We even went so far as to have the Honda Used dept do a search for 2010 program car (last gen body style that Beth really likes). Unfortunately, it doesn't make much sense economically. Prices for a used Ody in this area rival new car pricing on a comparably equipped Sienna.

    We did a quick stop at Nissan to look at the new Quest, but the lumpy load floor with the fold-forward rear seat (doesn't go into the well!) was disappointing. Next stop is the Kia dealer to look at the value leading Sedona.
  • Ours have frozen up a time or two. Always managed to un-stick them.
    Good point.
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Hey Steve

    You could look at crossovers like the Ford Flex, which I think is a reasonable Minivan substitute if you really don't need the extra cargo room. You can also get it in AWD which is a plus.

    The Honda Pilot is basically an Odyssey jacked up with AWD as well. Kinda ugly though (like most Honda products these days!) and like the Flex, less cargo room.

    The Sedona is a reasonable Minivan but certainly not "nice and refined".
    But quiet and comfortable. (I had a rental for a few days) I don't think it gets the greatest gas mileage though.

    Then there's always the Suburban . . . ;)

  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I always put it in gear unless it's in my garage. I had my STi on a slight hill once and just pulled the parking brake. I stepped out of the car and then it started rolling away!!!! :surprise: Luckily I jumped back in before it hit anything!

    Same thing happened to a friends acura- it's weird how parking brakes can initially hold and then slowly start slipping.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Tom, when Ford builds a Flex with sliding side doors (and they must be motorized!!), she'll be interested!

    We never learned the concept of 'traveling light'. It's been said that we look a lot like the Beverly Hillbillies on most of our trips. And when we cannot cram it inside the van, I just attach the Yakama bike rack on the receiver hitch and the Thule roof box onto the roof rack for yet more junk capacity!!

    My sister had a Pilot, and Beth's opinion was that it was way too small inside!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm an OCD club member, but I like to engage the parking brake before putting the car in gear (or park), just to make sure there's no pressure on the trans. I do that for auto and manual.

    Brakes are cheaper to fix than transmissions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I feel your pain!

    Both the new Sienna and Odyssey went downhill for their latest updates. Consumer Reports actually lowered both vans' scores, even.

    Did you try a Sienna SE? Because they supposedly handle better and have revised steering as well.

    Kia just put in a very nice powertrain upgrade but I think they feel dated compared to other vans.

    Dodge put in the Penastar and a 6EAT also, but the interior upgrades only went about half as far as they should have. May still be worth a look.

    I feel for you, man, to be honest it would be tough to replace my 07 Sienna. I might even shop for a 2010 CPO model if mine were totalled or stolen.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,868
    I certainly can appreciate the point of that. The problem is, I have just never had any problems as a result of not using the brake. In fact, the brake (foot-operated) on my '98 DGC did not function (likely a result of someone leaving it on while driving once) at all! While it annoyed me and made me nervous at times, it never had any issues. And, not having any brake at all, I simply had to rely on the tranny to hold regardless of the parking position. Of course, I was always sure to angle my wheels so as to hedge for the least disastrous result.... :surprise:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,868
    I love vans. I don't know why, really, but there's something just inherently comfortable about them. The driver in me hates the van-lover in me, but so it goes. What would life be without a little internal conflict now and again?

    I would have a tough time if I were choosing amongst new offerings. If I were looking today, I think I would try to find a 2004 Chrysler with AWD. That generation had a couple quirks, but they looked great, drove nice, and were generally reliable. While smaller than the rest of the genre, I might also consider a new Mazda5.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    Ahh, that makes things much clearer.

    You can get an AWD full sized GM van.

    OR, you could get one of these!

    Should have room enough for everything, go anywhere, tow 10000 lbs.
    Yours for only $60-90k !!!!! :surprise:

    Hmm, maybe the Kia is looking a little better. ;)

    Actually, you might take a look at the VW Routan. I know it's a rebadged diamondstar van, but the interior is nicer and it drives reasonably well for a minivan. Just not sure how reliable it will be in the long run.

    Good luck!

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Our first van was a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport, followed by a 2000 Ford Windstar SE, then the 2002 Odyssey EX. First two were leases, thus the short 3 year, 2 year ownership experience. Back then leasing was a great deal, and quite a painless way to slip into something new. I actually made money off of both, buying them out at the deflated price (neither mfg wanted them back and sold them to me way below residual), and I resold them!!

    Unfortunately, both American offerings were problematic - the Dodge painfully so. When they ran, they were both very nice vehicles. But I wouldn't consider keeping them past the warranty period. My friend with a 2004 (or maybe 2005?) Caravan just traded it on a Honda, and was glad to be out from under it. The repair expenses & downtime were killing him.

    A few years back we rented for 10 days a new GC with the stow-n-go seats. Great idea, but the most horrible things I have ever sat in! Its a shame, but with the just released Consumers auto report listing Chrysler dead last in their quality survey, I'll pass on a mopar product.
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Yes, I remember reading a review not long ago which bemoaned the fact that a few years ago minivans ruled in features and quality, but that recently the offerings from all brands are problematic in one way or another.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    edited March 2011
    The one thing that the minivan market has going for it right now is price. Somehow, as a segment, the cost/feature ratio has not gone up as fast as the auto market as a whole.

    OK - forget about the top end "Touring" models with their $40k+ stickers (something like 10% of sales). I'm talking about the very well equipped mid line bread-&-butter vans like the Toyota LE. For example, the difference in sticker price between my 1997 Dodge ($25.5k) and the 2011 Toyota ($30.3k) is pretty trivial given 14 years. But look at the equipment level!
    Modern 260hp V6, 6 spd auto, stability/traction control, 17" wheels, improved 3 zone climate, decent audio with bluetooth/USB, power doors, backup camera, power seat, split fold-into-the floor rear seat, and a hundred other improvements/refinements/features.

    The Ford was around $27k, and the '02 Ody was over $28k (no discount!). Oh, and that $30.3 sticker can be had for around $28.3k, so the price has been effectively stagnant in the past 9 years! There probably isn't a better bargain out there than the modern minivan.

    Want AWD? Add $2.1k to any of the trim lines to get it.

    You guys know that I'm not a big Toyota fan, having been burned by their extreme arrogance back in the '90's. I swore up and down that I'd never do business with them again, and that their 'we can do no wrong' attitude would eventually bring them down - and hard. Well, maybe it's happened, and I can bury the hatchet.

    I was a VIP guest of an old family friend and got to see the Toyota principles of lean manufacturing at work during my tour of the Tsutsumi assembly plant in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan in September, 2006. I know they can build great products, but their management style is still in great need of change. We'll see.....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The problem is, I have just never had any problems as a result of not using the brake

    I have, and it was pretty scary.

    I parked my 1991 Ford Escort GT on my street, left in gear but no parking brake. Went inside and had dinner. We get a knock on the door, a neighbor tells me my car moved, huh? It had popped out of gear and rolled down a bit, luckily up the curb because I always point the wheels up the curb to stop it for cases just like this.

    Since that day I've always used both.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I love vans. I don't know why, really, but there's something just inherently comfortable about them.

    I know why...

    * comfort for 8 people and some luggage
    * quiet enough you can watch a movie
    * good for napping (wife snoozes a lot)
    * covers looooooooooong distances with 500+ mile range
    * better fuel economy than alternatives
    * better visibility than alternatives
    * not as bulky outside as other 8 seaters
    * much cheaper than alternatives

    Sure, a Suburban or Expedition is an alternative but your operating costs would be nearly double, and they're far more awkward to drive and park.
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