Last post on Feb 12, 2010 at 6:41 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru XT, Toyota 4Runner, Wagon, SUV
#7 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [badburro]
Aug 08, 2006 (7:16 pm)
Wow, these were exactly the 2 vehicles I was considering. While some people seem puzzled as to how these 2 get the top spots when you consider my criteria it becomes more clear.
What I wanted was a vehicle that had decent 4 or AWD. At least 30 cu ft of cargo space, and a decent roof rack. While there are other vehicles that fit those requirements many of them had one issue or another. Volvo and Audi - too expensive. The other so called SUV crossovers I didn't really care for, and most of them had sub-par AWD. Outback and Pilot had decent AWD and of course 4Runner is the best you can get. I scratched the Pilot more due to looks. So I was left with the Outback and the 4Runner.
All things considered the OB was about 2k less when comparing the Limited package to a 4runner Sport. I also did extensive calculations on expected mileage and fuel cost per year. I figured I'd save about $300 - $400 /yr on fuel with the OB. Total 4 year savings about $4,000. That's what I thought anyway.
So this past February I sprung for a shiny new OB. I can't tell you how disappointed I've been. You see, everything about the OB is small. I did take it for a long test drive in the pouring rain. It handled quite well actually but I think the rain caused me to be less cognizant of other issues. First, I take a size 10.5 shoe. My left foot has no place to rest comfortably. The dead pedal on the left is only 2/3 the size of my shoe. My foot usually ends up twisting in some weird way. The odd thing is a friend of mine has a 2001 OB w/ MANUAL shift and there is plenty of room in that car for my left foot. Subaru took a step backwards on this.
Next up - trunk is not really that big. Cabin room is not very roomy. Sun glass compartment is smaller than glasses.
Now overall it's not really a bad vehicle and could be OK for some people. But the REAL kicker is - BAD gas mileage. Seriously - I'm only getting about 18mpg's - if that. If you read the sticker on the car closely you will see BIG numbers 22 - 28 city/hwy. But read the fine print next to it. It says 18 - 23 city, and 26 - 33 hwy. Now my tendancy has always been to drive on the fast side but I've cooled it down and I still barely get the lower side of those estimates. In my previous vehicle, a 2000 Maxima 6 cyl 222hp, I often drove fast and hard, and it would do it too, and I averaged around 20 - 22 mpgs. Better than my 4cyl OB gets even when I baby the thing. I had fun driving the Maxima I can tell you.
So if you have little feet, and don't carry a lot of cargo - go for the OB. But if want to have plenty of room and want real 4WD then I'd get the 4Runner - I wish I had. You will only benefit from the gas mileage if you drive for long highway trips. I did get 25 mpgs on one highway trip in the OB, but another only 21 mpg due to cargo and kayak wind resistance. From what I've read the 4Runner will get close enough to what I'm getting in the OB, and that's comparing a a 4cyl to a 6cyl.
#8 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [jeffer3]
Aug 09, 2006 (11:21 am)
Your mileage is well below the typical OB buyer's. Most average around 22-24 mpg with that powertrain.
Just know that YMMV, and it does.
#9 of 47 Re: 2005 Subaru Outback or 2005 Toyota 4Runner [ateixeira]
Aug 09, 2006 (1:06 pm)
Which Engine do you have in the Outback?
#10 of 47 Why I decided on the OB over the 4runner
Aug 09, 2006 (2:37 pm)
Only 3 weeks ago I was on the same road that jeffer3. I pretty much had 3 options, after discharting leather and costly goods, prices approx.: OB 2.5i ($21.6K), OB XT ($27.5K), 4runner SR5 ($27K). As you see, the differences start at more than $5k. Then, that week, gas went over $3. Knowing from other family members that the 4Runner gives you less than 17 mpg, I realized I'm talking about maybe $600/year, on 4 years that's like $8,000 between price and gas. And the more costly options have higher insurance, maybe $300 more in the XT. Decided on the cheaper 2.5i.
In Minnesota I drive mixed, and I've got 23 mpg. Of course I miss the power of the XT, and the "indestructibility" of the 4R off road, but about 35% of cost is something I prefer. Anyway, my OB can take me to where the hiking starts, or to family cabin.
#11 of 47 I've got the 4Runner
Oct 18, 2006 (9:50 am)
Mine is a 2003 V8 LTD 4WD. I take mine offroad when fishing on the beach and hunting.
It handles pretty well, for a truck. It stops pretty well, for a truck. It rides pretty well, for a truck. But you will never mistake it for anything other than a body-on-frame, solid-rear axle truck.
It is not something that encourages sporty driving. The heavy solid rear axle has a lot of inertia and you can feel it move around on bumpy roads. The crummy pavement on the highways around Boston often set up a bit of a fore-aft pogoing motion. It's very well controlled for a solid-rear axle. But it is not an independent suspension and you realize it if the pavement isn't smooth.
My 4Runner has a fair bit of wind and tire noise. The truck is also significantly affected by the wind -- you do get pushed around by gusts and the bow waves from semi-trailer trucks. The steering has very little effort, is highly geared (low number of turns lock-to-lock), and has poor on-center feel. The result is that the truck is busy on the highway -- you have to make a lot of small corrections to keep it centered in the lane. In contrast, my wife's MB C240 is much less tiring to drive on the highway. Driving the 4Runner on the highway isn't like herding cats, but it certainly is restful trying to keep it centered in the lane.
In my normal commute (5 miles of clogged suburban roads and 10 miles of highway), I'm getting around 17 mpg. On the highway, if I drive at 65 mph or less and use the cruise control, I might get 19 mpg. If you are heavy on the gas, I'm sure you could get it down to 15 mpg in the city.
Parking the 4Runner can be an adventure. It's a pretty tall vehicle and you can't see the corners of the front fenders. When backing up towards a parked car (e.g., when parallel parking), you lose sight of the front of the car behind you and have to guess where it is (unless you spring for the nav system and rear camera).
The upside of all this is that the truck is excellent offroad. I put dedicated snow tires on it in the winter and it has incredible traction. In the winter, I regularly drive out an unplowed road to the shooting range. To do so, I have climbed over a 3' high snow bank at the edge of the paved road (dragging the undercarriage and running boards on the compacted snow bank) and then driven through 18 inches of fresh snow. The truck never struggled at all doing this; it just went up, over, and through.
The 4Runner has an excellent offroad system. But that comes at a significant cost in mileage, comfort, and driveability. This is a big, heavy (4500 lbs) truck. If you don't need the offroad capability, you might be better served with something else.
#12 of 47 Re: I've got the 4Runner [nedzel]
Oct 18, 2006 (12:59 pm)
That's a refreshingly honest review. Thanks.
#13 of 47 Re: I've got the 4Runner [ateixeira]
Nov 16, 2006 (6:54 am)
I hoped you looked at the Tribeca,hands down better AWD and 5 Star..plus it doesn't look like a Lexus.
#14 of 47 Um Wrong
Nov 17, 2006 (3:25 am)
" It's solid rear axle makes it give up some rear cargo room to car based SUVs like Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. If cargo space is a major consideration, Highlander or Pilot, while perhaps looking a little smaller than a 4Runner on the outside, have more cargo space. 4Runners are great, but it sounds like you may be considering it for less than ideal reasons."
No offense but SOLID axles give MORE room than independent rear axles. Independent rear axles require more space for the Upper/Lower control arms and the inboard pumpkin giving those vehicles with them a higher rear load floor than a solid rear axle.
#15 of 47 Re: Um Wrong [paisan]
Nov 17, 2006 (7:18 am)
Not sure I agree, mike.
With indy you give up some space on the shock towers, perhaps, but the pumpkin tends to be smaller plus it's in a fixed location.
On a solid axle, you have to leave room for the (usually bigger) pumpkin to move up and down, so you have to leave clearance for that suspension travel.
Obviously, some package it much better than others, but if you compare an Expedition to a Tahoe, the indy Ford does it much better. There is a lot more room in the footwell in the Ford. In the GM, the floor is a lot higher and there's no room for your feet so you sit with your knees in your chest in the 3rd row.
Again, each manufacturer varies, but I compared those because they're so common.
The Armada's very spacious. Nissan seemed to do a good job with packaging.
Nov 17, 2006 (12:04 pm)
But, I think the floor is still significantly higher on the Indy trucks (the Armada included) than the non-indy. I even read that as well. Those control arms take up a lot of space and need to move, wheras on a solid rear axle there is only the springs that need to move up and down. I guess if it's a "small" vehicle the indy might have more room, but anything that has substancive rear control arms will need space.
One of the things that bugs me about my armada is the high load floor due to the indy suspension. But it's got so much room to begin with it's not really an issue.