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Hi fellow & fellowette kaykers,
I'm doing some pre-car buying leg work and am curious if there are any Subaru Outback or Subaru Forester, or even Subaru Baja owners on this site? If so, what are the things you love about your car or truck style? What are the things you wish it had? Would you buy one again? It's mostly likely I'd be buying a used one, so if you bought used was there anything I should be especially aware of in a used Subaru?
Thanks in advance for any input. I appreciate it. :-)

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Just about 50% of whitewater paddlers in California seem to own Outbacks. 35% have toyota trucks, and the rest have various other cars. Most everyone loves them and they seem to last really well. My wife and I have considered one for our next car. I've ridden many miles in them, driven them plenty, and they seem solid and well made.

You mentioned buying used, so this is likely not an issue, but some folks on another site were complaining about the roofrack on the 2010 model Outback. Apparently it makes it VERY difficult to get any kind of bar spread with Yakima or Thule racks, and the factory crossbars are too close together. And these were WW boaters complaining, so the boats weren't big!
Thanks Geoff, that's good info. I feel like everywhere I turn these days I see an Outback or Forester driving or parked near me.

I was looking at the Subaru car lot yesterday (new & used) and they have restructured the 2010 models. I guess I just like the look of the "traditional" Subaru body style best. The new body seems a little taller (i.e. higher to lift the kayak to the roof by myself) and has a longer wheel base, so more cargo space inside. Of course, new cars also come with new car sticker price...so buying used definitely has it's appeal to my pocketbook.

Appreciate your input. :-)
I have a F250 Crewcab diesel. I like it because if I come across a broken down Subaru on the road, I can throw in the bed of the truck and take them to a repair place. :)
Its big, its noisy, gets mediocre fuel mileage (real trucks don't use gas), easy to maintain (real trucks don't have spark plugs).
But at 65K, the engine is not broken in yet. Its got more towing power than I know what to do with.
It makes environmentalists cringe, but if I have a kayak on the back, that offsets everything. Like having a diet drink with pizza.
I moved my dad from Colorado to Calif. (one big trailer). I moved my daughter into her new condo (everything fit in the bed of the truck).
So far the most kayaks I've carried in it is 5.
Its paid for, and the insurance is cheap.
:) (I hope that helps, but something tells me it won't)
Subaru makes a great product, my last one had 140,000 miles on it. Proper maintenance and they'll last a good long time.
2 kayaks on top, bike rack in the back , room for friends and gear inside.
Tons of snow, use tire chains http://www.thule.com/en/US/Products/SnowChains.aspx
Lance, you crack me up!! Your info was perfect. I'll get in contact with you if I need to move the contents of my 1200 sq. ft. mansion, need to tow a boulder across town, or need to smell diesel fumes. Vroom Vroom!! LOL.

Willi, thanks for your input as well. And the info for the snow chains is great input too. I've bookmarked that site. Since you own a Subaru...the salesperson was saying the box engines they use are very low maintenance. Do you find that they are "more" or "average" cost to repair if something needs to be serviced? Just curious. Of course, maybe you've never needed to service anything in the engine, which is a good testimonial as well. :-)

Thanks guys!
My wife has a '98 Subaru Forester, and I have the diesel Ford F-250 4X4, so we have it all covered! (<: The Subaru Forester is a great vehicle for paddlers & outdoors folks, handling deep snow and muddy conditions extremely well with plenty of room inside for gear and smaller boats and sleeping in if necessary. We looked at the Outbacks and have many paddling friends with those, but I honestly feel the Forester was a better choice. The space inside is more functional and a bit higher coupled with great performance, handling and dependability. (That is coming from someone who has driven MGBs for 35 plus years). Great gas mileage. Colleen easily drives her Forester a couple hundred miles a week and has not had any issues since we bought it used in 2006. It has 170,000 miles now with only regular basic maintenance since we got it. Easy to fit a Thule rack to the factory tracks on top for a secure system. Oh yeah, she loves the heated seats in the Winter too! (<:
Current Adventures Kayak School
The River Store Inc.

wouldn't nearly anything seem dependable after driving MG's for 35 years? =>

HMMMM, some might think so, but I learned a LOT about mechanics from that car! It was the first car I bought and I got it when I was 18. My point was actually directed at the handling/ performance, since the MGs are fantastic at that. (<: My '68 BGT has basically the same shocks, steering and suspension as Porsche and Jaguar! (<: I rate all other cars' handling relative to my MG, and the Forester does really well on my particular scale. (<:
Hey Dan,

Thanks for giving me your insight on the Forester (and, of course, the optional F250 diesel - LOL). Sounds like your wife got the better car, certainly more economical. :-) I have really been waffling between the Outback and the Forester, although there's a certain draw to the Baja as well, but the other two models seem more practical for my uses with kayaking, traveling with dogs, and camping trips. My husband, being the tallest of us at 6 ft., would fit both vehicles just fine, but I like what you had to say about the interior as cargo space, etc. Nice to know you've gotten 170K miles just with regular maintenance. That says something about the Subaru reliability for sure!!

Thanks again to all who have given me their input. This website has the nicest people. Of course, you are all kayakers, need I say more???!! :-)
Not that I'm counting, but thats 2 for an F250 diesel........
Just saying.....
That's pretty good Lance. Next week on Sesame Street you'll learn to count to "3" and you'll learn the letter "S" (for Subaru). LOL.




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