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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm shopping a new SUV for my Aunt May(no, I'm not spiderman :p) that wants to trade up from the 2014 CRV EX-L I sold her a few years ago. Told her to wait for the Hybrid CRV but she didn't want to. After going through the list of top rated small SUVs that are reliable, fuel efficient, have AWD, with roomy cabin/cargo capacity, and hands free lift gate capability. I keep coming back to the CRV but one thing giving me pause is the turbo engine(she wants the Touring so no 2019 LX).

I did look at the Rav4 Hybrid but Toyota isn't offering any special finance offers(in New England region), owner complaints about not being able to fully fill up the gas tank, and high demand makes price negotiations harder so I took it off my list. The backup option is the 2020 Subaru Outback Limited but I still need to do a test drive to see if she likes the slightly lower ride height of what is essentially a wagon.

I wish more automakers would offer hybrid SUVs :(. RAV4 Hybrid is like the only choice right now otherwise it's the Lexus NX 300h with 33city/30 highway. Which isn't even that much better than the Turbo CRV AWD at 27city/33highway. :confused:


 

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I'm shopping a new SUV for my Aunt May(no, I'm not spiderman :p) that wants to trade up from the 2014 CRV EX-L I sold her a few years ago. Told her to wait for the Hybrid CRV but she didn't want to. After going through the list of top rated small SUVs that are reliable, fuel efficient, have AWD, with roomy cabin/cargo capacity, and hands free lift gate capability. I keep coming back to the CRV but one thing giving me pause is the turbo engine(she wants the Touring so no 2019 LX).

I did look at the Rav4 Hybrid but Toyota isn't offering any special finance offers(in New England region), owner complaints about not being able to fully fill up the gas tank, and high demand makes price negotiations harder so I took it off my list. The backup option is the 2020 Subaru Outback Limited but I still need to do a test drive to see if she likes the slightly lower ride height of what is essentially a wagon.

I wish more automakers would offer hybrid SUVs :(. RAV4 Hybrid is like the only choice right now otherwise it's the Lexus NX 300h with 33city/30 highway. Which isn't even that much better than the Turbo CRV AWD at 27city/33highway. :confused:


Just a friendly Insight:

My mom has a 2018 Outback, and has constant issues with the infotainment system, it's a common theme with their "Starlink" system, so if your aunt goes Subaru, just something to be cognizant of. It's not like completely unusable, but it makes our system crash's seem like non-issues. (They may have updated it with subsequent model years, but a quick google search doesn't make the system look good)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Just a friendly Insight:

My mom has a 2018 Outback, and has constant issues with the infotainment system, it's a common theme with their "Starlink" system, so if your aunt goes Subaru, just something to be cognizant of. It's not like completely unusable, but it makes our system crash's seem like non-issues. (They may have updated it with subsequent model years, but a quick google search doesn't make the system look good)
She and her husband decided on the 2020 Subaru Outback Limited. They're picking up the car tomorrow. Outside of the infotainment system... Any other complaints with the Outback? I nudged them towards the Outback due to the option of getting the higher trim levels without needing the turbo engine and the Outback has everything they wanted.

The 11" infotainment screen was nice to look at but too many functions like controls for adjusting heated seats requires you to tap the screen instead of a physical button. Another weird omission is the remote start. Subaru doesn't offer remote start from the factory which is odd considering how they're like built for winter. They went for the 7 year StarLink subscription(similar to HondaLink subscription) for $375 (reg. price is $150/year). It's cheaper than the $650 remote start dealership install and they get stolen vehicle recovery/stolen vehicle immobilizer plus other remote services. 7 years is about when they do vehicle upgrades, too.

Also looking at the NHTSA database for the 2020 Outback the biggest complaint I'm seeing is about the LKAS/RDM. Sounds like the car has more torque steer capability compared to our Insight. It can probably handle curved roads with LKAS/RDM better but the car freaking out will mean you have less time to correct the car. Honda plays it really safe with the torque limit of our steering wheels from what I learned when researching OpenPilot. It's the reason why LKAS/RDM on Honda vehicles can't handle curves really well and if the car makes a mistake you still have time to correct the steering wheel since the LKAS/RDM is limited to how far it can turn the steering wheel.

I'm going to disable RDM or put it on vibrate for them and remind them to pay full attention if using LKAS on the Outback.
 

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She really hasn't complained about much else, other than it's a bigger car (length) than she was looking for. (Replaced a Jeep Renegade, that had constant electrical issues).

My mom's doesn't have any driver assist abilities like LKAS or RDM, so I can't comment on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She really hasn't complained about much else, other than it's a bigger car (length) than she was looking for. (Replaced a Jeep Renegade, that had constant electrical issues).

My mom's doesn't have any driver assist abilities like LKAS or RDM, so I can't comment on that.
Yeah, the first thing my aunt noticed was the length of the car. I guess that's what happens if you want more room to carry your family and things. She's a slow parallel parker too so I wonder if she will venture into the city as much or stick to the suburbs. :smile_big:


Both my aunt and uncle aren't that tech savy so they probably won't use most of the tech features. They just want a comfortable, reliable, and fuel efficient car that can handle the abuse of New England winter. From my limited time with the car, the redesigned interior is nicely done(reminds me of Volvo), and handles more like a car than a SUV. Didn't really like the engine stop/start but you can temporarily disable it in the infotainment system. Read it was a requirement by the EPA to get the reported MPG estimates.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Looping back to the CR-V topic ;) - it looks like the conventional (non-hybrid) CR-V also gets the idle start/stop technology across all trims as a standard 'feature' starting with the 2020 model. The CR-V hybrid will have standard AWD, while all other CR-V stay with standard front wheel drive (with AWD optional)... a philosophy which seems a little backward from a fuel efficiency standpoint.
I went with my uncle to pick up the car, today. So I had more time to explore the car and this time I was in the passenger seat. Didn't hear a single rattle and the interior of the glove box is padded with some sort of fabric which I thought was very nice. I also like how the steering wheel have 2 buttons to increase(top) and decrease(bottom) follow distance when using ACC. I might get the chance to test Subaru's ACC later this week when I teach one of them how to use it.

The engine start/stop was more noticeable during our longer drive home vs my test drive and it annoyed my uncle a little. Not so much when it stops but when the car starts you feel a small engine vibration every time. I guess you can't avoid this feature on gas cars anymore due to EPA regulations. Also Carplay and Android Auto doesn't make use of the full screen. It might even be an inch smaller screen size for CarPlay/Android Auto than the Insight because I was struggling to touch some of the smaller icons in google maps.

Infotainment UI seems confusing to me and not as straightforward as the Honda Insight but then again I had more time interacting with my own car. The car also came with the full owner's manual plus 7 more manuals compared to the 1 quick start owner's guide for the Insight. He gave me the manuals so I might go through them to see if I discover anything interesting during the holiday break.


Edit: Oh yeah, the brake hold on the Subaru is not a physical button like on the Honda Insight. It's a toggle within the infotainment system screen behind maybe 2 menus. :plain:
 

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I went with my uncle to pick up the car, today. So I had more time to explore the car and this time I was in the passenger seat. Didn't hear a single rattle and the interior of the glove box is padded with some sort of fabric which I thought was very nice. I also like how the steering wheel have 2 buttons to increase(top) and decrease(bottom) follow distance when using ACC. I might get the chance to test Subaru's ACC later this week when I teach one of them how to use it.

Infotainment UI seems confusing to me and not as straightforward as the Honda Insight but then again I had more time interacting with my own car. The car also came with the full owner's manual plus 7 more manuals compared to the 1 quick start owner's guide for the Insight. He gave me the manuals so I might go through them to see if I discover anything interesting during the holiday break.


Edit: Oh yeah, the brake hold on the Subaru is not a physical button like on the Honda Insight. It's a toggle within the infotainment system screen behind maybe 2 menus. :plain:
Does the 2020 only have one main infotainment screen? Just curious. I honestly never understood having dual screens (also found in the CRV for example).

I agree that interior materials are very nice, Gas pedal is extremely sensitive, but it does have quite a bit more power than the Insight.

The one thing that I am impressed with in the Insight is even though the car is very tech oriented, there are a lot of physical buttons, so you don't have to "play" with settings near as often, buried in some infotainment screen. The Outback is built well, and Subaru doesn't need to have the best infotainment system on the market because it's not why people buy a Subaru.

Especially up here where Subaru's are everywhere, people love the dependability, the fact that CR always sings them praises, and AWD. And for the crowd slightly older than me, the seating position is very agreeable, which is a plus. My mom always "falls" into the passenger seat when she does ride with me, and always comments about how low the seat is (more of a surprise than a complaint from her).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does the 2020 only have one main infotainment screen? Just curious. I honestly never understood having dual screens (also found in the CRV for example).

I agree that interior materials are very nice, Gas pedal is extremely sensitive, but it does have quite a bit more power than the Insight.

The one thing that I am impressed with in the Insight is even though the car is very tech oriented, there are a lot of physical buttons, so you don't have to "play" with settings near as often, buried in some infotainment screen. The Outback is built well, and Subaru doesn't need to have the best infotainment system on the market because it's not why people buy a Subaru.

Especially up here where Subaru's are everywhere, people love the dependability, the fact that CR always sings them praises, and AWD. And for the crowd slightly older than me, the seating position is very agreeable, which is a plus. My mom always "falls" into the passenger seat when she does ride with me, and always comments about how low the seat is (more of a surprise than a complaint from her).
What do you mean by dual screens? The 2020 Outback has one big 11" touch screen and the CRV has just one 7"-8" touch screen.

I have been so use to the Insight's gas pedal sensitivity(eco, normal mode) that the gas pedal sensitivity in other cars feel like I'm driving in sport mode. I went back to my lead foot ways when I drove the 2019 Toyota Camry last month due to how the gas pedal sensitivity is different. The gas pedal on the Subaru did feel more sensitive at low speeds but I need more time with it to be sure.

I think the Insight has a perfect balance of physical buttons. Crucial features that are frequently used should not be implemented inside a touch screen. Brake Hold, Fan Speed, Vent modes, AC mode, Climate Sync, AWD modes, and Heated Seat controls require the touch screen in the 2020 Subaru Outback.

They don't really need the best infotainment system but at least an easy to use infotainment system. I guess marketing wanted a flashy 11" infotainment system because the other automakers are moving to larger screen infotainment system just like how our smartphones are getting bigger. The implementation is done poorly but I will have to see how customizable it is when I have time to go through the owner's manual.

The Outback seats are really comfortable I can see myself driving one on long road trips without issue. That depends on if they will let me borrow it... :rolleyes: I still like my Insight more because I don't want to drive a wagon. :p
 

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Are you referring to the two layer display, like on the 2019 Forester (and older Honda Accords)?

Yes, and I'm sure there are some people that love them, I just find them clunky in most applications.
 

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I wish more automakers would offer hybrid SUVs :(. RAV4 Hybrid is like the only choice right now otherwise it's the Lexus NX 300h with 33city/30 highway. Which isn't even that much better than the Turbo CRV AWD at 27city/33highway. :confused:
I really liked the RAV4 Hybrid after an extended test drive. Definitely considering one or the upcoming plug-in when I replace my Highlander Hybrid in a couple years. Or maybe a Model Y...

The Outlander PHEV is actually decent, but the fuel economy sucks after the 20 miles on electric. There's also the Subaru CrossTrek PHEV but it's kinda pricey and special order in some states.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I really liked the RAV4 Hybrid after an extended test drive. Definitely considering one or the upcoming plug-in when I replace my Highlander Hybrid in a couple years. Or maybe a Model Y...

The Outlander PHEV is actually decent, but the fuel economy sucks after the 20 miles on electric. There's also the Subaru CrossTrek PHEV but it's kinda pricey and special order in some states.
The RAV4 plug-in hybrid would be eligible for that full federal tax incentive, too. :wink:
 
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