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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in research mode... trying to read as much of the good bad and ugly on the CrossTrek before making a decision possibly this summer. So im gathering information. Dont hold back. I probably shouldn't mention other crossover suv's that i am considering, its a lot of money and i want to make the best informed decision possible.

While leaving work on evening i noticed a XV leaving the parking lot. Found out who it was and i have been intrigued with these cars every sense. While vacationing out East, Boston, New England.. i saw Subaru's everywhere also including the XV. I will say im not much of an outdoors camping person and probably dont fit the stereotypical subaru xv owner. But thats ok.
 

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First of all welcome fellow Hoosier...

Second... To better answer your question, could you let everyone know what you are looking for in a car? The XV is the right vehicle for some, but a definite pass for others. My wife loves it as her daily driver. I love driving her XV, but not enough that I would want it as my DD (not by any fault of the XV, I just prefer a sportier car than the XV).
 

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Second... To better answer your question, could you let everyone know what you are looking for in a car? The XV is the right vehicle for some, but a definite pass for others...
That's a fair statement, 13ST14XV. I would further add, to Test Drive an XV too. Oddly, I ordered mine and have not to date driven one. LOL [Oh well]

goodzilla, welcome to the forum. I could provide an array of reviews that are Yea & Nay. Here's one from USA Today which was negative. Here's a good review off US News but ranked it #15th out of 22 choices, but take note, Jeep is at the bottom of the listing. I think most reviews are looking for THE car like quality interior and THE quietness but the ruggedness of a 4x4. No matter what you read, most will comment on the lack of oomph out of the naturally aspirated flat 4 two-litre. My take? Test drive one. If you're seeing a lot of them throughout New England, it's due to dependability in all types of driving conditions. If you have ever driven on the Merritt Parkway [lower Connecticut] and see nothing but high end vehicles mixed with Subarus, as I have over the years, you know Subaru is doing something right.
 

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It's a reasonably priced, reasonably well made, lifted, small-ish, AWD 5-door/hatch, which comes with the factory's blessing to tow or car-top a reasonable bit of cargo. If this is what you are after, it may satisfy you.

Test drive every vehicle in your price range. The specs mean nothing if it doesn't fit you.

The following series of short articles might help.
Confessions of a Car Salesman
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you.. and i will try to answer "What im looking for in a car". First off let me say im "frugal" by nature. Some would say tighter than the bark on a tree. I bought a new 2002 saturn sl2 which i was happy with. nothing fancy. i would rather pay for quality, safety, reliability than leather seats. nothing against leather or a moon roof, but that $1500 could be saved or be used to upgrade performance. With that said if moon roof, leather and whatever else helps keep the value up i would consider that an investment. In the Saturn I could get around easy, smaller car better MPG. Mainly back and forth to work. the wife and i could zip around on small trips 1-2 hrs and be fine. Probably not as comfortable driving 1000+ mls. I was happy with it. My daughter started to drive so it became hers. An opportunity to buy a used Ford Taurus at $2500, too good a deal to pass up. Personally i don't like the car, but its been a good car, currently at 150k mls. I wanted a smaller car. the family's primary car is a 2008 Honda Accord. the 4 of us could travel 1000's of miles on vac and be comfortable. Currently 106k mls and going strong. We have had some issues with the Saturn, nothing major, but ignition parts have been hard to find. I didn't consider future parts availability when i bought it.

With that said. the car im looking for would be a secondary car mainly for me, to work & back. Which currently is only 10 mls RT. We dont travel a lot but i would want something the wife and i could make longer weekend trips and travel comfortably. Since the kids are older, the all family driving to florida vacations are all but over. It would be nice for 4 adults to travel 1-2 hours in this new car and not feel crushed or unsafe in a tin can.

Although S. Indiana isnt known for terrible winters, we can get some nasty snowfall/ice during winter. And i plan on getting AWD. I like how the XV sets higher off the ground. now that im a little older (40's) find getting in and out of the saturn is H*a*r*d*e*r.. We are not very adventitious no biking, camping or kayaking...yet. but i think the xv looks a little sportier/younger than the CRV. All our cars have over 100k so i plan to drive it until its paid for and maintain it as long as its reliable & cost effective to repair vs buying again.

We did test drive a 2013 Pearl XV with moon roof, leather (probably a limited) 15k miles. they wanted 25k. which at that price i felt i could get a new one for close to that. which is about what i wanted to spend. If it would have been 6 months from now i might have bought it. Many posts seem to think the XV is powerless. but i thought it did fine on the interstate getting to 70-80 mph. I have read several posts about xv pulling to the right, or rattles, or other issues that seem to be ignored by the dealer. I expected Subaru would be better at customer svc? I get the impression that its almost like a family relationship between subaru and customers? Anyway back to the test drive: The wife thought it rode hard and was noisy. I dont think she cared for it, but we havnt really compared it to others. I liked it, and am 70% sure this is the car for me. I just want to make sure i do my DD to justify the expense and a good quality car.

Sorry for the rambling. Appreciate all the article links and youtube videos. Would love to know your thoughts and feel free to ask questions.
 

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The 15`s have more sound deadening and the suspension has been tweaked. Wait for the 15 to come in and do another test drive.
 

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Based on your comments here are my thoughts.

1. When shopping, I had the same experience with new versus used. The price difference made the new v used decision for us.
2. The XV is kind of noisy. This is supposed to improve in the 2015. Coming from the Saturn, it may not be any noisier than what you are used to.
3. The XV is slow, but it has enough power to be safe on the roads. My only concern for you with power is that you mention the possibility of upgrading the performance of the vehicle. You will quickly find that there are almost no options to improve the performance of the XV.
4. On your wife's thought that it rides hard... I have had this complaint from some of the people that have ridden in our XV. Particularly those who have ridden in the back seat. With that said, I found it to be just fine when my wife and I drove it for 9 hours to and from our honeymoon.

XV The Good:
1. Decent MPG
2. AWD at a decent price
3. Subaru reliability
4. Subaru value retention (hence they aren't cheap when used)
5. Ground clearance
6. Excellent handling for this type of vehicle
7. Visibility (the blind spots on the XV are nearly non-existent)

XV The Bad:
1. Slow (again not intolerably slow, but slower than a lot of the alternatives)
2. Noisy (this improved between the 2013 and the 2014 model and is supposed to improve again when the 2015s come out)
3. Ride can be harsh at times (there are definitely cars in this class with softer suspensions, but they also don't handle as well in my opinion)
4. Small option list and even the fully optioned XV is nowhere near as well equipped as most competitors. If the XV has all of the options you are looking for this is not a big deal, but it is something to be aware of if you want things like a quality premium audio system or HID headlamps. I suspect this con is not a big deal for you since you mention you would rather save money than spend a bunch on options.

XV The Ugly:
1. The stock grille. Not sure who at Subaru thought it was a good idea to put a ton of chrome on the grille of a car that has no chrome on it, but it is aesthetically terrible. We immediately replaced the stock grille with the Subaru Sports grille (no chrome).

Alternative vehicles (not recommending any, just things I would look at if I were in your situation):
1. You mention you do not like the CRV (me neither... the last few have been ugly). Not sure if you can wait for it to come out or if you will like it, but the HRV should be released within the next year or so. 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover - Official Site
2. Subaru Forester - This forum loses a lot of members to the Forester
3. Mazda CX-5 - My wife and I looked at these before buying her Subaru. They tend to be well reviewed. Ultimately we didn't like it as well, but you might
4. A compact/mid size car with snow tires. I get that you want AWD for bad weather. When I lived in New Albany, Indiana, I drove my Ford Focus ST. Despite being a hot hatch, it was amazing in snow and ice. The reason was winter tires (actually they are winter performance tires; I would have done even better in snow with "snow" tires instead of winter performance tires). For that car, I have two sets of wheels and tires (one set of summers, and one set of winter performance tires). If you are not absolutely attached to the idea of AWD and ground clearance, you could probably find a vehicle with better mpg, lower price, and better ride quality in the compact/mid size market. The downside to this option is having to swap over to winter wheels/tires (but they can be purchased with the price savings). If I were in your situation, I would probably buy a certified preowned Ford Focus Hatchback and get a set of winter wheels and tires *despite saying this is what I would do, this is still not a recommendation as I am not you and only you know what you really want in a vehicle :)

As I said in a previous post, I love my wife's XV. In fact, I love it enough that I joined a forum to talk about it. I like the looks and love how well it handles (for what it is). When we took our honeymoon to the family cabin in Minocqua, Wisconsin, I had a blast driving it (YAY Dirt Roads). I will occasionally take the XV to run errands instead of taking my Focus (its nice to switch it up every now and then).

If the car is within your price range and you like it, then get it. Listen to your wife's thoughts, but recognize that you have to like your car. When shopping for her car, I would not tell my wife what I did and did not like because it was ultimately her car. When shopping for my car she couldn't tell me what she did and did not like, because I bought it while she was shopping for her wedding dress :).

Also go test drive a 2014 (or 2015 when they come out). Your wife may like it better (as I said in this post, they have been working on the noise issues).
 

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13ST14XV wrote a memorable review worthy of a "Sticky." Good going, 13ST14XV!

Pick your high ground, work the peripherals, zero in on what you want and feel good owning. That's most of the battle.

Good luck.
 
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