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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Great analysis, thank you!
No problem! It's been such a fun car to own. Unfortunately some aftermarket stuff won't go on the car (lift spacers, etc.), but I definitely enjoy driving it and it's so smooth on the road and well balanced with the hybrid system evening the weight. It's definitely fun in sport mode and faster than the 2.0 crosstreks. Could put up a fight with the 2.5 with that low end torque!
 

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Have you had any issues with cargo space? I have the Thule rooftop basket and while I recognize I am being foolish to consider it, I’m curious if the roof cargo would be acceptable to use regularly compared to my Outback. My Onyx XT is a solid 18 mpg average, and I’ve been filling up with 93 because of the turbo, so it is costing me between 40-50 every week or sometimes more frequently for gas. I’m really drawn to the Crosstrek, and I kind of kick myself for not considering a solution like a rooftop box or basket.

I suppose basket is easier because you can leave it on there all the time and it can be configured for anything you want, and the box is probably better but more expensive, and it keeps stuff dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I'm driving most of the time by myself and haven't had any real issues with cargo yet. My golf clubs fit perfectly across the back of the cargo area (need to pull the driver out of the bag though). I wish it had a retractable cargo cover, but it's this weird thing that's soft and kinda twists to fold into quarters and can hide in the compartment at the rear gate. Two bags could fit in there, but sometimes it's just easier to put the seat down and toss them in. Other times, I have steel toe boots, jackets, and a hard hat in there for work.

Base rack for the car is so particular because the rails are flush on the roof (unlike any other Crosstrek). So you could buy a base crossbar kit and put anything on the roof and I'm sure you'll do much better than 18+ mpg. I bit more air resistance and weight, but if you're on roads under 50, you'll be able to run in conventional hybrid mode and coast in EV, etc.

304608
 

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Thanks for sharing. I wouldn’t say I have regret (yet) about the Outback, but the true test will come over the summer so I have the experience of an entire year’s ownership. So far, my complaint is simply fuel economy. Looking specifically at the Outback vs. OBXT vs. XV Sport vs. XV Hybrid, there are some considerable differences. I think part of the reason I went for the Outback model in general was the cargo space and configuration. I had been leasing a 2019 Forester and the taller style cargo hold wasn’t as conducive to family trips in the car compared to the older 2011 Outback 2.5 it replaced. That being said, after the fact, I’d realized I could simply buy a roof box or basket and it would have been acceptable for the handful of times a year I truly needed more space.

These days with outdoor sports firing back up, I do need some cargo and people room. Haven’t had situations where I needed all of the OB space yet, but concerns would be using the roof basket regularly (meaning 2-3x per week to get stuff to sport events). I suppose a box would be better in the long run because it’s faster to store stuff inside and arguably more secure and sheltered. But, when I bought the basket I guess I was thinking it would be lighter and less impact on fuel economy because it is a much lower profile. I’m in return period still for a little longer so I can switch (and pay more) for the box if I wanted it. Extended is more attractive because it’s only $60 more at the dealer.

I suppose if you compare the OB and XT side by side the 10% fuel economy penalty is negligible on paper. Again I’m supposed to be getting 23 city and 30 highway, and I’m getting 18-19 according to Fuelly. Whereas I was at 24-25 combined with my Forester, which stickers at 26 city / 33 highway. I suppose my expectation is closer to 21 combined but I am doing more highway driving now - instead of a 50/50 city/highway route for 10 mile, I am doing a 10/90% 17 mile highway route. I guess I expected better.

It would also be something to look at the new Crosstrek Sport 2.5 vs. the Hybrid as well. Comparing the XV fuel economy isn’t that far off from the hybrid on paper. I think it’s only like 4 mpg? But I dont think it is accurately capturing the electric only range. I tried to do some quick math and I’m thinking it’s like 15 mpg higher or more on aggregate

With the hybrid I would drive city since it’s more efficient in that environment.

Generally with the Hybrid I like that it has the Toyota planetary CVT and other parts with supposed high reliability. I like the electric mode and I’m curious if I could keep it in EV mode for my whole city commute, since throttle pressure can activate the gas engine. I also realize that the Turbo will probably fail much sooner due to all the higher pressures and more components inside the engine.

So, tl;dr - Gas much more expensive in XT than I thought it would be, probably could have used roof box or rack to offset the loss of cargo space, probably could have done 90% of my miles on electricity. I think at this point I would trade it in for a Hybrid because the Outback’s purpose isn’t what I thought it would be, and will cost considerably more in the long run. But, my wife has taken a “you made a choice now deal with it” stance, so it will be what it is. I’ve elected to purchase the 10/100 warranty on my Outback, but I may cancel it and whenever I have a catastrophic failure, just be done with it and move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Yeah, it's fairly easy to keep the car in EV mode. I've learned about where the point is on the 'tach' where it turns on the gas engine. You just need to not peg the pedal too much when you get going from a stop or push too hard going up hills and then the car runs just fine. Just remembering that the harder you push, the more electric it will use and you'll focus more on efficient driving. Coasting, light braking, and using the B mode for more regen braking certainly help gain more mileage.

I track my fill-ups on Fuelly and I think over the life of the car I'm at 85 MPG. I've done a number of 130mi plus road trips and then some where I have no road trips, but a ton of daily commutes. My lowest was 38.6 MPG which involved over 200 miles of highway and city driving in Summer and my highest was 189.5 MPG with a bunch of local driving. I will note that the worst mileage was also when I was playing with CHG mode on the highway and it ran the engine pretty hard keeping speed going uphill. I learned that using it on flat and downhill for short periods of time works better for efficiency. My lowest fill-up still beat my best MPG in my Legacy. It also only costs me about $30 to fill-up if I needed 10 gallons (13.2 gallon tank). My normal fill-ups are around $20.
 
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