Under the heading of helping the economy along. I mentioned in the last post that part of a trip to Cleveland for Bouchercon not happening was due to an imminent household expense. Here it is.
My 1999 Acura CL 3.0 coupe turned thirteen years old a couple of months ago, and we have been talking about a possible replacement. While the car has caused us zero problems up to this point, and had only 42,500 miles on it – not bad for 13 years old! – we thought it might be a good idea to exchange it for something new that would give us better gas mileage, more cargo room (a 1/3 acre lot takes a lot of plants, bags of soil, garden implements, trash cans and so forth), and easier access to the rear seats.
We wanted four wheel drive, because it’s rainy here, in a normal year at least, and sometimes snows and gets icy. We live on a steep hill, and getting up and down can be dicey in wet slippery conditions. Four wheel drive seemed like a must. A decade or more ago I turned up my nose at SUVs, but in these circumstances and this climate it began to make sense. So, what would have good driving and handling characteristics, full time four wheel drive, in an attractive, useful package and be in our budget? Why, a Subaru, of course!
Here is the one we got. Sorry the picture is kind of dark, but the color is a dark-ish grey metallic.
It’s a 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited. Ours is in Pearlized Graphite. It has black leather interior and the Limited comes with almost everything. We didn’t want Navigation or Moon/Sunroof which saved a lot of dough. It has a car-like drive and decent handling for this shape vehicle. It has easy step-in, not high like many SUVs and trucks, no ladder needed.
We got the four-cylinder engine for the mileage, it has plenty of power and zips up our steep hill without a blink. It has a CVT transmission, which will take a little getting used to, but can be driven and shifted manually using paddles on the steering wheel if I really feel the need.
It’s a big deal, we don’t buy new cars very often, (witness the last one being 13 years old). We plan on keeping this for a long time, so it’s worth it to get something that will be useful, that we like and think is attractive. We like the styling on this one.
So far we’ve put a whopping 43 miles on it, and I spent a good part of the day wading through the inch-thick owner’s manual. This will be my everyday car and Barbara will drive it in Winter. We’re pretty darn pleased.