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Old 06-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #1
AJR
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Default Saturn vs Subaru

Haven't been around in a while (lots of life stuff getting in the way). Both our Saturns are getting old and had some troublesome stretches, so we ended up with a new 2015 Subaru Outback and I figured I'd give some comparisons.

We decided to keep 'both' Saturns for now ('96 SL2 and '02 L200). They are high mileage and wouldn't bring much anyway.

This Subaru is highly touted as a pretty tough vehicle, suitable for off road use. It's a safe vehicle and has kept a lot of people alive in crashes, but it's far from tough.

The paint is really tender and practically scratches when you breath on it and of course, the doors dent with the lightest touch (man, plastic spoiled me). I'm also on my second windshield (first replacements in 40 years of car ownership). Many Outback owners are on their 3rd, 4th and even 5th windshield.

My Saturns still look great. Of course no dents, but I'm really amazed at how tough the paint is compared to the Outback. Subaru bragged about their sound system too and it doesn't sound nearly as good as the one on our L200. I really don't see Subaru surpassing my Saturn experience at this point. We'll see if the Outback lasts as long.

Andy

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Old 06-02-2016, 10:50 PM   #2
billysvue
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJR View Post
I really don't see Subaru surpassing my Saturn experience at this point. We'll see if the Outback lasts as long.

Andy
I thought the only real advantage to a SUby was their more robust and active AWD system,, at least when considering the older models.

...
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Old 06-02-2016, 10:59 PM   #3
AJR
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

Honestly, I haven't really had a chance to test the AWD very much. We thought we'd need it in the snow, but I don't think it has snowed more than an inch or two since we bought it. I love winter and this thing is a jinx! LOL!

I will say that the Outback has a ton of room and the tightest turning radius of any vehicle I've had. I was rather surprised by it.

Certainly the payload blows my Saturns out of the water and I have hauled a lot of stuff in it. I wonder how the room compares to the two Vue models Saturn made. The later model Vue doesn't look very big.

Andy

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Old 06-03-2016, 09:17 AM   #4
AJR
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

Another place where the Outback compares favorably to the L200 at least, is the super easy oil change. I was really happy to see another company designing their engine with the oil filter up on top.

I always do my own oil change, so that sealed the deal for me when we looked at it. It's actually easier than the L200, since there is so much ground clearance, the drain plug is a breeze to reach.

Andy

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Old 07-05-2016, 05:44 AM   #5
NCdad
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

My son, who also loves the Saturn SL1 with manual transmission has transitioned over to a 2014 Subaru Crosstrek. I live in North Carolina as I did when I bought the Saturn new in 2001. We all drove it and I still have it. He bought the Crosstrek when he moved to Colorado. He claims the Subaru is more suited to the terrain and heavy snowfalls that occur there. Subaru is a VERY popular car brand in Colorado ! My son also needed more room to haul stuff. The original tires on our Saturn were rated for 45K miles and lasted that long. The original tires on the Subaru were rated at 35K miles and lasted only 32K. I had never seen such a short lived tire come with a new car! The only criticism I heard about Subaru came from a Car Talk episode. It claimed that Subaru's were prone for blowing head gaskets at 100K miles. He wondered if they finally cured that. I have not told my son that. I don't want to throw cold water on his enthusiasm for his new Subaru. I will wait a few years. Other than that, I consider comparisons between Subaru and the SL series to be like comparing apples to oranges. They are two different cars that excel in different markets.

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Old 07-05-2016, 12:49 PM   #6
AJR
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

I've seen quite a lot regarding the HG issue. Most of the talk seemed to be about pre 2013 models.

Supposedly, they solved the HG issues when they went to chain driven engines, however, that brought about some problems with oil consumption. I'm no expert on this subject though.

I agree that some comparisons are apples to oranges (totally different types of vehicles), but it's still fine to compare dependability and quality of materials/design.

Andy

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Old 07-06-2016, 01:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

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He claims the Subaru is more suited to the terrain and heavy snowfalls that occur there. Subaru is a VERY popular car brand in Colorado !
This makes sense to me. A friend who lives in a mountain community in San Bernadino County owns a Crosstrek and says that many other residents also drive Subarus for the same reasons you wrote about. One sees fewer of these vehicles in the big cities and suburbs of the L A or Orange Counties.

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They are two different cars that excel in different markets.
Yes, well said, this is definitely the case! (An aside, but an important one: this is also a benefit of capitalism and the free market. We can choose the product which best suits our needs. Imagine what it would be like if we had no choice, but to purchase only one type of automobile or truck. That would be awful!)

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Old 07-06-2016, 02:05 PM   #8
AJR
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

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this is also a benefit of capitalism and the free market. We can choose the product which best suits our needs.
Yes, but I wish we had many more choices of vehicles with plastic body panels.

Andy

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Old 07-13-2016, 12:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

Ironically, our old Saturn dealer is now the Subaru dealer. Same sales personel and service dept. So far I've heard several old Saturn customers say that they are getting same quality of service and are having similar if not better experiences with Subaru as with their Saturns. I've sort of jumped ship to Volvo, but may eventually get some type of Subaru one day. Maybe one of each to balance things out.

...
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Old 07-14-2016, 11:05 AM   #10
AJR
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Default Re: Saturn vs Subaru

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Ironically, our old Saturn dealer is now the Subaru dealer. Same sales personel and service dept. So far I've heard several old Saturn customers say that they are getting same quality of service and are having similar if not better experiences with Subaru as with their Saturns...
That would have been a dream come true for me, but when Saturn was closed up, I was left without a decent option for service. The Saturn dealers that I had my best experience with became empty, weedy lots.

I did go for service at a GM, Authorized Saturn Service dealer, but the experience with my L200 was horrid and expensive. I can't ever go back and I'm still struggling to find a mechanic for my Saturns.

Andy

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