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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

I’m all over the map this year and looking at the next steps once my Forester lease is finished. I have some opportunity now to buyout the lease with some positive equity due to high demand in the used car sector.

My primary choice is actually to take the plunge and go for a Tesla Model Y. Due to state incentives the cost is not that much higher than a Touring Outback XT or Limited Ascent.

I’ve watched a couple YouTube videos and if I stay with a combustion car, I have no doubts that Subaru would serve me well. I’m torn between the Outback and Ascent. My wife’s car is a three row SUV but it doesn’t have any Driver Assist features so it is more burdensome to drive compared to my Forester and other modern Subies.

Lane Centering is the most intriguing. How does it perform on a daily level? Highway? City? Traffic? Any problems noted?

With ACC and Lane Centering, I should be pretty set with features for some time to come. Unfortunately local test drives don’t give me a long term test and feel for how the system performs in these other situations.

The main reason I would choose the Ascent over an Outback XT would be for it to functionally replace the Honda for vacation trips and such. The extra cargo capacity of the pilot or Ascent really is necessary here despite the large cargo capacity of the Outback.

Thanks!
 

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2019 has "lane keep assist", and when working, will bounce from left line to right line ........

But I said "when working" . If driving in real life, crossing intersections, lanes merging, lanes splitting, some roadwork up ahead, fresh pavement & fresh painted lines, all conspire to prevent it from working. As I drive through town, crossing a 1 lane intersection, LKA stays engaged. If I cross a 2 lane intersection, or RR tracks, some crosswalks - it beeps and shuts down. Sometimes, with faded paint on the road, it tracks quite well, sometimes fresh paint, it does not "see it" and one or both sides shut down. I've turned mine off, because it's just not usable. It HAS to either work right all the time, or not at all. Working 80% of the time is useless.
Same with Auto Braking. If all the cars on the road, drive like they are supposed to, maybe it's ok. Slamming on the brakes at 50 mph, in traffic, when a car or motorcycle cuts into the 5 car gap in front of me, is not ok. I now have IT off mostly too.
RAB (rear autobraking) is extremely frustrating when towing and maneuvering a trailer. I'm looking into the duct tape & foam hack.
 

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Yeah. I agree LKA is of limited value. It might be of some value on long highway trips if you start to drift due to inattention. I know the '19 and '20 don't have lane centering but does the '21 Ascent have it?
 

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The lane centering Outback I test drove did quite well on a curving stretch of limited access highway during moderate moving at speed limit traffic. I was probably hands free for about 3 miles when I took over because there was a car in the right lane riding the line and I didn't think system would adjust.

It might be a good crutch for long interstate stretches when you want to change stations or take a drink but I think it's potentially going to require more attention than just driving if you have to always second guess its accuracy.

Same goes for the LKA. I don't get any beeps or corrections on straights but always seem to disagree with the line it wants me to take through curves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I am familiar with LKA as my 2019 Forester has this feature. I generally leave it on all the time unless I am in a construction zone.

I was looking namely for impressions of Lane Centering. I was under the impression that it was part of the 20, but I suppose this is a new feature of the 21’s... will wait for those then I guess!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, when you all trade up to the ‘21’s come and give me an update please! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Alright, when you all trade up to the ‘21’s come and give me an update please! :ROFLMAO:
:)

I know this isn't what you were asking, but just from another user's perspective...

We won't be trading for a '21 to get the lane centering. My folks have a 2014 Acura MDX that has a pretty good lane centering system on it, but it just doesn't get used for that purpose very often. I've spent many hours driving that car on the open road and I do use the system as a basic lane keep assist (similar to what we have in the Ascent), but I don't use it for lane centering in a "driverless" sort of way.

I do use the lane keep assist on our Ascent when I'm on the interstate. I'm still driving the car with at least one hand on the wheel all the time. But the Ascent's a pretty large vehicle with a large cross section, and it's pushed around by wind and turbulence from trucks, etc. Sometimes, multipe factors can quickly combine to cause a drift (maybe there's a momentary increase in road crown, and a cross wind, and some turbulence from a truck I'm passing, all at once, etc.), and the car will quickly track towards the lane line. I find the Subaru's lane keep assist to be good at nudging me back towards the middle of the lane in these types of scenarios. I'd have eventually done it myself, of course, but it's nice to have that small nudge.

And that's the extent to which I use the system on our Ascent. Would I use it more if it were a true lane centering system? Maybe, but probably not. One thing to note on Subaru's lane centering -- early documentation on it states that it must be used in conjunction with the adaptive cruise control, and it works only at speeds greater than 39 mph, or something like that (there's a 2021 features thread on this forum with some more details on it). It's definitely NOT going to drive the car for you, in the way that a Tesla would. Lane centering certainly wouldn't keep me from buying a 2021 Ascent, but it's not one of those "gotta have it" features for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree. I'm weighing the options about upgrading from my 2019 Forester which has about another 16 months left in the lease or potential early buyout since it seems to be generating positive equity... Again with my wife driving the big Honda Pilot, the goal of the Ascent would be that it would be the new vacation car for the family. Since I am the one that typically drives when we're going somewhere as the whole family, I would appreciate the tech to help make the highway drives easier. Generally, aside from 10-15 minutes to the highway itself, there's a 65 mph toll highway that's around 60 miles each way, with occasional traffic. It would be nice to be a monitor in this sense when I'm driving it two, three, four times a week in the summer.

Lane Centering will work all the way down to 0 mph - at least, this is the behavior of it on the 2020 Outbacks. It'll continue to track the lanes, and if it can't find the lanes, it will follow in the steps of the car in front of you. But yes, ACC needs to be enabled for ALC to be enabled.

The first question is that I have to determine "if it's important enough to trade in my 2019 Forester for the ALC feature" which will cost me around $12-15,000 for a new Forester with Lane Centering compared to buying out my 2019."

The next question is if I want to "replace" the family Honda Pilot vacation car with my own Subaru Ascent, and my wife would continue to drive her Pilot just in a more local sense.

The next question is if I want to just get an Outback XT instead and let the wife's car with zero ADAS features remain our long-trip vacation car.

And, the final question is if I just want to go for a Tesla Model Y instead of the Outback.

Decisions, decisions...
 

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And, the final question is if I just want to go for a Tesla Model Y instead of the Outback.

Decisions, decisions...
If you look at Consumer Reports, generally they love Tesla's performance and the road test scores are amonng the highest they have issued, but reliability has sunk miserably. Tesla seems to be a victim of their own success with their cars selling like hotcakes but how long will that continue with bottom of the barrel reliability?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My interpretation of the rating is mostly due to the cosmetic flaws like panel gap alignments and things like that which are largely a manufacturing and assembly problem.

These gaps and cosmetic flaws result in multiple service appointments Which seem to be quantified the same way another car would be for other repairs.

Meaning these problems have no way to be separated into cosmetic (paint chips during delivery process) vs mechanical (pcv failure etc) - service appointment problem is one and the same to them.

I am a big fan of function over form. Tesla could be making the Japanese econobox of the 90’s look and I would still be interested because I like the function of the EV in general.
 

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Lane Centering will work all the way down to 0 mph - at least, this is the behavior of it on the 2020 Outbacks. It'll continue to track the lanes, and if it can't find the lanes, it will follow in the steps of the car in front of you. But yes, ACC needs to be enabled for ALC to be enabled.
Thanks for that clarification on how it works in the Outback. And you're right -- I was confusing something. Lane centering control will work at speeds of 0-90 mph. Preceding vehicle follow will operate at speeds of 0-37 mph. That's from Subaru's documentation on 2021 vehicle changes for the Ascent.

I thought something was only above 39 mph, but it's actually speeds under 38 mph, and only for preceding vehicle follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I believe the Lane Keep Assist will only activate at those higher speeds. I’d have to check the manual for specific number but it’s in the ballpark of 38-41 mph. It sets off a loud ding when it’s “actively lane keeping” and you go under the minimum speed number which is very annoying and confusing to passengers.

I generally keep lane departure warning off all the time, LKA on all the time unless it’s in traffic because of aforementioned dinging sound, and Auto Start on all the time unless I’m in bumper to bumper traffic where it becomes a nuisance.
 

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The Ascent is the ideal, in our opinion, road trip car. It really was a game changer for us. We're coming from a Wrangler so that's not saying much, since probably anything would be an upgrade. We're planning a three hour trip this week, then a 3 hour kayak training session, followed by a 3 hour trip home. With the Wrangler we would have gotten a hotel room. :- )

And the dealer won't let you take a long test drive? I asked for a 5 hour one and got a 3 day test drive.

As for the Outback, we really really wanted one. But that huge touchscreen was an enormous turn off, sexy as it was, it was a pain to live with on just a 30 minute test drive, and when you couple that with the inferior, for us, roof racks, the huge for us Ascent was the clear winner.

Lane Keeping Assist? I figure it just telling me I made a tiny mistake. I did have have it once really save me, I was playing with the music and it beep and jerked the wheel. I was 1/3 of the way into the other lane! (45mph curvy rural road.)
 

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I read through this AAA research report the other day, and there is an enormous amount of data to review regarding multiple vehicles with driving assistance features, including the 2020 Outback with Eyesight and lane centering. Under the "Additional Resources" section contains the Full Research Report with all of their findings (I also attached it below). The Outback seemed to do fairly well in the majority of the testing, although curves seemed to give the Outback (and others) problems. The article headline has some bias, but you can easily ignore that and read through the data to determine what your own opinion is.

AAA Finds Active Driving Assistance Systems Do Less to Assist Drivers and More to Interfere | AAA NewsRoom
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for this @meyeracer06 - I am considering re-subscribing to CR for their impressions as well.

I'm not looking for the vehicle to drive for me everywhere and hold the wheel during hairpin turns, but this year especially with all the extra driving to/from shore areas for weekend excursions with the family and occasional jogs from the shore to work and back, the drives have become somewhat annoying. I suppose it would be different if there was little traffic and I could "open `er up" a little on the highways, but it's just an annoyance. That's seems to be the trend for living up here in north Jersey - have been here for about 15 years now and grew up in the southern half of the state which was less crowded.

Funny how I've become more patient in some ways and impatient in others.

I'm not going to lie, the Model Y is definitely at the top of my list. My wife and I have to figure out what we want from the car, if this is just meant to be a commuter type of car for me and occasionally the kiddos in the back seat, or if this is going to become our new vacation car since I am almost always the driver when we're together (by our mutual choice, not like it's a macho thing)

The biggest issue with the Tesla is the charging infrastructure; my house is old and it would add, at minimum, about a $2000 expense to change out the main panel and add a 240V line. While I have the means to charge as-is with 120V 15A (@12A) charging, that is essentially 4-5 miles an hour. It would be ideal to have a cheap 6-20 outlet that would give me 15 miles per hour of range gained (assuming a 250 Watt-mile for those in the know)... but with my old house panel subpaneled twice and tandemed already, this doesn't seem like an option. I do have the option of going to a 120V 20A line called a 5-20 and that would give me around 7-8 miles of range per hour which does add up to another 30-40 miles per day, but I only drive 20-25 on my working days and even less when off, aside from the highway runs.

Further complicating everything, there are some state NJ tax incentives:
1. No sales tax on EV sales - this saves 6.625%
2. 10% reduced off-peak toll rate on Turnpike & Parkway (toll highways)... this would add up to about $1.00 cents off each way on Turnpike and around 75 cents off each way on the Parkway.
3. Up to $500 off installation of EVSE charging equipment.
4. Potentially, until the end of 2020 unless extended, 30% discount from the Federal Government up to $1000 off the installation of EVSE charging equipment.
5. Up to $5000 off sales price of EV from the state of NJ based off battery range (I think anything over 200 miles of EV range gets full $5000)

So, if I act quickly and change the panel out before the year end, I could get a majority of the panel upgrade covered with incentives. I may do this either way. If I do go for the panel, I would probably push for a 14-30 or 14-50 outlet if the amperage allows - not sure how much "expanding" the incoming electrical service would be to ramp up from the current 100A service to 200A service but it could be useful in the future if we got a hot tub or something like that.

Sorry for the long winded reply. I've become a huge Tesla fan over the last 2-3 years since they launched the Model 3 and with the introduction of the Model Y it's more reasonable and practical. Supercharging infrastructure isn't a problem here and I have several options at the expense of convenience as well. My biggest criticism of the Tesla charging infrastructure is that they don't have an adapter for the CCS standard to connect to Teslas in the US market... Which prohibits me from using some EV networks like Electrify America unless they had/have a Chademo connector, which also would require me to spend $450 on a Chademo to Tesla adapter.

So back to the topic at hand, I'd pay the same or slightly less money at time of sale for a Tesla Model Y compared to an Outback XT Touring or loaded Limited, and pay less over time in maintenance; I'd pay less for the Tesla compared to the Ascent with Limited or Touring trims regardless, but these are two different classes of vehicles. The Model Y can actually hold the same amount of cargo as the Outback can.

The biggest advantage the Tesla has over the Subaru is being more future-proof: They can update the computer with fleet learning and make it better and better over time. With the Subarus, the car will never be better than the day I bought it.

The biggest advantage the Subarus have over the Tesla is that they're an established brand with dealers and mechanics everywhere if I have a problem, and it requires no changes to my house electrical.
 

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My primary choice is actually to take the plunge and go for a Tesla Model Y. Due to state incentives the cost is not that much higher than a Touring Outback XT or Limited Ascent.
I have both the Ascent and a Tesla Model 3.

As much as I love my Ascent, when it's time to trade it in, I'm probably going to get a CyberTruk.

Our Tesla M3 is so cheap to run. We got the SR base model. It was ~$36k. We've had it a year so far and have about 16k miles on it. Total maintenance cost = $1.99 (for washer fluid). Total electric cost = < $100 (and really much less than that as 90% of the charging is done by solar power).

Ours only has the 200 mile range, so if we go on a road trip, it's a bit less convenient than an ICE car. When we went to Vegas, we stopped 2x on the way, one for a 15 min "top up" at a supercharger and the second for 45 mins while we ate lunch.

When we went from Phoenix to Sedona, we made it the whole way on one charge, then plugged in at the AirBnb and were fully charged before we came home.

The model Y isn't as big or as roomy as the Ascent, so if you need the 7 to 8 passengers for adults, the Ascent is still a better choice. If you need the 5,000 lbs towing capacity, again the Ascent wins.

If you occasionally need to haul more people short distances, the 7 seat Model Y will do a great job. And with the ~20mpg Ascent vs the electric Model Y you'll save a ton on all your driving costs.

The only expensive maintenance on a Tesla is replacing the tires, but no more expensive than the Ascent's really. Of course if you routinely indulge in the tire-shredding torque of the Tesla, you'll go through tires much quicker! Even our "slowest" Tesla 3 is fast and the linear (no shifting), throw your head back into the seat rest, acceleration is something to be experienced. Get the LR and it's even faster. Get the performance model and it's insane.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for your reply. I test drove a M3P back in March before pandemic and it was unreal. I would easily get myself into some trouble with that car!

I’ve run a few calculators and around here right now the gas is cheap, around $2 per gallon of 87. Electricity is about 17 cents per kWh including both supply and delivery. We don’t get time of use discounts like some people get to charge after midnight etc.

I save about half in fuel costs as is. If gas goes up to 3, I’ll save about 66-75%. If gas goes up to 4, I’ll save about 80%.

Considering solar as well but the Mrs isn’t there yet as we would need to replace the roof also. I like the Tesla panel product but unclear if they handle roof as well.
 

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Btw, this is a great site for comparing cost of ownership:

When I was driving my Ascent like mad (22k in 8 months) I did the calculator and figured I'd save $17k in gas over 10 years.

Now between Covid and driving the Tesla almost all the time, I hardly drive my Ascent, so only 30k on the clock now nearly a year later.
 
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