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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’m at an interesting (read: mid-life crisis?) point in my life where I am looking to buy a new vehicle and have it for a long time. Presently, I own a 2011 Outback 2.5 with about 86,000 miles on it. I’ve kept current on maintenance and it has been a great vehicle.

We are a family of four, but with the two car seats for a 4 year old and a 6 year old, the middle rear seat is pretty much unusable.

My wife drives a 2016 Honda Pilot which assumed the role of the long trip vacation mobile. But, she also works full time, so I often find myself in situations where I am moving a car seat to accommodate another passenger, or cramming a little kid into that middle seat.

I was hoping to go to a 2018-2019 Legacy 3.6R, as my wife’s previous car was an 09 Legacy 2.5, and I loved it. But, keeping track of it over the last couple months I’ve actually found several scenarios where I make good use out of the cargo area. Also, my job requires me to get there despite weather conditions so I do appreciate the ground clearance by the Outback.

So, an Outback 3.6 was my natural choice. But, that means Limited trim or higher. I don’t prefer the Touring because of the extra crossbars needed and don’t care so much for the extra vanity of chrome as well as the convenience of the heated wheel.

Looking at the Limited 3.6 would put me around 40-41k MSRP after a few options that are mutual.

These options would include the OEM remote start, auto dimming side mirrors, rear bumper protector, wheel arch molding, splash guards, LED light upgrade, footwell illumination kit, AFTERMARKET EcoHitch (because I need a 2” for my Thule bike rack)... AFTERMARKET WeatherTech liners.

So, today my local dealer calls me (I’ve referred him some business as an Ambassador) and we make an appointment to do a test drive in a few weeks as they will have a tester on site for that weekend only.

That got me thinking.

I wonder if it would make more sense to get the advantages of the Ascent in the 8p Premium with those same options (OEM Hitch though). The miles per gallon are virtually the same. The routine maintenance is actually cheaper on the Ascent. The Ascent is built around towing - but if I never tow, that should make the transmission and fluid more hearty and robust.

The Ascent Premium 8p comes in around $37k MSRP. I don’t plan on the packages as I like the idea of a manual rear hatch and a key-in-the-slot ignition. I never open my moonroof now, but I do think I might miss the HK Audio system of my Outback as I’m very into music. I wouldn’t miss the leather. I don’t need the Subaru Navigation.

The trade off is, I guess, a larger vehicle that is about six inches longer and a few wider. Height is inconsequential for me.

I don’t parallel park anywhere regularly, and the Outback is considered an oversized car at a car wash or parking garage anyway.

Maybe I should just embrace the simplicity of the Ascent Premium 8p?
 

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I'm moving up from a 2010 Subaru Outback Premium 6MT to the Ascent. No family, just lots of photography and lighting gear (and cinematography gear rentals).

...and I like the beach, and I like borrowing my friend's travel trailer for location shoots (filming on location).
 

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Another thing to consider is that the Ascent resale value will likely be better than the 3.6 Outback in 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Could it be a mistake not embracing things like the auto rear gate and keyless start technology? I don’t envision ever trading this car in, so resale wouldn’t bother me.

I do like the turn signals on the side mirrors on the Limited though. Too bad they aren’t an option on Premium without that package.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you are going to keep it for a long time, I think you will regret not getting the Limited.
Yes, planning to keep it for a long time, talking over 10+ years.

The big differences between the Limited and Premium I don't think are substantial to me, unless I'm missing something, mostly convenience features. I have the "just one more thing that can break" approach, especially with the rear gate.

Leather I've had for my last two cars, but it's not a deal breaker for me.

The Limited adds over the Premium:
Leather interior, 10-way instead of 8-way power driver seat, seat memory (not important), front power passenger seat, heated wheel and middle bench, keyless access, thin-frame ADRV Mirror with Homelink, Third Row USB's, Reverse Auto Braking, LED Head Lights and Fog Lights...

Touring would force me into a 7p, and for me the car would be mostly about the versatility to sometimes carry people - so I don't know if I want to sacrifice the person coverage, so the Touring would be out for me. I do like the idea of ventilated seats and that available front camera, though.

While RAB is good, I believe I still get a rear traffic alert with the Premium because of EyeSight, and I don't think that the ~$6000 price difference to me is worth a few LED bulbs and a heated middle seat.
 

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I think they have a rockford fosgate stereo system you can still upgrade to if you can't get the Harmon.

For me I wanted the auto lifting hatch after mine fell on me once. I also like the fact it is adjustable as my current vehicle hits the garage door.

From what I'm reading you might need to wait and really check out the different models and see what you really need vs want.
 

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I have two kids the OB is our daily hauler and typically our road trip / camping rig. But we also own a 05 Sequoia. Which rarely gets used now since grandpa passed so were not hauling 5. The Ascent would replace two cars for us the OB and the Sequoia. The intention is to get far better handling / riding and mileage Sequoia replacement yet larger more capable Outback replacement.

My replacement will be a yr out thanks to a umm home renovation project going on right now worth about 4 Ascents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think they have a rockford fosgate stereo system you can still upgrade to if you can't get the Harmon.

For me I wanted the auto lifting hatch after mine fell on me once. I also like the fact it is adjustable as my current vehicle hits the garage door.

From what I'm reading you might need to wait and really check out the different models and see what you really need vs want.
The rear hatch fell on you? You mean, like, the pneumatic arms finally gave way and it came down? How old was the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have two kids the OB is our daily hauler and typically our road trip / camping rig. But we also own a 05 Sequoia. Which rarely gets used now since grandpa passed so were not hauling 5. The Ascent would replace two cars for us the OB and the Sequoia. The intention is to get far better handling / riding and mileage Sequoia replacement yet larger more capable Outback replacement.

My replacement will be a yr out thanks to a umm home renovation project going on right now worth about 4 Ascents.
Yeah, the Sequoia is a beast of a car. I like my Outback, I don't mind the "stigma" of a wagon - especially because it drives pretty nimble - I'm just wondering if it makes more sense to pay around the "same" and get more utility (cargo room) and people hauling (either 7 or 8 vs the 5). I won't count the car seats against the middle seats as eventually, believe it or not, they will outgrow them...

The Outback 3.6 forces you into the Limited Trim - and I'd probably be okay with it in Premium trim if it was available.

I don't really need the bells and whistles of the Limited. I do like them, for sure, but I don't need them. I was in a similar situation to what you described before, where when I bought there wasn't much inventory, so it was either the 2.5 Limited or wait - and we really didn't want to wait...

I'm torn. On one hand I love the idea of the simplistic approach of the Premium, despite the cloth seats, manual hatch, and traditional keyed ignition; on the other I'd love to get those Ventilated Seats from the Touring but the 7p might be a deal breaker. The LED lights are cool, for sure.
 

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The rear hatch fell on you? You mean, like, the pneumatic arms finally gave way and it came down? How old was the car?
Nissan Xterra about 4 years old. Was loading Christmas presents in the car when the pneumatic arms stopped holding the weight. Luckily it fell slowly but it caused my back to lock up while leaning over and I could hardly move. I switched them out with ones that had extra force so they could hold more weight. Hard to close during the summer but it doesn't fall when the temp drops below freezing.
 

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Yes, planning to keep it for a long time, talking over 10+ years.

The big differences between the Limited and Premium I don't think are substantial to me, unless I'm missing something, mostly convenience features. I have the "just one more thing that can break" approach, especially with the rear gate.

Leather I've had for my last two cars, but it's not a deal breaker for me.

The Limited adds over the Premium:
Leather interior, 10-way instead of 8-way power driver seat, seat memory (not important), front power passenger seat, heated wheel and middle bench, keyless access, thin-frame ADRV Mirror with Homelink, Third Row USB's, Reverse Auto Braking, LED Head Lights and Fog Lights...

Touring would force me into a 7p, and for me the car would be mostly about the versatility to sometimes carry people - so I don't know if I want to sacrifice the person coverage, so the Touring would be out for me. I do like the idea of ventilated seats and that available front camera, though.

While RAB is good, I believe I still get a rear traffic alert with the Premium because of EyeSight, and I don't think that the ~$6000 price difference to me is worth a few LED bulbs and a heated middle seat.
You might think this is ridiculous, but the most important feature of the Limited for me would be the push button start. My wife will never own another car that does not have that option because she loves not having to take the key out of her purse after/while shopping. It is not just a woman thing either. I love the keyless entry and push button start also.

I would just get the Premium to save money, but I need that push button start.
 

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You were lucky it fell slowly. I was at curbside at the airport loading luggage into my sister's piece of crap grand cherokee when the catch on her rear hatch came crashing down on my head. I went down like I had been shot. Blood gushing from my scalp. The people around me picking up passengers yelled that I was blocking the loading zone. Oh the humanity!
 

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Since new Ascent is a new model with new engine, I just think it's worth getting it anyway. Thinking about driving it for more than 10 years, getting a little bit newer technology is the way to go, even it means it's only nicer to have (instead of "must to have") for you.

If you have to pay extra 2k, then it's about 200 each year, but the convenience it will bring to you in ten years is worth more than 200 per year.

At least wait for Ascent coming out at dealer to make decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I suppose. It’s a slippery slope though. Where does it stop? In other words, get the Limited for the keyless start, Leather, LED Lights... why not spend another few thousand and get a Touring? Etc. before you know it you’re pushing close to 50k.

It’s not that 50k isn’t doable, it’s just that 50k is around 10-20k more than what I was intending. If they made the 3.6 Outback in Premium, that would be it, at a nice comfortable 30ish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I'm taking advantage of the GTP for my 2011 while it's eligible - one way or another. I'm absolutely getting the Outback 3.6 or the Ascent, and there's part of me that wants to hate the Ascent to make my choice easier! But, I'm sure I'll love it and the new global platform.

The biggest con for me for the Touring is the fact that it forces you into a Brown interior. But, I was planning on going White exterior with Black interior anyway, so it's not a total deal breaker. Would I get a Touring for ventilated seats despite the brown interior? You betcha.

Time to crunch numbers, including options, to find out what numbers we're talking about.

A lot is also going to depend on financing incentives. I was diggin' the 0% for 60 for the Outback, but something tells me the Ascent won't be so aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yep that’s what I’m worried about. ?
 

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Yes, when new model comes out (in this case, new car), it tends to be more expensive. Could be 500 or even 1k more expensive, compared with if you would purchase it Q2, 2019

A lot is also going to depend on financing incentives. I was diggin' the 0% for 60 for the Outback, but something tells me the Ascent won't be so aggressive.
 
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