Outback XT or Crosstrek 2.5?

Feb 20, 2024
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Okay, new member here but 2013 Outback (4 cyl) owner for over 10 years. Spent those 10 years loving the car but wishing it had a few more ponies. Long story short, after test driving many different makes and models of cars, it's come down to Outback XT or Crosstrek 2.5. Would like to hear some feedback on which to choose, particularly from people who have owned one or both.

Crosstrek advantages: cheaper to buy, cheaper to own (better fuel economy). This is a consideration since I live in California (expensive gas) and average around 18,000 miles a year
Great reliability ratings from Consumer Reports (Outback only has average ratings).

Outback advantages: better acceleration (but this is not a big deal--I test drove the 2.5 Crosstrek and it has enough acceleration for my purposes), more room, more comfortable, front camera, rear A/C vents.

A little about myself: Spouse and I road trip quite a bit, and we're hikers. Usually we take her car since it's more fuel efficient, but sometimes those trips involve snow or rough dirt roads, which is where the Subaru comes in. Sometimes those trips also involve a third person, and we tend to pack heavy, with regular clothes, hiking clothes, and hiking gear. Many times there's day hiking or (occasionally snowshoe) trips, often just both of us, but sometimes with one or two other people. I also drive quite a bit with just myself in the car.

So, specifically I would like to hear:

from Outback XT owners--any problems you've had with it, particularly turbo-related; any quirks about driving the car or maintenance, how your mpgs compare to the EPA sticker
from Crosstrek owners: how comfortable it is on a long trip, how much trouble it is to pack for a long trip, whether you use some kind of roof rack and how much of a pain in the rear end it is and how many mpgs you lose when it's on.

Of course, anything else you think relevant to this question.

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