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Between a Model Y and a Subaru Outback

SalisburySam

Supporting Member
Aug 11, 2018
272
322
Salisbury, North Carolina
Probably off base here, but in my reading of your OP, I pretty quickly favor the Subaru for you. One theme that kept appearing was cost. You mentioned the $3 toll, the $4,-$5k acquisition price difference, charging installation, rebates, and so on. Costs are usually important to most people but my interpretation is that costs are pretty much your overriding factor here and regardless of how much you may or may not like/enjoy a Tesla, you will repeatedly kick yourself for the overspend. No need for that stress. Since the Subaru will meet your transportation needs, get it; it will cost less. When you consider your next vehicle at some point, you may feel differently. Yes, there are issues you can waffle over in perpetuity and 80 or so posts here have added to that.

Registration, acquisition, further discounts, likely lower insurance premiums, familiarity with the brand, no need to buy/build an in-home charging station, and on and on, all speak against the Tesla, even with lower maintenance costs for a non-ICE vehicle. Again, this is what I see in YOUR case with cost as a key, if not the key, factor, also assuming you’re not open to a used anything.

Hard decision, good luck!
 
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TLej

Little-Known Member
Dec 29, 2015
495
495
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I don’t have the space to store the 4 winters so swapping them out wouldn’t be an option. I could consider an all climate tire when the OEM requires replacement.
Nokian WR. I've put them on every car I've had, my wife has had, my parents have had, my friends have had, since about 2002. After the OEM tires are done, of course - I'm not made of money.
 
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Jul 31, 2019
165
136
Sacramento
From my perspective, we've owned several Subies, loved them for what they are. Our 2017 Forester XT, though, has not been flawless. We've had substantial repair bills even though it's been driven lightly, including a/c going on us, brakes and rotors (at ~30K km), and now the motor for the rear hatch is now seemingly done. By that same measure, my 2017 Model S has had but one issue - the rear camera that was replaced under warranty - only had to do maintenance since it's a lease.

Would I buy the Y? Not for 2020. We'll look at the Y for 2021 once the build quality issues have been resolved. I'd hold out until at least then. Tesla has had first year issues pretty much with every model. Plus, I'm never going to buy a vehicle without a test drive - period. The experience of spending even a little time behind the wheel of a new car has enough sway to tell you whether it works for you or not. In my opinion, rushing to buy sometime, especially what's your second most expensive possession is a mistake and leaving an awful lot to chance.
Y’s are available for test drives. My local SC has two dedicated test drive vehicles.
 

Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve had great luck with Continental ProContacts from my last couple Subarus as all seasons as well.

The cost of purchase itself isn’t the determining factor here. The money is available in my monthly liquid. But I don’t want the money to be a waste, it doesn’t mean extreme value either. I don’t live paycheck to paycheck.

But if the Outback XT costs $44k plus another $1500 a year in gas and maintenance, and the Model Y can be purchased for $48 and only cost $500 in “fuel” and maintenance aggregate, it wouldn’t take long for the cost of ownership in the Outback to exceed the Tesla.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,863
Canyon Lake,CA
If you are craving an apple, but the apple cost more than the orange, some would choose the orange, while others the apple.

You are trying to justify your purchase, wanting both to get the best car and the best value. They often are not compatible goals.

Outback is something you are familiar with, but yet you are drawn to the Tesla. Can't have both.
 
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StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
149
185
Fishkill
Thanks! Hudson Valley's a nice area. We've been up there a few times for soccer games, apple picking, and that pumpkin blaze near the Tap.

Yeah the Cyber Truck has crazy good stats- and a good price- but its not for me.

My only suggestion after reading all of the comments is- Lease an Outback- don't buy it. This way you'll get the new car you need now and in 2-3 years you can decide- buy something else (like a Tesla, Kona or VW) or keep it. In theory this could save up money for the future decision. BTW- another interesting solution is the new- just coming out Toyota RAV 4 plugin hybrid. Early reviews look good. My first green-er car was my Camry Hybrid- It was certainly my gateway car to a full EV.

Good Luck with your decision.
 
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Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
If you are craving an apple, but the apple cost more than the orange, some would choose the orange, while others the apple.

You are trying to justify your purchase, wanting both to get the best car and the best value. They often are not compatible goals.

Outback is something you are familiar with, but yet you are drawn to the Tesla. Can't have both.

Fair point. I suppose if eating an orange required you to regularly pay for things to peel the rind or remove the pits, it would make more sense from strictly a financial point to just eat the apple.

I am absolutely drawn to the Tesla and I'm a huge fan and typically an early supporter of newer technologies (first Apple Watch, one of the first iPods, Blackberries, etc.) It seems like, reliability aside, the Tesla is the smarter choice thanks to the updates and fewer parts with failure points.

You're right - there is a value in familiarity. I have the same brand of TV's all across my home for simplicity - while this is only 3 or 4 TV's, I can quickly navigate menus, options, and the like - which is useful when you're helping a family member troubleshoot why they can't get the Wii working on the TV.

There's also a tangible and intrinsic value in a Tesla (and EV's) aside from the purchase price - such as the benefits to environment and long term climate impacts, supporting the brand and their mission, and having a vehicle that's generally more fun.

Yeah the Cyber Truck has crazy good stats- and a good price- but its not for me.

My only suggestion after reading all of the comments is- Lease an Outback- don't buy it. This way you'll get the new car you need now and in 2-3 years you can decide- buy something else (like a Tesla, Kona or VW) or keep it. In theory this could save up money for the future decision. BTW- another interesting solution is the new- just coming out Toyota RAV 4 plugin hybrid. Early reviews look good. My first green-er car was my Camry Hybrid- It was certainly my gateway car to a full EV.

Good Luck with your decision.

Well, that's kind of how I got into my situation presently. My 2011 Outback started to have a couple problems pop up - nothing major - and it was starting to approach 100,000 miles. That's a major maintenance milestone for Subarus which includes (for that engine) a timing belt service. I also needed brakes, rotors, tires, etc. We were looking at around $2500-3000 worth of "routine" maintenance, and I had an opportunity to look at something new instead. So, combining the cost of the maintenance that I saved by trading in, and the trade-in amount itself, I ended up having enough money to basically pay for around 75% of the lease payments going forward, and had the benefit on not having to worry about the vehicle since I'm under warranty again. The 2011's electronics were dated - it didn't even have streaming Bluetooth for audio playback - and the 2019 Forester I picked up featured a remodel year as well as CarPlay.

I don't regret the Forester, but I was happier in the footprint of the Outback since it held cargo "better" despite having comparable cubic measurements. The Outback cargo hold was "longer" to fit more common things. While it's true the Forester is "taller", I seldom stacked anything that tall where I said "Yeah, that was good."

I leased the Forester because I wasn't familiar with the model - my last two Subarus were a Legacy and Outback which are essentially the same car for the first 50% of it, and then they are either the typical sedan/wagon profile for the rear 50%. I don't think I really want to lease again because, as silly as this sounds, I want to be free of car payments. So, I'd rather pay a lot of money for a couple years with the Tesla or Outback purchase, and then not have anything for a while compared to a lease of, say, $400, for all eternity.

Again my lease doesn't end until another 16-17 months at this point, so I have time to let Tesla work out any first-run issues with the Y and see if the SR+ might make more sense to me if it's a numbers thing. I was hoping to have the car be bought out from the Lease so I could move to a Y earlier and save the "$400" per month lease payment and basically apply that to a car with longer ownership intentions. Once the $400 is gone, it's gone. But, if I put that into the Tesla/Outback, it would at least get me closer to a no-payment life.

I don't want to consider other brands for EV's right now because of the charging infrastructure. Maybe once EE is done rolling out in 5-10 years, but the Supercharger network makes Tesla the top (and only) option for me.

I also don't want to consider the Toyota fleet mostly out of preference. I applaud how Toyota has the spare tire in the RAV4 Prime coming up, but I don't think it would be a wise decision to get rid of the Forester - which is the same form factor and direct competitor to the RAV4 - just to get the RAV4 Prime. It would make more sense to me to just buy out the Forester for lease, as I would NEVER make up the $20,000 difference in purchase price by going with the RAV4 Prime through fuel savings and such.

it's basically EV or bust. And if I bust, I'd be happy with an Outback XT, but I'd be happier with the Model Y, hence the position I'm in.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 
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Balthezor

Member
Jun 22, 2020
253
97
NJ
The problem with leasing is that it costs a lot of money to get out of it. Not impossible, but close to it if you don't plan to lose a lot of money. We are leasing a BMW X1 right now for my wife. I can't wait to get rid of it. Front brakes and tires need to be replaced in 20k miles. Never had a car that did that before. Compared to you, fortunately, the lease ends in November. I wish I could get rid of it now, but have to wait. We test drove a Model Y already. My wife loved it. We will purchase and not lease that one.
 
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Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
Yeah, there was a time where it would have been close to $1500 to get out of the lease which was the difference in the buyout price plus remaining payments compared to the trade in value. The pandemic really turned that whole valuation around on its head.

So, here’s hoping this time next year the Model Y will remain a viable candidate.

I still have to come to terms with the “flashiness” and perception of the brand in terms of people (wrongly) thinking they are all expensive and you have to be pretty well off in order to purchase a Tesla.

@StanT

Some good news today. On a whim, I decided to drive from work to the closest Supercharger at the mall. It’s a v3 Supercharger pending activation - probably just needs approval to activate. It’s about 7-10 minutes each way so that would leave me with an expectation of 30 minutes to charge on lunch break if I needed to. Even at the worst case scenario of me having to do this every day, it would still be viable since I’m not inconveniencing myself on the actual commute portion of my drive.

Time to crunch some numbers on if this would be an everyday stop or an every other day stop.

 
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cusetownusa

Member
Jan 29, 2020
531
879
Syracuse NY
Nokian WR. I've put them on every car I've had, my wife has had, my parents have had, my friends have had, since about 2002. After the OEM tires are done, of course - I'm not made of money.

I have a dedicated set of Nokian winter tires for my Jeep GC. They are beastly in winter weather and seem to last forever. I bought them November 2011 and they still are going strong. Of course, I only have them on from about Mid November to Mid March so I don't put crazy miles on them. HOwever, I have own Blizzaks in the past that didn't come close to lasting this long.

I would prefer not to deal with the hassle of storing and swapping tires twice a year so I will keep the Nokian WR in mind the next time I need to buy all season tires.
 
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Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
Yeah, I’d like a set of all weather once I have to replace the OEM to not have to deal with swapping and storing the extra set. They seem like great performance in bad weather and good peace of mind.
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
149
185
Fishkill
@StanT

Some good news today. On a whim, I decided to drive from work to the closest Supercharger at the mall. It’s a v3 Supercharger pending activation - probably just needs approval to activate. It’s about 7-10 minutes each way so that would leave me with an expectation of 30 minutes to charge on lunch break if I needed to. Even at the worst case scenario of me having to do this every day, it would still be viable since I’m not inconveniencing myself on the actual commute portion of my drive.

Time to crunch some numbers on if this would be an everyday stop or an every other day stop.


Then you need to use 1 person's referral code for 1000 free miles, and then get at least 1 person to use your referral code and then another 1000 miles... 2k miles of free driving!
 
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Balthezor

Member
Jun 22, 2020
253
97
NJ
Yeah, there was a time where it would have been close to $1500 to get out of the lease which was the difference in the buyout price plus remaining payments compared to the trade in value. The pandemic really turned that whole valuation around on its head.

So, here’s hoping this time next year the Model Y will remain a viable candidate.

I still have to come to terms with the “flashiness” and perception of the brand in terms of people (wrongly) thinking they are all expensive and you have to be pretty well off in order to purchase a Tesla.

@StanT

Some good news today. On a whim, I decided to drive from work to the closest Supercharger at the mall. It’s a v3 Supercharger pending activation - probably just needs approval to activate. It’s about 7-10 minutes each way so that would leave me with an expectation of 30 minutes to charge on lunch break if I needed to. Even at the worst case scenario of me having to do this every day, it would still be viable since I’m not inconveniencing myself on the actual commute portion of my drive.

Time to crunch some numbers on if this would be an everyday stop or an every other day stop.


That's a lot of lanes!
 
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Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
Yeah - I'm pretty sure there were at least 12, maybe even 16 stalls - it was massive.

PlugShare suggests 8, but there's definitely more than that there. I'm so excited for this install. It is so convenient and accessible from work - almost removes the need for work charging. I'm always looking for an excuse to drive somewhere, so this is great!
 

Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
Digging up this old dinosaur. I ended up getting out of the lease early with no penalty and no out of pocket fees. They just took the keys and it was done. I ended up buying/financing the Outback XT Onyx Edition. It is great except for the fuel economy. 17-18 mpg over the 2 months I’ve owned it. As expected I spent close to 40k on it, after taxes and fees, but at least it is 0% financing.

Assuming gas doesn’t go up (it will), I’ll be paying around 1800-2000 in gasoline. It would be between 600-750 for electricity.

I am going to look into the SR if it comes back along with the Federal Tax Credit if Congress brings it back. That would make it hard to pass up - if I can convince the Mrs. who is opposed to it.

All in all, I should have probably kept the Forester. All that talk about the Lane Centering and I don’t use it. It’s not reliable enough and fights me at times, and fails on curves, even on well marked toll highways… The cargo room is nice but I have had no situations hauling stuff I couldn’t fit in the Forester. Yet. I probably would have been better off buying a roof basket or roof box for space.

And again, 18 mpg. I feel like I am filling this thing up at least once a week. Even the base engine is only around 24-26 mpg, so it would be a little better but still expensive. Sometimes I just wish I could be a little more patient. There was really no need to break early.

The silver lining is if the FTC and state tax credit comes back which would bring the price of an SR into the high 20’s. That would add up substantially over time and help make up for any loss in depreciation.

My recent quote from Carvana was about $1500 under my purchase price after factoring out the sales tax portion. I think I can work with that and I imagine that the price will get a little better as the “worst” of depreciation in the first year continues. I will just be adamant about the Mrs. using her car for the shore trips on the weekend to keep my mileage down.
 
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Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
nice to hear your honesty. its most easy for anyone to stick with what you know. I'm pretty sure if you'd got the Tesla you would have never looked back (as some 95% of us have).

I’m 100% there to be honest. But the Mrs. and I function as a team and we each have our own veto powers. It’s a question of convincing her that this is as good of a vehicle as the Subaru and that it won’t affect her in the least bit. I certainly have my work cut out for me going forward, assuming the tax credits fall into place.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,631
7,799
Maine
I’m 100% there to be honest. But the Mrs. and I function as a team and we each have our own veto powers. It’s a question of convincing her that this is as good of a vehicle as the Subaru and that it won’t affect her in the least bit. I certainly have my work cut out for me going forward, assuming the tax credits fall into place.

Could you compromise on a RAV4 Prime? AWD, much more efficient, has enough electric range for commutes and attracts a tax credit.
There's also the Outlander PHEV as well. With the RAV4 Prime around might be able to get some deals on it.
RAV4 Prime should be the better one for having the range for the regular commute.
 

Pilot1226

Member
Dec 20, 2019
355
157
USA
Could you compromise on a RAV4 Prime? AWD, much more efficient, has enough electric range for commutes and attracts a tax credit.
There's also the Outlander PHEV as well. With the RAV4 Prime around might be able to get some deals on it.
RAV4 Prime should be the better one for having the range for the regular commute.

R4P was on my shortlist. Inventory is hard to find. Dealers are marking it up. While there is around a $1000 state EV rebate ($25 per electric mile x 42 miles of range) I would still pay 6.625% sales tax. It essentially comes out to be very close in price to the MY anyway but has all the maintenance requires of an ICE. And it also has some weird quirks as mentioned on some of the YT videos.

Talking mid to upper 30’s to start after credits. MY SR is still a winner here. Range is not my issue. It’s the Tesla image that is bothering my wife.
 

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