Outback Decision Time Coming -- 4 vs 6

Well, the time for replacing my '08 Outback is coming up pretty quickly. Basically when the calendar clicks over to '18 I intend to buy a new one.
I've pretty well decided that it will be a Limited or Touring (I'm leaning toward the latter since, given advancing age and my history of taking good care of cars I might as well go whole-hog) but that sill leaves the option of getting the 6-cylinder rather than the 4 I'm used to. My hope is that I'll be pulling a small, light camper in the nearish future and, even though both options have the same theoretical towing capacity, it seems logical that the six would be less frantic pulling up mountains and other stressful situations.
Any of you have experience with both versions in recent years? I'm not overly concerned about the additional fuel consumption which is obviously worse with the six as long as it is superior in other regards.
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On 10/13/2017 11:51 AM, John McGaw wrote:

Don't know about Outback but just talked to a lady this morning that replaced hers with a Forester. My brother had done the same thing and I talked to another woman that traded her Outback for a Forester. She said it almost had the same interior volume and was more peppy. I'm a Forester owner myself, 2016, as is my wife, 2008. She does not like mine as it feels too big to her. The lady this am had an old Outback and also said the Forester feels big to her but she loves it.
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On 10/13/2017 12:21 PM, Frank wrote:

Forester would not work for me if I ever intend to tow even a tiny camper -- it has roughly half the towing capacity of an Outback. 1500 vs 2700 and no higher-power engine option that I know of. I'm sure that for day-to-day usage running to the supermarket or bank or post office the smaller size would be a benefit but overall it wouldn't work out.
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On 10/13/2017 1:08 PM, John McGaw wrote:

If you need towing, I guess you need the more power. I know both would tow. Found it very interesting that woman thought Forester was much peppier and thought I'd pass it on. I had traded my '03 for my '16 and am very pleased with smooth CVT and better mileage.
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Op 13-10-2017 om 19:12 schreef Frank:

Funny. In Europe my 2011 Forester 2.0 non turbo manual is rated at 4400 lbs towing rate and so are the latest CVT versions.
Gerard
--

Met vriendelijke groet,

Gerard
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On 10/14/2017 3:53 AM, Gerard wrote:

One of those things that we'll probably never understand. Safety standards? Different hitches? I know that while hiking around the UK and Ireland I've come across caravan parks in the countryside where some relatively heavy caravans, perhaps 6 or 7 meters long have apparently been towed in by rather ordinary passenger cars. I have been assuming that Subaru's 2700 pound rating was relatively conservative and was willing to go to maybe 3200 pounds 'wet' and loaded in a 5 meter (assuming I ever get that far).
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On 10/14/2017 7:42 AM, John McGaw wrote:

Differences are interesting. I had a friend worked in the Netherlands for a few years and he said everyone had small cars because of the high cost of gas but all had trailers for when they needed to haul something.
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On 10/14/2017 1:59 PM, Frank wrote:

Absolutely. When I got rid of my dodgy Dodge truck which slowly went from too unreliable to drive cross-country to too unreliable to drive cross-town I decided that a trailer was the way to go. Perhaps a bit less convenient and certainly far more tricky to park but it works fine behind the Subie. I've backed up a trailer with a 35-foot boat on it and it was easier than a 6-foot low trailer -- at least you can _see_ a 35-foot boat when you look back.
I have been doing some online research and find that there are several brands of hitch for the Outback which are rated up to 4000 pounds. These have a 2" bar rather than the 1-1/4" which the Subaru hitch has so maybe the hitch is a big part of it. These hitches are all cheaper than the ridiculous amount (almost $600) which Subaru wants for theirs so that will be one thing I'll be leaving off my accessory list no matter what.
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Op 14-10-2017 om 13:42 schreef John McGaw:

Here it's illegal to tow more than the specified weight, however conservative it may be.
I drive around Europe with a 3300 lbs 7,5 meter caravan(or camper in USA). Very stable to abt. 65 mph, still some reserve to overtake. Of course you have to rev it up a steep slope! But a CVT will do that for you.. :-)
Gerard
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On 10/14/2017 4:09 PM, Gerard wrote:

Are you towing with a Subaru? If so, what sort? 4-cylinder or 6? I'm still uncertain about which I really want -- the thought of burning a lot of extra fuel when the extra power isn't needed is bothersome even though it is far far cheaper here than in most of the world -- that can't last at the rate we are burning up the reserves. I can't imagine what the US would look like if we were paying what they are in Ireland, for example (and they are not the worst by far!).
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Op 15-10-2017 om 16:28 schreef John McGaw:

I am. It's a 2011 Subaru Forester 2.0 4-cyl non turbo 150 HP high/low manual gearbox.
The link shows a picture of the set-up.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/zho2mvrexrnxinx/20160815_145547.jpg?dl=0
Gerard
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On 10/15/2017 10:54 AM, Gerard wrote:

Nice setup! Your caravan is actually a bit longer than I was considering but I think that European manufacturers are able to build lightweight rigs better than those in the US. Whenever I find anything that fits within my weight and amenities standards they seem to be in the <6m range (and expensive!).
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Op 15-10-2017 om 17:09 schreef John McGaw:

Tongue weight is legally considered to be part of the car, so there's room to play with the max weight of the caravan. :-)
New price abt $ 30,000.- back in 2002.
Gerard
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On 10/13/2017 1:12 PM, Frank wrote:

The towing capacity has more to do with chassis strength and design, than engine choice.
    Yousuf Khan
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On Friday, October 13, 2017 at 8:51:30 AM UTC-7, John McGaw wrote:

You're looking for feedback from Outback owners, I do not have one, but I can suggest you research the CVT. The 6 cylinder model I believe has a stronger CVT, heard it somewhere, I am not sure where.
If that is the case, and you plan on towing it could be a better fit.
I went for the 2013 Forester XT. Liked the Outback but the Forester felt more manuverable. Also was afraid of the oil consumption issues with the new, in 2014, 4 cylinder FB engines.
The 2013 was the last model year for the EJ engines, and only avilable in turbo version. I believe the Impreza STI 2.5 still equipped with the EJ engine.
Basia
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On Friday, October 13, 2017 at 4:12:53 PM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Forgot to ask, why are you selling? I am sure a nice and sturdy car like the Outback could go a few more years. You say you take good care of your cars and seem to drive a bit longer anyway. 10 years, why not 12. Just for the sake of a new car, for pleasure?
Understandable.
Basia
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On 10/13/2017 11:51 AM, John McGaw wrote:

I had an H4 in a 2000 OB, which had a 175 HP. My current one is an 2008 Tribeca with an H6, which is 250 HP. Quite a huge difference in power, passing is never an issue (unless I'm going up against a Hellcat or something, of course). But fuel economy will suffer, unless they've done something magical with the engine that makes it as fuel-efficient as the H4.
If mountain pulling is important, then I'd say the H6 will do better for you. But I've seen in some mountains that the transmission has downshifted, even without a trailer attached.
    Yousuf Khan
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Op 16-10-2017 om 20:07 schreef Yousuf Khan:

H4. Unless you want to take even the steepest grade at 65 mph.
Gerard
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On 10/16/2017 2:07 PM, Yousuf Khan wrote:

I was considering the H6 based mostly on the extra stress on the H4 than any towing might cause. My 2008 H4 can get _very_ frantic when called on to put out its max. Even interstate driving across West Virginia can mean lots of downshifting on the upgrades when running under cruise control. This is with the 4-speed automatic. Maybe it was meant to be that way but it can be disconcerting. So the idea was that the six would be a more peaceful experience since it wouldn't need to work that hard. I really don't want to burn the extra fuel and I don't know that a 2018 will be that much better in that regard than the 2008 unless the CVT really does that much better than the old-school automatic. (in average mixed driving mostly around town I seldom see more than 22mpg overall, maybe 28 if all highway) I've never actually driven a CVT for more than a few miles and only in stress-free relatively-level highway conditions.
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On 10/16/2017 3:18 PM, John McGaw wrote:

I think in the end, all of this engine matching paranoia will come to an end once electrics finally replace internal combustion's. But in the meantime, the CVT theoretically has the capability of making all shifting situations as smooth as possible using IC engines, almost as smooth as an electric. However, there are some real world problems with CVT's which I've heard of, such as requiring a really expensive oil change, after a specific amount of time. I don't own a CVT, so I'll let CVT owners explain it to you.
The engineer in me is really fascinated by the CVT, but the cheapskate in me would rather put up with a traditional automatic or a manual.
    Yousuf Khan
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