Car Shopping


  • Pitcrew

    Do have either a Subaru Crosstrek or a Mazda CX-5?

    Do you love your car to the point that small children shout "Well, why don't you just go marry it then?!?" tauntingly at you? Do you want to set that piece of shit on fire on the daily?

    Curious minds (aka, me and insomniac) want to know.



  • @Aria said in Car Shopping:

    Do have either a Subaru Crosstrek or a Mazda CX-5?

    A couple of thoughts on both.

    The Crosstrek is built on an Impreza frame and uses Subaru's infamous Boxer engine. The car isn't large,and the engine isn't pretty and quiet. What you give up in size and smoothness you will get back in mileage and reliability. Plus, Subaru's AWD is awesome.

    The Mazda CX-5 comes with an awesome SkyActive engine, and is also a compact SUV. You'll get better performance with premium gas, and some experts suggest that you have to use premium gas, something which I'd agree with. But Mazda engines are kind of buggy, and have problems; plus, I believe the CX-5 only has 4WD on high-end models.

    The CX-5 is the more expensive choice in the long run, I believe. Both are good cars.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede Yeah, I did a whooooooole lot of research before contacting Costco about their discounts. The Crosstrek is basically just the Impreza with a slightly altered suspension that commands an extra 3.6" of ground clearance, which is better for off-roading (which I do not) and taking shitty East Coast back roads in the snow (which I do). It also commands about an extra $2K-$3K in price, primarily based on the popularity of these raised models. If that's important because of how you're going to use the car? Worth it. If you're going to be driving around Houston or something in it, save your money and just get the Impreza.

    The CX-5 can be snapped up with 4WD as an additional option on some of the lower trims, as well as some of the shiny features that come in the higher trims being available as an add-on package that costs significantly less than moving up a trim level. The difference between the Touring and the Grand Touring is about $3K, but you can get the preferred package added onto the Touring for about $1600, making the primary difference basically.... do you want LED foglights? At least, that's as far as I can tell.

    Both have very good ratings on reliability from Consumer Reports and, believe it or not, their rankings for size and driveability (why is this a word?!) are almost identical. The Crosstrek loses a point in driver seat position, but has better visibility. Should room is different by half an inch in both front and back. Head room by an inch to an inch and a half (and I'm 5'3", so I only care for the sake of my husband). Leg room in the rear seat of the Crosstrek is actually two inches better. Their trunks have a difference of.... three cubic feet. (Compare this to, say, the Hyundai Kona, which they rate in the same class as the Crosstrek. It has 8 less cubic feet than the Crosstrek and ten less than the CX-5. The Crosstrek is weird and lives kind of between a compact SUV and a subcompact SUV, which is kind of one of the things I like, being a city-dweller who often has to parallel park.) The Crosstrek actually gets better tested gas mileage, weirdly enough. The CX-5 has slightly better safety ratings (by like, one star, and even those are four star ratings).

    The thing is, all of that is stuff that's on the books. I can -- and have -- read until I'm blue in the face. I've lived with neither vehicle, and will be changing from a 2007 four-door coupe. It's a big change, and what I'm mostly interested in are all the weird, finicky little details you notice over the long-term life of the car. 'Cause obviously, I drive my cars until they're on their very last legs. (Almost-RIP, Lucille. You've been a great little machine.)


  • Pitcrew

    I personally almost bought a Crosstrek, but ended up with something else I loved (AWD Nissan) because it was going to be easier to get financed. The AWD is amazing, and it gets amazing mileage (my sister has owned subarus, and they were SUPER common where I lived. (Super hippie granola crowd.)

    I haven't driven the Mazda, but the one we had in the family literally lasted 20 years. I like the way it looks, but I don't know how good the mileage.

    Do you need AWD, where you live? (it's super helpful where I live now)


  • Pitcrew

    @Macha
    It's like.... I almost never need it, but when I do, I really need it?

    I live in the mid-Atlantic. With how often we seem to be getting snow these last few years, I would like to say not really, especially being in a major city rather than driving on country roads. That said, I work for an investment management company that doesn't close unless the stock market does and take windy, hilly back roads to work to skirt around the worst of traffic. My neighborhood in Philly is also one of the very last ones to be plowed (fuck you and your 72 window, Mayor Kenney) and there have been times in my poor little Ion that even just getting out of my neighborhood in 4-5" has been a pain, then been perfectly fine once I was on the plowed roads of the next township over. It is really, really obnoxious and why I do not want a RWD car ever again.


  • Pitcrew

    @Aria Look at AWD. It's amazing when the roads aren't plowed. I used to have to drive up a steep hill, that was one of the last to be plowed. Just remember, as my dad used to say, it's all wheel drive - not all wheel stop. You'll feel pretty invincible with it,



  • Honestly, as someone who lived in the area you do @Aria .... I longed for AWD some winters.
    If you can afford it? Do it.



  • @Aria said in Car Shopping:

    The thing is, all of that is stuff that's on the books. I can -- and have -- read until I'm blue in the face. I've lived with neither vehicle, and will be changing from a 2007 four-door coupe. It's a big change, and what I'm mostly interested in are all the weird, finicky little details you notice over the long-term life of the car.

    I'll tell you what, then.

    I had a Mazda3 back in the day. Loved it: it turned nice, accelerated like a bullet out of a chamber, but it needed premium fuel. Expensive service, even for basic shit.

    I have a 2011 Subaru Impreza. Gutsy, basic machine, but it is reliable as fuck, and drives a lot like the Mazda3.

    I loved TD'ing the Forester, and would have picked up an Outback if the partner did not insist on a luxury car. So I roll in a 2019 Lexus RX350 because I'm boojie as shit now as a fucking suburbanite pseudo-white bitch.

    I love Subarus. Love them. I like Mazdas, but I love Subarus.


  • Pitcrew

    I have a mazda6 and i love it but I will probably trade it in for a subaru soon. For my dog.


  • Pitcrew

    I absolutely LOVE my vehicle... but they don't make it anymore.


  • Pitcrew

    @Kanye-Qwest said in Car Shopping:

    I have a mazda6 and i love it but I will probably trade it in for a subaru soon. For my dog.

    NGL. The fact that I have a giant, 85lb shag monster that also drools a fair amount is a big part of why I'm looking at the trim levels I'm interested in. Leather seats is not about luxury; it's about my dog not trashing my car within six months.

    Dumb as it sounds? The fact that Subaru makes accessories for their cars that are specifically for travelling doggos is a selling point, as is the large secondary market for custom-fit doggo items. You can get a cushy padded liner fitted to your cargo space if your pupper is too big for even the back seat. And that's just awesome.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede said in Car Shopping:

    The Crosstrek is built on an Impreza frame and uses Subaru's infamous Boxer engine.

    Wait. Subaru uses boxers? I didn't realize anyone still used boxers. I may have to buy a Subaru as my next car.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ominous said in Car Shopping:

    @Ganymede said in Car Shopping:

    The Crosstrek is built on an Impreza frame and uses Subaru's infamous Boxer engine.

    Wait. Subaru uses boxers? I didn't realize anyone still used boxers. I may have to buy a Subaru as my next car.

    Yep. Like, universally.



  • @Aria

    I don't think so. I believe the Outback has switched to a different engine. Only the Impreza and Crosstrek, to my knowledge, offer the Boxer engine.

    Those models will soon go to CVT, though.

    Edit: I was wrong; the Outback still uses a Boxer Engine and so should you.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede

    Are CVTs incompatible with Boxer engines?



  • @Ominous

    No. I believe Subaru has them. But I’m leery of CVTs. Last time I checked they were very expensive to fix.


  • Pitcrew

    @Ganymede
    And a regular transmission is cheap to fix?



  • @Ominous said in Car Shopping:

    And a regular transmission is cheap to fix?

    Cheaper, certainly. Normal transmission will cost you between $1,500 to $3,000. CVTs are upwards of $3,500, and Subarus are at the higher end, near $8,000.


  • Pitcrew

    That is "I'm buying a new to me car" territory.



  • @Ominous

    I should probably say, the reason why normal transmissions are less expensive is because you can rebuild them. CVTs need to be generally replaced, which is why they cost so much.


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