Dan's Outside

I go, I see, I do, I walk, I think, I like…

My New Adventure Vehicle

Back in August I wrote about my search for a vehicle to replace my Dodge Durango. The Durango was a great vehicle for travel to the Sierra and beyond in all seasons – with four-wheel drive it could get me through snow and dirt/gravel roads, it was large enough to carry a bunch of fellow adventurers, and I could even camp inside. But it sucked gas. I was getting about 13 mpg in normal driving (maybe 14 mpg if I was very careful) and only 15-16 mpg on longer trips.

In the end we settled on a Subaru Outback. I got a nicely equipped model with the smaller non-turbo engine that is supposed to get 22-28 mpg. Guess what? It really does. Typical mileage in normal driving for me is about 25-26 mpg. On longer drives I consistently do get 28 mpg, and sometimes even a bit better than that. On a recent drive from Souther California to the SF Bay Area we actually got better than 29 mpg on the return trip.

I can’t vouch for its performance on dirt and gravel yet, and this winter I haven’t even had a chance to drive in real snow. (I did drive a bit in Seattle snow, but that is a more urban sort of thing.) By all reports it is not going to be as capable as the Durango, but I still think it will be fine for my use. More reports on that later…

Much to my surprise, I even discovered during an Autumn fall color trip to the eastern Sierra that I can sleep in the back of the Outback. With the middle seat down there is just enough room for me. Typically, I would prefer to set up a tent and sleep out in the fresh air, but there are times when I arrive at the end of a longish drive and it is just easier to roll out a sleeping bag and go to sleep.

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March 25, 2007 - Posted by | Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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