It’s been close to 20 years since I earned my license to drive and I’ve owned and driven a lot of cars to get me to the point I’m at today. My first car owned by an older woman and was a grocery getter and church trip taker. I cleaned it up changing the color from sky metallic blue to a Chevy Red / Orange and man did I love that car. A lot has changed in that time cars have gotten better, more fuel-efficient, smarter, and more comfortable. What has also changed was my needs out of a car, I went from going to the mall or a friends house to making trips for work into the deep backcountry of the Northeast.
The best all-around adventurer vehicle is the Subaru Outback and my 2018 already has 55,000 miles on it and its going strong. This is now the second Subaru I have owned, my previous Impreza logged 200,000 miles before I upgraded 2 years ago and it is still kicking ass. The best part about the Impreza was the only thing it ever needed was maintenance and since I tend to be religious about that nothing ever went wrong with it.
I owned a Volkswagen GTI for all of 6 months and probably put 20,000 miles on it, but I must have spent what I paid for the car itself it in repairs. I literally left the dealer repair shop and halfway home the check engine light re-illuminated. When I called when I got home after the 15-minute drive they said it would be $100 just to read the code again. Needless to say, I traded that car in with that check engine light still on and now I have diverged from my love for my Subaru.
Upgrading from the Impreza to the Outback was the best thing I could’ve done, the Impreza was great but when I found myself on logging roads or state forest roads the clearance wasn’t high enough and I would have to trek further in or find another vehicle to use for the trip. Being an advertising photographer / director and working in Boston + New York, I end up hauling a lot of gear around. The Outback gives me a lot more additional storage to fit large pelican cases, backdrops, and outdoor gear in one great sized package that is easy enough to parallel in tight city parking spots. If I do need more gear than this car fits, I’m usually working with a large crew and rent a grip van at that point.
“Love, it’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru!”
The biggest plus to owning a Subaru is brand loyalty, Subaru has a great reputation among outdoor enthusiasts and is Vermont’s unofficial state car. They have come a long ways in even the short time of owning one, constantly making improvements and adding features that are needed in harsher climates. My Outback has this feature and so did the Impreza – heated windshield wipers, this feature is amazing. It helps prevent a lot of icing on windshield wipers during some of the worst road conditions and is a lifesaver. Although it’s not perfect – mother nature always has a way of winning against man, but this greatly increases your visibility in harsh winter conditions. Another feature I love, which is becoming more readily available in other cars is Apple Carplay. This should be a requirement for anyone who uses the Apple ecosystem and has a car. It mirrors your phone in an easy to use interface to listen to music, use Apple Maps, Google Maps or Waze, and most importantly using Siri to text or talk while driving if it can’t wait until you are at your destination to respond.
The All-Wheel-Drive System the Subaru’s have is incredible, I only use all-season tires and have yet to get stuck on a road. I did have to shovel out my car once in the middle of a blizzard when I was trying to get through a snowbank at a trailhead and the parking lot wasn’t plowed yet, my bad. Meg my fiancé can attest that as long as the roads aren’t icy I will still drive to a project, climb, or destination in the middle of a Nor’Easter. I have a lot of trust in Subaru’s ability to get me to my destination. One time last winter I drove on an unplowed mountain road for a few miles with about 1.5 feet of fresh snow and had 0 issues when I switched over to the Subaru X-Mode and just went slow and steady.
At the end of the day, I would suggest anyone get a Subaru, they are well-built cars and if they can handle what I threw at it and expect of a car for my adventures, they can handle what you need out of a car too! My only wish is they made a truck (not their Baja) which is something I will get at some point and will be a secondary vehicle since I can’t part with my Outback!
We are not endorsed, sponsored or and any way affiliated with Subaru, just a super happy customer!