Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Vehicle Being Built

I'm waiting to hear when my 2017 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5i will be delivered.

Dianne and I tested several Outbacks and Toyota RAV4s, and chose the Subaru for its quietness and ride quality and ... at that trim level ... luxury. We tend to keep our vehicles for more than 10 years, and the 2005 Dodge Caravan that has done so well for me all these years is wearing out.

One of the features I insisted on was Adaptive Cruise Control. Toyota is still a bit behind in their implementation which does not go down to a complete stop and resume. Sorry, not good enough in 2017. Ride and noise did not help its case. The Outback will brake to a stop, and after 3 seconds put on the brakes in Hold state. A tap on the accelerator or a Resume on the cruise control button on the wheel will resume forward motion until the selected following distance is met or the previously set speed is reached. Works great. Driving in rush hour traffic on Steeles fron Yonge to Bayview (total stop and go) impressed us both.

Heated steering wheel. seats, and who knows what else... . Have not counted all the switches on the dash, but there are plenty to shut off all the autonomous (sort of) driver assists. Not likely to use most of those switches, ever. I consider the assists as aids to safety.

I have never been a hoodlum driver, car or bike. I like to enjoy the drive and not fight to the front of the pack. "Distance is your friend" is my motto which means I never tailgate. The cruise control might actually make me a tad more aggressive. Back when she was 3, Emma asked Dianne "Nanny, why does Poppy drive so slow?" which might just be more of a comment on Nanny's driving than mine, but Emma was probably not wrong. Amazing what a 3 year old notices and it was instructive hearing her judgement.

I have downloaded several of the Owner's Manual documents covering the car itself, Nav system and Audio/Nav system. Several inches of paper, as I saw at the Dealer. At least half must have been written by lawyers, who basically say not to use any autonomous feature or safety feature (including ABS) unless conditions are perfect, including the driver. Will be interesting to see how the features work in the coming winter. And, winter weather will be coming.

Definitely am getting Winter tires on new wheels. The wheels are their own story. My Outback comes with 18 inch wheels. Steel wheels (cheap but ugly) are not available in that size. Less expensive alloy wheels are not available with 55mm offset. Independent tire shops are quite willing to provide 17 inch wheels with taller tires that are skinnier than OEM. They will quite happily provide wheels with 40mm offset. This might be ok to some folks, but not for me or my two advisors who are motorcylists and also happen to be very experienced Mechanical Engineers. So, I will be taking advantage of Subaru's decision to offer deep discounts on good alloy 18 inch wheels with 55mm offset. Putting on Bridgestone Blizzaks, and since they will be bought at the dealer, they will be stored there until needed and the OEM tires stored there for free. (Free is a fluid concept, don't you think?)

More in a week or so. Yes, photos and road test will follow.