We found the Subaru Outback and Forester both "suffered" from an
overly wide "transmission hump" between the front seats.
I rode shotgun when SWMBO test drove it so was able to notice it.
Seat yourself in the passenger seat, your back *square* against the
seat back (i.e., like you are intended to sit). Look at the
position of your left (inbound) foot. Instead of being inline with
your knee which should be inline with your hip and all "normal" to
the seat back, you will find that the "hump" has forced it over to
the right several inches. I.e., your lower body ends up twisted
in the seat to accommodate this placement.
[Inspecting the position of the inner seat edge and outer hump
extents should make this clear to you AFTER you've experienced it.]
I loved the oil filter's location "up top"! But, the engine seemed
a bit underpowered and noisey when you punched it.
We didn't like any of the beemers so can't help you there...
Wife is slim in size. Subie has more Hp/torque than X1 by 10 Hp.
She's going to test drive Subie first and go across street to try X1.
Going to be her car so she will decide. I really wanted to get her like
Acura RDX but she did not like it all. She does not like my MDX either.
For some reason she complains seat is not comfy. She better pick one of
two. I hate car shopping. The noise could be due to the nature of CVT.
Thanks for pointing out about the seat issue.
We don't drive much so "performance" wasn't a real issue.
SWMBO had her mind set on the Outback before we started shopping.
Forester was first test drive. She wasn't very impressed (as the
driver). I was very uncomfortable (as pasenger) -- but didn't yet
understand the reason.
Came back another day to test drive the Outback and I was *just*
as uncomfortable. OK, there's a pattern here! Which is what drove
me to more critically examine my "seated posture" (I'm 6 ft, average
weight, nothing "unusual" to stress the ergonomics of the car!)
We ended up with a '16 RDX. The MDX was too big for her. (I'm surprised
she even considered *any* SUV's for that matter!)
RDX was second or third car we'd looked at and initially dismissed it
as too big (lumped it together with our impressions of the larger MDX).
Also not fond of leather interior (too hot, here) and silly moonroof.
But, what we *both* noticed in that first look at the RDX was how
comfortable the seats (driver AND passenger) were! I.e., we hadn't even
considered the feel of the seats as a selection criteria at that point!
Like many women, SWMBO likes seat *high* (so they can see what's passing
under the bumper as they drive??). I, OTOH, want a seat down on the
floor boards and "all the way BACK". Given that we may each end up in
the driver *or* passenger seats, the fact that the RDX offered
virtually identical capabilities in both positions was a win (no power
lumbar on the passenger side -- big deal!)
We looked at a *lot* of vehicles over the course of several months.
This caused us to revise our initial "want list" to include some
features that we hadn't initially considered:
- power liftgate as that heavy door can be a problem for her as she
- blind spot and cross traffic monitors as "looking over shoulder"
seems to be a problem that plagues older people
- likewise for the backup camera
- spare tire *inside* the vehicle (I'm not keen on crawling UNDER
a vehicle to retrieve the spare; nor the "drive flat" tires!)
Vehicles that didn't offer this set of features were eliminated.
We also were careful to consider the length of the vehicle; some
were so long that the liftgate wouldn't be operable inside the
garage (without leaving the garage door open or moving the freezer
chest that we have in the garage). This was usually an easy choice
as longer typically just meant "seating for 7" (instead of 5) -- we
only need seating for *two*! :>
There were lots of little things that (on top of the seat comfort issue)
biased us to the RDX. It seemed like the car had more well thought out
features than many of the others. Often, "little things".
E.g., many cars will (optionally!) tilt the side mirrors downward when
in reverse. But, it's usually a "configuration option". E.g., something
you "set" and the car always does (e.g., the Volvo allowed you to specify
*which* mirror(s) would tilt downward). On the RDX, the driver makes
that choice on the fly: flip the mirror adjust switch (on left
armrest) to the left AS IF you were going to use the 4-way joystick
to adjust the LEFT mirror and the left mirror tips down when the
car is in reverse. Likewise for the right mirror. Leave the
switch in the center neutral position and the mirrors return to
their normal positions.
Similarly, the statistics that the car maintains re: fuel economy
are detailed enough without being overly detailed. What's my
instantaneous fuel economy? What is my average fuel economy since
I started the car? What was it the *last* time I started the car?
What has it been since I last reset the trip odometer? etc.
So, with a tiny bit of planning, you can get virtually all the data
you might typically want without being inundated with all sorts of
E.g., I have trip odometer A set to autoreset at each fill-up. So,
the average fuel economy since last trip odometer reset effectively
gives me fuel economy per tankful. The B trip odometer lets me pick
two arbitrary points in time to determine the average fuel efficiency
(e.g., a long trip that consumes multiple tankfuls; or, just a stretch
of "interesting" roadway).
There are lots of other "little things" like this that suggest some
thought was placed in the design instead of just throwing features
The biggest annoyance is that you can't "dump" your settings to a thumb
drive! E.g., accidentally delete your points of interest and there's no
easy way to restore them!
[Though, there is a hack that you can exploit: create the POI's on
a thumbdrive on your PC. Then, *load* them from the thumbdrive.
So, if the vehicle's data gets erased, you can always reload the
POI's the same way!]
Of course, there are bugs in the technology. So far, most seem
to be race-related. I've been trying to catalog the conditions
that cause each to manifest but we've only put ~60 hours on the car
(in 3 months) so haven't had many opportunities to "trip it up".
[By contrast, I was able to "hard crash" the infotainment system
in one of the Nissan's without really trying! <shudder>]
We deliberately avoided the Acura-Watch (?) technology (forward
facing camera?) as the implementation seems to have thermal problems
(sit in the hot sun and the features that rely on that mechanism, will
all throw errors and then shut down -- and you want me to PAY for this??)
[I watched a unit fail in exactly this way while seated in the driver's
seat. The salesman was NOT surprised! <shudder>]
A head-scratcher is the *hole* that hides behind the rear license
plate! Can't figure out why it *should* be there! :< Contraband??
As I said, we found the RDX to be the most comfortable. We also liked
one of the Volvo's and one of the Nissan's. But, all things considered,
the RDX was the clear winner. She'd also had ~20 years of good experiences
with her previous Honda and the Acura before *that* so...
The CVT is an interesting idea. Not sure how reliable it will prove to
be in the long run. I've seen similar technology employed in other
machines with *BIG* synchronous motors (predating VFD's). But, in those
cases, it was primarily a "set and forget" sort of function; not
something that was actively manipulated!
Good luck in your search!
Don Y wrote:>> Thanks for pointing out about the seat issue.
Too I don't understand why she does not like RDX(My choice). When son
had Subie WRX I drove it a few times on the open road full throttle
near our home. He moved to Bimmer M3 which is money pit. Expensive
to maintain. Car like this should be leased. Daughter still drives Subie
Impreza wagon. CVT has come a long way. Nissan had big problem with
first CVT on Murano but they figured things out. Subie had CVT on the
little Justy 30 years ago, I guess they think it is good enough now to
mate it with Turbo engines.
<shrug> If it's essentially going to be *her* car, then it should
essentially be *her* choice. The seat comfort issue was important
to us because we often ride together (shopping, etc.). And, the
*passenger* seat then takes on special significance. E.g., she loved
her little Honda -- but hated the passenger seat therein. Fine
as she rarely sat in it!
We were "underimpressed" with the BMW's. Saw a larger mercedes that
*I* would have been comfortable driving but way too large for SWMBO.
Again, as it was intended to be *her* car, important that *she* like
No idea. I still prefer rear wheel drive and a big V8. Idea behind
CVT is simple -- probably a lot simpler than an automatic! Just
have no experience with them in practice (performance, reliability).
I'd be curious as to how well it digs down to lower "gears" when
you stomp on it for acceleration -- along with the smarts that keep
it *mechanically* from going *too* low at high speeds, etc.
But, at my age, I'm not keen on "tinkering" under the hood just for the
sake of tinkering. More exciting ways to spend my time!
A lot of good points. Highlights my irritation with a lot of car
magazines. They fall in love with high performance vehicles that are
great when you want to take a fast test drive and play race car driver
but that don't really suit the needs of "life" on an everyday basis.
Actually little turbo engines give better MPG over all. I am very gentle
when I drive but when I need power I better have some. I'd rather drive
a cr with good weight/power ratio and over powered engine. Wife chose
Subie to picke up on Saturday. That CVT has 3 different drive modes
on top of X-drive, also has paddle shift.
We've not used the paddle shifters on the RDX. Maybe someday? <shrug>
X-drive looks like it would be worthwhile in more inclement weather
(it's sunny 360 days/year, here) or if you're into "off-roading".
Unfortunately, the driving modes don't affect the suspension/ride
I would be curious to see if you notice the "tranny hump" issue
that I mentioned (in the passenger seat)...
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