Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

So I’ve been thinking of getting a Subaru Crosstrek. I love my Mazda 3, but I’ve been finding it too low/stuff for the local parking lots. I keep rubbing the front chin on the tallest curbs in the known universe they keep installing in front of parking stalls, and the speed bump situation is out of control in my area.
Another reason is that my parents aren’t getting any younger and the 3 is kind of low for them to get in the back whenever they visit.

I like the size of the 3 and this feels like it’s about the same footprint since it’s basically just a raised Impreza.
I’ve looked a bit into it and it seems quite capable for what it is. It’s no rock crawler but it should be able to get us to some trails and campsite that the 3 wouldn’t be able to.

I’m trying to book a test drive to see if I hate the CVT or if I can live with it.

Any thoughts?

Any reason you aren't considering the CX crossover based on the 3?
 
I've looked at the CX-30, which is the closest in terms of size with the 3, and honestly apart from the slightly higher ride height it doesn't seem different enough to warrant the change in my mind. The only new feature that I'd like on it is the memory seat function to adjust between my wife and I, but that's a minor thing.

I'm not a fan of the whole crossover idea to be honest, if I'm going to get an "SUV" I'd like something that can go somewhere that the 3 can't and I don't feel that a CX-30 can do much more than the 3.
I may be buying into the Subaru marketing hype, but from the various reviews I've seen the Crosstrek is quite a bit more capable. Whether or not I'd actually use any of that capability is another matter though :D

Anyway, I've booked a test drive at my local Subaru dealer to scratch that itch for now, we'll see what I think on Monday. To be honest I don't think I'd pull the trigger anytime soon either way, I like not having car payments right now and it's not like there's anything wrong with this one at the moment.
 
Kia outsold Hyundai in the US for the first time ever, last month. Beat Hyundai by around 10%. As recent as 2009, Hyundai's sales were double Kia's.
 
TIL why the Fiat 500 in the US at launch had a weirdly positioned aux/usb input inside the glove box.

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Because in europe, there just wasn't a glove box.
 
We just went to test-drive a Crosstrek at my local Subaru dealer, and I have some thoughts:
- I like the look of it, it looks tougher than my 3 but not too SUV-y.
- The interior is roomy. The quality felt fine, although this one was a Limited vs the Onyx (Sport in the US) that’d I’d be looking for, so it had leather seats and such.
- I don’t like the leather they use on the steering wheel vs the 3, it felt cheap.
Driving impressions:
- Floaty ride, I was mostly expecting it and for the most part it seems ok, definitely comfier than the 3 when passing railroad tracks or speed bumps, but you can definitely feel the front dive quite hard under braking for instance.
- The gearbox is meh in normal mode, it’s definitely not the worst CVT I’ve ever driven (hello Dodge Caliber), but nowhere near as nice as the 6-speed slush box in the 3. Putting it in Sport mode and using the flappy paddles to go through the “gears” make it come alive though. But the 3 is nicer to drive and more responsive in normal mode in my opinion. Some of it could be due to the fact that the Subaru only had 140km on the clock though.
- Handling, from my limited drive, seems fine, although the steering doesn’t has much feedback as the 3.
- The back seats are a lot more roomy and nicer than the 3 even without moving the front seats from our normal seating position so that’s a plus, but when you open the trunk you realize why. It’s quite a bit smaller than the 3, which we already find to be on the smaller size when carrying luggage. When lowering the back seats it’s about the same, which makes sense since they’re about the same size of car.
- The climate controls are mostly touch, apart from the temperature settings, it’s not the worst implementation I’ve seen and I think it’d be mostly ok to use, but the physical controls of the 3 win.
- Wireless CarPlay seems a bit more annoying than the wired one I currently have.

Ultimately the cargo room is a dealbreaker for us as tend to carry a lot of stuff in the trunk and we’d have to lower the back seats a lot more than we currently do in the 3 which is not only annoying, but also not always possible.
 
We just went to test-drive a Crosstrek at my local Subaru dealer, and I have some thoughts:
- I like the look of it, it looks tougher than my 3 but not too SUV-y.
- The interior is roomy. The quality felt fine, although this one was a Limited vs the Onyx (Sport in the US) that’d I’d be looking for, so it had leather seats and such.
- I don’t like the leather they use on the steering wheel vs the 3, it felt cheap.
Driving impressions:
- Floaty ride, I was mostly expecting it and for the most part it seems ok, definitely comfier than the 3 when passing railroad tracks or speed bumps, but you can definitely feel the front dive quite hard under braking for instance.
- The gearbox is meh in normal mode, it’s definitely not the worst CVT I’ve ever driven (hello Dodge Caliber), but nowhere near as nice as the 6-speed slush box in the 3. Putting it in Sport mode and using the flappy paddles to go through the “gears” make it come alive though. But the 3 is nicer to drive and more responsive in normal mode in my opinion. Some of it could be due to the fact that the Subaru only had 140km on the clock though.
- Handling, from my limited drive, seems fine, although the steering doesn’t has much feedback as the 3.
- The back seats are a lot more roomy and nicer than the 3 even without moving the front seats from our normal seating position so that’s a plus, but when you open the trunk you realize why. It’s quite a bit smaller than the 3, which we already find to be on the smaller size when carrying luggage. When lowering the back seats it’s about the same, which makes sense since they’re about the same size of car.
- The climate controls are mostly touch, apart from the temperature settings, it’s not the worst implementation I’ve seen and I think it’d be mostly ok to use, but the physical controls of the 3 win.
- Wireless CarPlay seems a bit more annoying than the wired one I currently have.

Ultimately the cargo room is a dealbreaker for us as tend to carry a lot of stuff in the trunk and we’d have to lower the back seats a lot more than we currently do in the 3 which is not only annoying, but also not always possible.

Maybe something a half size up (in the weird subsegment I like to call "subcompact plus") would be better in terms of cargo space. Cars like Taos, Compass, Corolla Cross, play there.
 
For the sake of curiosity, we went to test drive a Mazda CX-30. They only had a used 2020 GS, which has the same 2.0 as my 3, it felt basically identical to drive, with a slightly raised driving position. The interior is certainly a better place to be than my old 3 and the Crosstrek, but it didn’t very SUV-y (about as hard on speed bumps as my 3 for instance).

They also had a newer 3 GT Turbo and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of giving it a try. With that engine, it’s basically a pending speeding ticket on wheels. It’s completely unnecessary for the type of driving we do, but damn is it fun.

Regarding the practicality of the things, they’re basically identical to each of other, and trunk space is a little smaller than my older 3 for some reason.

After the test drive, we got back in the 3 and didn’t really feel like it’s much of a downgrade compared we the newer ones. I think I’ve scratched my new car itch for a while.
 
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Another Jaaag? What could possibly go wrong? :LOL:
 
Completely random automotive thought: all electric adjustable seats should have an on and off switch like most electric mirrors so you can't accidentally use the buttons for adjusting your seat. Especially the ones without memory functions.
 
So yeah, new project is home. No PYC thread unless my fiancee wants to post her own, but it's in amongst its own kind and ready to be resurrected.

The glutton for punishment is strong with this one. The 6-pot seems to be fairly robust and easy to do shit with though, unlike the V12.

Series 1 or 2?
 
Completely random automotive thought: all electric adjustable seats should have an on and off switch like most electric mirrors so you can't accidentally use the buttons for adjusting your seat. Especially the ones without memory functions.
Thing of this, how has Tesla not eliminated those buttons yet? Or have they and I didn’t notice? Seat controls surely make a dollar or so in manufacturing cost, should’ve just put the seats on the touchscreen and left the stalks alone…
 
The glutton for punishment is strong with this one. The 6-pot seems to be fairly robust and easy to do shit with though, unlike the V12.

Series 1 or 2?
Series 1, and with no rubber on the bumpers at all.
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Thing of this, how has Tesla not eliminated those buttons yet? Or have they and I didn’t notice? Seat controls surely make a dollar or so in manufacturing cost, should’ve just put the seats on the touchscreen and left the stalks alone…

Christ don't give them ideas :p
 
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