Monday, October 1, 2012

A bit bigger: Six months with our not-so-small car that's not that big

2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X

In our household, we own three vehicles: Our '07 Toyota Yaris, our '95 Suzuki Sidekick, and then the most recent addition, our '12 Subaru Forester. You can already hear the song: "One of these things just doesn't belong here ..."

The Forester is, well, big—at least compared to the other two vehicles we own. It's the largest car either Mercedes or I have owned. Yes, it's a "compact" SUV/CUV/crossover/whatever-they-call-them-these-days, but it's taken some time to get used to. I mean, it's a full 17.5 inches longer than our Suzuki SX4 we traded in, 26 inches longer than our diminutive Yaris, and 35.8 inches longer than our seemingly lilliputian two-door Suzuki Sidekick.

On the plus side, it is definitely nice to have some more room on the interior for hauling cargo, people, and going camping. It's also nice to have more power (+30 hp/+34 tq.), granted the Forester weighs 516 lbs. more than our SX4.

I will have to say, I feel a bit torn having such a big vehicle. (I know, I know. It really isn't that big.)  Unfortunately, other than an SX4, there aren't any other subcompact AWD vehicles out there with a manual transmission that are under $20,000, other than the Impreza, which is more of a compact. And although the Impreza is a very nice automobile, we both found the Forester more entertaining to drive, and the extra space will be good to grow into if we have kids, inherit a Mastiff or a Great Dane. But I digress.

We do really enjoy many of the qualities this car has. It rides great, has a good amount of ground clearance; it feels powerful and has all that space I was talking about. But still, I can't help but feel a bit out of place owning something bigger than our former SX4 or the Yaris. Then again, it's always nice to have the option to have a bigger vehicle when needed. Between Mercedes driving the Yaris for work (she drives a lot more than I do), the Sidekick, and having a review car, we haven't even hit 3,000 miles on this car yet, but that's likely to happen this week. There's certainly nothing wrong with low miles, though. Once the weather gets worse here in the Pacific Northwest and ski season comes about, I'm sure the miles will increase drastically.

So while this might be something "a bit bigger," we still enjoy it, and look forward to utilizing it's biggness. It just takes some getting used to.

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