Hi From Maryland
(If you saw my intro on the worldwide website, sorry if some of this is repetitive.)
Saturday I picked up my new Crosstrek (Premier, Dark Metallic Grey, CVT, Navigation (had to have Sirius radio), and Popular Package #1 (after having an auto-dim mirror in my Mazda6, it's a must have)). The color was important enough to have it transported from another state.
I'm a bit OCD and had trouble selecting a car. Considered and quickly ruled out the Crosstrek early on -- due to low HP (I try to stay ahead of traffic and zipped around in my Mazda6) and dismissive reviews saying it's just a tall Impreza. Months went by of mulling it over and checking out all kinds of cars and reviews. Really wanted a Subaru after driving one off-road on Kauai last year (the symmetrical AWD is amazing).
Last week took another look at the Crosstrek: AWD, ground clearance, tight package, excellent gas mileage, relatively lightweight (about the same as the lightweight Nissan Altima). Went for a test drive and couldn't figure out why 148 HP is such a big deal. And after a few days of driving, my assessment --
IF THIS CAR IS UNDERPOWERED, THEN WHY IS EVERYONE STILL IN MY WAY?
Indeed, it's not the horsepower, it's how you drive. Having 200+ horsepower seems to pointless for most drivers, starting and driving slowly as many of them talk on their phones.
Yesterday on the way to the gym, was cruising along effortlessly with the flow of traffic (in left HOV lane with my wife) at about 72 MPH (65 zone), about 2K RPM, exit came up, people to the right. Quickly overtook vehicles on the right and zipped into the right lane to exit. (BTW, in 28 years of driving I've never caused an accident, but I've been rear-ended a few times while stopped, so I prefer to keep traffic behind me, too many distracted drivers. I also don't get ticketed, mostly keep to 10 mph above speed limit on the highway, but keep it slow in residential areas. Don't want you all to think I'm reckless, I drive exceptionally well and know all the rules of the road.)
Under heavy acceleration the CVT and engine do get a little loud, but not as bad as some reviews would make it seem. Once cruising it's reasonably quiet. Per pound it's almost as well-powered as the 2.5 Outback (21 lb/HP vs. 20 lb/HP).
Any way, love this car! I also love that they aren't all over the road, even though they should be. I'm confident that if I encounter another one on the road, we're going to wave "hi" at each other. We're in a little club that has discovered the best crossover on the market. Tall Impreza? Pfft. The Impreza is now just a short Crosstrek.