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Freestyle as an Outback alternative?

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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:14 pm

Freestyle as an Outback alternative?

Post by mikec1701 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:44 pm

Hi everyone,

Im new to the board, and considering a 2007 Freestyle as a sort of poor man's Subaru Outback.

Im looking for something I can take on long cross country drives, be relatively good on gas, go off on Forest roads to trailheads, and sleep in occasionally without too much of an issue.

Im not looking for real hard core off road trails, but it seems like the Freestyle has above average clearance (8.1" I believe). Im NOT as sure about its suitability in terms of overhangs, approach/departure angles, and frankly, weight (4000 lbs seems on the heavy side).

On a different aspect, Im weighing the pros and cons of AWD vs FWD. Reliability is important to me, and despite my desire to take it off road, I dont see much of an advantage personally to have AWD vs the decreased fuel economy and added complexity and weight. But I dont know how valid those reliability concerns are. Is the AWD model significantly more repair prone? Other things equal, with a desire for fuel economy, and not particularly needing the ability to drive in a lot of snow or ice, would you turn down an AWD example in favor of FWD?

I was just looking at an AWD SEL example at a dealer, one owner, with about 90k miles, and all looked great except for my concerns about not needing the AWD.

Could some experienced folks chime in? I'd appreciate it!!

Ive been driving my 2000 Honda Insight since new, and am weighing the older less expensive Freestyle against a (probably 3-5 year old, more expensive Outback or Crosstrek)



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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:58 am

Re: Freestyle as an Outback alternative?

Post by ds32928 » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:11 pm

FWD gets better hiway gas mileage than AWD
AWD is on demand, you cant switch to AWD, the front wheel(s) have to spin for the rear wheels to engage. Fine for mud, slick grass, but not the best for deep sand, etc, where you want all four wheels turning to take you out.
AWD can have problems with the rear drive. The motor or pump can fail and need replacement.
Not much clearance underneath, front wont take much of a steep incline without hitting, gradual incline is ok, but its no off road vehicle. Rear overhang is better, but dont count on an AWD Freestyle being a four wheel drive vehicle for trails marked as such.

Other members can have different experience and advice, this is my 2 cents.
Since you asked, I would choose a vehicle with the lowest mileage that drives/runs good, and is priced right, and not turn it down just because its an AWD. Rear drive problems are NOT a given on an AWD, but it happens in a few of them.

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