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Advice needed What car to buy for Hotham?

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Seemonski, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. Every2years

    Every2years Hard Yards

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    I have K-summits that I fit to a VW Tiguan due inside clearance issues. We have driven on them a number if times, admittedly to Falls Creek. Ihave driven the Hotham road and it certainly has far greater potential for difficulty but it is a little irritating that Hotham is effectively not an option with our curent vehicle. I appreciate that K-summits require the attachment to be tight and user error could be an issue but user error is also an issue with poorly fitted diamond chains.

    Not sure that I am convinced by the argument about percentage of the tread that is not covered. Surely it is about the contact patch of the chain with the road surface rather than the percentage of the tyre that is covered. The contact patch of the K-summit itself is independent of the width of the tyre inside of it. It would be intersesting to see actual numbers for the chain contact surface area of a k-summit versus a standard diamond chain. I wouldnt be surprised if the k-summit had more chain in contact with the road surface given the design pattern of the chan itself compared with a standard diamond pattern.
     
  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'll also add that the service at his shop is top notch, and if you have some lightly used (or not at all used) chains but they don't fit your new car, it's entirely possible that you'll walk out with another set of lightly used chains that do fit at very little cost.

    I personally went down the snow tyres road and am happy with the decision. My car (Touareg) came with tyres that have no business on snowy and icy roads, the peace of mind is great. I got lucky finding some smaller rims for not much, and the 18" snow tyres are quite a lot cheaper than the 21" standard tyres for my car, and I tend to do the bulk of my km in winter, so I'm actually saving money by using them.
     
  3. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    except for the Escort RS Cosworth that came with the monster Turbo and AWD set up, that became the alternative to the Sierra

     
  4. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm sure I could have rocked up to my local Ford dealer back in the day and driven away in one.


    Not.
     
  5. Endless_Winter

    Endless_Winter One of Us

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    Yes, mine does have a DPF, but i'm not referring to the possible DPF issue with diesels, as this may occur whether you drive in hotham, wang, melbourne or the tropics. I'm referring to issues (specifically diesel gelling) that are going to affect you if you drive and park in sub zero temps.
     
  6. Tom from Melbourne

    Tom from Melbourne Hard Yards

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    Just a 'here here' for @Richard and @CarveMan and their comments RE @snowtyres.

    Last year I posted looking for advice on what chains would fit a new car with low clearance. The forum and everyone's input was massively helpful to me, and in the end I went with @snowtyres recommendations, and received great service from him and his business.
     
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  7. hongomania

    hongomania One of Us Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    As for the original post - wagon all the way. Low COG, heaps of space, drives well etc. Passat alltrack as an example. Sounds like you want a new car, I only have experience with late 2000s Subarus (legendary cars - 07 Impreza and 07 liberty wagon; which has factory low range). Manual gearbox + turn off electronic aids imo is ideal in the snow + smooth progressive inputs. 2010 outback manual 3.6R which is also excellent

    My two cents on the snow tyres debate - with all due respect to others opinions and @snowtyres who does contribute valuable information, but must be taken with a grain of salt as it is ultimately a marketing tool

    I have driven snow tyres in Japan and the USA - they definetly help if you get into a slide! However given the Hotham road is in parts steep with endless drop offs, I would rather have chains in sketchy conditions, rather than rely on snow tyres.

    Why purchase separate tyres and rims for the let's say one way 15km - 30km of snow driving you might do a few times a year. Just put chains on. if you really want extra security get some chains for all 4 wheels. Takes a few minutes to fit them, drive at 30kmhr and enjoy the safety. Chains will always get you further than snow tyres, which are designed for countries where the entire road network is icy and snowy during winter, not a few km of an alpine resort road in Australia. Clearly setting special stage record times isn't your concern, so find a good all year tyre with balance between performance and safety. Snow tyres will just wear out faster and do not have as good performance in normal conditions + do nothing once chains are fitted - with that happening seemingly more at Hotham since 2012

    Living at DP full time June - sep, I would do more snow kms than alot of people. My $150 eBay diamond chains (purchased in 2007) on my 195/60/15 Michelin XM2 tyres are still going strong. Haven't fallen off the road yet in 315,000km in 2007 base Impreza model #manual #awd #92kw #driverinvolvement

    I also drive a modified 4wd with mud tyres - not so great on icy roads....
     
  8. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have a manual Subie XV, bought about 3 years ago. Low centre of gravity. Pretty much an Impreza with higher clearance. Probably too small for a family though. I bought it to replace my old Outback, because the new Outbacks are big cars - way bigger than I wanted. The XV is a wee bit small for me and all the stuff I need to cart around, but I manage. Don't know if they still do manual versions.
     
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  9. rowdyflat

    rowdyflat One of Us

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    A lot of this is interesting but rather academic since the nannystaters are very unlikely to change the rules regarding Hotham and using diamond chains.
    Therefore getting back to the question you really want an AWD car with normal profile tyres and chains that you can put on the front since the front is more accessible.
    Chains are overprescribed in Victoria but some of it is to compensate for inexperienced and stupid drivers.
    Unlikely IMHO that snowtyres would ever be accepted as a substitute.
     
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  10. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Agree that the wagon is an excellent form factor, just disappointing that there’s not much out there with the clearance required for a Buller Village permit. A Passat Alltrack ‘R’ with 185mm clearance, if such a thing existed, would be perfect for me. The Touareg is a great car though, and a beast with the TTV8.
     
  11. Mitchell Pearce

    Mitchell Pearce One of Us

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    Nissian Cube for some reason they stopped making the AWD model in 2014
     
  12. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    And i thought the yeti was ugly. ..
     
  13. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    well of course, as long as your dealer was euro based. but someone mentioned Sierras, same boat.

    Unfortunately while Europe got RS Cosworths, Ford Australia got shat with the Mazda 323 crap
     
  14. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's why they do alpine mix :rolleyes:
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you think it's that simple, read some of the threads dedicated to frozen diesel!
     
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  16. Shrike

    Shrike Hard Yards

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    I have a 2014 CVT (Wanted a manual but couldn't get one with the FB25) Non turbo Liberty Wagon which did 30days at the snow last season (about 17000km of driving including off mount for those trips)

    Fits 5 lads (including myself) with gear and plenty of foot space, Have low profile roof racks and a cargo barrier in the back. When its not snow season it still carts the dog around no issue (malamute) I have had a Mal and a huskie in the boot but couldn't fit a 3rd.

    I get 8L/100km and while I would like more power it has enough grunt to pass etc if you drive it properly

    Only had to put the chains on when it was mandatory to do so, plenty of clearance for chains on the front

    I use Autotechnica CAP100

    Runs 215/50/17, car came with 3 different brand tyres on it (front of the same, rear are different) slowly wearing them down before I replace the whole lot.

    Only had 2 times where she slid on black ice and I didn't lose control either time (one was coming down Falls creek and I was pushing it more then I should have) and the other was going up Hotham early morning at the start of the season (I misread the condition of the corner) No complaints, had all the recalls done on it etc

    No idea what I would buy these days, I don't use it daily as I have a motorbike and the GF has a work car
     
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  17. Scott No Mates Ver 1.1

    Scott No Mates Ver 1.1 Addicted

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    Bought an XLT for the missus - she loves it. It gets alot of city driving (8.6km/l actual - about 550km/tank) and just over 9.5km/l on long distance drives. I wouldn't fork out for the Wildtrak (too gimicky). Parking takes a little getting used to (esp reverse parks).

    We have the same roller shutter on the back as the Wildtrak, put in a cargo barrier to break up the load area and stop things rolling around. Comes with the towball, 3.5t capacity (my pushbike must be real heavy).
     
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  18. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    One of the best snow cars i've ever driven.

    The 4wd Cube that is
     
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  19. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    So i am on the look out for a new car.

    Realistically i don't actual drive my current car all that much. (no commute to work etc) but if i am weekend warrior-ing, most of my ks will be driving Sydney to Jindy and Perisher.

    Highly leaning towards a subie again - but which one to get. Have owned an impresa hatch and an outback. I would have gone a diesel except for the issues raised in this thread (although i don't understand i will just believe you guys!)

    I am leaning towards an auto as well. but really fear i will miss the turbo diesel auto i currently have (ie guts!) unfortunately keeping it is not an option. i have 10 - 12k to spend.
     
  20. person s

    person s Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I like the Yeti - sad that its replacement the Karoq is relaly just a Tiguan
    I suggested it to some friends as an option once but they didn't buy one
    they're not my friends anymore, for a dfferent reason
     
  21. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    After living in the states for three years and having snow-tyres fitted to both cars (or truck as one was a dodge ram), I would love to fit snow tyres here in Australia for the winter months as we travel almost weekly to Hotham.
    The cost of snow tyres here in Australia is prohibitive.
    I think this is why there is so much back-lash.
    Get the price to a reasonable level and the sales volume will increase.

    I disagree that the Hotham Road is special. I have driven on much higher roads mid winter in Colorado and other states, and have been on a number of high passes in Europe as well. The Million Dollar Hwy from Ouray to Silverton is one that comes to mind...over 3200 meters, with the town of Silverton at 1000 meters higher than Hotham (from memory).
    The passes were that high the Ram was struggling....
    *** and it was bloody cold 1st thing in the morning at Silverton

    A number of people talk about the fact that Aussies drivers are not used to the conditions, this is true....but little has been mentioned about the road crews and equipment we have here. Compared to overseas we just don't have the equipment or the experience to keep the Harrietville approach clear after a big dump. This is not a dig at the crews, but just stating facts....overseas they deal with big dumps on a daily basis in some cases and have larger resources to call on...
     
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  22. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Golf or Passat Alltrack wagon, great for city use, will handle the mellow, occasionally little slippery alpine road, lovely on the curves.

    Great value for money, drive as good, or better than the more expensive Germans, proper station wagon has more volume than the average SUV. Bought one (Golf wagon) years ago for my family, great little vehicles for covering long kilometres, did 2200km easily one day in the Golf. Pick up a nice one for under $30,000 (Passat) or under $20,000 (Golf).
     
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  23. Ozgirl

    Ozgirl A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are they AWD?
     
  24. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Alltracks are. Same formula as Subaru Outback. AWD plus a bit extra ground clearance and some plastic body add-ons.
     
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  25. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    The other advantage is they don't have the godforsaken CVT transmissions that Subaru are persisting with.

    It's really sad as they otherwise make great cars, but I couldn't bring myself to buy a Subaru with their current transmission choice.

    My sister had a Passat Altrack and it was good. Lots of VWs in my family actually - she's had the Passat and now has a Tiguan, I had a Golf R32 and now have a Touareg, my brother had an R36, my dad has a Golf R.
     
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  26. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    CVT, DSG. Hobson's choice to me.
     
  27. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    DSG is fantastic.
     
  28. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I live in area with an abundance of yummy mummy / life of luxury womens.

    The waddling 200 series Landcruiser wagon is still 'the' status symbol of choice for them between crossfit & shopping, we had the one of the first Golf wagons around town, now I'm seeing a surprising number of Golf & Passat wagon's replacing the 'traditional' SUV's.

    The station wagon really is a functional vehicle shape for many purposes.
     
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  29. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The level of finish between Subaru & Volkswagen is widely disparate in my opinion.
     
  30. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    Irrespective of the make and model AWD you have, or the transmission system your AWD has, it is the tyres that determines how the vehicle performs in winter snow and icy conditions.
    The vehicle’s technical features can not improve the grip level of a tyre.
    If you think the winter performance of your AWD is good it will be even better in hazardous winter conditions when it is fitted with new 3PMSF winter tyres.
     
  31. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Exactly why this is the only vehicle you should go near cold place in....

    https://sherpatv.com

     
  32. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I wasn't talking about that.
     
  33. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, I know. Targeting the same niche / market.

    Like the Amarok & Ranger when they first came out, Amarok is leagues ahead in finish, but think the Ranger is a better work vehicle.
     
  34. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Don't you have a Touareg?
     
  35. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes but I had an R32 with DSG before it. And when my dad’s R comes out of lease I’m tempted to grab it if we decide we need a second car again.

    Torque converter autos are improving at a massive rate, and the Aisin 8spd in the Touareg is silky smooth, but I’d elect for a dual clutch gearbox in any car that is supposed to perform.

    But CVTs can go die in a fire. There are so many Subaru’s that I’d consider if they had even a slushbox let alone a dual clutch.
     
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  36. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Totally agree. I just did a few thousand km in a wagon in Europe and when I got home back to my SUV I could immediately tell it is an inferior form factor, and even though the high position is great for vision the body roll is nuts.

    But I am hamstrung by the clearance regs for a Buller Village permit. If this wasn’t the case I would absolutely have some form of fast AWD wagon with winter rubber.
     
  37. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Surely there must be a fast AWD wagon or 2 with height-adjustable suspension?
     
  38. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    TBH I haven't looked closely since I got the Touareg, and in the meantime Buller dropped the requirement from 200mm to 185mm so that opens a few doors.

    There were plenty of SUVs coming out with clearances in the 185+ but sub-200mm range that would be eminently capable with the right tyres that forced the change, just not sure about 'tall fast wagons'.

    Golf R wagon has 142mm clearance for example, and an Audi RS6 has 114mm.

    Golf Alltrack has 175mm, so even if such a thing as a Golf Alltrack R existed, it still wouldn't fit the bill. Same goes for the Passat.
     
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  39. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Though circling back round to the OP, for Hotham duties I'd probably have a Golf R Wagon with snow tyres and make sure the wheels had clearance for easy chain fitting. That said I had a C Class Merc sedan for a while and just whipped out the jack when I had to fit chains, took 30 seconds and probably saved 5 times that in making it super easy to reach inside the wheel arch etc.
     
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  40. Every2years

    Every2years Hard Yards

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    I have a Golf R wagon. Fantastic car. Plenty of fun but with the versatility of the wagon. I'm not sure that you'd be able to get wheels that give enough clearance to fit diamond pattern chains and clear the brakes though.
    (My K-summits fit nicely but not allowed:()
     
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  41. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    What diameter wheels? It's pretty rare to have brakes that won't clear 17" or even 16" wheels. I've seen some laughably tiny brakes inside 19" wheels.
     
  42. Every2years

    Every2years Hard Yards

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    Stock is 19. You might be able to drop down to a 17 and clear the brakes but I'm not sure there would be enough clearance for diamond chains. Don't think a 16 would fit, could wrong though.
     
  43. jungfrau

    jungfrau One of Us

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    Volvo V60 T6 3.0T. Non R design
     
  44. jungfrau

    jungfrau One of Us

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    Can one hire winter wheels and tyres?
     
  45. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    The owner's manual may have that info. I haven't looked for ages, but I think the manual for my diesel Astra wasn't specific to Australia, and listed all the wheel and tyre sizes approved by the factory for that model worldwide.

    I'd be interested in finding out what the Golf R manual says about wheels, tyres and chains, as I could be interested if and when they bring in another batch of wagons.
     
  46. Every2years

    Every2years Hard Yards

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    I just checked the manual, which covers all golf wagons, and it does state that chains can be fitted to 205/50 R17 (6J x 17 offset 48). The table also includes R16 and R15 specs but I just cant see that they would fit over the brakes. I had read on a VW forum that even with smaller wheels chains wont fit on an R - perhaps the wagon hs some more clearance. Might be worth doing some more investigating.
     
  47. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    This is the (and the only) approved Winter tyre and wheel that Volkswagen supply for Golf R
    that is approved for use of snow chains
    Suitable for:
    Golf GTI (MY 2013 →)
    Golf GTD (MY 2013 →)
    Golf GTE (MY 2015 →)
    Golf R (MY 2014 →)
    Golf R Estate (MY 2016→)

    Rim: Dijon 6.0J x 17 ET 48
    Tyre: Pirelli Sottozero 3
    Size: 205/50 R17 93V XL
    Article number: 5G0.073.547.A .8Z8 (r)
    5G0.073.647.A .8Z8 (l)
    Snow chains: 000.091.387.AB
     
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  48. FatBoyDave

    FatBoyDave One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Can you adopt me.... please.
     
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  49. andrew_r

    andrew_r Hard Yards

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  50. nezumi

    nezumi One of Us

    Joined:
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    Agreed - I was already eyeing off an Outback after they added Android Auto as part of the refresh, but the additional features in the new model (combined with the 2.4 turbo in place of the former 3.6 6cyl) means I am happy to wait - especially as it should be available at the end of this year.
     
    andrew_r likes this.