Advice needed What car to buy for Hotham?

scottski

A Local
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Sep 7, 2004
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Volvo XC70.2015 model. Ours is diesel, great snow car. Lots of room. Good on dirt roads and great in snow.
You can fit snow chains however we have never had to.
We had a Mazda CX-9. It ran out of AWD traction on the dirt road to our house. Snow and ice turned into AWD wheel spin and it slid down the hill and got stuck. The tow truck that came to rescue it slid down the same hill and wrote it off.
Or, buy a Subaru
 

weerab

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Jul 13, 2009
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Beautiful Altona Victoria
Volvo XC70.2015 model. Ours is diesel, great snow car. Lots of room. Good on dirt roads and great in snow.
You can fit snow chains however we have never had to.
We had a Mazda CX-9. It ran out of AWD traction on the dirt road to our house. Snow and ice turned into AWD wheel spin and it slid down the hill and got stuck. The tow truck that came to rescue it slid down the same hill and wrote it off.
Or, buy a Subaru
I have a Forester and also got stuck in my own dirt driveway a while back. I had to get towed out by a neighbour who had an old Landrover Discovery or County about mid eighties. I would have been fine except it was dark and I had been to the Highland Gathering at the Amulet winery! it was very embarrassing to say the least!
,
 
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nezumi

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Turbo Outback sounds very interesting but suspect it will not be cheap.

It will be interesting to see where they position it in the market price wise. On the plus side, the move to the new platform and revised engine should mean, finally, moving from 6 monthly servicing to 12 monthly (fiiiiinally!). This is another thing that has been holding me back from buying a Subaru, and this, along with the increase to the standard warranty, has swayed me further towards an Outback.
 

doddles

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Oct 9, 2001
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Another option might be the Suzuki Grand Vitara
I got one of these when I arrived back in Oz last October - 2015 manual 2.4L. Not sporty, that's for sure. 200mm clearance, 4WD (not AWD) with high and low range. Small enough not to be a pain in the city. I'm looking forward to testing it out in the snow this winter, but can't comment on its snow performance yet.
 

stansi

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Just a thought.
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Ozgirl

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Baby SUV sounds good!

I liked my impressa just no guts!

I leave my gear in Jindy all season. So space every weekend is not required.
 

Hermannator

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ASX in the top 10 selling cars... https://www.canstarblue.com.au/vehicles/top-selling-cars/

Others in the small SUV segment to consider are maybe the Mazda CX3/5, Hyundai/Kia offerings (Kona?) or BMW X1..

The Mazdas offer diesel I believe. Not sure where the edge of the 'small SUV' boundary is though - some of the above getting a bit larger.

If you wanna save $$ get a 2-3yo model still under factory warranty...
 
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Ozgirl

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Thanks for that!

Unfortunately the budget is only a Max of $12k

I was also thinking maybe a petrol suby won't be as bad as my last outback. (1997!) Fuel economy has come a long way since then?
 

Hermannator

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Thanks for that!

Unfortunately the budget is only a Max of $12k

I was also thinking maybe a petrol suby won't be as bad as my last outback. (1997!) Fuel economy has come a long way since then?
Get a Fiesta diesel econetic*. Most fuel-efficient car you can buy for that budget and you'll have a pile of change.

https://www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au/ tells you how little fuel it uses along with any other cars sold in Aus over the last decade or so.

* manual gearbox
 

Marty McSly

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Thanks for that!

Unfortunately the budget is only a Max of $12k

I was also thinking maybe a petrol suby won't be as bad as my last outback. (1997!) Fuel economy has come a long way since then?
That 2.5i has never been regarded as being on the bleeding edge of miserly fuel economy.

I've had my 2011 Outback (manual) for just on a month now, and I've been benchmarking fuel economy on E10 v's Premium 95. On my run to and from work, a 170km freeway/highway round trip, it's doing about 7.6 l/100km on 95, and about 8.0 on E10. I do have a slowdown through Singleton, especially on dayshifts. Weekend mornings it takes less than 10 minutes to get through town, weekdays it can take more than 30.

I did get a best of 6.7 l/100km on 95 from Melbourne to Leeton. I have no idea about urban economy.

The CVT equipped Outbacks get better fuel economy than the manuals, especially in highway cruising, because the CVT has a much taller top ratio than the manual (so fewer revs for the same speed).
 

Marty McSly

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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.
Mazda CX-7 would also be in that 10-12K range. I looked at one when they were new. My main criterion then was that it needed to accommodate my car pool crew. It didn't. While there was plenty of apparent rear leg room, there was bugger-all toe room (space under the front seats), so the usable rear leg room was severely compromised.

It's more of a long, low wagon than an upright SUV, is available with a grunty diesel and AWD, and would be very accommodating for a couple with ski gear to carry up the hill from Jindy. IIRC the diesel only comes in manual.
 
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Onlybackscratchers

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Thanks for that!

Unfortunately the budget is only a Max of $12k

I was also thinking maybe a petrol suby won't be as bad as my last outback. (1997!) Fuel economy has come a long way since then?

Another to consider, the Suzuki Vitara s turbo AWD. Not in the budget yet, from about $20K.
Ours has been fantastic and drives well on the roads around Jindabyne. 6-7lt fuel consumption, 0-100 in 8.7 sec, corners above average for a SUV. Snow mode very effective, sports mode great on wet and dry winding roads.
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Thredbo carpark, was a good day.
 
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Onlybackscratchers

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No matter what technical or safety features a vehicle has, it is the
tyres that determine how it drives and handles on snow and in icy conditions.
No matter what technical or safety features a vehicle has, it is the drivers experience that determine how it drives and handles on snow and in icy conditions.
 
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ViperPit

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May 30, 2017
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Melb
Volvo XC70.2015 model. Ours is diesel, great snow car. Lots of room. Good on dirt roads and great in snow.
You can fit snow chains however we have never had to.
We had a Mazda CX-9. It ran out of AWD traction on the dirt road to our house. Snow and ice turned into AWD wheel spin and it slid down the hill and got stuck. The tow truck that came to rescue it slid down the same hill and wrote it off.
Or, buy a Subaru
Not sure if its ok to bring this one up.... what year was your mazda ? I drove my 2018 model on snow several times last year and it was bullet proof, even out of a snow parking drift at falls & up/down Buller in snow. To be fair, i have driven in a lot of snow before so i dont drive like a nut... i reckon that counts for a lot ;) ( as per previous post )
https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...-best-all-wheel-drive-system-for-snow-and-ice
 

Muddy

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Jul 10, 2012
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My main criteria would be: can fit all your stuff, can fit chains, has AWD/4WD, has turbo. The turbo is clearly optional but it makes a big difference if you are going to be driving up the hill a lot. I had an earlier non-turbo Subaru Forester and replaced it with a turbo version - so much more pleasant going up the hill - can overtake those slow punters that refuse to use the turn-in bays much more safely. From my non-expert reading, the Subaru AWD seems pretty well sorted. There is a new version available I believe in the new MY19 Foz and the forthcoming new Outback that has a 2-stage X-Mode that addresses the "getting stuck when all wheels lose traction" issue. I think the Audi system is also good, maybe the Volvo too.

In terms of fitting your stuff, if you're looking at mid-size SUVs you may have to consider your rooftop storage options, eg. racks and cargo pods. I have bars that can accommodate a ski rack plus a pod (the longer skinnier type) and that works really well. There are some limitations with racks on the Outbacks - including the forthcoming MY20 turbo - due to the integrated roof bar system, however it's possible to work around that via aftermarket mods. Roof Carrier Systems has an option there.

Get some decent chains, too. Less time grovelling around in the muddy slush and should be more reliable.
 

dossa5

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Jul 2, 2009
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We drive our old trusty old Subie Outback My12 diesel up the hill. Never had fuel issues although we start using alpine diesel from mid May at the latest. With the amount of driving we do up the GAR l wouldnt even consider taking up the good car. The road just smashes the paintwork and the tyres. Has awesome wheel arch space.
Dont worry about the traction control as it should be off when chains fitted.
 

ARitchie

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Sep 23, 2018
29
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Melbourne
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My Father has been skiing for over 40 years owning many vehicles over that time, hes currently on his 4th Subaru Outback. He has used them as a plumbing vehicle 5 days a week, towing a trailer and has had 300k+ on each one. If you want a nippy super grippy all rounder that is the best choice, Subaru XV if you want something a little smaller and a Forester if you want something a bit taller. If you look at Windy Corner Carpark on Hoppet day, 65% of the cars will Subaru's. Speak for themselves.
 

chriscross

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Jul 1, 2005
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The Foothills
Still available but will sell to dealer if no better offer. Nice vehicle. Genuine sale.
SOLD to local dealer; supply of such vehicles is low.
 
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Mister Tee on XC Skis

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Another vote for an automatic AWD Toyota RAV4 fitted with Hankook Dynapro AT-M tyres. The only time I have to fit chains most ski seasons is driving up from Harrietville to JB Plain over Mt. Hotham .
Baw Baw, Mt. St. Gwinear , Mt. Stirling, Mt. Buffalo, Perisher, Falls Creek, Lake Mtn. out of season XC skiiing , you name it, I am good to go in low gear and cautious driving without chains being fitted unless it is a
freak snow storm.
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Lots of room for skis, snow camping gear , BC packs, chainsaw, 2 stroke fuel etc. Plus The surfboards go on the roof rack. Since I got the awning things have improved on the car camping front too.
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