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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I never test drove the Mazda. I test drove the Highlander and it feels like it has more power but a more "boring" ride. The Pilot actually felt more lively and nimble compared to the highlander. The Highlander also does not have near the cargo capacity in terms of third row legroom/headroom, rear cargo length and cargo height. This is using a measuring tape and looking at dimensions, not just basing it on the manufacturers listed cargo cubic feet number.
Not to mention that the new Highlander looks hideous! You definitely aren’t alone in bringing a tape measure to the dealers and crawling through the demo cars with it!! “Measure twice, buy once” is the saying, right?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
You could also check a new Highlander that has a 6 cyl. Highlander vs Mazda check them on Alex on Auto's and Car Question (I haven't yet). I do like that both the Mazda and Highlander have a regular tranny not a CVT.
I have no basis for it, but can’t see myself in a Mazda. Maybe I should be more open minded…

Another relevant factor further complicating my analysis and limiting what I’ll consider is 0% financing at both Subaru and Honda right now. I’ll either pay cash for a bargain on a used car or leverage the “free” dealer money for a new one. Not sure about Mazda, but Toyota never/hardly ever does 0% and certainly isn’t in this crazy sellers’ auto market.
 

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Get the 2018 Outback 3.6R Touring.
New Pilots/Passports will always be around, but you'll be forever regretting letting that 6-cylinder Subaru slip by.
 

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Some of the rental car companies might have one for you to try. I used Budget rent a car. in the row where they gave me the Outback there were 3 Mazda CX5's. I didn't notice any CX9 but wasn't looking.

You could rent one for a couple days and really try it. You might need to call to see what they physically have. Website and customer service will not be useful. You'll get the we can't guarantee story or what they have. The local rental pickup spot will be better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Some of the rental car companies might have one for you to try. I used Budget rent a car. in the row where they gave me the Outback there were 3 Mazda CX5's. I didn't notice any CX9 but wasn't looking.

You could rent one for a couple days and really try it. You might need to call to see what they physically have. Website and customer service will not be useful. You'll get the we can't guarantee story or what they have. The local rental pickup spot will be better.
Hahaha! Trying to rent a car in the summer in Alaska! You’re funny!

(And THIS summer in particular with the ongoing car shortage…ain’t happening. People here are making a mint pimping their cars out on Turo.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Get the 2018 Outback 3.6R Touring.
New Pilots/Passports will always be around, but you'll be forever regretting letting that 6-cylinder Subaru slip by.
This is very true. I could get the Outback and then sell it when the redesigned Pilot comes out in…2030?!
 

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This is very true. I could get the Outback and then sell it when the redesigned Pilot comes out in…2030?!
Sounds like a plan.
By 2030, everything will be all-electric, so you won't have to decide between 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder and/or turbo versus non-turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Sounds like a plan.
By 2030, everything will be all-electric, so you won't have to decide between 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder and/or turbo versus non-turbo.
And the Pilot will still look like its dorky, lovable self!
 

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I got tired of reading responses so I'll post my opinion ignoring everyone else.

If you have owned and liked Subarus, grab that unicorn Outback. It will surely handle better than the Pilot with the lower center of gravity due to overall height and the boxer engine. It also has more ground clearance than the 3rd gen Pilot, every inch helps when trying not to get high centered in the snow.

I personally feel like the Pilot handles plenty well, but it is not an Explorer ST or Durango SRT in terms of suspension stiffness.
 

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In case you need more lame excuses, here you go:

There's also the "I don't care what anyone else's opinion is since mine is the correct one". Which camp does that fall into?

One I thought I was wrong... But I was wrong, I was right.
 

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Automotive tail & brake light Car Vehicle Vehicle registration plate Automotive tire
If you have owned and liked Subarus, grab that unicorn Outback. It will surely handle better than the Pilot with the lower center of gravity due to overall height and the boxer engine.
Hope the newer Subaru OB handles better than my ‘11 OB. On the OB forum the recommendation for the squirmy handling was replacing the skinny rear sway bar with the larger STi sway bar that reduced the unnerving tail wagging on certain undulating curvy roads. Good AWD system but the CVT was not impressive. Pic is not my OB but before the SB upgrade I could see this happening…LoL
 

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Hope the newer Subaru OB handles better than my ‘11 OB. On the OB forum the recommendation for the squirmy handling was replacing the skinny rear sway bar with the larger STi sway bar that reduced the unnerving tail wagging on certain undulating curvy roads.
Wouldn't a stiffer rear sway bar reduce the ability of both rear wheels to remain in contact with undulating terrain when driving off-road/pavement?
Some vehicles are equipped with a sway bar disconnect feature for use in such situations.
 

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Wouldn't a stiffer rear sway bar reduce the ability of both rear wheels to remain in contact with undulating terrain when driving off-road/pavement?
Some vehicles are equipped with a sway bar disconnect feature for use in such situations.
The issue some owners and I experienced with the OB was the unnerving tail wagging while on-the-road curves at the speed limit. I suspect the STi SB upgrade just pushs the tail wagging to occur at higher upper limits which I wouldn't try in a '11 OB.
 

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The one about which others are too tired to read.
To their own detriment. It is a great burden but I carry it humbly.

The issue some owners and I experienced with the OB was the unnerving tail wagging while on-the-road curves at the speed limit. I suspect the STi SB upgrade just pushs the tail wagging to occur at higher upper limits which I wouldn't try in a '11 OB.
I had one of that body style as a rental in Cincinnati. Found it to be pleasant enough and surprisingly agile, but at the time I was DD'ing a Tacoma. Hate the way the 4 cylinder boxer sounded and it was very loud and unrefined with the CVT.

My sister has a '19 OB... considerably nicer than the rental we had. Not a bad car at all. I still hate the base engine for how horrible it sounds.
 

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Back to the topic, I just came back from a camping in the Rocky Mountains in BC. Compared to my previous vehicle ('04 Nissan Pathfinder) I felt the body roll much more in my '17 Pilot, even though at the end of it's life my Pathfinder's suspension was pretty much worn out. We were loaded up to the brim with two kids and camping gear as usual, but we weren't towing anything and had nothing on the roof.

It's a bit exacerbated by the fact that with the 6-speed transmission, shifting into D4 doesn't slow you down that much and shifting into L would be very sketchy at these speeds. On the long steep descents I had to rely on my brakes a lot more than I'm used to. In my last vehicle I could turn off OD and keep it at 80km/h on a long 8% grade with curves that I've driven plenty of times before. In the Pilot it wanted to go over 100km/h in D4.

If I was able to shift into 3rd gear that might have been perfect. C'est la vie I guess. My brakes were fine afterwards, but I still don't like riding them that much.
 
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