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Having Second thoughts

A few weeks ago my wife and I went car shopping looking to upgrade my '95 Subaru Legacy. I was hoping to find and test drive a Subaru Tribeca because I had such good luck with my 95 Legacy. However we did not see one at any of the dealerships we went too. We ended up test driving 6 SUV’s. 2 Nissan Murano’s, 2 Volvo Xc-90’s, Mazda CX-9 and a Honda Pilot. All of them except the Pilot were under 100,000 miles. The one I enjoyed the most was the Mazda CX-9. It was an '07 Grand Tour model with 83,000. We left to think it over. A couple days later I find a 07 Subaru B9 Tribeca Limited with 51,000 miles on it. It was a 1000 dollars cheaper than the CX-9 but didn’t have the bells and whistles like the CX-9, Navi, back up camera, DVD. We went with the Subaru B9 Tribeca because We could get a lifetime power train warranty with a disappearing deductible and its a Subaru. Lately though I can stop thinking about the CX-9 mostly because I can still do an exchange if I want. My wife thinks I’m nuts that I would go from a Subaru to a Mazda. She says I have gadget envy. So what do you guys think? Am I crazy to want to exchange the Subaru B9 Tribeca with the Mazda CX-9?

Not crazy, Mazdas and Subarus are about equal in reliability, as far as I know. But I’ve not met a dealer who would let me just swap them out without some kind of $$ penalty.

How much will you use the 3rd row? The Mazda would be my choice if you need to use it a lot.

I think it’s a little late to second guess yourself. If the wife is happy with the new car, you’ll probably have to get over your doubt.

I don’t think you’re crazy. I would take the Mazda over the Subaru myself, all things being equal. That said, it also has 30k more miles on the clock, which is something worth considering.

And if that’s a real lifetime powertrain warranty on the Subaru (rather than a virtually fake “warranty” chock full of loopholes like I suspect it probably is) then that adds significant value too.

Why does your wife believe a Subaru is better than a Mazda? Do you make good use of the excellent AWD capability of the Subaru? As for the backup camera, is it a consideration that that’s a good safety feature to have?

Crazy is only a word dull people use to describe fun people. But it does sound like you have “post decision dissonance”. It’s that second-guessing everyone does after making a major purchase. It’s normal, and It’ll go away.

The Subie and the Mazda are very comparable vehicles. It’s simply a matter of preference. Your wife’s not yours. Honor her choice. You’ll be happier for it.

Go to and find a head unit for you Subie that has Navi and back-up camera. Usually can install it yourself. A shop will do it for you, parts and labor usually around $1K, which is still cheaper than returning the car now. I hope this would make both parties happy.

I don’t know much about either at this point but what would sour me on a Subie is the CVT transmissions. Don’t know if this model has them or not and if you have a lifetime power train warranty, the only issue would be how far you have to tow it and who pays when it goes out. A back up camera can be added for about $150 though, but sometimes it takes a year to get used to a different car. So I guess I’d just give it a year and then trade if you are really unhappy.

I have a suspicion the Mazda would be cheaper to maintain in the long run . . .

"what would sour me on a Subie is the CVT transmissions. Don't know if this model has them or not"

This Tribeca–like all 6-cylinder Subaru models made in the past 7 years or so–has a “conventional” 5-speed automatic transmission. Subaru only began using CVTs in 2010, and only on 4-cylinder models.

Some of the best advice I received from a professional horn player that I studied with for many years. His advice was “Leave your notes on the stage”. In other words, you did the performance and don’t think about how you would have played it differently. You bought the Subaru with reasonably low mileage. You must have liked your previous Subaru and the chances are that this newer Subaru will be just as satisfying.
I’ll have to admit that I am not a gadget person. I bought a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that was a “program” car. It had a DVD player that I never used. Our grand daughter who was about 5 when we went to visit my son and his family in the Uplander thought the DVD was great and she knew how to work it. We would go for rides and she would watch a video. Our son bought the Uplander and I the DVD player isn’t used. Our grand daughter is now going on 12. From the time she was seven, she is never without a book. She sits in the very back of the van, turns on a reading light at night, and reads. My Toyota Sienna does have a back up camera, but I would rather turn my head and look directly at where I am backing. I also use the side mirrors as I back up. Our Toyota 4Runner has an automatic temperature control system, but our Sienna does not. I am just as happy with the manual system.
My advice is to enjoy the car you bought and “leave your notes on the stage”.

Either car is good as far as I’m concerned. The big issues would be the penalty you would incur if the car were traded back in and the fine print behind that lifetime warranty.
What was said verbally about that warranty and the reality may not resemble each other at all.

It wasn’t many years ago that Chrysler provided a lifetime warranty on all new Chryslers and look how well that worked out; dead and buried in bankruptcy court.

I liked the Tribeca I test drove a few years ago, but the biggest thing that turned me off of it was the temperature setting was only visible on the actual knob for temp selections; I would have to take me eyes of the road for a few seconds to adjust the temp and make sure it was where I wanted it.
I can’t remember if it was the Forester or the Tribeca that had the buttons for the heated seats on the center console right next to where you latched your seatbelts in.

Personally, I’d be kinda leery of a used Subaru, just for the fact that you don’t know how cheap the previous owner(s) was(were). Did they get a nail in the sidewall after 20k miles on a tire, then just replace that one tire, or did they get all 4 new tires? Same with a used turbo charged car; did they change the oil regularly? Did they use high octane fuel?

You will allways have second thoughts, we used to have some guys in civil engineering we called the what if brothers. No matter what we concluded it was a what if. I am sain this because you have what if syndrome, I mean what if I got killed by a bus whale crossing the street, etc. Drop the what ifs and move forward.

Thanks everyone for the responses. Along with my wife’s advice I will also heed Triedaq’s “Leave your notes on the stage.” Making big purchases always leaves me second guessing. The fact that I had two vehicles I liked made it harder. I’m guessing I would feel this way had I bought the Mazda. Living in Minnesota and having a Subaru for our winters, I think I made the right choice.

Yep Martin Luther (the original one from 1500) used to say “sin boldly” and of course Dale Carnegie emphasized living your life in water tight compartments. In other words, look at the alternative, make a decision, slam the door on it, and don’t look back. Might be right or might be wrong but move on and close the door on the past.