Subaru Outback, Premium or Basic 2.5i

I want to buy a Subaru Outback. Not sure if I should go for the premium or just the basic. The premium has several add-ons that I don’t know if they are worthy of the 1-2k more cost. Could someone explain to me the good and bad about these add-ons? Many thanks.

Aluminum-alloy wheels

Fog light

Heated side mirror

Heated front seat

Wind Shield Wiper de-icer

10-way power driver’s seat (I know this one)

Forgot to mention. I live in Boston area.

Aluminum alloy wheels may be a bit lighter than steel wheels, although this is not always the case. If they are lighter they will reduce unsprung weight and may slightly increase fuel mileage. The downside is they are susceptible to curb rash.

Fog lights throw light low and wide, right in front of the vehicle, to increase visibility during fog/rain/snow. I don’t see a downside to fog lights.

Heated side mirrors will melt ice from the mirrors without scraping. Sweet!

Heated seats warm your butt in winter. Leather seats are COLD in the winter. Heated seats are a good thing.

Windshield wiper de-icer: I have no idea what that is. Probably a bit of electric heat grid in the windshield. Certainly can’t hurt.

The 10-way power seat, to me, is alone worth the price of the premium package. It’s the only way you’ll ever find the “perfect” seat position.

If you’re planning to keep this car for a long time you will probably come to appreciate the extras. Otherwise, save the money.

I think they are all worthwhile safety features (incl the butt warmer). The one I like least and the one I swap out in the winter is the alloy for steel rims for winter salt and spring potholes. My biggest complaint about Subarus is their going to exclusive alloy and too low profile tires on models that have better winter features otherwise.

When you amortize the extra cost over the space of…let’s say…5 years (or more), the actual cost per week for the extra creature comforts/safety enhancements is literally just a few cents. So, don’t think in terms of the extra initial cost. Think in terms of how little it will actually cost you over time, and also think about the greater resale value when it is time to sell or trade in the vehicle.

I live a few hundred miles south of you, and I can tell you that there is no substitute on a frigid morning for those heated seats! And, the next time that you have to drive for more than 30 minutes in a snow storm, you will be glad if you have the heated mirrors (you do get two, you know!) and the heated wipers, as they do enhance your safety. Incidentally, that package includes two heated seats (both driver’s seat and front passenger seat).

The fog lights serve a purpose that the designers might not have intended, but is very useful nevertheless. By using the fog lights every time that I drive at night, I am much more easily able to see pot holes in the roadway. As the infrastructure of our nation continues to deteriorate, this is a good way to prevent damage to your tires, wheels, and front end components.

Another factor that you might not have considered is the issue of sound-proofing. Most manufacturers put additional sound-proofing on their more upscale models. I can tell you that the interior of my 2011 Outback Limited is as quiet as a library, and that adds considerably to the comfort level.

In addition to the power seat allowing you to find the ideal seating position, the power lumbar support provides incredible added comfort, especially on a long drive.

In my opinion, unless that 1k-2k would take food off of the table, you should treat yourself to the minimal creature comforts/safety advantages that these few upgrades represent. In the long run, you will be glad that you did.

Incidentally, the best way to save money on that car is to pay cash, rather than financing or leasing it. I am always amazed at people who “nickle and dime” the purchase price of a new car, and then wind up spending thousands of dollars more in the long run for financing or leasing.

Also–forego ALL of the extra items (paint protectant, undercoating, upholstery protectant, extended warranty) that are pushed at the time of purchase. These over-priced items are unnecessary and wind up wiping out whatever price advantage you might have gained through negotiation on the price of the vehicle.

Three is nothing there I would loose any sleep over.  A few years ago when my job required driving in fog and snow night and day, the fog lamps would have been a requirement.  Today, it is very little, in a few years I expect to move and there I would be looking for fogs.  I have them now.

Great list. I esp. like the Mad Max reference…"As the infrastructure of our nation continues to deteriorate, this is a good way to prevent damage to your tires, wheels, and front end components. "
Bring back the “Brat” with all those same features and a .50 on the back…
Makes me want to trade wife’s Rav for a new Subbie.