This is somewhat off topic for a blog of this nature but I feel that I have to say something about this. Last week I traded in my Subaru Legacy Outback for a smaller and much more economical diesel estate. I’ve had the Outback since 2005 and was it my dream car at the time. At that point I had always wanted a 4 x 4 but did not want something as large and unnecessary as the so-called “Chelsea tractors” that are favoured by so many parents for the school run.
I have nearly always had an estate so I wanted to keep with this body plan and that narrowed it down to a choice of two. As my budget would not run to an Audi Allroad I went for the Subaru and what an inspired choice that has turned out to be. The SEn spec was extremely well equipped with full leather upholstery, heated seats, satellite navigation and a host of other toys. Added to this it was a two tone green and grey which was the colour I wanted and the real bonus on this car was that it had a manual gear box which is as rare to find as a specimen of Archaeopteryx. This was combined with the renowned Subaru 2.5 litre boxer engine and completed the package – it really was a stunning car.
Since then the car has successfully travelled around the British Isles and I can honestly say that it has never let me down – something that not many car owners can say. Every time that it was needed the four wheel drive system always pulled the car out of muddy situations – indeed it was so good at this that I only ever had to engage the low ratio gears once when the car was more or less buried up to its wheel arches in mud after days of torrential rain. The Subaru extricated itself smoothly and without fuss – not once did I think that I would not get out.
On snow and ice it was equally adept and the car installed you with confidence – not that you should take things for granted. 4 x 4’s are better in these conditions but not infallible which so many 4 x 4 drivers find out to their cost. The car was equally superb eating up the motorway miles, was an extremely comfortable ride and the cruise control was excellent. With the seats down there was room for vast quantities of equipment and there was never an occasion when I could not get everything in.
Naturally the car has visited many quarries and sites all over the country but I only ever took it into the one quarry. This was Star Pit – made famous by the televised excavation of a Leedsichthys problematicus back in 2002/03. It was a strange feeling driving over an ancient sea bed in a modern vehicle and I can remember feeling how surreal it felt. Star Pit has long since vanished and is now completely flooded.
I also have very fond memories of driving along a wild and woolly beach in Wales through the surf during an early Summer evening a few years back. Arriving at an ancient Cambrian outcrop marked as far as I could go and sitting on the edge of the cargo bay looking at the setting sun was simply one of those very special moments.
Despite all of this, in the end, I have had to let my beloved Subaru go for economic reasons. It was expensive to service, expensive to fuel and expensive to tax and, to be honest, it was always my intention to move it on this year. A recent replacement headlight moved the process on a little quicker than I had intended as this was unbelievably expensive – and I do mean expensive. So I traded it in for a smaller estate that is diesel powered and minimally equipped in comparison but I have to say that I am already seeing the benefits of downsizing at the petrol pumps.
So the Subaru will be moved on to a new owner and what a bit of kit they will be getting. It has full Subaru service history and has only been fitted with genuine Subaru parts so as long as they have the cash to fund it, the new owner will be getting a lot of car for their money. Apologies for what would pass for a car review but it is like saying goodbye to an old friend. I hope that the car gets the owner it deserves.
All hail and farewell…….